Get out the shovel….
Robert Kagan has written a piece entitled “Backing into World War III.” Kagan instead prefers a headlong rush into human oblivion.
Who is Robert Kagan?
Robert Kagan (born September 26, 1958) is an American historian, author, columnist, and foreign-policy commentator. Kagan is mainly characterized as a leading neoconservative, but he prefers the term “liberal interventionist” to describe himself.
“Liberal interventionist”; a label right out of The Department of Redundancy Department.
A co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, he is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations….Kagan left the Republican Party in 2016 due to what he described as Donald Trump’s fascism, and endorsed Hillary Clinton.
A better label would be “warmonger.” He didn’t leave because of Trump’s fascism (Kagan has obviously never met a fascist); Kagan left because he is a liberal interventionist.
Kagan is married to the American diplomat Victoria Nuland, who served as Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Barack Obama administration.
“F*ck the EU” Nuland. They all get mad when Trump badmouths the EU, but nary a peep when a warmonger does.
OK, so what of this piece by Kagan?
He sees, and laments, the upswing of Russia and China; he sees, and laments, the downturn of the United States. Of course, his Project for the New American Century is one of the prime reasons for this US downturn….
…we will reach the moment at which the existing order collapses and the world descends into a phase of brutal anarchy, as it has three times in the past two centuries.
While it is 100% certain that the existing order will change, it need not “collapse”; instead, it can transition somewhat smoothly. The State Department has something around 70,000 employees and a budget approaching $50 billion. Try mixing in a little diplomacy once in a while.
But no; we can’t have any of that diplomacy stuff! Instead, we get “collapse” as the only possible outcome. Thereafter we get “brutal anarchy.” Brutal anarchy for whom, one might ask. It has certainly descended into brutal anarchy for those on the receiving end of the Project for the New American Century.
History shows that world orders do collapse, however, and when they do it is often unexpected, rapid, and violent. The late 18th century was the high point of the Enlightenment in Europe, before the continent fell suddenly into the abyss of the Napoleonic Wars.
One might ask: was there a relationship? How could the high point of the Enlightenment coincide with the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars? Is this a fair question?
The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.
Man’s reason, not God’s laws, was the primary source of authority. Could this have something to do with this reality? Now, before all of my atheist libertarian friends get up in arms…someone or something will make the laws. This is an unavoidable reality of history.
When it was God’s law, there was no doubt that all men – even the king – were below the law; for more or less 1000 years, some form of just such law was to be found in the Germanic Middle Ages. When it was man’s reason, well the man who made the law made sure he was above the law.
We bow to the gods of liberty, equality, fraternity; yet these gods coincided with the “three times in the past two centuries” lamented by Kagan. Look, I didn’t offer up the comparison; blame Kagan.
Returning to his essay, Kagan laments the actions of the Trump administration to date:
The further accommodation of Russia can only embolden Vladimir Putin, and the tough talk with China will likely lead Beijing to test the new administration’s resolve militarily.
This is the first place in the essay where I lost it. Accommodating Russia leads to war and playing tough with China leads to war. Idiot.
China and Russia are classic revisionist powers. Although both have never enjoyed greater security from foreign powers than they do today—Russia from its traditional enemies to the west, China from its traditional enemy in the east—they are dissatisfied with the current global configuration of power.
Has Kagan ever looked at a map of Europe? Has he studied NATO expansion toward Russia? Either he is a dolt or he treats his readers as dolts. Or both…that’s my bet.
As to being “dissatisfied with the current global configuration of power,” for China, with an economy quickly approaching that of the largest economy in the world, what do you expect?
Both seek to restore the hegemonic dominance they once enjoyed in their respective regions. For China, that means dominance of East Asia, with countries like Japan, South Korea, and the nations of Southeast Asia…
What? How many centuries ago did China enjoy “hegemonic dominance” over Japan and South Korea?
For Russia, it means hegemonic influence in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia…
Has Kagan seen a map of Europe circa 1989?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. The Warsaw Pact was made up of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Out of these countries and excluding Russia, Russia has military bases in eight of these – if you count Crimea as “Ukraine” (which I am sure Kagan will). Guess what? Eight of these countries have joined NATO (nine if you count the now decentralized Czech Republic and Slovakia separately; ten if you include East Germany).
One wonders exactly which country – Russia or the United States – is exercising “hegemonic influence in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.”
Further, in case it needs to be pointed out, many of these new NATO countries border Russia; at the same time, these new NATO countries are up to 5000 miles or more distant from Washington, DC.
Returning to Kagan: much of the remainder of the essay contains the standard false history of wars and neocon-driven bromides. Nonsense piled on nonsense. Piled higher and deeper.
Just look at both China and Russia: Never in the past two centuries have they enjoyed greater security from external attack than they do today.
Has Kagan never seen this map? Perhaps they do not understand that the United Sates is surrounding them with military bases in order to protect them.
In any case, never at any time in the last two centuries has the United States ever had to fear an existential external attack. The most one can say is Pearl Harbor – when Hawaii was not yet a state, and anyway…FDR and all that – and 911 – when…well, we don’t really know what happened, do we.
The candidate [Clinton] who spoke often of America’s “indispensable” global role lost…
Yes; may I explain why?