Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind.
He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm, and with whom he has no quarrel.
And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands, and works for the universal brotherhood of man with his mouth.
It is a phenomenon that is none the less remarkable for the frequency of its observation that none is so enthusiastic an endorser of armed combat and violence as he – or she – who has little or no personal acquaintance with military service, and is among the least likely to participate if her earnest advocacy for war bears fruit.
The poster-child for this philosophy is Molly McKew, of The Washington Free Beacon and Politico, and former adviser to deposed Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. Right up until his people kicked him out of the saddle, in fact, in favour of eccentric billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. And now, as another eccentric billionaire is preparing to take over the reins of power in the United States, Ms. McKew joins luminaries of the Make War, Not Love Club Samantha Power and Susan Rice in advocating military action to stop Russia’s Vladimir Putin, because the United States has not depended on diplomacy for so long that it now stinks out loud at it and has no international credibility. When the only tool in the toolbox of the tough is a hammer, the tough get going, and all that.
Ms. McKew gives us a guided tour of her philosophy in “Putin’s Real Long Game”, for Politico, and it is already piling up rave reviews in her Twitter feed from the usual Amerika-Uber-Alles types, such as Catherine Fitzpatrick.
It turns out – not to be a spoiler, or anything – that Putin’s long game looks remarkably like what is customarily the long game for the United States; ensuring by various non-violent means a receptiveness to national interests. Although when the United States does it, it should not be imagined to be sinister in any way, because the United States is a dedicated international philanthropist which consistently works for mutual benefit, and would never abuse a trade-based economic arrangement for its own benefit or use the threat of its mighty military to intimidate an ally into compliance. Whereas Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy boils down to sucking the life-force from hapless countries too weak to resist his bony-fingered embrace, like the pitiful Podlings in The Dark Crystal.
What makes this interesting is not so much the dog-whistle appeals to exceptionalism and good ol’ American can-do, because those are the perennial Hallmark card to the low-information reader that we have become accustomed to. No, what makes this a noteworthy piece is its tentative bellwether sucking up to Trump, who will succeed to the Presidency of the United States despite a cacophony of caterwauling from the neoconservatives who lusted after the war-hammer of Hillary Clinton. Having painted Trump with excrement and ridicule daily in the full expectation that he would lose, America’s War Party must now explore how they might best make use of him to return to the pleasant pastime of perpetual war. Thus Trump becomes an unconventional thinker rather than a self-absorbed simpleton; a rough-hewn individualist rather than a maudlin bumpkin, as out of place as a rap star at an IPO after-party. The apparent aim is a no-hard-feelings attempt to co-opt Trump to the cause of returning Russia to its also-ran box. Continue reading