Saturday, April 1, 2017

Our unraveling world

Let me just throw out some random observations regarding what's going on in the world today and then let you connect the dots:

Donald Trump campaigned on "America First", and for better or worse, he's delivering on it.  Among his demands is that NATO members should start pulling their weight financially.  They had previously agreed to each spend 2% of their GDP on defense, collectively strengthening NATO, but so far all but the US, Greece, the UK, Poland, and Estonia have reneged.  The German Foreign Minister recently said it was "quite unreasonable to believe Germany would spend 2% of its economic output on the military."

Last year the United Kingdom voted to separate themselves from the European Union, aka Brexit.  And now Scotland is again making noises about separating itself from the UK.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Front Party, who vows to follow the UK's Brexit lead and get France out of the EU (Frexit?), is on the short list to become the next President of France.  She also says she will strengthen French relations with Russia.   

Speaking of:  The Russia of Vladimir Putin is punching above its weight class.  It's expanding militarily, although still for now exhibiting more bluster than true power.  At home it's an economic basket case, but Putin still has visions of Russia regaining the glory and prestige it had back in the days of the old Soviet Union.  They meddled in the recent US election (fact), and right now are meddling in the upcoming elections of France and Germany.  Their cyber-warfare capabilities are immense and expanding, and we don't seem (?) to have a way to counter them.

Russia is leaning heavily on some of their former Soviet Republic neighbors, occupying Crimea, and now actively stirring things up in the Balkans (south-eastern Europe).  Meanwhile, back at home, the Putin regime is under pressure to reform, which he isn't about to let happen.  Although it's seldom reported in the press, there is considerable public discontent with Putin.  And what often happens when a leader wants to deflect attention away from discontent at home?

The leader of Turkey, Recip Erdogan, an avowed Islamist, is consolidating power, slowly but surely dismantling the secular state established there after WWI.  He is rapidly filling the power vacuum left by crumbling neighbors Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and others.   Turkey is a long-time member of NATO (another eventual nail in NATO's coffin?) , but not a member of the European Union. (They applied, but so far have been rebuffed).

North Korea is perfecting their nuclear arms at a steady pace.  So far no one has been able to convince them to cease and desist, not even their benefactor communist neighbor, China.  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has shown nothing but contempt for the rest of the world and seems hellbent on seating himself at the Big Table with the major powers.  He doesn't seem frightened by the concept of "Mutually Assured Destruction", which for 40 years kept the US and the USSR from attacking each other.  We don't seem to have any feasible way to dissuade North Korea.

The United States, traditionally the most stable country in the world, is still stable, but feeling some tremors.  We need some truly dependable allies, but they seem to be few and far between (see above).

Our climate is changing.  It's getting warmer almost everywhere.  Whether this is due to natural cycles or man-made factors, who knows?  But instead of playing it safe and being pro-active, we're looking the other way and just chasing the Almighty $$$.

Folks, we need to get our shit together.  Look back through history and you'll see we've been in hellacious messes before and gotten ourselves out, and we can now, too, assuming it's part of God's Grand Plan.  But just like in those past situations there will be a serious price to pay.  

The soft life we've been living for many generations may be coming to an end, which actually isn't a bad thing.  To eventually prevail we'll need to stop thinking in terms of "me, me, me" and start thinking of the common good for a change.

And as a personal request, can we please get all this worked out before next football season?  *wink*  

aka Chuckles :)


  1. I fear the time is coming when we'll be forced to deal with North Korea. I imagine a time will come when we'll need to tell China that any missile coming from North Korea and hitting American territory or the territory of our allies will be dealt with as if it had come from China. This worked for Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I just don't think Trump should be in the White House when this happens.

    1. One major difference between the Kennedy Doctrine and what you're suggesting is that the USSR put IT'S nukes in Cuba. China hasn't armed North Korea, and therefor doesn't have the same influence with N Korea that the Soviet Union had with Cuba.

  2. It's unfortunate that in this time of crisis we have the least capable administration in history. The EPA is being run by Big Oil. The State Department is short on diplomats and the guy in charge is pretty much clueless. The president is more interesting in golfing, Tweeting, and filling his pockets with cash than doing anything to help America. We are well and truly screwed.

  3. I agree, for the times we're in now, the worst possible people are at the steering wheel. And until we stop saying, "God bless America" (does God KNOW/CARE where all the borders are?) and we rely on science and our own hard work to dig us out of this mess, not much is going to change. (And this is written by me, who believes in God AND science).