With the assembly of “Syndicate Red Brown Green” — post-Soviet neo-Feudal Russia under Putin, the “new nationalist” signalled by Orban and Erdogan, and the Islamofascism expressed through any number of organizations, whether Sunni or Shiite or Hezbollah or ISIS doesn’t amount to much of a difference — one has one side of a coin forged in blood, corruption, and terror.
Opposite: Blue-Green — the Democratic Open Societies and perhaps latent progressive Islamic forces, the two signified by cooperation between Washington, D.C., and Riyadh (Obama-Salman).
What is the substance of this newly minted coin?
How feudal is it — how feudal will it be — throughout?
Putin, Assad, Khamenei, Orban, Erdogan, Kirchner, Castro, and Maduro may be quite different as leaders and their talk dissimilar, but in walk they are each autocratic, powerful, wealthy, and cloaked by opaque political arrangements. The mass of their constituencies cannot comb through their business alliances or political decisions with accuracy as each controls state “information space” (for unilingual speakers) through state-controlled press, Internet filtering, and political repression.
Of course, the west may be okay with “Red Brown Green” for its being ho-hum familiar and just so . . . 20th Century, so far.
More worrisome may be alterations in the character of the west itself: to what extent has the Obama Administration, possibly the most authoritarian and opaque in American history, shepherded the United States into a proto-feudal stance?
Up to this point, I have sensed variance between the Administration’s image and surface, especially as regards Islam and Israel, and actual programmatic budget and decision elements. The hand extended in peace to Islam from the first inauguration forward has not wiped away Department of Defense and Israel Defense Force cooperation in the field, associated contract deliveries, or weapons programs, not that I’ve looked (some years ago and from far outside the Beltway) beyond “bunker busting bombs”, “Iron Dome”, and the “F-35 radar-evading fighter” programs.
Still, it would seem the White House has become as much the “enigma wrapped in a riddle” — what has it been doing abetting the Khamenei regime’s acquisition of weapons-grade nuclear fuel accompanied by programs — in missile technology, for sure — that would make it useful for the annihilation of the “Zionist entity”?
Issues involving cooperation and disclosure with the the whole of the government itself have become so apparent that even Senate Democrats have weighed in opposite the Administration as regards anything-goes privilege in the fashioning of the nation’s foreign policy:
Congressional Democrats and the Obama White House have been sharply critical of a letter freshman Senate Armed Services Committee member Tom Cotton of Arkansas and 46 other upper chamber Republicans sent Iranian leaders last Monday. In it, the GOP signatories warned Congress would not support the reported terms a possible deal currently under negotiation.
But even in the wake of the letter fracas, many Senate Democrats still agree with Republicans that lawmakers should have a role in determining whether sanctions against Iran that Congress approved should be eased or lifted.
While Trita Parsi, who looks and sounds like Khamenei’s man in Washington, argues that what hurts the regime helps ISIS, BackChannels has maintained that ISIS has been in essence an Iran-manipulated project, helped along to establishment by way of a stand-down letter from a mayor near Mosul and stopped short of the concentration of Shiite communities south of Baghdad.
But that is what “political theater” is — i.e., a malignant narcissist’s show put on for the world by way of false flags, behind-the-curtain deals (helped along by blackmail, bribery, intimidation, patronage, theft), and all.
Where would despots be without smoke-and-mirrors showbiz?
In KSA-USA relations, one expects a feudal atmosphere regardless of the pace of cultural adaptation and change in the Kingdom. Because private wealth is feudal in character, one cannot expect the family-as-government to do its business in plain public view: with KSA, the modern democratic open societies may have had to reach back through time while “actors” external and interior have gone to work shaping a new society in “observable, measurable” ways (as moderate social progressives exist everywhere).
What about Obama’s USA all by itself?
I will just come out and say it: I agree with many who say that our current president has an un-American perspective. But I say, even further, that his perspective is, in fact, quintessentially ‘old world.’
Then there are the laws constructed for the elite, which allow bankers who crash the economy to walk free. They’re the laws which allow police officers to avoid prosecution when they strip search non-violent criminals, or taser pregnant women on the side of the road, or pepper spray peaceful protestors. These are the laws of the new age we are entering, an age of neo-feudalism, in which corporate-state rulers dominate the rest of us, where the elite create the laws which can result in a person being jailed for possessing marijuana while bankers that launder money for drug cartels walk free.
Unfortunately, this two-tiered system of justice has been a long time coming. The march toward an imperial presidency, to congressional intransigence and impotence, to a corporate takeover of the mechanisms of government, and the division of America into haves and have nots has been building for years.
The ambivalence and ambiguity of the above juxtaposition speaks for itself.
How well do we know — how well CAN we know — about what is going on in the surrounding world when government initiatives and the news itself seems freighted with “done deals” — arrangements made out of public sight and then rolled out by ye high and mighty, albeit elected, for public perception?
The freshman senator from Arkansas and 46 of his Republican colleagues sought to bigfoot Obama on a deal not yet done whose details are not yet known.
How is it the “details are not yet known”?
How is it that Congress, including a Democratic Party portion — so this goes beyond partisan politics — feel slighted and rendered impotent in their influence on American foreign affairs policy, enough so to speak some truth to the power of the presidency — and sign on to an end-run around it?
Has American collectively become so complex a place as to have become Byzantine and separated from direct and meaningful access to power and its influence?
What today is the Commander and Chief’s relationship with his generals, neither in theory or homily but in the “realpolitik” between White House, Pentagon, and the Big Defense contracting community?
Dive in anywhere.
It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.
First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.
Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.
What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.
Among the marks of the feudal systems may be their untrustworthiness, dependent as they are on ruling personalities, frequently malignant, given to betrayals and deceits involving their people, their rivals, and, alas, their own partners.
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