A couple notes

For the first time ever, I noticed a major news outlet mentioning that Article 1 of the North Atlantic Treaty makes aggressions illegal. Hooray!
Now apply this insight beyond just Turkey.

Not-so-fun game: Try to come up with ways how the' president of the united states' a.k.a. "lying moron" could possibly serve Russian interests better than he already does.
- He drove oil prices up with Iran
- He drives wedges into NATO
- He seems to drive Turkey out of NATO into Russia's arms
- He utterly destroyed U.S. diplomatic capability - there's no ability for actual diplomatic agreements left. That's in part becuase of State Department disassembling, in part because he's not giving real guidance to diplomats (so all negotiations are a mess) and in part because he's proving his country to be utterly unreliable (up to signalling that ratified treaties are merely the starting point for a shakedown for a fictional better deal).
- He worked hard to get Russia sanctions lifted
- He gets an Ukrainian government into trouble
- He withheld arms deliveries to Ukraine
- Did nothing against the threat of election fraud

I think of myself as someone who has a lot of ideas, can improvise and find ways how to unhinge seemingly stable systems. I doubt I could have made up these pro-Russia moves in a week.
I would have insisted on backdoors in network and computer hardware and software to make Western computer networks more vulnerable to Russian attack - which incidentally is something the U.S. government (and politicians in the EU) did want, too.

I don't really share the criticism about the fake Syria withdrawal a.k.a. betrayal of the Kurds. The criticism is too much in opposition (and thus in favour of having troops deployed in Syria) as a matter of principle.
It could have been done in a competent way - there was enough time. The Kurds could have negotiated autonomy with Assad under favourable conditions using the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal as one of the bargaining chips instead of being forced to plea to Assad for help. The Turkish invasion (expansion of invasion) would rather not have happened if the Syrian border guard and army were on the border.

Having troops in Syria is great power gaming nonsense in my opinion. So an actual (not fake) withdrawal would have been fine if done well. I suppose those senators who criticise it just want to continue the great power gaming nonsense. They don't care more about the Kurds than the lying moron does.

The mess was created for practically not gain (there are still U.S. troops in Syria, and expected to stay), at least concerning Western interests.
What now? The U.S. could abstain from protecting Turkey in the UNSC instead of doing childish pseudo-tough talk and embarrassing letters. The UK and France would probably not protect Turkey. Maybe Russia would, but keep in mind Syria would have to appeal to the UNSC to act against the invasion in the first place. Putin would have to choose whether to side with Turkey or Syria.

I didn't write as much as usual lately because I got distracted. Stuff happens.

Right wing extremism may have passed a zenith in several European countries at least for this generation. The right wing extremists in Germany suffer from several problems
- the Austrian right wing radicals' corruption scandal, which exposed the workings of right wing extremists
- it's becoming increasingly obvious that their primary party is more of an Eastern German protest party than anything else
- a court declared it legal and no libel to call one of their far-far-right members a "fascist", which clarified the matter
- their favourite target, chancellor Merkel, it slowly leaving the spotlight since she gave up party chairmanship
- the migration issue has ebbed
Personally, I wonder when and whether ever the nation will pay attention to far right wingers having no working answers to challenges and problems. They're mostly about fear and hate, only in few countries (Hungary, Poland) has the far right wing been smart enough to break from the mold and actually do something for the poor and the middle class.

I'm concerned that there's neither much of a movement for a ban on autonomous lethal drones nor a hurried development of countermeasures against them. This has a "1905" feeling of seeing horse cavalry divisions, but neither armoured motor vehicles nor anti-armoured vehicles guns in the army.



  1. I'll stick to 5), fair enough point. Now change the environment. Recession. The century defining one is still looming, inflated asset prices, massive corporate debt, inability to increase productivity, underfunded pensions caused by low bond yields and apparent glee at continued falling disposable income levels for the working class. Blah, blah, blah. Doesnt say the next recession will pop all of those bubbles though. Could just be a repeat of '08 rather than the godzilla financial apocalypse.

    The rhetoric could stay the same, the intentions of the far right could stay the same. Would the populace be more receptive to it? Wouldn't the lefts rhetoric be more attractive as well? Sure, if you live in cloud cuckoo land. Just read some capitalists opinion on a potential elizabeth warren presidency, all of the statist media will attack the left. They will empower the far right to do their work for them, the rich will fund them (Peter Thiel, Mercer, Murdoch, Merck et al).

    This neo reactionary right wing movement is a joke. Full of losers and freaks. They wont rise to power, they can barely rise from their pit of a bed in the morning.

    I think Ive heard that before.

  2. I don't think it is possible to ban autonomous weapons. All that banning cluster weapons did was ensure there was a huge incentive for potential hot war enemies to retain them. A lot of the technology in autonomous weapons is dual use and impossible to restrict.