Is it desirable?
Is it necessary?
Can it be achieved?
Yes, and opponents of the very possibility need to take a deep breath, close their eyes, meditate, calm down, and curb their bloodlust.
Putin and Trump could be the emissaries of Darth Vader, or avatars of Satan, Shiva, or Kali. Does it change the constructive opportunities which come with America and Russia getting along?
When the suggestion of friendship provokes bouts of truculent hysteria, the psychiatrists need to step in on the grounds of mental health and public safety. Which acronym best describes Deep State dementia? MND, HD, SCA (link)? When the very notion of getting along is cause for belligerence is it Friedreich’s Ataxia or Lewy Body Disease? An acute adult form of Aspergers?
Washington and Moscow could have worked out a deal at any point in the past and present, and they reserve the right until both are no longer left standing. Trump
is, was (????) the first loud and blatant opportunity to suggest the two countries could “get along,” and he took hit after hit during the elections, during the interregnum, as President Initiate, for being a Russian puppet, Putin bootlicker, and the ultimate Manchurian candidate. Why did Trump stick his neck out all throughout the last six months if he wasn’t committed to his ideas or if he was ready to toss them at a moment’s notice?
America’s allies have done diddly-squat to fight ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Jihadi international. During the horror of Paris’s Bataclan, in which filth stoned on the Koran spent four hours cutting off the testicles of men that they had grown up with as neighbors (!), and then fed the testicles to their besotted girlfriends that they had also grown up with but jealously didn’t get to screw, then spliced up their belies before chopping them up bit by bit, French police dallied in front of the scene of horror awaiting orders from a hapless government of dirofilaria and nematodes.
Oh, France vowed revenge against ISIS all right! It sent its massive aircraft-carrier, the Charles de Gaulle to flash its military bling off the coast of Syria, and four days and ten useless bombing raids latter, pulled anchor without so much as declaring “mission accomplie.” The French navy preferred fishing for tuna in the Gulf of Lyon than for Saudi and Turkish trained terrorists of Al-Sham.
What allies America has got! Not only incapable of doing anything without spending American taxpayers’ money on NATO’s logistics and bullets, but lacking the minimum decency to express gratitude for those who so kindly protect them. Russia, not being allied to anyone, went out on a limb to bomb to smithereens the subhuman filth that orchestrated the Bataclan and Orlando massacres, and alone among world leaders, Trump expressed appreciation.
Not the French, not the Germans, not the Belgians being cut up to pieces by compatriots whose inexplicable hatred for them is endlessly talked-over or excused as the failure of assimilation or integration, but the Russians that went and did the dirty work of cleaning up the gutter where the hatred is seething and from which it spreads. Not a word of gratitude, a greeting card nor a thank you note from the European weasels. Saber-rattling, insults, sanctions, threats of war is the only flatulence they know how to produce.
Trump sounded different from these wheezing dunces when he welcomed Russia’s contribution to fighting the miasma of Jihadism destroying the Middle East and pushing the world towards a Clash of Civilizations not of its own choosing.
Did Trump not grasp who stood behind the forces mobilizing disgruntled losers into acts of barbarism and despondence? Did he not see how geniuses in the Deep State fashioned an instrumentalised Islam, using methods and techniques described in meticulous detail in Christopher Davis’ Shadow Wars? The link between US military bases and fanatic Wahabi clergy in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia agitating against America couldn’t be clearer. It is a twisted relationship which twisted people in Washington maintain, and associating with them and keeping their company twists even the straightest mind away from common sense and sanity.
It shouldn’t be hard for a billionaire who predicted Ossama Bin Laden’s attacks on the World Trade Center to see that America’s establishment is clogged up with vermin that no amount of simple flushing will remove. Super “spies” who released terrorists from Egyptian prisons and introduced them to a Bin Laden aiming bazookas at girls who refused to don the burkha, should be sitting in straight-jackets and not in executive suites throughout Washington if leaks in the city are to be fixed. Simple house-cleaning and bleach wont do the trick. Chit-chatting with them in office recreation rooms, dangling job opportunities, or toasting their anniversaries is tantamount to subjecting oneself to highly contagious cholera and typhus. Trump is making a terrible mistake in trying to set a Hydrophis belcheri straight. These are not sapiens bound by common decency, good manners, or even common descent. These are serpents with venom in their bellies. Letting them near him or his family is irresponsible and foolhardy. Their nature is to bite, and to poison, and murder. Only fools listen to the hissing of their forked tongues and allow their kids near them.
These monsters wouldn’t hesitate to immolate Trump and his entire family right in the White House if it becomes the last opportunity of getting them out of it. Criminal trash who should be prosecuted the day Jeff Sessions takes his oath, and not bantered and dallied with as if bargaining for extra toppings in a New York Deli. It’s not the Wall that needs to be built, but the CIA, NSA, DNC, GOP, and the Federal Courts that need to be disbarred, revamped, and jettisoned to prevent America from becoming a failed state.
Seal off the Deep State hermetically and replace the head of every intelligence agency until its loyalty to the executive is vouchsafed. Re-establish direct ties to Putin before nuclear ICBMs are blazing over the North Pole.
America, like Russia before it, is on its last legs. Both need crutches to get their asses off the couch. If the ex-super-powers are to avoid outright collapse, and the hell that it ushers in, they need each others’ shoulder to lean on.
The Cold War was a drawn-out demise of a world-system which was, for all of its flaws, Kantian, Grotian, Irenic, and Idealistic. The First World War upended the European dimension of the order, the Second World War passed the baton to the Soviets and Americans, but a protracted Cold War rivalry destroyed their ability to maintain the order indefinitely.
Since Truman’s days, the two superpowers never missed an opportunity to undermine one another, and the objective throughout the Cold War was to weaken the adversary to the point of societal collapse. In 1992 the USSR ceased to exist, and America’s decomposition is playing out before the dilated pupils of the contemporary world.
The old order, no matter how imperfect, will be replaced by unseen brutality and violence with no escape hatch or eject button to bail us out. Grounded in the parochial savagery of hierarchy, inequality, rule by might, caprice, and whim, a feudalism of the worst kind, with rampant slavery, and bone-breaking exploitation, with injustice which will make the short-comings of our own legal systems laughable in comparison, is detectably emerging. It is a regression of the most alarming kind for which our current conflicts are mere practice-runs.
There will be not one 9/11, one Orlando massacre, one Bataclan, and one Nice, but one for every day of the week, as the likes of ISIS, in an Islamic, folk, or secular utopian garb duke it out in the pursuit of the Eschaton for the next three centuries. Every day will witness a new 7/7. Every day will see an 11-M, a Breivik massacre, or an Aum Shinrikyo gassing.
There will be many more skyscrapers taken out by planes. Plenty of Boston pressure-cooker bombs. Children beheaded in the streets of Melbourne, Delhi, Vancouver, Miami…the list is endless. Eventually, there will be another Holocaust. Then another. Then ten more, with every newborn past 2100 bearing the face of a Pol Pot, and Idi Amin.
There will be nothing, literally nothing to assure any restraint of man’s evil inclination. The precious Environment over which metric giga-tons of bobo tears are shed every minute, will have no one to protect it. The Greenpeace do-gooders will be collectively lynched by some new-age nut-job from Pasadena, or their craniums will be strung together on a long Tzompantli prepared for them in Chiapas.
When the “hippies” remove the last stones of the foundation of the walls of their homes and apartments, men adept at humiliating and torturing them will become the new kings and sovereigns. There will be neither Environment, libraries, Starbucks, or punk concerts to liven up the miserable existence of the offspring of the monsters of the future.
Russian-American collaboration isn’t a question of preferences, tastes, and opinions. It is not about choices and even options. It is an absolute imperative and necessity. The most obvious question about its feasibility is the degree to which the international system, in conditions by definition anarchic, can dispense just enough trust, to allow America and Russia to get along.
Even in the best of times, there is in the realistic appreciation of the world system an abyss impossible to bridge, of mistrust that is both necessary and intrinsic to relationships between sovereigns. With all the best-will in the world, there is nothing either Trump or Putin can ever do, to convince one another of complete loyalty to an accord, to a deal, or to hallow declarations of amity and fidelity to common purpose. Leaders of states will, regardless of intentions, always second-guess and mistrust each others’ elocution, and act on this mistrust for better or for worst.
This bleak realist vision is not without foundation, and cannot be dismissed out of hand. There is no way to establish permanent trust between states, because trust is something which must be perpetually given as between individuals, by consent, and of their own free will. It is a quality which isn’t just offered once, twice, or three times, but it is given right up to the point that it is broken, beyond which, it is rarely ever seen again.
Countries and statesmen will no more be able to give such trust, than can the most loving and loyal of couples. There would be a senselessness, a self-debasement in the most romantic relationship if doubt and suspicion never crossed the minds of even the most perfect lovers. Putin and Trump must understand this either intuitively, or through experience.
The nation-states of Russia and America will remain bound by democratic tradition and their European roots to maintain a political independence which entails skepticism of other sovereigns’ intentions. Neither leader, nor any statesman after them, will transcend these constraints, and any attempt from one side to demand complete trust and faith from the other, will be counter-productive, but starring down the sober reality of an anarchic international system doesn’t really require reformatting all of human nature.
A Russian-American settlement needs to be practical, and opportunistic, if it is to see the light of day. Expecting Trump or Putin to bend the laws of nature, and to defy gravity is to wish them or their successors failure. The two men need not establish any form of trust beyond treaties and agreements on which they have to deliver in specific and concrete terms. A deal between the Kremlin and the White House should not be based on upending the rules of international anarchy, but on using them to their mutual advantage.
Ambiguity will, in even a perfect marriage, rule the minds of responsible stewards of strong states. The neocon paranoia will, pace real neocons, recreate itself like the flu, among anyone and everyone who takes up their mantle and steps into the service of the state, especially within the bowels of extra-legality which define the Deep State. The resulting paranoia is inevitable and real, but it shouldn’t obscure the imperative of having to avoid adversarial collapse if one is to preserve the very institutions which make the paranoia possible.
Without the state and its apparatus ambiguity is not reduced, but increased, and it’s not a rational and predictable ambiguity, but one which approaches randomness of entropy rather than the ambiguity of game theory. Moscow and Washington need to fashion a deal based on the most blatant egotism of instinct of a state’s survival and perpetuation. A minimum deal for the cessation of hostilities, with the reflection, debate, and engagement which this presumes.
It is nigh time that both Washington and Moscow realize that their seventy year confrontation is going to put them both in the grave if it continues unabated. The collapse of what remains of the Russian Federation is predictable to its last detail. Appearances not withstanding, contemporary Russia is frail, and liable to easy fragmentation; one wrong move, and the country can go up in smoke.
America, contrary to its aura of invincibility, is in the same boat. Mexico is playing no small part in what in the long-term will constitute Atzlan’s first steps towards dismemberment of the continental United States if the authority of the federal government in Washington continues to weaken as a result of foul play against Trump by America’s Deep State. Mexico has, as a matter of policy, sabotaged the popular vote in America’s presidential election of 2016 and it is continuing to destabilize America with pernicious mobilization of populations over whom it is beginning to exercise direct authority.
One would expect paranoid psychopaths such as the neocons to understand that shooting oneself in the foot, isn’t appropriate as a response to even the worst of enemies. Any objective evaluation of the state of governance in the world will show that America and Russia as the only two countries projecting military strength in a global and decisive manner are cutting their futures short by fighting one another into coffins, and that there will be neither neocon, hippie, conservative, intellectual nor student, once what remains of the pseudo-Kantian order collapses.
The framework for a Russian-American deal is simple. It is a minimal cessation of hostilities: End the Confrontation.
The Cold War is over, and a Peace Treaty is needed. Moan and kvetch as third parties will do over a “division of the world” and “spheres of influence,” all peace treaties are by definition peace settlements. Spheres of influence are indeed outdated. Specialization, a division of labor, is more appropriate. One should not, however, skirt terms for fear of their historical associations when the terms cannot be circumvented in practice. All governance takes place in space which implies a territorial aspect.
Police stations, like bank branches, are distributed in some reasonable fashion to render themselves accessible to their constituents or clients. The term “spheres of influence” denotes a territorial dimension integral to the very exercise of governance. It is presumed in every capacity for action that America and Russia, and any responsible sovereign, possess by definition.
The particularity of the Post-Cold War settlement is that it is global, and presumes addressing the concerns of virtually every significant political actor as well as all the technological and technical means which were elaborated in the waging the Cold War. From Deep State to the Media, the tools of the period require regulatory constraints if the war is to be brought to closure.
An effective Peace Treaty of this type is inconceivable without including the Deep State in its provisions, along with outlining the nature and composition of the political rights of Russian and American elites both within their countries and internationally. An understanding of acceptable norms of governance and what is expected of each sovereign in the exercise of executive prerogatives domestically, will require attention. Davos has to be discussed, as do Comcast, Russia Today, CNN, Russia24, The Economist, Izvestia, RBKNews, Bloomberg, and even TNT, STS, and the Comedy Channel.
The fourth estate cannot continue to constitute a special extralegal domain of political power exempt from public scrutiny. It is not a question of sacrificing citizen’s personal freedom of speech, but of accepting that the prerogatives of Davosman cannot supersede the rights of Everyman and that Davos’ media monopoly is inimical and detrimental to these very rights.
No matter how laconic a Peace Treaty between America and Russia, considerations of the free flow of capital between the two countries will touch on every above-mentioned issue of which the problem of a bilaterally open current accounts is fundamental.
As long as Russia feels its sovereignty lessened by forfeiting the Kremlin’s control over strategic industries it will balk at any commitment to secure the rights of capital within its borders. America, in as much as it sees its newly minted ties to FSU allies threatened by reinvigorated spheres of influence, will refuse to loosen those ties. Operate as the state department does with a conditioned notion of sovereignty, it will not allow countries which it has brought under its influence to revert back to those of Moscow.
On the face of it, neither Moscow nor Washington can cede an inch to one another. Even a basic Peace Treaty presumes sacrifices neither are willing to stomach. A division of labor is more plausible, a division whose clarity requires an inventory of all global flashpoints and fault-lines liable to cause turbulence between America and Russia. An inventory which acknowledges that Russia, like America, is willing to put its money where its mouth is, while NATO and the GCC are useless hanger-ons and has-bins incapable of protecting their own people from one another.
The choices between continued confrontation and peace are so stark as to not be worth belaboring. Either stop the sparring, or see yourselves off to a collective funeral.
The flaws of the Kantian system are obvious. Someone somewhere always ended up suffering no matter what proportion of the global population became better off materially in either the socialist, or democratic camps. The flaws of the post-Kantian system will be markedly greater and of a wholly different intensity — a steady and rapid increase in suffering, with not one person being better off as a result.
An ultimate fail scenario in which everyone, everywhere, will be worst off, every time and all of the time.
America and Russia are leaders by default. They take risks, take the heat, and move forward. If they tread a path towards doom, the rest of the world will follow them into oblivion. A trajectory of peace will be salubrious for the planet in all regards, including the middle class dream of a green and healthy planet, with liberty and justice for all. A peace deal needs to be made. If not now, then tomorrow. If not by Donald and Vladimir, than by their successors. The sooner it’s done, the higher the probability that humanity is around to reap the rewards of their efforts. Until then, enjoy the ride to Gehenna, Naraka, Abadon, Jahannam, or good’ol simple Hell.