Enter Jeb and Hil

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation June 15, 2015
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The Floridian clod seeking to don the mantle of Millard Fillmore made an amazing foreign policy speech at an economic conference in Berlin last week. Inveighing against Russian President Vladimir Putin, he gave a very vivid impression of a man who has no idea what he is talking about.

“Russia must respect the sovereignty of all of its neighbors. And who can doubt that Russia will do what it pleases if its aggression goes unanswered?”

Jeb Bush was averring elliptically to the failed state formerly known as Ukraine, trying to put over the shopworn story that Russia was needlessly making war on its neighbor (and former province).

“Bush called for increased clarity on what type of sanctions would be imposed on the country if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin does not back down against a united international front…. ‘I don’t think we should be reacting to bad behavior [Bush said]. By being clear what the consequences of “bad behavior” is in advance, I think we will deter the kind of aggression that we fear from Russia. But always reacting, and giving the sense we’re reacting in a tepid fashion, only enables the bad behavior of Putin.’”

Note, by the way, that here is yet another scion of the Bush clan who was inexplicably brought up speaking Ebonics: “What the consequences… is?”  Say what?

Ukraine became a failed state due to a coup d’état engineered by Barack Obama’s state department. US policy wonks did not like the prospect of Ukraine joining Russia’s regional trade group called the Eurasian Customs Union instead of tilting toward NATO and the European Union. So, we paid for and enabled a coalition of crypto-fascists to rout the duly elected president. One of the first acts of the US-backed new regime was to declare punishment of Russian language speakers, and so the predominately Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine revolted. Russia reacted to all this instability by seizing the Crimean peninsula, which had been part of Russia proper both before and through the Soviet chapter of history. The Crimea contained Russia’s only warm water seaports and naval bases. What morons in the US government ever thought Russia would surrender those assets to a newly-failed neighbor state?

Was Vladimir Putin acting irresponsibly in this case? The opposite would be a much more logical conclusion. And what interest does the United States have in Ukraine? Surely no more than Russia would have in Texas. And when else in the entire history of the USA all the way back to George Washington did any government official declare Ukraine to be America’s business? Answer: Never. Reason: we have no legitimate interests in that corner of the world. So why in the early 21st century are we making this such a sore spot in our foreign relations? Because our waning influence in the world, in turn a product of our foolish inattention to our own economic problems and failing polity at home, is driving America batshit crazy.

The rest of the world sees this for exactly what it is, friends, former friends, and adversaries alike. I wonder what the Germans thought of Jeb’s intemperate and idiotic speech. Eyes must have rolled in the meeting hall. After all, Russia is their natural major trading partner. How do US-orchestrated economic sanctions against Russia work in their interest? Answer: they don’t. The Germans have been making a lot of discreet noises the past year about dissociating from America’s stupid program of antagonizing Russia. Perhaps Jeb’s jingoistic utterances in Berlin will finally push them over the line.

Meanwhile, Hillary (no last name required) steps out of the starting gate this week, too, pretending to be the incarnation of Robin Hood, as if she would ever shut down the financial rackets that have at once impoverished the former middle-class and enriched grifter opportunists such as Hillary herself. Her event on Roosevelt Island, New York City, looked like unintentional self-satire, as if it were staged by the late-great director Robert Altman for one of his wacky political movies. Hillary’s handlers missed one touch though: a cape would have gone nicely with that electrifying blue pant-suit. As for the speech itself, a bigger bundle of platitudes and insincerities has not been served up since the heyday of Nixon. As the politicians are so fond of saying these days, make no mistake, Hillary is the New Nixon.

 

 

James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

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