Friday, 30 June 2017

 The End of the Liberal World Order - Old Lange's rant of the day

It began in ringing phrases of idealism and selflessness: “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” and “Give me Liberty or Give me Death.” The Liberals rose against Tyranny, their ancient and arch enemy, and fought for their cherished goals of Equality and Free Trade. In the 20th century, America became the Liberal’s home, both intellectually and militarily, as we knocked down trade barriers around the world, kicked the Spanish out of their overseas possessions and twice overcame conservative isolationism to stand against Germany, then held the post-war line against the communists of the Soviet Union and of China. Liberal America looked to stumble when we failed to liberate Vietnam, but came back with a vengeance as Reagan said “tear down that wall” and Bush Senior began promoting what he called the “New World Order” in his speeches, while kicking Saddam back out of Kuwait.

Today, the Liberal American World Order is in decline, even retreat. Instead of standing against tyranny, we have a president who pals around with the tyrants of Russia, China, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Instead of standing for Free trade, “America First” now demands protectionism and wants big government in Washington, not competition, to determine which enterprises will succeed. Instead of equality, we now have a zeitgeist that says: “If you can afford to hire people to help you beat the system and not pay taxes, more power to you.” And “If you can’t afford health insurance, tough.”

Meanwhile we denigrate the allies with whom we used to stand shoulder to shoulder against tyranny: Europe, Mexico & Canada, the Anzacs, etc. America has joined with the third world in seeing NATO and the UN as instruments of someone else’s power. Robert Kagan, a leading Neo-Conservative, says “We forget how unnatural the US-created liberal world order was.” (A surprising memory lapse, as a unipolar world hadn’t been seen since the brief heyday of Rome in the 2nd century.)

Canada’s foreign minister said, after thanking America for decades of global leadership, it is time to act as though that age is passing: “the fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its global leadership puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course.” That course may not align with US interests.

This has been a major political windfall for Russia, whose leader now thinks he can act with impunity, and for China, now the world’s largest economic power, that wants to consolidate its hold on the South China Sea. China‘s leader has said he is willing to work on the environment in the face of US indifference and uphold the world economic order in the face of American protectionism. US allies around the world are perplexed at getting more support for shared values from Beijing than from Washington. Javier Solana, a leading Spanish/EU politician says: “It is striking how often European leaders and China seem to agree with each other nowadays.”

Perhaps worst of all is the uncertainty that Mr Trump has brought. He reverses positions on a dime and ignores advice from his hand-picked experts like Tillerson, McMaster and Petit. Our allies simply do not know what the US will do in any given situation. For example, will America stand up to Russian aggression or say: “Go ahead, Vladimir, it’s none of our business.” Post-Brexit, will America want the UK as a partner or only as a vassal state? Is Mexico to be an ally or an enemy?

So today’s key question is: will China or Europe step in to fill the leadership role being vacated by America, or will we descend back into an Australia First, France First, China First, Canada First sort of world?

Jeremy Corbyn Sacks Shadow Ministers Who Voted For Soft Brexit
Well of course he should sack them. 
These MPs didn't know they are not to follow the wishes of their constituents if Corbyn does not agree. 
Shadow ministers, are meant to do as they are told and to heck with what their constituents want. 
What were they thinking: that they lived in a democracy?

Man Jailed for hitting Muslim woman in the face with bacon
This was a truly shocking incident’ says DC James Payne'
The Horror!  The Horror!  Almost as bad as striking a Hindu with a steak,  jabbing a Jew with a jerked shrimp, beating a Buddhist with a butterfly or whacking a Vegan with a wet fish.
      Still, there are hate crimes much, much worse than a bacon slap: Truly shocking were the hate crimes in the Manchester arena,  the Borough Market and at the Houses of Parliament that all ended with people dead and wounded.

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