Brian Holmes on Fri, 16 Mar 2018 22:03:49 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Endgame?

Folks, as Trump's presidency collapses, what we see in the newspapers are multiple preconditions for some kind of rally-round-the-flag war, on a much bigger scale than we are already used to:

-- Ignominious losses in special Congressional elections, presaging a big defeat in the November midterms

-- Special prosecutor Mueller closing in on the Trump family businesses

-- Porn star closing in on the family jewels

-- New hawks in the cabinet: Christian fundamentalist Mike Pompeo at State, torture queen at the head of the CIA, and potentially, John Bolton as National Security Adviser

-- Trade war with China, driven by America-first hawk Robert Lighthizer

-- Revelation of ongoing cyberattack on US energy infrastructure by Russia

-- Furore in Britain over the double-spy poisoning

-- $716 US security budget for 2019, including $24 billion for nukes

-- Anthing-can-happen talks with North Korea

-- Imminent abrogation of the nuclear treaty with Iran, etc.

How do you all interpret these things? I don't know enough about the infrastructure hacks, not by far, but they seem dead serious, and they are echoed by yesterday's revelation of similar intrusions at Saudi refineries, with attempted explosive sabotage. However, the revelation of these hacks is clearly political: it's an attempt to push back against the assaults on Trump by putting the country on a nationalist war footing. Same goes for the trade measures. I do not think China would allow itself to be dragged into a shooting war - their leadership is too rational and they have a lot to gain by keeping the conflict economic - but am I kidding myself when I think the same about Russia? Are there other flashpoints - in addition to Syria I mean - that would support a full-on proxy war?

Anyway, I resist crying wolf but this seriously looks like a possible endgame for democracy-as-we-knew-it. What can the political opposition do? What can the streets do? What can the (remains of) the "international community" do? What can global civil society do? What can I do?

I guess nobody has ready answers to those questions, but surely you have insights.

best, Brian

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