Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Final Solution: Game of Thrones

Despite the fact that Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo were rushing off to get the Turkish President Erdogan to “stand down” in the Syria crisis, the President was able to spin his “diplomacy,” which he called "strategically brilliant," in a way that left the wheels of the Washington press corps spinning at yesterday’s press conference with the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella. Why intervene in a land dispute between Syria and Turkey he argued. He did manage to mention the Kurds. Yes they helped the US, but "they're no angels."Anyway, they were good fighters. They would take care of themselves. As for Russia gaining hegemony in the region as they and their proxies, the Assad regime, stepped in to ally themselves with the Kurds, he made a parallel with Afghanistan. The USSR got involved in Afghanistan and ended up having to “downsize.” Note the invocation of the corporate metaphor. Used to be USSR, now it’s Russia. As for ISIS, Russia hates them even more than the US. They’ll take care of it. Forget the whole notion that there are commitments and allies and lives being lost in bombings. It all had an infernal logic and brilliance—which might be summed up as “cheaper by the dozen.” Economic power—especially over China— was greater than military power since it didn’t cost anything, though, not to worry, the refurbished US military is now more powerful than ever. By the way the bealeaguered Italian president looked like a fish trying to swim upstream, as Trump dismissed the comparatively minor reason for his visit (WTO approval of $7.5 billion of tariffs on EU manufactured goods). While CNN anchor Kate Bolduan and Daily Beast editor John Avlon jumped on Trump’s statement that the Turkish invasion of Syria “has nothing to do with us,” the president had received highest ratings ever for his new reality TV show, Game of Thrones.

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