Russia and a New World Order

By Anthony J. Constantini

The world continues to hold its breath as Russia plays diplomatic chicken with the West over the fate of Ukraine. Russia has threatened “military-technical” action should the U.S. fail to keep Ukraine out of NATO, and any remaining doubts about the possibility of an invasion are vanishing. But why Russia may have chosen this moment to invade is not entirely clear. Some believe Russia is responding to America’s unstable politics; others look to the Cold War for answers. Some even look back centuries: After Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, then-Secretary of State John Kerry said it was “behaving in a 19th century fashion.”

Instead of looking backward, America should, ironically, heed one of its Cold War icons, President John F. Kennedy, who said that “those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” Russian President Vladimir Putin is not looking to the past. With an eye on the present, he is keeping the future in his peripherals. In doing so, he seems to have made a discovery: The world is in the midst of a 30-year transition from the bipolar world order of the 20th century to a new multipolar world order in the 21st. And he is maneuvering Russia to be well-positioned for it.

The 20th century’s bipolar Cold War is long gone, as is the brief aftermath of unipolarity when America stood unopposed. China has become America’s main adversary and Russia has recovered from its 1990s doldrums. Even the European Union has the makings of superpowerdom: nuclear weapons, a flourishing arms industry, a GDP approaching America’s, and nearly 450 million people.

The U.S. should be preparing for these rising powers. Instead, America has spent the last 30 years jamming Cold War-era institutions like NATO (created to reflect the bipolar early 1950s) into a period where they do not fit in an attempt to preserve as much 1990s unipolarity as possible. While such an impulse was understandable, in trying to hold back time the U.S has essentially become a nation of political Luddites.

Meanwhile, far from wishing to bring back the 1990s, Russia has been desperate to move on. Post-Cold War, Moscow could barely keep from descending into anarchy. In Russia’s telling, the West took advantage of this weakness and pressed into Russia’s sphere of influence by expanding NATO and the E.U. until American tanks were only hundreds of kilometers away. But America saw it differently: The more Russia was exposed to the West, the more it would democratize. As late as 2009, when it should have been apparent that this was not happening, the Obama administration still thought that relations could be reset by simply pushing a button. Which was why they were so shocked in 2014 when Russia “[behaved] in a 19th century fashion.” But Russia was not acting like a 19th century power. It was acting like a power.

The USSR would never have permitted the West to come so close, nor would have the Russian Empire. Crimea was a crucial deep-sea port, and …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Now is time to learn to live with COVID – and expand arsenal of tools against it

By Marc Siegel A group of 2,700 truckers known as the “freedom convoy” has made its way to Ottawa to protest mandatory vaccination as a literal roadblock against truckers re-entering Canada from the U.S. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Does Biden deserve credit for economic recovery? Here’s a realistic look at the numbers

By Andy Puzder The recovery would be stronger, inflation would be less and the end of this horrific period would end sooner if President Biden had done nothing – or were Donald Trump still president. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Supreme Court can end racial preferences with Harvard and UNC admissions cases

By Mike Gonzalez By taking up two cases on affirmative action, the Supreme Court has given itself the chance to correct the great wrong of using racial preferences to select winners and losers. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Biden’s presidency reset a dud already

By Liz Peek Poor Joe Biden. Nothing seems to move the needle. His approval ratings are still stuck in the mud and neither the president nor his team seems able to turn around the Titanic. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The UK’s Pandemic Buyer’s Remorse 

By James Jeffrey

You may have noticed that as Vladimir Putin amasses Russian forces on the border of Ukraine—not to mention other significant events happening around the world—the U.K. media and public appear obsessed with the discovery that several supposedly illegal “drinks parties” were held at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence during previous lockdowns.

It may, understandably, have confirmed your suspicions that Brits are, well, very British, if not a bit odd—certainly when it comes to priorities. But there is much more going on psychologically and perhaps even spiritually here, in this general outcry, which has relevance to the U.S. experience with Covid-19 restrictions.

Various commentators—typically not inhabiting the flow of mainstream journalism—have suggested the anger over the Downing Street “parties” might actually have more to with people—politicians, media, and the public all included—projecting their inner conflicts as the coronavirus-industrial complex collapses under the weight of its internal inconsistencies.

The U.K. is now pulling ahead of many nations, especially those in Europe, in leaving Covid-19 behind. The vast majority of restrictions were lifted on January 27. Faced with the end of the exercise, and thus absorbing all that came before, many are having to come to terms with how deep down, and perhaps not even that deep down, they always knew the arbitrary and incoherent restrictions were disproportionate, often unscientific, and dubious if not entirely ineffective—but went along with them nonetheless. In short, the U.K. is in the throes of immense buyer’s remorse regarding the Covid-19 restrictions it bought so readily, and so Partygate is proving a lightning rod.

“People have been horrified by the double standards of politicians who told us to stay at home while they partied,” says Laura Dodsworth, one of the earliest and most voluble voices to speak out against lockdowns and restrictions in 2020, and author of A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponized fear during the Covid-19 pandemic. “But the next logical step in the thought process is, hang on, they told us we were in grave danger and we must stay at home to protect ourselves, each other and the NHS. Then comes the realization that the fear was amplified. And so, the exaggerated claims unravel.”

That unravelling means there is a sense that U.K. Inc. is lurching to a giant venting and reckoning over the past two years, especially when it comes to the behaviors of the political “opposition” and the media—usually two important institutions for holding the government to account.

“I believe how people deal with [the] information and realization is personal—can they self-individuate away from collective thinking and mass hysteria,” Dodsworth says. “Some of the back-pedaling by people in the media is highly disingenuous, I do feel less forgiving towards them.”

The Labour Party opposition have piled into the government over the parties of course. But when these horrible and often bizarre restrictions were put in place, did Labour politicians say anything? No, they went along with them, or asked for stricter enforcements, as our democratic parliamentary system …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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