Political Evolution in the Twenty First Century: Strength vs. Cunning

Putin suggests new missile defence site | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

This is perhaps the final chapter, the climax, the coup de grace of post cold war political evolution. The US has survived by sheer economic power and unchallenged military might, and its rivals have survived by becoming supremely cunning, as demonstrated by Baathists in Iraq, by Iran in Lebanon and Iraq, and today, by Vladimir Putin in Germany.

The Iraqi war displayed America’s military might yet again. The aftermath of the war, however, has showed America’s impotence in the face of clever propaganda perpetrated by Iran and guerrilla warfare being executed to perfection by Baathists that the Coalition Provisional Authority foolishly disenfranchised. By developing incredible cunning, the Baathists, the Taliban and Iran have engineered a spectacular opposition to the military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The US did indeed win the battle on the ground, but the opposition has thus far made a spectacular showing in the fight for the hearts and minds of the people in the middle east. We can claim no political victories there. Not in Iraq, not in Iran, not in Afghanistan, not in Syria and not even in Lebanon, who was humiliated by a brazen war started and effectively won by a rogue faction, Hezbollah, i.e., Iran and Syria.

Similarly, just when George W Bush’s White House was thinking that it had succeeded in its campaign to place a “missile defense shield” in Poland and the Czech Republic unilaterally, without soliciting any reaction from Russia, Putin responds with the most cunning, the most devilishly clever of retorts: Russia wants to suckle on America’s teat, too. Coupled with Russia’s posturing of the previous weeks–that it will target its missiles at Europe if this shield is deployed in Eastern Europe–Putin has completely neutralized the American argument, and he has entangled Bush with the absurdity of Bush’s assertions that it is an America at peace with a defeated Russia that desires to protect Europe from “rogue regimes”.

By accepting this proposition on face value, Putin has flipped this argument on its head. First, Putin asserts the US is the victor. Second, he posits the obvious fact that Azerbaijan is a better geographic location from which the US may intercept missiles from Bush’s favorite rogue regimes. Third, the US will be protecting Europe by preventing Russia from targeting European cities. It is the trifecta that the US has been salivating to get, and Russia takes home the purse!

Germany’s influence is expanding at an unbelievable pace. Iran exercises near hegemony in the middle east. Now, Russia is hanging George W Bush with Bush’s own arguments. In the face of such cunning, one must wonder if evolution is favoring the US.

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