SurrealPolitiksRealpolitik in an Unreal World

SurrealPolitiks S01E037 – RIP Henry Kissinger

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SurrealPolitiks S01E037 - RIP Henry Kissinger

Last week saw the passing of Henry Alfred Kissinger. The former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser to President’s Nixon and Ford, was born in Germany. Being a Jew, had fled that country to arrive in the United States in the year 1938 at no older than 15 years of age. He has authored more than a dozen books, including World Order, On China, Diplomacy, and Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy.

Most notably for our purposes, Kissinger’s name became inextricably linked to Realpolitik. Though he would go on to try and distance himself from this at times, it was a futile effort.

Kissinger was heavily involved in US foreign policy with the Soviet Union, China, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Argentina, Chile, Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and many others.

He helped bring an end to the Yom Kippur war, and the US war in Vietnam. He backed Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and the Argentinian Military Junta in their “Dirty War” against Leftist subversives.

He established “back channel” communications with leaders all over the world, and perhaps most famously, arranged for the meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong.

During Episode 1 of SurrealPolitiks I said Henry Kissinger was in no small part the inspiration for this production. Most influential in this was his book titled “World Order”.

I imagine many of you, like me, have heard the phrase “New World Order” thrown around in all but positive contexts. These days I do not at all mind the prospect of a change in how world affairs are organized, but for many years I considered “THE New Word Order” to be a nefarious conspiracy to institute a global government, and Henry Kissinger was prominently featured in much of the literature on this. So, when I saw the title “World Order” by Henry Kissinger, I eagerly picked it up and read it with the utmost interest, figuring it would give me much to complain about.

What I found was quite different from what I expected.

Coming from libertarianism and the Ron Paul camp, I had long taken a largely disinterested view of most foreign policy matters, other than to oppose them axiomatically. Drifting rightward into nationalism, this remained a good fit, being primarily interested in what happens here, and having little desire to be depleting national resources on foreign adventures. In either instance, it is obvious to the sane observer that American foreign policy has been catastrophic in recent decades, and arguably as well in decades less recent.

Less obvious is the prospect that isolationism, as it is sometimes called, is any more sane. The non-interventionist approach typically holds that so long as an event remains outside of a given territorial perimeter, it is none of our concern. With the libertarians, they lack even the good sense to establish trade limitations. Some go so far as to bastardize their own philosophy and advocate for open borders. Nationalists tend to have a slightly more coherent view of things, proposing strict limitations on immigration, and a variety of trade restrictions which at minimum make for fascinating intellectual discussion.

Kissinger makes the case that World Order does not happen spontaneously. Absent intelligent management, he claims, the world would likely spiral into unceasing chaos and cataclysm. That this is false is by no means obvious, in my view. It is certainly arguable that a world needs to be governed just as does a country or a city, though certainly to a lesser degree of detail. While a wise man is skeptical of his own wisdom even when dealing with matters closest to him, and this skepticism increases with distance and complexity, the proverbial buck must at some point stop, and for those who rightly complain about how the world is managed today, it might be prudent to say it ought to stop with them, instead of saying the world ought not be managed.

With the renewal of combat operations in Ukraine, following a long pause after the 2014 coup against Viktor Yanukovich, the phrase “World Order” has been uttered more often than at any time in my life. I felt fortunate to have read Kissinger prior to this, and the conflict seemed much clearer to me for having done so. It is by no means senseless that the US is backing Ukraine. The reasons they purport to be doing so, Democracy, freedom, etc… these are nonsense of course, but those are lies like much else in war.

The United States and its NATO partners have attempted to conquer the world and bring every Nation to heel. Russia and China have been among the few proven capable of maintaining a degree of independence from this, and should they combine forces they could topple the US led international order. Russia, being the weaker of the two, has been targeted by this alliance for many years, and NATO has slowly but surely encroached upon Russia with every means at their disposal. If the Russian Federation were sufficiently weakened and conquered by NATO, China would be the lone holdout possessing any meaningful power.

Such resembles a chess game about to end, and those with visions of a future in which independent Nations pursue the interests of the people within their territorial boundaries, rightly view this as unacceptable.

Russia makes her gambit, crossing the Ukrainian border. America, sensing opportunity, invites this invasion. That is why Joe Biden said “Well, if it’s a minor incursion…” – The NATO alliance was willing to forfeit the lives of the people of Ukraine to drag Russia into a quagmire, and to accomplish this the United States has sent weapons and other resources only in sufficient quantities and on such a timeline as to maximize the damage to both Nations.

But Russia’s timing was no accident. America had been at war for twenty years. The COVID pandemic had weakened the economy and an incoming Democrat President was sure to worsen the ordeal. The President of the United States was viewed as illegitimate by a substantial portion of the country. His family has been involved in tremendous crimes and has been compromised by Ukraine and by China. There could hardly be a better time to be in a stand off with the United States.

Through its antagonisms against the Russian Federation, America has abandoned the Kissinger strategy of maintaining a balance of relations between Russia and China wherein neither is closer to the other than either is to the United States. They have pushed Russia into China’s arms, and both Russia and China have benefited from this tremendously.

Another Kissinger strategy abandoned by the Biden administration was the policy known as “strategic ambiguity” wherein the United States has long agreed that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States has always said that it would aid Taiwan to defend itself, but until the Biden administration it was left intentionally vague as to whether the United States would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan from Beijing. By saying the US would so intervene, he set America on the path to war with China.

Of all this the non-interventionist might say that we ought not be involved in any of it. Let Beijing take Taiwan. Let Russia take Ukraine. Let the two form an alliance. Let them overrun Europe together. Let them colonize Africa. Let them go to war with India. Let them try their hand at managing the Middle East. Let them take all the territory that is not ours.

But when the Communist Party controls the world’s leading manufacturer of semiconductors, and Russia dominates global energy markets, and the two decide to combine in order to impose upon the United States, what then?

The answer is uncertain, but one can be sure it is not a world of independent Nations governing according to the interests of their peoples.

Nationalists and libertarians do not agree on much, but find themselves in such good company when it comes to war. In this they often find themselves holding the same signs as the Leftists both purport to despise, and none involved seem to find this at all troubling.

It is no small task to maintain a balance of power. The most capable minds must consider not only military matters, but also the global allocation of natural resources, trade, birth rates, monetary policy, shifting attitudes of diverse populations, and an ever changing combination of factors too numerous to list. There is a great deal of espionage in this, both in the mundane sense of collecting and analyzing information, and in the more distasteful sense of subversive activity and interference. When these fail, arms follow, and things become all the more difficult to manage from there.

Take the Middle East and the broader “Muslim World” as it has been called. Appropriately much of what goes on there has been viewed with suspicion by many. It is an increasingly popular view that American foreign policy toward the region is a product of Israeli subversion. Fair enough.

It would be difficult in the extreme to trace the history of the region to a time when this was not a factor. Even prior to the establishment of the Jewish State, Zionists had made their presence felt in governments throughout the world, and used their influence to bring about the creation of the that State. Both prior and subsequent to that creation, much of American foreign policy has been aimed at preventing these nations from unifying under a single banner, a Caliphate, as it has been called.

Say such a State were to form. Say it were to obtain nuclear weapons. Say those governing such a State took seriously their theocratic vision of a world in which all either prayed toward Mecca or were reduced to dhimmitude. How many Nations would a Nationalist permit them to conquer before he considered this a threat to his perimeter?

With so much blood and treasure forfeited to the Zionist project, an appropriate skepticism has formed about the Jewish State. We are told by our leaders that Israel is our greatest ally, as if they knew not the difference between that word and liability. To the extent they offer us any explanation for this, they give us moral lectures, as if these people were philosophers and not the most depraved and craven creatures ever to slither across the Earth. One thing we know for certain about American foreign policy, is that it has little to do with morality or values. Certainly anything but democracy.

But there is most certainly a reason for it, and you hear slip from time to time if you pay close enough attention, that it is their “intelligence capability” that renders this “greatest ally” theory worth uttering. Whether or not this makes them our “greatest ally” is subject to the most vigorous of debates, to say the least of it, but the prospect that Israel has capable spies ought come as no surprise to even the most vehement anti-Semite. It is the nature of espionage that the average voter knows little of it, and the remarkable reliability with which world leaders defer to this tiny Nation, ought tell us something very significant about what we are not told.

Can the Nationalist disregard this for an ethnic animus? What would be the consequences of doing so, outside of his own country?

These questions are by no means simple. They cannot be dismissed as such.

I titled today’s episode “RIP Henry Kissinger”. Some say he ought better burn in hell than rest in peace. Depending on your view of things, one outcome may be more likely than the other.

But all outward appearances today suggest that the people steering the ship are not nearly so thoughtful as he. Whatever you think of his goals or how he achieved them, what cannot be argued is that he approached them carelessly.

I cannot place nearly so much confidence in those who call the shots in the news that I read as of late. That might turn out to be for the best. Perhaps they will fail, and more prudent leaders will come to the fore.

But there is no certainty of this, and what troubles me the most to think about this fact, is that the people I tend to consider most prudent in domestic matters, have little appetite for the important work once handled so aptly by Henry Kissinger.



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SurrealPolitiks PodcastEpisode 39