After four years of Trump's heroic--some might say, Quixotic--attempt to return America to the greatness of its founding principles, the ruling elite staged a coup that enabled them to plunge back headfirst into the moral, political, and financial corruption that is the progressive regime. It's been a long time coming. For decades America's status as an empire rather than a constitutional republic was concealed from its citizens, but especially with the end of the Cold War the ride on the slippery slope has accelerated.
The origins of our problems actually pre-date the rise of America as a world power--you can trace those origins certainly to the progressive era that began in the late 19th century when our ruling elite embraced the German ideal of government by science inspired "experts". Anyone with some sense of irony will note the repeated invocation the terms "science" and "experts" in support of our Covid Regime, even as our rulers abandon virtually even the pretense to scientific guidance. We find ourselves in the hands of half educated crackpots, neo-gnostic ideologues, and cynical power and money hungry elites who operate through frontmen.
Emerald Robinson put an important part of the problem we're facing well in her two tweets late yesterday:
The reason that neoliberals are weeping all over Washington today: Afghanistan's fall is not just a crisis in credibility for Biden but for Brookings, for the Council of Foreign Relations, for the entire foreign policy establishment.
The neoliberals are self-aware enough to know that if they failed to plan a basic evacuation from a third world country then nobody really believes that they’re competent leaders of the free world.
ER is focusing on the foreign policy implications of this failure--which is natural, since foreign policy is at the core of running an empire. Ask every president since Clinton.
Nevertheless, the implications are broader. Off the top of my head, here are two:
1. The failure to plan such a doable operation very obviously extends beyond leaving Afghanistan to every other aspect of the Zhou regime--which is in collapse on multiple fronts. If I may paraphrase ER, the regime and its supporters are weeping in DC because they realize they've lost all pretense to enjoy a presumption of competence among the subject population. Once lost, that presumption is extremely difficult to recover.
2. Equally serious is the loss of credibility of suffered by our ruling elite, which gifted us this hapless regime through electoral fraud--having staged a coup against the first president in decades who wasn't their catspaw. Popular disillusion was initially fueled by the machinations of the elite to investigate and then impeach Trump. That disillusion was solidly confirmed by an illegitimate election (so regarded by a wide swath of the population) run under the pretext of a pandemic in which our elite was manifestly complicit. The subject population was supposed to tolerate these developments, based on a promise of a return to "normality". That promise was given the lie by a military occupation of the Imperial City on the Potomac and subsequent extra-legal proceedings. The failures of the Barr DoJ, the coopting of the FBI into a political police force, and the loss of nerve/courage on the part of the SCOTUS--along with the continuing Covid Regime--have left no doubt as to what's happening among any thinking people. The botched Afghan evacuation is largely a symbolic capstone to this shaky edifice.
What does the future hold? What are the prospects for recovery?
Obviously it's difficult to prognosticate. However, Conrad Black offers some reflections on the failure of the imperial rulers, whose fecklessness is now on full display to its subjects:
The more serious and recurrent the failures and humiliations of the Biden Administration, the more China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea will push and provoke America and its allies.
I'm personally skeptical that that group of nations will wish to fully displace the American Empire. Their fear of Chinese hegemony will be too great. On the other hand, Russia and Iran will certainly wish to gain more breathing space from the US as well as policy concessions.
That said, Black--in his usual elegant prose--evokes the haplessness of our power elite, illustrating how this failure dovetails with other serious failures:
This fiasco squares with the inexplicably stupid Biden Administration appeasement of the green extremists in stopping the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and ending offshore drilling where the U.S. government has the jurisdiction to do so, thus tumbling the United States back into the status of an energy importer, only to go back, cap-in-hand, to the avaricious OPEC cartel to ask them to increase production in order to reduce the cost of American oil imports. This request was made of such intimate and good-intentioned American allies as Iran, Venezuela, and Libya.
"Inexplicably stupid" is the inevitable consequence of the neo-gnostic denial of reality in favor of their own fantasy construct. As I've said, and in all fairness to Iran, Venezuela, and Libya, why would oil producing countries--not inhabiting a neo-gnostic fantasy world--increase production to bolster a regime that will pay them back with badly inflated dollars--dollars which, who knows? may cease to be the reserve currency in the not too distant future. To do so would be unwise, even reckless, on their part. Those countries wisely told Zhou's handlers to pound sand. Why would they sacrifice their countries' prospects because American drivers are complaining about the price of gas?
This disaster itself followed an invitation from the Biden Administration to the human rights specialists of the United Nations to assess and report on America’s status in fighting racism within its own borders. ... It is inconceivable that any country could look upon this request by the United States to be monitored and evaluated by the United Nations as anything but an act of unimaginable naïveté or uncontrollable masochism.
Indeed! What other country in the world is in the grip of such "unimaginable naïveté or uncontrollable masochism"? I can't name a single one.
Still, perhaps the most serious retreat into the appearance and conduct of a pitiful helpless giant has been on the southern border of the United States. Virtually every week for the first six-and-a-half months of the new administration, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has solemnly explained, “The southern border is closed.” Finally, on Thursday, he was overheard explaining to some border officials that the position was extremely serious and “unsustainable.” As people from all over the world are now flooding in across the southern border at the rate of more than 200,000 a month, and border control officials are giving interviews every day in which they indiscriminately tell the media what a desperate and hopeless situation it is with tens of thousands of the incoming migrants being COVID-19 carriers who are then released into the United States, the only excuse White House press secretary Jen Psaki can offer is the administration came into office and found an immigration system that was “badly broken.”
In fact, the southern border was in better condition than it had been since the time of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. ...
Could anything so clearly expose the hypocrisy and cynicism of the entire Covid Regime, let alone devil may care insouciance of the power elite toward the general welfare of the subject population?
Black goes on at further length to detail our reckless conduct toward Mexico, dismantling all the progress that Trump had made in our relations with an important neighboring country. He also, but wisely and cautiously, indulges in some speculation on the possibility of China exploiting US disarray by making some move with regard to Taiwan. As of now, I expect China to act cautiously. It's expansion of power and influence in its immediate abroad has been successful, and it will not want to provoke full military confrontations in the region when it is achieving its goals by other means. Further, China has its own domestic problems. Nevertheless, this is a worrying situation.
Black concludes by reflecting on the likely satisfaction that many, even, of our "allies" will feel at our comeuppance:
Americans should be in no doubt that with the fall of Kabul, the world, which has become rather tired of American leadership anyway and is not an inexhaustible reservoir of Americophilia, will, at least for a time, be mindlessly consolable in believing that “the land of the free and the home of the brave” has indeed become “a pitiful, helpless giant.”
However, it's Black's penultimate paragraph that presents the real dilemma for the rest of the West. How much of the rest of the West--how many in America itself--will appreciate the wisdom of what he says, and the consequences of ignoring its meaning in coming history?
The entire security of Western civilization and the preeminence of the Western languages and alphabet and of governments officially devoted to the Judeo-Christian values of the rule of law and respect for individual rights, however imperfectly observed in practice, depends on the United States maintaining its position as the world’s most influential country. That is to say: the almost undisputed priority in the world of the major Western powers that has prevailed since the Greeks repelled the great King of Persia, Xerxes at Salamis in 480 B.C., 2,501 years ago, also depends on the United States retaining its status as a superpower with all the strength of example and deterrence and alliance leadership that it has successfully exercised since World War II.
The alternative is a world without even lip service given to such values. That will be the culmination of the centuries long, slow motion philosophical collapse of the West. That is the importance of each person recovering that tradition as a personal matter.
UPDATE: OMG! I was just listening to Tucker Carlson, and he pulls so much together about the political establishments crash and burn loss of credibility and legitimacy--over the last 20 years: