Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A grim reality has begun to sink in

Among seasoned watchers of troubles (such as yours truly) a grim reality has begun to sink in. As Inspector Pandit once said to Inspector Purohit in the movie Maqbool

Ladki mangali hain, laashon ke dher pey say vida ho key jayegi..
(The bride is cursed, the recessional will walk over a mound of corpses)

Donald Trump insists on playing the Madman when there is no real national security reason to do so. 

As the TrumpRussia probe nears its logical conclusion - Trump's sense of desperation grows. 

Even if the probe does not directly accuse him of treason, it will nail his kids for the same. Trump knows that he will not able to pardon his kids. Once the kids face the prospect of prison, family secrets and skeletons in the cupboard will come crawling out.  These secrets once public will poison his ability to feel any form of joy over the power he apparently enjoys.  A decent and real man would take responsibility for everything and save his family in the process but Donald Trump is none of those things. 

Given how much he has hanging on the sex crimes, the money laundering and treason front, Trump knows there is little hope of him ever functioning as a normal US President would. There is so little for him to get a sense of positive energy there that he routinely retreats to his golf courses where he can avoid thinking about this. 

Trump's only avenue to a sense of empowerment is picking a fight with the GOP and getting something useful (to him) out of them. There is only one thing that would be truly useful - a kind of Nixonian get-out-of-jail-free card. Trump clings to the hope that he will be able to get such a card from the GOP and weasel his personal way out of this. If his family is sacrificed in the process, he seems to be okay with as long as they don't talk about the horrible stuff he has done to them.  He probably believes he can silence them for good. 

Unfortunately no such card exists. The GOP cannot make such a card up. It is already suffering a massive corrosion of public confidence on account of its association with Donald Trump. Even if the GOP was on firm electoral footing, it cannot afford to hand out such a card because no one can truly know how toxic Trump's links to sex crimes, money laundering and Putin's RIS really are. Such a card would become a millstone around the necks of GOP staffers for the rest of eternity. 

Trump cannot get his head around the absence of such a card. His entire sense of self-worth rests on the ability to save his own skin and when it has to be explained to him that no such thing is possible, his narcissistic mind turns to thoughts of a destructive nature. 

It is in this context that one must see his behavior towards North Korea.  It is IMHO foolish to paint what Trump does as a "Madman Gambit" - when it is more correctly simply the actions of a madman!

He is goading KJU into a nuclear war. 

What Trump does not grasp in his feeble mind is that when deterrence breaks down vis-a-vis North Korea (say because KJU felt intense use/lose pressures)  - it breaks down globally - No one will take that idea seriously ever again. This will completely re-write global military balances that rely on nuclear offsets to shortages in conventional deterrence regimes. 

At this time Chinese and Russian national security strategists are wondering how to cope with the inevitable fallout of a failure of the "Madman Gambit". As the idea of deterrence will be badly mauled by that outcome, they must prepare for a nuclear war. 

In 1983 the Russians could not distinguish between Reagan's "Madman" act and the reality of the Able Archer exercise in Europe. They misconstrued the exercise as a prelude to a sudden nuclear strike and brought their entire nuclear arsenal to a state of maximal alert without any of the usual signaling. Out planet stood on the precipice of nuclear annihilation and not even those paid to know about were actually aware of it. 

I feel we are in a similar place. We are extremely close to the edge and there will be no positive resolution time around. The last time around sane people were able to de-escalate and reduce the build up of tension. President Reagan for all his flaws *listened* to his advisers. That is NOT where we are now.  

When major experts in the US are discussing potential ways to interrupt the nuclear chain of command - then you know you are in deep shit.  


At 10:02 AM, Blogger quantum chaos said...

why are you scaring me? This will be an economic catastrophe and will give sanghis a reason to impose emergency and strip constitution to the bone.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I am not scaring you.

Putin has asked Trump to back off on the rhetoric. Let's see if Trump listens. My guess is that he will not.

Not sure what will happen beyond that point.


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