Search This Blog

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Viva chancellor Angela Merkel! Or how the textbook example of a ‘dull-ish’ and down-to-earth politician can feel like a relief in the thunderstorm of political roosters.

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right

“Isn’t that ironic?!”

I had to think about this ironic... ehm iconic song by the Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morisette, when I read in the newspaper that Moscow “was worried about the bellicose rhetoric between North Korea and the United States and considered it to be ‘over the top’”.

The given fact that the government of Vladimir Putin – who is of course the conqueror of Crimea and an alleged plotter against Ukraine and the US as well as a genuine firebrand – suddenly sounded so worried about the aggressive rhetoric between North Korea and the United States was indeed quite ironic. 

In fact, it seemed like the response of a juvenile pyromaniac that “he didn’t expect the house to be set on fire, after having played with matches in his room”.

Nevertheless, it seems a fact that the Russian former secret agent and kindred spirit of Niccoló Macchiavelli, president Vladimir Putin is indeed deeply worried about the outcome of this vocal brawl between the two utterly immature hyperbullies: president Donald Trump of the United States and president Kim Jong Un of North Korea and their host of thermonuclear toys and missiles.

And that is definitely a fact to be concerned about:

"Moscow is deeply concerned by an escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula related to an exchange of rather rude statements replete with threats," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Moscow still calls on all interested parties to display restraint so as not to provoke this escalation even further," Peskov said, reiterating Russia's position that the problem surrounding the North's nuclear programme should be settled through negotiations only.

On Tuesday, US president Donald Trump used his maiden address to the UN General Assembly to warn "Rocket Man" Kim that he will "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatens the United States or its allies.

In a rare personal attack published hours after Washington announced the tougher sanctions, Kim said Trump was "mentally deranged" and will "pay dearly" for his threat to destroy his country.

And the mild-grumpy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ‘did his two cents’ in a separate statement about the mounting tensions between the US and North Korea:

“Unfortunately, the rhetoric in Washington and Pyongyang is now starting to go over the top,” Lavrov said. “We still hope and believe that common sense will prevail.”

Asked at a forum for Russian students about the risks of the stand-off escalating into armed conflict, he said: “The risks are very high, especially taking into account the rhetoric.”

“Direct threats of using force are heard... The talk (in Washington) is that there must be a preventive strike made on North Korea, while Pyongyang is threatening to carry out a missile strike on the U.S. base in Guam. These (threats) continue non-stop, and they worry us a lot.”

Of course Dmitriy Peskov, Sergei Lavrov and ultimately Vladimir Putin are right about the deteriorating situation between the US and Korea. This particular situation proves that the globe is a too dangerous arena to have ‘amateur night’ in world politics.

Kim Jong Un seems in his actions and his behaviour like a totally spoilt brat with 'half a brain', but with at the same time a god-like status in his frightened and badly beaten up home country. His closest henchmen fear his unpredictability and shiver when they hear the tales about Kim’s draconic and lethal ways of punishing his “adversaries” (i.e. mostly former confidants who fell from grace) in the recent past. 

And where his father and grandfather traditionally showed some kind of restraint out of self-defence in their behaviour against their bigger adversaries, it seems that with Kim Jong Un "all brakes are off".

And Donald Trump? He left both the Whitehouse staff and Congress in a constant mood of shock and awe with his countless untrue, hollow statements and straightforward lies. Not even to mention his extremely rude and uneloquent rhetorics at every occasion or his over-the-top and counterproductive politics and constant self-applauding. And last, but not least, with his clueless vision on both domestic and foreign affairs, in which he acts like a six year old carrying matches in a fireworks plant.

That both Trump and Kim are real amateurs in politics is something that they make clear at every occasion. And especially very recently with the overheating crisis around the North Korean nuclear program that can get out of control very easily and without a proper warning. 

From mounting mutual threats a few weeks ago, both government leaders are now promising eachother total annihilation: not as an ultimate possibility, but as an event that could occur every moment and at will. In other words, a devastating war can be started by each of both leaders when the other party does something they don’t like. Even though some of it can probably be regarded as kettle music, it is nevertheless a very dangerous situation.

As a matter of fact: even the most religiously driven and patriotic Republican exceptionalist must probably confess that “The Donald” did not exactly make the global situation safer for the United States.

The only reason that most Republicans in Congress still seem to show confidence in President Trump, is that openly forsaking their trust in him would be a moral victory for the Democrats, which they hate beyond anything else.

And many American citizens as well as people all over the world are now looking at North Korea and the United States like a rabbit looks in the emerging headlights of a car. All hope dearly that one of both leaders does not scr*w up catastrophically, but that is all what they can do about it.

What a difference then with the German ‘first lady’, Angela Merkel, whose party - the CDU/CSU (Christian-Democrat) combination - was re-elected for the fourth time in a row last weekend, effectively making her Chancellor again for the whole period or as long as she desires.

Angela Merkel has seemingly the charisma and radiant energy of a doorknob and would never be elected in a country where form goes over function, like the United States. However, her intelligence, wisdom and calm perseverance make her the ideal captain to guide the European Union ship through the highest political waves.

Her sincerity, political “Fingerspitzengefühl’ (i.e. sensitivity) and power to stay out of the spotlights in favour of her political friends, as well as the fact that she does not have real political enemies, make her the ideal, unassuming leader of the EU. The new French Président Emmanuel Macron is allowed to be the radiant “new kid on the block”, who attracts all the attention, but in the end everybody knows who is really in charge.

Angela Merkel, with her dull-ish and down to earth charisma is the ideal counterbalance for the political roosters Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, who both have to deal with enormous egos and with the fact that they are genuine political amateurs in a time when the world dearly needs professionals.

If someone is capable to pull the fuse out of the North Korean powder keg, it must be Angela Merkel, even though she showed an open disliking for the blunt and rude Donald Trump. 

Although Angela Merkel is not considered to be a party in this dangerous conflict, she could perhaps use her influence with Chinese president Xi Jinping to force him into a more leading role in this conflict. And Xi Jinping might be the only one to whom Kim Jong Un would listen in the end.

And when Merkel does so, she will find Russian president Vladimir Putin at her side. Vladimir Putin has definitely fought his own battles on several chess boards during the last few years and he is a ruthless leader with only his own goals and interests in sight. Nevertheless, he will not be happy about the current political instability: “It is nice to create some havoc in Europe every now and then, but I can’t use a full-blown global war”, is probably what Putin thinks.

And then the intelligent Merkel is a natural ally for him, who knows her own (country's) limitations and recognizes the enormous interests that Europe has in Russia and vice versa (exports of semi-manufactured goods and consumer products and imports of oil and natural gas(!)).

So even though Angela Merkel is not totally uncontroversial in Europe and made a few errors too in the past, we must be glad with this sensitive and sensible political powerhouse in Berlin. She is masterful at both containing the deteriorating domestic political situation (e.g. at this moment the (extreme) rightwing Alternative für Deutschland being elected as third party in Germany) and the outright flammable world politics of this moment.

And that is good to know with the current ongoing thunderstorm between the political roosters Kim and Trump... Viva Angela Merkel!

No comments:

Post a Comment