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Syrian Strike, North Korea: A Formative Moment For the Alt-Sphere

For months factions have quarelled about what the alt-right is, who are its leaders, if anybody, and what it believes with only wavering ground of agreement. Then President Trump fired missiles on Syria and the reaction from these disparate groups was overwhelming.

The anti-establishment internet has come out in force against the attack, and especially against any further moves towards intervention.  For the first time, red pill PUAs, white nationalists, alt-lite civic nationalists, neo-reactionaries, alt-left former Bernie supporters find themselves all on the same page.

Meanwhile, a faction of optimate neocons begins to solidify with warhawk republicans and SJW libs alike coming out in favor of new Middle Eastern wars.  Even progressive-leaning politicians like Elizabeth Warren were agreeing something must be done about Syria.

What to think when even the president’s sworn political enemies want to “hold accountable” the leaders of far-away lands over their own domestic policy—and for no clear US gain?  Actually, the clear US gain is to simply allow Assad to finish crushing ISIS!

Even Rand Paul, a republican known for some anti-establishment leanings, seems to disapprove but draws things out and chooses his words very carefully.

While many Trump supporters are disappointed or even disillusioned by the attack, it becomes increasingly clear that no one, whatever their professed beliefs, would have brought significant change to American foreign policy.

The flimsy excuse of “chemical attacks” that’s been recycled for decades now only hammers in the point.  We have established beyond a doubt that the problem is systemic.

The best move is not to panic and run, but to stay firmly in the Trump camp for now making our presence felt.  The Syria attack may have been one of Trump’s trial balloons which may well have just been shot down with all the firepower the anti-establishment can bring to bear.

The alt-right is actually pretty small, but it’s so easy to overestimate its size because that’s where the new growth and the energy is at.  Audacious Epigone aptly describes them as the “trench warriors” who got Trump into office.

Dissidents have made unimaginable progress since the beginning of the 2016 election entering into mainstream visibility as a political force for the first time.  But now the limits of that influence become clear.

The next obvious step is the rise of politicians who don’t just smile and wink at the dissidents from time to time while “disavowing” but profess their beliefs outright.

We’ll know we’re on the right track when there are leaders who unequivocally and unreservedly denounce pointless foreign interventions, sappy globalist claptrap, and traitorous open-border cuckery while saving the majority of their energy for domestic policy.

It’s time to figure out how to make neo-populists a force in their own right if it turns out the present order is impermeable and unchangeable.

At this moment, we are seeing a new standoff over North Korea, this time possibly with Chinese cooperation.  If that’s so, Trump’s maneuvering may actually have paid off impressively.

However cleverly done, though, nuclear brinksmanship isn’t the reason people put Trump in office.  It would be a big accomplishment if North Korea comes out of this confrontation chastened, but America’s real problems right now are internal.

I understand arguments that Trump wants to reassure his allies after Obama showed weakness and that North Korea is trying to develop missiles that can reach the USA.

The problem with this policy is eventually, most nations will have their house atomics.  North Korea’s boss, China, already is a major nuclear power.  What’s next, unilaterally blowing up Iranian reactors?
It’s 1940s technology and most nations that want to will be able to eventually find the materials and expertise.  
If that’s not something humanity can cope with, perhaps we have the answer to Fermi’s paradox(not yet finding signs of other sentient life).

The alt-sphere finds itself facing its first big challenges as a visible political influence. Like all politics there is a delicate line to walk.  Too strident, you lose your place at the bargaining table.  Too docile, you get nothing anyway.  From now on it will be about finding that sweet spot.

A lot of objectives are already meeting with success:
-The TPP was killed almost immediately.
-Illegal immigration is plummeting.
-ICE has been far more active within US borders.
-Originalist Supreme Court Justice confirmed.
-Some encouraging initial reports that corporations may be returning operations to the US.

However, the re-emergence of neocon foreign policy is profoundly worrying and the rustlings and shufflings of power struggles within the administration are ominous to say the least.  

Critics like Hunter Wallace pointed out all along that a cabinet full of establishment generals, Wall Street bankers, corporate open-borders apologists, big party donors was bound to cause problems.

I guess many of us supposed Trump would somehow bend them all to his will but it seems the simple fact is, people are who they associate with the most.  So special attention must be paid to the last alt-right and nationalist figures in the cabinet.

Like elite classes throughout history, the present elite are unwilling to accept their decline.  If they back off, they will still have social status and their mansions in Potomac and Arlington for awhile living an easy life in an Edwardian twilight.  If they put all their chips down on keeping all the power they’ve got, it will start to get interesting.

Though vilified as a Nazi, Trump ran, for the most part, as a center-right moderate as he has been for most of his life.  I’ve said before:  Obama was the establishment’s last chance to fix the system.  Trump is the system’s last chance.  If this round fails to produce satisfactory solutions, it is possible that the door is opened to the spread of more radical sympathies.

Trump Foreign Policy: Post-Unilateralism

Coalition, or no, whether other nations were willing or not, the brand of America has been built on unilateral foreign policy.  The world’s only superpower was also the world’s policeman.
Power, however, is a tool and as with money even great amounts of it are easily squandered without clear objectives and a sensible strategy.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was seen as the ultimate legitimation of unilateral diplomacy, an eternal blank check for Wilsonian exceptional interventionism at the “end of history.”

Every president since Reagan doubled down on this nonsense until it reached a climax of absurdity under George W. Bush.  Obama finally toned it down a little bit, because he had to.  Meddling went on unabated, but with most of America’s once abundant international political capital finally frittered away there was only so much he could do.  By the end of his presidency he was a laughingstock openly mocked by the Chinese leadership, insulted by the leader of the Philippines, and regarded with thinly veiled contempt by Russia.

Trump leads a reaction to a political establishment that has been utterly discredited by its decades of relentless ineptitude and failure despite holding every possible strategic advantage.
It has been clear since Trump’s campaign he envisions a US that conducts foreign policy as a nation among nations, not as a bombastic world police that clumsily throws its weight around.

This will mean, thank goodness, far less meddling in the affairs of other nations and a restoration of balances of power.  By wielding power with a lighter hand, it will become possible to accomplish far more.

The US can begin to create a post-exceptionalist, post-unilateral world by simply withdrawing US military interference.
Having US bases while limiting the military power of the host countries has increased the burden on the US while merely infuriating neighboring powers needlessly.

If the US removes most of its troops and involvement in NATO it forces EU nations to spend far more of their wealth on defense.  If Europe insured itself against Russian aggression, Russia would possibly be more amenable to talking about its interests elsewhere…

With a stable balance of power between the EU bloc and Russia, the US could have more constructive conversations with Russia regarding its extremely long border with China.  China is the only world power with potential, besides a real United States of Europe, to be in the same league as the USA.
America and China are presently economic partners joined at the hip, but we must think towards the long game.  Even as the US-Chinese relationship exists now, why not encourage other powers to contain them, giving the US more bargaining leverage?
In light of this, the complete obsession of the USA’s establishment with the Middle East and anti-Russian sentiment is perplexing.  A major foreign policy coup of the 21st century will be to split Russia from China as Nixon once split China away from the Soviet Union.

America could also withdraw from Japan forming a new, more equal relationship and encouraging Japanese re-armament and cooperation with Taiwan to counterbalance Chinese naval ambitions.
Hopefully, a post-exceptional international order would see the US and Europe able to freely operate with the emerging great power of China hampered by its nervous neighbors.  Why meddle when we need only encourage them to do what serves themselves?  The Daoist maxim to “do without doing” will be very appropriate in coming years.

Regarding Korea, it is ironic that if the US renounced its military commitments in the South, it’s possible the Chinese would become suddenly more amenable to discussing phasing out a client state of North Korea they have no special love for, but have kept around as a buffer against a clumsily over-aggressive US.  Add some diplomatic pressure from  neighboring powers, and perhaps an understanding could be arrived at where none is possible now…

Much of the benefits of a post-unilateral foreign policy come from simply undoing the heavy-handed status quo that counter-productively plays at imperialism.  From now on we may see the US doing more with less or in other words, “under budget and ahead of schedule.”

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