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In 1823, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams penned what we now think of as the Monroe Doctrine. The Napoleonic Wars were over, monarchists across Europe were trying to reestablish the strength of their governments, and colonies of European nations, particularly in the “New World”, were restive. The Monroe Doctrine meant to set out the concept that colonies in the New World that broke from their European rulers could look to the U.S. for “protection” and “guidance” and all the other “benefits” that colonial rulers provide.

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Old Whine, New Orange Bottle—Tom Hall

The Monroe Doctrine was part of the normal diplomatic process of colonial powers making claims about their areas of control and then negotiating decisions about that control. In 1821, the Czarist Russian government issued an edict (the Ukase of 1821) that stated Russia’s sovereignty over the northwest of the North American continent, including Alaska, Vancouver Island and a lot of the mainland of what is now Canada, down to the Columbia River. Britain, the U.S. and Russia then negotiated territorial control, leaving Alaska to Russia, Vancouver and the mainland to Britain, and the U.S. and Britain to struggle later over the Columbia River.

In traditional colonial fashion, the natives who already lived on the land were not consulted.

President Teddy Roosevelt used the Monroe Doctrine to assert the right of the U.S. to intervene anywhere in Latin America, thus guaranteeing U.S. protection and support of corporate “Banana Republics”.

After WW-I, the European masters sought to divvy up the spoils of war, which included the colonies that Germany had had at the start of the war. The Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain, France and Czarist Russia divided the Middle East into areas controlled by France and Britain, with Turkey given to Russia. No concern was shown to any local concepts of national borders, tribal relationships, religion, etc.

As with the negotiations about Northwestern North America, the locals were not consulted.

Revealing his “deal making” chops, the Donald started, even before the election, by giving Czar Vlad a greenlight for his conquest of Crimea and the Ukraine, getting, in return, Czar Vlad’s help in the election.

Colonialism is not exclusively a white European habit. Japan was a British ally in WW-I, and used the war to seize the limited territories Germany had in the Pacific. Japan ignored the rights and interests of local natives as it took over German colonies, and pushed its way into more influence in tottering Imperial China.

After WW-I, any issues the world had with Japan’s actions were discussed between Japan and European powers. Without any need to consult the locals Japan sought to control. Japan only became a German ally during the 1930s, when European nations cut it out of negotiations on access to raw materials and natural resources, like rubber.

The end of WW-II saw more of the same pattern. A weakened Europe left the U.S. to rule the Pacific, including an effort to install Chiang Kai-Shek as a new (puppet) emperor in China, and to have suzerainty over all of Central and South America.

But realities introduced in WW-I now began to haunt colonialists. WW-I saw horses replaced by mechanized armies. And gaudy uniforms and polished sabers replaced by cheap, accurate, automated small arms. By the end of WW-II, such small arms had suffused the world, democratizing military power.

Resistance movements, made up of the long ignored local populations, sprang up across Africa, and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. When the Chinese people adopted a Constitutional Democracy government after WW-II, it was opposed by the Communists and by the U.S. The U.S. backed Chiang Kai-Shek’s effort to take over as a new emperor.

But just as Algerians didn’t allow France to dictate to them, the Chinese people didn’t allow the U.S. to choose their new emperor. Even Chiang Kai-Shek’s own troops deserted to join the Communist forces, once Chiang Kai-Shek showed what sort of brutal, dictatorial emperor he planned to be.

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The locals, who had never been consulted, used their access to modern small arms to force colonial powers to deal with them, almost always leading to new negotiated settlements, and an end to colonial rule. And the weakened European powers, like France, were forced to give up colonial privileges they had long enjoyed. This set the stage for the emergence of two “superpowers” in the 1950s, the USSR and the U.S.

The two superpowers tried to exploit their new colonial opportunities. The USSR grabbed and surrounded itself with a ring of “client states”. And the U.S. gave control of its colonial governments in Latin America, Korea (and after France left) Vietnam to corporate interests that ran the governments like plantations.

But the superpowers struggled. The USSR got pushed out of Afghanistan, in much the same way the U.S. got whipped in Vietnam and stalemated in Korea. The Hungarians revolted, as did almost every banana republic south of the Rio Grande. Every one of these struggles was fueled by corporate sales of small arms that would then be used to attack the very corporate interests that sold them. While the USSR fought its own internal battles, and to maintain control of its client states, the U.S. struggled internally with minorities who no longer wanted to live like colonized foreigners in their own nation.

The Middle East was just one battlefield in the ongoing process of superpower power struggles. Neither side particularly cared what the locals wanted.

And neither side seems to care now, even as the region has blown up into a maelstrom of violence, religious discord and fabulous opportunities for war profiteers. But the traditional process of negotiating continues unabated.

Now, the negotiations are between narcissistic billionaires. The USSR having disintegrated, Russia has a new czar. And Republican Party chair Reince Priebus, at Christmas, labeled the Donald America’s “new king”. These two are negotiating how to divvy up the world. Russia comes to the negotiation with a stumbling economy, but a world-wise, educated and ruthless ruler. The U.S. brings internal dissension, international fatigue with endless corporate wars, and a ruler who brags about his contempt for science, foreigners and facts.

Revealing his “deal making” chops, the Donald started, even before the election, by giving Czar Vlad a greenlight for his conquest of Crimea and the Ukraine, getting, in return, Czar Vlad’s help in the election.

After the U.S. destroyed governance in Iraq, with no plan or effort to replace it, Iran started to wield its influence, and is now helping Iraqis to rebuild their nation. As Daesh, the movement started by Cheney/Bush came in on the side of Syrian rebels, thus guaranteeing that the U.S. would not help the rebels, Iran stepped in to help Bashar Assad, and then invited its traditional enemy, Russia, to join it.

Now that the U.S. has committed itself to helping Israel extend its Apartheid policies over more Palestinian areas, and to protecting the Saudi royal family from its own citizens, while it tries to conquer and colonize Yemen, Czar Vlad has offered the Donald a “settlement” to achieve peace (or at least a new stability) in the area.

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Under Czar Vlad’s terms, Iran and Russia will help Assad wipe out popular resistance to his dictatorship, while the U.S. backs off from its miniscule aid to rebels. Long-time U.S. ally Turkey, having watched U.S. fumbling since 2001, and having listened to the promises of future ineptitude from the Pence-Ryan-McConnell administration, will switch its allegiance from the U.S. to Russia.

In ‘exchange’, the Donald will allow Czar Vlad freedom to re-conquer Estonia, Latvia and any other of the client states he wants. And Czar Vlad will not interfere as the U.S.-Israel-Saudi alliance wages colonial war against Palestinians, Lebanon, and maybe Tunisia.

The Donald is, naturally, going to present this as a triumph of HIS “deal making” skills, and his ability to manage Czar Vlad. The real world will see this as a repeat of an endless pattern. In 1823, the U.S. was too weak to enforce the Monroe Doctrine, and the rest of the world ignored it. In 2017, the Donald is too weak to refuse Czar Vlad’s demands. The rest of the world will watch to see how long the scared, isolationist Pence-Ryan-McConnell administration continues to let Russian Czar Vlad push it around.

Tom Hall

Tom Hall