EDITORIAL

October in fire (II)

Since this growing tension in the international system wasn’t enough, in this turbulent October, 2016 there was a unique, actually, end of electoral campaign in the most powerful state on the planet, namely in USA. The Democrat candidate Hilary Clinton’s opponent is Donald Trump, assessed to be against the system and announcing a series of measures already included in a program that is virulently attacked by the mainstream Media.

The presidential competition in USA had components that unquestionably exacerbated the relations between Russia and USA. First, there were the disclosures related to the internal policy of the campaign staff of the candidate Hillary Clinton, which tensed the relations inside the Democrat party, since it revealed the machinations performed to remove one of her opponents. The investigation related to the author/authors of these disclosures focused the attention on Russia, whose intention to interfere in the election of the new US President by influencing the voters became more and more visible. The cold war mentality was naturally revived in the circumstances of the tensions specific to the electoral campaign, until at a certain moment it was even considered to be dangerous by official factors.

Thus, one of the accusations brought by the opponents to the FBI chief, James Comey, who revealed “the Tony Weiner file” on October 28, in a moment deemed inappropriate, because it was too close to the decisive day of elections not to produce a remarkable impact on the result – which produced in the first hours – was the accusation of hypocrisy. Why? Because James Comey himself, asked by his collaborators from FBI, hesitated before (one month earlier) to accuse Russia of interference, because the elections could thus be affected: “Some Democrats have also accused Comey of hypocrisy, citing reports this week that the director argued internally last month that it was too close to Election Day to publicly accuse Russia of meddling in the race. Top intelligence officials issued a rare statement implicating Russia in hacks of Democratic officials and party offices, but Clinton and aides have gone further, alleging that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin is trying to tilt the race in Trump’s favor.”(https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/after-release-of-documents-fbi-finds-itself-caught-in-a-partisan-fray/2016/11/01/9d466908-a068-11e6-8832-23a007c77bb4_story.html?tid=ss_tw#comments ).

Therefore, on the one hand, we find out that the revelation of Russia’s involvement in the interception of the emails of the Democrat campaign staff was assessed at the level of the FBI leadership in terms of increasing intolerably high the chances of the candidate Trump to the presidency – passed by Clinton on the formula of exacerbating the Russian danger -, and on the other hand, the same institutional leader acted exactly the opposite, much closer to the voting day. It’s one more enigma of this unique campaign. Especially because FBI persevered, one week before the elections, making a new disclosure in the detriment of the Democrat group (bringing to the attention of the public opinion on the FBI servers, the details of the file of a strange amnesty of President Clinton one day before the end of his second term in 2000, obviously accompanied by corruption).. And, only two days before November 8, it intervened again to maintain the previous thesis according to which Hillary Clinton cannot be accused in any way. “FBI: Review of new emails doesn’t change conclusion on Clinton“, announced FBI on Sunday, November 6, at CNN (cnn.it/2fpRjMB).

Besides, there were analysts who rejected the thesis of a devastating cold war in October, between USA and Russia. One of them is Peter Hitchens, who wrote in October a long article from which we quote: “The misreading of Russia’s geopolitical situation is especially sad/…/. Hillary Clinton’s comparison of President Putin to Adolf Hitler in a speech in California in March is the most striking example of this willingness to adopt the most extreme possible language, even by senior figures in government. Diplomats and media follow the same course, squawking about a ‘New Cold War’ and seeking the most alarmist possible interpretation of every Russian action. But much of this NATO-related chatter increases the very fear and tension against which this odd alliance (whose actual purpose was fully achieved in 1991) claims to be defending us. We are now talking ourselves into a conflict for no good reason.”  And he concludes: “It is time not for a New Cold War, but for the Consolation of All Sorrows. If we do not recognize this, there will be many more sorrows to be consoled, here and there.”(https://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/10/the-cold-war-is-over ).

But the ‘Cold War 2.0’ seems to follow its course, indifferent to the decision-makers’ desires, to the campaign strategies or to the experts’ analyzes. Michael McFaul wrote on Twitter, only one day before the voting, that “2016 election will be remembered as a historic turning point in decades-long engagement with cyber policy issues.” (https://mobile.twitter.com/McFaul/status/795664546950090752 ). It’s almost simultaneous to the announcement made by the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter on the start of the battle for the release of the Syrian city of Raqqa by the Syria Democratic Forces. It is also more and more insistently articulated the thesis that there is one extremely important detail that opposes Hillary Clinton to the position of the Obama administration on the subject of the Syrian crisis, since she was the head of the American diplomacy.

Namely, establishing a NFZ (non-fly zone). It was widely asserted at the beginning of November that “Hillary Clinton is campaigning on the creation of no-fly zones in Syria, one of the few big breaks she has made from President Obama while campaigning for the White House. Clinton says the zones are necessary to protect civilians, end the outflow of Syrian refugees and pressure the Syrian regime into negotiating an end to the civil war.”  (http://thehill.com/policy/defense/304312-clintons-big-difference-with-obama#.WB99_nShGKI.twitter). An official of the Defense Department stated on November 1, making things clear for anybody about the meaning of this difference of opinion between Obama and Clinton: unless you’re prepared to enforce it. To enforce it, you have to be prepared to shoot down that which flies in a no-fly zone“, which means a huge risk of collision with the Russian aircrafts and the spark of a massive confrontation. ‘Cold War 2.0’ could thus become a ‘hot war’. But even considering such a risk, Pentagon appreciates that it can be assumed, in the circumstances of a clear policy in Syria, including concerning the future power in Damascus: “Without a clear policy on Syria, including what to do about President Bashar al-Assad, it would make little sense to just implement and protect those zones to no end ”.  ( Ibidem ) An internal memorandum of Pentagon appreciates that such a NFZ will involve the deployment of thousands of American soldiers to implement it on the field, which Obama administration was reluctant to do until now.

A new war, similar to those started in Afghanistan and Iraq and unfinished after more than ten years. But even for such an eventuality, Russia deploys important naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea – the carrier ‘Kuznetzov’ from North, as well as missile carriers from the Black Sea, to be prepared for any eventuality, and not less to discourage such a development of the events implemented by the American side. In other words, this so hot October, 2016 can be the prelude to an evolution with a near boiling temperature, several months after Clinton administration will be established at the White House. Michael McFaul answers on Twitter, on November 6, 2016, to these fears of war of his Russian correspondents: “There will not be war under President Clinton. Stop watching propaganda networks”.

Even if the same diplomat, now a professor of international relations, a loyal supporter of the candidate H. Clinton, answered on Twitter to a correspondent who said that “we should be appalled at Hillary Clinton’s carelessness with our National Security!! All of us!!!” saying that “she was careless. But no national security harm came of it. As someone who has spent life thinking about national security, Trump scares me.”(https://mobile.twitter.com/McFaul/status/795709227289317376?p=v).

This October, 2016 is strange and dangerous; this American presidential electoral campaign is strange.

 

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