THE WILD WEST SEEKS THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN WITH THE “CROOKED” EAST
The global geopolitical arena has become the venue for a high noon showdown.
As in the b&w westerns of the far past such as ‘Gunfight at the O.K. Corral’, ‘High Noon’ and ‘Shane’ this “town” isn’t big enough for the two protagonists and deadly rivals involved. A mutual intolerance for each other requires a fight to the death, in fact a mega showdown and shoot-out at some global O.K. Corral.
As I wrote in the weeks leading up to the election of Joe Biden as president of the USA what I called an ‘Ice Cold War’ was coming, that Biden would seek to unite all U.S. allies in a solid bloc against the rising powers of the east, namely Russia and China.
So it has come to be. No quarter is to be given, no meaningful diplomacy (except as a temporary tactic) will be engaged in by the West and progressively, mere demands leading to greater and greater levels of confrontation will be the order of the day. The opposition will be told to get out of “town” or face the consequences.
Though China is no Soviet Union similar tactics are being deployed against it. Unlike with the Soviets, no significant facade of surface acceptance is being attempted. Those too young to remember may not be aware that the Soviet Union appeared, on a surface level, to be an accepted reality by the West during much of the Cold War. China too saw at least one major attempt at conveying this message by Richard Nixon in 1972. These surface manifestations while covert warfare continued were deemed acceptable when the USA was in a much stronger position globally than now.
With Russia having miraculously recovered its former pride, prowess and economic power over the Putin years and China having incredibly successfully embraced a hybrid system of communist control and free-market capitalism these nations now pose a great threat to U.S. hegemony than ever before. This situation has become totally unacceptable to the political elites and establishment of both the USA and UK with Europe being somewhat more ambivalent.
What have the sheriffs of the West to lose? Only everything most dear to them.
The plot of the 1952 movie, ‘High Noon’ provides a kind of mirror image of all that’s involved:
‘In Hadleyville, a small town in New Mexico Territory, Marshal Will Kane, newly married to Amy Fowler, prepares to retire. The happy couple will soon depart for a new life to raise a family and run a store in another town. However, word arrives that Frank Miller, a vicious outlaw whom Kane sent to prison, has been released and will arrive on the noon train. Miller's gang—his younger brother Ben, Jack Colby, and Jim Pierce—await his arrival at the train station.
For Amy, a devout Quaker and pacifist, the solution is simple—leave town before Miller arrives, but Kane's sense of duty and honour make him stay. Besides, he says, Miller and his gang will hunt him down anyway. Amy gives Kane an ultimatum: She is leaving on the noon train, with or without him.
Kane visits with a series of old friends and allies, but none can (or will) help: Judge Percy Mettrick, who sentenced Miller, flees on horseback and urges Kane to do the same. Kane's young deputy Harvey Pell, who is bitter that Kane did not recommend him as his successor, says he will stand with Kane only if Kane goes to the city fathers and "puts the word in" for him. When Kane refuses to do so, Pell turns in his badge.
Kane's efforts to round up a posse at Ramírez’ Saloon, and then the church, are met with fear and hostility. Some townspeople, worried that a gunfight would damage the town's reputation, urge Kane to avoid the confrontation entirely. Some are Miller's friends, but others resent that Kane cleaned up the town in the first place. Some are of the opinion that their tax money goes to support local law enforcement and the fight is not a posse's responsibility. Sam Fuller hides in his house, sending his wife Mildred to the door to tell Kane he is not home. Jimmy offers to help, but is vision impaired and drunk; Kane sends him home for his own safety. The mayor continues to encourage Kane to just leave town. Kane's predecessor, Martin Howe, cannot assist Kane, as he is too old and arthritic. Herb Baker had agreed to be deputized, but backs out when he realizes he is the only volunteer. A final offer of aid comes from a 14-year-old boy; Kane admires his courage, but turns him down.
While waiting at the hotel for the train, Amy meets Helen Ramírez, who was once Miller's lover, then Kane's, finally Pell's, and is leaving as well. Helen tells Amy that if Kane were her man, she would not abandon him in his hour of need.
At the stables, Pell saddles a horse and tries to persuade Kane to take it. Their conversation becomes an argument, and then a fist fight. Kane finally knocks his former deputy senseless. Kane returns to his office to write out his will as the clock ticks toward noon.’
(Text from Wikipedia.)
Of course, ultimately the ‘good guy’ in ‘High Noon’ wins the day and survives, ensuring everyone who is good and law-abiding lives happily ever after.
This is how western elites see things, or pretend to.
They are the good guys, those holding up the sacred banners of freedom and democracy. They wear their metaphorical white hats with pride as a potent symbol of complete sanctity (despite engaging in mass murder and other dastardly deeds from time to time as deemed to be unfortunate, but necessary, never harming their reputation for complete purity of intent.)
The bad guys, who stand ‘over there’, are guilty of all kinds of nefarious deeds. Almost no good word can be said about them. Like the notorious western villain played by Jack Palance in the movie ‘Shane’ they are simply bad through and through, incapable of redeeming themselves and only showing their true colours blatantly in glorying in their evil exploits. When they are finally shot down by the hero we are to applaud wildly and feel not a trace of compassion as they lie humbled in the dirt.
So it is now in the global theatre of the new Cold War, the Ice Cold War. It is Icy because even the seeming warmth of occasional diplomacy seen during the Cold War has all but disappeared leaving two gimlet-eyed opponents facing each other with hardly a trace of understanding or compassion between them.
The shoot-out will not be in any minor O.K. Corral but in somewhere like the Taiwan Straits. If not there then on the Russian-Ukraine border or some as yet unforeseen location. The two opponents stand ready, though only one of them has guns drawn, advancing on the others. That is the USA. Neither Russia nor China are remotely advantaged by a hot war ‘brought on’ by the USA.
Bill Hicks, the late-lamented comedian with the sharpest, most insightful take on the geopolitical scene as well as many others described the scene perfectly in his routine, ‘You Saw Him, He Had A Gun’. This is where we as bystanders are now, watching a modern version of an old and well-oiled tactic of the United States and western elites in general. Push your opponents with all means necessary until the pressure gets so great you have your chance to destroy them.
If the USA and UK are successful much of the world may well applaud, at least their political representatives will. But though Hadleyville in ‘High Noon’ can be envisaged as being peaceful, law-abiding and prosperous after the shoot-out the same I am sure would not hold true for Planet Earth. The new, all-vanquishing “Sherriff” would soon become its de facto jailor.