The global geopolitical arena has become the place for a midday showdown.
As in the b & w westerns of the distant past such as ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’, ‘High Noon’ and ‘Shane’ this “city” is not big enough for the two protagonists and the deadly rivals involved.
Mutual intolerance requires a fight to the death, indeed a mega showdown and a shootout in some global OK Corral.
As I wrote in the weeks leading up to Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States, what I called a “cold war” was coming, which Biden would seek to unite all US allies into a solid bloc against the United States. growing powers of the east, namely Russia and China.
So it happened. No quarter must be granted, no meaningful diplomacy (except as a temporary tactic) will be undertaken by the West and progressively, mere requests leading to ever greater levels of confrontation will be on the agenda. The opposition will be told to leave the “city” or face the consequences.
Although China is not the Soviet Union, similar tactics are employed against it. Unlike the Soviets, no meaningful facade of superficial acceptance is attempted. Those too young to remember may not be aware that the Soviet Union appeared, on a superficial level, as a reality accepted by the West during much of the Cold War. China also saw at least one major attempt to convey this message by Richard Nixon in 1972. These surface demonstrations as the covert war continued were deemed acceptable when the United States was in a much stronger global position than it is now.
With Russia miraculously regaining its former pride, prowess and economic power in the Putin years and China embracing a hybrid system of communist control and free market capitalism with incredible success, these nations now pose a great threat to the country. hegemony of the United States than ever. This situation has become totally unacceptable to the political elites and the establishment in both the United States and the United Kingdom, while Europe is a little more ambivalent.
What do the sheriffs of the West have to lose? Only everything that is most dear to them.
The plot of the 1952 film, “High Noon” provides a kind of mirror image of everything involved:
‘In Hadleyville, a small town in New Mexico territory, Marshal Will Kane, newly married to Amy Fowler, prepares for retirement. The happy couple will soon leave for a new life to start a family and run a shop in another city. However, news arrives that Frank Miller, a ferocious outlaw 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 devoted Quaker and pacifist, the solution is simple: leave town before Miller arrives, but Kane’s sense of duty and honor keep him. Plus, he says, Miller and his gang will hunt him down anyway. Amy gives Kane an ultimatum: she leaves on the noon train, with or without him.
Kane visits a number of old friends and allies, but no one can (or will) help him: Judge Percy Mettrick, who sentenced Miller, flees on horseback and urges Kane to do the same. Kane’s young deputy, Harvey Pell, who is saddened that Kane hasn’t recommended him as his successor, says he will only stay with Kane if Kane goes to the town fathers and “puts his word” for him. When Kane refuses to do so, Pell hands over his badge.
Kane’s efforts to rally a gang at Ramírez ‘Saloon, and then in the church, are met with fear and hostility. Some citizens, worried that a gunfight could damage the city’s reputation, urge Kane to avoid the fight altogether. Some are friends with Miller, but others are resentful 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 that the struggle is not the responsibility of a group. Sam Fuller hides in his house, sending his wife Mildred to the door to tell Kane that he’s not home. Jimmy offers to help, but he is visually impaired and drunk; Kane sends him home for his safety. The mayor continues to encourage Kane to leave town. Kane’s predecessor, Martin Howe, cannot assist Kane, as he is too old and arthritic. Herb Baker had agreed to be nominated, but backs off when he realizes he is the only volunteer. A final offer of help comes from a 14-year-old boy; Kane admires his courage, but rejects it.
While waiting at the hotel for the train, Amy meets Helen Ramírez, who was once Miller’s lover, then Kane’s, and finally Pell’s, and she’s leaving too. Helen tells Amy that if Kane were her man, she wouldn’t abandon him in time of need.
At the stables, Pell saddles a horse and tries to get Kane to take it. Their conversation becomes a discussion, and then a fist fight. Kane finally knocks his former deputy unconscious. Kane goes back to his office to write his will as the clock ticks around noon. ‘
Of course, in the end, the “good guy” in “High Noon” wins the day and survives, ensuring that all who are good and law-abiding will live happily ever after.
This is how Western elites see things, or pretend to see them.
They are the good ones, those who hold the sacred banners of freedom and democracy. They wear their metaphorical white hats with pride as a powerful symbol of complete holiness (despite engaging in mass murder and other vile deeds occasionally deemed unfortunate, but necessary, never damaging their reputation for complete purity of purpose).
The bad guys, who are ‘over there’, are guilty of all kinds of nefarious deeds. Hardly any good words can be said about them. Like the infamous Western villain played by Jack Palance in the movie ‘Shane’, they are simply villains through and through, unable to redeem themselves and brazenly displaying their true colors only in bragging about their evil deeds. When they are finally brought down by the hero, we must clap wildly and feel no trace of compassion as they lie humiliated in the dirt.
So it is now in the global theater of the new Cold War, the Frozen Cold War. It’s icy cold because even the seeming warmth of the occasional diplomacy seen during the Cold War has all but disappeared, leaving two naysayers wrinkled in front of each other with barely a trace of understanding or compassion between them.
The shooting will not take place in a minor OK Corral, but in a place like the Taiwan Strait. If there isn’t, then at the Russian-Ukrainian border or somewhere as yet unforeseen. The two opponents are ready, even if only one of them has guns pointed, advancing on the others. This is the United States. Neither Russia nor China have the slightest advantage of a US-induced hot war.
Bill Hicks, the lamented comedian with the sharpest and most insightful view of 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 stand now as spectators, looking at a modern take on an old and well-oiled tactic of the United States and Western elites in general. Push your opponents by all means necessary until the pressure becomes so great that you have a chance to destroy them.
If the US and UK are successful, much of the world could cheer, at least their political representatives will. But although Hadleyville in ‘High Noon’ may be considered peaceful, law-abiding and prosperous after the shooting, I’m sure the same wouldn’t be true of Planet Earth. The new and victorious “Sherriff” would soon become his de facto jailer.