Yesterday the Netherlands chose the path of ‘safety and stability,’ by re-electing incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The election results dashed the hopes of Dutch fascist and human toilet brush metaphor Geert Wilders who had hoped to make significant inroads towards the political mainstream.
Let’s be honest.
Dutch elections are not the kind of thing that grabs the attention of most Americans.
For most Americans, the Netherlands is synonymous with only a few, mostly inconsequential things. Its relaxed marijuana laws, its red light districts, quaint wooden shoes and — for those not failed by the public education system — with its creation of all modern financial institutions.
Still, there are good reasons as to why this election is different.
Few political arguments could be more contentious than the one currently brewing over Russia. Their attempts to influence the presidential election of 2016 shook the nation to it’s core, suggesting as it did that the GOP is more than willing to overlook treason.
As long as they get to win.
President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and festering bromance with Russian president Vladimir Putin have been dogging the administration for months. The scandal led to the resignation of Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Still, the fact that Trump has a ‘Russia’ problem is hardly new.
We know for example, that the Kremlin went to enormous lengths to ensure that Trump, and not Hillary Clinton won the election last November. That several members of the Trump team met with Russian officials and then lied about it is now common knowledge.
We suspect though we do not yet know that there is more to this story than meets the eye.
The question we have to ask now is, what exactly does Putin want?
Urine Some Deep Shit
Any analysis of geopolitical intent is fraught with danger. Specific aims are notoriously mercurial and often form part of a much greater overall strategic plan. Areas of compromise are often indistinguishable from areas of stoic resistance. Often, concessions that appear to be of great importance represent little more than an ablative front in full retreat, giving way only so that the flanks can encircle the unsuspecting enemy.
The grand plans, though, the big picture stuff; those things are easier to read than an E. L. James short story.
Putin’s Russia desires two things above all else. First, they want to see Europe return to the weak fractious bickering nations state of the past.
And second, they want NATO gone.
For the latter goal, Russia would almost certainly need a sympathetic ear in the White House.
The Russian tactic of secretly filming people of interest having sex and then blackmailing them is well documented. It was suggested that Trump was victim to such a tactic and that a video of prostitutes urinating on him while he stayed in a Russian hotel was being held in a Kremlin safe somewhere.
Trump denied the allegations.
But then, who wouldn’t?
The desire to dismantle the European Union is a much more difficult proposition, but here too there are links between Trump and the Kremlin.
EU Du Toilette?
The idea itself is quite sublime really.
The very existence of the European Union provides the perfect counterpoint to nationalist willing to push the populist and ill-informed notion that all national problems could be solved simply by returning to halcyon days of fictional racial purity.
Immigration and vague watery notions of sovereignty are brought to the fore and mixed in with one or two genuine grievances concerning EU legislation.
The whole thing is given a good mix, and then set to cool on the windowsill for around 5-10 years. The result?
Ah yes, Brexit.
The British public’s self-administered nut shot; a move that Trump publicly applauded and had strategists at the Kremlin slapping one another on the back in fits of genuine adulation. Trump’s relationship with chief Brexiteer and walking Pinocchio metaphor Nigel Farage was well-publicized and why not? The decision to leave the EU had already been made.
Given less prominence were elements of Putin’s plan that had yet to come to fruition. Three looming elections offered the possibility that the rise of the populist right might fulfill Putin’s wet dream of a Europe dominated by Russia and subservient to the whims of his feckless greed.
And no test could be of more importance than that of the French election in April.
The French Deception
French Fascist and anti-Semite Marine Le Penn makes no secret of her desire to take France out of the EU. Flush with money that appears to have been provided by none other than Putin himself she set about trying to make her political dreams a reality.
Her secret visit to Trump Tower in January was dismissed as a mere social call despite her failure to announce her intent to visit. The fact that a photo taken appears to show her talking with Senior Trump adviser is neither here nor there.
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) January 12, 2017
Still, with no possibility of Germany moving away from European integration the next test of Putin’s plan was clear. The Dutch election.
And it failed.
Plan B Seems Out Of Place
Perhaps it failed because in the Netherlands — as in the USA— there is little threat from terrorist attacks. Indeed, the greatest loss of Dutch life in a terror attack occurred when flight MH-17 was shot down while flying over Ukraine.
No fewer than 193 Dutch people lost their lives in that tragedy.
And the people responsible for such a monstrous act of terror?
Why Vladimir Putin’s Russia of course,
Watch The BBC’s John Sweeny take Geert Wilders down.
Featured image from YouTube video.