The centurions

Tammy Swofford

In an act of zip-line diplomacy, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi was the first to send a congratulatory call to president-elect Donald Trump. His Majesty King Abdullah II also quickly hooked onto the zip-line and in flying fox fashion paid a visit to Vice President Mike Pence. Putting on his cassis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided us a Zip Flyer performance at a White House press conference. Trump, al-Sissi, Abdullah II and Netanyahu. The Centurions have made their presence and collaboration known. Brace yourselves for change. The vision of these men will guide future Middle East policy.
Why these four men? What makes these men special, needful for this era, completely indispensable for the public good? To answer the aforementioned, we must first look at the United States and our manner of conducting global business. And then we will look at deficits in models of governance which continue to generate politico-terror death spirals.
The United States views the world through a political kaleidoscope where the changing nature of client states, allies, and adversaries must be rapidly and accurately assessed. What can be seen, must be examined. What is examined, requires multiple reflections. We are Giambattistadella Porta. We are his “Magia Naturalis” (1558-1559). Giving the script for public consumption that we have to get it right one hundred percent of the time begets political adulation. But on granular level the scoffers of the “100 percent” goal know that not only are multiple reflections required but the kaleidoscope is made up of moving parts. The kaleidoscope requires expertise. Our government employs and subsidizes men and women with expertise within their fields. They populate the industrial-academic complexes which make up some of the finest intellectual battle spaces on the planet. We know we cannot get it right one hundred percent of the time. But we can prevent another 9/11. We hope to prevent a Mumbai. Our model for security and prosperity can be collapsed into multiple envelopes but I have always like Thucydides: “The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.”
The United States participates in what geospatially resembles a constant lava flow of information metrics reduced to the lowest common denominators. Using these metrics our treaties, policies and memorandum of agreements are meant as both plant and harvest. Our alphabet agencies will use carrot-and-stick with USAID to achieve goals. Sometimes a bit of coercion is necessary. Our diplomats and consular officials flower within regional hot spots. Again, there are many moving parts. Not to be caught off guard, my nation is also fond of archiving and updating contingency plans for every scenario known to man. Apocalypse scenario would be a nuclear attack. And for that, we have the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (Nest). This team has a core configuration of nuclear physicists and scientists who work within our secretive weapons labs. They are also tethered to their alerts to pack their gear and pick up their to-go bags at a moment’s notice. These are not the individuals who concern themselves with pressure cooker bombs. Think Cobalt 60 or Uranium 235. Imagine the dirty bomb secured in a basement in Manhattan.
Our Fleet assets support a Surge Doctrine with an eye toward choke point theory and maintenance of sea lanes commerce. The Merchant Marines are part of the visible assets and our nuclear-powered submarines provide the invisible force which helps maintain balance of power.
Our model of business in relationship to the world is healthy. We have an enviable long-standing stability and our political export is stability. For that, we are a Centurion. President Trump’s counterparts in Egypt, Jordan and Israel are also ranking class.
The Hashemite Kingdom has a proven track record of fidelity to peace and diplomatic solutions for regional unrest. They remain faithful to core values of healthy governance. Egypt is becoming bullish regarding a role in the region. Israel remains an oxen of democratic principle.
Like or hate the Jews? It doesn’t matter. The state of Israel will survive. Deal with it. And the United States? Perhaps the training wheels are off the bicycle with a President unencumbered with political angst. Perhaps we can be done with the peace(less) summits which remind us of the definition of insanity offered up by a famous Jew. Perhaps the Centurions can move forward.
Other nations in the Middle East, across the subcontinent, and into the far reaches of the African continental shelf? The models of governance include deliberate and vibrant flanks of anti-diplomacy. Think leadership with clans of rogue cousins. These flanks adeptly manipulate instability which effects economic markets of neighboring states, subsidize terror operations, and move hardware and products along the terror pipelines for use against the Centurions. These nations are led by men with too many medals on their chest and too few accomplishments — unless pillaging the Diwan counts for a medal.
From earliest recorded time the earth has groaned. Chronic patterns of conflict have contributed to the perilous journeys of hijrah for many Muslims families. The earth is indeed spacious. But it is not meant to spew you out. The earth is spacious. But perhaps, your family wished to maintain ancestral roots in al-Sham.
The anti-diplomacy leadership must be put on notice. Authoritarian dynastic police states imagine themselves safe from their export business of destabilization. Other smaller destabilized states imagine that they can continue to export their dirty-deeds-done-dirt-cheap across neighboring borders. Democracy is hawked with as much fervency as the average dull-witted Marxist seeks to dupe the poor masses with the usual opiate. We see a cluster. We do not see a flower. Continue muddling and meddling along. We have the Centurions.


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