Geopolitics as a domino-toppling game

Geopolitics as a domino-toppling game

Prof. Dr. Fernando Esteche, Buenos Aires, Argentina

There is a metaphor to define or describe geopolitics that usually refers to the chess board, which is a game where one seeks to check the opponent’s king. The consolidation of Multipolarism gave rise to a counter-reference with the oriental board game of Go where one seeks to occupy space. In chess the pieces have different values and capacities. In Go all stones have the same value.

Geopolitics or whatever one can call the erratic movements that Argentine president Javier Milei pursues in foreign policy, can in our opinion be described with the game of toppling dominoes – a game where, after a very laborious task of placing the pieces vertically, one pushes one of them to topple the rest. What Milei is doing is tearing down everything good or bad that Argentina has done in foreign policy since its young existence in the world – in a sense, all the domino stones.

Two months after Milei’s government took office in Argentina, his first trip abroad as president went to Israel and the Vatican, what we can call the fourth bad step of Argentine foreign policy.

At the inauguration ceremony itself, a specially invited personality was Volodomir Zelensky, the comedian in charge of the Ukrainian government, who is providing the evidence of his strategic defeat and leading Europe to begin cracking the initial tough defense shield he had created. The new Argentine president, in addition to giving him an old helicopter in the hope of helping to equip the demoralized Ukrainian army, placed him in the ceremonial act next to the Hungarian president Viktor Orban, who leads the position of neutrality in Europe.

We can point out that the first bad step in geopolitical positioning was taken in that inauguration ceremony where Milei also invited the leader of the Spanish right-wing pro-Atlantic party Vox, Santiago Abascal, the right-wing Paraguayan president Santiago Peña, the Ecuadorian also right-wing Daniel Noboa, the King of Spain Felipe VI, the social democratic president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, the pro-Atlantic Armenian, Vahagn Khachaturian and former president Jair Bolsonaro, whom the protocol placed among the present leaders.

The second bad step did not delay much. The government was installed when the deadline for Argentina’s incorporation into the BRICS was set. With a hallucinatory reading, more difficult to understand than to explain, this incorporation, which would have meant, in addition to a universe of commercial possibilities, a source of sure help in the financing of a bankrupt government, has not materialized.

This non-entry to the BRICS is an overacting that no one thought of complaining to the government and which nevertheless was carried out. Shortly afterwards, Milei attempted to activate the swap with China to face payments to the IMF, but the People’s Republic of China did not transfer the planned $500 million, suspended the agreements and is willing to collect in 2026 more than $5 billion that Argentina must pay for Chinese funds it had used to pay debt and imports. This government maintains that it will not maintain relations with “communists” and flirts with diplomatic gifts to the Taiwanese business delegation. China is Argentina’s second trading partner, there are inexplicable devastations that the exporting economic groups themselves are warning about.

The third bad step, to our shame, was the presidential intervention at the Davos Forum with a speech inconsistent in time and space. Typical of Cold War narratives, Milei accused the audience of being “communists” and “statists.” At a time when people are beginning to talk about the New Washington Consensus where the State resolves the terrible inequalities and wounds caused by neoliberalism, the Argentine president (responsible for the Argentine State) maintained at the Davos lecture that the great enemy of freedom and the economy is precisely the State itself. He also pointed out and accused the majority of those present of being victims of socialist stalking, when not even executors of that threat. “The West is in danger,” he said apocalytically, pointing to “communists, socialists, social democrats, Christian democrats, neo-Keynesians, progressives, populists, nationalists or globalists” as part of the same collectivist group.

Finally, and after an incessant flow of mistakes and mistakes that are inevitable and detrimental to the nation state, they are turning the Argentine Foreign Ministry into a simple foreign trade office that, to the extent of the absolute deregulation and state withdrawal from its own roles, begins to lose meaning.

The last bad step

The previous Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, had inaugurated his government with a first trip abroad to Israel, where he shared a dinner with the genocidal Benjamin Netanyahu. He later concluded trade agreements and even military cooperation. His predecessor Mauricio Macri had also established fluid relations with Israel.

What scares the unsuspecting reader is not that the first destination of an Argentine president’s trip abroad is Israel, because this could be a continuation of a historical alignment of the country as a reflection of its alignment with the United States, or due to the growing influence of Zionism in successive governments and in the State. What surprises and worries is an unrestricted alignment, without the slightest questioning, with the genocidal operation on Gaza and the Palestinian population in general.

Milei arrived in Jerusalem and with his “spiritual advisor” Lubavitch, a minor rabbi of the financial Jewish sect [1]and the brand new Argentine ambassador to Israel, another member of the Lubavitch lodge. He went to the Wailing Wall where he rehearsed a cry, torrential to accentuate his impostor Judaism. Later he met with Netanyahu with whom he only repeated commonplaces about the divine right over the Promised Land, he repeated passages from Howard Fast’s novel about the Maccabees like a beginner, and as a corollary in front of a lectern and adorned by the dark occupationist flag and genocidal, with his rigorous kippah, announced that Israel should rebuild the Great Temple (that is, tear down the Holy Mosque of Al Aqsa).

Previously, he had announced the transfer of the Argentine embassy to Jerusalem, something that was unlikely to happen since the announced move of the Argentine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem not only contradicts the international agreements sanctioned by the United Nations but also Law 14,025/51 of the government of General Perón, which determines the establishment of diplomatic and consular relations with Israel and also creates “the legation of the Argentine Republic in the State of Israel with headquarters in Tel Aviv.” Only another law could override such a provision. And so far none of the laws that Milei sent to Congress have been approved.

Milei ‘s visit to Israel is, furthermore, and above all, the criterion of untimeliness. He arrived a day before the American Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to recommend a narrative and effective moderation in the genocidal operation, trying to mediate a truce. Milei placed himself even further right than Britain and the United States by celebrating and justifying the actions of the genocidal Israeli army.

He came to embrace Netanyahu’s shaky government, which not only suffers from a deep crisis of legitimacy, but a crisis also over how to resolve the war. Its military operation shows a true failure in the face of its stated objectives (the annihilation of Hamas). A government increasingly questioned not only by the International Criminal Court, but gradually the business world of the countries that support it without regard, begins to apply its own sanctions. Not to mention the growing trade crisis that is occurring in the face of the events in the Red Sea, a direct consequence of the genocide in Gaza. In that context, Milei came to hug Netanyahu and dance the Maccabean celebration at the Wailing Wall, where two days before she cried torrentially.

But typical of the schizophrenia that dresses each and every one of the government’s actions, from the embrace of the genocide he traveled directly to Rome to see Pope Francis, President Milei ‘s compatriot, in the Vatican.

He arrived accompanied by the Argentine ambassador to Israel, who professes the Jewish faith, by his chancellor Diana Mondino and by his sister, who is Secretary General of the Presidency, and whom the Vatican official introduced as the “wife of the president.” This was the color note for the folklore constructed regarding the curious relationship between the brothers who did not deprive themselves of posing in the ruins of the Roman coliseum and taking and publishing photos as if it were a tourist trip and in which the most one knew how to see an emulation of Caligula and Agrippina.

Pope Francis received them with a surprising affability. He hugged him, they exchanged familiar comments; “Thank you for coming, you who are half Jewish,” the Pope told him and they talked about cutting or tidying his hair and then the Pope thanked the sister for helping the president (“thank you for taking care of this one,” he said).

Milei, who came from imposting Kabbalah and Judaism, was encouraged to take communion in the Vatican.

The Pope comes from the Jesuit order, was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and has prestige as a man of the church committed to popular interests. In popular urban legend it is also claimed that he is a right-wing “Peronist”, and it is said that he knew how to work in the ideological teams of the Iron Guard, a nationalist group, well into the last half century.

Milei had very offensive terms towards the Pope, whom in his messianic narrative he defined as the “representative of the evil one on earth.”

The stern and hard gesture in the photo of the Pope with Macri when he visited him as president, contrasts with the hug and paternal treatment towards Milei.

Macri is the head of a mafia policy that even has a lot of power in Milei’s government. But Javier Milei seems to be the figurehead of true power in Argentina, without a minimum share of real power. If this reading were moderately accurate this would explain Francisco’s attitude.

In any case, it is clear that in an improvised and poorly resolved ecumenism we could construct the metaphor that Milei visits the representative of evil on earth (Netanyahu) and is then received by the representative of good on earth (Pope Francis). In the unique geopolitical reading that the Argentine president has, the roles are probably changed.

Silver fears

Just as the group of Argentine Israelis deplored the president’s visit to Israel for not understanding at all the dynamics of Israeli society that repudiates its own government. In the same way and remembering the “carnal” alignment of President Carlos Menem with the United States that made him send a warship to the distant Gulf War against Iraq, there are Argentines who fear that Milei will embark Argentina in conflicts in which has no interest.

There are those who see the attacks in Argentina, the first against Menem’s son who died after the helicopter in which he was traveling was shot at; then the bomb in the Israeli embassy and later the bomb in the headquarters of the DAIA Jewish community, as “sunnings” that some sector involved in those struggles took against the Argentine alignment and the government that applied it. These are the sectors that, given the justified reaction and declaration of Hamas in the face of Javier Milei’s provocations, begin to fear the erratic steps that this president usually takes.

It is clear that the fear of a bombing causes more stupor than the financial and commercial bankruptcy itself that other bad steps by the president could cause.

The conclusion is that it is a trip that aroused little interest in general and that while it was developing, the president’s first major legislative initiative was defeated in the national congress.

[1] On this topic see https://noticiaspia.com/argentina-la-secta-que-condition-a-milei/

United World International

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May 2024