Adrianople, Amalasuntha and never letting the facts get in the way of the truth.

On the 9th of August 378AD (at least according to wiki) the East Roman emperor Valens lead an army of around 20,000 (estimates range both higher and lower according to wiki) to a crushing defeat at the hands of a Gothic force, the emperor himself dying during the battle’s course or in it’s immediate aftermath at the hands of said foe, the first ever emperor to die in battle against a non-Roman force. For this reason among others Adrianople was a disaster on a practically unprecedented scale for the empire, one from which it would never recover, one that presaged it’s doom. Adrianople was the turning point, how could it not be with it’s tale of hubris, corruption, mistreatment of refugees and the stunning first ever battlefield death of a Roman emperor at the hands of barbarians?

Of course it was not the East Roman Empire whose fall was presaged but it’s western counterpart, who had lost no soldiers, much less an emperor in this fight, nor did that final fall take place for more than another 80 years…………Nor was Valens the first emperor to fall in battle with Goths, he was the 2nd…….and probably the 4th to be killed in battle with non-Romans, and then there was the one that got captured by the Persians and lived the remainder of his life in captivity……….

Furtheremore the 20,000 or so (upper estimates) Roman casualties, while significant was not exactly an exceptionally large figure for a Roman defeat in pitched battle, Carrhae and Edessa were much larger defeats and Cannae and Aurasio positively dwarf it in terms of casualties.

But these are merely facts, easily forgotten. But the truth endures and the truth is that at the battle of Adrianople the death knell of the western Roman empire was sound with the defeat and death of the first Roman emperor to die in battle (with non-Romans) as just punishment for the empire’s ungenerous migration policy………….And that Justinian, East Roman/Byzantine emperor during the 6th century invaded Ostrogothic Italy to put queen Amalasuntha back on the throne.

That queen Amalasuntha was dead before the invasian had begun and that said death was used as a pretext by Justinian to commence said invasians would seem to be one of those pesky facts, but as I just told you the TRUTH this paragraph is pretty much redundant.

But to return to the matter of the first Truth: The emperor Decius was defeated in battle by Goths at the battle of Arbrittus during Rome’s third century crisis (so-called because it was a period of political instability or…..crisis that occurred during the 3rd century, crazy right?) and killed in the fighting, next up we have Gordian the so-called 3rd who according to Persian sources was killed in battle with the Persian army and according to some Roman sources who were hostile to his succesor he was murdered by his succesor (Emperor Phillip “the arab”). Both traditions have an obvious vested interest and historians tend to go with the Phillip did it tradition but I believe the Persian account to be considerably more likely.

Next up we have Julian “the apostate” who was emperor less than 2 years before Valens. So his death wasn’t exactly ancient history to emperor Valens. Julian died from a wound inflicted by a javelin while fighting in a heated skirmish with Persian forces and thier are two traditions as to who threw said javelin. The first funnily enough is that it was thrown by a Persian soldier, you know the people he was fighting at that exact moment but the second is that it was a christian soldier in Julian’s army angered by the pagan emperor’s hostile policies to said faith. Julian’s death is famous among late antique scholars (if that is not a tautology…..), and occured not long before the reign of Valens at all. Furtheremore the concensus seems to veer overwhelmingly in favour of the first tradition and justifiably so, unlike with Gordian III we seem content to give this one to the persians.

And yet…….the truth of Valens being the first emperor to meet such an end endures in spite of the preceding examples, none of which I should add are obscure among students and scholars of the middle and late Roman empire and while clashing traditions grant serious leeway with Gordian and a little (though not much) with the famous Julian there’s still Decius and as far as I’m aware the circumstances of his death are uncontested and is chiefly remembered for 2 things: A persecution of Christians AND FOR BEING THE FIRST ROMAN EMPEROR TO FALL IN BATTLE WITH BARBARIANS.

Despite this in the last year of my undergraduate degree I attended a lecture given by an extremely knowledgeable late antique scholar that if I recall correctly claimed just that and it got me thinking. Thing is I’m fairly confidant that wasn’t the first time I’d heard someone who would obviously be aware of Decius (and Julian) at the least say that. And I’m quite certain I’ve seen qualified scholars do the same on documentaries not just pop historians and narrators. In fact I’m fairly confidant I’ve said it and thought it long after hearing of some of the above examples myeself. So this can not be merely a matter of genuine ignorance.

But the truth is a powerful thing. We had all likely heard this detail repeated to us so often that when it comes time to talk of the significance of Adrianope dear old decius death is simply forgotten. Due to the power of Ammianus Marcellinus- our principal source for the battle and a figure many scholars hold in borderline reverence the prominence given to Adrianople is near assured, subsequently Adrianople would play a key role in the narrative of the barbarization of the Roman army and thier loss of control of immigration policy, which in these narratives is the key to West Rome’s subsequent fall. Adrianople was at one time seen as the turning point in military history that lead to the dominance of cavalry over infantry in the medieval era to come and now it is heavily utilized as a cautionary moralising tale about the dangers of racisim and harsh immigration policies, if only Rome had been kind to these Gothic refugees and embraced them this would not have happened, sound familiar? And somewhere in there the notion that Valens was the first emperor to die in battle with barbarians is given birth and takes root. For it’s symbolic value to whatever significance you wish to give Adrianople is too potent to be ignored and so is internalized and repeated frequently without question.

Thier are of course as hinted other issues with traditional or common views of the overhyped defeat at Adrianople, for one it’s difficult to see how a tale of refugees, many of whom entered the empire “illegally” and certainly against the wishes of the Roman government turning on their new government, killing it’s head of state, extorting privileges through violence and playing a key role in the West Roman empire’s decline & fall is an obvious morality tale in openness, cultural tolerance and why it’s silly to fear immigrants and refugees….so you know here’s a story about them destroying civilisation…….but from here I would like to move on to a more sinister case of not letting facts get in the way of the truth: the aforementioned matter of Amalasuntha and the small matter of her being dead.

Gothic immigrants: taking our jobs and taking our statues, but apparently not our clothes.......
Gothic immigrants: taking our jobs and taking our statues, but apparently not our clothes…….

The same proffesor previusly mentioned (this is going to come across as quite damning but despite our differences this is a man I deeply respect) during the same course as before in a tutorial claimed that as with Justinian’s invasian of the vandal kingdom in North Africa his invasian of Ostrogothic Italy was launched to effect regime change in the monarchy in question (granted the hereditary principle proved to be somewhat de facto and limited with the Ostrogoths in particular), namely the restoration to power of the deposed queen Amulasuntha. I was taken aback by this assertion and raised my hand, the proffesor allowed me to speak and I said words to the effect of “but Amalasuntha was dead”, the proffesor acknowledged that as a fact and said by way of explanation basically that he didn’t want to confuse the other students with extraneous detail. Wow. let’s not let little details like Amalusuntha’s death before the invasian had begun get in the way of the theory that said invasian was launched to put her back on the throne.

I mean props for commitment to the goth aesthetic, having a corpse queen and all but I think there may be issues with practicality there. I was so taken aback by this response that I had no idea what to say (and besides was reliant as ever on forbearence with extensions for passing……I’m not a good student….) and so trusting that I had sufficiently confused the narrative by that statement alone let the matter drop (the person I was queen-of-the-deadwhen I first got to university for better or worse would have been less likely to do so). To address any defences of this take in breif Amalasuntha’s assasination was known to Justinian and he used it as a pretext to start the war so there was no not knowing or pretending she was alive even from the outset. Amalasuntha’s assasination is no incidental detail, it kills this theory outright (much like Theodahad) and without assistance, that is fact.

But the truth is we don’t like big men in history, we find the notion that major actions and decisions in history are sometimes the result of ambitous and idiosyncratic plans by individuals to be naive and childish, we believe in the cautionary Iraq war parable against regime change and honestly we just don’t like Justinian very much…….and Valens was the first………and so we have the truth: Valens was the first emperor to die in battle and Justinian was George W. Bush if he had tried to replace the taliban with the charred corpse of Ahmad Shah Massoud.

 

Still…..might have been an improvement on Karzai.

Pointing dude: "This man can't be pope he's dead!" Guy behind stand: *scoffs* "a minor detail!"
Pointing dude: “This man can’t be pope he’s dead!”
Guy behind stand: *scoffs* “a minor detail!”

Regards,

Samuel.

newsflash: states aren’t people

Read an article a while back that referred to states having “natural life cycles” yes all political institutions have a beginning, middle and end and I’m sure there’s an average length of time for a state to exist but then when dealing with any finite duration there is always a begining, middle and end but this talk of life cycles or natural cycles usually implies some kind of inevitable in-built use by date and average. many states don’t survive for a century, fewer still make 500 years, a select few like Rome, which is used in said article as an example of state’s having such a cycle manage to endure for more than a millenium. If states were people and the average life expectancy was say 80, Rome would probably shuffle off it’s mortal coil long after it’s 400th birthday, I shouldn’t have to tell you that thats not how people work. You may think I’m taking this too literally and quite likely for the reference that triggered this rant I am but many people seriously believe that there is some kind of consistent and anthropomorphic lifecycle for states and institutions, probably with a midlife crisis in there somewhere where they buy a motorcycle/invade Persia…..ok maybe that part happens……

FYI: They don’t work like F*cking seasons or days either.

Triumphal arch of Septimius Severus: "See I told you Rome's still got it. up yours Alexander!"
Triumphal arch of Septimius Severus. “See I told you Rome’s still got it. up yours Alexander!”

The (new) king of Clowns.

People have been going on about Trump being a new Hitler. Really it’s not a very good comparison, some people have gone with Mussolini which is probably a better one. However there is a much more modern figure that fits the mould much better. Trump is Silvio Berlusconi……..the joke of Europe………just let that sink in for a bit……….bunga bunga……….

berlusconi-1

PS. of course Berlusconi was I believe his countries largest media mogol, which makes for one of a number of key differences.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) presents Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a book printed in Russia about Berlusconi's political life, during their meeting in the presidential residence Bocharov ruchei in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, April 2, 2002. Putin called Italy a privileged partner and noticed that its role in Europe is growing, Itar-Tass agency reported. (Credit : REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE)

Was Bob(us) right?

http://bobcarrblog.wordpress.com/…/right-to-kill-caesar-a-…/ Bob Carr’s reasons for why he lost the Macquarie’s was Brutus right debate a number of years ago. He talks as if the ancients had any real notion of war crimes, that Rome under Republican government was not warmongering (the Principate was far more peaceful) and as if this was a contest between autocracy and democracy not between two potential tyrants (Pompey & Caesar of which Caesar proved the kinder more capable master) or between Caesar and a corrupt, unstable and self-righteous oligarchy. I remember being bitterly frustrated during the debate that the opposing team never corrected Bob Carr and co’s assertion that Rome was a democracy, rather than a state that even when it was functioning as intended (which by Caesar’s time it was most certainly not) weighted votes formally by wealth and birth and even that was assuming you were not a slave, male and a citizen. But then one of the members of the opposing team was a politician as well and if it’s one thing they love it’s corrupt, unstable oligarchies, it’s what gets them out of bed in the morning. Equating Caesar with Hitler, Mussolini (he wished) and Napoleon and stating that the Caesar myth still endure’s because he was assasinated before he faced his waterloo “and the mob, up till now bribed with handouts and circuses had turned on him” is facetious, unlike the three other dictators you see Caesar had WON his wars, there was Parthia to consider but decisive defeat there was unlikely certainly there was no chance of a grand coalition of states of comparable power forcibly overthrowing Caesar and replacing him with a regime of their choosing. As for the Mob turning on him well, they seemed ok with emperors far worse than Caesar for the next……1500 years (including the Byzantine period)…….those were some bread and circuses huh?

The end times are upon us!

 

The end is nigh! Fear the uprising! Fear the Furby singularity! They’ve infiltrated the webb!

 

 

It Shits cars! Why does it shit cars!?

 

Am I the only one that finds the last few seconds where it asked about cat video’s to be the creepiest part of all? Mark my words the apocalypse is upon us and it will will be filled with singing furbies forcing thier human slaves to watch cat video after cat video until madness takes them and ends thier torment……….and you thought this was going to be about the election.

Get Donald to pull the plug on furbnet before it’s too late!

How to cope with American election day: 2 approaches

Step one: Drink, continue step one during all other steps.

step 2: play serene music and burn incense or something.

step 3: play videogames until result, or at least till when result is probable. In keeping with your declining motorskills (see step 1) and general state of apprehension that repititive grinding from that rpg you’ve been playing that you’ve been putting off is recommended. Compared to the election it shouldn’t feel monotonous and pointless at all.

step 4. Watch result.

Step 5. feel happy or sad depending upon the victory or defeat of your preffered candidate.

step 6. feel shame that you felt happy or sad for one of these shitheads.

step 7. check social media. Because well your going to anyway.

step 8. And this one’s important…..get off social media, it’s not going to help you.

and here’s where you can go one of two directions for the rest of the day/electoral period: wallowing and denial/repression let’s start with wallowing which we’ll call option A.

Option A. Wallowing in fatalisim, nihilisim, misery and despair. Now the intinct is to do this on social media via memes and run of the mill rant posts and article links but everyone will be doing that and your insight into how everything is shit is unique so it should be conveyed in a unique way……and THEN posted to social media because misery loves company as much as Trump loves attention and Hilary loves power (aka far more than  anyone loves you). Now what I want you to do is go outside, feel the sun (if it’s sunny) on your face, the wind in your hair, watch the leaves rustle in the breeze, contemplate flowers and beauty and art, listen to the birds, the rain (if it’s raining) and beautiful music and contrast all these with the political developments and realities to which you have just borne witness. realise all beauty is transient. Watch the election coverage again breifly. Compose Japanese (“style”) death poetry. post to social media, bask in the accolades. reflect on the transience and emtyness of fame, repeat.

Option B. shut out the world, eat ice cream from the container and watch a ghibli movie…..or three.

 

YOU CAN"T TOUCH ME IN MY FLYING CASTLE WORLD!!!!! *cries*
YOU CAN”T TOUCH ME IN MY FLYING CASTLE WORLD!!!!! *sobs into ice cream*

Snakes on a cage.

Why!?
Why!?

Some days ago now I watched the movie Outcast with my brother Nathan late at night on the Netflix. The film starred Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen as (ex?) templar knights in China. It is as you would expect one of the worst acted movies I’ve ever seen. Also ex templar turned mysterious bandit Nicholas Cage (like anyone cares what the qoute unqoute characters name is) when he gets reintroduced after severel years has snakes on his arms like thier gauntlets or something (kinda thought he was going to start punching people…..with snakes!) for his whole prolonged reintroduction scene. He just walks around with snakes on his arms and dangling over his fists and everyone acts like it’s nothing (the camera knows it’s weird though it zooms up on them a few times) and then thier gone. No-one ever mentions them again, in fact no-one ever mentions them at all. He also decides that the appropriate voice for a templar turned bandit living in medieval China is the most over the top growly Carribean pirate stereotype accent…….because reasons………….

Samuel Runge and the pipe dream of safety and sense

About 2 weeks ago at my work for the dole at a store, I did soceity a great service and by that I don’t mean my contributions at said store and necesarily self-flaggelation for being impertinent enough to be unemployed (I mean these go without saying) but I personally disposed of 3 dreaded dragons before they could do further damage to the good citizens of Sydney and all in the shadows (or you know the backsection of said store, much the same, I’m basically batman). I am speaking of course of three cursed tomes each more dreadful than the last.

The first such foe to catch my eye was a book on “healing and Autism” (thats the actual title) co-written by celebrity Jenny Mccarthy and some Dr. It promises advise on a wide range of other diagnosis such as ADHD (wish I could come up with a better example, my memory is failing me) as well obvously as other parts of the autistic spectrum. I should mention at this point for those who are unaware that I was diagnosed with aspergis as a child. After disposing of this beast of pseudo-science I then faced the high dragon itself………….

Cursed tomes 2 & 3 made cursed tome 1 seem benign by comparison despite my personal skin in the game. Tome the 2nd, the aforementioned high dragon to tome 1’s more common beast of pseudo-science was more pamphlet than tome in truth (like a pocket high dragon, a sort of pocket monster, a……..look it’s basically a high level Dragonite, that’s clearly where this was going) but perhaps all the dealier for it’s portability and ease of reference. it’s title was basically and I shit thee not “homeopathy for emergencies”…………and if the reasons for concern there are not abundantly obvious to you than I’m afraid courtesy of your mother not heeding cursed tome the 1st you came down with a serious case of stupid as a result of a childhood injection.

I scanned it very breifly and it seemed at least as bad as the title suggests. Curiously the cover made reference to some of the serious conditions it would detail “treatment” of within, which included Syphilis. Treatments (not necesarily for Syphilis, didn’t check) included the use of hellabore, which is poison and by that I don’t mean like most medication dangerous in high doses (though obviously depending on the dose that is how poison works there is still a functional distinction) I mean poison, well known for that. I believe some ancient cultures did appropriate it for medical use and with some effect but even then with serious caution and this along with syphilis (a serious and still very much extant condition but one with a distinctly old timey vibe) and the seeming adherence to the miasma theory of disease (yep…….miasma, the dominant pre-germ theory…..if I’d looked properly I probably would have found reference to the body’s humours (almost certainly spelling that wrong, can’t be arsed to check).

Anyway needless to say if some idiot decided to treat a serious or life threatening illness with “basically just water” or worse you know……poison (probably statistically negligible amounts but I don’t trust this book nor those who put into practice with deciding how much that is, I’d rather no poison thanks). That person could actually die. I regret not purchasing the book myeself but I would have to wait till the end of the day and I was not going to let this out of my site, no way that was going on the shelves. Homeopathy for emergencies…………….

We now come to a danger of a different sought (this one with pictures!)…..ideological and 6 million jews agree (or would if they……you know could……) it’s at least as dangerous as the former. In the depths of a kids display panel in the store’s booksection (ok their really isn’t any depth, it’s a shelf, work with me here) next to a bunch of brightly illustrated books for small children was an epic novel (the third volume in a saga) entitled “lebensraum!” and subtitled “the dream of land and peace” my curiosity piqued I picked it up thinking this can’t possibly be what it looks like…….and now we both know that it was.

Right (wing) there among the children’s picture books facing you standing on an eye-level end of alcove display in a charity shelf was a nazi apologist novel written by a prominent holocaust denier whose very title is a reference to the excuse for basically unprecedented mass murder and whose implementation formed a key role in said murder and deportation of millions of east europeans. “Lebensraum: the dream of land andpeace”……in reply to whose title I will attempt the brevity of Caesar (for once I hear you mutter with my super bat hearing): Tacitus. Deserts. Peace. Anyone who purchased this for the kiddies (maybe that can pass it around at scouts….) was in for a rapid and shocking awakening (kinda like operation Barbarossa) at least you would hope………..naturally I thought getting rid of it to be in the organization’s best interest, not a good thing for PR, or so you’d hope.

nothing out of place here, anthropomorphic bears build nests, bob builds things, children rescue animals, freinds exchange secrets (presumably not about the Holocaust being a lie) and the master race acquires "living space".
nothing out of place here, anthropomorphic bears build nests, bob builds things, children rescue animals, freinds exchange secrets (presumably not about the Holocaust being a lie) and the master race acquires “living space”.

One final question remains (ok many questions remain, shut up, it’s a rhetorical device), who donated it and WHY!? was it a joke or is this part of an elaborate plan to distribute Nazi propaganda. *insert Pauline Hanson joke here*. Of course disposing of books was a beloved hobby of the Nazis, so the irony on my part is palpable (and dare I say pulpable……..I’m not sorry) so we can reasonably ask who the real villain is here, the Nazis or your freindly neighbourhood book binner……..wait……..This has been Samuel Runge not the hero you deserve (I’m way too good for you people) but the one you’ve got signing off.

History tells that people who say history tells us a lot are obnoxious

So I saw someone on my wall share and/or like this article and I read it and was distinctly unimpressed and decided some kind of response was in order but a lot of things came up and then my response got very long, longer than I intended or would like but I felt I had to address and explain at least a little all the things that bothered me about it…..which turned out to be a fair bit, so now it’s a post on my wall made late at night rather than just a comment made in more normal hours. https://medium.com/…/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next…

“History tells us”, “as historians we” “historians will”, “based on history” do you get the impression he’s leveraging his presumed degree for credibility with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer and implying both prescience and uniformity of opinion to the mysterious and august order to which he claims membership? nah that’d be silly in any case using it in such a way would demonstrate pretentiousness and insecurity, definitly not true then. on the subject of things that are most definitly probably maybe not true this totally isn’t an exercise in pseudo-intellectual masturbation driven by an ego almost as big as his Cassandra complex.

In any case this is a very poor article it is the subsumation of Europe into the dominance of two world powers whom cheifly avoided war with each other due to the doctrine of mutually assured destruction and from other factors like war’s reduced profitability and the horrors of WW2, the EU probably has little to do with it. The biggest falacy in an article of falacies however is this idea that opponents of Brexit, Trump or Putin have been/are some kind of “few brilliant minds” dismissed as “hysterical, mad, or fools” such people are neither few nor funny enough nor are they usually brilliant (To get past partisan bias here on Putin at least they would include president Bush as well as most senior Republicans as well as legions of newscorp journalists in America, Australia and the UK) the great majority of the political establishment and media in the UK opposed Brexit as well as a large segment of the general population. Opposition to Putin in particular and Russia in general is the default position of government and media in the three countries just mentioned and has been for most of the 20th century and with exceptions of course a good deal longer than that at least in Britain, Trump has been openly opposed by more of the media than any major presidential candidate for a considerable period of time and may very well fail to defeat an extremely unpopular rival in Hilary Clinton. In the UK and here I’m confidant he is still more consistently reviled both by the media and political establishment and the populace then he is in the states.

By contrast it was the political system set up by the elites of Europe that lead to the first world war, not outsiders, not populists but the at the time usual suspects, in 1914 the Kaiser, Austrian emperor Tsar and establishments of the more democratic (at least exempting thier many colonies) British and french were not impotently imploring thier people to reject the siren call of warmongering demagogues. No they were in charge, they collectively constructed the system in Europe that lead to the crisis and they lead thier countries into war following said crisis, this is not even necesarily to say they all made the wrong decision but the first world war was not caused by the impotence of the traditional political class in the face of populist warmongering outsiders, I can’t believe I need to say this but Trump is not responsible for the Somme.

None of this directly addresses the principal point of the article however, that being that Brexit/the election of Donald Drumph and the existence of Putin dramatically increases the danger of WW3/the black death/the end times/ pineapple on pizza because apparently we hate that now and what we need is to reassurt the control and policies of the establishment because in it we (the special clever people) trust. However as mentioned above it was the decisions of the establishment that lead to the first of the wars we are warned we are in danger of repeating, not the Trumps and Brexits of the world but the Victoria’s and tea and biscuits as it were. Now thier are significant and concerning similarities between the current rise in populist nationalist insurgent political parties and the political situation of the 1930’s as he points out, I do not dispute this fact or argue it’s insignificance but in terms of the prospect of war I am more concerned with our business as usual current trajectory than a shakeup caused by America becoming more isolationist and less Russophobic in policy by far.

At this point I should state that Donald Trump is a transparently deplorable human being who would make an awful (and very embarrasing president) in electing him America would effectively be deciding that really when it’s all said and done they really think the best person for the job is a vulgar egomaniac manchild conman whose election would discredit America as the leader of the “civilized” and free world enormously overnight. That said Hilary Clinton is a warmonger utterly committed to the furtherance of present trends in American foreign policy, a foreign policy that has seen nigh on continous escalation with Russia and China over the previous severel years. As secretary of state Hilary was integral in this process but while she frankly made the situation worse she is the establishments pick because her policy has the broad support of the elite and in particular that of the military industrial complex (sorry it does need to be said sheeple) and thus would likely broadly continue under the direction of most establishment candidates.

This policy is an impressive combination of immoral, incompetant and terrifying and is supported by the establishments of Britain and Australia and it is about power and driven by greed and fear, it involves networks of alliance based on the perceived mutual interests of the elites in the countries within said alliances making the deal (note interest of elites, not interest of people)for profit, control and against mutual enemies who are picked because they are threats to these interests (or thier own enemies make a better offer) not out of any sense of ethics or generally for the general betterment of the broader population. As such propaganda campaigns, regime change and proxy wars are the order of the day. Make no mistake though this policy has not proven effective but when it fails Hilary’s instinct is to double down on foreign policy she is more than just unscupulous she is unimaginative and inflexible and as a consequence of her and people who share her approach America has become involved with multiple proxy wars against Russia and Iran in service of Saudi Arabia. The largest of which in Syria they have become extremely involved long after any chance of achieving thier goal of removing Assad had evaporated but the longer they are thier working at cross purposes to the Russians the higher the chance of an incident…….

While continuing to escalate tensions in the South China Sea even after losing the support of one of thier previusly most committed allies in the Phillipines. America has been trying ever since the 90’s to maintain it’s breif and absolute pr-eminence in all corners of the globe, the more threatened this status is the more they double down, it is not enough merely to be the most powerful country in the world you must also be the dominant power in every region. Greater than China in East Asia and then Russia in it’s neck of the woods this is both megalomania and put simply no longer feasible. The 90’s are over and America simply does not have the resources or willpower to maintain the level of military and strategic ascendency to which it feels bizarely entitled and so they feel vulnearable and that makes them dangerous, simply put a Nato under the leadership of a traditional candidate much less the hawkish Clinton would be much more likely to start a war with Russia then stop one. If a Trump presidency leads to a deescalation or even just less escalation with Russia and China and a distancing from allies like the Saudi’s it would not be wholly a bad thing.