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ANALYSIS: How Osimhen became modern-day No. 9

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Napoli recently lost their perfect record in Serie A when they drew against Roma and Verona. But that has not reduced the rave about their Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen. He hit ..., the crossbar, and had a goal chalked off for offside against Roma. Against Verona, he was hampered by a calf injury. The 22-year-old has become the focal point of Napoli’s offence as they seek their first Scudetto since 1990 in the halcyon years of a certain Diego Maradona.

“I want the goal. I’m going to get it. It is an attack of pure instinct. An attack of pure hunger. And in these two adjectives there is all Victor Osimhen,” wrote ilnapolista, the day after Osimhen’s goal against Torino on matchday 8 of the 2021/22 Serie A season.

ilnapolista continued: “The team, thanks to a very favourable moment, is compensating for the errors from the spot with great desire and great self-denial, thanks to a centre-forward [Osimhen] who, in terms of weight on the team’s fortunes, affects the percentage of each game more.

“I think Osimhen has been the best player in Serie A this season,” wrote Mina Rzouki on Twitter. “There have been some amazing displays from the likes of Lautaro Martinez to Mike Maignan and Chiesa, but Osimhen is a machine. He’s basically Napoli’s heart and soul. What a privilege to have him,” added Rzouki on Twitter.

According to FBREF, Osimhen has a non-penalty Expected Goals average of 0.71. Robert Lewandowski, considered the most lethal No.9 in world football, boasts a 1.13 figure; Erling Haaland 0.96; Romelu Lukaku 0.49, and Harry Kane (though he is having a poor season) has 0.45.

Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski is arguably the most efficient No.9 in world football and the player to whom Osimhen should look to emulate. Lewandowski’s record in the last two seasons has been nothing short of stupendous. The Pole scores with an average of 4.4 Shots per 90 minutes.

Lewandowski ranks first for successful shots taken, creating actions per 90 minutes (2.85). This season, he has already scored 29 goals in 24 matches for club and country.

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?fit=526%2C263&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?fit=1920%2C960&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”3000″ height=”1500″ class=”size-full wp-image-494789″ class=”lazyload” data-sizes=”auto” data-srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=75&resize=75 75w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=100&resize=100 100w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=150&resize=150 150w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=240&resize=240 240w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=320&resize=320 320w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=500&resize=500 500w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=640&resize=640 640w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=800&resize=800 800w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=1024&resize=1024 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=1280&resize=1280 1280w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1?w=1600&resize=1600 1600w” data-src=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=3000%2C1500&ssl=1″ alt=”Victor Osimhen vs Robert Lewandowski” srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?w=3000&ssl=1 3000w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=526%2C263&ssl=1 526w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=1920%2C960&ssl=1 1920w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=768%2C384&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=1536%2C768&ssl=1 1536w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=2048%2C1024&ssl=1 2048w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=360%2C180&ssl=1 360w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=750%2C375&ssl=1 750w, https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/11/Osimhen.png?resize=1140%2C570&ssl=1 1140w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px” data-recalc-dims=”1″/>

Victor Osimhen vs Robert Lewandowski

The numbers from the early weeks of this season, although drawn from a relatively small sample size of minutes, show that Osimhen’s scoring threat is the main reason Napoli have a near-perfect record in Serie A.

His nine goals significantly exceed Osimhen’s combined goals (xG) rating of 6.9.

A great admirer of the 22-year-old is ESPN writer Gabriele Marcotti, who wrote of Osimhen after the 1-0 win over Torino: “Victor Osimhen’s prodigious leap with a hang time worthy of Ronaldo sent the ball into the back of the Torino net with minutes to go, giving Napoli the well-deserved three points.

“When Osimhen is like this – and he has been for much of this season – he’s close to unplayable and, perhaps, the best candidate to stake his claim for a place in the sacred pentagon of centre-forwards — you know, the one occupied by (in no particular order) Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Karim Benzema, Harry Kane, and Romelu Lukaku.”

Very high praise for the Nigerian, who seemed to have lost his way just three years ago. What has led to this geometric progression in form? How different is this Osimhen from the one discovered by Coach Emmanuel Amuneke in 2015?

What has changed for Osimhen?

Amuneke, now based in Spain and working with FIFA, told PREMIUM TIMES, “I am not surprised Victor has become what he is today. The only surprise is that it took this long.

“When I first saw him play, the only thing he wanted to do was run. Immediately, one of his midfielders got the ball, he would take off, and that is why you saw him caught offside a lot, but that shooting has been with him since day one. He always wants to shoot, no matter the angle.

“But now when you look at his movement closely, he is being coached to choose his strongest areas near or inside the box before he delivers the killer shot. He continues to be aggressive but he now deliberately wants to rough-handle any centre-back.

“You can also see that his approach play has improved, and he is learning to hang on the last shoulder of the last defender to bring his teammates into the picture before spinning and sprinting towards the goal.

TEXEM
Victor Osimhen at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015
Victor Osimhen at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015

“In the U-17s, we would beg him to jump and head the ball, but he didn’t believe in the efficacy. But now he has added heading the ball because he has a great leap. But there is still a lot more to learn.

“He will better understand how to conserve his energy even though running the channels is one of his strongest attributes. He must learn to lure defenders into a trap and not show his intent always. You can see he is still raw around the edges, but he is receiving a great education at Napoli. Kudos to Spalletti,” Amuneke added.

To corroborate the observation about Osimhen’s increasing heading instincts, Antonio Cassano told BoboTv as per Tutto Napoli, “The goal he scored against Torino was incredible. When Cristiano Ronaldo did it, everyone praised him and put in how many metres and centimetres he jumped.”

Upward transformation in tactical and technical education

Osimhen is 22 and has become the offensive fulcrum for Napoli and Nigeria over the past two years.

In June 2020, the football observatory, CIES, released its ‘Biannual CIES Observatory transfer value list’ – an exclusive list of the top 100 most valuable footballers in the world, and it included Osimhen. The study looked at the various leagues and from it emerged the four most valuable players. Osimhen was valued at $73 million in 66th place while Kylian Mbappe topped that list with a value of $294 million.

Transfer Market put his value on October 31 to be $70 million, one that will substantially increase if he keeps up his level of performance and the number of goals scored.

Speaking recently, Osimhen said: “They [Napoli] trust me and stood by me through the tough start last season. The love I enjoy is massive — the club, the city, the supporters, and everyone connected to Napoli make me fly.

“I play for an incredible club with huge football history. I only have to focus and give my best all the time.”

A lot of pundits and fans were sceptical when Napoli paid $79.2 million for his services in 2020, amidst the COVID pandemic. This was after he had spent three-quarters of a season with Lille, who he joined in 2019 from Belgian club RSC Charleroi.

The Nigerian youngster has proven to be keen on learning and listening to older teammates who have more experience in the game. Dries Mertens revealed Osimhen is always looking for advice.

“He is accustomed to galloping in wide-open spaces, so coming back to get the ball or support his teammate and then make the run are things he is still learning. He’s a great professional, a lovely guy who is eager to learn and improve.

“His teammates adore him; he wants to be with them all the time and we’re very fortunate to have him.”

Mertens added, “Osimhen arrived last season and had a few difficulties settling. He also had injury problems, so I tried to help him. He’s a smart lad who wants to listen and learn. I give him all the love in the world!”

Tor-Kristian Karlsen, writing in ESPN, said Osimhen is almost akin to the late Rashidi Yekini.

“At a time when many strikers want the ball to their feet, he prefers running behind defences. He is direct, sharp, and clinical in his finishing.”

The next level is understanding and improving his strengths

The ESPN article added what Osimhen needs to add to his game for him to keep improving, “At times, he is so eager to make runs behind opposing defenders that he does not even consider the option of retaining possession to allow his team to move higher up the pitch.”

But he has learnt to keep possession much better this season. In the 2020/21 season, Osimhen held possession on the average 6.5 times while in the fledging 2021/22 season, that average has increased to 10.4

Napoli teammate Amir Rahmani told Livescore in October: “Sometimes I have trouble containing Victor Osimhen in practice. He is very quick and strong. He is growing and understanding what his strengths are.”

The article continued, “He has completed an impressive 60% of his take-ons this season and not a single Serie A defender has shown they can match him for pace.”

Mauro Bonomi, a former Italy defender, added of Osimhen, “He is a force of nature, has it all, and is a great striker. Napoli made a great purchase and this will be the year of the consecration.

“I don’t know if he will be in first place in the top scorer, but he will be decisive for his team.”

Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen

Osimhen has been fouled for a penalty thrice this season and has had 16 fouls committed against him as he continues to prove a handful for defenders.

Osimhen dreams of one day being named CAF player of the year. “My dream is to become the football African player of the year and I think I still have a long way to go. I am really working towards that direction and I think I am on the right path.”

He also wants to start a family. But right now, “football is the only thing on my mind,” Osimhen added in an interview with Napoli in October 2020. In the interview, he also said, “In my new club, a lot is being expected of me and I am yet to deliver.”

One year from that, he is showing why Napoli will feel justified to have spent almost $100 million to acquire his services from Lille in 2020.

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FUTA commissions state-of-the-art cyber security lab

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The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) has commissioned its state-of-the-art Cyber Security Laboratory.

The inauguration of the facility was done on the sideline of the 40th anniversary and the 32nd convocation ceremony of the institution held on November 26.

A statement by FUTA spokesperson, Adegbenro Adebanjo, said the laboratory is equipped with 30 desktops computers, two smart televisions, three switches, one projector, one server and one server rack, which has a fiber optic backbone connection.

The laboratory is also equipped with top of the range facilities to collect cyber threats and attack data. The state-of-the-art facilities in the lab also include computers with windows and Linux operating systems installed with contemporary cyber security training software.

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FUTA cyber security lab

It also has fully installed Visual Studio Code, Oracle Virtual Box, MATLAB, Metasploiltable, DVWA, Kali Linux, Linux Mint, Packet Tacer running on the personal computers, Mr Adebanjo said.

A Professor of Information and Cyber Security at the institution, Kayode Alese, described the lab as the leading Test Bed in Nigeria whose facilities would be used to train the next generation of Cyber security experts.

ALSO READ: FUTA gets approval to run Medicine, Surgery, other medical programmes

The Laboratory, which requires biometric authentication before users can be granted access to the facilities, also houses the Departmental Library where volumes of very recent books and research materials can be accessed, the professor said.

FUTA cyber security lab

Professor Alese said the laboratory came into being through the friends of the Department in collaboration with the University management, and staff of the Department coordinated by the Head of Department Dr Aderonke Thompson. The friends of the Department made generous individual donations and through their companies.

FUTA Vice Chancellor, Joseph Fuwape, while speaking during the commissioning, performed by the Chancellor, the Emir of Katagum, Umar Faruk II, and witnessed by the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Godknows Igali, described the laboratory as a Centre of Excellence for both undergraduate and postgraduate students that will enhance teaching, learning and research in Cyber Security studies.

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Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

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Bus carrying members of choir is swept away by raging flood in Kenya killing more than 20

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Bus carrying members of choir is swept away by raging flood in Kenya killing more than 20 people

  • More than 20 are dead after a bus got swept away in raging floods in Kenya 
  • The hired yellow school bus was carrying a church choir to a wedding ceremony 
  • It tried to cross an area of murky water but was fully submerged in seconds 

Horrifying footage shows the moment a bus carrying members of a choir was swept away in a raging flood in Kenya which left more than 20 people dead.

The yellow school bus had been hired to take a church choir to a wedding ceremony on Saturday, when it came across a flooded road with rapidly-flowing water.

But with people waiting on the other side of the river to guide the bus across, the vehicle decided to take its chances, and began to drive slowly across the murky water.

In a matter of seconds, most of the bus was submerged

Horrifying footage shows the moment a bus carrying members of a choir was swept away in a raging flood in Kenya which left more than 20 people dead

Horrifying footage shows the moment a bus carrying members of a choir was swept away in a raging flood in Kenya which left more than 20 people dead

However, the incident quickly took a turn when, about three-quarters of the way across the road, the whole bus tipped onto its side, and rapidly began to sink.

In a matter of seconds, most of the bus was submerged. Both passengers and bystanders could be heard shrieking for help, and people rushed to try and get people out.

Ten passengers were rescued from the bus but more than 20 lost their lives.

Rescue divers later recovered 23 bodies from the water.

The incident took place along the Enziu River, around 125 miles east of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi

The incident took place along the Enziu River, around 125 miles east of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi 

Both passengers and bystanders could be heard shrieking for help, and people rushed to try and get people out

Both passengers and bystanders could be heard shrieking for help, and people rushed to try and get people out

Ten passengers were rescued from the bus but more than 20 lost their lives

Ten passengers were rescued from the bus but more than 20 lost their lives

The incident took place along the Enziu River, around 125 miles east of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Charity Ngilu, governor of Kitui County, where the incident happened, said: ‘We have had this terrible, terrible accident that happened here on Saturday morning.

‘The bodies that have already been retrieved right now are over 23. We have more bodies in the bus.’

Deputy President William Ruto was among those to extend his condolences, and also urged motorists to take extra caution on the roads as many parts of Kenya experiencing heavy rain. 

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Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

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Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Alastair Crooke

A new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect…

Photo: REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

Were you following the news this last week? Vaccine mandates are everywhere: one country, after another, is doubling-down, to try to force, or legally compel, full population vaccination. The mandates are coming because of the massive uptick in Covid – most of all in the places where the experimental mRNA gene therapies were deployed en masse. And (no coincidence), this ‘marker’ has come just as U.S. Covid deaths in 2021 have surpassed those of 2020. This has happened, despite the fact that last year, no Americans were vaccinated (and this year 59% are vaccinated). Clearly no panacea, this mRNA ‘surge’.

Of course, the Pharma-Establishment know that the vaccines are no panacea. There are ‘higher interests’ at play here. It is driven rather by fear that the window for implementing its series of ‘transitions’ in the U.S. and Europe is closing. Biden still struggles to move his ‘Go-Big’ social spending plan and green agenda transition through Congress by the midterm election in a year’s time. And the inflation spike may well sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB) altogether.

Time is short. The midterm elections are but 12 months away, after which the legislative window shuts. The Green ‘transition’ is stuck too (by concerns that moving too fast to renewables is putting power grids at risk and elevating heating costs unduly), and the Pharma establishment will be aware that a new B.1.1.529 variant has made a big jump in evolution with 32 mutations to its spike protein. This makes it “clearly very different” from previous variants, which may drive further waves of infection evading ‘vaccine defences’.

Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect. And what of inflation then, we might ask.

It’s a race for the U.S. and Europe, where the pandemic is back in full force across Europe, to push through their re-set agendas, before variants seize up matters with hospitals crowded with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated; with riots in the streets, and mask mandates at Christmas markets (that’s if they open at all). A big reversal was foreshadowed by this week’s news: vaccine mandates and lockdowns, even in highly vaccinated areas, are returning. And people don’t like it.

The window for the Re-Set may be fast closing. One observer, noting all the frenetic Élite activity, has asked ‘have we finally reached peak Davos?’. Is the turn to authoritarianism in Europe a sign of desperation as fears grow that the various ‘transitions’ planned under the ‘re-set’ umbrella (financial, climate, vaccine and managerial expert technocracy) may never be implemented?

Cut short rather, as spending plans are hobbled by accelerating inflation; as the climate transition fails to find traction amongst poorer states (and at home, too); as technocracy is increasingly discredited by adverse pandemic outcomes; and Modern Monetary Theory hits a wall, because – well, inflation again.

Are you paying attention yet? The great ‘transition’ is conceived as a hugely expensive shift towards renewables, and to a new digitalised, roboticised corporatism. It requires Big (inflationary) funding to be voted through, and a huge parallel (inflationary) expenditure on social support to be approved by Congress as well. The social provision is required to mollify all those who subsequently will find themselves without jobs, because of the climate ‘transition’ and the shift to a digitalised corporate sphere. But – unexpectedly for some ‘experts’ – inflation has struck – the highest statistics in 30 years.

There are powerful oligarchic interests behind the Re-Set. They do not want to see it go down, nor see the West eclipsed by its ‘competitors’. So it seems that rather than back off, they will go full throttle and try to impose compliance on their electorates: tolerate no dissidence.

A 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless” by then dissident and future Czech President Vaclav Havel begins mockingly that, “A SPECTRE is haunting Eastern Europe: the spectre of what in the West is called ‘dissent’”. “This spectre has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting.” Well, today, as Michael Every of Rabobank notes, “the West has polarisation, mass protests, riots, talk of obligatory vaccinations in Europe, and Yanis Varoufakis arguing capitalism is already dead; and that a techno-feudalism looms”. Now, prompting even greater urgency, are the looming U.S. midterms. Trump’s return (even if confined just to Congress), would cut the legs from under BBB, and ice-up Brussels too.

It was however, precisely this tech revolution, to which Varoufakis calls attention, that both re-defined the Democrat constituency, and turned tech oligarchs into billionaires. Through algorithmically creating a magnetism of like-minded content, cascaded out to its customers, it has both smothered intellectual curiosity, and created the ‘un-informed party’, which is the today’s Managerial Class – the party of the credentialed meritocracy; the party, above all, smugly seeing themselves as the coming era’s ‘winners’ – unwilling to risk a look behind the curtain; to put their ‘safe space’ to the test.

Perversely, this cadre of professionally-corralled academics, analysts, and central bankers, all insist that they completely believe in their memes: That their techno-approach is both effective, and of benefit to humanity – oblivious to the dissenting views, swirling around them, down in the interstices of the internet.

The main function then of such memes today, whether issued by the Pharma Vaccine ‘Command’; the MMT ‘transition’ Command; the energy ‘transition’ Command; or the global managerial technocracy ‘transition’, is to draw a ‘Maginot line’ – a defensive ideological boundary, a “Great Narrative” as it were – between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes, and with that of any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative. That is to say, it is about compliance.

It was well understood that all these transitions would overturn long-standing human ways of life, that are ancient and deeply rooted and trigger dissidence – which is why new forms of social ‘discipline’ would be required. (Incidentally, the EU leadership already refer to their their official mandates as ‘Commands’). Such disciplines are now being trialled in Europe – with the vaccine mandates (even though scientists are telling them that vaccines cannot be the silver bullet for which they yearn). As one high ‘lodge’ member, favouring a form of global governance notes, to make people accept such reforms, you must frighten them.

Yes, the collective of ‘transitions’ must have their ‘Big, overarching Narrative’ – however hollow, it rings (i.e. the struggle to defend democracy against authoritarianism). But it is the nature of today’s cultural-meme war that ultimately its content becomes little more than a rhetorical shell, lacking all sincerity at its core.

It serves principally, as decoration to a ‘higher order’ project: The preservation of global ‘rules of the road’, framed to reflect U.S. and allied interests, as the base from which the clutch of ‘transitions’ can be raised up into a globally managed order which preserves the Élite’s influence and command of major assets.

This politics of crafted, credentialised meme-politics is here to stay, and now is ‘everywhere’. It has long crossed the partisan divide. The wider point here – is that the mechanics of meme-mobilisation is being projected, not just in the western ‘home’ (at a micro-level), but abroad, into American ‘foreign policy’ too (i.e. at the macro-level).

And, just as in the domestic arena, where the notion of politics by suasion is lost (with vaccine mandates enforced by water-cannon, and riot police), so too, the notion of foreign policy managed through argument, or diplomacy, has been lost too.

Western foreign policy becomes less about geo-strategy, but rather is primordially focussed on the three ‘big iconic issues’ – China, Russia and Iran – that can be given an emotional ‘charge’ in order to profitably mobilise certain identified ‘constituencies’ in the U.S. domestic cultural war. All the various U.S. political strands play this game.

The aim is to ‘nudge’ domestic American psyches (and those of their allies) into mobilisation on some issue (such as more protectionism for business against Chinese competition), or alternatively, imagined darkly, in order to de-legitimise an opposition, or to justify failures. These mobilisations are geared to gaining relative domestic partisan advantage, rather than having strategic purpose.

When this credentialled meme-war took hold in the U.S., millions of people were already living a reality in which facts no longer mattered at all; where things that never happened officially, happened. And other things that obviously happened never happened: not officially, that is. Or, were “far-right extremist conspiracy theories,” “fake news,” or “disinformation,” or whatever, despite the fact that people knew that they weren’t.

Russia and China therefore face a reality in which European and U.S. élites are heading in the opposite direction to epistemological purity and well-founded argument. That is to suggest, the new ‘normal’ is about generating a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive ‘realities’, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … and which are intended to bemuse adversaries – and nudge them off-balance.

This is a highly risky game, for it forces a resistance stance on those targeted states – whether they seek it, or not. It underlines that politics is no more about considered strategy: It is about being willing for the U.S. to lose strategically (even militarily), in order to win politically. Which is to say gaining an ephemeral win of having prompted an favourable unconscious psychic response amongst American voters.

Russia, China, Iran are but ‘images’ prized mainly for their potential for being loaded with ‘nudge’ emotional-charge in this western cultural war, (of which these states are no part). The result is that these states become antagonists to the American presumption to define a global ‘rules of the road’ to which all must adhere.

These countries understand exactly the point of these value and rights-loaded ‘rules’. It is to force compliance on these states to acquiesce to the ‘transitions, or, to suffer isolation, boycott and sanction – in a similar way to the choices being forced on those in the West not wishing to vaccinate (i.e. no jab; no job).

This approach reflects an attempt by Team Biden to have it ‘both ways’ with these three ‘Iconic States’: To welcome compliance on ‘transition issues’, but to be adversarial over any dissidence to mounting a rules framework that can raise the ‘transitions’ from the national, to the supra-national plane.

But do the U.S. practitioners of meme-politics, absorb and comprehend that the stance by Russia-China – in riposte – is not some same-ilk counter-mobilisation done to ‘make a point’? That their vision does stand at variance with ‘the rules’? Do they see that their ‘red lines’ may indeed be ‘red lines’ literally? Is the West now so meme-addicted, it cannot any longer recognise real national interests?

This is key: When the West speaks, it is forever looking over its shoulder, at the domestic, and wider psychic impact when it is ‘making a point’ (such as practicing attacks by nuclear-capable bombers as close to Russia’s borders as they dare). And that when Russia and China say, ‘This is our Red Line’, it is no meme – they really mean it.

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(TLB) published this article from the Strategic Culture Foundation with permission and our appreciation for this perspective.

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Other articles by Alistair Crooke



Header featured image (edited) credit: Globe assemble/ medium.com/@chrisjriedy /the-great-transition-initiative

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