John Kerry said that Russia was living in a parallel universe vis-à-vis the US, I said those words would come back to haunt him.
They certainly have done. There indeed are two parallel universes.
Here’s a guide to the latest events happening in both.
In the aftermath of the US climbdown over plans to attack Syrian troops fighting terrorists and the not so veiled threat of direct engagement with Russian forces, military threats against Syria have been replaced by legally weighty threats against Russia.
Both accusations are baseless, non-factual and deeply worrying.
First of all, John Kerry accused Russia of committing war crimes in Syria, this in spite of the fact that the mere presence of countries like the US and her Turkish, British and French allies is a de facto war crime according to international law, but these countries reside in the universe where international law does not apply.
The fact that the US admits to killing 80 Syrian troops on their way to destroy an ISIS stronghold is a direct admission of a specific war crime.
But matters continue to grow ever more absurd.
According to staunchly anti-Trump journalist Shane Harris, the White House has now officially accused the Russian government of hacking the emails which revealed that Hillary Clinton’s party political machine stole the primary election from Bernie Sanders, a man who has been transformed from a grey haired Che Guevara into something of an American Viktor Yanukovych in a matter of months.
The prominent hacker who goes by the nom de plume, Guccifer 2.0 has publicly admitted that he was behind the hacks and has even expressed resentment that the Russian government is being credit for his work.
Julian Assange has also dismissed the notion that Russia was involved in the hack.
But this only matters if one is living in a universe where fact and logic are used as the basis upon which to make statements. In the other universe merely saying ‘Putin did it’, shall suffice.
It is difficult to ascertain why official government sources are peddling these bizarre accusations.
One could accuse it of being a PR move, an attempt to keep political momentum away from Donald Trump.
If this is the case though, it is likely to be an ineffective strategy. Whilst those living in the universe where war is the biggest threat to humanity are carefully monitoring the cataclysmic differences of views on Russia between hawkish Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the bigger story in the domestic US press is that in 2005 Donald Trump made a statement about the ease with which a male celebrity can seduce women.
In the parallel universe in which the western mainstream media resides, one is witnessing a perverse trend where very serious and entirely incredible accusations are made against Russia, yet the public remain unmoved.
Simultaneously, the media blow out of proportion silly, flippant and apolitical remarks made by Donald Trump many years ago, and attempt to relate them to his ability to make and execute vital policy decisions.
Alex Christoforou has already offered a superb analysis of the current mainstream media scandal about Donald Trump’s remarks from 2005.
Speaking as a man, I believe the best male leaders are not those who actively and systematically abuse women like Bill Clinton. Nor are they those who maintain a young man’s natural lust for sexual activity.
The best male leaders are either those like Vladimir Putin who keep their private lives private, or those like LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky who has publicly admitted that as one grows older, a life devoted to public affairs is incompatible with that of a man wishing to express either lust towards or devotion for a woman.
I personally subscribe to Zhirinovsky’s conclusions, but will leave others to freely draw their own.
As for Trump, he has admitted his remarks were childish and that he has grown up.
I am inclined to believe him. In 2005, Mr, Trump was businessman and an entertainer, publicly doing amusing things on television. It is natural he would lead a lifestyle indicative of this.
In 2016, he is a political figure speaking seriously on highly serious issues.
For that matter the world around him has grown up too.
In 2005, Islamic terrorism could have been contained. In 2016 it has ravaged the Middle East and beyond.
In 2005, war between nuclear powers was unthinkable. Now it is tottering on the cusp of inevitability.
The world has changed, and so I believe has Donald Trump.
But in the parallel universe of the mainstream media, sentence has been passed without Mr. Trump being allowed a civilised right of reply.
At least in the universe of social media, Trump is being heard.
Finally, our journey takes us back to the UN Security Council.
Two draft resolutions were presented to the UN Security Council, each from its own universe.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, the perennially dignified Vitaly Churkin summarised the event in the following way:
“Today we are participating in one of the most bizarre scenes in the history of the UN Security Council. We will vote on the two draft Council resolutions, and we are all well aware that neither of them will be accepted.”
Indeed, the French resolution, which would have prohibited Syria from defending its own territory against terrorists on its own territory, was predictably voted down.
Likewise, Russia’s resolution which called for an effective ceasefire on the ground but which would have allowed strikes to continue against terrorists, was also voted down.
In this age of parallel universes, there is a universe where those calling for détente amongst superpowers are called insane, and a universe where they are called moderate.
There is a universe where draft resolutions presented to the UN Security Council deriving from the sane universe calling for an end to hostilities are called hostile, and draft resolutions aiding terrorists are called ceasefires.
In one universe Julian Assange’s leaks about Hillary Clinton’s arming of ISIS is ignored, but an 11 year old tape of Donald Trump being silly is taken seriously.
The journey through the parallel universes continues, but it is wise to remember that were nuclear weapons to be dropped, there would be victims in each of the parallel universes.
Stopping this ought to be the priority of those residing in both.