There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word
-Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower (immortalized by Jimi Hendrix)
Nothing beats the beguiling, stony smiles at the Bayon temple near Angkor Wat in Cambodia's Siem Reap to plunge us back into history's vortex, re-imagining how empires, in their endless pursuit of power, rise and fall, usually because they eventually get the very war they had sought to avoid.
The Bayon was built as a state temple at the end of the 12th century by the undisputed superstar of Khmer empires, Jayavarman VII. Its magical narrative reliefs convey a mix of history and mythology while depicting daily life in Khmer society.
We still don't know today the identity of the faces shown on the temple's giant stone carvings. They could be a representation of Brahma, or of Jayavarman himself – a practicing Buddhist. What we do know is that the glorious Khmer empire – incomparable in art and architecture, and even benign in the sense that the mandate for power was based on the king's relationship with the gods, started to fade after the 15th century, dismembered by war against the Thai and later the Vietnamese.
Stony smiles "all along the watchtower", displayed as a living commentary on the rise and fall of empires, could easily connect, geopolitically, with a touch of Buddhist impermanence, to our turbulent times of Hybrid War. And to the current American empire.
It's always amusing to observe how US think tanks, such as CIA outlet Stratfor, constantly celebrate success in undermining Russia via this strategy.
Hybrid War on Russia was engineered in 2014 on two fronts: ordering the Persian Gulf petro-poodles to crash the oil price while imposing sanctions after Russia opposed the coup – actually a color revolution – in Kiev. Hybrid War was engineered at a Deep State level as a tool to try to smash Russia's outstanding recovery since Vladimir Putin was elected to the presidency in 2000. The undisguised Zbigniew "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski-style goal with the Kiev coup was to draw Russia into an Afghan-style partisan war.
Of course, Russia suffered economically – but then slowly recovered, diversifying production and boosting its agricultural capacity. Yet hybrid warfare always ensures that once economic hardship is engineered, a government necessarily becomes unpopular. Then fakes and traitors are unleashed: Alexei Navalny in Russia, or "protests" in Hong Kong that the Deep State dreams would lead to an uprising in Beijing.
A small, radical nucleus of agents provocateurs in Hong Kong, using copycat methods from the Maidan in Kiev, sticks to a single-minded road map: force Beijing to commit a Tiananmen 2.0, thus elevating the all-out demonization of China to the next level.