The BBC reports today that US authorities, having banned the export of coronavirus-related health equipment, have confiscated 200,000 protective masks made by an American company in China. The masks were intercepted in Thailand on their way to German customers. The Germans scream “piracy.” Meanwhile the Russians score a propaganda coup by delivering medical aid to Italy while downplaying the scale of the epidemic in their own country.
Why is anyone surprised? What part of “America First” do people not understand? When has a Russian government ever put the welfare of its own citizens above its global aspirations?
When this is all over I really must write another chapter of “Empires Apart.” Nothing could better illustrate its themes than today’s news.