Authoritarians thrive on manufactured aggrievements. Driven by sham grouses, despots join hands to create a Fascist Axis. The misguided dictators find their currencies in false grumbles and fake griefs. One such Axis is growing right now under the noses of global nations. The Axis threatens to unleash a terrible global storm before 2023 ends. Call 2023 the year of fearful global ramifications, the Year of the New Fascist Axis. The year promises more storms than peace.

The new Fascist Axis continues to rise despite ding-dong battles between believers in democracy and demons of dictatorship. The new crop of dictators show great propensity to divide the world into fragments of control. Sure, the coming days will be the most defining moments of an impending global storm. An arrogant Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is just the beginning.

The Mutual Back-Scratching

The Ukraine war may not bring out ideal responses from Americans. Yet, the wimpish war is uniting the aggrieved authoritarians in Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The fang-baring four will remain united by their imagined hate for the West, read the United States. Inevitably, in 2023, they will rally for righting what they call ‘historical wrongs’.

An indication of this was available before the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Chinese President Xi Jinping declared theirs is a ‘no-limits friendship’. As a proof, though Mr Xi failed to replenish Russia’s arsenal, he desisted from condemning the Ukraine war. The mutual back-scratching liaison implies Mr Putin will return the gesture when China launches its illegal invasion of Taiwan in 2023.

No Compunction Whatsoever

Again, shared hatred for the United States is the glue keeping the disgruntled despots united. Mr Xi blames America for the war in Ukraine, North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un slams America for his problems with South Korea, Mr Putin accuses America for his war in Ukraine and the clerics of Iran say America is behind the ongoing protests of Iranian women. Their state media joins them in this blame game.

Sure, a common enemy makes the new Fascist Axis survive. The American enemy makes North Korea move closer to China and Russia. Mr Kim has no compunction whatsoever in sending war equipment, including rockets and artillery, to Mr Putin to aid his illicit war in Ukraine. Iran is no different, as it sells Mr Putin drones and other advanced defenceware.

Conflict of Interest Within

Antagonists of this theory argue gives-and-takes do not make a Fascist Axis. They contend an Axis takes a long time to develop and a quid pro quo is not a reflection of a growing Axis. Doubters question how shared hate alone can make an Axis. However, consider the United States’ call to its European allies to rally behind and check China’s rise. The call implies there are allies and the new Fascist Axis as well.

Much like the Forties, the new Fascist Axis too has conflict of interests built within. China is uneasy with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The program frustrates the former’s plans in Northeast Asia. Iran is bothered over China getting closer to Saudi Arabia. The worry: the possibility of Saudi Arabia becoming China’s accepted Middle East partner and the resultant decrease of Iranian influence in the region.

How Neo Fascists Work

As a cause for more worries, Russia is experiencing snags in Ukraine. The war drags on, quick success has not come by as foreseen and Mr Putin is getting desperate. Successful strikebacks by Ukraine, thanks to generous inflows of American arms and ammunition, and stunning reversals are worsening matters for Russia. Inevitably, Mr Putin has roped in Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, to strengthen the new Axis and its constituents.

Good luck for Mr Putin and the new Fascist Axis, Belarus is co-operative and the Axis is expanding. Should not be a surprise if Mr Putin unleashes a new Ukraine offensive soon, with active support from Belarus. Enthused by more Russian reversals, if Ukraine launches fresh onslaughts to reclaim Russia-annexed Crimea, the new Fascist Axis will bind together with greater commitment. This is how self-serving Fascists think and work.

Time is Ticking for Mr Xi

As the Ukrainian forces have already recaptured Kherson and have forced reversals in many more fronts, Mr Putin is sure to resort to diplomacy and negotiation in a bid to cut his losses. Given how blinded dictators are, Mr Putin may opt for nuclear escalation of the war in sheer desperation. While this is sure to end in large-scale joint campaigns from Allied forces, the new Fascist Axis may stick together in a last futile attempt.

Away from Ukraine, China is getting impatient on Taiwan. Reunification of Taiwan is Mr Xi’s immediate goal. He will try to do this, more to distract his countrymen from the destructive return of Covid. He had vowed to reunify Taiwan in 2023. Alarmed, the US Chief of Naval Operations had raised an alarm over an imminent Chinese aggression in Taiwan before end-2024. The time is ticking for Mr Xi and he is raring to go.

Bringing US Into Conflict

In any war on Taiwan, Mr Xi will need active help from his new Fascist Axis partners. For two reasons. One, an amphibious invasion will call for active naval co-operation from friends. Two, the island of Taiwan is 160 kilometres away from the Chinese mainland. This will make the war a challenge for the Chinese navy, which hasn’t fought an amphibious war for more than forty years. Mr Xi is sure to scramble for help.

In its own interest, China will have to keep the new Fascist Axis stronger and together. More so because Mr Biden has declared America’s readiness to dive into a Taiwan war, treaty or no treaty. If the next House Speaker does a Nancy Pelosi and visits Taiwan, China will step up its offensives, bringing the United States into direct conflict. Quite natural, China needs the new Fascist Axis more than ever. China will be the major beneficiary of the fortified Axis.

Iran has No Options Now

Iran too has its own reasons to further the anti-West Axis partnership. In their worst ever challenge, the clerics, in power now for over 40 years, are facing the heat today from protesting Iranian women. Add to this, a stunted economy, widening income gaps, yawning wealth inequalities and rampant corruption, the clerics are caught between the two burning ends of a narrow tunnel.

As desperate clerics are not able to calm down the women protesters, they are shooting them down. Inevitably, public anger is boiling over. Further repression is sure to invite harsher sanctions from the European Union. Tragically, Iran has no options now other than remaining within the new Fascist Axis. As the supreme leader Ali Khamenei is ailing still, Iran is sure to find pragmatism demands passionate clinging to the Fascist Axis.

An Attempt at Self-Preservation

Inevitably, Iran needs a leadership change. The change cannot happen if protests continue to buffet Iran. Worse, the protests have killed the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal. The lone way out for embattled Iran now is to hang on to the new Fascist Axis and further the interests of predatory majors like China and Russia. Iran needs the new Fascist Axis, more than the Axis needs Iran. The ground situation is stark: Iran is gasping.

A gasping Iran is sure to continue blaming the United States and Israel for the women protests at home. Irked, the United States will not conclude any deal with the current rulers of Iran. In a desperate attempt at self-preservation, the clerics will find it fit to strengthen the hands of the new Fascist Axis, peddle anti-West propaganda and keep the Iranians distracted from burning domestic issues. The clerics have no alternative.

Found Abler Replacements

Viewed from any angle, anti-West propaganda wins traction among domestic nationals. This traction will make the new Fascist Axis more diabolic in their words and deeds tomorrow. Sure, Saddam Hussein has been executed and Iraq is out of the old Axis. But, the new Fascist Axis has found abler replacements in Belarus and Pakistan, for whom terrorism is a state policy and nuclear power is a justifiable means to the end of righting imagined historical wrongs.

These evidences prove the new Fascist Axis is not a partnership of weaklings. The neo-Fascists are large economies with enviable military establishments and enlarged visions of aggressive expansionism. China is the second largest economy in the world. Both China and Russia have huge natural resources. Plus, their authoritarians unleash not military campaigns alone, potent propaganda through State-controlled servile and sycophantic media as well.

Reluctance to Condemn Invasions

Moreover, the new Fascist Axis is adept at garnering popular support by evoking phoney nationhood at home. The neo-Fascists are suave enough to convince newbie autocrats in Belarus, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela their own survival depends on their support to the evil partnership. Not a surprise the new Fascist Axis is widening its circle of influence fast.

Dishearteningly, others like Turkey, not part of any Axis, offer implicit support to the new Fascist Axis by their pronounced silence over illegalities, reluctance to condemn invasions, and willingness to continue diplomatic and trade relations with members of the Axis. Reason why the new Axis holds control over much of Asia today and this translates into dominance in trade, commerce and finance across Asian borders.

Execution of a Nefarious Agenda

Obviously, Russia is no longer bothered over oil sanctions. China and India are ready to pick up its oil output. These trades, propped up by mutual vested interests, make the new Fascist Axis a quasi-trade and economic bloc, insulated from punitive shocks administered by global sanctions. When it comes to voting UN resolutions against illegalities, routine abstentions have become de rigueur for silent supporters of the new Fascist Axis. This is outrageous.

Clear, the new Fascist Axis is busy executing its nefarious agenda. Autocrats of the new Axis are unhappy with their borders. They are desperate to expand. Not a surprise why Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and invaded Ukraine in 2021. Reason why China has no qualms over its misadventures in the South China Sea and on Indian borders. Motivation why North Korea is flexing its muscles in the Korean Peninsula and Iran is threatening its immediate neighbourhood.

Writing is Black and Bold

This is not all. Expect Russia to bare its expansionist fangs soon in Estonia and Moldova. China will be there with its army in Taiwan by end 2023. North Korea is sure to escalate tensions further in the Korean peninsula. Iran will let loose worse terror in its neighbourhood. Pakistan and Belarus may add their mite by keeping their respective borders with their neighbours on boil.

The writing is black and bold on the wall. China controls Hong Kong already. China is conducting elaborate drills in the sea around Taiwan. The South China Sea is a theatre for regular military exercises and military adventurism. Hong Kong and Taiwan are mere appetisers. The main course is ahead, as China sees most of Asia as its long-term sphere of influence.

Iran in a Hurry to Catch Up

Towards this goal, China has reconfigured islands in the South China Sea to double up as military bases. The dragon is forging infrastructure alliances with smaller nations under its Belt and Road Initiative. Plus, China financed Sri Lanka’s Hambandota International Port. The idea behind this financing is to use the port tomorrow as China’s military base in the region.

In the new Fascist Axis, Iran may not be a military biggie. Nor Iran has expansionist plans to match China’s and Russia’s. Yet, as Russia sources arms from North Korea, re-routing them through the Middle East to skirt UN sanctions, Iran may become a key member of the new Fascist Axis tomorrow. Meanwhile, Iran is turning out kamikaze drones for Russia in a bid to catch up with others in the Axis.,invasion%20of%20Ukraine%20in%20February.

In Conclusion

Sure, the new Fascist Axis is working to an unwritten ultimate gameplan: Russia to control Eastern and Central Europe, North Korea to hold the Korean peninsula, Iran to own the Sunni-dominated Islamic world and China to lord over rest of Asia. The thought behind this division has never been so clear.

The division ensures the rest of the world ceases to matter for the new Fascist Axis. To ensure the plan goes through unstuck, the new Axis is trying to keep interests converged, besides backing terror-policy states of Pakistan and Syria on the sly. High time the pacific West tore into this toxic matrix of the new Fascist Axis. The job on had has never been so immediate.