I have very little to say, except to recommend the UK Buzzfeed investigation series into murders of people involved with Russia, anchored in the UK. Poison in the System From Russia with Blood The Man Who Knew Too Much The Secrets of the Spy in the Bag All of this may read like a tension-ratcheting... Continue Reading →
Short one today: It is awful to hear that St Petersburg was struck by an act of violence, as a bomb exploded in the Metro with a current death-toll of 14 people and a second bomb was disarmed before it could take more lives. The question of who is responsible for the St Petersburg Metro bombing seems quickly resolved: Akbarzhon Jalilov, an ethnic Uzbek born in Osh in 1995, is the prime suspect. Undoubtedly the perpetrator acted in the belief he was standing up for a cause. Russia has long since been a target for terrorist attacks, in part because of its heavy military advances against ISIS' occupation of the Middle East. But it would be short-sighted to believe that this wasn't a situation open to exploitation by the Government.
It's not always easy coming up with ideas to write about. I mentioned it previously, but it can be quite overwhelming to follow the news, and single a particular theme out for further research. And to what purpose? I'm still not quite sure. Partially I know nobody reads this, but at the same time I want to provide resources for anyone who wants to delve further like me. I think I do an alright job about grouping articles that go together well, and linking or summarising them as appropriate. On the other hands blogs are opportunities to give an opinion. I sprinkle my political convictions in here and there. Little do I know that potentially I am giving this information away freely without knowing through Facebook, apparently.
Newspapers don't have the luxury of writing profiles so much as magazines, which proliferate on the internet. A favourite topic of pursuit: Who is the real right hand man to Vladimir Putin? They love looking at the power behind the throne, they can't believe that without a "grey cardinal" he could get to where he is, and stay there.
I have struggled with composing a blog post since my last contribution. It's not that there is nothing to write about, of course. There is an abundance of concerning developments. In fact I am leaning towards the belief that this is fatigue of the developments. Most concerning to me, I suppose, is how the reach of the far west and the far east is seeking to extend to the centre ground, not just politically speaking.
I have not been alive in Germany at a time that the accusation of a Lügenpresse existing being bandied around commonly. And at first I was quite surprised that I would be alive to hear that this was the case in the United States.
There are only two possibilities regarding these leaks: they are somewhat or completely true, or they are completely false. There is no true nuance between these two options, but the ramifications aren't quite so binary: a man that has been recorded to carry a conversation including the phrase "Grab them by the pussy" can reasonably expect leniency toward other acts of depravity because that has been the established reaction to any missteps (ones that would bring down any other politician, one might imagine). The degree of outrage by the "mainstream media" will vary.
Putin's rule as President began (again) in 2012, but he was in the high echelons of politics already in 1999. Trump made first ripples in the pond of American politics with his claims of doubt regarding President Obama's birth country and legitimacy in his elected role in 2011 - reawakening a suspicion that went back as far as 2004. The controversial issue was heard around the world, though it left no noticeable traces elsewhere. (As an aside, I would be interested in learning if other countries have experienced an ascendancy to power by a "minority" whose eligibility/suitability has been called into question by nature of their "minority")
Soft and hard power, while millenia-old means deployed to achieve an end, were only distinguished comparatively recently; military force largely associated with the latter, diplomacy with the former. I suppose this is a development which reflected on the decreasing popularity of military interventionism that formerly governed interactions between countries. World-building depended on conquering areas and declaring them yours, but this fell out of fashion eventually. The last new country to emerge on Earth was South Sudan, a fragile, still war-fraught nation founded in 2011.