Today is the centenary of the crushing of the Yaroslavl Rebellion against Bolshevik tyranny. I will have a post on that imminently.
Romania travel post is still in the works. Given previous prediction failures that I would publish it “within a week,” I will just settle on saying that it will likely be “sometime soon.”
Some of my colleagues are thinking of how to promote #FreeMariaButina. I wonder if a picket at the US Embassy would be productive (assuming permission from the Mayoralty).
Margarita Simonyan, chief editor of RT, says the same thing.
Pretty depressing, if probably inevitable, in the long-term. But there’s one detail that makes it even sadder. I’ll post about it if/when this happens.
It’s likely that the US will want to extradite him. This will result in lengthy legal proceedings, based on the applicability of US laws outside its borders, and his prospects of getting a fair trial in the US. Assange will certainly not be granted bail a second time, so most likely he will spend the next 1-3 years in jail at a minimum.
I suppose the final outcome will depend on the extent to which British courts are still independent. With the Brexit trainwreck, UK politicians could certainly do with polishing their relations with the US.
* Japan Times: Russia unrivaled in nuclear power plant exports. 60%, to be precise; only China is now in a position to compete.
* RAND: Assessing the Imbalance of Military Power in Europe (2018 update)
Given NATO’s current posture and capability, including European battalions and a rotational U.S. armored brigade combat team, Russia can still achieve a rapid fait accompli in the Baltic states followed by brinksmanship to attempt to freeze the conflict. Nothing about this analysis should suggest that Russian conventional aggression against NATO is likely to take place…
* ROGPR: Why Russians need to learn how to speak in the language of human rights [in Russian].
* Bryan MacDonald: Putin-Trump summit: Not Munich, Pearl Harbor or Yalta, just Helsinki. He shares my take on Helsinki. And I think this paragraph is really succinct:
Let’s face it, unless the Washington establishment makes a very unlikely about-turn, the Russia-US confrontation will last for decades and outlive both the Trump and Putin presidencies because it has a simple root.
In 1991, Russians believed they were joining the US-led international order as equal partners and the Americans considered Moscow to be a defeated empire. Meaning, much like Germany in 1945, they expected Russia to fall into line and suck it up, albeit without a Marshall Plan. Washington’s strategy failed because the economy collapsed, Russians lost their thirst for liberalism, and by a stroke of luck, a competent government, blessed with high oil prices, managed to perform an economic resurrection before it was too late.
By 2007, Putin had drawn red lines about NATO expansion in Munich, but the US didn’t listen and now we are where we are. That’s it, in simplistic terms, because unlike the rest of Europe, Russia defines its own national interests, rather than taking instruction from Washington. And that’s just how it is, and it’s unlikely to change, barring some sort of catastrophic fiscal or state collapse.
* Russia’s holdings of US Treasury Securities falls from $100 billion to just $15 billion within the past three months, which is just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade.
* Heat wave over Finland during Helsinki summit. Tropical Hyperborea immanentizing?
* Alex Tabarrok: The Misallocation of International Math Talent. (Global-level) argument for open borders?
* Comment: Kimpiss on Chinese military technology (and American/Russian nationalists’ dismissal of it)
He handed me a copy of the book he had written about our grandfather called “Generolas Vėtra” (General Storm), the cover of which bore a photo of my grandmother pulling my grandfather closer to her by his neck-tie. It had been published by the Lithuanian Genocide Museum, dedicated to Lithuanians who suffered during World War II, many whom died in Siberia. The museum was created in 1992, shortly after Lithuania’s independence, in response to the Holocaust, to show the world that Lithuanian nationalists had suffered under Communism just as much as Jews had under Nazism. The museum was criticized for appropriating the word genocide wrongly, and earlier this year it changed its name to the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights. Formerly, the museum was the KGB prison where our grandfather died in 1947, and it bears his name, along with many others’, on its gray marble walls.
Mainly posting this insofar as this relates to our debate over whether Museums to X Genocide are useful or not. They seem to have worked very well for the Balts. This Silvia Foti person will receive 1,000x less attention than the Museum itself. Indeed, based on the experience of other Baltic “truth-diggers” like her, it is likely that she will be ostracized in Lithuania, perhaps smeared as a Russian agent of some sort.
* Comment: Dmitry points out Trump has been financing Israeli settlements since the end of the 1970s (Ivanka was born in 1981).
Science & Culture
* Comment: Mitleser on the mistakes of Alexander II
[Swedish] women do not respect chastity; they reveal their breasts and lewdly tie their skirts over their clothing.
* Comment: Jaakko Raipala on Chinese tourists.
* Comment: reiner Tor on USA’s demographic future.
* Comment: Thorfinnsson backs up my Russia House endorsement.
* Comment: Daniel Chieh on maozuo.
* Comment: Thorfinnson suggests a Hack’s Law: “As a comment thread grows longer, the probability of a discussion about The Ukraine breaking out approaches 1.”
* FIFA World Cup 2018 endnote: I was 75% accurate in my football predictions. So I don’t know where or how I got my lousy reputation.
* Handshakeworthy. BTW, as an Echo of Moscow journalist, Karina Orlova’s salary is paid by Gazprom:
* In which Navalny, who otherwise advocates an economic neoliberalism program (not that there’s anything wrong with that), predictably becomes an anti-Putinist populist on the pensions issue.
Несмотря на чудовищное давление со стороны руководства, один депутат госдумы от "Единой России" проголосовала ПРОТИВ закона о повышении пенсионного возраста. Это Наталья Поклонская. Она перепутала кнопки. pic.twitter.com/o6CeVNMT4e
— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) July 19, 2018