Moscow 2018. Can't believe it has been almost a month since the last Open Thread. Quick updates: Was in the UK for a couple of weeks (as you presumably gathered). Apart from the march in London, I also took the opportunity to tick off Canterbury and the Tank Museum in Bovington. Unfortunately, I was not... Read More
Either Iran fulfills the following, or it gets the "strongest sanctions in history": Since this is two more demands than the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia in 1914, and they are in principle unfulfillable anyway, why not go the full hog and make some further additions: Convert to Evangelical Christianity Host a gay pride parade in... Read More
Commenter German_reader summarizes an anonymous Iranian journalist about the protests there. Hilarious if true. And it just might be: Comment from an Iranian on Patrick Lang's blog: Evidently, the protests were initiated by political enemies of Rouhani in Mashhad. That city is referred to in Iran as a "hizbollahi city" - "Party of God City".... Read More
Epistemic status: Low. I don't know Farsi. I don't particularly follow Iran. That said, I am hardly alone in this. Bryan MacDonald: "Even I’m kinda astonished by how many American “Russian experts” have suddenly become “Iran experts” in the past 48 hours. молодцы товарищи!! #ачтивмеасурес" 1. Widely divergent reports about how many people are protesting.... Read More
This is an argument that is doing the rounds on the Internet after Iran's condemnation of the Saudi execution of 47 people (including at least 4 "politicals") to mark the New Year and the ensuing breakdown in Iranian-Saudi diplomatic ties. After all, they say, Iran executes a lot more people than the Saudis. One... Read More
It might happen this June or later, reports RT citing Israeli media. Obama and Netanyahu are at least discussing the prospect. In previous years I was sure that it would happen eventually, probably before year end 2012. That is because that was the most convenient window between the fielding of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (early... Read More
At least if you take Michael Bohm's arguments in his latest Moscow Times missive on how Russia Is Turning Into Iran to its logical conclusion. Look, I'm not a fan of blasphemy laws. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing and something that makes the US truly great... even exceptional, to an extent. Although it... Read More
This is the Karlin Freedom Index for 2012, a political classification system I formulated more than a year ago in response to systemic bias on the part of traditional "freedom indices" such as Freedom House and The Economist Democracy Index (hint: they give massive bonus points for neoliberalism and pro-Western foreign policy orientations). The explanation:... Read More
It's been a great year! To recap, in rough chronological order, 2011 saw: The most popular post (with 562 comments and counting; granted, most of them consisting of Indians and Pakistanis flaming each other); Visualizing the Kremlin Clans (joint project with Kevin Rothrock of A Good Treaty); my National Comparisons between life in Russia, Britain,... Read More
This is the first post in a series of three, in which I will analyze the major trends that will define the next ten years and their likely impacts on global regions. To put these forecasts into context, I must first describe the narrative through which I view the history of the post-WW2 era (the... Read More
This might well be my favorite cable so far - perhaps even better than the Caucasus wedding - courtesy of US ambassador to Iran Bruce Laingen in August 1979. Now maybe US diplomats are culturally West-centric and insular today, but they've got nothing on their predecessors. "Perhaps the single dominant aspect of the Persian psyche... Read More
Another Wikileaks cable - a secret one, not merely confidential - from our Caucasus ethnologist and bestest bud at the State Department, William Burns. Dated October 2007, it describes America's perception of Russia's global arms trade and emphasizes its concerns that many of its partners are "rogue" or "anti-American" states like Syria, Iran and Venezuela.... Read More
It's sad, but not unexpected, to see the usual motley of neocons, freepers and general creeps crawling about the interwebs, baying for Assange's blood and calling for him to be disappeared into the Nacht und Nebel. But it is absolutely tragic that, misled by the MSM and dulled by their own cynicism, so many people... Read More
I was recently interviewed on Middle East geopolitics and the Iran Question by Marat Kunaev, a blogger and translator at InoForum. I would like to thank him for the opportunity to express my views on the topic and providing a possible gateway into the geopolitical commentary on Runet. I'm reprinting the interview from here, with... Read More
This is the second article of a three-part series about the Iranian Question - that is, the question of how the world is going to deal with the Islamic regime's pursuit of a nuclear bomb, which is likely to be one of the defining processes of global geopolitics in the next five years. The first... Read More
Every once in a while, there occurs a major shift in the international arena. The First World War and its consequences were the seminal change of the last century, collapsing ancient empires and ushering in a new era of ethno-nationalist clashes, political radicalism and emerging powers challenging the established order of Versailles, forces that were... Read More
With the recent election of the controversial (to put it mildly) Ahmadinejad to the Iranian Presidency, it is time to look at what this portends for the future of Iran and the Middle East region in general. The first question we need to ask is whether Ahmadinejad's victory was free and fair. Stratfor believes it... Read More
Watching the US presidential candidate debate this Friday has only further confirmed my belief an American would have to be either a moron or a traitor to vote for him. What he would do as President: 1) Stay on in Iraq And leave Russia (and every other competitor) a free hand. Even the success of... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.