I really can't figure what this Economist editorial reeks more of: Hypocrisy, mendacity, or pure delusion? Being anti-Western is "negative", even for daring to oppose Western-backed Islamist crazies who will back-stab their handlers as soon as they're able to. Note how "liberalizing" and "pro-Western" are conflated, because one can't possibly liberalize without kowtowing to Western... Read More
As I reported in my post unveiling US-Russia.org, there are going to be weekly discussion panels moderated by Vlad Sobell. This is the first one I participated in. It is on the topic of US-Russia Relations Against the Backdrop of Word-wide Muslim Protests. Is this a clash of civilizations? Should the US patch up ties... Read More
I am back to writing for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel, which since my hiatus has found an additional home at Voice of Russia. The latest topic was on whether Russia, China, and the West could find a common approach to the challenges of the Arab Spring. My response is pessimistic, as in my view... Read More
What striking about Syria is how so many people insist on speaking about it in profoundly moralistic, Manichaean terms. This is complete nonsense, given that its civil war isn't a showdown between democracy and dictatorship, but an ethnic and religious conflict. Here's a more realistic guide: The rhetoric: He kills his own people! He is... Read More
The vast bulk of the Syrian (and not so Syrian) immigrants to the EU have been making their way through the "sluice" countries of the Med such as Greece and Italy. Germany has joined Sweden Yes! in the level of its enthusiastic affirmativeness, while the Visegrad countries are locked in a surly and impotent position... Read More
Would be an alternative and rather more relevant headline versus "One in five Syrians say Islamic State is a good thing, poll says,", which is meant to shock the nativist ill-informed and divert the conversation from the US' uncompromising and ruinous drive for regime change to the politically safer (for an American audience) topic of... Read More
One of the more frustrating misconceptions Westerners have about Russia - including even many of the more well meaning ones - is that Putin is some kind of nationalist. He is not. Nor was he ever. It appeared he might be sort of leaning in that direction in the heady days after Crimea's return into... Read More
Source: Wikipedia. Click to enlarge. I admit to not having been following the Syrian Civil War anywhere near as closely the war in the Donbass. But with recent rumors of stepped up Russian involvement now being confirmed by videos - and even talk of China possibly sending troops (crazy, but a year ago you'd have... Read More
As Russian fighters begin their baptism of fire in Syria, it is worth pointing out there are at least three separate wars going on here. And they're all quite distinct. (1) The Actual War Once again I urge people to familiarize themselves with a map of the Syrian conflict (e.g. here). All of Assad's most... Read More
Apologies for the tabloidy title. This is an otherwise serious post. It is well known that higher rates of cousin marriages - especially the father's brother's daughter (FBD) type that is common in the Arab Muslim world - tends to increase clannishness and depress IQs. It is often discussed in HBD circles. The main focus... Read More
I am too tired right now to compile all this into something more elegant than a point-by-point rant, so here goes: Some preliminary thoughts on the latest terrorist attacks that have claimed 128+ lives in Paris. (1) The usual cucks have wasted no time in making political hay of this tragedy Ezra Klein: "This tragedy... Read More
Today came the shock announcement that Putin has ordered the withdrawal of most of the Russian strike force in Syria commencing on March 15, 2016. In contrast to the weeks before the start of the intervention, when multiple observers including Stratfor observed signs of an imminent intervention, this has come as a complete surprise. Many... Read More
So let's do just that. Here is one of the latest maps via Al-Masdar News. Not only have all of the hills towards the west of Palmyra been brought under firm SAA control, which allowed them to rain down fire on the hapless Islamic State defenders, but according to the latest reports Palmyra Airport has... Read More
Just a collection of completely random, not very important news snippets. (1) Diplomats’ Dissent Bolsters Calls for U.S. Assault on Assad: For now, the Obama administration seems inclined to agree. A U.S. official who did not sign the memo but read it told Foreign Policy that the document was unlikely to influence Oval Office policy... Read More
Yet another tired meme of the Lamestream Media is biting the dust. Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat who is on good terms with Trump - indeed, she was once viewed as a feasible if highly unlikely candidate for Secretary of State. She has gone to Syria, talked with the people, and confirmed that the "moderate... Read More
There are so many problems with the propaganda campaign against Assad getting unrolled now. (1) You can't treat exposure to sarin with your bare hands without falling ill/dead yourself, as the White Helmets were apparently doing in the aftermath of the Idlib attack. (2) As Syrian war reporter @Partisangirl noticed, some journalists were apparently discussing... Read More
So it's been a few days since the Syria Strikes, everyone and his dog have thrown in their two cents, and there has been a set of confusing and contradictory reactions from US officials and pretty much everyone else involved in this saga. The more the contradictions pile on, the less clear the picture becomes.... Read More
I'll be busy the next few days, there won't be many poasts, so I suppose now is as good as any for a big linkfest covering the past month. Adventures in Afrotriumphalism Russia Becoming *More* Russian Russians and Westerners (Mostly) Agree on the Most Influential Russian Writers I also published the notes and slides for... Read More
Looks like we are seeing the final preparations for the Syrian offensive on Idlib. Couple of noteworthy things: 1. Masses of Russian ships in the Mediterranean off Syria, with many dozens of Kalibr cruise missiles and hundreds of Tor anti-air missiles between them: Also some reports of Mig-31's patrolling the Caspian with the new Kinzhal... Read More
It appears evident that it was the Syrians who took down the Russian Il-20 surveillance plane. Russian MoD claims that Israelis misinformed Russia about the target of their strikes, whose fighters used the hapless Il-20 for cover. This would make it a combination of Arab incompetence and Jewish mendacity. A most stereotypical combination. Now Russia... 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.