It was under Clinton that the Harvard Institute for International Development let professor Jeffrey Sachs propose the economic “shock therapy” for Russia. This directly lead to hyperinflation and the give away of major industries to the lucky few who became Russia’s oligarchs. This was a f**k up on a historical scale. This chaos became associated with Westernization leading to the rise of strong man Putin to restore stability:
in 1991 there was a sense among many Russians that the USSR was not so much defeated as it folded under its own weight. Too many refused to accept that the Soviet collapse was the outcome of years of economic mismanagement and imperial hubris – and so they looked for traitors instead
Ukraine has punctured a big, gaping hole in the narrative of Russia’s ‘greatness’. Russia is poor, corrupt and authoritarian, and now we also know that it is weak and pathetic. Russia’s ‘greatness’ has crumbled in an orgy of murder and rape inflicted by brutal occupiers in Ukraine. Tainted by the blood of the innocents, and beaten in honest combat, the bully has been reduced to size. It’s about time. Thank you, Ukraine, for serving this bitter medicine. Russia needed it badly.
Russia needs proper humiliation. It needs a humble recognition of its diminished status, an acceptance of guilt, and a slow, painstaking effort to rebuild the trust of those it has wronged. Russia did not learn this lesson in the 1990s. It must learn it now.Sergey Radchenko
Putin’s weird concept of Ukraine being an essential part of the ancient greatness that is Russia was his motivation for invading Ukraine. Here are the words from Putin’s own mouth:
The funny thing is, Putin is completely wrong on the facts. Ukraine was around for 1000 year before they allied with “Muscovy” (the nation that became Russia). For details, read:
https://www.newyorker.com/news/essay/the-war-in-ukraine-is-a-colonial-war (paywall if you read too many articles in newyorker.com for free)
Can we just skip to the part where Putin kills himself in a bunker?
This is a long, poetic, and powerful speech comparing the evil and aggression of the Nazis with that of the Russians. The speech was posted on May 8th, the UN declared day of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War. Warning, it’s not an easy speech to listen to:
Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute gives a painfully detailed analysis concluding with the observation that it’s hard to see how Russia can keep up the pace militarily for more than a few weeks. The video below shows the conclusion of the discussion. Rewind to 45:24 to see the start of the discussion:
Later edit: Well as of July 2022, Russia’s still going. So this prediction was off by at least an order of magnitude.
I’m guessing Trump hasn’t seen this:
Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming—nice, normal American states, full of nice, normal Americans—have created financial instruments that nameless investors can use to hide their money from the world
Why doesn’t the U.S., instead of abetting the elaborate arrangements, exert its leverage to help change the rules and eradicate the system? Part of the answer is obvious. Powerful people benefit from it, and they are intent on keeping it in place.
Anonymous purchases of Trump properties skyrocketed once he became the Republican nominee for president. As Michel writes, “We have no idea who the vast majority of these purchasers were, or where they came from, or where they got their money, or what they wanted—or how they impacted American policy.”
A great overview of Trump’s strategy to overturn the 2020 presidential election results (from MeidasTouch.com):
From the June 2020 edition of The Atlantic.
Normally, I try and paraphrase the article I’m referencing, but this article makes so many powerful points, I can’t do that. Here’s the opening paragraph instead:
When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms. It took the scale and intimacy of a pandemic to expose their severity—to shock Americans with the recognition that we are in the high-risk category.
The crisis demanded a response that was swift, rational, and collective. The United States reacted instead like Pakistan or Belarus—like a country with shoddy infrastructure and a dysfunctional government whose leaders were too corrupt or stupid to head off mass suffering.