jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur
If you're not already following Yonaton Zunger, you might want to consider doing so -- his Medium blog has been one of the more consistently interesting ones out there.

Particularly interesting is his post yesterday, From Russia With Oil, which provides a nicely clear summary of what is currently known about the Trump/Russia connection, spelling out explicitly what we have reasonably strong evidence of, and what is merely circumstantial but compelling.

I confess, I especially like the title of the post, which calls out just how much the whole mess feels like a James Bond story -- without Bond around to stop things before Spectre puts its fiendish plan into motion.

Part of me still feels like it's too outlandish to be true, that the Kremlin *literally* bought the US President -- but the story is compelling enough that I'm starting to feel that demanding an independent investigation may be the single highest priority right now. We can't take our eyes off all the other issues that need attending to, but this could yet prove to be the block that takes down the entire Jenga tower of corruption in this Administration...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-28 03:54 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
Part of me still feels like it's too outlandish to be true, that the Kremlin *literally* bought the US President

They didn't buy the president. They bought a businessman, which they do all the time, then we made him president. I don't think he expected that, nor do I think the Russians actually expected this to work. It was a cheap long shot and sometimes those pay off.

The Russians have been shown to be meddling in pretty much every election in at least the last few years. We're kind of US-centric so we're (rightly) freaked about our own buffoon-in-chief but if anyone thinks they put all their chips in this one basket they don't understand how this game is played. I'm quite sure they've suborned dozens of businessmen in various places, some closer to levers of power than others.

I did read Zunger's Medium piece - I agree it's good, but keeping too narrow a focus is missing the bigger game.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-28 06:50 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
I don't actually think there's any significant danger of an authoritarian takeover of the US. I think that's way less likely than people dying from loss of healthcare and drowning from rising sea levels. But it's cool that it's your priority and you should definitely go at it. As I said in my own post, we can't all be everywhere so someone has to be in every place.

However, I think that's a separate point. The point I'm making I do not think the Russians set out to suborn a US President, which is what the Medium piece reads like.I think looking at it that way is dangerously limited. I think Russia has gone from a giant kleptocracy (last decade) to a SPECTRE with nuclear weapons (since Putin castled back into the top position) and that's a threat to just about everyone everywhere. Interfering with other countries' elections is part of that, as is the trail of bodies. Have you kept track of how many Putin opponents have met with gruesome ends in just the last few months?

So, sure, investigate the shit out of the people in the US that have ties and dirty hands. Maybe we'll minimize some of the damage that way. But don't narrow the focus just to that.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-28 08:15 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
Generally agree. It's worth remembering that Putin came to power when the Mafia essentially controlled Russia. So either he's their creature (and they're happy to exist out of the spotlight and let him take the heat) or he's proven he can beat them on their own turf. Neither is encouraging. The recent rounds of protests have been over the corruption epidemic that makes me think it's the former. But practically it makes little difference.

And yes, I'm sad we have the stupider player running our side. The recent Russian move to deploy openly their medium-range treaty-breaker is super worrying, though I suspect it's intended far more for German audiences than American.

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