V, eighty years later

The Eiffel tower during the Nazi occupation (1941). “Germany wins on all fronts.” Was it winning on all the fronts in 1941? Possibly, but it wouldn’t be for much longer. Russian hardware destroyed or damaged in Ukraine (2022). Russia is…

Overlooked vulnerabilities

Craig Kennedy, a member of the advisory board at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian studies, has posted a long read on sanctions against Russia’s oil sector, Russian Oil’s Achilles Heel. It’s the best I’ve read on the subject.…

“A struggle for existence”

One of Hitler’s recurring tropes was the German empire’s and nation’s “remorseless struggle for existence.” Nazi officials beat that horse to death, and then some: There can be no compromise in Germany’s struggle for its existence, no turning back, no…

“We had to do it as a defensive act”

Tariq Aziz was Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister in 1983-91 and deputy prime minister in 1979-2003. In 1996, PBS interviewed Aziz for their Frontline series; the transcripts are available here and here. Speaking of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in August 1990,…

Deprogramming 2

Mia Jankowicz writes in Business Insider: Putin’s disinformation is so effective that Ukrainians can’t convince their own families in Russia they are under attack… ..[T]he two nations increasingly live in separate realities, brought about by Russia’s vast state media apparatus…

Deprogramming

It sometimes seems to me that Putinist propaganda has turned millions of Russians into mindless haters with barely a trace of empathy for other human beings. Since 2014, the Kremlin has depicted patriotic Ukrainians as vicious, quasi-Nazi nationalists – in…

Disaster

Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022, more than two years after I posted my “Doomsday thoughts” (also see follow-ups 1 and 2 from 2020). Whether most Russians support the war or not, and whether its supporters are merely ignorant…

On the brink of war

Over the past three years, I’ve written more than once about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine: Will there be war? (December 2018); A test of American resolve (April 2021); Operation Eviction (January 2022). Also, this comment on Tyler Cowen’s…

La zorrita astuta

Here’s a video of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá – its youth section mostly – performing Janáček‘s Cunning Little Vixen in August 2021. The staging is as simple and low-budget as they go. I would call it home-made, but –…