Finland and Sweden are on their way to being NATO countries.  Good for them!  Next up, Ukraine, at the very least… is Moldova ready yet?

In other parts of the world, elections in Lebanon- from Aljazeera- Hezbollah and its allies lose seats, independent candidates make gains. 

A good read- if you have access to Foreign Affairs online, read the article The Coup in the Kremlin- How Putin and the Security Services Captured the Russian State.  Pay attention to the author’s choice of words- “state organs”, “chekists”, “siloviki”, the KGB (now FSB and still in the original Luyanka KGB headquarters?), NKVD, and so on- these and other references to the Stalinist Soviet Union are very timely. History repeating.

If you have a couple of free hours, you can view the Brookings Institute webinar from today- Threats to American Democracy, the Thirteenth Annual A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy . The webinar had two parts, the first one covering the electoral and institutional challenges facing the US, the second part covered digital threats, misinformation, and disinformation. The second part interested me immensely, making comparisons to the autocratic decision making processes of Russia, China, and corporations!  Each has a very specific agenda, and tailors information to its needs. There were mentions of tribalism, discord, and division, all of which are necessary, sought after, and promoted by authoritarians and corporate media in order to thrive and profit. Give that some thought.

Finally, if we abandon Ukraine, we abandon freedom, democracy, justice, and a bravery that is protecting us all, whether we realise it or not.

Arm Ukraine Now!

Arm Ukraine Now!


UPDATE: 05 March, 2022 at 1725 MTN.- The big news today seems to be that Putin has declared he will not impose martial law in Russia. So now the question becomes, just when will he impose martial law in Russia? This is the next big step in cutting his own throat, and I am personally counting on him to add this to his list of mistakes very soon. The people of Russia are being held hostage, lied to, beaten, and imprisoned. We know that the majority of Russian’s do not support the killing of their neighbors. It is up to them just as much as it is up to the heroes in Ukraine to fight against the totalitarian regime now fully in place in Russia. Martial law will give them one more push to do so. Freedom awaits!

Original Post- 05 March, 2022 at 08:22 MTN.
The more things change, the more they stay the same- certainly this is true of the differences between the west… the differences between freedom, rule of law, justice, liberty, and life in modern Russia, at least as imposed by the rulers of the state. For perspective, we only need look back to purges, gulags, secret police, and the Terror that happened in what was then the Soviet Union. According to The “Beginning of the End for Putin”, and article on the Foreign Affairs website on March 2nd, 2022, a Levada Poll in Russia puts people’s fears of retaliation by the state against them at its highest since 1994.  That says volumes about where Russia- and its dictator- now find themselves. 

Putin took office on 31 December, 1999 and immediately began a course towards the past. According to Masha Gessen, in The Future is History, within a couple of years Putin had put “military officials in 25% of the top government jobs, had monopolised state media, and reversed judicial reforms.” He also began writing history (and rewriting it)- depending on how one views the limited information released on such events as the Moscow theater bombing, the Beslan school siege, the apartment house bombings, and the wars in Chechnya around that time, to mention a few points. What Putin did was nothing short of rebranding- what were essentially advertising agencies stepped in and created Putin, his party, “opposition parties”, and carefully choreographed responses to the attacks mentioned above, taking full advantage of each one to chip away at the few reforms that had been made in years since the fall of the iron curtain. 

And now it is 2022, and Putin’s egotism, his personal greed and that of his cronies, along with his paranoia and dissociation with reality- or so it seems- is putting his tenure at great risk. And good riddance. Nothing good can come of war, but if the world can find a way to find some sort of positive outcome from the current situation, the fall of Vladimir Putin, and a second chance for freedom in Russia, and relative peace in eastern Europe must be part of that outcome.

Pressure from the world must hold steady, and grow daily, become stronger and stronger, and not let up until we see images of Putin’s dead body flashing across all the screens of the world. This is the best chance the world is going to get, and we must take it.