On 05 December, 2022 the Brookings Institute held an online event titled Nonstate armed actors in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria. It is archived and available to watch by clicking the link. I highly recommend taking the hour and a half to listen to it, no only for the updated information from the Brookings panel on conditions in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria, but also for updates on the continued involvement of Russia and Iran, amongst others, in these and other countries.

Insuring instability by supporting rebels, insurgents, governments, their own mercenary force (Wagner), or some fictional specter in these countries and all around the world is an integral part of Russia’s active, proxy, and hybrid war against… yes, the free world. It has come down to that again. 

Russia must bear responsibity for its crimes.

Russia must bear responsibility for its crimes.

For more background on why no “peace” can be negotiated with Russia, from the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, see the article on the Foreign Affairs website, No Peace on Putin’s Terms: Why Russia Must Be Pushed Out of UkraineThe article is adapted from a speech given in November, 2022, and reiterates the concerns I have been noting all along, but from the perspective of a country formerly under Soviet rule. If you do not have access the Foreign Affairs website, you can also find the article here.  By the way, a plug here for Foreign Affairs magazine (I receive no money or any sort of backing from them)- a subscription to the magazine which includes 6 annual print issues and unlimited online access is only $45.95 USD per year.  That is an unbeatable value for the quality and amount of information they publish.

Finally for today, on Aljazeera there is an article and infographic that shows how much and where support for Ukraine is coming from. In terms of overall dollars, the US clearly leads. But further down the page the article notes that in terms of GDP, the US contributes .23 percent, whereas Estonia as a percentage of its GDP contributes 1.1 percent. Latvia is just below Estonia with 0.93 percent, Poland with 0.5 percent and Lithuania 0.46 percent of their GDP. 

 

There is not much more I can say regarding my feelings about Russia, and its mafia leadership. The facts are clear- it is a terrorist state. It is corrupt. It treats is citizens as subjects. It seeks to conquer and destroy and create havoc. It is the path of Russia for the last 100 years, for hundreds of years. That much should be clear after their actions this week. What is just as clear is that Ukraine will never give up, and my sincere hope is that the US, Europe, and the rest of their supporters will never abandon them.

Russia is a terrorist state

Russia is a terrorist state.

Now, closer to home, I recently caught one sentence by… he must not be named- that is, our own would-be dictator as he announced his intention to run for “president”- I put the word in quotes as his designs on the office have nothing to do with being a president, but more a strongman, a tyrant, a dictator.  The one sentence I did catch in the news, which immediately turned my stomach, was some derogatory line about the US Justice department.  It was in keeping with his “style”; that everyone in our government, all its agencies, should support him fully and blindly, otherwise they are traitors, to be dismissed and forever ostracised by the Party, whatever the definition and proper noun chosen to signify said “party”. Either way it sounded like something said by a 1930’s fascist leader, not a former president of the United States.

As a follow up, from last weekend’s Wall Street Journal, I found nearly the same statement, about the same department. From the article Special Council To Lead Trump Probes. The italics are my own.

Mr. Trump as president repeatedly stated that the attorney general owes a president personal loyalty and should deploy the Justice Department against his political enemies.

That from a US president! Not from Stalin, or Assad, or Kim, or Putin! Our president. If this is not clear evidence of tyrannical designs, and knowing that this is how he went about the business of destroying our country for four long years, grounds for arrest and imprisonment for life in itself, then we as a country are sunk. Food for thought.