Dismissing North Korea? Maybe not completely…

I have been watching the circus on the Korean peninsula with some dismay for a while already.  I am dismayed not only by the fact that both sides are acting rather irresponsibly, but also by what I consider a potentially dangerous dismissal of the North Korean threats.First, and here I am going to alienate some folks with whom I otherwise sympathize, I do not lay the blame for the current

Unbelievable – the Saudis are at it again!

Just a few hours after writing about how the Saudis are seriously considering crucifying a Shia cleric, I come across this news item: now the Saudis are apparently considering deliberately paralyzing a man.  Check out this BBC article: Amnesty ‘outrage’ at Saudi paralysis sentence.  Here is an excerpt: The reported sentencing of paralysis for a Saudi man as punishment for paralysing another man has been described as “outrageous” by a

The USA – in bed with the worst of the worst

Please take a look at this article from the al-Akhbar English language website. I think that it is extremely interesting as it shows the true face of the Saudi Kingdom, not one of modernism and progress, but one of crass pre-medieval barbarity.  Let me point of a few things here: Wahabi crucifixion in Yemen a) Crucifixion as a method of executing is legal in Saudi Arabia.  Yup, that’s right.  What

First results from the Russia-China partnership

Results from the new Russian-Chinese strategic partnership are coming in fast. First, Russia has agreed to sell China 4 advanced diesel-electric submarines of the “Lada” class (aka Project 677): Project 677 This type of submarine is one of the most advanced in its class, even superior to its formidable predecessor the “Kilo” class Project 636 which was already so silent that it was nicknamed the “Black Hole” because for its

Russia between Cyprus and China

The last couple of days have been truly of immense, historical, importance for Russia, first because of the hugely important visit of  Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. During this visit the Chinese side stressed that it was highly symbolic that Xi Jinping had chosen Russia as the first country

“The Syrian Diary” – Russian TV documentary (subtitled)

Why I believe that this is a “must watch” documentary: This is a documentary by Anastasia Popova, a correspondent for the Russian TV station “Rossia 24”.  Don’t expect any kind of sympathy for the FSA from these reporters who are 100% behind the Syrian Army and who are absolutely outraged at what they strongly believe is the rape of a nation by a coalition of international terrorists and NATO special

Russia and Islam, part seven: the weatherman’s cop out

In the bad old days when I used to do analysis for a living, I had a boss which always insisted that I offer him several possible outcomes.  He wanted me to tell him, “either X or Y could happen, but if not, then Z is a definite possibility”.  In his mind, by covering all the possible outcomes our department’s “analysis” would never be wrong, and he would ways been

A New Pope and “The Most Corrupt Vatican Since the Borgias”

Matthew Fox (former Catholic priest) discusses the Vatican’s work with the CIA and it’s alliance with far right political forces and Pope Francis’ opposition to liberation theology in Latin America.  Comment: There is a contradiction in Matthew Fox’ position.  He blames the Papacy for its alliance with the CIA, but he also says that the Dalai Lama should be the next Pope because he represents a real spirituality.  The Dalai

British double-standards in the Falklands

By Adrian Salbuchi for RT: Islanders take part in the “Proud to be British” parade along Ross Road in Port Stanley, Falkland (Malvinas for Argentina) Islands, on March 10, The British government and press are noisily congratulating each other over the results of a referendum amongst the 1800 or so voting “Kelpers” as Britain’s second-rate nationals in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands in the South Atlantic are called. Clearly a useless but

Russia and Islam, part six: the Kremlin

This is a topic which I have been most hesitant to cover for many reasons, including the fact that my views on this topic have come to change, and that they did so not as a result of the discovery of indisputable facts, but under the combined action of  much “in between the lines” readings of events, many indirect events pointing in the same direction, combined with a very strong,

Russia and Islam, part five: “Islam” as an ally

Yusuf al-Qaradawi “Russia has become the first enemy of Islam and Muslims because it has stood against the Syrian people; more than 30,000 Syrians have been killed by the weapons supplied by Russia” Yusuf al-Qaradawi Reading the words of al-Qaradawi, who is arguably one of the most influential Muslim clerics on the planet whose TV show is followed by 60 million Muslims, one might wonder how anybody could ever think

Russia and Islam, part four: “Islam” as a threat

The first thing to which I would like to draw your attention to is that in the title Russia and Islam, part four: “Islam” as a threat I put the word “Islam” in quotation marks.  This is very important, as most of the issues I will be discussing today are not directly linked to Islam at all.  However, in the minds of many Russians, these issues are linked to Islam

¡Salve Correa y Ecuador ! Cuatro lecciones

por Atilio A. Boron para El Correo La aplastante victoria de Rafael Correa, con un porcentaje de votos y una diferencia entre él y su más inmediato contendiente que ya hubieran querido tener Obama, Hollande y Rajoy, deja algunas lecciones que es bueno recapitular. Primero, y lo más obvio, la ratificación del mandato popular para seguir por el camino trazado pero, como dijo Correa en su conferencia de prensa, avanzando más

Russia and Islam, part three: internal Russian politics

In the first two installments of this series on Russia and Islam we have seen that the reasons why neither the modern European civilizational model nor the traditional Orthodox faith can, at this point in time, provide a viable and positive source of ideological or spiritual inspiration for post-Soviet Russia.  While in the past three hundred years the ideologically dominant philosophical and political paradigm has been the “Westernizing” one, the

Russia and Islam, part one: introduction and definitions

Today, I am beginning a series of articles on the very complex topic of Russia and Islam, a topic which is mostly overlooked in the West or, when it is mentioned at all, is often completely misunderstood.  I have been researching this fascinating topic for many months already and there is so much to say about it that I have decided to write a series of installments, each one covering