TOC Ready Room 9 April 2022: Russia-Ukraine, Adieu mon status quo; Echoes of info ops dance in our heads

What’s wrong and right with the world.

The first order of business in the Ready Room is the state of the status quo six-odd weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Per our RR convention, this won’t be an in-depth look.  But it’s important to point out that the status quo has already changed, in ways that are likely to be irreversible, and that have been flying under the radar up to now.

I think a lot of people realize this is happening, even if they can’t readily think what the specific details are.  Only one border has been breached so far, after all.  NATO hasn’t been drawn into “World War III.”  How bad can it be?

We’ve looked at one detail already:  the immediate failure of NATO’s missile defense linchpin. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 9 April 2022: Russia-Ukraine, Adieu mon status quo; Echoes of info ops dance in our heads”

Ongoing: Five top-level pings on the Russiagate/Spygate maneuver war

Occupying the position they are compelled to attack us in.

We recently passed the five-year mark of the public breaking of the Russiagaet/Spygate saga (which I reckon to the day the Steele dossier burst forth upon us, 10 January 2017), and a brief stock-taking is in order.

To keep these points crisply punctuated, they will be brief.  This is an overview, not an in-depth treatment. 

I include here the points I consider essential to useful analysis of the “-gates.”  There is a very great deal more that can be said, but these are the points that keep us on track.

Ping One Continue reading “Ongoing: Five top-level pings on the Russiagate/Spygate maneuver war”

The unclubbable Mr. Trump: China, Ukraine, and a surprise banking oversight action

A world, disrupted.

On 20 March, we checked in with a story from the period 2014-2016, when the French bank BNP Paribas was, initially, greenlighted by the Obama administration to do business with Iran, as sanctions were relaxed, and then months later was hit by U.S. government authorities with the biggest settlement forfeiture in banking history for a prior record of sanctions violations (including sanctions on Iran).

In the interim between the first development (January 2014) and the second (June 2014), BNP Paribas flagged – to UK officials – a suspicious transaction by the owner of Burisma, Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky.  The date of the notification, March 2014, fell in the period when Vice President Joe Biden was holding frequent phone conversations with top Ukrainian officials as the “Maidan Revolution” crisis expanded.  About a month after BNP Paribas alerted the UK to Zlochevsky – who had fled Ukraine in February 2014 – Hunter Biden and Devon Archer joined Burisma’s board, and payments from the company began flowing to them. Continue reading “The unclubbable Mr. Trump: China, Ukraine, and a surprise banking oversight action”

TOC Ready Room 29 March 2022: Eyes front (not back), on attacks in Israel

What’s wrong and right with the world.

This will be a brief Ready Room; basically little more than a string of tweets.  But it’s important. The subject is the terror attacks in Israel in recent days, which have now taken the lives of 11 people.  The first was a gruesome mass-knifing attack, the other two shooting attacks.

Terror using small arms is not unusual in Israel, but the attacks we’ve been seeing also don’t fit recent patterns. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 29 March 2022: Eyes front (not back), on attacks in Israel”

TOC Ready Room 28 March 2022: Russia-Ukraine and the breakup of NATO; Biolabs and viruses

What’s wrong and right with the world.

Two main points for this post regarding Russia and Ukraine.  One is that, as most readers will be aware, Russia has declared a new phase of operations, which according to the Russian video brief is to concentrate on consolidating Russia’s territorial gains in Donbas.

This is being presented by Western media as evidence that the invasion so far has been an unmitigated disaster for Moscow.  That’s obviously not true.  An unmitigated disaster would be one in which Russia, after suffering some apparently significant personnel and equipment losses (I remain wary of going with either side’s numbers on that), had no territorial gains to consolidate. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 28 March 2022: Russia-Ukraine and the breakup of NATO; Biolabs and viruses”