Well, it's "blogging Friday" again, the Friday where I pre-schedule the next two weeks' worth of blogs, and I have to admit, this time around, it's going to be more difficult than usual, not because of the dearth, but because of the surplus, of materials to choose from. First, a big thank you to the many people these past weeks who sent emails, articles, or made comments on the blogs. This will be an interesting two weeks, because there is so much to talk about, but so little time to do so.
First up, Russia has now made it official and granted one year of asylum to Edward Snowden:
The article makes it clear that the Administration of B.O. is thinking of calling off a forthcoming summit with President Vladimir Putin, and one can only imagine the response this must be provoking in Moscow: laughter, yawns, and perhaps even the sound of deep snoring. Mr. Putin had nothing to lose by granting Snowden asylum, for once again it highlights how upside down the post-Cold War world has become: Russia is serving up lessons to the USSA about the dangers of totalitarian control-and-surveillance societies.
But there's more going on here than just Snowden. The real context of the move must be seen as geopolitical, and yet another slap in the face of the USSA by a BRICSA bloc intent on challenging the assumptions of Anglo-American unipolarity.
As I noted in the News and Views for August 1st, the past weeks have seen some interesting signals from Russia: (1) calls for more computer programmers by the Russian Ministry of Defense, (2) the purchase of typewriters for the composition and circulation of highly confidential documents (expressing the implicit concern that Russia does not feel confident about its current electronic security), and (3) the recent announcement that the BRICS development bank statutes will shortly be ready, indicating that the bank is taking another step closer to reality.
Add to this mixture the fact that Russia continues to oppose western attempts to topple the Assad regime in Syria, and its backing of "rebels" that are little better than butchers, and the picture is clear: Russia will continue and most likely escalate such incremental challenges to the Anglosphere's financial oligarchs, and this during a period when that oligarchy is showing all the signs of serious retrenchment into its power base of North America and the British Commonwealth nations.
Therefore, if Mr. Obama does proceed with the summit, it is likely to be from a position of weakness, not the least on the plain of individual rights and freedoms.
See you on the flip side.