Interview

You can listen to an interview I did for the Geopolitics and Empire podcast below:

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Interview”

  1. … in which Professor gets +20 “Woke points” for his “there is some good reasons to suspect Russia’s state involvement in Litvinenko and Skripals poisoning” (c)

    Also:

    – Podcast’s host mentions “news about changing of Russia’s constitution”. Wow. Passing rumours for “news”. What a clear sign, that you are a serious podcast and not a gossip! Cue several minutes long discussion of this strawman.

    – Then Professor spends several minutes to bring nuance and politely discuss the so-called “Russiagate” allegations, instead of calling its peddlers a bunch of delusional and/or power hungry leaders of the neo-Rupture cult.

    – Professor demonstrates that he’s ever the optimist, allaying his host’s fears about “Cold War 2.0.” by saying, that things are not so bad, as there is still room for them getting worse.

    – Professor also shows that he decided to ignore the existing evidence and just allow the “Kerch Strait incident” to be judged by others for him, instead of trying to deal with it personally. Otherwise, how else one can explain his sudden (and vague) appeal to the “international law” re: Ukraine right of passage. Given that all previous international treaties between Russia and the Ukraine regard the Sea of Azov and Russo-Ukrainian domestic territorial waters the appeal to the international sea laws simply does not, ah, “fly” here. See this superb take down of the Kerch incident from the purely international law POV. Instead professor once again proclaims his love to the “shades of gray”.

    BUT, as the podcasts go, this one is not a bad one. The host, despite trying at times too hard to present himself as being an “alternative media” (why name-drop Steven Cohen?), is not an idiot with a Bias Factor over 1000. He even asks (probably, genuinely worried), could Mr. Robinson get into trouble for holding such subversive views while in Canada’s Academia. I’m left disappointed though over the fact, that neither the host nor the Professor did the next logical step in their discussion of what transpires right now in Russo-Western relations. Namely, while calling for the increase of mutual understanding and doling out the usual “both sides are to blame – tsk, tsk, tsk, naughty boys!”, none said out loud the obvious. That Russia and the West are at (some kind of) War. During the War you don’t try to “reason” or really understand your enemy – you try to force a capitulation/favorable peace terms and extract intelligence for furthering your war effort. You does not allow enemy propaganda to have a voice in your country – while you crank up your own propaganda against the Enemy up to 11. In the War the opinions of shy and conscientious intilligents does not matter – they are more trouble, and if they become too much trouble, well, there are all kinds of sharashki to keep them busy while out of the harms way.

    I wonder will I ever hear the spade being called a spade again? Or is it not politically sensitive in our troubling times?

    Like

    1. You consider me ‘woke’, while the other side considers me a paid agent of the Kremlin. Such is the price of moderation. I will keep paying it.

      You misunderstand the law of the sea. Though there is some dispute on the matter, the Sea of Azov is generally considered to be the ‘internal waters’ of Ukraine and Russia. Under UNCLOS III, there is no right of innocent passage through internal waters. However, the Ukrainian ships never made it as far as the Sea of Azov. The Russian government claims that it detained them in Russian ‘territorial’ waters in the Black Sea. There is a right of innocent passage through territorial waters, subject to obedience of local laws providing for the safety of navigation.

      And as you have surely noticed by now, I object to the idea that Russia and the West are at war, consider it misuse of language, and also think that it is a dangerous thesis which if maintained could become a self-fulfilling policy.

      This blog will continue to preach moderation, dialogue and peace.

      Like

      1. “subject to obedience of local laws providing for the safety of navigation.”

        That is what the Ukrainian ships did not do.
        Not many “shades of grey” here.

        Like

      2. “You consider me ‘woke’, while the other side considers me a paid agent of the Kremlin. Such is the price of moderation. I will keep paying it.”

        No, I didn’t say that you are “woke”. Please, don’t put words into my mouth. There is a crucial difference between them and me, Professor. They claim that you are, basically, a paid traitor to the Glorious West, while not even bothering to provide any kind of proof. I, OTOH, have no illusions about your loyalty or views, and base my comments on very words you said. When I talk about “woke points”, I’m, naturally, (half-)sarcastic. I use this expression as a stand in for what now any public figure must say, this obligatory pro forma pious expression, that keeps them handshakable. Actually believing in that is not required, but surely helps.

        Your constant attempts to appear moderate, balanced and, ha, neutral extract a substantial price indeed. When the host asked you about the Integrity Initiative you deftly dodged the question. That’s it – you completely ignored it, didn’t mention even in the passing, instead starting playing the old tune “Both Sides Are To Blame”. Your internal integrity (integrity – geddit?) would require at least to say something along the following: “Yes, I’m familiar with this still developing situation. I also familiarized myself with the results of the leaked data provided by the Anonymouse and with inane and bumbling excuses of the Integrity Initiative and Her Majesty’s Government, which admit that the leaked material is genuine”. Because, Professor, as it is evident from your own blogposts (which your interlocutor reportedly read) – yes, you are familiar with all of this. But instead you chose to play safe and spent several minutes attacking the strawman of “Putin changes the constitution !”

        Or maybe this is a modern version of “moderation”, after all. One can nearly imagine you standing before a huge chalkboard divided in two, where on the one side you tally your “woke” claims, and on the other – “pro-Kremlin” ones, with the stickers elsewhere reminding you that one “pro-Kremlin” claim (e.g. that there is a civil war in the Ukraine) is worth at least 3 “woke” ones. You stare and stare and wonder, how to balance your speech as to not lost your handshakability in the West – because this is the only thing that matters for you. What’s a hypocrisy here and there if the alternative is to lose everything in the freest capitalist society?

        “You misunderstand the law of the sea.”

        And you ignored the article that I linked. You also claimed about “conflicting reports”, which shows that you didn’t listen to the radio communications between Russian border guard ships and the Ukrainian military “vessels” (here’s the unedited version). You clearly expressed no desire to dwell deeper into this issue and to find out how it was in reality. You also clearly ignore the fact that detention of the Ukrainian “vessels” happened due to their “dangerous maneuvering” – a fact of which “maneuvering” no one can really dispute.

        “And as you have surely noticed by now, I object to the idea that Russia and the West are at war, consider it misuse of language, and also think that it is a dangerous thesis which if maintained could become a self-fulfilling policy.

        This blog will continue to preach moderation, dialogue and peace.”

        🙂

        But, ah, not the truth?

        Like

  2. I would just like to note, since I saw a Russian TV interview as well, that you sound more fluid and relaxed in Russian, while in English there are more stops and hesitations (i.e. repeating of syllables), even though I could easily tell you have an accent in Russian.

    Maybe it’s the medium and not the language? Here you had to think carefully about what you were going to say, while there it was a bit more light?

    Also, that think tank report that you can’t go into for legal reasons sounds… interesting.

    Like

    1. I’ve been told before that I’m a different person when speaking in Russian….

      On the other matter, I should have some news to share very soon – a minor victory on the information warfare front…

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s