Russia

A diplomatic breakthrough the media would like to ignore

Featured image The Trump administration has helped broker a deal between Serbia and Kosovo, two former arch-enemies that were part of the former Yugoslavia. The agreement is receiving scant attention from the mainstream media for reasons I’ll address below. However, it’s an important deal — more so, I think, than the agreement between Israel and the UAE, which mostly ratified existing realities. The main significance of the Serbia-Kosovo agreement is its potential »

Judge Stephen Williams, RIP

Featured image Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has died at age 83, reportedly due to the Wuhan coronavirus. The statement of Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan praising his colleague is here. This tribute by Aaron Nelson includes moving praise from one of his liberal colleagues, Judge David Tatel. Williams was a staunch conservative. Nelson’s article begins by quoting the following opening line by Judge »

Are our enemies rooting for Trump or Biden?

Featured image American intelligence officials “assess” that China and Iran hope that Joe Biden defeats President Trump, but that Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden. These assessments have generated lots of buzz. Democrats have been unhappy that Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, wasn’t more alarmist about alleged Russian plans. Now they are unhappy that he has thrown China and Iran into the mix. I assess that »

Trump at his worst

Featured image President Trump is at his worst when he asserts a moral equivalence between America and Russia. Trump asserted such an equivalence during an interview with Bill O’Reilly in 2017. Trump told O’Reilly that he respected Vladimir Putin. O’Reilly objected by noting that Putin is a killer. Instead of explaining the ways in which Putin nonetheless might deserve some form of respect, Trump’s response was: “There are a lot of killers. »

Was Trump briefed about alleged Russian bounties on U.S. troops?

Featured image The latest Russia-related Trump scandal being touted by the media concerns alleged bounties offered to terrorists in Afghanistan for attacks on NATO forces. Supposedly, U.S intelligence concluded that Russia offered such payments, and the New York Times says that Trump was briefed about it. The White House denies that Trump was briefed. If our intelligence community really concluded that Russia was offering terrorists bounties for killing Americans (and troops allied »

The biggest debunked conspiracy theory of them all

Featured image Of all the lies the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have told about President Trump, the claim that Trump is a tool of the Russians stands out for its audacity I’m not surprised that the Dems/MSM went big with their lying. However, it astounds me that intelligent people I know who are outside of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media somehow found merit in this claim. »

Isaac Babel revisited

Featured image Northwestern University Professor Gary Saul Morson packs a lot of learning into his 2018 New York Review of Books essay/review on Isaac Babel, “The horror, the horror.” The editors of the NYRB kindly took the essay out from behind its paywall and made it accessible for Power Line readers this week in response to my request yesterday. The essay will soon recede behind the paywall once again. I want to »

The Power Line Show, Ep 172: Breaking Down the Oil Price War and the Coronavirus with Mark Mills

Featured image I’m posting this week’s episode a couple days ahead of our usual weekend schedule to keep up with the fast-moving news cycle about the most important story of the week—no, not the coronavirus, but rather the oil price war that broke out last weekend between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The timing may not be purely coincidental, as I discuss with my guest this week, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills. »

Strap In: It’s Going to Get Bumpy

Featured image The big news over the weekend was not the coronavirus, contrary to what you might think from watching the news. The most consequential story of the weekend is the oil price war that has broken out between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Saudi Arabia has decided to increase its production and slash its price to punish Russia for not going along with OPEC quotas designed to prop up the price of »

For Turkey, a war and a new refugee crisis

Featured image With so much focus on the coronavirus and the Democratic primaries, the media has paid scant attention to two related developments: (1) war between Turkey and Syria and (2) refugees trying to push their way en masse from Turkey into Greece. Turkey has been at war with Syria, and by extension Russia, for a few weeks. The war stems from the push by the Syrian regime, with its usual Russian »

Notice this (2)

Featured image It is simply false to assert that we rely on Bill Browder’s word for the facts related to the torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky. We have Magnitsky’s own account preserved in diary and court records, among other things and we have the witnesses who can be heard in Justice for Sergei, the documentary film I have embedded below. Several versions of the film can be viewed free of charge »

Notice this

Featured image Bill Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, through which he became the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005. Sergei Magnitsky was his lawyer. Through sharp practices with a new twist, Russian authorities misappropriated three of Browder’s companies and used them in a scheme to take $230 million from the Russian government in the form of a tax refund. When Magnitsky figured out what had happened »

Lookin’ for a new fool (2)

Featured image Maria Bartiromo took up the New York Times’s updated edition of the Russia hoax on her FOX News Sunday Morning Futures show yesterday. Her guest was House Intelligence Committee Member John Ratcliffe (video below). FOX News reports on the interview in “Rep. Ratcliffe on Russia reportedly trying to interfere with 2020 election: Dems ‘leaked information that’s not accurate.'” Quotable quote: “[The Russians] meddled in 2016, they are going to meddle »

Lookin’ for a new fool

Featured image You have to be deranged to believe that Vladimir Putin seeks to promote the reelection of President Trump. It is the kind of derangement that seems to permeate the upper reaches of our intelligence establishment. John Hinderaker expresses our unclassified view in “You don’t need a spy to know which way the Russian wind blows” (classic allusion in John’s heading). This morning Chris Wallace is peddling the line pushed by »

You Don’t Need a Spy to Know Which Way the Russian Wind Blows

Featured image Over the last few days we have seen news reports alleging that members of the “intelligence community” have delivered briefings to the effect that the Russians are 1) trying to help President Trump in the 2020 election, and 2) trying to help Bernie Sanders in the same election. I don’t take seriously anything that is leaked from the “intelligence community,” but in any event, we don’t need the CIA to »

A tough Trump policy on Russia that no one talks about

Featured image The claim that the Trump administration goes easy on Russia is false. President Trump has sanctioned Russia and Russians. He has expelled Russian diplomats. He is more supportive of Poland and, yes, Ukraine than President Obama was. At least as importantly, Trump has vigorously opposed a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. Construction of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2, would be hugely beneficial for Russia. For one thing, Russia »

America’s withdrawal from Syria: Are congratulations in order?

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump spoke about the cease-fire in northeastern Syria. He declared it a major diplomatic victory for the administration. Trump noted that critics had “scorned” him for removing U.S. troops from areas controlled by the U.S. and our Kurdish allies. “Now,” claimed Trump, “people are saying ‘Wow, what a great outcome — congratulations.'” Most of Trump’s critics aren’t saying this, though. They complain that Trump has opened the door »