Because we can see that there is a complex and clever system in Russia, quite opaque and full of interesting details and inner rules, we should conclude that the system came about by intelligent design. But how? The evidence strongly suggests that it did not come about by chance. This book firmly rejects the ideas often promulgated in Western academic circles that Putin is an ‘accidental autocrat’ or a ‘good tsar surrounded by bad boyars.’” – Karen Dawisha, Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?
The elite [are] the ultimate authority [in Russia]: it provides the collective leadership of which [the president] is a member and which decides, among other things, how long he should serve as President. The elite has to have some mechanism at its disposal through which such decisions can be reached and through which controlled political events can be coordinated. It is essential to the success of the strategy that this mechanism should be well concealed from the West. I lack the facilities to study how it might be operating. The likelihood is, however, that it functions under cover of some openly acknowledged body. The National Security Council might be a candidate for investigation as a possible front for this secret mechanism. – Anatoliy Golitsyn, Memorandum to the CIA: 1 October 1993
I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naïve about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR [Russian Foreign Intelligence Service] is trying to destroy the U.S. even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War. – Sergei Tretyakov, as quoted by Pete Early in Comrade J, 2007 Continue reading
China’s president, Xi Jinping, may be even more ambitious than the country’s late founder Mao Zedong when it comes to challenging the United States for global leadership, Taiwan’s first directly elected president said Thursday.
“Do you really believe Xi wants to democratize?” Lee Teng-hui asked rhetorically in response to a student from Soochow University in Taipei who asked whether Taiwan would consider unification with the mainland if Beijing underwent political reforms.
What Xi wants is more power and influence over world affairs, Lee said, and aims to replace the US dollar with the renminbi as the global trade settlement currency. Continue reading