From Christopher Dickey, the author of "Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South" and "Securing the City," this site provides updates and footnotes on history, espionage, terrorism, fanaticism, policing and counterinsurgency linked to Dickey's columns for The Daily Beast and his other writings; also, occasional dialogues, diatribes, and contributions from friends.
Monday, November 18, 2019
Notes on cause and effect when looking at Trump, Russia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Venice
The actions we write about most often are reactions to what came before, but the links may be obscured by fictionalized narratives.
Notes on Cause and Effect: Trump, Russia, Ukraine, Venice, and Hong Kong
We did not write about the yellow vest movement which celebrated its one year anniversary this week with some small but violent demonstrations. Most people ignored it. Paris was packed with shoppers. But as the notice at the Madeleine bus stop shows, a lot of public transport was shut down on Saturday. Elsewhere in the city, we saw the last of the fall colors, which you can take a look at on my Instagram feed.
One of the core purposes of reporting is to understand cause and effect. The actions we write about almost always are reactions to events that have gone before. But the truth of the matter is not always easy to discern as people try to impose their own one-sided narratives on known facts, or invent their "facts" altogether.
The stories we've published about world news over the last few days were all reported with an eye to understanding why we see what we see happening in various corners of the world:
It's much easier to understand the way Donald Trump thinks and acts, for instance, if one knows about his longstanding connections to alleged Russian mobsters.
The presence of the extreme nationalist right in Ukraine, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis, cannot be ignored, even if efforts by members of the U.S. Congress to get the Azov Battalion declared a foreign terrorist organization play into the hands of Kremlin propagandists.
Much of the Hong Kong coverage the world sees has focused on telegenic flames, clouds of teargas, bricks thrown and shots fired. But the make or break moment may actually come at the ballot box next weekend—if elections are allowed at all.