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Posts Tagged ‘ Vladimir Putin ’

The Goggle Box – House Of Cards Splits The Deck

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House Of Cards Season 3 has been and gone and opinions are divided at best. Was the third season of a binge watch TV series ever going to go down a treat? Probably not. Are we all fools to have plowed through all 13 episodes in no time at all? Probably, yes. But the burning question, was it any good? Yes; and here’s why.

Lads, seriously, full spoilers for House Of Cards follow.

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Realpolitik: Big Boy Games, Big Boy Rules

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Today we learned of a fracture in the western alliance system as French and German leaders head off to Russia for peace talks on the Ukrainian crisis. This is a desperate and misguided attempt to reach a resolution, which in all likelihood is going to fail. The inescapable fact is that Russia is an aggressive state with a belligerent leader, who has thus far only played the realpolitik game. Already torn up is the German-brokered ceasefire from late 2014, not to mention treaties from the nineties which guaranteed Ukrainian border integrity. Without anyone effectively challenging Putin, there is no reason to believe that he will sit down and settle a political solution. The famed strongman of world politics will only back down and make terms when the alternative for him, continued belligerence, is the worse option.

One can only wonder where Angela Merkel’s reputation as the Iron Lady of Europe came from. So far she has only continually reiterated her country’s unwillingness to fight or supply arms to the Ukrainians as well as opposing proposals for new stationing of NATO troops in Eastern European countries. This stance is undoubtedly popular in a Germany which is still dealing with war guilt towards Russia and is more sceptical of its relationship with the United States. Merkel has also previously been praised for her understanding of Russia, having grown up in East Germany and for her fluent Russian. However her understanding had an obvious blind spot in the Crimea crisis. German-backed energy deals with Russia were no hindrance to the illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of East Ukraine. Europe has effectively been caught with its pants down. Continue reading

Autarky In Weaponry- Russia’s Not So New Option

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Russia’s resurgence is reminiscent of the Cold War in numerous ways, and already, some of the same mistakes are being made. In particular, Russia’s latest move towards self-sufficiency in weapons production is doing it no favours.

Over the last few months Russia has announced moves towards domestic procurement of weaponry to offset reliance on imports. Famously we have the French built-aircraft carrier now floating idly in port after France was pressured into halting the transaction.  Vladimir Putin announced moves to invest in domestic high-tech industries. This is the kind of rhetoric that politicians wheel out to appeal to patriotic sentiment, but in the reality is simply untenable and hinders a country militarily. Full-spectrum and autonomous weapons production was once a necessity to be a great power but in the globalised age is untenable. Continue reading

News in Brief – Shatter Resigns As Kenny Morphs Into Putin

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Before we kick off can you all take a minute to imagine the theme to The Apprentice . . . got it? OK now we can start.

Alan Shatter has left the building. While the Indo asked ‘who trapped the rat in Leinster House?’ The answer became obvious, it was Enda and he was clutching him by his whiskery tail.

So Shatter has resigned and the future of the justice system is restored, well not exactly, but it’s bound to be a bit better right? RIGHT?! Former social worker Frances Fitzgerald has stepped up to the plate so hopefully she has a better idea of right and wrong. That’s beside the point though what NIB would like to draw everyone’s attention to is that Kenny has taken over Defence. Put a crown on him and call him Putin. Surely putting our dear leader in charge of the country’s defence policy is like appointing him leader of all things. Maybe NIB is exaggerating but you just wait, when the words ‘5-year-plans’ slip out you’ll know we warned you! Continue reading

News In Brief: Baby Horan’s A Hit While Gerry Adams Gets Trolled

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The Pope is becoming a regular feature in NIB these days, more so than that Bono fella. And this week is no exception you will all be glad to know. In a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the Pope’s inauguration Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin told the congregation the Pope isn’t popular because of any polished public image, he’s not an attention seeking superstar and he most definitely isn’t interested in ‘Christians with sour faces’ eradicating the majority of the Irish Church. He’s just a bloke! Though with history’s greatest PR man behind him.

NIB thought we were on to a good story when we saw Vladimir had called on Garda Commissioner Callinan to withdraw his ‘disgusting’ remark about police whistle-blowers, until we realised it wasn’t the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin, making the call but our own transport minister Leo Varadkar. Disappointment doesn’t cover it, imagine that, Callinan would have withdrawn his comments, apologised profusely and baked cake for everyone if it had been Putin. Continue reading

Sochi 2014: 10 Facts About The Most Expensive Winter Olympics Ever

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The Winter Olympic Games are set to unfold in the Russian beach resort town of Sochi , which has been plagued by controversy right from the start.

When organizers struck down a request by NGO Pride House to set up shop in Sochi, Russia’s policies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights came under close scrutiny. Then there were widespread allegations over corruption in the provisions of services and facilities. Critics accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of cronyism in awarding contracts and mismanagement of funds. Continue reading

Snowden Breaks Silence for Condemnation

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Ecuador embassy car in front of Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on June 23, 2013 around the arrival of Edward Snowden. Author: Dmitry Rozhkov.

Former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, has made a broad appeal for asylum to a number of countries around the globe, including Ireland. The requests were made to a number of countries including Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuala. Snowden recently withdrew his request for asylum in Russia, following comments by Vladimir Putin that he would only be welcomed in Russia if he discontinued “his work at bringing harm” to the US.

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