Referencing the Back-Channels zeitgeist — on the greater web: — and this has been as much a journey in cultural and political navigation as it has been for others sailing together through time — both Putin and Khamenei have emphasized their devotion to feudalism and absolute power (for them, that’s the good side) and (the bad side) the validation of mafia-style governance and outright internal piracy.

Periodically, Iranian naval forces have tweaked the British Navy by capturing a patrol boat and forcing Great Britain into a predictable round of negotiations ending with, so one might say, faces saved.

Putin’s neo-feudal rig in Russia extends the privileges of the police state known in the Soviet Era (reference: Karen Dawisha’s work) and certainly harks back to the 19th Century’s Age of Empire (so I might wag “colonel, President, EMPEROR Putin” at times). With the invasion of Crimea most in evidence (western governments are the only entities acquiescing, albeit perhaps superficially, in various levels of denial), Putin similarly takes swipes at western resolve,

Much amounts to political theater (like the $52 billion Sochi Olympics show covering the butchery and degradation taking place in Syria with Putin’s military deliveries), but these feints may at any point become more pressed, more earnest, more deadly.

That Putin would call Obama to exchange Independence Day sentiment while this was taking place of course tells of the kind of mentality represented by the Russian President and how that differs from the still dominant American manner on the topside of international politics.

The thread starter: (July 6, 2015).

The Big Boys with The Big Toys play around the world this way — – “Joint exercise in South China Sea reflects Japan’s ‘strong concern’ about Beijing” – 6/29/2015 (1/30/2014) – “Iran Seizes 15 British Seamen” (3/24/2007)

And so it goes – and probably goes on every day in ways that simply compile into military activity statistics.

What made the story played by Fox News compelling were, of course, the date, the phone call, and the required scramble.

Newsweek has got it right for this day: “Putin’s War on Ukraine is More Important Than Greek Debt” (July 6, 2015):

. . . the Kremlin opted for a third strategy, identified with Putin’s diabolic aide Vladislav Surkov: a limited but bloody war in the eastern and southern part of only two of Ukraine’s 25 regions, Luhansk and Donetsk, known as the Donbas.

The destruction has been horrendous. The territory now occupied by Russian troops or their subordinates once harbored 3.3 million people, but most have since fled—1.3 million to other parts of Ukraine, 500,000 to Russia, and 100,000 to other countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Only pensioners, the destitute and criminals remain.

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