In politics, as in history, they say that sometimes nothing happens for years — then everything changes in a few days.
What about an alternative; that nothing is obvious for years, then in a few days, everything becomes clear?
In the past week or so we have observed a series of events that make clear the world may be headed into an unprecedented meltdown that, unlike 2008, is far from purely financial.
The GFC, as it is now known, may have spawned a populist backlash, and a “whatever it takes” mentality contributing to new monetary norms but the direct impact was rarely kinetic.
In the aftermath of Shinzo Abe’s brutal murder (video), what the past few weeks may be indicating, however, is that financial instability this time round will get up close and personal like never before in the 21st century.
Here’s a quick overview of the summer of discontent currently in the making.
Notable about the shootings this past week is their diversity in terms of geography and motive:
- On June 24, the day before Norway’s Pride event, a 42-year-old radical Islamist was arrested and charged. The individual killed two individuals and injured another 10.
- On July 3, on the eve of the Tour de France’s last stage took place on Danish soil, a 22-year-old Danish man killed three people and wounded seven more. Police have excluded terrorism as the cause, and the individual is now in a psychiatric ward.
- On July 4, a 21-year-old named Robert Crimo III was arrested as a suspect in a shooting in the Highland Park 4 July parade. The individual killed seven people and wounded two dozen more. Robert Crimo III has since voluntarily confessed to his crimes. The attack comes two days before Senior Department of Homeland Security leaders of every major internal department were to hand in their recommendations on how the sprawling department can counter domestic terrorism events.
- On July 6, ‘suspected bandits’ attacked outgoing Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina, Nigeria. The President was shot at while on the way to Buhari’s hometown, opening fire from prepared ambush positions. Two members of the convoy sustained lesser injuries.
- On July 8, the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was murdered by an individual while undertaking a public speech. The assailant utilised a homemade two-barrelled electrically fired shotgun. Police later recovered two additional firearms at the individual’s home, which include a (probably) electrically fired 9-barrel (above) and 5-barrel shotgun.
As previously highlighted in our Blind Spot Wraps, there has been a significant pick-up in the number of protests taking place across the world this weekend, notably in Canada, Netherlands, Macedonia, Libya, and Sri Lanka.
- Netherlands: The escalation of protests of farmers against government plans to cut nitrogen emissions have surprised almost everyone. Though none were injured, Dutch police apparently fired on a tractor. The Dutch farmers allegedly dropped hay bales in front of the police officers’ home, alongside a threat. This isn’t the first time Dutch police appear have resorted to such direct measures; they shot and injured two rioters at anti-lockdown protests last year. Videos of empty store shelves allegedly linked to the farmers’ strike are now also circulating the internet.
- Canada: The freedom truckers of Canada appear to be back in the Canadian capital for Canada day.
- Libya: Protests in both East and West Libya continue to erupt following a continous economic, social, and political crisis in the country. The unrest is being directed at both main factions – East and West-based – of the fractured Libyan government. Excluding some improbable 4D chess move, the Blind Spot’s previous hypothesis, that such protests may be linked to failed talks between rival governments, appears to have been misplaced. The widespread and ongoing nature of the instability suggests the protests are genuinely grassroots-led.
- Macedonia: Widespread demonstrations in North Macedonia, some of which have degenerated into violence, followed a French-sponsored agreement for the Macedons to concede to some proposals by Bulgaria, which contests North Macedonia’s EU bid. Bulgaria’s proposal includes a number of political and cultural demands for North Macedonia, including demands to mention the Bulgarian minority in the preamble to the Macedonian Constitution, and a commitment to fighting hate speech. The reasons for the protests appear diffuse; some condemn the government for reneging on Macedonian cultural heritage and placating Bulgarian demands, with some opposition politicians blaming ‘police provocateurs’ for the violent nature of the protests.
- Sri Lanka: The spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for restraint on behalf of Sri Lankan authorities in the face of continuing widespread protests on the back of outright economic collapse. The protests have catalysed in several confrontations between protesters and police and armed forces, notably at fuel stations where thousands of individuals have often queued for hours or days. Lanka IOC, which is a subsidiary of the Indian Oil Corporation in Sri Lanka, announced it was suspending the distribution of fuel for two days in light of expected mass public protests.
SpyTalks has come out with an excellent look at how spooky politics works. Notably;
- Earlier last month, a Russian spy was caught trying to infiltrate the international criminal court as an intern. The spy’s legend was a 10-year stay in Brazil, after which he acquired a Brazilian passport. Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, 36, is accused of being an agent of the GRU. Cherkasov, who was pretending to be seeking an internship in the ICC, was flown back by Dutch authorities to Brazil. An intriguing Brazilian article claimed that Brazilian authorities insisted on silencing any potential outrage linked to the story. The article claims this is because Bolsonaro is anxious to maintain Russian fertilizer shipments to Brazil.
- The Intercept outlines the Pentagon’s use of a secretive authority, known as “127e”, to train and provide intelligence to foreign forces in multiple countries. The document, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, confirmed that at least 14 127e programmes are active between the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa and the Asia Pacific region. The personnel used are US Special Forces. Though Special Forces typically arm, train, and provide foreign forces – primarily intended to build local capacity among allies, under 127e the missions are “US-directed missions, targeting US enemies, to achieve US aims”.