23 July 2017
A strange moment in history.
Trump visited Poland. PiS brought their supporters by bus to listen to his speech. The Polish president did not speak. PiS people booed Lech Wałęsa during Trump's speech. The worst constitutional crisis in the history of Poland since 1989 got reignited days after his visit.
The political crisis in Poland is escalating, tens of thousands of people have been protesting in the streets in defence of democracy for a few days now. There is close to zero coverage of it in Australian media. Nothing in ABC, almost nothing in SBS.
Russian TV - I'm watching NTV - why is the Australian government re-broadcasting a Russian government controlled station? (*1) - showed Russian parliament and government make a big fuss a couple days ago about some obscure update in the Polish law about removal of symbols of communism in Poland, with some members of parliament pushing for breaking of diplomatic ties with Poland. Polish news (POLSAT) did not even notice that change or the Russian reaction. Nothing in Russian news about Polish protests.
Al Jazeera does report the protests. It seems they are better at reporting what is important than the western media. (*2)
The Trump chaos continues in the US - press secretary Sean Spicer resigned.
The Brexit chaos continues in the UK.
Trump met with the new French president. Days later the French armed forces chief quit (*3) to protest the proposed cuts to the military spending, which even currently is below the 2% target for NATO. (*4)
A Chinese spy ship has been spotted near joint American-Australian exercises off Queensland coast. (*5)
Russia brought to the Baltic sea two ships, which never go there, because they are simply too big for the small and shallow Baltic: an old but still working atomic submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles, and a cruiser that has more firepower than the whole of Polish shore defences. (*6)
Three Chinese warships entered the Baltic sea to take part in joint manoeuvres with the Russians. (*7)
The Zapad 2017 military exercises seem to have already started in Russia and Belarus, well before their official September schedule. (*8)
What the heck is going on?
*1 "On 14 April 2001, Gazprom took over NTV by force":
*2 "The survival of democracy in Poland is at stake": http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/07/poland-turning-authoritarian-170722113057383.html
*3 French chief of armed forces quits over budget cuts:
*4 France spends 1.78% of GDP on military: http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/08/news/nato-summit-spending-countries/index.html
*6 Northern http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/8972/russia-reportedly-sending-worlds-largest-submarine-to-the-baltic-sea
*7 Chinese ships in the Baltic: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/12656/chinese-naval-group-in-baltic-sea-at-same-time-as-russias-biggest-sub-and-cruiser
*8 Russian, Belorussian, Chinese military activity in Eastern/Northern Europe: https://osteuropastudien.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/analysts-say-russias-zapad-17-has-started/