Russian war crimes push West to escalate sanctions and Ukraine support
With evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine mounting, how will the West respond? Is Imran Khan done in Pakistan? Is Elon Musk joining the Twitter board good or bad news for free speech? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.
With evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine mounting, how will the West respond?
With further escalation. We’re a month and a half into this war and every week, the most consistent thing we’re seeing is further economic sanctions from the West, further diplomatic isolation from the West with all these Russian diplomats being thrown out of countries, and of course, further military support for Ukraine. I think that continues to accelerate and step up from the Europeans. We are moving towards oil and coal being cut off from Russia, though not gas, which is still the critical issue and the big money spinner but that’s where we’re heading right now. And of course, that also means that negotiations are very far from what we’re talking about.
Is Imran Khan done in Pakistan?
Well, not yet, not yet. We will see where the Supreme Court decides to rule. On balance, I still think that they’re going to just reject it and then he’s out on the basis of the confidence vote, which will go against him in parliament. But if that doesn’t happen, then you’re going to have new elections. And if he’s taking a scorched earth policy saying that this is all about Americans with foreign intervention to take them out, which is fake news, but very, very provocative in Pakistan, anything could happen. So it is a gambit. I understand it, and it’s all about him, right? We see a lot of those politicians these days and it never goes well for the country. By the way, Pakistan’s economy is in free fall right now and there ain’t no way they’re where IMF support in this environment. That’s really unfortunate, especially at a time we have all this inflation.
Is Elon Musk joining the Twitter board good or bad news for free speech?
I’m actually going to say it’s good news for free speech, narrowly defined. I’m not sure it’s good news for civil society. I mean, for example, free speech is one piece of the anyone should be able to say anything they want and you don’t want people to be thrown off of a platform for having political opinions. On the other hand, there’s an immense amount of disinformation, which is ill intended, which comes from by bots and trolls, which don’t come from real people. I don’t think Elon Musk is going to be good for that at all. I mean, for example, I have no problem with free speech for actual human beings, but I’d love to see everyone on Twitter verified. So if you aren’t a real person, you don’t have free speech. There’s no free speech for bots. I suspect that Elon Musk is very uninterested in addressing that. So we have different problems. On balance, I think this is problematic for Twitter, but hey, he gets to spend his money. We’ll see where it goes.