The Huntsman And The Cossack

A great title for a spy movie…..and believe it or not that is what we have going on between the US and Russia….a bad spy movie.

But this is about something that Trump has done that I see as something positive….at least for now…..

He has nominated Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia…….Huntsman, a former Utah governor, was U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011. He has served in the administrations of five U.S. presidents and was a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

U.S. President Donald Trump will nominate Jon Huntsman, an envoy to China under former Democratic President Barack Obama, as U.S. ambassador to Russia, the White House said on Tuesday.

The job, all the more high-profile because of allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

If confirmed, Huntsman, who has long been expected to be Trump’s pick for the job, will head to Moscow as the U.S. Congress and a special counsel investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and allegations that Trump’s campaign had ties to Moscow.

Huntsman has lots of experience as a diplomat…..but my question is can Trump and Huntsman work for the common good….or will it be contentious from the start?

I do not look for Huntsman to be in place for long……especially as this investigation progresses…..

For now I give Trump 2 thumbs up for his choice as Ambassador to Russia….but will my confidence last?

The Scariest Russian Is Popular

I recently wrote a post about the mysterious death of Stalin…..included in the post was a link to another site that says that the popularity of Stalin is on the rise….even under the leadership of Putin.

Here is that link from the post……

Source: Stalin More Popular Than Putin, Russians Say

After I posted the article I read a couple more reports that confirm that Stalin’s popularity is on the rise within Russia…

A competition has been launched to find the “Name of Russia” – one Russian from history who should go down as a national symbol and the nation’s biggest hero. Joseph Stalin, despite being one of the most vicious tyrants of the 20th century (and an ethnic Georgian), makes it on to the initial long list of 500 names, and is expected to garner a fair few votes.

Since Winston Churchill won the BBC’s Great Britons series, other countries have thought that the concept is a rather good idea. But while the German broadcaster ZDF has said that Adolf Hitler and all other Nazi leaders will be barred from running in the “Our Best” series due to start soon, the Russian version includes Stalin and several other Bolsheviks involved in the Great Terror in its long list.

Source: The Big Question: Why is Stalin still popular in Russia, despite the brutality of his regime? | The Independent

Then another Journal has published a survey into the popularity of Stalin…..

Stalin still sells. In Moscow-based independent pollster Levada Center’s latest representative survey on the ten most outstanding personalities “of all times and all nations,” published at the end of June, 38 percent of 1600 respondents in Russia included Stalin in their lists. Putin and Pushkin were each named by 34 percent, followed closely by Lenin. The first non-Russian name on the list was the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, mentioned by 9 percent of interviewees.

Although the Levada Center frequently publishes surveys on all kinds of sociological topics, the results of this particular poll gained broad media coverage – and not only in Russia, but abroad as well as it seems to provide further proof that Stalin has been rehabilitated in post-Soviet Russian society.

Source: Stalin Reloaded? | Berlin Policy Journal – Blog

Lots of evidence that Stalin is returning in Russia…..there are some that will say “so what”?…those would be the people that do not remember what Stalin was capable of doing…and now he is becoming more popular….

I do not see this as a good thing….how about you?

The Death Of Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili

Who?

Let’s take a trip in the “way back” machine…..

When I was at university I took a course on Russian history….now there is a subject with everything……sex, intrigue, murder, espionage, war etc……

Back to the question…..who?  Nobody special in Russian history….but you may know him by his “other” name….Josef Stalin.

His death was just an interesting case of intrigue?  Some say so.

Since his death there has been all sorts of speculation about the circumstances around his death…..but first let’s look at the man, the leader…..

Joseph Stalin was born Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili on December 18, 1878, or December 6, 1878, according to the Old Style Julian calendar (although he later invented a new birth date for himself: December 21, 1879), in the small town of Gori, Georgia, then part of the Russian empire. When he was in his 30s, he took the name Stalin, from the Russian for “man of steel.”

Source: Joseph Stalin – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

The death of Stalin was interesting…some say he had a stroke, others say he had a heart attack, and others say the he was assassinated by his closest friend, Beria…..

I am to the mind that Beria had his chance to rid Russia of Stalin and he took it…..below is a study about the mysterious death of Stalin.

For weeks, Joseph Stalin had been plagued with dizzy spells and high blood pressure. [ Figure 1 ] His personal physician, Professor V. N. Vinogradov had advised that Stalin step down as head of the government for health reasons. That was not what Stalin wanted to hear from the good doctor. Soon the professor would pay for this temerity and indiscretion with his arrest and alleged involvement in the infamous Doctor’s Plot (dyelo vrachey).
Stalin has been dead for almost 65 years and yet he is still popular in some quarters in Russia……

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has been voted the most “outstanding” figure in Russia’s history, beating the country’s most beloved poet, Alexander Pushkin, and current Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The poll, by Russia’s independent Levada Center, is the latest to showcase the changing view amongst Russians of Stalin, who presided over mass deportations, a network of concentration camps—or gulags—and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of around 20 million Soviet citizens.

Source: Stalin More Popular Than Putin, Russians Say

Do Russians not remember the agony that Stalin inflicted on the country?  Or is that one of those “facts” that gets lost in translation?  Maybe they suffer from “fake news” as well.

22 June 1941

First I would like to apologize this post is a day late because of TS Cindy….it made my internet a bit spotty at times and I missed posting this on the anniversary day.

As most readers know I like history and I try to impart as much as I can when I can…….

This is the 76th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa….where Germany attacks the Soviet Union

On June 22, 1941, Adolf Hitler launched his armies eastward in a massive invasion of the Soviet Union: three great army groups with over three million German soldiers, 150 divisions, and three thousand tanks smashed across the frontier into Soviet territory. The invasion covered a front from the North Cape to the Black Sea, a distance of two thousand miles. By this point German combat effectiveness had reached its apogee; in training, doctrine, and fighting ability, the forces invading Russia represented the finest army to fight in the twentieth century. Barbarossa was the crucial turning point in World War II, for its failure forced Nazi Germany to fight a two-front war against a coalition possessing immensely superior resources.

Source: Operation Barbarossa – World War II – HISTORY.com

The USSR was caught flat footed which allow the Nazis a upper hand for awhile….

Russia has declassified some documents about that invasion…..(I must insert here that this could be a whitewash since they date back to 1952)

In 1952, the Soviet General Staff gathered a task force in its military science and history directorate, headed by Colonel-General Aleksandr Pokrovsky. Their task was to collect data, including eyewitness accounts, on the state of the Red Army shortly before and in the first part of the war with the Nazis.

As part of the study, Pokrovsky gathered accounts from surviving officers, who were in charge of the three western military districts and responsible for protecting the border. Among the five questions he asked for were details of how the Soviet armed forces prepared for a looming Nazi attack, how they responded to it, and whether or not the staff maintained control over the troops during the first frantic days of fighting.

Source: Russian MoD declassifies docs on Soviet Union’s preparedness for 1941 Nazi invasion — RT News

The documents are interesting but you will need a translation widget.

There is more this from a US site……

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 was one of the pivotal events of the 20th century. It transformed the Second World War and led, perhaps inevitably, to the Cold War and the half-century domination of Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union. It was, furthermore, one of the most brutal campaigns of modern times, bringing unspeakable atrocities and the near-annihilation of whole nationalities. The Nazis probably bear the principal responsibility for the character of the campaign, but the Soviet regime must shoulder some of the blame.

Source: What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa — Central Intelligence Agency

Source: 8 Things You Should Know About WWII’s Eastern Front – History Lists

A fascinating slice of 20th century history……enjoy

Russia Assaults Democracy

For months now, ever since the 2016 election, we have been told daily about the historic Russian attack on American democracy….they allegedly hacked into the election process, the DNC and other entities.

The MSM makes it seem as if this is all new for Russia to try and influence our democratic process……wrong!

Moscow’s interference began 80 years ago……

Over the last nine months, headlines have reverberated with questions regarding the Russian role in “hacking” the American electoral process. On January 5, 2017, James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, “The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections. Theirs and other peoples…This goes back to the 60s, from the heyday of the Cold War.” He went on to call Russian interference in the 2016 election “unprecedented.” In some respects — the scale and impact of the accusations — they are. In other ways, however, they are a throwback to an 80-year-old saga.

The role of Russia’s intelligence services in the 2016 election represents the revival of Soviet efforts that predate even the Cold War. “Fake news” and financial assistance to opposition candidates, two measures that define Russian influence operations targeting the West, both date to the Stalinist period and the rise of the Soviet foreign intelligence apparatus. In the 1930s, when these methods were first unleashed, the United States had almost no counterintelligence capabilities. Until the early Cold War, the Soviets proved reasonably adept at influencing American politics towards Russia and acquiring information. Only with the expansion of the FBI and the reorganization of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) did Soviet efforts at directly influencing American elections dwindle.

Source: Moscow’s Assaults on American Democracy Began 80 Years Ago

It is a “New” occurrence only if you do not know history…and now you do.

Congrats!

Are We Inching Toward All Out War?

When Russia sent in aircraft to help the Syrians fight against the rebels…..I wrote then that this was leading to a big mistake that could take the US and Russia into a confrontation……

Well the worse case scenario just happened…..

The US military shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet Sunday that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against ISIS militants, an action that appeared to mark a new escalation of the conflict. The US had not shot down a Syrian regime aircraft before Sunday’s confrontation, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. While the US has said since it began recruiting, training, and advising what it calls moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight ISIS that it would protect them from potential Syrian government retribution, this was the first time it resorted to engaging in air-to-air combat to make good on that promise, the AP reports.

The US-led coalition headquarters in Iraq said in a statement that a US F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 after it dropped bombs near the US partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The shootdown was near Tabqa, a Syrian town in an area that has been a weekslong focus of fighting against ISIS militants by the SDF as they surround the city of Raqqa and attempt to retake it from ISIS. The US military statement said it acted in “collective self-defense” of its partner forces and that the US did not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters. “The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the Pentagon said.

The Russians have a retort……

Russia’s defense ministry says it will treat US-led coalition planes in Syria that venture west of the Euphrates River as targets after the US military shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday, reports the AP. Moscow also suspended a military hotline the two nations have used to coordinate air missions over Syria, reports the New York Times. Russia condemned the US downing of the Syrian government fighter jet as a “military aggression” and demanded a fuller explanation. The US has said the Syrian jet dropped bombs near its partner forces, but Syria said its jet was attacking ISIS militants.

“All flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defense systems as targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The downing of the warplane—the first time in the conflict that the US has shot down a Syrian jet—came as Iran fired several ballistic missiles at ISIS positions in eastern Syria in retaliation for two attacks by the extremists in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people. Areas of northern Syria west of the Euphrates were controlled by ISIS before Syrian government forces captured most of them in recent months

Where will this end?

We know how Trump feels about using force……will that be the answer?

I mentioned the illegality of U.S. actions in Syria in an earlier post, but I wanted to say a bit more on that point. There has never been a Congressional vote authorizing U.S. military operations in Syria against anyone, and there has been scant debate over any of the goals that the U.S. claims to be pursuing there. The U.S. launches attacks inside Syria with no legal authority from the U.N. or Congress, and it strains credulity that any of these operations have anything to do with individual or collective self-defense. The U.S. wages war in Syria simply because it can.

Source: Syria and Our Illegal Acts of War | The American Conservative

Americans need to pay attention before it is too late.

America’s Real Red Scare

These days we hear a lot about Russia in the news and on blogs and assorted journals on-line…..

I find it fascinating that we still have a “Red Scare”……this time it is not from “the Commie hunters” from our recent past……this time it is the “Commie fear merchants” from the past that are defending Russia……

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Back in 2011, thinking about the implosion of the Soviet Union two decades earlier and what followed, I wrote: “In 1991, when the Soviet Union disappeared and the United States found itself the last superpower standing, Washington mistook that for a victory most rare. In the years that followed, in a … Continue reading “America’s Real Red Scare”

Source: America’s Real Red Scare – Antiwar.com Original

Like I said….all so fascinating to watch the pendulum swing…..