Scapegoat For All Seasons

Let’s talk about Russia….and NO this is not about their alleged tampering into the US elections….recently a ex-spy in the UK and his daughter are poisoned and Haley ran to the UN to let it be known…..

Nikki Haley came out strong against Russia and in support of the United Kingdom on Wednesday following the nerve agent attack that left a former Russian spy and his adult daughter in critical condition in England, CNN reports. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack,” the US ambassador to the UN told the Security Council, adding the White House “stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain.” “Time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance,” Haley said. “Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”

It was by far the most forceful statement out of the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson had said Russia was “clearly” responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia but was shortly fired by Trump, NBC News reports. When asked about Tillerson’s firing Tuesday, Trump said “as soon as we get the facts straight” the US would “condemn Russia or whoever it may be.” According to Business Insider, former US diplomats have expressed confusion about why the White House hasn’t done more to back its ally Great Britain, which has expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Nicholas Burns calls it “judgment day” for Trump. “Will he support Britain unequivocally on the nerve agent attack?” the former US ambassador to NATO says. “Back NATO sanctions? Finally criticize Putin? Act like a leader of the West?”

Okay let me say right here that this is getting a bit hectic….we are blaming Russia for everything that goes wrong in the world…..Wait…I am not saying they are innocent of the accusations only that they have become a convenient whipping post for the world.

“What reason would Russia have to do this?” said Sergey Markosyan, 36, as he popped into a Magnit supermarket in Moscow for beer, salty snacks and a carton of eggs. “He was in Britain, right? So shouldn’t they look in Britain?”

On Wednesday, Theresa May told British MPs there was “no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/15/russia-spy-poisoning-salisbury-moscow

A year ago Russia was in the news as a source for problems in Germany…..

The accusation seems to be that Russia is capitalizing on domestic opposition to Merkel’s open-door immigration policies by directing funds to the contrarian Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party, whose support has surged as disenchantment with Merkel has grown (as seen in its success in recent state elections).

https://www.thenation.com/article/russia-europes-scapegoat-for-all-seasons/

Then after all this scapegoating there came a “new” accusation…..

A US security alert on Thursday contained a jarring warning: Russia has infiltrated the US energy grid and could wreak havoc if it chose to do so. “They have the ability to shut the power off,” an exec with the digital security firm Symantec tells the New York Times. “All that’s missing is some political motivation.” The alert from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI says hackers working on behalf of the Russian government got into the systems of nuclear, water, and electrical plants, as well as “critical manufacturing sectors,” and essentially poked around to figure out how things operated.

I know most Americans have the attention span of a goldfish but just a few years ago our “electric grid” was open for a terrorist attack….and years before that it was the Soviets that were about to attack our electric grid….

Since Americans have NO recoverable memory of the past it makes it easier for the same bullshit to be given to the public with a fresh coat of crap  and a bit of repackaging.

I am not saying there is NO threat to worry about just that it is a convenient scapegoat…..

If these “threats” were truly that serious then why has NOTHING been done to see that they cannot happen?

Back in the Cold War Russia was the enemy the scapegoat for all problems internationally……is it possible that we have returned to those days?

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The Russians Are Coming!

I have been studying war for 40+ years and in doing so I read a lot of neocon sites….lots of war hawk studies and reports….

When one studies a countries capability to wage war one must look into their Order of Battle which gives one a look into the forces, tactics and weapons…..this report is of the Russian Order of Battle (it is a long report to read but if you are interesting in there capabilities then it is worth the time to read it)…..

U.S. leaders and their European allies are unprepared for the ways in which Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is poised to wage war in Ukraine and the Baltic. The Russian military is well positioned to launch a short-notice conventional war in Ukraine and a hybrid war in the Baltic States, the opposite of what Western leaders seem to expect in each theater. NATO leaders increasingly warn of the threat of a conventional invasion of the Baltic States (or even Western Europe). But Russian ground forces are not deployed or organized to initiate a short-notice conventional war in that region. They have, however, redeployed and reorganized since 2014 in a way that would support a rapid mechanized invasion of Ukraine from both north and east, while remaining well-prepared to conduct a hybrid warfare intervention in the Baltics similar to what they did in Ukraine after the Maidan Revolution. The United States and its partners should re-evaluate the most likely Russian courses of action and reconsider the mix of military and non-military tools required to defend NATO allies and Ukraine from potential Russian aggression.

Key takeaways from the ISW-CTP Order of Battle study include:

Russia is trying to build a military force optimized for large-scale combat as well as hybrid warfare. Russia is testing new asymmetric capabilities on the Ukrainian and Syrian battlefields and subsequently incorporating them into conventional force structures.

Russia’s ground forces are well positioned to conduct a very short-notice mechanized assault on Ukraine against which Kyiv’s military likely stands little chance, particularly if Russia combined the conventional invasion with an escalation in the hybrid war in Ukraine’s east, a distraction from the direction of Moldova, and Russian-fueled political unrest in Kyiv. Russia can try to leverage this threat to coerce the Ukrainian government.

The Russian ground forces’ disposition near the Baltics does not suggest an intent to conduct large-scale, short-notice conventional mechanized operations. Russia could concentrate significant conventional combat power against the Baltic states if it chose to, but its posture suggests it is prioritizing a hybrid approach. NATO has wisely deployed mechanized forces to the Baltics; it may need to deploy more and must remain constantly vigilant against the risk of a sudden Russian attack. Yet the U.S. and its allies must also be prepared for the kind of Russian aggression that mechanized forces alone cannot defend against.

The U.S. and its allies should not focus narrowly on any one form of possible future war with Russia. Putin and the Russian general staff are working hard to create options in all forms of warfare, while demonstrating a preference for low-cost approaches. Over-investing in conventional deterrence and defense can lead to ignoring hybrid threats that could achieve devastating effects. Ignoring the conventional threat, on the other hand, could leave U.S. allies and partners open to rapid decisive thrusts.

The United States should re-evaluate the most likely Russian courses of action and reconsider the mix of military and non-military tools required to defend NATO allies and Ukraine from further Russian aggression. America and its NATO allies must take a balanced approach to dealing with the multifarious threats posed by Moscow and avoid the oscillations between confidence and fear that have characterized the discussion of Russian military power.

I did the research into the Russian Order of Battle because of something I read of the war hawk site Defense One……

The Russian military may surpass U.S. military capability in Europe by 2025, Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, told lawmakers on Thursday. He emphasized that keeping up EUCOM’s modernization was key to keeping up and maintaining superiority.

“Given their modernization, the pace that it’s on … we have to maintain our modernization that we’ve set out so that we can remain dominant in the areas that we are dominant today,” said Scaparrotti. “If we were not to do that, I think that their pace would put us certainly challenged in a military domain in almost every perspective by, say, 2025.”

http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2018/03/russia-will-challenge-us-military-superiority-europe-2025-us-general/146523/

There is lots written about the Russians but most of it has something to do with election tampering….very little is reported on their desires for conquest…that has been overlooked for the most part since the collapse of the old USSR.

Regardless of the situation Russia is still our greatest opponent if another conflict breaks out on the European continent…..best to keep their capabilities in mind in case thde situation becomes more pronounced.

Syria–What To Do?

We don’t hear much about our war in Syria these days…we are too busy watching the revolving door of the Trump White House to be bothered with the armed conflicts of the Middle East.

Let me catch you up a bit….recently the US attacked a position in Syria that killed many Russian citizens, some say they were mercenaries, but that matters not….this situation could explode in our face…..

Recent escalations in Syria, including the US strike on pro-regime forces in Deir ez-Zor — which killed Russian combatants — is raising speculation about potential fallout from Moscow’s strategy in Syria and possible escalation between the Russian and American militaries.

The strike occurred Feb. 7, yet the exact number of Russians killed in the fight with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces has ranged in various news sources from 10 to 200 soldiers and mercenaries in Russia’s employ. The number of US airstrikes also has remained as a matter of speculation.

If we are not careful we could stumble our way into another war…..

One of the interesting aspects of the Trump era is the extent to which our political culture is obsessing over marginalia while truly significant events transpire largely out of sight and out of mind. For example, late last year the Iraqi government announced the defeat of the ISIS caliphate within Iraqi borders — a significant moment, no doubt — but that same day Donald Trump got in a Twitter spat with the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel over the crowd size at a Pensacola rally. Guess which event got more coverage?

Part of this dynamic, of course, is the president’s fault. He should have trumpeted the allied victory and charted the road ahead. The caliphate was in ruins, but ISIS still exists. Where do we go from here? And part of this is the media’s fault. It’s just easier to follow the president’s lead. After all, that’s where the clicks are. It’s harder to look at the world and discern which stories truly matter.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/us-russia-syria-implication-serious/

While the US and Russia are facing off…..a game of who will blink first…..silently ISIS is making a comeback (and you thought it was over)……

Abu Fadi, was killed 10 days ago in a fight with Isis in eastern Syria when the vehicle he was in was hit by a heat-seeking missile. “He was driving a bulldozer which was building an earth rampart when Isis hit it with a missile we call a ‘fuzia’,” said Baran Omari, the commander of his unit in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“Isis attacked us in the village of Bagin in Deir Ezzor province [in eastern Syria],” he explained, adding that his men had been able to kill those who fired the missile. He described Khalaf, who was about 50 when he died, as a very brave man because he had the peculiarly dangerous job of constructing tactical earth fortifications in the middle of battles.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-comeback-syria-ypg-raqqa-kurdish-war-fighting-islamic-state-a8239316.html

While the different armies are all battling one enemy or another…..Turkey vs Kurds, US vs whoever they can drone attack, Russia vs the “other guys” and Syria fights everyone…..the country is not bad enough the Trump WH is considering expanding the US footprint in Syria……

The White House is said to be considering a new round of military action against the Syrian government sometime soon, with recent media reports of chlorine gas exposure in Eastern Ghouta serving as a pretext for the attacks.

President Trump has requested the Pentagon to provide him various options for such a military attack, nominally to “punish the Assad government” over the unproven allegations of chlorine gas attacks.

That would be the second time in less than a year this has happened, as in April, 2017 the US fired a flurry of 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria’s Shayrat air base, which at the time they said was over claims of chlorine gas attacks as well.

(antiwar.com)

There was never any concrete proof of the allegations which served as a basis for the April attacks, which means that while there’s no solid evidence for these new allegations, that is unlikely to be an obstacle to a new US attack.

There were reports as recently as Friday that the Trump Administration wanted such attacks to be “equal to or greater than the one used last year,” and while that’s clearly not set in stone, such an attack is likely to further cement the US as being in open warfare against the Syrian government.

Do we really need another enemy?  Do we really need yet another war?

Does the US really need to stay in Syria?

It is difficult to overstate how chaotic, violent, and intractable the situation in Syria has become. Regional powers such as the Syrian regime, Russia, Iran, and Turkey—along with hundreds of rebel groups—employ armed forces or violent militia in search of competing objectives. But not every intractable situation demands the blood of our servicemembers and treasure of our taxpayers be spent trying to solve it.

In this cesspool of violence—before creeping into full-blown occupation and nation-building, a proven no-win situation for the U.S.—Washington should immediately redeploy U.S. Forces to higher priority missions actually related to our core interests.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/07/us_mission_in_syria_poses_risk_without_rewards_for_the_us_113161.html

The US needs to just do what it needs to do…..pull the troops out and save lives.

Closing Thought–06Mar18

Sensationalism at its best!

Another chapter in the sexual prowess of the president…..well maybe not so much as a arrested hooker that says she has info and will trade….she will tell her story for a little freedom…..she may be a good source for Mueller because she was the bed mate of a couple of the Russian oligarchs that are in question……

A Belarusian social media star is hoping to trade information she says links President Donald Trump to the Kremlin for her release from a Thai prison on sex charges.

Anastasia Vashukevich, who has become internationally famous in recent months for her racy selfies, was jailed in Thailand for offering sex lessons without a permit, reported the Associated Press.

The self-described “mistress” of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska was arrested with nine other Russians and Belarusians after officials received complaints about the $700 weeklong class and raided the meeting.

Vashukevich, who calls herself Nastya Rybka on her Instagram account (@nastya_rybka.ru), told the AP that she fears for her life and wants to trade information in the Trump-Russia probe for her own safety.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/i-know-a-lot-sx-model-jailed-in-thailand-claims-to-have-video-evidence-of-trump-kremlin-links/

There is a rat under every rock.  But beyond that fact that this young lady wants to trade information for freedom there is something that caught my eye in this story……this woman was arrested for offering sex lessons without a permit…..think about that for a minute.

I think this is just too convenient…..who is she really shopping her story to?   Take a pass……this is not something we need to get sucked (no pun intended) into.

Let’s call it a day….enjoy your evening……smile and laugh as often as you can……chuq

Step Right Up!

Let the meddling begin.

It is a prove fact the the Russian meddled in our 2016 election…..I do not care at this point who won the goddamn thing only that a foreign entity was brazen and emboldened enough to actually get into our process and fuck around.

Now that we know that these pricks did what they did it is time for the US and its intel agencies to find a way to stop this from ever happening again…..right?

Boy would you be wrong in that thinking……

The New York Times is out with an attention-grabbing statistic related to the government’s effort to fight Russian interference in US elections: The State Department has been allocated $120 million to counter foreign meddling but has not spent a single dollar of that sum. The story chalks it up in part to President Trump’s unwillingness to confront Moscow on the issue, as well as Rex Tillerson’s apparent skepticism that the money would do any good. “If it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Tillerson told Fox News last month. One tangible result of the ambivalence: None of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center, whose job it is to deter Moscow’s propaganda, speaks Russian.

“There are now thousands of former Russian journalists who have been exiled or fired who are doing counter-Russian stuff in exile who could help,” says Richard Stengel, who had oversight of the center under former President Obama. Congress directed the Pentagon in late 2016 to make $60 million available for the State Department’s efforts, but Tillerson did not act in time to use it. Another $60 million was allotted for the following fiscal year, and after five months of deliberation, Tillerson has requested $40 million of that. The department should get the money around April. Meanwhile, a poll by Axios finds that most Americans don’t think the Trump administration will stop foreign interference in the 2018 midterms.

Why?

What part of the attack on our process warrants NO money being spent to see that it never happens again?

How much more will Congress accept?  How much more leeway will Russia be given by this Congress and this president?

Maybe Tillerson is going to use that money to re-decorate his office and build a new “safe room” when the president yells at him.

This president is pathetic…..this Congress is pathetic…….This State Department is beyond pathetic and feeble.

Maybe it is time to make cyber-security a priority……or not……or is this just more about the soft spot that Trump has for his Russian buddies?

Closing Thought–02Mar18

Could This Be A Step Closer?

Recently in Syria the US engaged some hostiles in Syria and those troops were Russian in origin…..some say mercenaries but they were Russian citizens……

France 24 published an interview last week with a man it described as a Russian paramilitary chief who provides Russian citizens access to mercenary work in Syria in which he said his countrymen had been galvanized by reports that they were taking an embarrassing loss to US forces.

“Each week I receive five or six new requests,” the man said. “Some call me by phone; others come to see me.”

He said that about 100 people in Russia’s Yekaterinburg region, where he is based, were “planning to go to Syria.”

The man said that after reports that US forces earlier this month crushed an advance of fighters loyal to the Syrian government — troops said to have contained hundreds of Russians — he had seen a change in the volunteers.

“Now it’s more about getting revenge than it is about money,” he said.

http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-mercenaries-want-revenge-losing-to-us-forces-syria-2018-2

The US is selling this attack as self-defense…….

U.S. Military Battle with Possible Russian Mercenaries: ‘Our Strikes Were Done out of Self-Defense’

The Pentagon is reiterating that a battle in Syria that allegedly left some number of Russian mercenaries dead was purely an act of self-defense on the part of U.S. forces. Indeed, the Pentagon still does not know exactly who it is that American forces targeted during their retaliatory strike on Feb. 7.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-military-battle-possible-russian-010500172.html

This could be a diplomatic nightmare but we will never know because we have very few diplomats left……could this spiral out of control of tit for tat attacks?

Keep in mind that the US and Russia and confronting each other in the Baltics, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe….would not take much for this to become a major international problem.

On to the weekend and some much needed enjoyment…..thanx guys….chuq

Someone Please Explain

Not long ago the US was threatened by North Korea’s Lil Kim and our president went on a Twitter storm leveled at Lil Kim….and then the war of words back and forth for what seemed like months….

Now fast forward to this week…..Russia’s Putin gave an interview that basically threatened the US wit nukes…..

Vladimir Putin’s annual speech to lawmakers Thursday contained what appears to be a jarring threat to the US and the rest of the world: Russia has a new, “invincible” missile that can go anywhere and cannot be stopped, he said. A video graphic behind Putin showed a missile taking off from Russia, zooming across the Atlantic to South America, then turning north toward the US, reports the Washington Post. “I hope everything that has been said today will sober any potential aggressor,” Putin said, without naming names. He added that Russia had developed the nuclear-capable weapon, which “missile defenses will be useless against,” despite skepticism about Moscow’s abilities. “Nobody listened to us,” he said, per NBC News. “Well listen to us now.”

Putin, who asserted that Moscow has “no plans to be an aggressor,” also said Russia had a new underwater drone capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, reports the AP. And he declared that any use of nuclear weapons against one of its allies—again, he did not mention specific nations—would be considered a nuclear attack on Russia and that Moscow would respond in kind. All in all, the two-hour speech suggested “a new arms race” between Russia and the West, observes the Guardian. The speech comes less than three weeks before Putin is expected to easily win another six-year term, reports the BBC. He used much of the address to focus on economic reforms, promising among other things to reduce the rate of poverty by half in the next six years.

So far nothing flying off the thumbs of Trump over this claim….

Please someone explain to me the difference between the two…other than one likes kimchi and the other borscht….

A nuke threat is a nuke threat and they all should be handle with an even hand…..

Time to tell us why Russia gets a free ride and North Korea gets nothing of this….why?