May 4, 2012

From Russia with ?

Coming from Mother Russia this, sadly, doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Russia’s top military officer warned Thursday that Moscow would strike NATO missile-defense sites in Eastern Europe before they are ready for action, if the U.S. pushes ahead with deployment.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile-defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

Wouldn’t that be just great (facetiousness here) if we ended up having WW III with Russia after all, years after communism has officially bit the dust over there, while the fundamental Muslims sat back grinning, watching their two main enemies duke it out, waiting to punce on what could only be a badly damaged and weakened winner?

This part kind of jumps out at you. Remember this?

In March, Mr. Obama privately told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” to make a deal on missile defense after the election in November. Mr. Obama’s comment was captured accidentally by a live microphone during a summit in Seoul.

Many critics interpreted the remark as a promise by Mr. Obama to give in to Russian demands once the political danger of doing so during an election campaign had passed.

The article is here.

by @ 9:22 am. Filed under Russia

May 15, 2010

How Convenient

Previously, I commented on what I figured to have been the most likely fate of the pirates who’d made the mistake of plying their trade on a Russian vessel.

Well, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Ten pirates released from a Russian warship 300 miles out to sea may have drowned, according to Russian officials and colleagues of the pirates, raising fears of retaliation against other vessels plying East African waters.

The pirates were captured last week after they hijacked the Moscow University, a Liberian-flagged, Russian-operated oil tanker sailing off the Somali coast. A Russian warship came to the ship’s rescue and apprehended the pirates. But after determining it would be too difficult to obtain a conviction, Russian officials said that they dropped plans to take the pirates to Moscow for trial.

Yeah, so…

Instead, like many other warships that have intercepted pirate skiffs, the Russian marines released the pirates — but not before removing weapons and navigation equipment from the boat several hundred miles from shore. Russian officials gave no explanation for removing the navigation equipment.

No explanation, indeed.

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson said radio signals from the boat disappeared about an hour after the release. “That could mean that they are dead,” the spokesperson said.

“Could mean”, yeah.

Fellow pirates in Somalia also said they lost contact with the boat after their separation from the Russian warship. “We will hold Russia responsible if any harm comes to them,” said a pirate commander, Abdi Dhagaweyne, in a telephone interview. “I’m not sure of their safety now because we have since lost contact.”

I hope they’re having a swell time where they belong, down there in Davy Jones’ Locker, where all “good” pirates end up. Now, if they would make some room for captured terrorists, kind of the ultimate waterboarding, justice would really be served.

I like this: “We will hold Russia responsible if any harm comes to them,” said a two bit floating pissant pirate commander, who, on “holding Russia responsible”, could prove only to emulate the famed Black Knight. :-)

by @ 5:27 pm. Filed under Global Security, Russia

May 8, 2010

Mayhaps, Could It Be That The Pirates…

actually got the justice they deserved after all?

Heretofore, I was laboring under the impression, based on what I’d read, that these scalliwags (ARGH!) were going to end up being bound over to some mares-eat-oats liberal international court out of Kenya.

However, that was not to be.

The pirates seized by a Russian warship off the coast of Somalia have been released because of “imperfections” in international law, the Defense Ministry said Friday, a claim that sparked skepticism — and even suspicion the pirates might have been killed.

One can only hope.

Authorities initially said the pirates would be brought to Russia to face criminal charges for hijacking a Russian oil tanker. But Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Alexei Kuznetsov told The Associated Press on Friday that the pirates had been released.

Kuznetsov declined to elaborate on the purported legal flaws that prompted the release and it was unclear how the seizure of the tanker might be legally different from last year’s alleged hijacking of the Russian-crewed freighter Arctic Sea.

That vessel allegedly was seized by pirates in the Baltic Sea off Sweden and went missing for several days before a Russian warship tracked it down off West Africa. The eight alleged pirates were flown to Moscow to face eventual trial.

The Law of the Seas Convention, to which Russia is a signatory, says the courts of a country that seizes a pirated vessel on the high seas have the right to decide what penalties will be imposed.

My emphasis added, and that’s what I’m talkin’ about!.

It is the job of each government to protect its citizens and their, or said government’s property, right?

If I may note, through the Cold War years, a lot of entities, governments, terrorist organizations and insurrectionists, had no problem messing around, or worse, with most western nations, citizens and so forth. The Brits, the French, anybody who got in the way got revolution, terrorism, heartbreak of every description… But rarely the Soviets.

Why? Because they were known to retaliate harshly in response to attacks.

So perhaps Russia is continuing in the same “smite us on one cheek, we’ll smash you on the other” policy.

Looking out for their citizens.

When the Soviets captured Mujahedin guerillas during their war in Afghanistan thirty years ago, they didn’t use the GITMO approach, giving the prisoners Korans, religiously agreeable cuisine or an arrow on the cell floor showing, for prayer purposes, the direction of Mecca.

Au contraire, they beat them, tortured them brutally and generally treated them like bloody pieces of inconsequential meat.

I think that, if it is indeed the case that the Russians meted out a bullet in the back of the head and a push over the side to each of the captured pirates, they were using sound startegy and common sense by sending a clear message to the pirates’ colleagues who are still out there: Don’t mess with Russian vessels.

But what to do with pirates has become a murky problem. Some countries are wary of hauling in pirates for trial for fear of being saddled with them after they serve prison terms, and some propose that pirates taken to Kenya for trial.
Kuznetsov appeared to echo those concerns when asked why the pirates who seized the tanker were released.

“Why should we feed some pirates?” he asked. He did not give specifics of the pirates’ release, but the official news agency ITAR-Tass quoted a ministry source as saying they were “sent home,” unarmed and without navigational devices, in the small boats they had used to approach the tanker.

Which might mean: “They’ll possibly succumb to the vagaries of weather and the ocean, dying at sea, never to be seen again.”


by @ 12:24 pm. Filed under Global Security, Russia, Uncategorized

May 6, 2010

Pirates Bite The Dust, Or…

Spetznazty turn of events (for some Somalians).

It elates me to no end when I see waterborne turds such as these get their comeuppance.

A Russian warship hunted down an oil tanker hijacked by Somali pirates and special forces rappelled on board Thursday, surprising the outlaws, who surrendered after a 22-minute gunbattle. Twenty-three Russian sailors were freed.

The dramatic Indian Ocean rescue came a day after pirates seized the tanker, which was heading toward China carrying $50 million worth of crude. One pirate was killed and 10 others were arrested, officials said.

The Russian destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov had rushed to the scene following Wednesday’s seizure of the Liberian-flagged tanker, Moscow University.


“The Marshal Shaposhnikov came near the tanker and after establishing contact with the crew, who were taking cover in the machine area of the ship, opened warning fire from large-caliber machine guns and a 30mm artillery complex,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Special forces troops then rappelled down to the tanker from a helicopter, Rear Adm. Jan Thornqvist, the EU Naval Force commander, told an Associated Press reporter aboard the Swedish warship Carlskrona, which was patrolling 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the rescue site.

The startled pirates opened fire and a gunbattle ensued that killed one pirate and wounded three before the hijackers surrendered, the Russian state news channel Rossiya-24 said. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Alexei Kuznetsov said a large weapons cache was seized.

My only comment here is that rather than have some special court, one that will undoubtedly be shackled by U.N. (Double SPIT!) oversight, try these flotsam, I’d like to see them dealt with by some hardliners from Moscow’s old guard, seeing as the hijacked ship was Russian, and punished according to ruthless old Soviet “justice”.

Or, “Hang ‘em from the highest yardarm in her majesty’s…”

by @ 3:26 pm. Filed under Global Security, Russia

August 15, 2008

One Of The Qualities For Which The United States Is Known…

…is that of helping our defeated enemies rebuild and letting them have face, rather than colonializing them or simply leaving them to fester in ruins.

When we won the Cold War, and the former Soviet Socialist Republics as well as the Iron Curtain countries gained their independence from underneath the heavy thumb of Russia, we could have left Moscow to fend for itself, but instead we poured the largesse of the American People into the task of helping them get back on their feet.

Perhaps in Russia’s case, we made a mistake.

Witness their invasion of Georgia, and as Caroline Glick sums up so well, the effects the entire affair, including the lackluster U.S. response to same, may well have on much of the rest of the world, including the Middle East.

Georgia can now claim membership in an exclusive club whose other members include a number of Cubans of Bay of Pigs fame, the South Vietnamese, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and who knows, maybe one day the Taiwanese!

But I digress.

Russia has been becoming increasingly uppity since Putin first arrived at the helm and is continuing to do so under his puppet, Dmitry Medvedev.

Can you imagine, they’re even threatening possible air strikes in Poland should that country manifest its agreement with the U.S. to install a missile interceptor base on its soil.

“Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent,” Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.

He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia’s military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons “against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them.” Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax.

At a news conference earlier Friday, Nogovitsyn had reiterated Russia’s frequently stated warning that placing missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic would bring an unspecified military response. But his subsequent reported statement substantially stepped up a war of words.

Where is the late, great Ronald Reagan when we need him!?

by @ 10:10 am. Filed under Global Security, Russia, The Fact Of The Matter...