October 1, 2012

Fast & Furious 2: The Libyan Connection

The Obama Administration seems to have a “thing” for arming the bad guys even while trying to take the Second Amendment rights from honest American gun owners.

First there was Fast & Furious, now there’s this:

While echoes of the “Fast and Furious” scandal still resound in the White House, another administration decision at the heart of Obama’s Mideast policy may prove even more explosive.

Almost entirely missing from the debate surrounding the anti-U.S. attacks in Libya is the administration’s policy of arming jihadists to overthrow Mideast governments. But in the case of Libya, the arming of jihadists may have directly resulted in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the subsequent murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, private security employees and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Naturally, liberals will yell that Republicans armed Saddam and the Taliban, but that all happened years before we had any problems with them (in one case it was a proxy war against Iran, the other against the Soviets who had occupied Afghanistan) and under entirely different circumstances.

This has only just happened, with the full knowledge on the part of the Obama Administration that these people we’ve been arming have definitive ties to or sympathies with the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, while Fast & Furious I was an ill conceived ploy by our liberal president and his chief stooge attorney general to saturate the Mexican criminal element with assault weapons and lay it on the doorstep of the Second Amendment, blaming the weapons’ getting into the hands of the south-of-the-border nogoodnicks on legitimate American gun ownership. I’ll tell you, these leftist weasels will do anything to achieve their dubious ends.

After changing its story multiple times, the White House finally conceded the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate was a planned attack linked to al-Qaida, as per information released by national intelligence agencies.

The admission prompted Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., to call for the resignation of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for pushing the narrative that the attacks were part of a spontaneous uprising.

King may instead want to focus his investigative energies on the larger story: How the Obama administration armed Libyan rebels who were known to include al-Qaida and other anti-Western jihadists, and how the White House is currently continuing that same policy in Syria.

During the revolution against Muammar Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups.

At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi boasted in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida gunmen, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but he added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”

Even Adm. James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, admitted during the Libyan revolution that Libya’s rebel force may include al-Qaida: “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al-Qaida, Hezbollah.”

At the time, former CIA officer Bruce Riedel went even further, telling the Hindustan Times: “There is no question that al-Qaida’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Gadhafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al-Qaida/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – 2 percent or 80 percent.”

And Obama gave them weapons just the same. Maybe these pieces of intelligence were brought up in some of the daily briefings he mostly misses, because they would interfere with his perpetual campaigning schedule.

The arming of the Libyan rebels may have aided in the attacks on our consulate in Libya. One witness to those attacks said some of the gunmen attacking the U.S. installation had identified themselves as members of Ansar al-Shariah, which represents al-Qaida in Yemen and Libya.

The al-Qaida offshoot released a statement denying its members were behind the deadly attack, but a man identified as a leader of the Ansar brigade told Al Jazeera the group indeed took part in the Benghazi attack.

Ambassador Stevens was directly involved in arming the rebels, reported Egyptian security officials speaking to WND. Those officials claimed Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

The officials further claimed Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security officials.

The Egyptian security officials said Stevens also worked with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria, said the officials.

Regardless of Stevens’ alleged role, the Obama administration now continues to support the Syrian rebels, including the Free Syrian Army, despite widespread reports that al-Qaida is prominent among their ranks.

In addition to a reported $450 million in emergency cash for the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday announced $45 million in additional aid for Syrian the opposition after nearly $100 million was provided to the Syrian rebels this year.

Read the entire World Net Daily report.

And Romney has to worry about poll numbers when he’s running against an incumbent like Obama? If Barack Hussein gets reelected, I have to say I will have little or no respect remaining for the intelligence, or lack thereof, of the voting majority in this country.

It will mean that finally, the left, through their revisionism, repetition, indoctrination of our youth through the public school system and outright propagandizing have worn down the resistance of our previously freedom loving populace, dumbed us down and are in the final stretch of winning their war on America and the American way.

by @ 12:38 pm. Filed under Global Security, Government Stupidity, The President

December 30, 2011

From Caroline Glick:

In recent months, a curious argument has surfaced in favor of US President Barack Obama. His supporters argue that Obama’s foreign policy has been a massive success. If he had as much freedom of action on domestic affairs as he has on foreign affairs, they argue, his achievements in all areas would be without peer.

Expressing this view, Karen Finney a former Democratic spokeswoman who often defends the party in the US media told the Huffington Post, “Look at the progress the president can make when he doesn’t have Republicans obstructing him.”

Yeah, sure…


The failure of Obama’s foreign policies to date has been nowhere more evident than in the Middle East.

Take Iraq for instance. Obama and his supporters claim that the withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq is one of his great accomplishments. By pulling out, Obama kept his promise to voters to end the war in “a responsible manner.” And as the polling data indicate, most Americans are willing to give him credit for the move.

But the situation on the ground is dangerous and getting worse every day. Earlier this month, just ahead of the departure of the last US forces from Iraq, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited with Obama at the White House. Immediately after he returned home, the Shiite premier began a ruthless campaign against his Sunni coalition partners in a no-holds barred bid to transform the Iraqi government and armed forces into partisan institutions controlled by his Dawa Party.

Forces commanded by Maliki’s son arrested and allegedly tortured several of the Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashimi’s bodyguards. They forced the guards to implicate Hashimi in terror plots. Maliki subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Hashimi. So too, he issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq and fired him without permission from the Iraqi parliament.

Hashimi and Mutlaq are now in hiding in Erbil. Maliki is demanding that the Kurdish regional government extradite them to Baghdad for trial.

Maliki’s actions have driven Sunni leaders in the Sunni provinces of Diyala, Anbar and Salahadin to demand autonomy under Iraq’s federal system. He has responded by deploying loyal forces to the provinces to fight the local militias.

The situation is so explosive that three prominent Sunni leaders, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, who heads the Iraqiya party, Parliament Speaker Osama Nujaifi, and Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi published an op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday begging Obama to rein in Maliki in order to prevent Iraq from plunging into civil war.

No doubt these “pleas” will fall on deaf ears as Obama continues to define our troops’ withdrawal from Iraq a master stroke or whatever on his part.

Then there is Egypt. Obama’s decision in February to abandon then president Hosni Mubarak, the US’s most dependable ally in the Arab world in favor of the protesters in Tahrir Square was hailed by his supporters as a victory for democracy and freedom against tyranny. By supporting the protesters against the US ally, Obama argued that he was advancing US interests by showing the Muslim world the US favored the people over their leaders.

Ten months later, the Egyptian people have responded to this populist policy by giving jihadist parties a two-thirds majority in Egypt’s parliamentary elections. For the first time in thirty years, the strategic anchor of US power in the Arab world — the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty — is in danger. Indeed, there is no reason to believe it will survive.


As to Iran, Obama’s policies have brought about a situation where the regime in Teheran does not fear a US military strike on its nuclear installations. Obama’s open opposition to the prospect of an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations has similarly convinced the regime that it can proceed without fear in its nuclear project.

Iran’s threat this week to close the Straits of Hormuz in the event that the US imposes an embargo on Iranian oil exports is being widely characterized by the US media as a sign of desperation on the part of the regime. But it is hard to see how this characterization aligns with reality. It is far more appropriate to view Iran’s easy threats as a sign of contempt for Obama and for US power projection under his leadership.

If Iran’s ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons are thwarted, it will be despite Obama, not because of him.

Then there is the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Due to Obama’s unbridled hostility towards Israel, there is no chance whatsoever that Israel and the PLO will reach a peace deal for the foreseeable future. Instead, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to unify their forces. The only thing standing in the way of a Hamas takeover of the PLO is the US Congress’s threat to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority. For his part, Obama has gone out of his way to discredit the Congressional threat by serving as an indefatigable lobbyist for maintaining US financial support for the PA.

Still more…

Of course, the Middle East is not the only region where the deleterious consequences of Obama’s foreign policy are being felt. From Europe, to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, Obama’s determination to embrace US adversaries like Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez has weakened pro-US forces and strengthened US foes.

Barack Hussein Obama, chimpion of foreign policy.

Read the rest of the column.

September 23, 2010

I Would Be Remiss…

…if I neglected to post this one.

A team of national security experts assembled by the conservative Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C., think tank, issued a report last week warning of that Shariah law–which they described as a “legal-political-military doctrine”–is the “preeminent totalitarian threat of our time.”


The team was led by retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Harry Edward Soyster, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. It also included, among others, James Woolsey, the former director of Central Intelligence Agency; retired Adm. James A. Lyons, the former commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet; Joseph E. Schmitz, the former inspector general of the Defense Department; Frank Gaffney, the former assistant secretary of defense for international security policy and current president of the Center for Security Policy; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy, who successfully prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman, the Muslim jihadist leader convicted of being the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The group drew a distinction between Muslims who embrace Shariah law as the comprehensive model for governing all human society and those who view it as a reference point for personal behavior but not for the conduct of government and the state.

“Shariah is the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle. On one side of the divide are Muslim reformers and authentic moderates–figures like Abdurrahman Wahid, the late president of Indonesia and leader of the world’s largest libertarian Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama–whose members embrace the Enlightenment’s veneration of reason and, in particular, its separation of the spiritual and secular realms,” the authors write.

“On this side of the divide, shariah is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society,” they say. “By contrast, the other side of the divide is dominated by Muslim supremacists, often called Islamists. Like erstwhile proponents of Communism and Nazism, these supremacists–some terrorists, others employing stealthier means–seek to impose a totalitarian regime: a global totalitarian system cloaked as an Islamic state and called a caliphate.

“On that side of the divide, which is the focus of the present study, shariah is an immutable, compulsory system that Muslims are obliged to install and the world required to adopt, the failure to do so being deemed a damnable offence against Allah,” they write. “For these ideologues, shariah is not a private matter. Adherents see the West as an obstacle to be overcome, not a culture and civilization to be embraced, or at least tolerated. It is impossible, they maintain, for alternative legal systems and forms of governments peacefully to coexist with the end-state they seek.”

The “kicker”:

The report concludes that U.S. policy-makers must confront this insidious threat, saying to ignore it any longer would be “intolerable.”

“Under successive presidencies, the United States has failed to understand, let alone counter successfully, the threat posed to its constitutional form of government and free society by Shariah. In the past, such failures were reckless. Today, they are intolerable,”
the report concludes. “As we have seen, Shariah explicitly seeks to replace representative governance with an Islamic state, to destroy sovereign and national polities with a global caliphate.”

{Above Emphasis Mine}

This is an important article.

Read it all here.

by @ 2:10 pm. Filed under Global Security, Homeland Security

July 26, 2010

While I’m Still Within Internet “Range”…

…so to speak, I have a bit more to say, this concerning security for the most part.

Or, should I say, a lack thereof.

As we all know, or at least assume, it’s the job of any government to protect its citizens and, where possible, its allies and friends, which in itself goes hand-in-hand with protecting said citizens and also operating in the best interests of itself and, again, therefore, its citizens.

So why are we allowing Iran to go so far with their nuclear weapons program?

From Mark Steyn:

News from around the world:

In Britain, it is traditional on Shrove Tuesday to hold pancake races, in which contestants run while flipping a pancake in a frying pan. The appeal of the event depends on the potential pitfalls in attempting simultaneous rapid forward propulsion and pancake tossing. But, in St. Albans, England, competitors were informed by Health & Safety officials that they were “banned from running due to fears they would slip over in the rain.” Watching a man walk up the main street with a skillet is not the most riveting event, even in St. Albans. In the heat of the white-knuckle thrills, team captain David Emery momentarily forgot the new rules. “I have been disqualified from a running race for running,” he explained afterwards.

In Canada, Karen Selick told readers of The Ottawa Citizen about her winter vacation in Arizona last month: “The resort suite I rented via the Internet promised a private patio with hot tub,” she wrote. “Upon arrival, I found the door to my patio bolted shut. ‘Entry prohibited by federal law,’ read the sign. Hotel management explained that the drains in all the resort’s hot tubs had recently been found not to comply with new safety regulations. Compliance costs would be astronomical. Dozens of hot tubs would instead be cemented over permanently.” In the meantime, her suite had an attractive view of the federally-prohibited patio.

Yeah, we can see where this is going.

Anything else? Oh, yeah. In Iran, the self-declared nuclear regime announced that it was now enriching uranium to 20 percent. When President Barack Obama took office, the Islamic Republic had 400 centrifuges enriching up to 3.5 percent. A year later, it has 8,000 centrifuges enriching to 20 percent. The CIA director, Leon Panetta, now cautiously concedes that Iran’s nuclear ambitions may have a military purpose. Which is odd, because the lavishly funded geniuses behind America’s National Intelligence Estimate told us only two years ago that Tehran had ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Is that estimate no longer operative? And, if so, could we taxpayers get a refund?

This is a perfect snapshot of the West at twilight. On the one hand, governments of developed nations microregulate every aspect of your life in the interests of “keeping you safe.” If you’re minded to flip a pancake at speeds of more than 4 miles per hour, the state will step in and act decisively: It’s for your own good. If you’re a tourist from Moose Jaw, Washington will take pre-emptive action to shield you from the potential dangers of your patio in Arizona.

On the other hand, when it comes to “keeping you safe” from real threats, such as a millenarian theocracy that claims universal jurisdiction, America and its allies do nothing. There aren’t going to be any sanctions, because China and Russia don’t want them. That means military action, which would have to be done without U.N. backing — which, as Greg Sheridan of The Australian puts it, “would be foreign to every instinct of the Obama administration.” Indeed. Nonetheless, Washington is (altogether now) “losing patience” with the mullahs. The New York Daily News reports the latest get-tough move:

“Secretary of State Clinton dared Iran on Monday to let her hold a town hall meeting in Tehran.”

All of which goes to show the difference between our two political belief systems, I suppose: One, barring status quo politicians of the “new school” variety on the right, many of whom are even older than me, believing in tangible and decisive action, the other, from the right side of the aisle, believing that do-nothing symbolism will suffice, until…

BOOM!, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Paying a brief visit to our friends and steadfast allies, the Israelis, my head’s still spinning a bit from the Bush reversal, a few years back, of his initial support of Israel’s being allowed to win their war in Lebanon. Once he backpedalled and sided with France (spit!), pressing Tel Aviv to withdraw the IDF, the stage was set for Lebanon, beleaguered as it has been by the Islamofascists of Hezbollah who are well entrenched in the government in Islamabad, to rabble-rouse further in pursuit of a road to the destruction of Israel.

At least, wherever they can.

Two Lebanese vessels are planning to leave shortly for Hamas-controlled Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli maritime blockade on that territory. The ships, the Naji Al Ali and the Mariam, are expected to set sail from the Lebanese port of Tripoli as early as Friday (July 23) or Saturday (July 24).

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev has sent letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Security Council calling on Lebanon and other countries to prevent the flotilla from illegally entering the area.

Said Shalev, “All goods that are not weapons or material for war-like purposes are now entering the Gaza Strip through appropriate mechanisms that ensure their delivery as well as their civilian nature.” Israel announced June 17 that it would ease restrictions on allowing civilian goods via land crossings into Gaza and increase the delivery of construction materials.

Wait just a minute, I don’t see the word “humanitarian” up there anyplace. Oh, wait… It is purely humanitarian based, goodwill toward all, etc, by French (spit!), general Muslim, U.N. or Obama Administration standards. How can we tell? Just peruse the emphasis (mine) below.

Most of the passengers aboard the Naji Al Ali are journalists, while the Mariam is an all-women’s ship. Yasser Qashlaq, a Syrian national and the two-vessel flotilla’s chief funder and organizer, has said the main aim of the ships is to stage a public relations stunt and force Jews out of Israel. Said Qashlaq, “A day will come when the ships will carry the remainder of the European garbage which came to my homeland [i.e., Israel] and return them to their homelands. Gilad Shalit will go back to Paris and those murderers [the leaders of Israel] will go back to Poland.”

Lastly, we have more of the usual bullshirt from Janet Napolitano, our illustrious Homeland Security Secretary whom any security supervisor with even a 1% competence level wouldn’t trust on a job as a uniformed rent-a-cop in a corner grocery store.

Six years after the Sept. 11 commission issued a series of recommendations to boost U.S. defenses against terrorist attacks, the federal government has achieved “historic advances” in fulfilling them, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.

Historic advances, yes, of course. Ahem…

But back to Mark Steyn, whom I find has more security sense in his left pinky than Napolitano will have in her entire lifetime.

The average Canadian can survive an Arizona hot tub merely compliant with 2009 safety standards rather than 2010. The average Englishman can survive stumbling with his frying pan: You may get a nasty graze on his kneecap, but rub in some soothing pancake syrup, and you’ll soon feel right as rain. Whether they — or at any rate their pampered complacent societies in which hot-tub regulation is the most pressing issue of the day — can survive a nuclear Iran is a more open question.

It is now certain that Tehran will get its nukes, and very soon. This is the biggest abdication of responsibility by the Western powers since the 1930s. It is far worse than Pakistan going nuclear, which, after all, was just another thing the CIA failed to see coming. In this case, the slow-motion nuclearization conducted in full view and through years of tortuous diplomatic charades and endlessly rescheduled looming deadlines is not just a victory for Iran but a decisive defeat for the United States. It confirms the Islamo-Sino-Russo-everybody else diagnosis of Washington as a hollow superpower that no longer has the will or sense of purpose to enforce the global order.

What does it mean? That a year or two down the line Iran will be nuking Israel? Not necessarily, although the destruction of not just the Zionist Entity but the broader West remains an explicit priority. Maybe they mean it. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they’ll do it directly. Maybe they’ll just get one of their terrorist subcontractors to weaponize the St. Albans pancake batter. But, when you’ve authorized successful mob hits on Salman Rushdie’s publishers and translators, when you’ve blown up Jewish community centers in Buenos Aires, when you’ve acted extra-territorially to the full extent of your abilities for 30 years, it seems prudent for the rest of us to assume that when your abilities go nuclear you’ll be acting to an even fuller extent.

Hillary! Janet! B. Hussein, wake up! Oh, wait, B. Hussein Obama is wide awake, he just hasn’t decided whose side he’s on.

Oh, well.

But, even without launching a single missile, Iran will at a stroke have transformed much of the map — and not just in the Middle East, where the Sunni dictatorships face a choice between an unsought nuclear arms race or a future as Iranian client states. In Eastern Europe, a nuclear Iran will vastly advance Russia’s plans for a de facto reconstitution of its old empire: In an unstable world, Putin will offer himself as the protection racket you can rely on. And you’d be surprised how far west “Eastern” Europe extends: Moscow’s strategic view is of a continent not only energy-dependent on Russia but also security-dependent. And, when every European city is within range of Tehran and other psycho states, there’ll be plenty of takers for that when the alternative is an effete and feckless Washington.

It’s a mistake to think that the infantilization of once-free peoples represented by the microregulatory Nanny State can be confined to pancakes and hot tubs. Consider, for example, the incisive analysis of Scott Gration, the U.S. special envoy to the mass murderers of Sudan: “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration a few months back. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”

Actually, there’s not a lot of evidence “smiley faces” have much impact on kids in the Bronx, never mind genocidal machete-wielders in Darfur. So much for the sophistication of “soft power,” smiling through a hard-faced world.

So, Iran will go nuclear and formally inaugurate the post-American era. The Left and the isolationist Right reckon that’s no big deal. They think of the planet as that Arizona patio and America as the hotel room. There may be an incendiary hot tub out there, but you can lock the door and hang a sign, and life will go on, albeit a little more cramped and constrained than before. I think not.

The truth is, actually, that like our economic policies, our security policies are these days derived via about 90% political considerations and 10% common sense. Combine that with a lot of political appointments of key people who are astronomically unqualified to make security decisions, and, well…

BOOM! (or, again, a reasonable facsimile thereof).

by @ 8:14 am. Filed under Global Security, Homeland Security

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

September 1, 2009

Hoist On Their Own Petard

Wolf here again.

According to the Washington Times, the U.N. has found that although they have spent decades brown-nosing, ass creeping, looking the other way when they arm and/or regroup, take your pick endeavoring to interact with and try to curb the activities of international terrorists and the nations that sponsor them, the criminally corrupt, power hungry, pitifully inept organization financed in major proportion and hosted by the U.S. taxpayer has been having some terrorist problems of its own.

At least 20 U.N. outposts in dangerous corners of the world suffer from inadequate security despite rising threats to the organization, the U.N. director of security says.

Gregory B. Starr, a former State Department security specialist named as U.N. security coordinator a little more than three months ago, cited U.N. offices in Iraq and Afghanistan for particular concern.

He also classified outposts in Somalia, Sudan’s Darfur region, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon as dangerous spots for U.N. international and local staff.

How did I title this post? Hoist on their own petard?

The specter of terrorist attacks has prompted many U.N. agencies and programs to beef up security. Often, they hire security contractors to help deliver and distribute humanitarian goods, to relocate mission staff to more stable neighboring countries, and to develop protocols for movement and protection in dangerous postings.

The big difference here is that it’s the U.N. whose asses are hanging in the breeze. If it were the Israelis, the same U.N. would deem whatever security precautions they took to be “excessive”, “oppressive”, “inhumane” or other words to that effect.

Here’s my favorite:

The danger has risen dramatically over the past decade as radical Islamists have grown increasingly suspicious of the United Nations and many of its goals.

…suspicious of the United Nations and many of its goals.

I never thought I’d say it, but there is one thing I’ve had in common with radical Islamists for a very long time.

Read the entire Washington Times article here.

Wolf out.

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...