Is the Russian military testing Trump?

640px-MiG-29_fuselageA Russian spy ship was spotted Tuesday sailing just off the U.S. east coast.  Also on Tuesday, the administration confirmed that Russia had deployed ground-based cruise missiles in violation of a 1987 treaty.  Last Friday, four Russian jets buzzed an American ship in the Black Sea.

Such provocations sound like Vladimir Putin is testing our new president, who created the impression when Iran was doing this sort of thing that he would not tolerate it.  Putin tested Obama like this all the time, drawing conclusions about his weakness.

It will be interesting to see what President Trump does.

It has been alleged that the Russians helped Trump get elected.  Trump has floated the idea of eliminating the sanctions against Russia for invading the Ukraine and annexing the Crimea.  But Trump’s new secretary of state and secretary of defense have talked tough about keeping the sanctions.  And being overly cozy with the Russian ambassador is what got national security advisor Michael Flynn fired.

Why do you think Putin would throw his weight around like this?

If Trump ignores these incidents, he might look weak, or even in thrall to Putin.  If Trump reacts, he needs to be measured and must not over-react, qualities that have not been his strong suit.

At any rate, this may be President Trump’s first foreign relations test.

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Trump’s national security advisor resigns

Michael_T_FlynnMichael Flynn, President Trump’s national security advisor, has resigned.  He was caught negotiating with the Russian ambassador over sanctions before taking office.  It is illegal for a private citizen to do so.  Flynn also lied to Vice-President Pence about it.

The pressure for him to leave evidently came from Trump himself.

Embattled White House national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night, two sources tell CNN.

His departure came just after reports surfaced the Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. [Read more…]

Did Trump slander America?

Poster_russianIn an interview aired Sunday, Bill O’Reilly asked President Trump why he is so supportive of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.  After all, said O’Reilly, “Putin’s a killer.”

“There are a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “Got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

Says a Wall Street Journal editor, “Trump puts US on moral par with Putin’s Russia. Never in history has a President slandered his country like this.”

Do you think Trump’s cynicism about American innocence and how, far from being “good guys” we are no better than Putin is slanderous?  It will be hard for his leftist critics to make much of this, since they often say much the same thing about America’s alleged crimes.  Or is this comment simply sober realism? [Read more…]

Who is funding the U.S. secessionist movements

9348031848_222ae13657_zCalifornia and Texas both have secessionist movements with the goal of breaking away from the United States and setting up independent nations.  California’s rebels would seem to be from the left.  The Texans would seem to be from the right.  But the unlikely breakaways of these formerly independent republics have a common funder:  RUSSIA.

The leader of “Calexit” and its organization Yes California even lives in Russia!

So says the article excerpted and linked after the break. [Read more…]

Obama picks a fight with Russians

Vladimir_Putin_and_Barack_Obama_(2015-09-29)_01President Obama has hit Russia with sanctions and the expulsion of diplomatic personnel in retaliation for Vladimir Putin’s alleged interference  with the U.S. election.  He has also threatened cyberattacks against Russia.

In return, Russia is promising retaliation of its own.

With only twenty or so days left in office, the president has stirred up a conflict with Russia that his successor is going to have to deal with.  Donald Trump, with his pro-Russian leanings, will probably reverse Obama’s actions, but this will just advance the narrative that the Russians put him in office, making his new administration and the nation as a whole look bad.

UPDATE:  Putin is now saying he will not retaliate, hoping for better relations with the Trump administration.

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CIA says Russia helped Trump 

41d3e943e7f3eb460e44 The CIA says that Russia deliberately interfered in the American election in order to help elect DonalTrump.  Russian hackers broke into e-mails of both the Democratic and the Republican national committees, but turned over only the Democratic batch to Wikileaks.  The correspondence between Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and various Democratic operatives proved highly embarrassing to her campaign and likely cost her some votes.

Trump and his people are denying the Russian involvement–but how do they know?  The CIA report doesn’t accuse the Trump campaign of collusion with the Russians.  And there is nothing to deny the legitimacy of Trump’s election.  I suspect the CIA has tried to help one candidate or the other in various foreign elections.  But still. . . .

This casts a cloud on any attempts by the new administration to improve relations with Russia, which Trump has said he wants to do.  Which is why, of course, the Putin regime wanted him to win.  For other problems it creates, see this.  The biggest issue, though, is that if a hostile foreign power can manipulate America’s democracy, we have a national security problem that the military can’t protect us from.
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