Why the Russians are backing Assad

Azaz,_SyriaSecretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is in Moscow for negotiations, has said that Russia needs to choose between Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad and the United States.
One would think that Vladimir Putin would rather have good relations with the United States than Syria.  And what’s in it for Russia to help with the bombing of hospitals and other atrocities?John Hopkins International Affairs expert Vali Nasr explains Russia’s ties to Syria and to Assad, after the jump. [Read more…]

Is Russia seeding our shoreline with nuclear weapons?

Operation_Upshot-Knothole_-_Badger_001Former Russian defense ministry spokesman Viktor Baranetz is claiming that “we are quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles (they dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command).”

The context of his article in Pravda is that Russia is responding to U.S. military buildups and the prospect of even more defense spending by President Trump, which Baranetz describes as “buying the support” of the military-industrial complex.

A Kremlin spokesman dismissed the account of this “seeding” of nuclear weapons, but of course he would.

Vladimir Putin is said to want to warm up to President Trump, to the point, some say, of helping him get elected, with both presidents supposedly seeking some kind of alliance.  But the Russian military seems increasingly hostile to the U.S., with their planes buzzing our ships and other provocative actions, including stories like this.  Perhaps Russia has factional conflicts within its government also.

But maybe it isn’t the case that Russia is on one side or the other.  Maybe it just wants to create havoc.

Whether this story is true or not, the very prospect of nuclear mines/missiles reminds us that nuclear war is still a possibility, and that a country–or a group of terrorists–does not necessarily need high-tech missiles or aircraft to attack us with nuclear weapons. [Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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…]