Iraq turns to Russia to fill void left by “unserious” Obama

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Iraq plans to set up a joint-intelligence-sharing hub with Syria, Iran, and Russia to fight ISIS. The center is expected to be operational within a matter of weeks, according to a spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry. The Post’s Loveday Morris explains the meaning of this move: The deal is the latest indication of expanding Russian influence in the region as Moscow embarks on a »

Clearing my spindle, Syria edition

Featured image The withdrawal of the United States from Iraq and points elsewhere around the Middle East has created a vacuum that has been filled by forces hostile to the United States. Syria is representative. ISIS has moved into Syria from Iraq. Iran and Hezbollah have both moved into Syria to defend the Assad regime from ISIS. The Obama administration has taken a sort of Stalinist tack. Obama has concentrated on building »

Doomed to failure

Featured image As part of his observance of the 9/11 anniversary yesterday President Obama held “a live, worldwide televised Troop Talk Talk town hall at Fort Meade.” That’s how the White House described it in the preview posted here. If you remember Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite extravaganza of 1973, the preview might have seemed an allusion. By contrast with Elvis’s worldwide audience, however, we (and I believe many in Obama’s »

Russia ignores Kerry

Featured image This past Saturday Secretary Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to express ever so politely “U.S. concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military build-up there.” Kerry went so far as to “ma[k]e clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL Coalition operating in Syria.” Strong stuff. »

Kerry warns Russia

Featured image The AP headline reads “US warns Russia against more aid to Assad amid new violence.” Turning to the story to check out the “warning,” we find this: [T]he State Department said Kerry made clear to Lavrov that such actions “could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation” with the anti-Islamic State coalition operating led by the U.S. that is carrying »

Russia and China Are Using Hacked Data to Identify and Neutralize U.S. Agents

Featured image This is one of the great scandals of the Obama administration–really, of the post-war era. But our Democratic Party media, fearful of what may be coming in next year’s presidential election, have consistently downplayed it. The Los Angeles Times reports: “Foreign spies use hacked data to identify U.S. intelligence agents.” Foreign spy services, especially in China and Russia, are aggressively aggregating and cross-indexing hacked U.S. computer databases — including security »

The 1980s Are Calling…

Featured image Two items from today’s newspapers, the first from the New York Times: In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries, American and allied officials say. The proposal, if approved, would represent the first time since the end of »

Is the U.S. Lousy at Cyber Warfare?

Featured image A series of alarming data breaches over the last two years have cast doubt on our government’s competence with regard to cyber warfare. Glenn Reynolds writes about the most recent instance in USA Today: “Hackers linked to China have gained access to the sensitive background information submitted by intelligence and military personnel for security clearances, U.S. officials said Friday, describing a cyberbreach of federal records dramatically worse than first acknowledged.” »

Obama’s uncertain kazoo, cont’d

Featured image President Obama emitted tough talk on Russia on his way to the G7 summit meeting of European leaders yesterday. One of his top priorities at the summit, he told hundreds of people in a town square in Kruen, Germany, is “standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine.” Lest there be any misunderstanding, however, Team Obama made it clear that Obama was sounding his reliably uncertain kazoo. The tough talk was »

Another red line done gone

Featured image On Monday the Wall Street Journal reported that “the Kremlin has formally lifted its own ban on the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran, setting the legal groundwork for the possible Russian sale of a powerful air-defense system to Tehran.” On Tuesday the Journal reported that an Iranian official said he believed Iran would receive the air-defense system as early as this year, though Russian officials suggested the delivery could »

Russia’s Invasion of White House Computers: The Story Still Has Not Been Told

Featured image CNN has made news with this headline: “How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House.” Russian hackers behind the damaging cyber intrusion of the State Department in recent months used that perch to penetrate sensitive parts of the White House computer system, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. While the White House has said the breach only affected an unclassified system, that description belies the seriousness of »

Thomas Friedman’s misguided end-zone dance

Featured image Yesterday, I mentioned that Thomas Friedman is taunting Vladimir Putin for being exposed by the drop in oil prices as a “delusional thug” who, with oil tide receding, is now “swimming naked.” Friedman is also taunting conservatives for having been impressed by Putin’s successes, which is rich coming from a columnist who has long been in the tank for Communist China’s one-party rule. Not surprisingly, Friedman misses the point of »

What a receding tide reveals

Featured image Ukraine’s parliament voted yesterday to remove a legal impediment to joining the NATO defense alliance. The vote ends Ukraine’s “non-aligned” status which it had adopted to assure Russia it would not join NATO. 303 members out of a possible 450 voted for the change. They did so knowing that NATO will not accept Ukraine as a member in the foreseeable future. Membership would carry with it security guarantees. And, as »

Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine . . .

Featured image You don’t see much in the news any more about Eastern Ukraine. Nor is there any indication that President Obama is thinking about the situation there. The “cease fire” that Russia, in essence, imposed provides enough of a fig leaf for the world to avert its gaze. However, as Ukrainian journalist Nikoay Vorobiov inconveniently informs us, the “cease fire” hasn’t stopped the fighting. Speaking yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, Vorobiov, »

Surprise, Surprise: Russia Sponsoring Foreign Environmental Protests

Featured image Put on your best Gomer Pyle imitation (“surprise, surprise, surprise!”) for this next story. We know that back during the Cold War, the Soviet Union provided substantial funding and organizational heft to the useful idiots protesting against Western plans such as the intermediate-range missile deployment in 1983. So given that Russia is now ruled by a former KGB officer, why should we be surprised, as the New York Times seems »

The Evil Empire Is Back

Featured image So Obama, ever the bright and prompt one when it comes to foreign affairs, has declared the Soviet Union Russia to be in violation of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty—Ronald Reagan’s famous “zero option.”  The violation occurred in 2009.  Guess it would have got in the way of that whole “reset” thing to have brought it up at the time. As it happens, I’m working on a new »

Meanwhile in Ukraine

Featured image It’s not getting much attention, but Ukraine continues to make military progress against rebel separatists. The Washington Post reports that the Ukrainian military has pushed the rebels out of a series of villages and towns in the East, and now has its sights set on Horlivka, a city of about 300,000. If it succeeds in taking Horlivka, the military will be on the doorstep of Donetsk, the separatists’ power center. »