Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Is the United States a Democracy or a Police State?

May 27, 2018

In a democracy elected officials control the police.. In a police state, the police can tell elected officials what to do. In a democracy elected officials can fire police leaders. In a police state police leaders cannot be fired by the officials the people have elected to supposedly run the government.

‘In a police state Gestapo like police may terrorize political figures by invading their homes in the middle of the night like Robert Mueller did to .Paul J. Manafort. In a police state KGB like police may plant spies in political organizations like the Department of Justice did to Donald Trump.

Those who talk about the rule of law sometimes forget the most important of our laws are devoted to preventing misuse of the police powers to harass and intimidate political figures. One of the most important of these protections is the requirement that those making accusations be identified so the accused can challenge the charges. The accused may know that the accuser is likely to lie. Basing an investigation of a political candidate on an anonymous source violates the spirit if not the letter of this constitutional protection.

The most important of our laws is the United States Constitution. Article 2 of the United States Constitution states: ” The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

The Constitution does not allow sharing of power with the Attorney General, the FBI Director or any other law enforcement official. Article 2 prohibits any law enforcement official from interrogating a president or trying to indict one. Such an action would be equivalent to an attempt to overthrow the government. Allowing the sharing of power would take away the people’s power to control law enforcement,

The British Are Meddling! The British Are Meddling!

October 11, 2017

It’s increasingly obvious that it’s the British, rather than the Russians, who are meddling in American politics. The British are once again using “fake intelligence” to influence American politics.

After the 9/11 attack the British used fake intelligence about WMD in Iraq to get President George W. Bush to help them invade Iraq. The British treated rumors about WMD as if they were proven facts.

Now they are using fake intelligence to undermine President Donald Trump. Patrick Cockburn in the “London Independent” says the charges about Trump’s alleged association with the Russians are based on information that is at least as unreliable as the claims about Iraq’s WMD.

The British may be trying to oust Trump because they know they cannot manipulate him the way they manipulated George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They used fake intelligence to get Bush’s help in invading Iraq. I don’t know how they tricked Obama into helping them invade Libya. This century is only about 18 years old and the British have already gotten us into two stupid wars. We need to keep the British from using their boy Robby Mueller to force Trump out of office.

Donald Trump Should Tell Gestapo-like Mueller: “You’re fired!”

September 24, 2017

Is Robert S. Mueller III Mr. Mueller the special counsel or Herr Mueller the head of the American Gestapo? His treatment of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul J. Manafort implies he should be called “Herr Mueller”.

Mueller conducted a search of Manafort’s residence by breaking into the residence while Manafort and his wife were in bed. Such a tactic might have been accepted in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union It should not be accepted in 21st Century America.

The secret police in police states use this tactic to terrorize their victims into confessing they are “witches”. Police in the United States might need to use this tactic with violent criminals.

There can be no justification for using it in political controversies particularly when there is no evidence of a crime.

Four of the Russian computer hackers [including a colonel and a major] who supposedly interfered in the election were on the C.I.A.’s payroll. Thus, if anything illegal happened it was President Barack Obama and his C.I.A. who were involved rather than persons associated with Donald Trump. Barack Obama was paying them. Not Donald Trump. They reported to the C.I.A. Not Donald Trump

Russia Didn’t “Hack” Election

December 15, 2016

Thoughts on the fake news claim that Russia “meddled” in or “hacked” the presidential election.

Those who claim that Russia “meddled” in the recent presidential election have an even lower opinion of President Barack Obama than the Republicans who call him the worst president in American history.. Countries can only “meddle” in countries that are weaker than they are, including countries that are weak because of weak or inept leaders. For example, President Barack Obama frequently meddled in middle eastern countries. So far those alleging Russian meddling have not provided evidence that Russia tried to meddle by influencing election officials or providing financial assistance to candidates. Spying on government officials or would be government officials is normal governmental action that governments do year round so they can be prepared for actions that might adversely impact them. Attempting to influence public opinion in other countries is also normal action that is done year round and is not “meddling”. Governments are likely to try to discredit opinion makers who portray their country, or its leaders, in a negative light to prevent the development of sentiment for war or other adverse actions against their country..

The media are misrepresenting the hacking issue. Russia, China, Israel and North Korea and possibly others along with the NSA probably did hack into insecure email systems, but that does not mean they altered election results as media stories falsely imply. Foreign nations have often made significant efforts to influence American public opinion since WWI, but there is nothing illegal about that. Seeking to influence public opinion isn’t “hacking” What would be improper would be if CIA employees are deliberately misrepresenting the situation in an attempt to overturn the election of Donald Trump. Such actions would subject individuals to impeachment and would indicate Congress should turn the agency’s functions over to other departments

If Russians helped us learn Hillary’s dirty secrets we should thank them just like many Americans thanked Daniel Ellsberg for revealing the Pentagon’s secrets about Vietnam During the Cold War the United States operated radio stations that broadcast news to communist countries that their governments didn’t want them to know.

Why don’t you media children grow up? If the Democrats, or Republicans, used insecure communications foreign governments would have spied on them. Russia, Israel, China and North Korea would certainly have led any “hacking”, but others might also have participated. Governments have to spy on each other, and on political candidates, so they can prepare for actions that might negatively impact them. If the Russians informed us of Hillary’s secrets the way Daniel Ellsberg did the Pentagon’s secrets we should thank them rather than complain. Foreign governments have been making significant efforts to affect voters’ opinions since at least WWI so any Russian effort to affect the 2016 election wouldn’t be anything new.

Democrats need to accept the fact that Hillary Clinton lost because she was a lousy candidate. Party leaders had discouraged people from running against her for the nomination because they knew she was a lousy candidate.

Did Ukraine Air Force Cause MH17 Crash?

August 10, 2014

Did a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 in effect guide a missile from a Buk missile launcher to Malaysian flight MH17? Did Russian separatists fire at an Su-25 which had dropped down toward the ground after flying as an “escort” and then began climbing back up toward MH17 with the missile on its tail?

[Note: I’ve delayed posting this because of recent reports attributed to unnamed American intelligence sources supporting a theory that a Ukrainian air force plane shot down MH17 after it deviated from the normal course. Ukrainian authorities could have interpreted the different course as an indication of a plane controlled by terrorists. We will need to watch this theory to see if it replaces the theory that a Buk missile brought down MH17. For now the Buk theory seems to provide the best explanation.]

Russian authorities report that there was an Su-25 approaching MH17 prior to the disaster. “A Ukraine Air Force military jet was detected gaining height, it’s distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km [about 3 miles],” the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov told a press conference. Air Force Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev said the Ukrainian jet was “scrambling in the direction of the Malaysian Boeing.”

The Russian descriptions of the Su-25’s flight is consistent with a plane coming up to the MH17 as would have been the case if it had dropped down to investigate or attack a ground target. If the Su-25 had merely been escorting MH17 it would have been flying at a constant height and been matching the speed of the slower moving airliner. It can climb at the rate of 2 miles per minute which means it could travel from near ground level to an elevation of 3-5 km below the MH17 in a couple of minutes.

Gen. Makushev’s use of the word “scramble” is significant because the term is used to describe the behavior of a pilot getting in position to deal with a threat. A pilot attempting to get away from a missile would fly in a similar hurried way.

WashingtonsBlog reports that “a Youtube video made a month before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down alleges that Ukranian fighter jets were hiding behind passenger planes, pulling away temporarily, dropping bombs on Ukrainian separatists, and then hiding again behind the plane. ”

The Aviationist reports that Su-27 Flanker jets had been escorting civilian jets over Ukraine.

If Russian separatists were operating a Buk missile system that shot down MH17, they likely would have been inexperienced. They might not have understood the transponder codes in the radar readout or been too preoccupied with shooting down the Su-25 to notice MH17. Inexperienced operators would likely have relied on visual identification of potential targets and merely used the radar to guide the missile to its target. Smart guerrilla fighters know to keep the radar turned off unless they know they have a possible target because the enemy could detect the electronic signature of the radar. They might have visually identified the Su-25 and quickly fired without bothering to check to see if other aircraft were in the area. Aviation Week reports that the Buk system can have a problem distinguishing among different potential targets if it doesn’t have the appropriate support equipment..

If the Su-25 was headed toward MH17, the MH17 might have been mistakenly been targeted or a slight change in course by the Su-25 could have resulted in MH17 becoming the target. I’m not familiar with the handling characteristics of the Buk missile, but a missile traveling at 2,000 mph [0.5 miles per second] requires a significant distance to change directions.

Separatists could have thought the presence of the Su-25’s meant the larger plane was a high value target.

I recognize the possibility that Ukrainian troops might have shot down MH17 so they could blame the action on Russian separatists, but it seems unlikely Ukrainian troops would deliberately have taken a chance on firing at MH17 with their own jets so close. The site “abovetopsecret” claims that the U.S has satellite imagery indicating Ukrainian troops, who may have been fooling around while drinking, might have launched the missile either by accident or as a badly timed prank. also supports this scenario. We see this scenario occasionally in military themed comedy movies or television episodes but don’t expect such things to happen in real life. This plausible scenario could explain why American authorities started calling the incident an “accident”. In the movies such accidents result in victims in tattered clothes and apparent soot on exposed skin. Victims of real . life “accidents” are seldom so fortunate.

Ukrainian and American authorities have accused the Russian government of providing the Buk launcher to the separatists, but it isn’t unusual for rebel forces to steal weapons and munitions from the government. Individuals in government sympathetic to the rebels sometimes aid this process. Ukrainian separatists likely have agents in the Ukrainian military like the Viet Cong did in the South Vietnamese army. Commanders who have had large items stolen might be reluctant to tell their superiors about their losses. They may lie and say the stolen items were destroyed. In Vietnam, the Viet Cong sometimes used stolen weapons against us.

If Russian weapons are being provided, individual commanders,rather than senior military officials might be responsible. Individual commanders might occasionally “loan” weapons to separatists who might be friends or relatives, Military units sometimes rely on “unofficial actions” in such situations. In the movies a crusty old 1st sergeant will take some action he knows his commanding officer wants done, but has been ordered not to do.

Both Russia and the United States have assisted rebel groups in many countries in recent decades. The Russian government is under pressure from friends and relatives of ethnic Russians in Ukraine to assist the separatists. In the 19th Century the United States went to war with Mexico to support “separatists” in Texas and California who wanted independence from Mexico.

Russia Should Follow U.S. Example in Eastern Ukraine

May 3, 2014

Russia should respond to the situation in the Ukraine by following the precedent set by the United States in a comparable situation. Russia should offer to purchase the Russian populated areas whose residents want to leave Ukraine much like the United States purchased California from Mexico.

In the 1840’s people from the United States had settled in parts of Mexico, but were not happy with the Mexican government. U.S. citizens in the Texas region had openly revolted and gained independence from Mexico. People in California were also interested in leaving Mexico. The United States annexed Texas and a border dispute led to war between the United States and Mexico. The United States won the war but instead of simply taking other territory from Mexico forced Mexico to sell California and additional areas to the United States. The United States also assumed some debts that Mexico owed to U.S citizens.

The Russians in the eastern Ukraine don’t want to be part of Ukraine any more than the U.S. citizens in California and Texas wanted to be part of Mexico. Russia should help them leave by offering to purchase the region from Ukraine once the people of Ukraine vote for a new government. Government officials chosen in an election have authority from the people to act. Officials who came to power as a result of mob action have no authority from the people to act.

Russia should also consider compensating Ukraine for the its loss of Crimea. The separation of Crimea from Ukraine was comparable to a divorce. Often one party to a divorce will compensate the other by paying alimony to the other/ Russia could undermine claims that it “stole” Crimea by paying alimony to Ukraine. Paying for something isn’t stealing.

The mob overthrow of a president from eastern Ukraine and talk of eliminating Russian as an official language indicates that many Ukrainians don’t want Russians in their country. The presences of racist elements in the anti-government mob indicates the overthrow may have been in part motivated by ethnic prejudice. Russians in Ukraine fear that failure to allow the Russian region to leave Ukraine could result in use of violence against them.

Failure to allow the Russian region to leave could lead to prolonged efforts against the Ukraine government. European ethnic conflicts [such as the Basque conflict in Spain and the conflict between Irish Catholics and English Protestants in Northern Ireland] can last for generations.

Americans tend to think of ethnic conflicts in terms of differences in skin color, but differences in culture can produce the same results as was the case in Adolf Hitler’s efforts to exterminate the Jewish people.

During the collapse of the Soviet empire, the residents of Czechoslovakia recognized that they would have a better chance of success if they split into two countries. Ukrainians made a mistake by keeping the arbitrary political boundaries set by the old Soviet Union. The Soviet Union to a large extent was a Russian empire. Keeping Russian regions in Ukraine means Ukrainians are still subject to control by politicians chosen in part by Russians. Eliminating the Russian regions from Ukraine would make Ukrainians truly independent of Russia.

Palestinian U.N. Membership a Very Bad Precedent

October 4, 2011

Granting United Nations membership to the Palestinians would create a vary dangerous precedent. The Palestinians aren’t the only ethnic group that desire to have their own country independent of the one in which they live. Nor are they the only group that has used violence to try to gain independence.

The Kurds have long desired to set up a country they would call Kurdistan including land currently a part of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. If the U.N. grants membership to the Palestinians, shouldn’t it also grant membership to Kurdistan? The Kurds have their own culture and language.

The Palestinians are a collection of Arab peoples who happen to live within the boundaries of the nation of Israel. They are called Palestinians not because they have a unique culture like the Kurds, but because they aren’t Jewish. The term “Palestine” was used by the Romans to refer to a geographic region rather than any specific ethnic group.

Might the area of Chechnya also qualify for U.N. membership? What about the Basque region of Spain? Could Tibetans argue that they should have U.N. membership even though the Chinese currently occupy the country?

If the Palestinians should get their own country because they are Muslims, what about the Uighur Muslims in China?

Many other countries have groups that might want their own country if they thought it were possible, particularly in those areas of the world where European nations arbitrarily forced different ethnic groups to live in the same country. Granting U.N. membership to the Palestinians would encourage members of these groups to develop nationalist aspirations.

There is nothing special about the Palestinians. Many groups of people would like to have their own nations. The U.N. cannot arbitrarily grant membership to the Palestinians and ignore the aspirations of the Kurds, Basques, etc.

Nations that are considering voting for Palestinian membership should make sure they don’t have groups that might make a similar request.

Over the last several thousand years regions of the Middle East have been controlled by whatever ethnic groups have been strongest at the time. Some groups such as the Persians and Assyrians have established empires. Others such as the Israelites have been content to control only small areas. The current situation in Israel has been occurred many times in the past and will likely to be repeated in one country or another in the future.

The U.N. should not attempt to arbitrarily adjust national boundaries or decide which groups should have their own countries. Many of the ethnic problems in Asia and Africa are due in part to the arbitrary national boundaries imposed by imperialistic European nations If the Palestinians, Kurds or other groups want their own nations they should handle their own situations rather having the U.N. impose a solution from outside.