« This Is My Mistake, Let Me Make it Good | Main | Animal Stories »

March 16, 2009

Comments

Ed Morrisey is a shameless shill ?

oh noes. what will we tell the children ?

what will we tell the children ?

That he was a Very Serious Person.

From Eric's Hot Air link:

"A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

"The chief of staff of Russia’s long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, also said Cuba could be used to base the aircraft, Interfax reported.

"Zhikharev said Chavez had offered 'a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers,' the agency reported. 'If there is a corresponding political decision, then the use of the island … by the Russian Air Force is possible.'

"Interfax reported he said earlier that Cuba has air bases with four or five runways long enough for the huge bombers and could."

E: I first read this yesterday morning in Sunday's NYT. If I remember correctly, it was buried in the front news section. I read it as Russia flexing its new-found military might, even if just verbally.

Anyhow, I was wondering why you think it is a "non-story."

Anyhow, I was wondering why you think it is a "non-story."

Because the Kremlin said these were mere hypothetical scenarios in the same article. That there was no decision to do anything like what is described. So they're just hollow statements at this point. If and when it becomes an actual story then it should be treated as such.

But Alexei Pavlov, a Kremlin official, told The Associated Press that "the military is speaking about technical possibilities, that's all. If there will be a development of the situation, then we can comment," he said.

Further, even if acted upon, there doesn't seem to be much of a story. From the same article:

Russia has nothing to gain strategically from basing long-range craft within relatively short range of U.S. shores, independent military analyst Alexander Golts said, calling the military statement a retaliatory gesture aimed at hitting back after U.S. ships patrolled Black Sea waters near Georgia.

Russia recently conducted some joint naval operations in Venezuelan waters, and I didn't think it was much of a story then. Under Bush.

"Anyhow, I was wondering why you think it is a 'non-story.'"

Because Chavez offering doesn't mean the Kremlin accepting. And it helps to read more than one source on a story:

President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but the socialist leader denied that his country would offer Moscow its territory for a military base.

Chavez — a fierce critic of Washington with close ties to Russia and Cuba — said his government did not raise the possibility, as Russian media had reported.

"It's not like that," the president said, responding to a report by Interfax news agency quoting the chief of staff of Russia's long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, as saying some strategic bombers could be based on an island offered by Venezuela.

Speaking during his weekly television and radio program, Chavez said he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that his nation's bombers would be allowed to land in Venezuela if necessary, but no such plans have been made.

[...]

Interfax also reported that Zhikharev said Russian bombers could be based in communist-led Cuba, but a Kremlin official said Zhikharev had been speaking hypothetically.

Kremlin official Alexei Pavlov responded to the report on Saturday, saying that "the military is speaking about technical possibilities, that's all."

"If there will be a development of the situation, then we can comment," Pavlov said.

If a U.S. general spouts off about a political issue, and the White House says he was just speaking hypothetically, who are you going to believe will be correct about the policy?

It's a non-story for several reasons.

One, the Russians temporarily based several bombers in Venezuela a short time back during the admin of Cap'n Ed's heroic GWB.

Two, Russia has been doing North American bomber flights for several years now.

Third, Chavez seems to have backed away from Zhikharev's comments.

I read it as Russia flexing its new-found military might, even if just verbally.

What strategic capabilities would basing bombers in Venezuela offer Russia that Russia doesn't already have? If Russia wants to bomb us, it already has ICBMs on land and in submarines. There is no muscle here; this is just Chavez posturing hoping that he can get some free press when stupid western journalists take this seriously.

Russia does not have new-found military might.

Plus, Venezuala has denied making such an offer, only saying that, if needed, bombers could land in Venezuala, but they could not be based there.

Besides, I thought when Putin wanted to rear his head in American Airspace, he peered through Sarah Palin's windows. Or something.

Hey, where'd my comment go?

Stupid Typepad.

From the Venezuelan daily El Universal, a newspaper which absolutely detests Hugo Chavez, via its English section:

http://english.eluniversal.com/2009/03/16/en_pol_art_chavez-defends-milit_16A2255907.shtml>Chávez defends military support to Russia

The Venezuelan head of state said that Russian planes may land in his country

President Hugo Chávez denied during the 327th edition of his Sunday program Aló President that he had offered the use of La Orchila Island to Russia. "It is not like that," the president said, "I just told Russian President (Dmitry) Medvedev that each time the Russian strategic aviation needs to land in Venezuela, to fulfill its plans, it can do it."

Quoting a statement made by General Anatoly Zhikharev, chief of staff of the Russian strategic aviation, the Russian Interfax agency said on Saturday that "Russian air force is planning to use as a temporary base for strategic bombers an island in Cuba or Venezuela." According to the report, Zhikharev would have said that Chávez "offered Russia the airdrome of island La Orchila for takeoff and landing of strategic aircrafts."

The Venezuelan president lashed out at those who question military exchanges with Russia. "They, oligarchs, bandits, gave this homeland as present to the Yankees," he said.

Good title, but "Fareed Your Mind and U.S. Will Follow" would have been better.

I think you might be right Ben.

Because the Kremlin said...

Oh, okay. Wow, of course! The Kremlin said it. It must be true!

"Oh, okay. Wow, of course! The Kremlin said it. It must be true!"

Sure, what a Russian general said must be even truer. That makes sense.

Gary, excuse my ignorance for not getting your sarcasm, if that's what it is, but are you also saying this is a non-story?

Just wondering.

Maybe because even when Bush was president, it was a non-story according to Admiral Mullen:

Russia’s bomber fleet has been a favored piece in geopolitical gamesmanship with the United States. In August 2007, Vladimir V. Putin, then the president, punctuated the military’s growing assertiveness by reinstituting long-range patrols by nuclear-capable bombers over the world’s oceans. And Venezuela, with an eye toward rankling the United States, hosted two Russian strategic bombers last year and also conducted joint naval exercises with Russia.

At the time, top United States military officials played down the joint efforts, with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying that Russia and Venezuela had the right to work together “if they see fit.”

Why would it be a "story" now?

WTF!?

My second comment also vanished?!

WTF!?!

In fact that's three comments that appeared to post, and then vanished.

My first long response to BTFB, my wtf post about that post vanishing, and my later second long response to BTFB.

WTF?

Okay, this is insane. The fourth attempt vanished, too.

Five times.

Ok, short version, for the third frakking time.

It helps to read more than one source:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but the socialist leader denied that his country would offer Moscow its territory for a military base.

Chavez — a fierce critic of Washington with close ties to Russia and Cuba — said his government did not raise the possibility, as Russian media had reported.

"It's not like that," the president said, responding to a report by Interfax news agency quoting the chief of staff of Russia's long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, as saying some strategic bombers could be based on an island offered by Venezuela.

Zhikharev reportedly said Saturday that Chavez had offered "a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers."

Speaking during his weekly television and radio program, Chavez said he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that his nation's bombers would be allowed to land in Venezuela if necessary, but no such plans have been made.

[...]

Interfax also reported that Zhikharev said Russian bombers could be based in communist-led Cuba, but a Kremlin official said Zhikharev had been speaking hypothetically.

Kremlin official Alexei Pavlov responded to the report on Saturday, saying that "the military is speaking about technical possibilities, that's all."

"If there will be a development of the situation, then we can comment," Pavlov said.

Italics mine.

We have mouthy generals, too, and what they say is of less account than what their bosses say. Russia has a lot more mouthy generals, and one of them gets in the international news on average of at least once every two months with some bit of nonsense.

When there's more to something than some general making big claims, like an actual event, that'll be a real story.

Now let's see if this reconstruction doesn't vanish like the other two times.

Six times. I give up.

Gary -- earlier today there was a time period when all the comments on the "And another thing..." thread were gone. (That is, if I went to that thread, no comments appeared, where there had been a bunch before. Other threads seemed fine. Or as fine as usual.)

Then the comments to that thread were back. Something even more screwy than usual seems to be going on.

Wait: my attempt to post Gary's comment vanished too. It was here -- I checked -- and then it wasn't.

OK: it's flagging all of them as spam. Here goes Gary's comment, in bits:

Ok, short version, for the third frakking time.

It helps to read more than one source:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but the socialist leader denied that his country would offer Moscow its territory for a military base.

More of Gary. This is still from the source he's quoting:

Chavez — a fierce critic of Washington with close ties to Russia and Cuba — said his government did not raise the possibility, as Russian media had reported.

"It's not like that," the president said, responding to a report by Interfax news agency quoting the chief of staff of Russia's long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, as saying some strategic bombers could be based on an island offered by Venezuela.

Zhikharev reportedly said Saturday that Chavez had offered "a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers."

Speaking during his weekly television and radio program, Chavez said he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that his nation's bombers would be allowed to land in Venezuela if necessary, but no such plans have been made.

[...]

Interfax also reported that Zhikharev said Russian bombers could be based in communist-led Cuba, but a Kremlin official said Zhikharev had been speaking hypothetically.

Kremlin official Alexei Pavlov responded to the report on Saturday, saying that "the military is speaking about technical possibilities, that's all."

"If there will be a development of the situation, then we can comment," Pavlov said. Italics mine.

End of Gary's comment"

We have mouthy generals, too, and what they say is of less account than what their bosses say. Russia has a lot more mouthy generals, and one of them gets in the international news on average of at least once every two months with some bit of nonsense.

When there's more to something than some general making big claims, like an actual event, that'll be a real story.

Now let's see if this reconstruction doesn't vanish like the other two [now six] times.

Hah. It didn't seem to be giving me the option of un-flagging Gary's comment as spam, but I figured out how to get around it. (So there, TypePad!) So now one iteration of his comment, plus my bits, will appear....

Anyhow, I was wondering why you think it is a "non-story."

Even if it is a "story", it's rather surreal that the US does not think twice about missile strikes in countries like Pakistan, but Russia maybe possibly basing bombers in Venezuela would be an affront...

Thanks, Hilzoy.

So Gary can't post pertinent links, but s*p*a*m comments like Sarah at 10:35 AM slip through. Hooray for TypePad!

Really though. I'm going to delete the spam though.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad