TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my

What’s wrong and right with the world; Russia-, Ukraine-, and Iran-wise.

Keeping it short and sweet for now, as things keep updating on the long-running Phase II of the “IT in Russiagate” topic.  The first subject in today’s Ready Room grab-bag is the no-fly zone proposal for Ukraine.

It’s a bad idea.  All I will do here is copy in an email sent earlier with my reflections on the matter.  They were forwarded in response to a piece by former Senator Joe Lieberman in the Wall Street Journal (apologies for the paywall).

The email text: Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my”

The “sounds” of silence: Russia gears up for a war game unlike any other

Interesting times go high-order, under the sea.

As the world careens through January 2022 waiting to see what will happen with Russia, Ukraine, and NATO, a side drama unfolding off the coast of Ireland may yield clues to the scope of operation Russia has in mind in the coming days.

The initial indication of it came in a form that, in different circumstances, is usually prosaic: a hazard notice to airmen (NOTAM) lodged by Russia for an area about 170 nautical miles (NM) southwest of Ireland’s southwest coast.

The NOTAM indicates Continue reading “The “sounds” of silence: Russia gears up for a war game unlike any other”

TOC Ready Room 15 Dec 2021: Contra-indicative speech; Trump’s F-bomb; military notes

What’s wrong and right with the world.

The strangeness of this hour has crossed a line in recent days.  It’s a line between some level of fealty to demonstrable reality, and none.

Over the last few years, we have repeatedly witnessed the media, and many politicians pushing a far-left agenda, twisting their speech into knots in order to not quite be lying when they present an untruthful picture of events.

In the last few days, they have liberated themselves from the constraint to not quite be lying.  One of the most noticeable instances of this is Rep. Liz Cheney’s dramatic reading on 13 December of text messages that flew on 6 January 2021 during the Capitol riot.  The text messages were turned over to the committee by Trump’s then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows.  (*Update*:  See new reporting from Wednesday, at the end of this section, on doctoring of a Jim Jordan text message by Adam Schiff.) Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 15 Dec 2021: Contra-indicative speech; Trump’s F-bomb; military notes”

TOC Ready Room 11 Nov 2021: Ukraine and security; mock-ups in Chinese desert; preview of Danchenko meditation

What’s wrong and right with the world.

These will be drive-bys only, but it’s time for an update, whether updates are polished and ready or not.

Being left for later treatment are such equally urgent matters as the Biden administration’s weird posture on Iranian sanctions violations, which seems to have involved a most peculiar encounter in late October.

The “Ukraine and security” topic was prompted by a segment on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox Wednesday evening.  I rarely catch Carlson, but happened to see it on 10 November in its 8 PM slot, and was kind of mesmerized by the quality of the interview with Ohio Republican Congressman Mike Turner. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 11 Nov 2021: Ukraine and security; mock-ups in Chinese desert; preview of Danchenko meditation”

War comes home: Russia v. Turkey; Jet shootdown; Rebels attack Russian helos with U.S. TOW missiles

Peace in our time.

Shootdown porn. (Image via rebel video on YouTube)
Shootdown porn. (Image via rebel video on YouTube)

The war in Syria is metastasizing, as long predicted by this author and others.  It’s perilously close to a direct confrontation of Turkey and Russia in combat — a situation that didn’t start with the warplane shootdown today, but rather seems to have culminated in it.  The ground picture in the area of the shootdown is the key.

What we know for sure today is that Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft, which the Turks say was violating their air space.  The Turks report that an F-16 fighter pair took out the Russian aircraft.

It also appears that Russian helicopters sent on a rescue mission for the Su-24 air crew were destroyed.  If a video posted by Syrian rebels (below) is valid – assuming it shows something the rebels pulled off today (24 November) – it looks like the rebels used TOW missiles to attack the Russian helos while they were on the ground at the Su-24 crash site.

These rapid-fire events raise questions that will not be answered at a leisurely pace.  The basic question is what Russia and Turkey will do now.  But there is also the question of “why now?”  Turkey has been closely tracking Russian air activity for weeks.  The two air forces have interacted at dangerous levels before; the Aviationist has a good summary here.  But today, instead of warnings and sword-rattling, the Turks shot the Russian aircraft down. Continue reading “War comes home: Russia v. Turkey; Jet shootdown; Rebels attack Russian helos with U.S. TOW missiles”