Posted on

The real reasons for Russian electoral meddling

putin-czar

The money quote:

“And even if Putin did favor one candidate, I’m skeptical that he would prefer Trump. After all, it was President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who were repeatedly outplayed and embarrassed by Putin on Ukraine, Syria and the Baltics. At the very least, Putin’s preference would seem debatable.”

President Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were played so expertly by Putin that it was if he had programmed them to always do the wrong and stupid thing.

By REP. CHRIS STEWART • 12/15/16 12:04 AM

Did Russian intelligence officials attempt to interfere in our election? Almost certainly they did. Did they attempt to tip the scales in favor of Donald Trump. Very clearly, they did not.

Several outlets reported last weekend that the CIA recently told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia interfered in the U.S. elections for the purpose of helping to elect Trump. To quote from one report: “‘It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,’ said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. ‘That’s the consensus view.'”

As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I can say unequivocally that such an assessment has not been briefed to me. To the contrary, the claims in the press conflict with recent statements to the public and our committee characterizing alleged Russian activities. For example, on Nov. 17, 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the committee in an open hearing that the intelligence community lacked “good insight” into the connection, if any, between Russian hacking and WikiLeaks.

Last weekend’s reporting was based on an anonymous official who claimed to be familiar with the supposed CIA assessment. Whether this source was confused or deliberately misleading is less important than the fact that the current media uproar advances Vladimir Putin’s goal to sow chaos and distrust in our electoral system.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-real-reasons-for-russian-electoral-meddling/article/2609683#.WFam_w-q9i0.facebook

Posted on

Sen. Robert Menendez, comes out swinging against Obama Administration Foreign Policy

url-1

url-1

Sen. Robert Menendez, comes out swinging against Obama Administration Foreign Policy

Amid Looming Federal Corruption Charges, N.J. Democrat Pushes Back Against Obama Administration Policy to Counter Russia

Melissa Quinn / @MelissaQuinn97 / March 09, 2015

Amid whisperings that the Justice Department will file criminal corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the long-time senator today spoke about the importance of the U.S. standing strong against Russia and warned that inaction could embolden countries with nuclear capabilities.

“The simple fact is we all want a diplomatic solution to this problem. But I believe this can only come about when Putin believes that the cost of continuing to ravage Ukraine is simply too high,” he said. “We have a responsibility to increase that cost.”

Menendez, speaking alongside former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, addressed a full house at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on how the U.S. should respond to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“It has never been in our nature to simply observe,” he said of the United States. “In my view, it is in our strategic interest to be an active participant in leading any effort to counter Russia.”

Don’t have time to read the Washington Post or New York Times?Then get The Morning Bell, an early morning edition of the day’s most important political news, conservative commentary and original reporting from a team committed to following the truth no matter where it leads.

Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a leading voice in calling for additional sanctions against Russia and advocated for the U.S. to arm Ukrainians as the neighboring country continues to make territorial gains.

The U.S. has sent nonlethal military aid to Ukraine, including blankets and night vision goggles, but Menendez joined a chorus of Republican and Democratic lawmakers pushing for lethal aid.

“That’s all well and good if I can see the enemy, but I have no wherewithal to stop them. It really is not responding to the fundamental challenge,” he said.

Specifically, the New Jersey senator called on the president to provide the country with equipment like counter-artillery radar, surveillance drones, anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, and ammunition.

Military leaders including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter back calls to arm Ukrainians. The president hasn’t yet said whether he will approve lethal aid to the country, but hasn’t ruled it out either.

“We need to send a very clear global message: If you violate and upend the international order, there will be consequences,” the New Jersey Democrat said. “And we have to mean it when we say it, and we have to back up our words with a menu of agreed upon actions that will follow. There should be no ambiguity about either our resolve or what actions we would consider.”

Menendez warned that the country’s response to Russia is being looked at by other global actors—particularly those with nuclear capabilities.

“Whether it’s China in the South China Sea that has territorial disputes with our allies, South Korea and Japan, or the challenge we face with a nuclear-armed North Korea, or the challenge of [President Nicolás] Maduro in Venezuela oppressing his people—I could go through a long list of global actors who, in the absence of assured consequence for violating the international order, will be emboldened,” he said. “That is an incredibly risky world to live in.”

The senator’s speech on Russia came just days after CNN reported that the Justice Department will file criminal corruption charges against the long-time senator. The charges center around his relationship with friend and political donor Salomon Melgen and are the culmination of a two-year investigation into the duo’s ties.

Menendez hasn’t been indicted yet, and the looming threat of the charges hasn’t stopped him from speaking out against the president’s policies.

“The United States must lead,” he said in closing today. “American leadership counts.”

High-Ranking Democrat Pushes Back Against Obama Administration Policy to Counter Russia

Posted on

NATO general warns of further Russian aggression

vladimir-putin-4

NATO general warns of further Russian aggression

By Carol Morello and Karen DeYoung, Published: March 23 | Updated: Monday, March 24, 4:25 AME-mail the writers

SIMFEROPOL, Crimea — U.S. and Ukrainian officials warned Sunday that Russia may be poised to expand its territorial conquest into eastern Ukraine and beyond, with a senior NATO official saying that Moscow might even order its troops to cross Ukraine to reach Moldova.

The warnings came as Russia was finalizing its takeover of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea, the peninsula it occupied at the start of March and subsequently annexed.

The White House began to notify Congress of the new deployments as they began Sunday night.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya, appearing on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” said the prospect of war with Russia is growing.

“We don’t know what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has in his mind and what would be his decision,” Deshchytsya said. “That’s why this situation is becoming even more explosive than it used to be a week ago.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nato-general-warns-of-further-russian-aggression/2014/03/23/2ff63bb6-b269-11e3-8020-b2d790b3c9e1_story.html

Posted on

Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine

115118-004-DC4A3F8A

Charge of the Light Brigade, an engagement that took place on October 25, 1854, during the Battle of Balaklava in the Crimean War

Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISON SMALEMARCH 13, 2014

MOSCOW — With a referendum on secession looming in Crimea, Russia massed troops and armored vehicles in at least three regions along Ukraine’s eastern border on Thursday, alarming the interim Ukraine government about a possible invasion and significantly escalating tensions in the crisis between the Kremlin and the West.

The announcement of the troop buildup by Russia’s Defense Ministry was met with an unusually sharp rebuke from Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who warned that the Russian government must abandon what she called the politics of the 19th and 20th centuries or face diplomatic and economic retaliation from a united Europe.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if Russia continues on its course of the past weeks, it will not only be a catastrophe for Ukraine,” she said in a speech to the German Parliament. “We, also as neighbors of Russia, would not only see it as a threat. And it would not only change the European Union’s relationship with Russia. No, this would also cause massive damage to Russia, economically and politically.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/world/europe/ukraine.html?_r=0

Posted on

John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course in Ukraine

john-kerry-has-been-pushing-for-air-strikes-in-syria

John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course in Ukraine

BY SUSAN CRABTREE | MARCH 13, 2014 AT 1:11 PM
TOPICS: JOHN KERRY RUSSIA PENNAVE FOREIGN POLICY EUROPE UKRAINE EU CRIMEA
Secretary of State John Kerry pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday,…

Secretary of State John Kerry warned of serious repercussions forRussia on Monday if last-ditch talks over the weekend to resolve the crisis in Ukraine failed to persuade Moscow to soften its stance.

Kerry will travel to London for a Friday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of a Sunday referendum vote in theCrimea region to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

U.S. and European officials argue that Moscow is orchestrating the referendum and waging an intimidation campaign with thousands of Russian troops controlling the region. If Russian-backed lawmakers in Crimea go through with the Sunday referendum, Kerry said the U.S. and its European allies will not recognize it as legitimate under international law.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/john-kerry-russia-has-until-monday-to-reverse-course-in-ukraine/article/2545610

Posted on

Reader says Washington needs to back off and stop interfering in situations that it really is financially ill-prepared to deal with

13-objectively-true-statements-from-the-vladimir-putin-op-ed

Reader says Washington needs to back off and stop interfering in situations that it really is financially ill-prepared to deal with

The article is a joke ( http://ridgewoodblog.net/is-us-losing-new-cold-war/ ) – it reads like something from the 1970′s or 80′s. Ukraine is a cat and mouse game with Russia being the cat. Both the Russians and the Chinese know that the Euros will not follow the US blindly anymore especially after the debacle in Iraq (a war based on fabrications and lies) and much more recently in Libya and Syria. The Europe needs Russia and China more than it needs the US – energy supplies from Russia are amongst the cheapest in the world and if the Europeans supported US-led sanctions against Russia, it would only hurt the Europeans as all European countries rely on Russia for the supply of natural gas and refined petroleum products. That reliance is between 40% (Germany) and up to 100% for the former Soviet republics.

Russia and China, which holds a huge percentage of US national debt, know that the US is living pay check to pay check and at any minute, either or both of these countries can create an economic nightmare for the US.

Washington needs to back off and stop interfering in situations that it really is financially ill-prepared to deal with. Giving Ukraine $1b in aid, when it owes Russia $1.5b for its supply of natural gas is a bit of a laugh. Ukraine can’t be bought and Crimea is best left in Russia’s control, after all, it was part of Russia until 1954 when it was decided to leave it as part of Ukraine, with the stipulation that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet would remain there.

The funny thing is, Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in Europe, with Crimea, especially the city of Sevastopol being a wealthy part of the country, thanks to Russian money and the fact that close to 90% of the population of Crimea is actually Russian.

So the US needs to back off and take care of its own issues before it considers to wet its feet in another situation that it will not be able to handle.

Posted on

Russia ignores U.S. threats of isolation

putin-power

Russia ignores U.S. threats of isolation

By Dave Boyer and Ashish Kumar Sen
The Washington Times

Monday, March 3, 2014President Obama warned Russia on Monday of possible U.S. sanctions over its military land grab in Ukraine, but Moscow brushed aside international threats, tightening its stranglehold on Crimea and calling audaciously for a national unity government in Kiev.In Washington, Mr. Obama said the world is “largely united” against Russia’s military action and he is considering economic and diplomatic steps that would gradually isolate Russia. He criticized the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin for being “on the wrong side of history.”

“What cannot be done is for Russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground and violate basic principles that are recognized around the world,” Mr. Obama said. “Over time, this will be a costly proposition for Russia.”

But the U.S. and European Union floundered for solutions — while global markets panicked over the prospect of violent upheaval in the heart of Europe. Fears grew that the Kremlin might carry out more land grabs in pro-Russian eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, adding urgency to Western efforts to defuse the crisis.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/3/obama-warns-us-retaliate-against-russia-economic-s/#ixzz2uzDEOm5w
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Posted on

Ukraine latest – The invasion begins: armed Russian-speaking gunmen with Crimea in their grip as Barack Obama warns Moscow

_73179624_021282371-1

Ukraine latest – The invasion begins: armed Russian-speaking gunmen with Crimea in their grip as Barack Obama warns Moscow

Russian troops were on the move inside Ukrainian territory on Friday, prompting US President Barack Obama to warn Moscow that “there will be costs for any military intervention”.

It was unclear exactly what the Russian forces were doing but two airports in Crimea was taken over by armed men in combat fatigues, barricades shut off road links to the region, military helicopters were seen flying in across the border and armoured personnel carriers were on the roads. The Crimean peninsula’s main port, Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based, was also blocked off.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement that armoured units were operating inside Ukraine, but insisted they were acting in accordance with an agreement with Kiev. Their mission was to protect its naval base, the ministry said in a statement.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/ukraine-latest–the-invasion-begins-armed-russianspeaking-gunmen-with-crimea-in-their-grip-as-barack-obama-warns-moscow-9161476.html

Posted on

“Our homeland will from today on be able to see the sun and sky as a dictatorship has ended,”

v2-Tymoshenko-2-AP

“Our homeland will from today on be able to see the sun and sky as a dictatorship has ended,”

‘I am sure Ukraine will join the EU’: Former PM Yulia Tymoshenko is freed hours after parliament ousts President Viktor Yanukovych

The former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, has been freed from prison and said that she is certain that the country will now join the EU, just hours after MPs voted to oust President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Our homeland will from today on be able to see the sun and sky as a dictatorship has ended,” Tymoshenko told reporters after her release from the hospital where she had been held under prison guard for most of the time since she was jailed in 2011.

Tymoshenko, who was on her way to Kiev to join the protesters in Independence Square, said she will “make it so that no drop of blood that was spilled will be forgotten.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/former-ukraine-pm-yulia-tymoshenko-is-freed-hours-after-parliament-ousts-president-viktor-yanukovych-9146467.html