The "New Smart Power Normal" now that we're "at the level of the rest of the world". The only question is which one of these "incidents" becomes the flashpoint for the all-out onslaught against us.
Let's take the Russians first:
A Russian fighter jet buzzed an Air Force reconnaissance plane – coming within fifteen feet of the American aircraft in an "unsafe" incident over the Black Sea, reports say.
"On January 25th, 2016, a U.S. RC-135U flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 Flanker in an unsafe and unprofessional manner. We are looking into this particular incident," Army Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza, a Defense [Commissariat] spokesperson, said in a statement, ABC News reports.
Another military official tells CNN the Russian jet flew along the right side the U.S. plane, then turned away in a maneuver that adversely impacted the "controllability of the U.S. aircraft."
The unnamed official didn't know if the Russian jet was armed at the time.
Anybody care to take any bets that it wasn't? Because you're an idiot if you do.
This wasn't a lack of safety or professionalism; this was a direct provocation. It was, at minimum, an attempt to create an international incident in order to further humiliate Barack Obama, who would back down, back off, seek a "diplomatic solution" in which to make more concessions to Czar Vlad, etc. At worst....well, that's why there's no doubt that the Flanker was armed. And one of these times, they're going to open fire and shoot down our recon aircraft or sink our destroyer over or in "their" Black Sea, and then we would REALLY get to see "smart power" in action.
Meanwhile, in the Persian Gulf:
Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took "precise" photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill, state television reported Friday. The U.S. Navy said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near a French and American carrier on January 12th, but couldn't confirm it was the same incident.
The reported drone overflight comes after a series of naval incidents between Iran and the U.S. in the greater Persian Gulf, including test rocket fire by the Islamic [Empire] and its brief capture of American sailors.
The report by state television said the drone flight occurred on the third day of the naval exercise, suggesting it happened Friday. Later, its website and the semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, published footage it said was of the drone's flight.
The footage showed the drone launch and later hover above what appeared to be an aircraft carrier underway in a body of water. The footage zoomed into a row of fighter jets on the carrier's deck. There were no identifying marks visible on the carrier.
The Obama Regime's statement sounds almost verbatim to its response about the latest Black Sea incident:
Commander Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and "directly over" the USS Harry S. Truman on January 12th as the vessels were in international waters in the Persian Gulf.
He said the drone "posed no danger to the ship" as the unmanned aircraft was unarmed and the carrier wasn't conducting flight operations at the time.
How the heck does he know that drone wasn't armed? Again, would you take bets that it wasn't? The reason I'd surmise that it didn't fire on the Truman or De Gaulle is that if you're going to attack an aircraft carrier, you're going to launch an anti-ship cruise missile at it, not cannon fire or even an air-to-ground missile attack from a drone. This maneuver was intended to first prove that they could do it, second, embarrass us (again) and third, create a diversion - or lay the ground work for doing so the next time - to distract from an anti-ship missile strike that could seriously damage or destroy the Truman or whichever other of our dwindling number of carriers is deployed to the Persian Gulf in its place. After which still another round of concessions and "smart diplomacy" would ensue.
Next came the Regime's magic words
"It was, however, abnormal and unprofessional," Stephens said. He added that the U.S. Navy was "not in a position to verify the authenticity of the video as there are countless examples of similar footage to be found on the Internet."
Denial and haughty underestimation. Calling "unprofessional" a successful hostile incursion against a U.S. aircraft carrier that the mullahs are bragging about at full-throated volume today and which was VERY professional in terms of what the Iranians' intention and objective was - to carry out this op and pile more humiliation on Barack Hussein Obama, who is incapable of not seeing this mountain of chickenshit as chicken salad.
This country is going to be at war before 2016 is out - and I don't just mean against ISIS. Mark my words.