One more leftover from last week's Battle of the Baltic Sea:
The [Obam]agon on Monday described last week's "unsafe" manoeuver by a Russian fighter that flew close to a U.S. spy plane, saying it had performed a barrel roll.
[Obam]agon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said a Russian Su-27 Flanker flew [fewer] than fifty feet (fifteen meters) from the wingtip of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea last Thursday.
It then "conducted a barrel roll from the left side of the aircraft, going over the top of the aircraft, and ended up on the right side of the aircraft," Davis said.
Thursday's "unsafe and unprofessional" incident came just days after Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook in a series of incidents decried by the U.S. military.
To Vlad Putin's hearty, derisive laughter.
This is an intolerable situation precisely because it is inescapable. These provocations are escalating in frequency and intensity. If we continue to do nothing but whine about them after the fact, we look ever more weak and feckless and cowardly, making ourselves an ever growing target for aggression by all our enemies. But if we reassert ourselves by chasing off the Fencers or Flankers, or just shoot the pidarasy down, or if the Russian pilots cause an accident that takes one or more of their attacking aircraft down, now we're up to our armpits in an international incident in which the Russians would accuse us of being the aggressors, and out of which they only way of Obamunist escape would be enormous, disastrous concessions to Putin to "avoid war" - say, ceding all of Ukraine to Moscow, and/or expelling the Baltic States from NATO. It's a win-win situation for him, and a lose-lose one for us.
This is what happens when one side commits "international incidents" against the other with unopposed impunity for seven years: resistance becomes more and more problematic until it becomes....futile.
Meanwhile, in the South China Sea, the People's Liberation Military is moving in:
[Red] China announced its first military landing on an island in the disputed South China Sea on Monday, a move that could lead to warplane stationing.
"Will," not could, "will".
According to Reuters, the United States has criticized [Red] China's construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and worries that it plans to use them for military purposes, even though [Red] China says it has no hostile intent.
Of course, they don't. They conquered and annexed without firing a shot over a million square miles of maritime territory sitting astride a major shipping lane ($5 trillion worth) to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea for ENTIRELY PEACEFUL purposes.
The runway on the Fiery Cross Reef is three thousand meters (ten thousand feet) long and is one of three [Red] China has been building for more than a year by dredging sand up onto reefs and atolls in the Spratly archipelago....
In a front-page story, the official People's Liberation Army Daily said a military aircraft on patrol over the South China Sea on Sunday received an emergency call to land at Fiery Cross Reef to evacuate three seriously ill workers.
It was the first time [Red] China's military had publicly admitted landing an aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef, the influential Global Times tabloid said.
And it won't be the last.
It cited a military expert as saying the flight showed the airfield was up to military standards and could see fighter jets based there in the event of war. [emphasis added]
Or even sooner. And that includes fighters and long-range nuclear bombers as well.
[Red] Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said such rescue missions were part of the military's "fine tradition" and that it was "not at all surprising" they had done this on [Red] China's own territory. [emphasis added]
Which the South China Sea is not, and cannot be allowed to be without functionally being expelled from the western Pacific and our Pacific Rim allies being reduced to de facto ChiComm vassal states. But it is, as far as Beijing is concerned, and they've seized it, again, without firing a shot. "Possession is nine-tenths of the law" and all that. And there's nothing that we can do - and it goes without saying are WILLING to do - about it.
That is the context in which Donald Trump would be launching his promised trade war next year if he ever actually made it to the White House. Suffice it to say, it would not turn out well for us.
The reality is there will, can, be no quick turnaround for our country this time. After four years of Jimmy Carter, it took most of President Reagan's first term to revive the economy and beat back the Soviet Union to some restored balance of power in the Cold War, preparatory to winning it in his second. After eight years of Barack Obama, the national emergency that is our crippled and crumbled military, and drowning in the over $19 trillion of debt, it is doubtful a turnaround is even possible, even with a President Cruz and a continued GOP Congress at the controls. And that's not the direction the electorate in either party is headed, but rather a POTUS that will unconditionally surrender the country (Mrs. Clinton) or a POTUS who will get it wiped out (Trump). It is at this time of maximum national peril that we need serious, intelligent, informed, courageous leadership, and are turning away from it with an angry vengeance.
It is, frankly, terrifying. Because what has been considered the unthinkable is not only inevitable, but almost upon us.
The irony is whether we'll even much notice the change in "leadership".