“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Big Whoop!

US Navy Ship Encounters Aggressive Russian Aircraft in Baltic Sea

STUTTGART, Germany (NNS) -- A United States Navy destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft April 11 and 12. 

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship.

On April 11, Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with an allied military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. local. One of the passes, which occurred while the allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of Donald Cook, was deemed unsafe by the ship's commanding officer. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed the area.

On April 12, while Donald Cook was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted circles at low altitude around the ship, seven in total, at approximately 5 p.m. local. The helicopter passes were also deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the ship's commanding officer. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes, 11 in total. The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian. USS Donald Cook's commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.


"April 11-12, USS Donald Cook was operating in a professional manner in international waters conducting operations and exercises with our allies in the Baltic Sea."

"In my judgement these maneuvers in close proximity to Donald Cook are unprofessional and unsafe."

-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson

Quick Facts: 

We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death. 

U.S. officials are using existing diplomatic channels to address the interactions while the incidents are also being reviewed through U.S. Navy channels.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit


  1. Look at the faces of US sailors at the end of the clip. They loved it.

    This has been going on forever. Military forces from opposing sides, profiling for each other.

    On a personal level, during the Cold War, I was stationed in Central Germany, near Kassel and not that many klicks form the Eastern Zone. Soviet fighters would break out low over our antenna fields seeing what radar systems we would light up.

    They would come in ‘on the deck” over mach one and you would not hear them coming, you ducked as something big and silent buzzed your head. A spit second later, the sonic boom and you felt e a thump to your chest. Then the Big Whoop!.

    Far out!

  2. Drudge has his panties twisted over it but The Navy Times calls it right:


    Russian pilots rattled nerves aboard the destroyer Donald Cook, buzzing within yards of the ship in the Baltic Sea. Provocative, sure. But they weren't a credible threat.

    So concludes a retired Navy commanding officer, who reviewed photos and videos from the run-ins on Monday and Tuesday, when unarmed Sukhoi Su-24 fighters flew within 1,000 feet of the ship — once coming as close as 30 feet in what U.S. officials called "simulated attacks." On Monday, a low-flying Russian Ka-27 Helix helicopter also appeared to take photos of the ship.

    This was definitely provocative, but it doesn't amount to a threat, said the retired frigate and cruiser CO.

    "Well, we’re not at war with Russia," Capt. Rick Hoffman said. "It would be one thing to be operating and have a threatening attack profile from someone who might not recognize me — that’s not the case here."

    If you have visual identification of the jet, can see it isn't carrying weapons, and don't detect any electronic emissions suggesting there was a missile lock on the ship, there's nothing to be done.

    "You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being annoying," said Hoffman, who commanded frigate DeWert and cruiser Hue City. Cruisers are the fleet's foremost air defense platform and are tasked with guarding flattops from incoming threats.

    1. "You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being annoying"

      Ash has always counted on this old rule.

  3. .

    I completely disagree.

    I said it when Turkey shot down the Russian plane, Turkey might have had their own reasons for shooting down the plane but Putin's claim it was done by accident was bullshit. The plane encroached on Turkish soil on purpose. After the plane went down, there were no more overflights.

    Not being familiar with the destroyer's situation, I don't know what responses they had available to them or what support they could have counted on; but, I would have like to have seen the Russian pilots faces when their planes were locked onto by the destroyer's air defenses.



    1. ,

      Putin will keep pushing until his bluff is called. It does the US no good to look like a weak sister.


    2. Quirk has always been the true reckless war monger here.

      He's always for 'calling bluffs'.

      He's always had this deep fear of looking like 'the weak sister'.

      He's always one itchy trigger finger away from the End Times.

      Thank our lucky stars he doesn't have a commission nor any explosives around, nor any launch button.

      I've advised him to get help for his "Armageddon Complex" but he refuses.

      Thank the Lord his wife keeps him on a tight chain, like he does his mutt

    3. When Quirk walks his dog, it's actually his wife walking Quirk, who is walking his dog.

      It's that bad.

      Thanks to the wife. Otherwise Detroit would be in riots and murderous mayhems every two or three days.

      There are lots of unsung heroines out there, those soft feminine voices controlling the madmen, the warmongers, the 'jet and ship' chicken players of our world...

  4. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee declared that the greatest intel failure after the biggest terror attack on home soil actually has to do with the Kremlin.

    "The biggest intelligence failure that we have had since 9/11 has been the inability to predict the leadership plans and intentions of the Putin regime in Russia," Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told CNN.

  5. This happens all the time. Tit for tat. It does not show weakness. It shows resolve, discipline and proportionality. It is street fighting 101. We do and they do. It was a response to something we did but did not get a predictable response from the media.

    What did Turkey’s foolish response cost them? Plenty.

    What was the benefit” A shit sandwich.

    “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  6. AP. MOSCOW — Russia’s defense ministry has rejected complaints by U.S. officials who claimed Russian attack planes buzzed dangerously close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea earlier this week.

    The U.S. European command has said the Russian planes buzzed multiple times on Monday and Tuesday in what the U.S. officials described as an unsafe and unprofessional manner.

    Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, said on Thursday that the pilots of Russian Su-24 jets saw the ship and turned back “while using all measures of precaution.”

    Konashenkov said he was baffled by what he described as the “distressed reaction of our American counterparts.”

  7. The US Donald Cook was in international waters but 40 miles from a Russian base and in an area that the Russian uses for training. An SU-24 is an older plane but can travel 40 miles in 3 minutes. Of course the Russians will respond in the exact same measure as we would.

    1. The Russian air craft flew from the Kaliningrad region, bordering Poland. Kaliningrad is the headquarters of the Russian Baltic Fleet.

  8. We are in international waters and they are in international airspace.

    Who controls the encounter? Who's more vulnerable? Nothing like a game of chicken to get the heart pumping.

    1. Think how your heart would pump in Gaza, Ace.

      But you have 'chickened out' from that adventure.

      The old rule:

      "You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being annoying"

      doesn't apply in Gaza.

    2. If I believed that you would honor your offer I would take you up on it. Everything you have ever posted indictates the offer is as reliable as the truth of your assertions. I don't believe for a moment you would make good on it. Heck, you get all jumpy when contemplating splashing out the money for a decent bottle of wine.

    3. We'll try for the time when the next violence breaks out so you have something exciting on which to report.

    4. Disappearing posts.

      I have put up Cheap Air twice, but they seemed booked.

      I tried out of New York, Cheap Air to way....

      I'll keep trying.

      This may take some days.

      You got a passport ?

      You'll have to have that, USA passport if you can get it.

      Maybe they are scared off when the learn the name of the passage.

    5. Name of the passenger.....Ash

      Sooner or later I'll need a last name too.

      Probably a birth date and passport number...

    6. Going to take a snooze right now.

      You can work on it too Ash.

      Try to keep it is in $300 - $500 dollar range, one way.

      No luxury class.....

    7. Now you are flat out lying. Cheap air to Gaza - riiight. What a fool you are.

    8. You got a criminal record, Ash ?

      That might blow the deal.

      Come clear now.

      I WILL work diligently on this at my own speed over the next few days.

    9. Round trip to Tel Aviv from Toronto in June is about a grand. You've then got to work out the transportation and crossing into Gaza details.

      Get to work.

    10. I'm NOT sending you round trip on a fancy trip to Tel Aviv on El-Al, so get that out of your mind. I am sending you ONE WAY to Gaza, the standard conditions applying.

      So far I got Cheap Air, but they disappeared, so I'm still working on it. I may have to turn to my trusty local travel agent to get this one done.

      That might make it next week.

      But have no fear, I am working on it....

    11. You pay for whatever it takes to get me into Gaza, I can get myself home.

    12. Be working on it next week, traveler. Got Doc's appointment tomorrow.

  9. Whacked out Paul Krugman has even come out and said that Bernie Sanders is off the wall.

    Fancy that.

  10. How would I combat islam?

    First step is to believe.

    1. And testify

    2. so you are an evangelist are you doug?

    3. It doesn't matter what I say I am.
      What do the Catholic doctrine say I am?

    4. Maybe this will shine a light on the dark places of your mind,....
      ... but that attention was especially centred upon the great stone (ingens saxum) which was dragged into its place by magistrates and people together. Moreover...

      ... but that attention was especially centred upon the great stone (ingens saxum) which was dragged into its place by magistrates and people together. Moreover ...

    5. I have to go now.

      Check back later.

    6. .

      There you have it folks.

      Nervous about ISIS? Say a little prayer.

      Who knows? It's more than Bjorn offered up yesterday.


    7. .

      At least, it is more practical than anything O'Bumble has come up with so far.


    8. O'bumble likes the power of prayer but sometimes 50,000 ground troops and hundreds of B-52's carpeting are more immediately effective.

      Nukes is best.

      And it will come to that too, once that Sacred City, Detroit, Michigan, takes a dirty bomb.

    9. first he wants me mugged because of my gun control views and now he wants Detroit dirty bombed because of your tolerant view of Islam...

      ...what a guy!

    10. You have totally misread my words.

      I don't wish Detroit dirty bombed not do I wish you non lethally mugged for you gun views, but simply for horrid unsocial way of carry yourself in polite company.

      I am hoping a week in Gaza, with skull cap and Jewish prayer shawl, might teach you some proper etiquette.

    11. Sleep o'er cometh me.....


      l.laa .lllater

    12. .

      That's what eating elk testicles and drinking Peach Schnapps Pucker will do to you.


  11. .

    Those who claim Obama is not a friend, and in fact is the enemy, of Israel have little to back up their claims other than his understandable antipathy towards Bibi Netanyahu and his right wing administration. In fact, Obama has provided more aid to Israel than any other president. More importantly he has consistently had Israel's back at the UN even when resolution there state policies the US supports. In fact, Obama is the only president going back to Ike that hasn't voted against Israel in the UN on one issue or another. It will be interesting to see what happens later this month when the Palestinians once again offer a resolution condemning Israel for their continuing settlement building.

    It will be interesting to see what happens later this month when the Palestinians again propose a resolution on settlements. In 2014, a similar though somewhat stronger resolution was offered. It only got 8 of the 9 votes needed to pass so a veto wasn't required. However, speculation is that this year it will pass easily and that the only thing that will stop it is a US veto. The question is will the US veto it or will they simply abstain allowing it to pass.

    In 2014, the US voted against the resolution but on the grounds that such decisions should be settled on a bilateral basis not at the UN. However, Obama made a strong statement at the time reiterating US long time condemnation of the settlements. Now, with the Obama administration having given up on the peace process and the continuing settlement builds, the question is being raised as to what he will do, veto or abstain.


    1. Do you have any info on what that past resolution said and what the upcoming one might be saying? I did a quick google and didn't come up with much.

    2. Quirk is just passing gas. He eats ground up animal parts stuffed in unwashed pig intestines, and calls it a delicacy.

      He is not to be trusted, nor believed, only controlled from being a danger to himself and others.

      I'd offer him a one way to Gaza with you Ash but he would flight divert.

    3. .

      As usual, O'Bumble proves that he doesn't know shit about Israel other than what he has read in the Bible and is fed by AIPAC and frontpagemag.

      reportedly missing from this year's resolution were specific proposals the demand final negotiations (as opposed to negotiations about negotiations) start within 12 months and that Israel completely withdraw from the WB within 3 years.


    4. Why should Israel completely withdraw from the West Bank in three years ?

      Why shouldn't the arabstinians withdraw from the West Bank in three years ?

      Israel has the much better claim, based both on history and military prowess.

      Let the arabstinians sell out and move to Detroit and join the movement there.

    5. Let the arabstinians move to the U of Wazzo...they are in need of students there.

  12. Coalition Focuses on Dismantling, Fragmenting ISIL, OIR Spokesman Says

    WASHINGTON, April 13, 2016 — The coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has successfully degraded the enemy, with military efforts now focused on dismantling and fragmenting ISIL, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said today.

    In a briefing from Baghdad, Army Col. Steve Warren told Pentagon reporters the coalition has made significant progress since the start of the campaign in August 2014.

    "A year and a half ago, we saw images of ISIL convoys moving freely into Mosul and throughout Iraq," Warren said. "Those days are gone. Our enemy has been weakened and we are now working to fracture him."

    ISIL has lost more than 40 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, and has been routed from most of the Turkish border, Warren said.

    "While ISIL can still put together some complex attacks, they have not been able to take hold of any key terrain for almost a year now," he said.

    Focus on Enabling Partners, Dismantling ISIL

    Phase One of the military campaign, which was to degrade the enemy, was successful in stopping ISIL from advancing, Warren told reporters.

    "This was an effort to eliminate ISIL’s ability to operate as a conventional force," he said. The counter-ISIL military efforts are now in the second phase, the colonel said.

    "During this phase, we will enable our partners to dismantle the enemy, fragment his forces, isolate his centers of gravity and liberate the terrain he holds," Warren said.

    This strategy, he said, requires well-equipped and trained partners on the ground.

    "We've seen that with effective training, proper equipment and devastating coalition air power, Iraqi forces can win," Warren said. "We've seen this in Tikrit, Beiji, Sinjar, Ramadi and most recently in Hit."

    1. Progress in Iraq

      Warren said an estimated 75 percent of Hit is now clear. Iraqi forces are expected to push ISIL out of the city in the coming days, he said.

      The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service has evacuated an estimated 7,000 civilians over the last several days, Warren said. The coalition, he said, has conducted 21 airstrikes against 108 separate enemy targets, resulting in more than 500 enemy deaths.

      In Fallujah, Iraqi forces are in defensive positions preparing for future operations, Warren said.

      In the Tigris River Valley, operations are heavily contested, according to the spokesman. ISIL knows that once it loses that territory, the Iraqis will be able to position themselves for the eventual liberation of Mosul, he explained.

      "We are seeing ISIL put up some of its toughest fighting in the Kara Soar area, but we are also seeing the ISF dig in and successfully repel attacks," he said.

      Liberated Areas in Syria

      Since the start of April, local forces in Syria have liberated more than a dozen small villages to the northwest in the Mara area, Warren said.

      The spokesman said that although that area does not make up a significant amount of territory, it is "critically important terrain for ISIL." He described it as ISIL's "last best route to move people, money and supplies into Syria and Iraq."

      There is now less than 100 kilometers of uncontested border crossing in the Manbij pocket, according to Warren.

      "Since the first of April, the coalition has enabled operations in this sector with 16 airstrikes that have resulted in several dozen dead terrorists and much equipment destroyed," he explained.

      In Hassakah province, to the east near Shaddadi, the Syrian Democratic Forces have secured approximately 6,200 square kilometers, which is roughly the size of Delaware, the spokesman said.

      "These most recent gains are the result of successful Syrian Arab Coalition and Syrian Democratic Force operations to stabilize the forward line of troops and further fragment the enemy’s position between Mosul and Raqqa," he said.

      (Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)


    2. Strikes in Syria

      Attack and fighter aircraft conducted four strikes in Syria:

      -- Near Hawl, two strikes produced inconclusive results.

      -- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL oil pump jack.

      -- Near Mara, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

      Strikes in Iraq

      Attack, ground-attack and fighter aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

      -- Near Hit, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL machine gun positions, an ISIL boat, an ISIL boat dock, seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL command and control node and denying ISIL access to terrain.

      -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bunker.

      -- Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, and an ISIL storage facility.

      -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL headquarters and an ISIL financial headquarters and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

      -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas.

      Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes destroyed seven ISIL boats and an ISIL mortar position and denied ISIL access to terrain.

      -- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    3. The two big hits of the day -

      -- Near Hawl, two strikes produced inconclusive results.

      -- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL oil pump jack.

    4. .

      Oil pump jack?


      Near Hit District strike from unmanned aircraft destroys so-called ISIS spare tire and hot tub.


  13. Hit, Iraq:

    Shops along all the town's streets were shuttered. Some blocks appear to have been completely leveled by the fighting.


    "Toward the end, there was nothing here, no doctors for my children or my mother. We just stayed in our houses," a resident identifying himself as Abu Muhammed said as he fled through the ruined streets with his family.

    "We just had tea and sugar left in the kitchen at the end."

    1. .

      Yea, but those still left alive are now able to go back to the great lives they had before, you know, I mean if they still have their homes and stuff...and...


    2. So, who's the real "Dougo," Quirk?

    3. .

      Sorry, I keep getting my Dougos and Sluggos mixed up.

  14. URGENT: Iraqi joint forces liberate Heet District completely

    ( Anbar – On Thursday, official journalists with the Ministry of Defense announced liberating Heet District from the control of ISIS and raising the Iraqi flag over the last strongholds of ISIS in the district.

    The journalists said in a statement received by, “The joint forces were able to liberate Heet District completely and raised the Iraqi flag over Qalqala region that was the last stronghold of ISIS in the district.”

    The statement added, “The joint forces had inflicted heavy human and material losses on ISIS gangs.”


  15. New poll from Fox shows the American people trust THE SANDERS to deal with The Poooty better than The Hag, The Donald, or The Cruz.

    We can now declare our country TOTALLY FUCKED UP.

    In New York Democrap Primary it's currently

    The Hag 48%
    The Bern 46%

    Well I hope The Bern pulls the upset.

    Maybe I should just send Ace to the Demorat Convention dressed as The Donald.

    I wonder if Cuba has direct flights to Gaza.

    It's hard to find any....

    I'm beginning to wonder if Gaza even has an airport....

    He may have to go to Cairo and hike it....

    1. Right through the dangerous Sinai, bandito country....

      I kinda like the sounds of that....

      "A Canadian Yankee Kid Hikes the Sinai - The Notes Till Death"

      heh heh heh

    2. "A Canadian Yankee Kid Hikes the Sinai - The Notes Till His Untimely Death"

      is better.

    3. .

      I'm beginning to wonder if Gaza even has an airport....

      Damn, Bob, how uninformed are you. they had a serviceable airport until Israel destroyed it. It continues to amaze me that the local Israeli Lobby doesn't seem to know shit about Israel.

      But they are sure willing to share their 'knowledge' with the rest of us.