April 22, 2017

Russian Bombers are not threatening the United States. Stop the madness.

Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear (unknown variant)
Photo Credit: Unknown
Since Donald J Trump won the American election there has been a suspicion that he did so with the help of, and in collusion with, the Russian government.  There has been a concerted information operation by a group opposed to his presidency to overthrow him by all means necessary with an unknown amount of support from within the government (also referred to as "The Deep State").  Part of the psychological operations (psyops) that this group is using to influence public opinion, and depose Donald Trump, seem to involve keeping their base paranoid and afraid; fear of anything Russian specifically. This didn't start with Donald Trump's presidency, it was already underway throughout the election campaign of Hillary Clinton.  The narrative changes over time, as facts change, but essentially Donald Trump is alleged to be some sort of puppet to Vladimir Putin, Putin has blackmail-able info on Trump, Russia has taken over the US with a bloodless coup, all decisions of the White House are somehow related to Putin, anyone opposed to this view is an agent of the Kremlin, supporting a revolution in the Democratic Party led by progressives like Bernie Sanders is juvenile and subversive, anything related to Russia is related to the election no matter how far removed, and anything that goes wrong in America, or the world, is Russia's fault.

I don't think I've even covered the half of it, but you hopefully get the idea that I'm thoroughly sick of people distorting facts regarding military deployments for political reasons and relating everything back to The Orange Menace.


I want those people to STFU and impeach Donald Trump and stop filling Twitter with useless bullshit about how he's about to be deposed next week, two days from now, any day now, oh yes, there are papers being filed, next week, they have proof, just a couple more days, there's a dossier, there's a tape, there's evidence, there are people that said he said they said...

The impact of this paranoid insistence that everything is related to Russia is poisoning the news media and having a significant influence on peoples' view of the world. Military operations that are routine and unrelated are now malicious and suspicious.

There were Russian Air Force planes in international airspace off Alaska on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, with reports containing varying levels of detail, with varying levels of reliability, published by all the major, and not so major, news outlets.


NORAD has not been forthright in publishing information about incursions by Russian Air Force planes into the American Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) ever; in fact, they hardly ever do, but NORAD will tell you a year or two later how many times Russian planes were in the ADIZ previous years.  Let me repeat that because it doesn't make sense.
Russians routinely fly in the ADIZ, and NORAD regularly sends interceptors, or not, depending on their assessment of the situation, but NORAD doesn't usually tell the public about it.  I presume because it's not going to affect anyone's day and they don't want the media to put their political spin on routine military operations.  Well guess what? The media has the story now and it's a gong show of armchair analysis and all the usual varied political actors and pundits have piled on. Oh joy, let the speculation run wild with very few facts.


No, they're not. The message is the public are totally unaware of what's going on if they can't witness the event. No civilians witnessed the event, and therefore cannot give an independent view of the events. All the information about these Russian flights comes from the American Military, Canadian Military, or NORAD public affairs. They control the message, and their message cannot be fact-checked further than what is admitted to, and what the Russians admit to; when there are disagreements it is seen as unpatriotic to question western sources. Independent confirmation doesn't exist.  I'm not saying there weren't planes off the coast of Alaska, I'm pointing out you can't fact-check any of the information provided.  My biggest issue is the news media, the journalists, add a layer of distrust to the facts.  A reporter stated the planes Tuesday were the Tu-95H variety.  While interesting, it's also incorrect; they meant the "Bear H" which is a Tu-95MS. Close, but not quite correct.  Details like this make a difference, especially regarding range, capability, age, where they're based, etc.  and since NORAD isn't issuing press releases, we have to trust the media transcribed the information correctly, which isn't always the case.
I would really prefer NORAD issued statements after every incursion into the ADIZ full of all the information we would ever want, but I know that would be a lot of work for them, so I'm not expecting anything to change.


The constant demand for Trump to make public statements about anything is horrendously disingenuous and incredibly stupid.  Stop asking that he open his yap for anything more than eating and drinking.  Every time he makes a statement he risks an international incident or tanking the stock market.


By Federal Aviation Administration
Public Domain
No, they're not.  Russian planes, some of them "bombers" (but with little detail to fact-check this), flew in international airspace within an area that the American Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). It's the area where, by the time a plane is flying towards the US, the military wants to get up in the air and figure out what's going on, if it's unexpected. The Russians doing this type of flight is routine, as in, it is performed a dozen times a year, but NORAD doesn't announce them, or retroactively when they were conducted.  If a dozen flights happened, one might assume they were spread out to have one every month. But NORAD didn't make that sort of a statement, and wouldn't nail down (they were asked by a journalist) when these approaches happened.  They always quote the yearly number, never a monthly number, which supports the idea that there are seasons to the training, ebb and flow.  What if every spring there is a flurry of air activity off Alaska?  What if that last increase in action was last spring, and NORAD didn't mention it to anyone because of the election cycle?
Oh, you want proof of that? Here you go:
"The incident was the first Russian bomber incursion of a U.S. or Canadian air defense zone this year. Officials said it likely signals the start of Russia’s long-range aviation spring training cycle. Further aerial incursions are expected." Bill Gertz, May 1, 2015
Notice when it was published? MAY 2015.
It's now the end of APRIL 2017.
The timing of last week's incidents supports the idea this is a normal yearly seasonal training cycle, AND NOT RELATED TO DONALD TRUMP.


By Department of Defense - Printed publication
IFR Supplement - United States., Public Domain
Bullshit. If this has any truth to it, it's playing word games off the different ADIZ zones; the Alaska ADIZ is not the same as the West Coast ADIZ, and in July 2015 the bombers said Hello off the California coast.  Maybe it is rare for the flights to be off California? So it's true, but in context trying to give the impression these most recent incursions into the ADIZ are abnormal, when they aren't? I don't know where the idea came from, it's not unusual for the planes to be in the ADIZ.

"Alaska's ADIZ averages about 10 incursions by Russian aircraft a year. The number is "growing slightly," according to Alaska NORAD officials, who characterized the Russian flights as non-provocative training missions." -Alaska Daily News, March 3rd, 2014


I'll add more later, this is just a stub.

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