Crazy Ivans


And here I thought we’d put the "Hunt for Red October" days behind us. The nouveau-oil-riche Russians are continuing to try to prove that they’ve got big ones, too — bombers, that is:

{Russia says bombers’ flyover of US aircraft carrier part of routine} patrol
{Eds: PMs.}
   MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian military said Tuesday that its bombers’ flyover of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific was part of a routine patrol conducted in accordance with international rules.
   Russian air force spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said in a statement carried by Russian news wires that the Tu-95 bombers didn’t violate any rules of engagement when they flew over the Pacific on Saturday.
   U.S. military officials said that one Tu-95 buzzed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 50 nautical miles out. U.S. fighters were scrambled from Nimitz to intercept the bombers.
   Drobyshevsky said the Russian bombers conducted their flight "in strict compliance with the international rules of using airspace rules, over neutral waters and without any violation of other countries’ borders." He said the bombers were fulfilling their "assigned task" when they were escorted by the U.S. carrierborne fighters.
   The Saturday incident came amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.
   The U.S. has defended the plan as necessary to protect its European allies from possible attacks by Iran. But the Kremlin has condemned the proposal, saying it would threaten Russia’s security.
   Such Russian encounters with U.S. ships were common during the Cold War, but have been rare since then. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin Russia revived the Soviet-era practice of long-range patrols by strategic bombers over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans last August.

Boys and their toys — right, ladies? Combine that facet of the male character with the Russian’s titanic inferiority complex over how the Cold War ended, and you’ve got … well, the New French. I wonder what the term is for Russian deGaullism? Putinism, perhaps? But that describes so many unpleasant things, doesn’t it?

Expect to see more of these incidents. And let’s pray one of them doesn’t turn really, really ugly.

This is why — or rather, this is another reason why, in addition to the war on terror, the rise of China, etc. — that in an era in which so many want to obsess about domestic issues, America’s role in the world is the first thing we ask presidential candidates about. Because that is Job One for the chief executive.

3 thoughts on “Crazy Ivans

  1. bud

    When you have a military budget of 1/2 trillion dollars sooner or later it’s going to come into contact with another nation’s military assets. I would suggest that this huge amount of military hardware makes us less secure.
    It’s a shame that so many people in this country share Brad’s obsession with all this military crap. What really kills people in this country are things that we devote far too few resources to alleviating: disease, drunk drivers, etc. Any given American is very unlikely to die at the hands of a terrorist so why this obsession? Same with the Russians. How many Americans have actually died because of something the Russians did. If any presidential candidate says he will immediately cut our military budget by half he has my vote.

  2. weldon VII

    Nyet, Bud.
    The military may well be the backbone of our economy.
    It’s also hard to negotiate from a position of impotence.

  3. Bill C.

    Buzzing an aircraft carrier??? The Soviets are lucky they didn’t have two bombers and crews sitting on the bottom of the ocean after this little stunt.


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