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posted by n1 on Monday November 10 2014, @04:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the same-conflicts,-different-century dept.

Arthur Bright reports in the Christian Science Monitor that the European Leadership Network has chronicled some 40 incidents over the past eight months, saying that Russian forces seem to have been authorized to act in a much more aggressive way. "Russian armed forces and security agencies seem to have been authorized and encouraged to act in a much more aggressive way towards NATO countries, Sweden and Finland" in a way that "increases the risk of unintended escalation and the danger of losing control over events," ELN warns.

The report cites three incidents in particular as having "high probability of causing casualties or a direct military confrontation between Russia and Western states." The first occurred in March, when a passenger flight out of Copenhagen, Denmark, had a near miss with a Russian surveillance plane that did not transmit its position. The second was the capture of an Estonian border agent by Russian security in September. The report also summarizes a incident last month where Swedish naval patrols undertook a broad search for what was widely speculated to be a Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. The New York Times writes that the report adds credence to former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev's comments over the weekend, during the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that the world seems "on the brink of a new cold war." Mr. Gorbachev warned that “Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in dialogue between the major powers is of enormous concern.”

The report has three main recommendations: The Russian leadership should urgently re-evaluate the costs and risks of continuing its more assertive military posture, and Western diplomacy should be aimed at persuading Russia to move in this direction; All sides should exercise military and political restraint; All sides must improve military-to-military communication and transparency. "To perpetuate a volatile stand-off between a nuclear armed state and a nuclear armed alliance and its partners in the circumstances described in this paper is risky at best. It could prove catastrophic at worst."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Monday November 10 2014, @08:50PM

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Monday November 10 2014, @08:50PM (#114619) Journal

    What "Good Guys"? I have never seen these...

    State Department Contractor Breaks Russian Visa Law, Whines When Caught

    The U.S. State Department is continuing its influence program against the Russian state. It finances "workshops" in Russia to eventually prepare for a "color revolution" there. It hires academic trainers from U.S. universities to work on various parts of the plans. One of those parts is the recruitment and influencing of Russian journalists. When the State Department sends those trainers to Russia it tells them to falsely claim to be "tourists". The Russian found out about practice and told those "trainers" to stop such nonsense.

    The U.S. media though used the issue to predicatively"blame Russia". That explains factually false headlines like Boston Journalist Briefly Detained in Russia [boston.com] or even worse Two U.S. tourists detained in Russia [newsmemory.com]:

    Two American journalists were briefly detained in Russia and taken to court Thursday for teaching an investigative journalism workshop. Both were found guilty of violating visa regulations, authorities said. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting said that its co-founder, Joe Bergantino, and University of South Carolina professor Randy Covington, were detained for several hours by immigration authorities as they began teaching their first workshop in St. Petersburg.

    Since when are "tourists" teaching workshops? Even worse - the same article headline with "U.S. tourists detained" later remarks:

    Bergantino and Covington, who had tourist visas, were told they couldn’t continue teaching, but were free to leave the country as scheduled Saturday, the New England Center for Investigative Journalism said.

    It said the visas the two journalists held were the type recommended by the U.S. State Department for that visit.

    The State Department admits that much:

    Asked if the U.S. was concerned about what had happened to them, [State Department spokeswoman Jen] Psaki said: “They were there to do a training that we sponsored, so I think our preference would have been for them not to be detained, I think it’s fair to say.

    The "tourists" or "journalists" broke Russian immigration laws and had been advised by the U.S. State Department to do just that. What did they expect the Russian immigration service to do? To also ignore Russian law because the U.S. State Department says so?

    One of the State Department contractors, Joe Bergantino, who came as "tourist" to Russia to run a U.S. State Department financed influence workshop is pissed that Russia follows the rules of law. He writes [necir.org] an angry open letter to the Russian president:

    Let me repeat the question, Mr. Putin: Was all that really necessary? It’s clear that you enjoy playing the tough guy on the world stage and that the Russian people overwhelmingly support your message to the rest of us: Russia is strong and will exercise her will as she sees fit.

    But let me get personal for a moment.
    ...

    What Mr. Bergantino should have asked, and rather himself than Mr. Putin: "Was it really necessary to come to Russia under false pretense? And was it really necessary to, knowingly, break Russian law?"

    And would a real journalist, not a propagandist, really lament foreign "tough guy" nonsense without looking into the homeland mirror? How would the U.S. Homeland Security behave if something similar happened in the United States?

    We can answer that question. Since 2003 all journalists from all countries who come to the U.S. must get a special and expensive visa as journalists. Even those from countries, like France or Germany, which have general visa-waver agreements with the United States. What happens [reason.com] when such journalists, not even on a foreign state influence contract but just for real reporting, enter the United States to do their job without a special visa?

    On the weekend of May 10 and 11, six French television journalists visiting Los Angeles to cover the massive E3 video-game expo were stopped for questioning by LAX border guards, barred from entering the country, and sent back to Europe. "These journalists were treated like criminals—subjected to several body searches, handcuffed, locked up and fingerprinted," Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Robert Ménard complained in a letter ..

    Now compare that to Mr. Bergantino who was not treated like a criminal, received only an administrative warning and was allowed to stay until his regular departure flight.

    Which country here, Mr. Bergantino, really owns the moral high ground?

    Posted by b at 02:10 PM [moonofalabama.org]

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