car·riage re·turn

n. the lever or mechanism on a typewriter that would cause the cylinder on which the paper was held (the carriage) to return to the left margin of the page



The Los Angeles Times:Hillary Clinton blows name of next Russian president [27 Feb 2008]

So naturally late in the Ohio debate when it came time for the trick question,the kind of TV interview question that got George W. Bush so much unwanted,embarrassing and prolonged attention in 1999 when he couldn’t name the president of Pakistan,Tim Russert claimed later that he looked at both candidates Tuesday night as if to say,‘Who wants this one?’And Clinton seemed to respond. So he asked Clinton first.

The question concerned Russia’s so-called presidential elections Sunday to pick a successor to Vladimir Putin. Russert wanted to know what Clinton could tell the world about this new president.

In her 204-word response Clinton worked in how he’d been hand-picked by Putin,how Russia’s political opposition has been suppressed and how she’d been critical of the Bush administration on a wide variety of issues regarding Russia.

Then,Russert pounced:“Who will it be? Do you know his name?”

Chances are you don’t know his name. But then you’re not running for president. We’ll never know if the name was known by Obama,who is running for president,because Russert chose to put Clinton on the spot. And she blew it. Although the official transcript partially covers up her mistake. It has Clinton replying,“Medvedev —whatever.”

What a tape actually shows the senator said was,“Meh,uhm,Me-ned-vadah —whatever.”


26 February 2008




The Heritage Foundation:Russia on the March:The Return of Red Square Parades [11 Feb 08]

As Yogi Berra once said,“This is déjà vu all over again.”On May 9,heavy military equipment will once again roll down Moscow’s Red Square for the Victory Day military parade. Tanks,missiles,and 6,000 troops will be joined overhead by Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter aircraft and military helicopters. The last time Moscow saw such a display of military hardware on Red Square was in November 1990,before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The world should take notice of Russia’s increasing militarism. The parade is designed to generate nostalgia among the Russian people and to signal to the U.S.,NATO,and Russia’s neighbors that Russia’s power is back.

This is yet another indication from the Kremlin that the so-called “power”ministries and agencies are the bedrocks of the Russian Federation—not democracy,open society,a multiparty system,free media,fair elections,constitutional liberties,and the separation of powers.

Russia’s rearmament,the parade,its global maneuvers,and its new weapon systems are designed to make others respect Russia as well as deter NATO and the U.S.,which Putin sees as a hegemonic superpower seeking to harm Russia. Russia wants to signal that it again has the military means to counter both perceived strategic threats,such as the U.S. missile defense system,and conventional military challenges,such as NATO expansion and the West’s superior air power. Fanfare communicates Russia’s intentions to tilt the global “correlation of forces”in Moscow’s favor and encourages Russia’s neighbors to do its bidding and not to challenge its security or its interests.

Russia is back on the world stage with all the attributes of power,including wealth and military might,for all to see. The next U.S. administration will have its hands full dealing with a resurgent Moscow.

07 May 2008


The International Herald Tribune
:Putin’s presidency to end as protege Medvedev takes Russia’s top office [07 May 2008]

Dmitry Medvedev will become the third president of the Russian Federation Wednesday,in an elaborate modern ritual that should remind the world of his country’s czarist roots and 21st century wealth.

The 1993 constitution stipulates that the president takes the oath of office “in a ceremonial atmosphere,”and there’s little risk Medvedev’s invitation-only inauguration on the grounds of the Kremlin will fall short of that demand.

Medvedev is scheduled to stride into an opulent throne room in the Grand Kremlin Palace around noon after an honor guard enters with a folded Russian tricolor and the presidential flag,according to Russian officials and state-run media.

Czar Alexander II’s coronation ceremony was held in the palace in 1856,the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Medvedev’s inauguration will be followed Friday by a Victory Day parade celebrating the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II,with tanks and missile launchers rolling across Red Square for the first time since the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse.

While the military parade will evoke memories of Soviet military glory,the inauguration ceremony will be more reminiscent of imperial Russia’s grandeur.



The Washington Times:Russia Revives Cold War Aircraft

Russia’s venerable Tupolev Tu-95 bomber is a gigantic,lumbering and slow behemoth that flies with turbine-driven propellers. It has an engine technology the U.S. Air Force wouldn’t have been caught dead with since before 1950. So how come it poses a formidable strategic threat to the United States and its NATO allies in the 21st century?

The giant Tu-95 (NATO designation:Bear) was one of the signature aircraft of the Cold War. It played center stage again in the past month along with the vastly faster and more formidable Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan (NATO designation:Blackjack) in the largest strategic exercises the Russian air force has conducted in nearly a quarter century.

During the exercises,code-named Stability-2008,Tu-95MS Bears fired live air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM). It was the first time since 1984 –and just the second time in history –the giant aircraft had done that in any exercise.

But those cruise missiles are what have given the Tu-95 an unlikely but formidable new lease on life in the 21st century. Russia’s KH-55 ALCMs (NATO designation:AS-15 Kent) are very good indeed. They fly three times as fast as their American counterpart,the venerable Tomahawk ALCM. The Tomahawk is subsonic,but the KH-55 can fly three times as fast. It has a maximum speed of more than 1,900 miles an hour,Mach 2.8,at sea level,and a range of 2,000 miles. That means that if the KH-55 AS-15 Kents are launched outside U.S. legal airspace in a surprise attack,they could hit any target anywhere in the United States when fired from off the Eastern Seaboard or the West Coast.

It certainly is true that the slow old Tu-95MS Bear,with a cruising speed of less than 500 mph,would be easy pickings for U.S. air-superiority fighters defending the homeland. They even would have been shot down like giant flies 46 years ago if the Cuban Missile Crisis had escalated to a thermonuclear showdown between the superpowers.

Nevertheless,the long range of the KH-55 AS-15 Kents means the Tu-95MS Bears have been transformed once again into a formidable strategic weapons system –vastly more dangerous than they were in the 1950s,when they were the best the Soviet Union had to offer.

Today,Tu-95s can fly holding-pattern patrols 1,500 miles to 2,000 miles away from any prospective targets along the U.S. East and West coasts and far beyond the range of any homeland-based U.S. Air Force fighter squadrons.

Yet by staying airborne,any one or two TU-95s at any time can remain invulnerable to U.S. land- and submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missiles targeted on Russian Strategic Missile Forces bases or Russian air force bases. Their cruise missiles are vastly more difficult to intercept than a conventional intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) because they do not fly in straightforward and easily predictable ballistic flight paths. Nor do they have limited in-flight maneuvering and evasion capabilities that the most modern Russian ICBMs such as the Topol-M have.

Instead,cruise missiles are programmed to fly along the contours of the Earth –flying around or up and over mountains and hills or even following the course of rivers. Therefore,they are far more difficult to intercept,especially because they also are programmed to fly very low,confounding the most sensitive and effective U.S. radar systems that are designed to enable ground-based midcourse interceptors to home in on and destroy ICBMs in midflight.

Each Tu-95 can carry and launch as many as six KH-55 ALCMs. They are far cheaper and easier to maintain and operate than the huge,supersonic Tu-160 Blackjacks,and the Kremlin has far more of them.

According to a recent report from the RIA Novosti news agency,the Russian air force operates no fewer than 40 Tu-95MS Bears,compared with just 16 Tu-160 Blackjacks.

Add up all these advantages,and it looks as if the Tu-95 may be around for a few more decades yet.

24 September 2007


The Australian:Russian warplanes fly over US carrier [13 Feb 2008]

WASHINGTON:Two Russian Tupolev 95 Bear bombers overflew a US aircraft carrier in the western Pacific at the weekend,prompting US fighter jets to scramble,a defence official said yesterday.

US fighter planes intercepted the Russian bombers flying unusually close to the aircraft carrier in the western Pacific.

The official said one Tu-95 buzzed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice,at an altitude of about 610m [2000 ft],while another circled about 91km [50 nautical miles] out. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.

The incident on Saturday,which never escalated beyond the flyover,comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Russia over US plans for a missile defence system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Such Russian bomber flights were common during the Cold War,but have been rare since.

The bombers were among four Tu-95s launched from Rusia’s Ukrainka air base,about 1000km [621 miles] northwest of Vladivostok,in the middle of the night,including one that Japanese officials say violated their country’s airspace over an uninhabited island south of Tokyo.

US officials tracked and monitored the bombers as two flew south along the Japanese coast,and two others flew farther east,coming closer to the Nimitz and the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton.

As the bombers got to about 800km [497 miles] out from the US ships,four F/A-18 fighters were launched from the Nimitz,the defence official said.

The fighters intercepted the Russian bombers about 80km [50 miles] south of the Nimitz.

At least two US fighters trailed the bomber as it came in low over the Nimitz twice,while one or two of the other US fighters followed the second bomber as it circled.

The official said there were no verbal communications between the US and the Russians and that the Pentagon had not heard of any protests being filed. Historically,diplomatic protests have not been filed in such incidents as they were so frequent during the Cold War era.

This is the first time Russian Tupolevs have flown over or interacted with a US carrier since 2004.

11 February 2008


11 August 2008


The International Herald Tribune:Russia test-fires ballistic missiles [12 Oct 2008]

Russia test-fired long-range ballistic missiles Sunday as President Dmitri Medvedev pledged to build up the country’s armed capabilities.

The military fired a Topol intercontinental missile from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northwest Russia at a target thousands of kilometers away in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. Submarines in the Okhotsk Sea near Japan and the Barents Sea launched ballistic missiles that reached northern Russia and Kamchatka,the state broadcaster Vesti-24 reported.

“This shows that our shield is in order,”Medvedev said Sunday at Plesetsk. “We will build up our armed capability,which means we will acquire new weaponry while also launching traditional ballistic missiles.”

The purpose of the Plesetsk test launch was to confirm the viability of the Topol rocket,which has been in service with Russian forces for 20 years,Vesti reported. The Topol,with a range of 10,000 kilometers,or 6,200 miles,is part of Russia’s response to a planned U.S. missile defense shield in Eastern Europe,the state broadcaster cited experts as saying.

The statement Sunday was the latest pledge by the Russian head of state to revive the might of the armed forces. Medvedev said Saturday that Russia would resume building aircraft carriers and last month announced that Russia would build more new submarines. The president also said that the country’s nuclear deterrent should be upgraded within 12 years.

Seeking to assert its power after a decade of oil-fueled economic growth,Russia announced that it would increase defense spending 26 percent to a post-Soviet record of 1.28 trillion rubles,or $48 billion,next year.

Russia must achieve “supremacy in the air,in delivering high-precision strikes against land and sea targets and in the rapid deployment of forces,”Medvedev said late last month.

Russia has stepped up protests since the Czech Republic and Poland agreed to host elements of a U.S. missile-defense system. Amid a chill in ties with the West caused by an August war with neighboring Georgia,Russia has warned it would respond militarily by targeting the sites.

12 October 2008


05 November 2008


The New York Times:Clinton Decides to Accept Post at State Dept.,Confidants Say [ 21 Nov 08]

As secretary of state,Mrs. Clinton will have had a powerful platform to travel the world and help repair relations with other countries strained after eight years of President Bush’s policies.

Mrs. Clinton would bring a distinctive background to the State Department. As first lady,she traveled the world for eight years,visiting more than 80 countries,not only meeting with foreign leaders but also villages,clinics and other remote areas that rarely get on a president’s itinerary. Mr. Obama during the primaries belittled that experience as little more than having tea and pointed to schedules showing many ceremonial events on those trips.

29 February 2008

Change? Whatever.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href=""title=""><abbr title=""><acronym title=""><b><blockquote cite=""><cite><code><del datetime=""><em><i><q cite=""><strike><strong>