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Why Russia won’t dare shoot at American planes

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Russia “warned” the U.S. that “Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and treated as targets.”

This happened after a U.S. Navy F/A-18 downed a Syrian SU-22 bomber that attacked anti-Assad rebels in Raqqa province on Sunday. The Russians don’t like that their favored dictator is being attacked by U.S.-backed forces. To hell with ISIS, Russia considers Syria to be within its geographic sphere of influence.

As Streiff at RedState noted,

Note they say “tracked” as air targets, not “treat U.S.-led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, as targets.” Why is this significant? If Russian air defense systems “treated” allied aircraft as hostile that would entail “painting” them with fire control radar, an international sign of imminent hostilities. “Tracking” merely means allied aircraft will be coded on Russian battle management radar as hostile. They have probably been doing that since Day One.

But let’s move past weasel-words like “tracked” and “painted” and “treated.” The word “target” can mean a lot of things in the radar and military world. Just because something is a target doesn’t mean anyone is shooting. For example, right now, at this moment, the U.S. is targeting several Russian cities and military facilities with weapons of mass destruction. And the Russians are targeting us. That’s how deterrence works.

In reality, Russia wouldn’t dare shoot at us. Not on purpose, at least.

Just looking at the numbers answers the question before it’s even asked.

The U.S. has way more than double the number of fixed-wing aircraft than the Russians. We have 500 more fighters than Russia, with enough tankers to move them wherever in the world we want. Oh, and that’s just the Air Force. The Navy has another 300-odd F/A-18 Hornets and another 300+ F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

And if things got really serious, we have scores of F-22A Raptors that can shoot any Russian aircraft out of the sky before they even had the chance to “target” it.

In short, the Russians would be insane to the point of suicidal to shoot at an American aircraft.

But let’s just assume for a moment that some mistake happened, some dude who imbibed a bit too much vodka pressed the wrong button and fired an S-300 or S-400 air defense battery at one of our planes. First of all, that scenario can’t happen unless American jets fly over known Russian bases near the Mediterranean.

The S-400 air-defense systems are located at Russia’s air base at Latakia and its naval base at Tartus. The strike, which hit the Shayrat air base near Homs more than 75 kilometers away from the city of Tartus and more than 120 kilometers from Latakia, meant the American cruise missiles were safely out of the Russian air-defense system’s effective range for cruise missiles, he said. “You can more or less defend a perimeter of about 40 kilometers.”

We fired a bunch of Tomahawks right under the nose of the Russian air defense systems and they never even activated. Of course, we told the Russians we were doing it, which is actually the other reason they wouldn’t shoot at us.

Just because they told us they’re treating our aircraft as “targets” doesn’t mean we’re going to stop telling them (“de-conflicting”) we’re coming when we go to deal with threats. If we tell them we’re sending aircraft to Raqqa province, they have a few choices. They can do nothing at all. They can tell whoever we are attacking to get away. Or they can try to defend against us.

The first option is almost certainly their best option. The second option will only lead to more aircraft and exposure of their intelligence assets. The third option will result in them losing some air defense batteries or fighter aircraft. The last thing the Russians want to do is advertise the fact that their systems can be defeated by the very American aircraft they were designed to defend against.

Unless they knew without a shadow of a doubt the engagement would come out in their favor (it wouldn’t), they’re not going to engage. I know the engagement would not come out in favor of the Russians because American pilots are well prepared and well trained to deal with Russian threats.

Israelis fly into Syrian airspace more often than you think, using American-made F-16’s, and only rarely (if at all) do they suffer any losses. American air assets are at least as good as Israel’s.

The first time a Russian battery goes into “acquisition” mode on an American jet, given the latest “warning,” it’s possible Americans will go “weapons free” and destroy the battery with anti-radiation missiles. That would be bad for the Russians.

The Russians are not stupid, and they won’t shoot at us. Or if they do, they’ll make it look like an accident and paint us as the bad guys. But I think they won’t dare.

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Judiciary

Jeff Flake has become a punchline

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Jeff Flake has become a punchline

There are conservatives who oppose the President through conscientious means and with discernment of who to support and what to oppose. Then, there are “conservatives” like Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

In his final days in the United States Senate, Flake has decided to go out with his conscience intact. At least that’s what he’s telling himself and anyone who would listen. In reality, he’s going out with his middle finger raised to the man he blames the most for his career failures: President Trump.

Flake has threatened to hold up judicial nominations until the Senate votes to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Let’s set aside the likelihood that such an action by Congress would be unconstitutional with Article 2 giving the President wide powers over the Justice Department. That’s a debate for Constitutional scholars.

Instead, let’s focus on what Flake is actually doing. He’s willing to jeopardize the judicial system which desperately needs an infusion of originalists just to fire a parting blow at the President. That’s really what this comes down to. He’s not obeying his conscience. He’s not protecting Mueller. He’s not trying to right a wrong. He’s being a child.

He’s a punchline.

Even if there was a real threat that President Trump might somehow interfere with the Mueller investigation, this wouldn’t be the way to try to protect him. All Flake is doing is pulverizing the few pieces of his credibility that were left standing.

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Democrats

Good news for the Democrat agenda: McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

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Good news for the Democrat agenda McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

Trumplicans chalked one up for the status quo yesterday when they chose Paul Ryan’s right-hand man, Kevin McCarthy, to be the party leader in the House and unanimously re-elected Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate. Both men were endorsed by Donald Trump for the jobs.

Despite the fact that Republicans suffered the worst mid-term defeat since Watergate, McConnell and McCarthy touted a list of vague GOP accomplishments that conveniently failed to mention the party’s failure to keep their promises, which is why the Democrats won last week.

In an opinion piece for FOX News, McConnell bragged — now try not to laugh — about how the past two years of Republican leadership “will be remembered as a period of historic productivity.” He then challenged the new Democrat majority in the House to put aside partisan politics and work with Republicans to get things done.

Apparently, the concept of irony is lost on McConnell. Outside of the GOP’s alleged success at saving the Supreme Court, Democrats and Republicans have always been working together, which is why they still fund Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, DACA, and sanctuary cities with massive new spending that exploded the budget deficit.

While McConnell and McCarthy have adopted Trump’s “blame the Democrats for my failures” playbook, the sad reality is that Republicans favor the Democrat agenda because it’s their agenda; bipartisanship is a given.

Based on developments during the lame duck session, it’s going to be worse when the 116th Congress opens for business in January.

Nancy Pelosi called last week’s victory a mandate to save Obamacare and she will promote legislation designed to move America closer to a single-payer healthcare system. Trump has a track record of support for Obamacare and he promoted single-payer healthcare during his 2016 campaign.

Following the recent shootings in California, Pelosi announced that she would make gun control a top priority. Trump and the GOP have actively promoted radical gun-control legislation, including: seizing guns without due process, establishing an FBI database to track guns and gun owners, and requiring a license to own a gun.

Now comes word from the Democrats that they will work to bring back a classic of Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialists — a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. As expected, Trump appears to be a fan of the idea.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump supported raising the minimum wage to at least $10 and hour. And as part of the recent US-Mexico trade deal, he fought for and won a $16 an hour minimum wage for auto workers on both sides of the border in an effort to price Mexico out of the auto industry. Ironic because he’s essentially admitting that mandatory minimum wages eventually result in lost jobs.

Even thought economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently stated his preference to see the federal minimum wage eliminated, Trump’s history of flip-flopping on this along with a host of other issues, along with his 2020 re-election hopes, means that the Democrats will likely win on the issue.

We were repeatedly told last week to vote Red to make sure we stop the Democrats. But to quote Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings, when it comes to the difference between Republicans and Democrats . . .

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

 

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Media

To advance conservatism, nobody gets a free pass

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To advance conservatism nobody gets a free pass

Before the midterm elections, most of the writers here spent a good chunk of their copy space helping Republicans in their campaigns. They focused on exposing Democrats for what they are (as well as what they’re becoming) and often turned their back on the negatives associated with Republican candidates.

This was intentional and I allowed it. Like many proponents of limited government, I compare the rhetoric and actions of the two major parties and I see one that’s pushing for big government and another that’s pushing for even bigger government. The fallacies in the Democrats’ proposals are obvious and universal. Republicans have a mix of good and bad; for example, lowering taxes was good, but simultaneously increasing spending was bad.

I allowed the pro-Republican approach because in the world of partisan politics, we’re stuck in a lesser-of-two-evils scenario. While I personally didn’t get involved in party politics and focused my posts on fighting for conservative and limited-government federalist values, I didn’t ask my writers to do the same. Any who chose to promote the Republican agenda, which was most of them, were allowed to do so.

They still can. I’m not censoring anyone. However, I want to be clear about the true purpose of this news site.

We are not a partisan site that is pro-Republican or anti-Democrat. We are a pro-American site that understands the importance of limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life, plus many other ideas that are usually associated with conservatism and/or classical liberalism.

Now that the election is over, we are relaunching our GoFundMe page.

Getting donations during campaign season was tough, but now we’re ready to accept help. We need it.

The description of our site on GoFundMe encapsulates what we are.

Our society is rapidly deteriorating into helplessness. Ideas such as self-governance, conservatism, patriotism, personal responsibility, limited-government federalism, and civil discourse are being threatened by a sharp leftward lurch. It isn’t just progressives who are veering to the left. The center is shifting to the left and as a result, many who are or were conservative have become more open-minded to the cultural and geopolitical shifts.

We are losing our ethical, traditional, and logical cores as a society.

NOQ Report has three goals:

1) Expose the fallacies of this leftward lurch that is making progressives more unhinged and conservatives more malleable.
2) Educate the masses about the benefits of liberty-driven philosophies that include limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life.
3) Engage with people in a meaningful way. We want a dialogue with everyone whether they agree or disagree with us.

America deserves better than what mainstream media feeds us.

Every dollar donated is invested back into the site to pay writers, editors, and to promote the site so it can reach more people. We have limited advertising on the site for a reason. We do not want “corporate overlords” who try to steer content, nor do we want to load the site with spammy ads. This is why we must rely on you, the readers, to keep the site afloat.

As of the middle of November, 2018, we are relaunching this campaign. We had a soft launch that had minimal success. We are pushing harder now. Please help us elevate this news site to compete against the incessant leftist propaganda being pumped onto the internet. Donate now.

Moving forward, we are going to focus on our three goals. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or whatever. If they aren’t helping to limit government, defend freedoms, and protect life, we’ll call them out.

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