Got a tip about this from one of my fellow Cold Warriors via a newsgroup to which I subscribe:
Russian bombers are reported to have buzzed an American military base for the first time since the Cold War when they flew over the Pacific island of Guam.
Moscow said that US fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the two Tupolev-95 warplanes as they resumed the Cold War era practice of flying over Western offshore military installations in a mission on Wednesday.
The incident, seen as the latest attempt by a revitalised Russia to project its military might, is likely to have unnerved the Pentagon and caused further perplexity at the State Department over the Kremlin's mercurial course.
The US military was silent about the mid-air confrontation but the Russians were happy to boast about it.
"It was always the tradition of our long-range aviation to fly far into the ocean, to meet (US) aircraft carriers and greet (US) pilots visually," Maj Gen Pavel Androsov, the head of long-range aviation in the Russian air force, told a press conference in Moscow.
According to the general, two Tupolev-95 bombers flew from Blagoveshchensk, on Russia's border with China, to the US naval base at Guam [Naval Forces Marianas; there is also Andersen AFB] in the West Pacific during a 13-hour round trip on Wednesday.
Capable of carrying nuclear bombs, the Tu-95 was the Soviet Union's aviation icon. A lumbering beast, it was instantly recognisable to every US fighter pilot who had to escort the aircraft on its regular sorties down the American east coast.
The return of the airborne games of cat-and-mouse is likely to elicit queasier grins in Western capitals, where military chiefs will be puzzling over how to respond to Russia's increasingly frequent displays of defiance.Great. Something else to worry about. They may be prop-jobs (Tupolev didn't believe in jet engines) but bad things are capable of happening during such types of game-playing.
RELATED, KIND OF: Or, rather, related to previous topics that have recently been discussed here. Another Cold Warrior discusses the value of propanganda:
Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels. This same strategy is at work today, but it is regarded as bad manners to point out the Soviet parallels. For communists, only the leader counted, no matter the country, friend or foe. At home, they deified their own ruler--as to a certain extent still holds true in Russia. Abroad, they asserted that a fish starts smelling from the head, and they did everything in their power to make the head of the Free World stink. [SNIP]
During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages.Oh my.
Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, for example, Bush critics continued our mud-slinging at America's commander in chief. One speaker, Martin O'Malley, now governor of Maryland, had earlier in the summer stated he was more worried about the actions of the Bush administration than about al Qaeda. On another occasion, retired four-star general Wesley Clark gave Michael Moore a platform to denounce the American commander in chief as a "deserter." [SNIP]
Now we are again at war. It is not the president's war. It is America's war, authorized by 296 House members and 76 senators. I do not intend to join the armchair experts on the Iraq war. I do not know how we should handle this war, and they don't know either. But I do know that if America's political leaders, Democrat and Republican, join together as they did during World War II, America will win. Otherwise, terrorism will win. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi predicted just before being killed: "We fight today in Iraq, tomorrow in the land of the Holy Places, and after there in the West.--from Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the Soviet bloc (Romania)