When Dominoes Fall

YouTube is always posting pictures of creative patterns people create with dominoes. Here is one:

But sometimes things in real life have a domino effect. We are seeing that effect in some recent seemingly unrelated moves by the Trump Administration.

One of the immediate changes that took place when President Trump took office was the lifting of many regulations regarding energy production and energy exporting in the United States. That was the first domino. What seemed to be a national issue is now going to have major international implications.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg News posted an article predicting an agreement between the Trump Administration and Poland that would allow Poland to begin importing natural gas from America. That is the second domino.

The article reports:

Polish leaders are betting Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw starting on Wednesday, two days before the U.S. president meets his Russian counterpart, will bolster their efforts to reduce the nation’s dependence on natural gas from its eastern neighbor.

Less than a month after Poland’s Baltic Sea terminal received its first shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas, a spot cargo from Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, authorities in Warsaw are mooting ambitious plans. The ideas range from a long-term gas deal with U.S. producers to infrastructure projects linking east European nations reliant on supplies from Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC.

“We’ve tested our ability to receive U.S. gas,” Krzysztof Szczerski, who heads Polish President Andrzej Duda’s office, said on July 1. “So what’s left is a simple business conversation — when, how much and for how much.”

America’s vast energy resources have the potential to change world politics–from OPEC to Russia’s blackmail of Europe by threatening to cut off the gas supply.

I suspect we are going to see a log more dominoes fall in the future.

An Emboldened Russia Begins To Move

There was no real cost to Russia for taking over the Crimean region of Ukraine, so Russia has decided to see exactly how far it can go. There are three stories linked on the Drudge Report right now that are merely a taste of things to come.

The three stories are:

RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away

U. S. Troops Arrive in Poland For Exercises across Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis

Russia Says Conducting Military Drill Near Ukraine

The first story is from Sky News. The story reports:

Two Russian bombers which flew close to UK airspace have been chased away by an RAF jet fighter.

The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev 95s, were spotted off the coast of northeast Scotland.

They were turned away from Britain when an RAF Typhoon was scrambled from Leuchars airbase, near Dundee.

Crews stationed there are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment’s notice.

…The two Russian planes were escorted by the Typhoon, as well as military aircraft from the Netherlands and Denmark, until they flew off towards Scandinavia.

Also known as ‘Bears’, the aircraft – turboprop-powered bombers which also conduct airborne surveillance – have been used for more than 50 years.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times and they are perfectly entitled to do so.

“Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation.”

If you believe the denial by Russia that the planes entered UK airspace, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying. You can have all the tolls.

The second story is from Fox News.  The story reports:

U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland on Wednesday as part of a wave of U.S. troops heading to shore up America‘s Eastern European allies in the face of Russian meddling in Ukraine. 

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to four countries across Eastern Europe for military exercises over the next month. 

First, about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, are arriving in Poland. 

Additional Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and are expected to arrive by Monday for similar land-based exercises in those countries.

Six hundred soldiers is not going to stop anything, but it might send a message that continued aggression against former Soviet satellites will not be accepted.

The third article is from Reuters. It is a correction of a previous article. The article states:

Russia on Wednesday conducted military exercises in its south-western Rostov region, which borders Ukraine, a spokesman for Russia’s southern military district said.

Another probe to see if the NATO nations or any other nations are willing to stand up to the naked aggression of Russia.

I hope that our State Department and Defense Department are smart enough to get out of this without starting World War III. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic.

 

 

 

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The Future Of The Ukraine

Max Boot posted an article at Commentary Magazine today about the recent events in the Ukraine.

The article states:

The agreement reached between President Viktor Yanukovych and Ukrainian opposition leaders is about as good as the anti-government forces can possibly hope to get.

Mr. Boot points out that the foreign ministers of Poland, France, and Germany, all of whom are in Kiev, all signed the agreement. The Russian delegate refused to sign it.

The article reminds of the risk the protestors will take if they refuse to sign the agreement:

Yet, many protesters in the streets are not prepared to accept what is largely a victory. Many of them refuse to disperse from Independence Square until Yanukovych resigns. Their position is understandable but misguided. As Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski reportedly told demonstrators: “If you don’t support this [deal] you’ll have martial law, you’ll have the army. You will all be dead.”

Sikorski should know what he is talking about, having spent a good part of his life as a refugee from Poland, which saw the imposition of martial law in 1981.

If the people in the streets of Kiev are willing to accept the agreement, they will avoid an all-out war and the imposition of martial law. I believe that if they sign this agreement, the countries whose delegates also signed it will make sure that the current leadership of the Ukraine and the Russians abide by the agreement.

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The Foxes Are Watching The Chickens Again

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon reported that the U. S. State Department has selected Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), to participate in a human rights forum in Poland.

The article reports:

Al-Marayati has been a vociferous critic of Israel, once suggesting that Israel should be put “on the suspect list” for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. His organization, MPAC, has requested that militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah be removed from the list of United States-designated terrorist groups.

Al-Marayati’s inclusion in the U.S. delegation attracted the ire of Jewish leaders and others who feel he is the wrong person to represent America at a forum focusing on human rights and tolerance.

The State Department stood by al-Marayati Thursday, telling the Free Beacon that the Israel critic is “valued and highly credible.”

Please follow the above link to the Washington Free Beacon to read the entire story. Sometimes I wonder who the State Department is working for.

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