Funny how the US empire works. Even admirals/generals get to be media starts and get to talk about their feelings with the press. And what are their feelings? Well this one admiral who has his HQ in Italy just sent one of his ships for another cameo into the Russian lake that is the Black Sea is having a breakdown over Russian arrogance in defending their border:
“The whole episode in the Sea of Azov was extremely bothersome to me,” Admiral James Foggo, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, told reporters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference over the weekend.
“We’re showing solidarity,” Foggo said of the USS Donald Cook’s deployment to the region from its home port at Naval Station Rota, Spain.
Foggo wasn’t shy about condemning Russia’s imprisonment of the 24 Ukrainian sailors on charges of crossing a Russian border illegally.
“Let me tell you, that irritates me to no end,” Foggo told reporters last week. “They are uniformed Ukrainian sailors and officers and chiefs. They’re not criminals, and they are being charged under a criminal code. They should be protected under the Geneva Convention, which is why the United States and other NATO allies have come to the table and said ‘Release them immediately,’ and they still continue to hold them. That is just absolutely wrong, and it is not the kind of behavior that you would expect from a major power — which Russia wants to be.”
The confrontation is most dramatic example of a series of Russian actions, including the construction of a low bridge over the strait that has hampered Ukrainian access to the Sea of Azov, home to the major Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko worries that Russia is trying to set the stage for an annexation of the economically troubled city, but Foggo disagrees.
“It’s economic strangulation,” he said. “No, I don’t think they want to take the port of Mariupol. I think that they’re using other methods to punish the Ukrainians through the economy by restricting shipping traffic in there.”
He’s just oozing with righteousness there as he orders a ship right up to the Russian coast — which you’ll keep in mind is nowhere near the American coast.
This time it’s the ‘old friend’ USS Donald Cook — not the rust bucket that is USS Fort McHenry. Nonetheless, in the Black Sea any non-Russian surface ship is puny next to the anti-ship missile batteries and strike jets lining its coasts. Fogg would do well to keep that in mind and keep his irritation in check.