Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan Proposes Extreme Action, Russia Humorously Investigating Terrorism Charges

From Julia Ioffe, “Today, the bridge to Crimea opened 6 months ahead of schedule and Vladimir Putin drove a Kamaz truck over it to the annexed peninsula. As many in the Russian media noted, he wasn’t buckled up, which is against the law in Russia.”

A source in Ukraine told me this,

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened up a criminal case on charges of terrorism against American journalist Tom Rogan for this article.

I have since confirmed this, multiple ways. Russian Investigative Committee, what a joke.  Here are your findings, now investigate how to make it so.

This in response to his recent article: Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge. The article is below because I have a sneaking suspicion it will be removed.

So of course, I went in search of. 

Tom Rogan, himself, responded, Why Putin wants to send me to the Black Dolphin. Later he wrote, I got played by Russian intelligence, after being pranked by Russian Intelligence posing as Ukrainians (a very informative read).

The Washington Examiner’s staff responded, Our response to Russia’s threats against our journalists by Washington Examiner, which is deserving of a blog piece all by itself. 

The obligatory supposedly neutral but obviously pro-Russian response. Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan is A Clear and Present Danger to The People of Russia and The United States.  The source, Eurasia Future leans far to the left and the Author, Adam Garries, appears on both RT (Russia) and PressTV (Iran) often. But you wouldn’t know that if you don’t watch Russia and their supporting media.

Tom Rogan then responded to Adam Garries in a fairly snarky article, Adam Garrie, or how Russian propagandists play their game.

From Sputnik, US Journalist Urging to Blow Up Crimean Bridge Claims He Got Support From Kiev

As for the terrorism charges…  When I stop laughing, I’ll let you know. Rogan was urging Ukraine to defend itself against a bridge that Ukraine states is illegal, Russia never asked for permission from the rightful owner – Ukraine. The United States came out against the bridge, with the same claim as Ukraine. How a reporter can be charged with terrorism for writing an article is beyond me, but the Russian definition of terrorism must now include honest reporting. There are much better, more efficient, and spectacular ways to take out the Kerch bridge, which are completely deniable… 

Bottom line, it is humorous how The Washington Examiner is being engaged by RT, Sputnik, and a few other Russian propaganda outlets. All Russia is doing is increasing The Washington Examiner’s subscriptions.  As a result of all this hullabaloo, Tom Rogan should not apply for a Russian visa in the next decade or two, he’ll certainly be blacklisted. Rogan has effectively managed to make Russia give itself two black eyes, and more if that were at all possible. 

Poor Russia, no matter what you do, you seem to lose.

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Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Crimea, Ukraine, with mainland Russia on Tuesday. Putin did so by in a typical show of bravado by leading a column of transport vehicles across the bridge.

Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge.

While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and one that would almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine’s very credibility as a nation. Of course, from Putin’s perspective that’s the whole point. The bridge cost Russia’s near-bankrupt government billions of dollars, but it offers Putin a formal physical and psychological appropriation of Ukrainian territory.

Fortunately Ukraine has the means to launch air strikes against the bridge in a manner that would render it at least temporarily unusable. Because of its significant length, the Ukrainian air force could strike the bridge while mitigating the risk of casualties by those traversing it.

How would Putin respond?

Probably with escalation against Ukrainian interests in eastern Ukraine. But that escalation is very likely coming in the next few months anyway, and Putin wants to slowly absorb Ukraine rather than conquer it outright (he doesn’t want to upset his soccer World Cup bonanza by inviting new diplomatic pressure). But severing the bridge, even if temporarily, would send an unmistakable signal from Kiev to Moscow that Ukrainians are unwilling to accept the comfortable formalization of Putin’s territorial theft. The Ukrainians could also fly low and circular to evade Russian (admittedly high-competency) air defenses. The U.S. could and should support Ukraine here with confidence in our own military power.

Air strikes would also serve two other objectives: drawing attention to the cronyism behind the project (Putin’s favorite pet oligarch, Arkady Rotenberg, was given the construction contract) and challenging Russian nationalist narratives in language those nationalists understand. On that latter point, consider that many of the messages below the RT propaganda celebration of the bridge opening reference Putin’s masculinity and the nationalist supremacy of a greater Russia. Bombing the bridge would thus be a very personal rebuke to Putin’s ambitions and his propaganda narrative.

Regardless, the exigent moral urgency of action is obvious. Any state that allows its territory to be stolen and then bound up with the thief has taken a step towards extinction.