In today's world I'm almost hesitant to comment on this story, much less offer any high octane speculation about it. When I first heard about the story, I entertained some high octane suspicion about it, but thought not to blog about it until I received a couple of copies of the story in my inbox, and in one instance, an almost identical high octane speculation about the incident to my own unstated concerns. This speculation came along with the following version of the story from Zero Hedge, along with the speculation, from Mr. H.N.:
Now, one might guess why I was initially reluctant to comment on the story in today's world: Stock market go down? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Pension fund problems? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Having problems finding that missing $50,000,000,000,000 that you set aside? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Can't get reach customer non-service in India? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Flat tire? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Didn't get the grades from your professors you wanted? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Wrong person elected to the local animal shelter control board? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. Spies didn't die when you laced their house with nerve agents? Blame Mr. Putin and Russia. (The last one is particularly useful, for it gives you the excuse to impose more sanctions.)
It's really become almost comical to watch the Putinomania and Russophobia - let's call it Putinorussophobimania - at work these days. With all of the things modern Russia and Mr. Putin are being blamed for, it makes Stalin's Soviet Union look positively quiescent and supine, and hence one does not want to add too hastily to the climate of Putinorussophobimania. In such a climate the smallest incidents can get blown all out of proportion, and in the case of the world's other large thermonuclear power, that can be a bad thing.
So, in that context, NATO has been holding exercises in the Baltic states, no doubt to impress Mr. Putin with its Putinorussophobimania, and how quickly it can reach St. Petersburg. Field Marshal von Leeb's Army Group North had to start hundreds of miles back, in East Prussia. NATO's Estonia is right next door. And so, just for good measure, a missile is launched - supposedly accidentally - by aircraft from the military of a nation located in the opposite diagonal corner of Europe, Spain, which to complete this picture of looming deja vu, also sent a division to the Eastern Front in World War Two, the Spanish "Blue" division, which - you guessed it - served in the Leningrad/St. Petersburg area.
It was those little "synchronicities" that piqued my curiosity about this incident, which is being tap-danced away by typical bureaucratese:
Estonia’s defense minister has halted a NATO war exercise in Estonia pending an investigation after a fighter jet deployed in northeast Europe accidentally fired a secret missile during training. Authorities are now searching for the rocket, which was shot over the Baltic country’s airspace by a Spanish fighter jet this week near the Russian border.
“The Spanish defense minister has apologized and expressed deep regret,” Luik said, adding that the commander of the Spanish Armed Forces has apologized for the mishap.
According to Fox News, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas communicated with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday, expressing Estonia’s concern over the “serious incident.”
The aircraft, the article goes on, were stationed at Siauliai (Schaulen), Lithuania. There things would have remained, and I would have been content to continue contemplating the weird synchronicities of the incident, but also dismissing them as merely "weird synchronicites" and another splendid example of what sorts of nonsense Putinorussophobimania can get one to entertain. I chose not to blog about the story, lest my high octane speculations sound like the hysterical death-rattles of Putinorussophobimania of CNN or MSNBC(I mean, c'mon, who names their kid with the first name of a wild large canine, and glues it to a surname that conjures up images of panzers, artillery, and dive-bombers? "Wolf", after all, was Hitler's codename. So this hysterical character's name is Hitler Blitzer. See what sorts of absurd mental gymnastics Putinorussophobimania can do to you?)
But then there is this statement from Russia itself, which has me thinking that maybe, after all, a bit of Putinorussophobimania might be a good thing here, because it least will have them thinking twice in
the Wolfschanze Nato headquarters:
“At the present moment, we cannot confirm the existence of any contacts between the NATO Operations Command and the Russian military on this incident. However, after saying this, I will add that many civilian and military organizations play their role in ensuring international air security. We cannot say anything more on this incident as long as the investigation is going on.”
Now, Mr. H.N. advanced his own speculations regarding this cryptic statement, and I have to agree with him, because first of all, the statement clearly implies that a Russian investigation is underway, and that implies all sorts of problems, not the least being that Russia may have detected the launch of the missile (and probably did), to the missile landed in Russian territory, and not Estonia at all. If it did, then it explains the Estonian defense minister's sudden cancellation of the NATO exercise: "Woops, sorry about that Vlad, our missile went a bit wonky and landed in Russia. Good thing the warhead wasn't armed, huh?" But there's an even grimmer potential high octane scenario here: What if the missile launch was not accidental, but deliberate, an attempt to create a false flag incident, or an accident, whose flames could be fanned into war, but it failed. This is where that second part of the Russian statement comes in: "However, after saying thins, I will add that many civilian and military organizations play their role in ensuring international air security. We cannot say anything more on this incident as long as the investigation is going on."
Civilian organizations and military? Civilian organizations would imply the Russian FSB, successor to the KGB, and military organizations speaks for itself, and moreover, this is all spoken in a context implying investigations. So what if Nato was just served another big notice of Russian electromagnetic capabilities? Remember that blackout of Nato equipment in Syria after the Russians arrived? Remember Mr. Trump's cruise missile strike, where approximately half the missiles somehow went haywire and didn't strike their targets (or, so we're told). Remember the USS Donald Cook and USS Fitzgerald incidents? And while we're at it, we might as well throw in those "false alarm" missile alerts in Hawaii and Japan, the strange missile launch off the southern coast of California, or more recently, near the Seattle-Tacoma-Vancouver area, the US military's denials, and the possibilities of hacking... So maybe "someone" tried to pull "something" in Estonia, and maybe the Russians got wind of it, and put a stop to it and maybe even deliberately brought the Nato missile down in their own territory. Maybe the Estonians got wind of it too, and pulled the plug on the operation. I don't know.
But it does seem to me to be a speculation worth entertaining, especially in the context of all the other strange events mentioned above. Someone seems to want to trigger a war with Russia, and someone seems to be intervening to prevent it, perhaps the Russians themselves... who knows? There is a pattern here, in my high octane speculative opinion, and it's not entirely a good one...
... See you on the flip side...