This article has been published at Sott.Net, a site I cite quite a lot: http://www.sott.net/article/307397-Putin-makes-an-example-of-Turkeys-back-stabbing-Why-the-US-and-West-should-pay-close-attention
First the facts: the toll is settled. Two Russians are dead, and a Su-24 fighter-bomber and Russian helicopter that arrived in relief are down. A marine from that effort died, as did the pilot of the jet. The second pilot of the jet was rescued, evidently in a joint effort by Russian, Hezbollah and Syrian forces . When they bailed, the pilots were shot at by the rebel militants. It is not clear whether the Russian pilot was killed in the air or once he hit the ground but either way, “our moderates” committed war crimes. In the gruesome video, someone is reported saying, “We should have burned him before he died.” The Russians have followed the downing with massive aerial bombardments of the rebel positions, and the Syrian Arab Army has made further advances.
As for the war of words and images: As my first two posts on this indicate, there was confusion about the path of the Russian jet. The Turkish version emerged first, and this was picked up by al-Jazeera, the Qatari voice of the Western alliance. We may remember that when the Russian passenger jet exploded over Sinai, “ambivalent alliance” bosses Cameron and Obama were practically sure within hours ‘whodunnit’ and how. The Russians took their time and looked at the evidence — which they have not revealed, it should be remembered. Similarly, when the Russian radar video came out, it fairly convincingly belied that of Turkey. Others have commented that for Turkey’s story to be correct the planes had to be flying at stall speed. Turkish reports that 10 warnings in 5 minutes preceded the takedown are refuted point blank by the surviving Russian pilot who said they were flying at 6000 feet, not 15,000, on paths well within Syria he had flown many times. He said they did not even have time to make evasive maneuvers when they were hit in the tail section. Parties from several sides are calling this a planned provocation.
The West has not acknowledged many Russian charges. The US is trying to play both sides, saying Turkey was within its rights, but “made a bad mistake” shooting down the Russian fighters. Western leaders — and Erdogan is Western in spades (especially in his cynical use of religious sentiment) — have isolated themselves and their countries within a propaganda fanfare fortress. Sometimes it is not clear whether they believe their own propaganda. As I mentioned at the time of the UNGA70 speeches by Putin and Obama, the authors of official and slightly-less-than official pronouncements generally do not care how their lies resound around the world, but generally address their own political constituencies, their domestic audience, and their allies.
Russia has ramped up the pressure considerably since the shoot-down, and in some unexpected ways. First, unsurprisingly, with its military in the field. Putin is now situating S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, the best in the world, such that any similar incident will be immediately followed by the takedown of the Turkish jet, even if it has returned to Turkey. Erdogan takes this as an act of war. It is now clear why Putin began his Syrian buildup quickly, but actually quite moderately, with a few dozen planes, and no ground forces or other hardware. Evidently he understood the trigger-happy idiots that run the Western alliance — including Erdogan’s best friends in the US like Gen Allen, former “ISIS czar,” and Gen Breedlove, NATO commander — would make some blunder that made a further buildup a foregone conclusion and one that could evoke no complaint. What is more surprising is that Putin is not just blaming Turkey, but the US for the affair, and rightly so. I will come back to that.
Russia’s provincial authorities played out the betrayal Russians feel. Thirty-nine Turkish businessmen were arrested, retained a while, and fined for minor visa irregularities. Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has given the DUMA two days to assemble suggested economic reprisals. Certainly, the Turkstream oil project, Putin’s major ‘carrot’ offering to Turkey last fall, is dead in the water. So is the nuclear power plant deal, and the accelerating upward trends in Turkish-Russian business activity over the last decade. Poof! Thanks, Erdogan, I’m sure many Turkish businessmen are saying, echoing German businessmen, saying, thanks, Merkel, for sanctions which cut us off from our most natural business partner and neighbor.
Putin charged Turkey the first day with being an accessory to terrorism and of backing ISIS with the shootdown. Erdogan, who refuses to apologize for the incident (“why apologize if I’m right?”), was “outraged” and deemed this “slander”. As he has said before many times, “Everybody knows our commitment in the war against ISIS”. (How right he is). But courageous Turkish newspapers continue to dare the ban on publishing untoward information about the Glorious Leader and One-Party “Democracy”. Turkish journalists put to shame the US press, which has pathetically cowered before power for decades. The NYTimes wags its tongue when the military-industrial-banking complex wags the dog of government.As mentioned in my last posts, the Turkish press did manage to convey the gist of Putin’s complaints.
If Erdogan feels slandered by the charges, then, as Putin said in his press conference with Hollande, it is “theoretically” possible he did not know about the lines of ISIS oil tankers that continually stretch from the horizon to the Turkish border, “a living pipeline”. In the same press conference, the leader of another NATO ambivalent alliance member, Francois Hollande announced that he and Putin had agreed to strike only terrorists, and not to strike those who are fighting terrorists. Good, I’m glad they got that far. Practically, it does mean Hollande has promised not to hit Assad’s troops, though moments earlier, his eyes glazed over and he pronounced the Western mantra: “Assad must go.”He then went on “I authorized strikes against ISIS in September, because I knew the terrorists that hit us in Paris were organizing in Raqqa.”(He knew in September?)
As for more duplicitous NATO members, Putin said in the same press conference, “once we had quickly developing economic relations with Turkey, we considered them partners, almost allies”. He then walked the audience through Erdogan’s lies about the downed Russian jet and the plain fact that ISIS lives on Turkish support and US collusion. “Well, that is their choice” he said as he left the podium.
The Russian press too has steadily released information and reporting on the Turkish ISIS connections. The ‘rebels’ who were bombed in this region are only a part Turkman, many of these are directly backed by Turkey, and they are led by Turkish officials. They certainly are not “moderate” as the video of their treatment of the dead Russian makes plain, and as usual, the usual murderous takfiri extremists Jubhat al-Nusra, are strong in this area. Or were. They have been bombed into oblivion in the last two days.
A video emerged of the probably-now-deceased leader of the “Turkman resistance”, taking credit for the killing the Russian pilots, and RT published a video indicating the man was a national Turk, the son of a former mayor of Elazig, tied to Turkish MIT (intelligence) and the MHP (right-wing nationalist party.) Quite evidently, many of the “shaykhs” of the dupes and dopeheads of ISIS, are Western intel heads whose “Islam” is purely cynical. The same could be said of Erdogan and his nepotistic empire of Salafism and Wahhabism, so deeply opposed to Turkey’s traditional Sunni Islam. One “progressive” tendency: his daughter, of inferior gender but superior genetics, heads up medical facilities in the south of Turkey which treat the takfiri terrorists of the north. (Israel’s hospitals in the Golan Heights treat the takfiri terrorists of the south. Bibi occasionally comes to shake their hand and thank them for their support of Israel (ISIS is also the nomenclature in US intel services for “Israeli Secret Intelligence Service, thus the nom de guerre had to change to ISIL in the West).
As mentioned in previous posts, Bilal Erdogan, the president’s son, evidently oversees ISIS oil transfers to BP and other Western companies.Not just ISIS oil is crossing Turkey‘s borders. Also weapons, going the other way of course. Last fall a US reporter, Serena Shim, was apparently murdered by Turkish authorities in a “car accident” after documenting MIT (Turkish intel) transfer of arms to Syria in convoys of the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). Yesterday, a “mysterious” agency bombed a convoy of trucks that were supposed to be carrying humanitarian aid but were in fact carrying weapons. The IHH was ‘quickly on the spot’ but said the trucks were not their own. This “humanitarian” agency, following the examples of those of George Soros, is evidently involved in the most inhumane of practices. If exported by the West, “democracy” and “humanitarian aid” mean violence, destabilization, and takeover 9 times out of 10. (The IHH was also apparently behind the Mavi Marmara incident. Increasingly I believe Erdogan and Netanyahu, despite their very public spats, are shaking hands and exchanging oil money behind the scenes.)
The prize for Turkish media courage this week goes to Cumhuriyet. This newspaper cited sources close to the Syrian government saying the convoy was delivering weapons to terrorist organizations. For their trouble, the reporters were arrested. If only US reporters had the cojones the Turks do then perhaps half the US citizenry would be wise to the wiles of the government, as we see in Turkey. Today, protests at Cumhurriyet offices brought thousands into the streets, and the crowds were addressed by opposition politicians.
Of course, UncleSam is behind it all, though it does not necessarily “micro-manage” actions on the ground. Russian and Iranian mass media have toed the US line in many areas where US crimes and complicity in terrorism are well-known, especially regarding 9/11. But now the facade is starting to crumble. According to Veteran’s Today, the 9/11 conspirators are terrified that Russia will one day release what it knows about this most heinous of false flage events. The day may be approaching due to “bad mistakes” like those Turkey just made, because Russia is well aware of how things work in the West, if most of the US public still believes what they heard in 6th grade civics class. The charges-in-waiting — ISIS IS US — will stick.
So, the US is in some superficial ways playing nice with Russia these days, and the Pentagon and other members are obviously restraining NATO from pursuing further immediate belligerence. As I said last post, Turkey has a history of engineering false flags in Syria designed to draw NATO in, and though the intent may be shared, the timing is not. And the US has its own beef with Turkey, especially concerning the Kurds, who the US would like to co-opt, and Erdogan would like to kill. Still, the hierarchical structure of the Western alliances is hardly a secret;the US may squirm as it wishes, but it is hard to avoid some culpability. Per the US-Russian military coordination agreement, Russia has kept the US informed about the flight paths of his jets; how could its coalition partner “not know” these were Russian jets, as Turkey first asserted?
It beggars belief that the US contingent at Incirlik did not know about this “pre-planned” and completely illegal attack on a Russian jet even though the Turkish jet took off from Diyarbakir. This action lay entirely within the operational parameters of the “US-led anti-ISIS alliance”, and as Putin said the US should thereby take responsibility.
Putin’s press is now suggesting with ever more revealing statements and leaks of information that not just Turkey is behind ISIS and the downing of the Russian plane, but the US, at least by turning a blind eye, or perhaps instigating it with a ‘wink and a nod’. Likewise the suggestions that the US is supporting terrorism, at least indirectly, are being made with increasing force. So far, Russia has not dwelt on the roles of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Israel in the takfiri terrorist game, but that is only because the southern terror-friendly states have given no immediate cause.
Putin obviously knows their roles as well, but the Turkey situation makes clear the Russia’s first strategy is not blatantly to put the lie to the West’s duplicitous “anti-ISIS” rhetoric, but rather slowly constrain them to real “anti-ISIS” actions, or at least, force them to allow Russia to remove their proxies from the playing field. As the case of France shows, he will treat them as ‘friends and allies’ even though he knows they are no such thing, or at least only strategically and by ‘constraint’. He is offering a “dignified retreat” to state terrorist supporters, and perhaps will allow their publics to remain ignorant of where their taxdollars are going, as long as their leaders turn around 180 degrees and start walking the walk they’ve always talked.
Putin is offering the Western alliances a chance to do the right thing now that their Syrian proxies are being obliterated. Erdogan in some way was put up to this, or tricked, by the US. Though his stakes are deeply personal and political too, he has lost his chance at the negotiating table. The international branding of “terrorist-supporter” is now fixed far more strongly on Turkey than on Iran. Is the US next? Putin is pointing and the US should change course post-haste. However, the boiling pot of US frogs and hawks has yet to cough up a coherent direction in the wake of Monday’s attack.
So far the US response evinces weak-kneed, weak-brained ambivalence even more obviously than usual. It goes poorly with rabid warmongering. Shit-faced embarrassment breaks out between rehearsed lies on the part of our official State Department spokesfolk like former Admiral John Kirby (“I barely passed history at South Florida U”) and colleagues, all luminaries of US diplomacy. While Kirby comes off as “I just work here”, Elizabeth Trudeau‘s bumbling suggests she may be worrying she won’t be working here much longer. Still both are more bearable to watch than the gratingly mendacious Victoria (F the EU) Nuland look-alike and act-alike Jan Psaki.
Long story short, the US has continued to play both sides in an exquisite clown-ballet of rail-walking, inviting all with something in one hand, alienating them with something else in the other. I mentioned that the US and NATO had Turkey’s back for the most part, saying that the Russian plane had indeed crossed into Turkish airspace, but suggesting that Turkey had perhaps overreacted. In his call for calm, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO head, did not mention Turkey’s repeated violations of Syrian and Iraqi airspace, or for that matter that Turkish jets cross 40 times a day into Greek airspace to press claims about disputed territory. Nor have any Western sources mentioned that when, two years ago Syria shot down a Turkish plane for a gross violation of airspace, Erdogan said a temporary and inadvertent crossover should NEVER be cause for a shootdown. How soon we (are made to) forget. Erdogan has much to be thankful for.
However, the US has been not-so-subtly distancing itself from Turkey over this matter, as, to a degree, since I began blogging. This reflects real differences over the Kurds and the fate of northern Syria, a piece of pie looking too small for all the ambivalent allies throwing elbows at the moment. But it also may be for appearance’s sake, both for the US public, and for the Russians. What we need to consider is why the US mass media is permitted to dwell — momentarily as the case may be — on the terror-support activities of our closest allies, those paragons of democracy and human rights, Turkey, in the present moment, as it has several times in the past momentarily dwelt on the role of Saudi Arabia, and, much more rarely, the Daddy of Terrorist Sugar-Daddies, Israel.
Lt. General Tom McInerney almost offended his CNN host when he suggested the problem wasn’t 100% that of Russia. McInerney, no longer in an official capacity, refuted the Turkish line, saying the shoot-down occurred in Syrian territory, and moreover, that it was “pre-planned” and a clear provocation. Wow, the truth-telling is deafening. Here the audience is domestic, and it is clearly designed, as the Saudi exposés have been, to get the monkey off our US back, and let our puppet-states take the fall. (Israel and Great Britain are string pullers more than pulled; Hollande desperately would like France to be, or at least to look like it. For Germany there is not even an inkling independence movement in government as long as NSA puppy-dog Merkel is die Führerin. (Oscar LaFontaine has a different view on the matter.)
Russia has stated the Turks could not have pulled this off without prior heads-up with the US. This may be overstating matters, since plenty of tensions between the allies have been evident for months and the Turks have kept the US in the dark about some of their Kurdish operations. But now it seems the US is ready to provide Turkey with only a minimum of cover for the attack, and to withdraw support in crucial areas. Of course, the US never has exercised loyalty to its puppet powers. Behind the scenes, the US encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait (after encouraging him to gas the Kurds), then used the opportunity to crush him and begin the pre-9/11 phase of post-Soviet global conquest. (The anti-communist CIA-NATO terrorist program Gladio A gave way to “Islamist” Gladio B in the 1990s.)
Why now would the US first encourage Turkey to attack Russia, then publically characterize the “bad mistake” as “pre-planned”? A host of reasons present themselves, not least the internal contradictions at war inside the Obama war cabinet. However, it seems more likely, given the freedom with which the US press is permitted to talk about Turkey’s links to terrorism (but not those of the US or Israel), that the US is looking for a “way out” of an uncomfortable and revealing corner into which the Russian campaigns against our proxy terrorists have pushed them.
Perhaps Obama is ready to sacrifice Turkey as ‘terrorist.’ Perhaps neo-cons McCain, Graham, Allen, Breedlove, Bolton and the other single-minded warmongers of the US administration will just have to kiss their proxied “loved ones” goodbye. Less a loss are the hundreds of millions of dollars of US arms held in ISIS and other extremist hands. Though these are being systematically destroyed by Russia, the US military-industrial complex would be happy to make more — that’s what they do! — and the US taxpayer, as always, would be happy to pay for them — need we even ask? (They didn’t: Obama just signed off on 800 million for the “moderate terrorists” of Syria and the “moderate Nazis” of Kiev). It has been given the chance, but it remains to be seen whether the US will actually take up genuine “anti-ISIS” actions, or at least allow Russia to wipe out its takfiri proxies, in order to then pretend they were never there in the first place.
Or it could be the US just does not know what to do next, and it is pushing its allies into the fire just to see what will happen.