[ Update: I knew NEO would get a flood of material on this crazy Turkish shoot down stunt, but I had to jump into the fray due to its historical significance, as it could be a major turning point in the war. This could be Erdogan’s last gasp of credibility on the world stage.
The Russians have destroyed over 1000 oil tanker trucks, and news has broken that Erdogan’s son has recently bought a $35-million oil tanker for one of the front companies the Erdogan family is using to loot Syria and Turkey.
And last, Turkey’s anchor for maintaining a credible “safe zone” in Syria was the area in north Latakia, as having his 2000-Turkmen brigade plus Turkish Special ops troops, allowed Erdogan to put pressure on Assad’ s home region, and also be in a good position to attack the western flank of a major Syrian thrust to recapture northern Syria.
The move backfired on him as you will read below… a military strategist he definitely is not. But we see America’s hidden hand in this provocation, which reduces any moral cover it has left for being an honest broker for peace in Syria. Is Obama burned out? Is this all just horrible staff work, or a rogue Pentagon playing him?
Or did Obama commit America to a secret deal with Erdogan in order to get the use of the Turkish bases, that under no circumstances would they (including the Gulf States) give up physical control of northern Syria for the oil and gas pipeline they want there? We are closer to finding out for sure… JD ]
– First published … November 27, 2015 –
The US-coalition provocations against the Syrian-Russian counter-terrorism advances have been successful only in continuing the high Syrian civilian innocent body count category by dragging the war out, but have put nothing but torpedoes into its own sinking international credibility.
We had expected to see terrorist attacks on the soft targets to be mixed in with military strikes as cover. Israel invaded Damascus’ airspace to strike a storage facility, the Hezbollah neighborhood suicide bombings followed, and then the main event which took the Sinai tourist plane down with all killed.
Russia did not take its eye off the ball in Syria, but “doubled down” by deploying its strategic bomber with big bomb payloads hammering ISIL, and both plane launched cruise missiles and more from its Mediterranean ships. ISIL began fleeing Raqqa.
Washington continued its steady flow of ridiculous press conferences, where statements like “Russia is destabilizing Syria and making a resolution more difficult” nonsense. At VT, we just shook our heads in amazement at how long the US is remaining in denial over its failed Syrian regime change disaster.
Some idiots pressed a button for the Paris terror attacks going ahead, thinking that could somehow be blamed on Russia because of its success in destroying ISIL in Sryia. That blew up in their faces, with France sending its carrier to launch ISIL air strikes alongside the Russia fleet which Putin ordered to work closely with the French.
And then came the destruction of the ISIL oil tanker fleet which the West had somehow not been able to locate for over a year, despite the huge round trip convoys delivering Syrian oil to jihadi-controlled refineries in Iraq; one more torpedo into the myth of the Western anti-terror campaign.
We suspected the tanker-crushing move would make the people who had been marketing ISIL’s oil, the Kurds and Turkey, unhappy enough to be provoked into a blunder themselves. We did not have to wait long, with the militarily-senseless shooting down of the Russian SU-24 bomber by the Turkish F-16s.
Everybody in the military and Intel command would know Turkey would never do such a provocation without clearing it with the US and NATO, as they would be dragged into it anyway. Turkey’s claim of viewing the SU-24 as “unidentified” is a clear admission of its guilt.
[ Editor’s Note: Obama was way too quick on grabbing the microphone to support Turkey when what happened was still it the initial confusion state. He could easily waited a day for “a clearer picture”, but he did not…JD ]
Turkey fumbled the ball immediately, with initial reports that they knew nothing about a shoot down. Did they expect us to believe that their radar was not working, nor the US-coalition drones or spy satellites that monitor the Syria-Iraqi battlefield 24/7?
That was followed by the Turkish ambassador claiming the planes were of unknown origin who crossed into Turkey after ten warnings over five minutes.
Obama followed that flub with a short press conference where he mumbled that “Turkey had a right to defend its airspace”, when we all know the Russian planes have plenty of ISIL targets to hunt in Syria.
We had to wonder whether Obama was getting filtered information from the Pentagon, where Ash Carter has his own growing list of incredible statements trying to smear the Russian effort for what the world has been waiting for — a real counter terrorism campaign.
Gordon Duff and I had been fearing another mini-nuke attack somewhere on a major civilian target, which would be blamed on Moscow’s “interference” in Syria, anything to upset the success momentum against ISIL.
The northern Latakia battlefield had intensified in the prior few days. The strategy seemed to reveal pushing the jihadis completely out of the mountains there and away from the Turkish border which is their only supply line for ammunition and supplies.
The Russians had been flying patrols over these areas to bomb retreating enemy convoys or supply columns coming in. This required the plane to fly in circular patterns to remain over the target area, and in this case, near the Turkish border.
The Russians have obviously been recording their air combat radar plotting maps to use for any mishaps. They showed the Russian planes flying near the border, and the Turkish planes making their attack runs south, which actually took the Turks into Syria. The claim that the Russian planes had crossed the border came as no surprise later in the day.
Erdogan even reversed himself from his statements several years ago, when a Turkish plane was shot down by Syria for a short term incursion, when he said that brief incursions should not be grounds for shooting a plane down between non-hostile nations.
The emergency NATO meeting ended in some confusion, with Secretary General Stoltenberg supporting Turkey’s side of the incident in his statement, which triggered quick leaks that a number of members had strong reservations about Turkey’s story and reported serious disagreements in their meeting.
It appears that some member countries do not like being made fools of via a staged incident and cover up. By the end of the day, Stoltenberg was backing off his earlier statements.
Other capitols were vocally suspicious that the whole incident was a Turkish provocation, desperate to tag Russia with some kind of provocation to grab some headlines.
Opposition politicians in Italy charged that Turkey was directly supporting ISIL by shooting the SU-24 bomber down. Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel described Turkey’s role as that of “an unpredictable actor”.
Modern chaos theory warfare was not just active in this Turkish shoot down provocation. The sabotaging of the main power pylons for the grid that supplied Crimea and sections of Ukraine itself was another.
Ukraine’s Nuclear power plants had to conduct emergency power-shedding operations which could have triggered an accident with their poorly maintained equipment, given Ukraine’s financial distress. Reports stated that the Right Sector would block repair crews unless given assurances that Crimea would not be hooked back up to the grid.
Washington and the EU have been silent as to who pushed the button for this new Crimean terror attack, and why now. There is just one common denominator… to attack Russia for its successful anti-terrorism campaign. We see the public in a growing list of countries becoming suspicious of their leadership’s motivations for continuing to be anti-Russian as contrived and unjustified.
None of the provocations have worked, including the plane shoot down on Tuesday. Putin’s spokesman quickly disavowed any hints of a military response.
But we did not have to wait long to get the news of Moscow breaking off military cooperation with Turkey, and deploying a missile cruiser off the Syrian-Turkish coast with the capability to shoot down any planes in the region with its long range air defense missiles.
What happens now?
Turkey used its last “freebie” by shooting the Russian plane down. There will be no Western coalition no-fly zone in northern Syria, for which some Senators and presidential candidate crazies were trying to get headlines advocating; at least not the kind they wanted.
Future “threats” to Russian forces will be dealt with by force, and I think world opinion will back this Russian stance. Another card was played on Tuesday, with the announcement that Moscow was going to provide fighter cover for all future bombing missions, something that did not get much attention.
What was missed is that it will take a lot of fighter planes to do that due to the number of sorties being flown daily. And therein lies the silver lining in this tragedy. Erdogan’s mistake in shooting the bomber down has waived the green flag for Putin to bring in enough fighter power for the Syrian coalition to initiate a no-fly zone on any uninvited airstrikes anywhere inside Syrian if attacks on Russian planes were continue.
Between the top line fighters and advanced missiles, Russia can put a defensive bubble over Syria. It does not want to do that, preferring to establish a real coalition to help do the work and share the cost. China, for example, has been invisible in all of this.
The West’s succession of bad strategy, lies, and tactical blunders is pushing world opinion toward the Russian example of leadership on the world stage. The EU is shifting away from the Russian sanctions with predictions that they will be over sometime in 2016.
Washington has burned bridges with a growing number of European citizens; it is not trusted, and for very valid reasons. Talk of anger over being treated as an occupied people is common now, with the EU as the main tool being used against its own people.
And back here in the US, we ask the same thing — is the system being used against us, where we have a ruling class whose poll numbers are close to single digits? Russia is teaching us all a lesson here. Don’t wait for the monster to come knock on your door. Go knock on his, and do unto him as he would do unto you, and save a lot of lives in the process.
Call the Turkish Embassy in your country, and let them know how you feel. And call the US Embassy and even the White House to drop a few words on them. Google calls are free.
When we buried Congress and the White House in phone calls to stop the US air attack on Syria, it worked… marvelously. We were deserving citizens when we did that, and a repeat performance is needed on a global scale now.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for VT, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”