2015 December 12 Saturday
Turkey Set Up Ambush For Russian Bombers?

Defense analyst Pierre Sprey, who was on the team which originally designed the F-16, lays out his reasoning for why he thinks the Turkish government plotted to take down a Russian bomber.

What is Erdogan's motive? Did Erdogan do this to shore up popular support by whipping up nationalist sentiment? That's probably part of it.

But another reason could be that Russia's bombers are disrupting supplies to ISIS that flow across the Turkish border with Syria in the area where the bomber was shot down. Read claims that Turkey allows supplies to flow to ISIS. Here is a fairly detailed list of allegations of different ways Turkey supplies ISIS (same here).

I still do not see an end game for the war in Syria. The Kurds are the most competent opposition to ISIS. But the Kurds are not eager to fight ISIS on territory which does not contain Kurdish villages. So the Kurds will advance only so far and stop. The Kurds won't try to close all Syrian border crossings with Turkey because Turks threaten to step in and stop them if they try.

Within the US many commentators about the Syria conflict quoted in the mass media have financial (and ethnic) interest that do not get reported along with their commentary. The various nations intervening in Syria also have a large assortment of interests in the Syria conflict. Turkey's interests are most complex with financial, religious, and ethnic interests at stake.

I see some interesting lessons from the Syria conflict:

  • Russia is the biggest (only?) defender of Christians in the Middle East. The United States shows no interest in their plight and US policies make Christians in the Middle East far worse off.
  • Kurdish nationalism is getting strengthened by events in Syria even more strongly than by events in Iraq. The Kurds have come back from near defeat in Kobani to carve out the Rojava region and have created a somewhat secular society, quite modern by Middle Eastern standards. Unfortunately, the Kurds aren't sufficiently numerous and able to make this into a large shift in the nature of Middle Eastern societies. Good for them but so what.
  • Angela Merkel really is bat shit crazy. Just from her response to the immigration surge from the Middle East and Africa that's obvious. But Merkel picks now to restart Turkey EU membership talks. Considering Turkey's role in Syria that's way crazy.
  • There are many conflicting interests in the Middle East and lots of countries are willing to use one country as a battle ground to fight over their conflicting interests.
  • Nothing is learned because faith in the West's secular religion among its elites is still unquestioned. Elites of Western countries have learned nothing so far about the threats to the sustainability of liberalism in Western countries, let alone learn why global liberal manifest destiny isn't in the cards.

Since moderate opposition continues to be an oxymoron in the Middle East and the West's elites are still in thrall to their secular religion the West lacks a coherent policy for the region.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 December 12 09:15 AM 

Jim said at December 12, 2015 8:59 PM:

Isn't getting involved in all these Middle Eastern conflicts a lot of fun? Thank God we didn't take George Marshall's advice not to become involved in them. The Japanese must really regret not getting in on the fun. The poor Japanese young men will not get to experience the thrill of having their legs blown off in some Middle Eastern hell-hole.

Stephen said at December 12, 2015 10:29 PM:

Turkey runs its hand lovingly across a dusty Ottoman map and dreams of empire.

Don't trust the western propaganda that has mysteriously appeared about the plucky Kurds with their liberal values. They've never managed to cooperate with each other for longer than an hour or two before the ancient family feuds reignite. There's a reason why they don't have a country.

Colmner said at December 18, 2015 3:14 PM:

"Russia is the biggest (only?) defender of Christians in the Middle East. The United States shows no interest in their plight and US policies make Christians in the Middle East far worse off."

Good one. Since when has the United States shown interest in any value, ideology or human right at any war anywhere? It's Capitalism baby. Money, it's all there is of interest for the US, conveniently disguised of course by the almighty media as honor, just cause, endless justice, -or was it infinite?- freedom, fast & furious, etc.

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