This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

That Stab In The Back

"Today's loss was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists. Our pilots and our aircraft never threatened the territory of Turkey."
"We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today."
"If ISIL has such money, and we're talking about tens, hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars from oil revenues, plus protection from the armed forces of an entire country [Turkey presumably], then it is understandable why they are so audacious, so blatant, why they murder people in the most horrendous ways, why they carry out terrorist attacks across the world including in the heart of Europe."
Russian President Vladimir Putin

A Russian Su-24 front-line bomber jet takes off at Latakia airport, Syria. © Dmitriy Vinogradov
"I have previously expressed my concerns about the implications of the military actions of the Russian Federation close to NATO borders."
"As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey, and support the territorial integrity of our NATO ally Turkey."
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general
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"When I found out [about the Russian warplane shot down by Turkey] I was very grateful. I had asked God to destroy these Russian planes. They are bombing Syrian civilians, killing children, every day."
Abu Ibrahim, Turkoman Syrian border resident
Well, there it is, Vladimir Putin spitting mad at the fact that a trading partner, a regional sometimes-ally, an energy-dependent country representing the gateway of the Middle East to Europe, has spurned their common history to submit to a tactic that smacks of vengeance. In other words, counterfeited Moscow's own tactics, for doesn't Mr. Putin remind the Baltic countries that shrink in fear of his volatile nature that should they not take care to treat their ethnic Russian citizens with tender care, Russian troops will take care of them, as has been done in Georgia and Ukraine?

This is just the equally calculating and volatile Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looking after Turkey's ethnic brethren who live across the border in Syria and who have been the targets among other rebel Sunni groups of their bloody tyrant, the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. That Mr. Putin chose, in his manipulative wisdom to back and protect the Syrian regime against its Syrian rebels has infuriated Mr. Erdogan just as much as Mr. Putin is infuriated over the downing of the Sukhoi-24 jet.

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Presumably, Mr. Erdogan is also aware of the now-fragile nature of his country's economy, with Russian tourists no longer a dependable source of national income. And that an onerous increase in charges for gas and oil from Russia will become a reality. The same for Russian wheat imports. That, at the very least; a smarting Kremlin may yet seek other punitive measures to ensure that their erstwhile ally becomes very, very cognizant of just how seriously Moscow takes this incautious move by Turkey.

Two Russians dead, after all, one of the warplane's pilots, and a Russian marine from a helicopter tasked to search for the two bailed-out pilots, both of whom were shot at by the Turkic rebels in retaliation for the obvious fact that the warship was targeting them. As for NATO members 'standing in solidarity' with quick-off-the-trigger Erdogan, perhaps not quite in solidarity, since a more measured response would appear to have been warranted; say for example, Turkish planes escorting the Russian plane out of Turkish airspace.

On the other hand, Moscow's gross impertinence on so many occasions in the past few years -- including a Russian submarine spotted off the coast of Ireland recently that Britain is asking member-countries of NATO to help them track -- appears to have come home to haunt it. Russian planes buzzing NATO allies, flying into national airspaces, sending warships to closely monitor other nations' activities, and for reasons that owe much to belligerent mischief challenging the targets to 'do something about it'.

Well, no Western alliance or single nation has 'done anything about it', from Moscow's decision to challenge Georgia for two of its provinces, and later with arrogant confidence, capturing the Crimean Peninsula into the Russian Federation, thumbing its nose at the outrage of the international community. On this occasion, Mr. Putin effects a stance of outraged disbelief that an ally would attack a Russian jet in the process of attacking Islamic State.

When in fact, the attacking jets were nowhere near ISIL targets, focusing as they mostly do on the Western-backed, trained and equipped Syrian Sunni rebels in the interests of protecting their stake in Syria through both the deep-water port and the airfield they've sequestered, and to ensure they have those sites covered, the protection of the Alawite Shiite regime is a requirement. Just incidentally making common cause with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the foremost supporter of terrorist jihadi groups in the world today.

The unfolding crisis ensured that an emergency NATO meeting was paramount, as well as a United Nations Security Council meeting to ponder this new twist in the most gruesomely bloody conflicts now wracking the Middle East impacting on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and lesser conflicts in Yemen and Libya. Persian Shiite Iran on one hand, has its fingers in all of those pies, and Islamic State is the proxy response of the surrounding Arab Sunni countries.

That Russia has another stake in the ISIL menace is clear from the many Chechens that have joined their ranks, along with Salafist Muslims from Dagastan, Russia. The widespread geographic region from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, the numerous 'Stans, North Africa, the Middle East and Russia itself is heavy with menace and doom. And ordinary civilian Muslims are caught in the maw of an ideological-religious-political chimera that is slowly destroying their lives.

In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, men attend a Friday prayer at the mosque on Kotrova street in Dagestan's regional capital Makhachkala, Russia. (Sergei Grits/AP)
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, men attend a Friday prayer at the mosque on Kotrova street in Dagestan's regional capital Makhachkala, Russia. (Sergei Grits/AP)

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