Sultan Erdogan's War on...Russia
By Pepe Escobar
November 25, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Sputnik"
- Let's cut to the
chase. The notion that Turkey's downing of a Russian Su-24 by a made
in USA F-16 was carried out without either a green light or at least
pre-arranged "support" from Washington invites suspension of
Turkey is a mere vassal state, the eastern arm
of NATO, which is the European arm of the Pentagon. The Pentagon
already issued a denial — which, considering their spectacular
record of strategic failures cannot be taken at face value.
Plausibly, this might have been a power play by the neocon
generals who run the Pentagon, allied with the neocon-infested
The Su-24s posed absolutely no threat to Turkey.
Turkish UN Ambassador Halit Cevik's letter to the Security Council
is a joke; two Russian jets "warned 10 times in five minutes"
to change direction, both flying "more than a mile" into Turkey
for an interminable 17 seconds. The whole thing has already been
amply debunked. Not to mention that Turkish — and NATO — planes
"violate" the Syrian border all the time.
scenario though is of a vassal Turkey led by Sultan Erdogan
risking a suicide mission out of its own, current, desperation.
Here's Erdogan's warped reasoning in a
nutshell. The Paris tragedy was a huge setback. France started
discussing close military collaboration not within NATO,
but with Russia. Washington's unstated aim was always to get
NATO inside Syria. By having Turkey/NATO — clumsily,
inside Syrian territory — attacking Russia, and provoking a
harsh Russian response, Erdogan thought he could seduce NATO
into Syria, under the pretext (Article 5) of defending Turkey.
As Bay-of-Pigs dangerous as this may be, it
has nothing to do with WWIII — as apocalyptic purveyors are
braying. It revolves around whether a state which
supports/finances/weaponizes the Salafi-jihadi nebulae is
allowed to destroy the Russian jets that are turning its
profitable assets into ashes.
Married to the (Erdogan) Mob
President Putin nailed it; it was "a shot
in the back". Because all evidence is pointing
towards an ambush: the F-16s might have been actually
waiting for the Su-24s. With Turkish TV cameras available
for maximum global impact.
Two Su-24s were getting
ready to strike a bunch of "moderate rebels". Ankara says they
were Turkmen — which the Turks finance and weaponize. But there
is just a small bunch of Turkmen in northern Syria.
The Su-24s were actually after Chechens and
Uzbeks — plus a few Uyghurs — smuggled in with fake Turkish
passports (Chinese intel is also on it), all of these operating
in tandem with a nasty bunch of Turkish Islamo-fascists. Most
of these goons transit back and forth between the CIA-weaponized
Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Jabhat al-Nusra. These were the goons
who machine-gunned the Russian pilots as they parachuted
down after the hit on the Su-24.
Erdogan well knows how US neocons were livid
with French President Francois Hollande after his "it's war" cry was
followed by a drive to work together with Russia against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
So the real target was not a Su-24, but the
evolving possibility, after the Paris attacks, of a real coalition —
the US, Britain and France on one side, the "4+1" (Russia, Syria,
Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah) on the other side — finally converging
their interests into a unified fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
Where would that leave Ankara, which for years has
invested heavily in the Salafi-jihadi nebulae, from Jabhat al-Nusra
to Ahrar al-Sham and myriad other outfits, culminating with aiding
and abetting and even funding ISIS/ISIL/Daesh?
Turkey, for all practical
purposes, has been a handy, sprawling Salafi-jihadi Infrastructure
and Logistics Center; it offers everything from porous borders
enabling countless jihadi return tickets from Syria to Europe,
facilitated by corrupt police, to a convenient crossroads for all
kinds of smuggling and a hefty money laundering ops.
So Ankara, with a missile, thought it might
completely change the narrative.
Hardly. Just follow the money. Even in the US and
Europe the Turkish game is becoming increasingly transparent. A
research paper at Columbia University details at least a
fraction of the multiple instances of collusion between Turkey and
Bilal Erdogan, the Sultan's son, is a major
profiteer of illegal trading of stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil. Imagine
his terror after Putin revealed to G-20 leaders in Antalya — Turkish
territory! — how Russian intel has identified most of the
mobster maze of connections pointing directly to ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
Imagine mobster/Turkish commodity dealer sentiment
at the prospect of losing their cut with the impossibility of buying
Syrian stolen oil to the tune of $50 million a month. After all the
Russian Air Force had already destroyed oil farms, refineries and
most of all over 1,000 tanker trucks — and counting; imagine the
prospect of losing all the oil flow, the money flow, a Smugglers
Inc. scattered in the desert with no place to go.
And we Also Do Extortion
NATO command may be stand-up comic material — just
watch Dr. Strangelove's Greatest Hits, as in Gen. Philip Breedlove
and his "Russian aggression" meme. But the generals are not foolish.
NATO won't go to war with Russia over a mere vassal. And Russia
won't provide NATO with a pretext for war.
In the Big Power Politics arena, certainly now we
do have the post-modern return of the historic tension between the
Russian and Ottoman empires. But that will play over time, slowly.
The Russian direct response will be cold, calculated, extensive,
swift — and most of all unexpected. No response would imply a carte
blanche for "moderate rebels" to be weaponized in Syria ad
What's certain is that Russia will turbo-charge
the bombing of all ISIS/ISIL/Daesh supply corridors from Turkey
into northern Syria, as well as the stolen oil smuggling routes
from northern Syria into Turkey.
Russia can play with so many options to increase the
pressure. For instance, S-300 and S-400 air defense systems covering
the Turkish-Syrian border. That would be part of a Russian no-fly
zone in Syria, approved by Damascus, for any jet daring to fly
without explicit permission from the government. The Sultan wouldn't
dare "violate" this airspace.
Erdogan's desperate gambit reveals that the last
thing Ankara wants is a Vienna-conducted peace process in Syria.
"Assad must go" is non-negotiable — for an array of geopolitical
reasons (neo-Ottomanism), political (the need for a Sunni-dominated,
pliant, Syrian satrapy) and economic (the proposed Qatar gas
pipeline traversing Syria all the way to Turkey.)
And the whole thing is
about to get hotter. Not only a Turkish mobster maze is aiding,
abetting and profiting handsomely from doing business with ISIS/ISIL/Daesh
and other exponents of Jihad Inc.; Ankara itself is in the extortion
business. And the willing "victim" is — who else — Europe.
German chancellor Angela Merkel had to go
to Ankara to kiss the Sultan's feet so she may be able to "save" her
refugee policy. Erdogan came up with the proverbial offer you can't
refuse. You want me to hold the refugees here? Just give me 3
billion euros. Unfreeze Turkey's accession dossier to the EU (guess
who's the top nation against it: France). And let me have my "safe
zone" in the Turkish-Syria border.
Incredible as it may seem, Europe gave in. The
European Commission (EC) has just given Erdogan the 3 billion euros.
He starts getting the cash on January 1, 2016. The official spin is
these funds are part of the "efforts to solve the migrant crisis."
European Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans glowingly
framed the so-called Turkey Refugee Facility as "providing support
to further improve the daily lives and socio-economic conditions
of Syrians seeking refuge in Turkey."
Don't expect the EC to monitor how the cash will
vanish in the mobster maze — or will be used to further weaponize
Erdogan does not give a damn about refugees. What
he wants is his "safe zone", not in Turkey, but 35 km deep
in northern Syria, out of bounds for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA),
militias under Iranian command, Hezbollah forces and most of all the
Russian Air Force. He wants his no-fly zone and he wants NATO to get
it for him.
Erdogan is on a mission from Allah — at least his
version of Allah. The downing of the Su-24 is just the preamble. Get
ready, because 2016 promises an even bigger bang.
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