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25 November 2015

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oofda

Pavel Felgengauer, a Russian journalist, thought to have good access to Government sources, wrote the following warning today. I think a bit too much- but he has proven to be solid journo during the past two decades.

Turkey defies Putin. We are on the brink of war

Conflict can begin in the form of air battles that can grow into a collision at sea, and forced NATO to intervene
We are on the verge of a major war in Europe, and possibly, and in the world. And this is connected with the fact that Turkey was hit by a Russian military aircraft SU-2 4.

Quite seriously, the Turks, in fact, began to establish a no-fly zone to protect Turkmens in northern Syria, and, I believe, the fall of the Su-24 - the first but not the last incident.

And, then, possible escalation. Please be dogfights between Turkey and Russian planes, later this fighting could spread to the sea, resulting in the closure of the Bosphorus, the intervention of other NATO countries, and so on.

Now in Moscow will meet the members of the Security Council, which will decide what to do next.

Peskov mentioned that Putin may raise the question of the incident during a meeting with the King of Jordan, but it has no special significance. The King of Jordan is not play a significant role. He was not leading Turkish President Erdogan, to have their own agenda, and serious Erdogan's confrontation with Russia - something acceptable. Apparently, for the Turkish military - as well.

So soon we can expect a full-fledged war in Europe.

Oren

Why doesn't Russia take Turkey to the Security Council over IS oil? Wouldn't satellite images of the trucks going over the border be enough? It seems like everyone knows this is happening, but no one wants to say it (officially).

DC

For starters, destroying more trucks would be a downpayment on the end-goal. We should also start engaging in serious backroom discussions about how or when to kick Turkey out of NATO. At some point we should give up hope that the electorate is capable (within the government as it exists) of kicking out Erdogan and his crew.

oofda

And now this from Interfax

Russia adds fighter-jet escorts to all future airstrikes in Syria

Russian bombers will be accompanied by fighter aircraft on all future combat missions in Syria, according to Russia's General Staff.

Following the loss of a Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft, Moscow has ordered a series of additional measures to strengthen its defenses in Syria. Notably, the "Mosvka" battle cruiser will begin sentry duty along the coast of Latakia, where Russia operates an airbase.

Russia has also announced the suspension of all military contacts with Turkey.

“We warn that any targets presenting any potential danger to us will be destroyed,” a representative of Russia’s General Staff said.

Matthew

Soon, I imagine. See http://sputniknews.com/russia/20151125/1030742094/pilot-su24-rescued-no-turkish-space-violation.html

Jack

Sir

Do you think our Borgistas believe the Russian involvement in Syria is like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? And that our government needs to do everything to make it expensive for Putin in terms of both lives and treasure.

I read the articles in the Daily Mail that Mr. Habakkuk pointed us to and I was struck by both the tone and content of the British middle conservative voice which was rather balanced as well as noting that the enemy were the jihadists. Contrast that with both our conservative and liberal media (Fox and CNN) who I happened to watch while at the gym yesterday. The Borg dominated with Bolton, Ollie North, Jeb all calling for more American "leadership", which they said was the establishment of no fly and safe zones and even more lethal support for the "moderate rebels". IMO the majority of the American people are completely aligned with the Borg unlike the readers of the Daily Mail in the UK who are able to cut through the propaganda dished out there. Doesn't that say something?

Alexey

Felgengauer is famous for getting only one thing right in his life - predicting Russian war with Georgia in 2008. But even there he said Georgian military will make a short work of Russian forces.

Other than that all of his predictions and analysis were ridiculously wrong. In Russia he is widely considered as clown.

Wyoming

I don't read Russian, but I have read that the link in this Facebook post says that the Russian MOD has decided to deploy S400 systems (maybe additional systems?) to Syria. Can anyone verify?

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1681154385460644&id=1492252324350852

Ryan

With all the attention focused on the SU-24 this seems to have flown under the radar, so to speak, if true.

"According to reports out of the Syrian media, Israeli warplanes launched four airstrikes against a Hezbollah base in western Syria, along the Lebanon border, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens of others.

The report identified the slain as eight Hezbollah fighters and five Syrian soldiers. No reason was given for the attack and, as with several previous Israeli attacks on Syria, there has been no formal statement from the Israeli military confirming the incident, let alone explaining it."

More...

http://news.antiwar.com/2015/11/24/report-israeli-airstrikes-kill-13-along-syria-lebanon-border/
==============

Two questions come to mind. One, did this happened before the shot down of the Sukoi and two, are the Israelis and the Turks in bed together again after their spat over the MV Mavi Marmara boarding.

The actions of Erodogan remind one of the Austro-Hungarian empire in July, 1914 by his recklessness.

robt willmann

More bull***t from the Turkey government. Yesterday they first said that they had no idea which country the airplane was associated with. I suppose they knew by mental telepathy which language to use to warn the pilot for 5 minutes to get out of their airspace; was it English (for U.S. pilots)? French? Arabic? Russian?

And then the story is that, well, the plane was in its airspace for 17 seconds. I do not know what the stall speed is of the Russian plane, but since it is probably pretty heavy, the stall speed is not low. Let us say the Russian pilot was flying 20 miles per hour above the plane's stall speed. How far would he go in 5 minutes? Meanwhile, Turkey is warning the plane for 5 minutes to get out of its airspace when the plane is in the airspace for 17 seconds. Wow...time-traveling backwards. But if they were not warning the plane for 5 minutes, someone must be jabbering pretty fast to warn someone 10 times in 17 seconds to get out of the airspace! And so on.

jld

If you want a "semi offical" Russian position why don't you read
RT https://www.rt.com/ or Tass http://tass.ru/en
No language problems there, BTW the S400 is also announced here.

Valissa

This article is a year old, though I only came across it today in search. It contains a large number of news links which all give evidence to Turkey's support of Daesh... oil and much more.

Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950.html
Is Turkey collaborating with the Islamic State (ISIS)? … Columbia University's Program on Peace-building and Rights assigned a team of researchers in the United States, Europe, and Turkey to examine Turkish and international media, assessing the credibility of allegations. This report draws on a variety of international sources -- The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, as well as Turkish sources, CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal among others.
----------------

Given all these "known knowns" it is quite obvious that the US and NATO have been aware of Turkey’s activities supporting Daesh for some time. Seems clearer and clearer the lacklusterness of the US bombing campaign must have had much to do Turkey.

Why does NATO let Turkey get away with all this? Is Turkey getting any scolding behind the scenes at NATO meetings or in meetings with the US? Because if everyone is ignoring what Turkey is doing, they are all complicit in supporting ISIS even if that is not intentional.

Therefore it's no surprise that there are more and more articles & posts at online news sources around the world accusing the US of supporting ISIS (even creating it). Death from involuntary manslaughter (Borgian collective ineptness) is no less deadly. Is there any way to untie this gordian knot?

confusedponderer

Ryan,
IMO Israel is just being opportunistically reckless.

The Turks shooting down the Su-24 appears to be coincidental.

David Habakkuk

All,

While there are currently only 73 comments on the CBS report – not enough on which to base any strong conclusions – I do note that the same acute suspicion of Turkey and scepticism one finds in Britain are apparent, even in much more muted form.

From the top rated comment: 'It's pretty pathetic when a NATO ally, a muslim country, is itching for a superpower conflict and you have to look to Russia for a reasonable deescalating response.'

Someone might perhaps point out to Obama that his comments about the Russian priority being to attack 'the moderate opposition that might be future members of an inclusive Syrian government' are being read against the background of the videos from the incident.

The sight of insurgents machine-gunning the Russian pilots as they parachuted down, the chants of 'Allahu Akbar' next to the dead pilot, and the American-made TOW missile attacking the Russian helicopter, are hardly such as to convince people that those involved might be 'future members of an inclusive Syrian government'.

The only possible response would seem to be that which has been – apparently erroneously – attributed to Mark Twain: 'Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.'

And it seems to me that recent events are pushing more and more people to the suspicion that, while the 'front men' may appear 'imbeciles', behind them are 'smart people who are putting us on.' My own view is that this is largely wrong, but it is important to try to be clear about perceptions.

If the collapse of the credibility of Western leaders here was evident in the comments on the 'MailOnline' site to which I linked yesterday, it is even more apparent in those on their report of the rescue of the second pilot from the Su-24.

The second 'best-rated' comment says that the Russians 'are attacking a group that the whole world is meant to be against! It just shows you! That not everyone wants Isis destroyed.' (Currently, 3,123 approvals, 219 disapprovals.)

That makes the underlying uncertainty and anxiety clear: People do not seem to be doing all they can to fight the 'Islamic State' – why is this?

Slightly further down on the list of 'best rated' comments: 'Good to know one has made it out! Salute to you sir! And the lads who helped him.' (2182 approvals, 34 disapprovals.) And then there is: 'Praise be to God for the rescue of this heroic pilot by very brave and skilled men! Rest in peace to his two comrades in arms murdered yesterday.' (1460 approvals, 60 disapprovals.)

There is, I think, only one way to read this: Putin and his people, unlike our leaders, really do want these people destroyed. Whatever their faults, they are not lying mendacious toerags, such as we increasingly suspect our leaders to be. Their soldiers are fighting the good fight, and deserve honour for doing so.

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3333117/Downed-Russian-pilot-picked-Syrian-army-envoy.html#comments)

And the growing suspicion that Western leaders are not really serious about fighting the 'Islamic State', and the uncertainty about how this is to be explained, is not simply found in comments on the 'Mail Online' site.

Yesterday, a discussion was also going on the 'Financial Times' site of an article by their chief foreign affairs commentator, Gideon Rachman, entitled 'A case for rapprochement with Russia.' The article was itself interesting, in that it represented a significant move away from the neo-con 'high horse' on which Rachman had traditionally ridden.

The top-rated commenter, calling himself 'LostForWords', picked up his repetition of the familiar claim that 'Mr Assad’s brutality has served as a rallying cry for Sunni Arabs and helped the jihadi cause'. He responded:

'How much longer are you going to peddle this pathetic lie. The jihadis were sent to Syria by the jihadis' State Department backers, and for the same reason they were sent to Libya, - to destabilise a country that that has long been marked for "regime-change" by the neo-cons. Assad's "brutality", like Gadaffi's, was merely the reaction that was planned ahead of the insurgence, so that he could be blamed for attacking his own people. If you can't tell the truth, it's better not to print anything.'

(See https://next.ft.com/content/2c99affa-91c6-11e5-94e6-c5413829caa5#comments . m Unfortunately, the article is behind a subscription wall, and registering only gets one 3 articles a month, so for most people it's not worth the bother.)

Now one is not dealing here with a mass audience: there are 30 recommendations, rather than more than 23,000 – the current level for the 'Mail' report to which I linked. But the way that the basically 'Borgista' line of the 'FT' has progressively lost credibility with commenters – and at some points is beginning to waver – really is startling. The contrast to a year ago is dramatic.

The critical point that the 'MailOnline' and 'FT' comments have in common, however, is that they indicate a developing suspicion that the apparent lack of seriousness of the powers that be in the West about combating the 'Islamic State' indicates that they do may not really want it defeated – and may have been strongly complicit in its creation.

I am feeling my way here, but there are indications that, if Western élites do not wise up, a perception of them as being in hoc to essentially alien political agendas – in particular a bizarre alliance of Sunni Wahabist and Zionist – for whom terrorism is a useful tool and the odd hundred dead in the Bataclan collateral damage may gain quite widespread currency. The potential political implications are explosive.

Alexey

He (Shoigu) also stated that ”according to the decision of Commander in Chief S-400 system will be send to Hmeymim airfield for anti-aircraft protection from all directions”.

Он также заявил о том, что «по решению Верховного Главнокомандующего на авиабазу «Хмеймим» в Сирии для обеспечения противовоздушной обороны на всех направлениях будет переброшена зенитная ракетная система С-400».

Booby

The Russians & the Turks have danced for centuries. I assume that they know each others steps well. But with this event the Turks have change the music from a waltz to a tango & are trying to get a 3d party onto the dance floor. I do not have faith that the Borg have the nimble feet needed not to get their feet stepped on. I fear that the Borg will simply clog & step on toes.

If reports of the S-400 are true & it would be a sensible move, the tempo of the dance will increase. Aircraft well into Turkey could be tracked & targeted. ECM warning whistles & lights will be filling cockpits. The Izzies will not be happy with the presence of a system that can track & target aircraft over Israel.

If you sow the wind, you inherit the whirlwind. May you live in interesting times.

eakens

The more I read, it appears to me that the surviving pilot was not part of the plan, and it could have very well been Turkey's plan to have both pilots, and their recovery crews taken out.

Russia is a member of the security council. Russia has the ability to inflict pain over Turkey in many more ways than just militarily. Economically, in the event of a war, Russia's seat on the security council allows it to essentially control Turkey's ability to control commercial transport of its major waterways during a official war.

confusedponderer

Pat,
"They thought they could do this and then hide behind NATO's nuclear shield?"

That's pretty much what Kujat said when he said that that Turkey is trying to drag NATO into a Syrian war for its own parochial interests, and he said that in 2014. Full quote:

“Turkey basically wants to drag NATO into this situation because the actual goal of Turkey is to neutralize Assad. And if a war broke out in Syria, then Turkey would of course take the opportunity. But alone it’s too weak for that. That’s the situation we are currently in. And therefore ISIS’s actions and what’s happening to the Kurds are subsidiary. It isn’t in accordance with Turkey’s geostrategic goals.

And it has to be clearly said that an ally who behaves like this doesn’t deserve the protection of this alliance, an ally who doesn’t intervene for protection in a such tragic situation doesn’t deserve protection himself. And that’s why I am very skeptical towards the mutual defense clause. Even if Turkey would provoke it, I doubt that NATO would be willing to declare the mutual defense clause in such a situation.” – General Harald Kujat.

Kujat headed NATO's Military Committee from 2002 to 2005. He is in the loop. The other NATO states are probably well aware of what Erdogan is up to.

Kujat recommended that Germany withdraw it's Patriot's from Syria - and why not given the pretty obvious absence of an air threat by Syria towards Turkey. They were there for no other reason but to obstruct the Syrian air force and not to defend Turkey's airspace. Why help them aiding Jihadis?

The shootdown underlines the reasonableness of this step.

The Turks prove themselves perfectly able to get themselves a crisis - now, thankfully, without compromising allies in the process.

Turkey hiding behind NATO indeed.

And just wait, the Ukies, if they ever - heaven forbid - make it into NATO will be just as bad or worse.

bell

just another play card russia is saving for later..

Chris Chuba

Besides being his usual obnoxious self, Obama made a somewhat chilling comment in the aftermath of the Turkey's attack. After laughing at how Russia is part of a 'coalition of two, Russia and Iran', he said that even without Russia's help they can defeat ISIS.

Brrrh... I got a chill from that comment. Since Obama just finished talking to President Hollande, is Obama now scuttling the peace timeline and still pushing the idea of a U.S. only coalition?
The danger in this proposal is that even Obama must now realizes that ground troops are needed to defeat 'ISIL' in Syria. With the Russians backing Assad the only available ground troops would be Turkey's. If Obama is trying to convince Hollande to support a Turkish seizure of Syria's border then this would disastrous and guarantee the survival of ISIS; especially if Putin is not anticipating this. Can Obama be this stupid and/or egotistical?

BTW at this point, I hope that Putin has a plan to make a Turkish invasion of Syria VERY expensive (nothing against any Turkish readers here, I just hate Erdogan and ISIS, not Turkish people). I would think that massed Turkish troops would be susceptible to Russia's long range bombers and their long range fighter escorts. Putin would justify this to protect Syria's sovereignty rather than an act of revenge and I believe this would be his mindset anyway.

Any thoughts on whether or not I am reading too much into Obama's words or a Turkish incursion scenario would be appreciated.

bell

i thought b's summary today especially good. he left a link for a zaman commentary also from today, which is very insightful.. http://tinyurl.com/ocg26fe

David Habakkuk

oofda, alexey,

An interesting document released by 'WikiLeaks' was a January 2009 assessment of Felgenhauer's credibility by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

A favourite paragraph reports the view of Dmitri Trenin on the one thing Felgenhauer got right – his prediction of the Georgian war:

'Carnegie Center Director Dmitriy Trenin barked "humbug" when asked whether Felgenhauer was an astute analyst. Calling him "vain" and "grandiose," Trenin said Felgenhauer conflated Russian preparations for war with an intent to go to war. A trigger was required, he stressed, and Saakashvili delivered it on August 7-8.'

(See https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09MOSCOW224_a.html .)

Haralambos

This is an interesting bit of speculation: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/11/24/turkey-has-destroyed-russias-delusion-of-western-cooperation-paul-craig-roberts/

I use the term "speculation," because I have heard and read a bit about the Russian technology mentioned, but I am unable to verify its accuracy.

This is Roberts' update:

UPDATE: A friend, George Abert, suggested a reason why the Turks shot down the Russian fighter-bomber over Syria. The Russians have a technology that they recently demonstrated against the newest US missile cruiser and Israel’s US jet fighters. The technology shuts down the communication systems of hostile forces, leaving them blind. He wonders if the Russian aircraft was shot down in order to encourage the Russians to use its unknown technology whenever Russian aircraft are in the vicinity of NATO and Israeli aircraft. He bets that the US has sent every Raven and ELINT specialist to the area in hopes that Russia’s use of the technology will allow them to learn enough about the system to duplicate it or learn how to block it.

The Beaver

Colonel,

Someone who is going to get Bibi's BP up:

http://www.challenges.fr/france/20151125.CHA1953/contre-l-etat-islamique-francois-fillon-appelle-a-soutenir-le-hezbollah.html

Former French PM : "L'ancien Premier ministre François Fillon prône une "coalition mondiale" qui soutiendrait "les seules forces au sol qui combattent réellement l'Etat islamique", citant Kurdes, Hezbollah, armées syrienne et irakienne mais pas l'armée syrienne libre (ASL) soutenue par les Occidentaux."

David Habakkuk

Jack,

See my update on comments on articles in the 'Mail' and elsewhere below.

How far the U.S. and British situations are different is a matter which perplexes me. However, I would note that the radical change here has been developing over a period of time, and only became really apparent quite recently.

In certain circumstance, perceptions can change, very rapidly. While I am not greatly inclined to be optimistic, it could be that 'the Borg' is more vulnerable than might be immediately apparent, on both sides of the Atlantic.

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