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Are we on the brink of war?

Nov 27, 2015

Today is Black Friday. The name has nothing to do with race relations, nor is it a national holiday for black folks. It is not even a day to be remembered for a stock market crash, as is Black Monday. It got its name from the fact that those companies who were operating “in the red” (i.e., losing money) in past months would now be able to operate “in the black.” In other words, they would begin to make money during the Christmas holiday season.

I just thought you should know why you must battle traffic today.

Now on to the developments in Syria and how it affects the world. Russia surprised the West on September 30 by launching air strikes against ISIS in Syria. Worse yet, they also bombed more moderate terrorists which were friends of the US government, friends, which we were setting up to take the place of President Assad, who refused to accept the “regime change” that the US had demanded.

The overthrow of Syria was supposed to be the kingpin of the so-called “Arab Spring,” a policy that General Wesley Clark reported to be conceived in the Pentagon. It was a policy of overthrowing secular Arab governments and replacing them with Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups. This policy called for American support of demonstrations against the government, and then when violence broke out, the US government would call for regime change.

Of course, few in the news media asked where the US got its right to overthrow those countries or to demand that a sitting president be overthrown as a condition of peace. What has happened is that US hegemony is coming to the surface, whereas in the past the news media hid it from the public. The US government has long given itself the right to choose leaders of foreign countries—or depose them—if they were within US hegemony. That is the nature of the US Empire.

This policy worked in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some say it failed, but that depends on what the goal was. If the goal was to create instability, then it was a smashing success. If the goal was to create al-Quaeda, it worked beautifully. Next came Tunisia and Egypt. Egypt got its Muslim Brotherhood, as the US government wanted, but the Egyptians themselves rose up and cast them out. Uncle Sam frowned and browbeat the new government, but others came to their assistance, and now Egypt has largely spun out of the US Empire and into the Russian sphere of influence.

Libya was next on the hit list, because President Khaddafi was trying to become independent. So we backed rebels and used them to overthrow and kill him. The 144 tons of gold that Libya had been storing in London was then stolen simply by saying, “We won’t return it until all of our conditions are met.” As if such a decision was theirs to make. The fallout from this violence sent thousands of Muslim extremists south to Mali and Nigeria, where they formed their own military movements.

Then came Syria. When Russia refused to stop backing President Assad, the US put pressure on Russia by overthrowing Ukraine and replacing its government with an oligarch that would work with the US government. Then they stole the 33 tons of gold and shipped it to the US Fed for “safekeeping.” Apparently, they needed it to start repaying the gold that Germany wanted back. The problem was that the US government has no more gold, since all their gold was stolen by the US oligarchs long ago. But no problem. As long as it exists in theory, the paper economy goes on as usual.

Meanwhile, Russia again took steps to protect itself by annexing the Crimea and by threatening Kiev with an insurgency in Eastern Ukraine. In other words, Russia fought back in kind, having their own interests which contradicted US interests.


So the US decided to ramp up its Syrian policy to overthrow Russia’s ally in the region. The CIA began to train its favorite terrorists, hired to overthrow Assad. Russia countered by setting up (or expanding) a military air base in Latakia on the coast of Syria. Then on September 30 they began to bomb all terrorists, including the “good” terrorists that were backed by the US government.

While Russia has a legitimate reason to be in Syria, being invited there by the president of Syria, the US does not. The US is again assuming a right that it does not have (legally). Who gave the US the right to overthrow an existing foreign government? The US has committed acts of war with no provocation on the excuse of establishing “human rights.” But US policy has only succeeded in causing the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians along with Islamist terrorist groups that do not like Assad’s secular government—or the fact that he has protected Christians there.

Turkey Shoots Down a Russian Bomber

On November 24 Turkey shot down a Russian bomber. The bomber crashed in Syria, but Turkey claims this took place over their territory. The Turkish and Russian versions of the event are quite different. Even reports of the flight path are different. But both agree that the plane crashed in Syrian territory.

The Turkish version says that the Russian plane spent a total of 17 seconds over a tiny piece of Turkish territory.

Why was Turkey so angry with Russia that they would risk starting World War III? Russia believes that someone was indeed deliberately trying to provoke a war, so they are not planning to comply. Cooler heads prevail in Russia. Yet there will be consequences. Trade relations between Turkey and Russia are now ending. Russia is now contemplating whether or not it should shoot down a Turkish plane when it violates Syrian air space. Turkish planes regularly “bomb ISIS” in Syria.

In other words, if Turkey is justified by shooting down a Russian plane for violating its air space, then is Russia not justified in shooting down a Turkish plane for violating Syrian air space? This is the present situation.

As a member of NATO, Turkey has been supporting ISIS wherever possible. It appears that the US is using Turkey, because the Turkish president does not like the Syrian president. Perhaps the US is enticing Turkey with a promise to give them Syrian territory, so that a new Ottoman Empire might begin to emerge. The old Ottoman Empire broke up in the wake of World War I.

The US government surely knows that the good terrorists it is backing in Syria are in no way capable of establishing a stable government, even if they should succeed in overthrowing president Assad. These “rebels” are too fanatical to work with rival groups. If any one of them should come to power, the country would remain forever in a civil war. No one could fill the power vacuum and take the place of Assad. So this would be a perfect excuse for Turkey to step in and take over Syria on the pretext of stopping the violence and other “humanitarian” concerns.

Meanwhile, the Russians have disrupted the US-Turkey alliance, and they have done so legally—that is, with the full consent of the Syrian president. Their campaign against ISIS and the other good terrorists has been very effective. The terrorists are now on the run, and they are running to Europe and America, where they can find safe haven.

Turkey vs. Kurds

The Kurds lost their nation a long time ago. Their main territory is divided between Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. The Kurds want their own independent nation, of course, and have been fighting Turkey for a long time. Turkey considers them to be terrorists. But the Kurds have been the most effective fighting force against ISIS in the past few years, mostly because ISIS is their greatest threat.

How could Isis be eliminated? In the region, everyone knows. All it would really take would be to unleash the largely Kurdish forces of the YPG (Democratic Union party) in Syria, and PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ party) guerillas in Iraq and Turkey. These are, currently, the main forces actually fighting Isis on the ground. They have proved extraordinarily militarily effective and oppose every aspect of Isis’s reactionary ideology.

But instead, YPG-controlled territory in Syria finds itself placed under a total embargo by Turkey, and PKK forces are under continual bombardment by the Turkish air force. Not only has Erdoğan done almost everything he can to cripple the forces actually fighting Isis; there is considerable evidence that his government has been at least tacitly aiding Isis itself.


Remember last summer when the Kurds came to the aid of Kobani, a city held by ISIS near the Turkish border? After a long and bloody battle, Kobani was liberated from ISIS. The above article continues:

Back in August, the YPG, fresh from their victories in Kobani and Gire Spi, were poised to seize Jarablus, the last Isis-held town on the Turkish border that the terror organisation had been using to resupply its capital in Raqqa with weapons, materials, and recruits – Isis supply lines pass directly through Turkey.

Commentators predicted that with Jarablus gone, Raqqa would soon follow.Erdoğan reacted by declaring Jarablus a “red line”: if the Kurds attacked, his forces would intervene militarily – against the YPG. So Jarablus remains in terrorist hands to this day, under de facto Turkish military protection.

If it were not for Turkey, backed by the US and by NATO, it is doubtful if ISIS would even exist. Certainly, they would not be able to sell any oil from the oilfields that they captured from Iraq and Syria. ISIS would have no funding if it were not for Turkey.

The real story, then, is Turkey’s war against the Kurds, which is done to protect ISIS. On November 25, Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish positions in northern Iraq.

Turkish jets reportedly intruded into Iraqi airspace without warning in a fresh tide of airstrikes against Kurdish PKK fighters’ bases, local news reported Wednesday.

Several bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant organization were hit during air raids by Turkish air forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, local news outlet Rudaw reported on Wednesday.


This raises two questions: First, why is this not being reported in the major news media? Why only “local news”? Secondly, how is it that Turkey can violate the air space of Iraq with impunity? The double standard is absurd. How can Turkey claim righteousness in downing a Russian plane for violating its air space for 17 seconds, when it regularly violates the air space of both Syria and Iraq?

No doubt Russia asking the same questions and are considering whether or not to use their new missile defense system to knock down a Turkish jet when it violates Syrian air space to bomb the Kurds.

MOSCOW (AP) — In a move raising the potential threat of a Russia-NATO conflict, Russia said Wednesday it will deploy long-range air defense missiles to its base in Syria and destroy any target that may threaten its warplanes following the downing of a Russian military jet by Turkey….

The S-400 missiles, which Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered sent to the Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia, just 50 kilometers (30 miles) away from the border with Turkey, are capable of striking targets within a 400-kilometer (250-mile) range with deadly precision. The military also moved the navy missile cruiser Moskva closer to the shore to help protect Russian warplanes with its long-range Fort air defense system.

"It will be ready to destroy any aerial target posing a potential danger to our aircraft," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with military officials. He also announced the severance of all military ties with Turkey and said that from now on, Russian bombers will always be escorted by fighters on combat missions over Syria….

"Turkish planes violate the Syrian border daily, either for reconnaissance flights or for anti-IS operations," he said. "In the same way that Turkey argues it has rules of engagement, Russia could also declare its own rules of engagement, saying it has the right to protect the skies of its ally."


New Alliances

Since the Paris attack on November 13, France and Italy have been jolted into forming a military alliance with Russia against ISIS. These NATO nations might find themselves in a dilemma, however, if Russia shoots down a Turkish jet in Syrian air space.

The potential situation is serious and should be watched closely. The main thing is to understand that the US news media always sides with the US government on important issues. They will not say anything that the government does not want to be reported. Since the US government has allocated to itself the right to lie to the public, we should never take what it says at face value. Sorry, but mistrust is the price of lying.

It would be tragic if we got into a world war just because the US and Turkey want to protect ISIS, while Russia wants to destroy it.

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Category: News Commentary
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones