Beyond the Cusp

July 3, 2016

Talking Turkey

 

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu surrendered once again to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and this time did so with his eyes wide open and not after being hoodwinked by United States President Barack Obama inviting him onto Air Force One where he already had Erdogan on the phone and handed the call to Netanyahu with likely the one word demand, “Apologize!” The demand was worded with a stern or else look on the American President’s face and a cold lifeless steely glare in his eyes. This time Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu not only gave another apology but sweetened the apology with twenty million dollars of surrender money to be paid to the families of the terrorists of the Mavi Marmara. There was the excuse of sending the gas pipeline through Turkey where it can be sent on to Europe. One can only guess how badly that will work out or how many times the pipeline will be cut and/or exploded very much like the gas line in the Sinai and of course every time it is blown to smithereens, Israel will rebuild it for free and resume gas deliveries which will likely have ten percent skimmed off the top for domestic use, once again free as the price of doing business. You lie with dogs you awake with fleas and possibly ear mites and other wonderful gifts. One can only wonder how we came by Erdogan. Perhaps the picture below will assist in the story which can be read here.

 

George W. Bush followed by Barack Obama produced Recep Tayyip Erdogan

George W. Bush followed by Barack Obama produced Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 

What is Israel going to say now about paying the survivors of terrorists, do as I say, not as I do? The moral high ground is lost. Some might ask what will the next deal include, naming a sports stadium after them or just a few roads and highways as is the practice of the Palestinian Authority. What does Israel gain by this kowtowing? We could not get appliances made elsewhere? As far as trade is concerned, anything we import from Turkey we could have built a factory here at home to build them or built one in Greece and likely made them for less and the Greek government would love the added work for Greeks facing horrific economic times. Why woe a terror master when we are trying to make friends with that particular terror master’s sworn enemies. Perhaps President Erdogan has promised to provide an avenue for purchasing Iranian pistachios as doing so directly is next to impossible, fortunately. Well, if we are going this far to trade with Turkey why not Iran as well? Is that the point where we finally find some principled stance and if so why?

 

This deal was blasted by all sides both within and outside the coalition. Thus far it has not destroyed the coalition but it does beg the question what else have we not been told? Yes, we did agree to permit Turkey to build projects in Gaza for including but not necessarily limited to a power generating station, a desalinization plant, a Hospital and who knows exactly what else. Turkey will want to rebuild the housing apartment structures destroyed in the past two wars. When doing so they will provide the Ace in the hole of effective human shields. There will be little possibility that Israel will be capable of firing back at rocket sites with Turkish workers working right beside them. Any hope for a military strike by the IDF will be neutralized unless Israel is willing to risk a military confrontation with Turkey. Turkey is a NATO member and by treaty anyone attacking a NATO member risks fighting the entirety of NATO which includes, Germany, France, Britain and most of all the United States. Does anybody believe that President Obama, and perhaps Hillary Clinton after him, would have even a single quam about answering a call from Turkey for protection from Israeli attacks on their personnel? We need remember that all of the Israeli fighters have friend or foe circuitry which prevents their shooting any friendly aircraft, a code easily provided the Turkish fighter aircraft making them invulnerable to the Israeli F15, F16 and even F4 Phantom firing computers making most of the Israeli Air Force aircraft inoperable against any NATO aircraft. That would really lead to a very bad day for Israeli Pilots and their Prime Minister and coalition government. Such a catastrophe would be wholly impossible for any Prime Minister to survive and one could only hope that the Likud Party could read the writing on the walls.

 

Further, once allowing Turkish workers into Gaza under the guise of building hospitals, schools, housing, a power plant or two, salinization plants and other accommodations, what would there be to prevent their assisting with tunnel constructions, bunkers, ammunition stores, new rockets with guidance software and systems? Will the inspectors be capable of telling if the software boards and systems apparently intertwined within the desalinization systems belong within or are guidance hardware and firmware with software loaded being disguised guidance systems to make rockets into guided missiles? Of course they would be hard pressed to tell and the final item necessary to make them work is a camera system and map such that they could use a simple inertial guidance checked through GPS and target identification with a simple camera. All of that could be programmed into a cell telephone which could also triangulate its position using known cell towers. All this and more could be smuggled into Gaza along with terrorist masterminds pretending to be Turkish workers not to mention the ability for communication between Hamas leaders outside of Gaza with those within Gaza.

 

Once the precedent has been set with allowing Turkish workers to perform necessary repairs and upgrades to the utilities and other infrastructure then how does Israel prevent the next party offering to restore power or rebuild homes, build a subway system, highways, and eventually rebuild the international airport to receive more assemblies and other needful items which are so required that they cannot be sent by ship. Perhaps they will want to build a large and powerful telescope for the Astronomy coursework at the college or university they will build and provide the professors who will teach the class. Of course when explaining how to aim and focus this huge telescope they will be forced to utilize items visible during the day such as taller buildings in Tel Aviv if it does not stand outside line of sight. With an additional classroom lesson they could learn the adjustments one need make such that a mortar round could be placed where the telescope is targeting as well as corrections to settings to make the mortars far more accurate. With university professor’s offices and classrooms in the same building Israel would not be able of destroying the telescope using a large hammer but would need a very precise and accurate nail to drive.

 

These have been but some of what Turkey could do and as a NATO member state Israel would be required to treat lightly wherever these Turkish workers were located. Their round the clock presence at the worksites and sightseeing in off hours and days and sleeping in precisely chosen locations which by a miracle are directly adjacent rocket and missile provisions structures and workshops will negate any Israeli military interjections. Israel has given up much of the high ground when it comes to honoring and supporting the families of homicidal suicide bombers and other terrorists slain in the heat of battle and from there it is not much of a step to paying the salaries of those imprisoned in Israeli prisons. Additionally, Turkey, or should we say Erdogan and his band of enablers have corrupted the Supreme Court and rest of the high courts and the military leadership such that there is little if any opposition to Erdogan’s whims. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been known to carry the water for the Muslim Brotherhood (Arabic: جماعة الاخوان المسلمين‎‎ gammāʿat al-ʾiḫwān) or simply al-Ikhwan, al-Qaeda through the al-Nusra Front, even the Islamic State, as Erdogan supports all who share his desires to rid himself of Syrian former dictator al-Assad, as well as Hamas. Adding to this confusion has been Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s history of having worked with Iran as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood held sway even advising former Egyptian President Morsi that he was moving towards Sharia far too quickly, advice not heeded as Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood misjudged their people who were quite wary of relieving one dictator for another, this one religious and backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan refuses to deal with Egyptian President Sisi demanding instead that the Muslim Brotherhood be returned their nation to run as they please, President Sisi has proven thus far immovable. Erdogan seems to flutter from one controversial relationship to the next without giving it a moment’s thought. He wears more hats than a circus clown and is reportedly treated as such even by those he has befriended. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s life’s dream is to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and declare such the new Caliphate and himself as the Caliph himself. This dream would prove a nightmare for millions as Recep Tayyip Erdogan shows a complete lack of morals when pursuing any goal and nothing is beyond betrayal in this quest.

 

Perhaps in a moment of foolishness Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu believed he could trust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and strike a deal which would prove lucrative in the future if not the present. Time will prove the validity of those ideas but the ideals sacrificed to form this deal were too many and too deep a cut into the Israeli heart. One need ask what is the final plan claimed to be at hand as the majority of Israelis know all too well that Mahmoud Abbas will not change his ideas nor his insatiable demands. He will continue to demand in Arabic his demand for the ancient lands of the Arabs to be returned to them. Abbas knows that the Jewish People have had a sizeable presence in Jerusalem seemingly since the beginning of time. So, knowing the Israelite claim covering five-thousand years to be valid he claims that his people who arrived in 637 to 666 A.D. actually have resided in these lands for the past nine-thousand years. He further claims they invented the proto-language Abbas calls the Palestinian-Canaanite language which they presumably invented the Palestinian-Canaanite language and alphabet centuries before the Israelites conquered the lands. As to erasing Israeli and Jewish history, this has been Mahmoud Abbas’s stock and trade. He wrote his doctoral thesis on a supposed relationship between Hitler and the Nazi elites and the Zionists which is all included in his presentations titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.” He presented the thesis at The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian: Институт востоковедения Российской Академии Наук) which one may read about on WikipediA. The thesis is replete with references and quotes from sources since discredited but not before Mahmoud Abbas was warmly received and granted his Doctorate. Unfortunately for all within the areas directly and indirectly affected by this dreadful piece of Holocaust denial and pseudo-history, they are the poorer for having come in contact with it.

 

Abbas and Erdogan would make a great pair each supporting the other and exchanging specifically chosen lines consisting of double entendres mixed with outright lies. One could easily say Abbas and Erdogan deserve one another. Throw in an American President without a shred of decency worth mentioning; assuming such is even present on President Obama for the viewing, and you have the perfect set of people in place in order to offer up Israel in a demonic sacrifice filled with fire from nuclear weapons. Turkey might be a partner in just such a plan plotting right alongside them, they that are Iran and those with any plan, as long as it ends with Israel consumed in a nuclear fire. This would get Recep Tayyip Erdogan absolutely Joyous and President Obama possibly a second Nobel Prize, they would need a new award category, perhaps recognized the opportunity in this man but we all failed in realizing that promise, they could call it the almost realized the greatness expected of him award given to the individual who never realized that greatness or the total disappointment award, the Nobel Dunce Cap Award. The winner sits in a chair facing the corner while giving their acceptance speech. The award would be given once every decade making it one of the more coveted awards that Nobel would give. Perhaps we could suggest some who would have won this award .The award given between 1935 and 1945 could have gone to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for taking every wrong turn and delivering the victories necessary to prolong Hitler’s opportunity to build up his forces. Other recipients might have been Adlai Ewing Stevenson II, Richard Milhous Nixon and a host of others who were thought to have great expectations of then fell miserably short. Sports would likely give some strong candidates as there is many a college star whose sail lost all its wind upon entering the major leagues. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu is also vying for such an award. He would get stiff competition from President Obama but a victory by either would require they credit the assistance from the other.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 18, 2016

Republicans Need a Real, Honest and True Blue Candidate

 

The Republican establishment is obviously and understandably troubled about the primaries thus far and the results. There is the obvious problem when Donald Trump, not even a true moderate conservative, takes about the thirty to thirty-five percent or potentially more in the primaries thus far. Then there is Ted Cruz who grabbed second at the Iowa Caucus and will present a problem in many southern and mid-western states even into western states and past the Rocky Mountains. Ted Cruz is also not of their favorite centrist mediocracy. That leaves them bouncing around with their earliest choice of Jeb Bush failing in the early primaries needing to have a large showing in the upcoming South Carolina primary or his candidacy will be in dire straits. The next two hopes for the party elite are John Kasich and Marco Rubio and one had best excite the people sufficiently to become the sole opponent who can take on Trump and press the rest into the background if not out of the race. Ben Carson was a dream which honestly had next to no chance as we discovered with my House of Representatives campaign, the parties make sure that no outsider can break into the top tier as they keep the media concentrating where they desire and never ever will light fall on those not already in the game or wealthy enough to demand a place as that is the sorry case of politics the world over.

 

Now, making such even more obvious is that only those of the game or of great wealth may play in the political arena thus making all others unacceptable. Carly Fiorina has more management experience than all the candidates with the exception of “The Donald” and did something almost unheard of; she mastered the first debate winning herself a place in the top tier for debate number two. They likely believed that in with tougher competition she would wilt and they would be done with her challenge of the real politicians and actual worthies of high office. Carly Fiorina did not wilt but rather rose to the occasion in the second debate and received some recognition. The opening came in the third debate where her one slightest miscue and the combined accusations repeated and repeated and then came the silence, the dreaded silence from which her candidacy could never return, she was locked out. Now the Republicans are reaping what they sewed. They are stuck with a choice of political mediocracy versus, one fanatical religious moralist and one wealthy, boorish, unhinged faux-conservative and an unexcited base. Donald Trump has cornered approximately one third of the electorate with a fair number being new voters who would simply lose interest as soon as Trump leaves the candidate field. Ted Cruz has another third in the most religious conservatives who also might remain at home come the election if their demanding concerns are not met. The remaining third divided amongst the “mainstream candidates” will only matter if they are whittled down to a single challenger. As long as there is no singular candidate the division changing from one primary to the next leaves the Republican elite in an uncomfortable quandary about whom to promote above the others. That is their problem going forward with their hopes pinned on somebody breaking that stalemate and doing so as soon as possible.

 

 

Republican Candidates into South Carolina

Republican Candidates into South Carolina

 

 

There is a malady, a malaise if you will, and there are dark forces not the least of which is Iran once again and American hostages and the propaganda showing the United States as bent and broken by the masters of Iran. These Iranian leaders now believe their time to rule all has come. The United States has been humbled before the world once again just as they were in 1979 as United States President Jimmy Carter was stymied and unable to liberate the fifty-two hostages (the names of the hostages can be read here) of the original sixty-six who were captured United States Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, and including three who were at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the last of which were finally released on Jan. 20, 1981 as the inauguration of Ronald Reagan was scheduled for later that day. At least the most recent incident with the capture of ten Navy seamen and woman did not devolve into an extended hostage crisis leading to months of captivity as the Iranians await the election before deciding whether to continue the crisis or not as in 1979-81 ordeal. Instead the Iranians exploited their time while holding the American Naval service personnel starting with the released pictures and videos of the Americans with their shoes removed, kneeling and hands raised behind their heads with armed Iranian IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) intimidating and despairing them including one video of one sailor in tears. It was later learned that the Iranians had paraded their Hostage Navy personnel through the streets further humiliating them and making a spectacle of their detainment. We could label this President Obama’s hostage crisis which he resolved much faster than had President Carter, but at what price?

 

The Republican Party elite may be consoling themselves feeling confident whichever candidate comes out the far end of the primary election will very likely be capable of defeating Hillary Clinton as they perceive her to be an easy candidate to defeat and the chosen one of the Democrat Party. They could be wrong on both counts. First off, if his early success in the Democrat primaries is any indication, Bernie Sanders could easily become the Democrat Presidential Candidate as he has drawn the youth vote out in massive numbers, much the same as elected Barack Hussein Obama twice. I am still having difficulty wrapping my arms around twice as if they did not learn. But then again the heirs of Obama’s policies will be out voting for his philosophical cousin, Bernie Sanders, making it appear to be a lack of worldly experience. So, a Bernie Sanders candidate facing the Republican with the same devotion of those too young to be trusted with the office voting for him in droves along with the normative thirty-to-forty percent Democrat voters makes for an impressive obstacle. Truthfully, Hillary (at this point, what difference does it make) Clinton would be a far easier candidate against which the base would come out and vote if for no other reason other than to keep her: abortion at any date even to include ten minutes after giving birth to as much as three weeks afterwards, guns only for the privileged and government, public schools including colleges for all except the elite, and taxes on all but the very poor but never to raise and probably lower capital gains taxes so the rich can remain untouched, kept out of ever walking in the White House other than a guided tour, and strictly checked for stealing more silverware, with the rest of the unwashed. The republicans have to face reality that should anybody other than Trump get the nomination two-thirds of his supporters will remain home disgusted with the process and if Ted Cruz does not get the nomination almost all of his supporters will remain home, and that holds true even for Marco Rubio. If you need proof of what we claim simply walk amongst the denizens of Oklahoma, the second most conservative state and ask the people in Tulsa or Oklahoma City to name the Republicans vying for their support and should it be Trump or Cruz then ask who it is they desire to win and finally ask them which one of Kasich, Rubio or Bush they might support and you will receive your answer.

 

So, the dilemma simply put. The Trump base will not support any other of those still considered viable and the Cruz base likewise will not support any others and what you have is a wholesale defeat against Clinton who Democrats will vote for even if they must close their eyes and hold their noses making sure not to breath for thirty seconds before pulling that lever and a full minute after. There will be special schools in freediving booked by Democrats simply to master holding their breath. So, your base and best candidates are poison to one third of your base and without them we get four and likely eight years of Clinton or worse, six years and a month of Bernie Sanders as he serves a term and a half after reelection, Socialist with that capital ‘S’ with Hillary as his Vice President and then just the slimmest margin less than a decade of Hillary as President of what is left of the United States. What is it that the Republican base is really seeking? Here is your question Republican elites, what will be the force which can galvanize the party and to be fully and completely supportive and actively campaigning for the candidate and include those Trump supporters as well as the Cruz supporter even if neither end up their choice for Vice President and who if even they pick Chris Christie as their running mate they lose not a single vote or supporter? So, what would such a candidate look like and what qualities should he possess?

 

Let us build that perfect candidate. First and foremost he has to have a background of some form of personal motivation and business savvy unto which Trump would bow with respect. He would need to be a true through and through conservative whose sweat of their brow would dissolve Roe vs Wade and to whom Cruz would move aside graciously. He would need to be one who in that pivotal moment where he cast all he had ever dreamed of aside for the merit of what Hashem would hold as noble came almost naturally. This person would only not be faulted if he was incapable of walking on water yet many would believe he not only could but has whenever he chose. A military man (and it could also be a woman), as all recognize the need for such as is necessary in these times of great challenge and unbelievable provocations could stand easily in the breach. A candidate whose mere presence on the stage would coerce any moderator to act deferentially and silence even the shrew that is Hillary and make Bernie Sanders be as a cartoonish character on the stage of debate. What it would take is a candidate with an impeccable character, a near perfect past, the respect of people across the political spectrum and an unparalleled grasp of the current impasse which threatens our world and the ability to explain it such that even the slowest of wits could grasp. We have mentioned our choice which is Lieutenant Colonel Allen West. Unfortunately for the Republican Party their elites hate this man so much that they agreed when reapportionment meant Florida lost one Congressional district to divide his district such that it would lose in both districts to Democrats so as to be rid of him and turned down the other plan which still cost them a seat to the Democrats but preferred to retain a solid lead in a seat where the current candidate was retiring but also did not include Allen West’s neighborhood making him ineligible. He ran in the contest in which he resided and necessarily lost just as the elites desired. Morality is a thing not only not revered but accursed to politics. Should a man have honor he will not be controllable and will do as he sees as honorable and correct while the rest will follow directions. Allen west will not follow direction as his life story has proven and his early retirement from the military, though disgraceful for the military, bears out. They claim he broke their rules but he claimed guilt as he did what he did to protect the lives of the men under his charge. Following the ROE (rules of engagement) and ROI (rules of interrogations), he put the lives of his men before his career which was pitch perfect and proper to that one fateful day when he made the career ending choice (read about it here). We are open to others and may one be found acceptable to the Republicans should they reach a brokered convention, something none of the political class desire as it leads to unpredictable results.

 

 

Men of Great Stature Reagan, Eisenhower, Allen West

 

 

Meanwhile, the Republican Party is adrift with not only no one who knows the path to relevance nor anyone who will unite the many strands of its base but only with candidates who will, out of their actions past and present, alienate one third of their base of support. We have covered this numerous times but why not; once more into the breach we go. Contrary to that which Republican Party elite tell us time and time again, we cannot win unless we get the vote of the enormous middle. The Democrats talk this line up but deny it by the candidates they present which do not chase the middle vote and only ply their wares to grasp their base, as fractured as it may be. As long as a Democrat candidate is accepted by three or so of the many disparate groups, the rest will fall in line as such is what is required so when their candidates run they too are supported. This means that any Democrat needs to hold true to a fair number of beliefs to reap a wide consensus of their base and cruise on to victory. Republicans need one who can light the imagination and gracefully support the mainstays of the Party and be sufficiently conservative that they satisfy the purists that the entirety of the base comes out and supports them. Thus was the now immortalized Ronald Reagan, though he began his life as a Democrat and Unionist, and before him the man responsible for winning the War in Europe, General Dwight David Eisenhower. Both were men of courage and ideas and there are but a few born to every decade and it is up to the public to find such men and follow their lead. For the record, the “Reagan” Democrats were actually the extremes of the Conservative base which underpins the Republican Party. The extreme conservatives who voted that year along with the more socially moderates who voted that year were still largely not normative leftist Democrat Party supporters. They may have been had the Republican placed Pat Buchanan or other paleo-conservative on the ballot on the top spot as they would be unable to couch such a person as President. Such a choice would scare that end of the party and they would likely remain home. Still, there is not a single candidate left in the contest rigged by the party elites who could gather the entirety of the Republicans across their span and have them appear at the polls and without the base you lose, something the Democrats understand and the Republicans constantly claim is beyond their ability as they always for the most squishy of conservatives attempting to grab that middle and least left Democrats, two targets where the first does not exist and the other is too well trained to stray from their posts in supporting their party, period. Again the Republican elites have decided to field a candidate they are comfortable in having and ignoring the desires of most of the base in exchange for the chimera of the soft middle voters, a phantasm which exists only in the minds of the foolish and the delusional and through who elections have been lost for generations past and to come as they will never learn that which they refuse to believe actually exists. These New England conservatives, people who would be leftist outcasts in Oklahoma or Wyoming, cannot begin to fathom the depth of voters so conservative as to be beyond their understanding which is why they lose election after election for the Presidency which actually includes the flyover states, imagine that.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 29, 2015

NATO and the Turkey Problem

 

We here at BTC have warned about the eventual problem that Turkey was going to pose for NATO any number of times over the years going back to our article The Turkey Problem for NATO, though we never envisioned it might mean war with Russia to be honest. We saw the problem coming between Turkey and Israel which only was heightened after the Mavi Marmara blockade running confrontation between Israeli Special Forces and the terrorists placed on the lead ship intentionally by IHH terrorist groups posing as a human rights group in our article Let’s Talk Turkey. The problem we saw forming between Turkey and NATO remained centered on their different Middle East views particularly when it came to Israel. This became heightened once again over Iraq and the Second Iraq War when once again the ever more so drifting from a secular state into an Islamic state when at the onset of the second Iraq War Turkey’s entrenched leader refused NATO ally the United States from launching the second pincer of the initial engagement from within Turkey, as originally planned, in the article Turkey Needs to Prove They Belong in NATO Now. Turkey has continued their slide into an Islamic state replete with a strongman with near dictatorial powers in Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was here in September of 2014 we continued to question the reason for continuing to have Turkey in NATO. The initial reason had been as a stalwart NATO member who could bottle up the bulk of the Russian Mediterranean fleet by refusing them access to the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, originally and often still referred to as the Strait of Constantinople, through which any ships docked in the Black Sea would necessarily have to pass to make their way from the Black Sea through the Mediterranean Sea and onto the Atlantic Ocean, the only passage once the northern route freezes every winter. It was partially due to having a docking and repair facility which was one of the factors in the Russian seizure of the Crimean and the docks at the port city of Sevastopol and the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards which is the resting and repair port for the Russian Atlantic Fleet during the winter months. One can see the tactical necessity the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles in the map below.

 

 

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards Across the Black Sea then Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards
Across the Black Sea then
Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles
to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

 

 

After the Cold War ended, or at least ended until the current outward weakened appearance of the United States under President Obama, this tactical necessity for containing the Russian Atlantic fleet became far less important. Since the increased strength of the Russian naval forces, particularly its Atlantic and Mediterranean fleet the passage through these Turkish chokepoints had appeared to have lessened. That was before the current madness which is Syria and the Russian presence with both boots in the war in support of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. Suddenly fleet access to Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards has once again become of importance, or at least would have except for the lead from behind, well behind, foreign policy, or lack thereof, once again could have blockaded the heavy vessels of the Russian fleet. As it stands currently, the Russian Navy has been sending one of their large cruisers and battleships through these waters in order to have them in the Mediterranean Sea just in case they may be required in Syria. This is also the reason that the Russians are so concerned about their and the Iranian’s puppet in Syria, Bashir al-Assad. The Russians have set up forces both land and sea around the most important area in Syria, the western strip from Damascus with its international airport to the dock city of Latakia as seen in the map below.

 

 

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting Access to Damascus International Airport and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area
for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military
and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important
Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting
Access to Damascus International Airport
and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

 

 

As the fighting in Syria worsened, especially for Assad and the Russian interest back in February of this year and it began to appear that the Alevites who are the tribe, which the Assad Family belongs, supporting Bashir al-Assad and in turn the Russians we noted the necessity for any outside forces, primarily the United States and NATO, in our article Battle for Middle East and Beyond Are Now Choosing Sides. This article included the Iranian influence as well as the Kurdish forces the neighboring situation in Iraq, ISIS, now calling themselves the Islamic State, but had not included the Russians as their main concerns back then included areas around Latakia and its naval base which was Russian built and was not exactly intended for the Syrian Navy, like they have one. At that time Turkey was less concerned with Assad as they were the Kurdish forces which had actually begun to merge between the Syrian Kurdish fighters and areas with their considerably stronger Kurds in the northern third of Iraq. This was the set-up which leads us directly to the present situation.

 

The sides have been aligned and the battle lines drawn. Russia has ended any pretense of soft support of Bashir al-Assad and the Iranian influence and can be expected to only increase their footprint. Where such may end is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, the Islamic State appears to be mostly cementing their control over the large area they have carved out between Syria and central Iraq and cleaning house while trying to hold their own against the pressures from the Kurdish Militias, the Peshmerga Militias, who have retaken some of the major cities formerly under Kurdish control or belonged to the Yazidis. The areas liberated from Islamic State forces have revealed the true horrors which are the Islamic State including mass graves. The group presumably vetted and supported by the United States, the so-called Free Syrian Army has proven to be more embarrassment than force to be feared. These forces have been degraded to the point of virtual uselessness but these are still President Obama’s reason d’etre for being even minimally involved in the fight against the Islamic State. Whatever remnants of the Free Syrian Army can be fielded, are being attacked by Russia. This is important for another reason, these were the side backed by Turkey as well as the United States which have served as the conduit for United States aid monies and equipment has been placed into the battle. Much of what was sent presumably for the American trained forces but ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda. The ultimate joke of the entire tragedy which is the Syrian Civil War has been the training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army which had become all but useless as a force in Syria all while the United States invested millions upon millions of dollars and succeeded in training as few as five soldiers and definitely under a dozen. This is the force President Obama has supported and trained almost completely out of existence. These were also Turkey’s best hope for defeating al-Assad and the Turkish pipeline now feeds al-Qaeda forces and very likely is still allowing supplies to flow to the Islamic State just as Turkey has been selling their crude oil and mixing into the Turkish supplies which are piped to refineries and on to Europe. So, the lines have been drawn and the different sides defined even to include the double-dealing of Turkey at the orders from Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A state of status-quo has seemingly set in with the Russians now enforcing al-Assad which includes siding with Iran and fighting the presumably vetted fighters of the Free Syrian Army.

 

This is the force along with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood presumably supported through the United States efforts and also by Turkey’s efforts and which the Russians have invested their main efforts of their attacks. This has placed the United States technically allied with the Russians against the Islamic State while also supporting those selfsame groups which includes the remnants of the Free Syrian Army all of which being made insignificant due to the efforts by the Russian efforts to degrade their abilities to fight. These forces receive some weak-willed support from Turkey as well as the majority of the United States as these were the forces which were to bring free and open elections to the remnants of the Syrian people who remain. The interesting alignments come to the fore with the Kurds who are despised by Turkey, supported to some extent by Europe and the United States, though most of this aid goes to the Kurdish forces in Iraq; have neutral relations with the Russians and are despised for their success in resisting even some of the greatest efforts by the Islamic State which revolved around Kobane. It was this front of fighting which melded together the two separate Kurdish groups into one Kurdish nation, well, at least as much a nation as is the Islamic State or the remnants of what was Iraq which has had its central region taken by the Islamic State which is now closing in on Baghdad, the Iraqi Capital City. The support structure of the Syrian campaign which has been defined as intended to degrade and defeat the Islamic State, ISIL as President Obama refers to them as well as the Junior Varsity, is confusing to say the least.

 

But much of this all fell by the wayside in the last few days as this was the week that somebody took their stand as solidly as possible and then immediately reassured itself of the backing of the group to which they belong and had a pivotal role to play previously. We are referring to the shoot-down of the Russian fighter-bomber by Turkish anti-aircraft weapons. There were initial reports that one of the Russian pilots managed to parachute from the stricken jet after it was struck by Turkish fire and was captured and executed by Turkish forces but those reports have been found to be false. The pilot in question was rescued in a twelve-hour operation involving Special Forces according to Russia sources. This may help to deescalate the crisis which is Turkey at the moment. It has been suspected, actually a lot stronger than suspected all the way past known and into certitude, which Turkey has been key for Islamic State recruitment allowing them to set up interviewing sessions in hotels which were moved every few weeks to give the appearance of having to avoid being too overt. It is a shame that Turkey did not follow this charade up by having heavily armed police storm the room in the hotel which was used right after they had moved on. This covert on-the-sly support for Islamic State’s most important business, recruitment and their sale of oil, to be channeled through Turkey who makes out financially well due to these facts. Everyone knows that Russia, especially under Putin, does not let things lie unbalanced from their favor even if it takes decades for them to serve-up their cold dish of retribution, some might call it revenge or even vengeance. Turkey must expect some payback from Putin; the only debate is how serious the Russian vengeance will be. What was distressing was that within a few hours Istanbul (Constantinople) had placed a call to Brussels, Belgium in order to request that NATO forces and nations stand ready to support Turkey in the case of any overly overt acts by Russia such as an invasion to take control of Turkey’s greatest asset, the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, the gateway which separates Europe from Asia. This has been the classic line between the two continents. Now it could become the initial battle in a much greater conflict should it become a reading of blows with each one made to be one measure harder than the previous measure. The main question NATO may need to answer is whether that old remnant from the first Cold War has any teeth or validity now in what is rapidly becoming the second cold War and may go hot at any moment as long as threats of escalation or simply this for that trade-offs to continue.

 

 

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber
During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed
Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

 

 

Where this will go nobody at this moment other than Russian leader Putin and potentially Turkey’s leader Erdogan can say. Both men are strong willed and willing to go to any lengths to maintain their power. Putin switched the job descriptions for the offices of President and Prime Minister in order to get around the term limit and switched everything back as he returned to his previous position. On the other hand, Erdogan used his party and influence to prevent any government from taking power in order to force new elections where through intimidation and other frauds was able to return his party to absolute power with a majority of the seats in the Turkish Parliament. These are the extents these two men have used to remain in power for most if not all of this young century. We can be assured that neither will back down nor will they let such assaults lie without some form of retribution. Meanwhile, there has already been ramification with Russian Foreign Minister cancelling his visit to Turkey which was scheduled for early next month. There have also been a number of trade deals backed out of and voided placing financial pressures on a nation which can ill afford any such disruptions. Truth be told, both nations are financially vulnerable at the moment and this could have further ramification on a world financial situation where very few nations are sitting particularly safe from fallout if a trade war ensues between Turkey and Russia as this would mean potentially Russia refusing to use the oil pipelines which cut through Turkey which would be a major blow to the Turkish economy. One can bet that for as long as this is a contentious issue that Russians will not be vacationing on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, another financial hit on Turkey. Relations and actions will be measured and may quiet as long there are no future provocations between Turkey and Russia though I expect that Russian aircraft may avail themselves of taking bombing routes dangerously close and likely over the Syrian Turkey border rendering that border being crossed by Russian aircraft making raids on Syria acceptable and this be Putin’s revenge because it is the also on the face with the gauntlet followed by throwing at the feet of Erdogan just daring him to take another shot at one of the Russian aircraft ignoring the border at their leisure. This could get intense and seriously large real fast, especially if these two leaders start to play the international form of the game of chicken as neither one of these leaders will even flinch, let alone swerve away at the last moment; this situation would produce a clash of massive proportions which Turkey would be well-advised to avoid because against Putin, Erdogan would lose and Turkey be irrevocably damaged, perhaps destroyed would be more appropriate a term.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

« Previous PageNext Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: