How could Turkey dare to attack a Russian aircraft when Turkey must have realized was no threat to their country? This cannot really be seen as self-defense. It is an open and blatant provocation. One can only conclude that the military in Turkey had some very powerful friends by their side telling them not to worry about making such a provocative strike against a fighter jet of a much more powerful country.
How could the US, Turkey’s NATO ally, allow the release to Reuters of the revelation by an unnamed American military source that the Russian plane was actually shot down over Syria?(1) This pulls the rug from under the already unsteady feet of Turkey by confirming they are simply telling porky pies about the circumstances of the attack.
How can the US pretend they were just a simple observer of these events if President Putin’s claim is true, namely that the Russians as a matter of policy told the US the exact flight path of the plane that was shot down and the US gave this information to Turkey? If Turkey had this information, it would have been possible to plan to shoot the plane down well before it appeared in the sky.(2)
One attempt to understand these events has been suggested by Andrew Korybko in an article “Why’s the US Hanging Turkey Out to Dry?” His answer is that the US is playing a game against Turkey in which the US and Russia will be winners and Turkey will be the loser. He sees the US playing both sides of the fence in a
“…Machiavellian plan whereby the US manipulates both Turkey and Russia into behaving according to what it has already forecast as their most likely responses, knowing full well that these could be guided into supporting grander American strategic interests.”(3)
Acording to Korybko, the US may have urged Turkey to engage in what is really an act of war in order to set up a clear conflict with Russia, but then provided no support once Turkey had committed itself to this dangerous attack. This allows the US to make a deal with Russia while at the same time punishing Turkey “for not behaving more submissively in the past”. On this analysis the US is “playing a sinister divide-and-conquer game against Turkey and Russia.”(4)
But there is another answer to these questions which rejects the fundamental assumption Korybko and many others make. Thierry Meyssan of Voltairenet believes that there is not one consistent US policy at work here. He believes there is a secret battle within the US administration about the correct foreign policy for the US in the Middle East. There is
“…a faction within the US state apparatus was waging its own policy, contrary to that of the White House. At first, this conspiracy was directed by the head of the CIA, which was the co-founder of Daesh in 2007 (‘The Surge’) General David Petraeus, until his removal in handcuffs the day after the re-election of President Barack Obama. Then it was the turn of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was prevented by an unfortunate ‘accident’ from completing her mandate during the period of presidential transition. Finally, the combat was continued by Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman from his offices at the UNO, and by General John Allen, at the head of the phoney anti-Daesh Coalition. This group, a part of the US ‘deep state’, which had never ceased from opposing the 5+1 agreement with Iran and fighting the Syrian Arab Republic, maintains its members within the Obama administration. Above all, it can count on the multinational corporations, whose budgets are greater than those of the states themselves, and who can finance their own secret operations. In particular, this is the case of the petrol company Exxon-Mobil (the true owner of Qatar), the investment fund KKR, and the private army Academi (ex-Blackwater).”(5)
If Meyssan is correct, the mixed signals are coming from two different sources in the US administration. The “hawks” pushed Turkey into the attack and supplied the relevant information, hoping to provoke Russia into a powerful military response. The “hawks” seem determined to draw Russia into open warfare with NATO one way or the other. On the other had the “doves” do not want to push Russia into such a conflict. So to undermine the “Russia Attacks Turkey” story coming from Ankara, the “doves” released a statement which in effect proves that Turkey is lying about their account of the event.
If Korybko is correct, we are looking at moves in a Middle Eastern chess game between the US and Russia. However if Meyssan is correct, the most powerful country in the world does not have a firm hand on the tiller. It would mean that US actions on the world stage would be unpredictable. From one day to the next, nobody can know when the “hawks” will create another crisis, as they have with this act of war against Russia. Perhaps the Russians know they are dealing with two factions pulling different strings in US foreign policy. Does this explain why they have responded such a restrained way? Imagine what would happen if Syria shot down a US fighter? It is almost impossible to imagine that the US would show any restraint at all. Is this why the US can bomb anything it wants in Syria?
With all the weapons at its disposal, we should be concerned about the possibility of a major conventional and/or nuclear war involving the US. However with a serious conflict within the US leadership itself, where one faction is willing to provoke Russia, or China, with blatant aggression, the world could be plunged into World War III at a moments notice. Try thinking about that every night before you go to sleep.