Putin vs Erdoğan – Who Wins?

 

In times of confused international crisis — say, when one party in a multi-sided war shoots down the warplane of another party — it is instructive to view the propaganda outlets. Which explains why I was watching the RT (formerly, Russia Today) coverage of Turkey’s downing of an Su-24 near the Turkish-Syrian border (on precisely which side is in dispute).

I was not surprised by the rather desultory protest outside the Turkish embassy. I was rather surprised to read that, according to RT, Putin said:

Turkey backstabbed Russia by downing the Russian warplane and acted as accomplices of the terrorists … the plane was targeting terrorist targets in the Latakia province of Syria, many of whom came from Russia.

Russia noticed of the flow of oil from Syrian territory under the control of terrorists to Turkey… Apparently, IS now not only receives revenue from the smuggling of oil, but also has the protection of a nation’s military. … This may explain why the terrorist group is so bold in taking acts of terrorism across the world …

The incident will have grave consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey… Russia respects the regional interests of other nations, … the atrocity committed by Turkey would not go without an answer.

Now what?

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    CitizenOfTheRepublic:

    Or…we might be better off if we would make common cause with the Russians against Islamists everywhere.

    I don’t know that Russia wants Alaska back badly enough to attack us for it, even for that oil in the north shore.

    I do know that a significant portion of Islam is looking for the caliphate to take over and express itself with vigor in making sharia the law of the world.  Some of it is apocalyptic, expecting the twelfth imam to return, with Jesus in tow, for a judgment on the rest of us.

    Having said that, I don’t believe we can make common cause with Putin whose aims are to reinvigorate Russia, at the expense of Russia’s neighbors such as Georgia and the Ukraine; as well as bullying other countries such as Poland and parts of Scandinavia.  A Russian dictatorship is moved by different principles but still is not acceptable.

    Knocking down Russian military aircraft is a warning to Russia about its overreach.  I don’t know if Putin is ready for that message.  It may require something more powerful than Turkey to do that deed.

    • #31
  2. DialMforMurder Inactive
    DialMforMurder
    @DialMforMurder

    Wondering who is going to stand with Turkey? Just about all the countries bordering Turkey hate them. And the chanting of Allah Akbar at that soccer game last week in memory of the Paris dead has left a bad taste in everyones mouth (in the west) who might otherwise come to their defence. That country under Erdogan has clearly gone off the deep end.

    Also Im quite prepared to say now that NATO is finished.

    • #32
  3. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee
    @RobertELee

    I wonder how the events in Syria and Iraq are viewed in the Muslim world?  I’d heard some were talking about these events as correlating to some sort of prophecy.  I wonder what Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the smaller Muslim countries think of the situation overall and what and how they are preparing for whatever is next.  I think what we see is only a small part of the story.

    • #33
  4. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Austin Murrey:Apparently there are reports that the Turks shot the pilots of the fighter after they’d ejected and shot down a search helicopter.

    Article V seems more likely to be invoked soon. Like Chamberlain, Obama seems to be wholly unprepared for unfolding events but sadly we cannot oust him as Britain could a Prime Minister.

    Well yes we could, but No we won’t.

    • #34
  5. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    DialMforMurder:Wondering who is going to stand with Turkey? Just about all the countries bordering Turkey hate them. And the chanting of Allah Akbar at that soccer game last week in memory of the Paris dead has left a bad taste in everyones mouth (in the west) who might otherwise come to their defence. That country under Erdogan has clearly gone off the deep end.

    Also Im quite prepared to say now that NATO is finished.

    Russia… Turkey… how can they both lose?   Hmm.

    • #35
  6. DialMforMurder Inactive
    DialMforMurder
    @DialMforMurder

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    DialMforMurder:Wondering who is going to stand with Turkey? Just about all the countries bordering Turkey hate them. And the chanting of Allah Akbar at that soccer game last week in memory of the Paris dead has left a bad taste in everyones mouth (in the west) who might otherwise come to their defence. That country under Erdogan has clearly gone off the deep end.

    Also Im quite prepared to say now that NATO is finished.

    Russia… Turkey… how can they both lose? Hmm.

    For me personally, the lesser of two evils is Putin. Im not a “fan” per se, but as i’ve said before, the sad fact is he has a more realistic grasp on the world and human nature than our own buffooning western leaders.

    If he wants the middle-east, let him go for it. I want nothing to do with that place anymore. Plus it might take some of the heat off Eastern Europe, he can’t be everywhere at once.

    In terms of social norms, I say we in the west have more in common with Russia than we do with Turkey.

    • #36
  7. DialMforMurder Inactive
    DialMforMurder
    @DialMforMurder

    Paul A. Rahe:The Russians have been making incursions into the air space of nearly every member of NATO for some time now. Putin’s game is to make threatening noises and to try to play the bully. This is by no means the first such incursion into Turkish air space. My guess is that the Turks issued a warning: “Do it again, and we will act.” And that Putin foolishly called what he took to be a bluff. We would all be better off if the Russians got this treatment every time that they started playing these games.

    The Turks have repeatedly been violating Greek airspace this year. They have very suspicious connections with Isis, right up to the very top. They have hostile relations with all their neighbours, as well as the Kurds. Erdogan said “There is no such thing as moderate or extreme Islam, there is only Islam”. I am also reading in some places that the air-zone Russia violated is disputed territory with Syria. They were in the region for a matter of seconds. There is apparently evidence online that the pilots parachuted out of the plane safely and were then shot in the air. If true, that would be in violation of the Geneva convention.

    It seems like the rules of fair-play only apply to Turkey when Turkey is being unfairly treated. How these guys were considered for EU membership and let into NATO I will never know.

    • #37
  8. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee
    @RobertELee

    DialMforMurder: There is apparently evidence online that the pilots parachuted out of the plane safely and were then shot in the air. If true, that would be in violation of the Geneva convention.

    Who will prosecute whom?  Chase down the individual rebels?  The only people who pay heed the the Geneva convention are the West, and then only when it suits our purposes.

    • #38
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