It’s that old cold war feeling again.

Yesterday, Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian SU-24 attack aircraft that they claim violated Turkish airspace. There are conflicting reports on whether or not the crew survived, but right now, the consensus seems to be “no”. We live in interesting times my friends. The niggling fear that Moscow might escalate a touchy international incident into a full blown war, just takes me back to the heady carefree days of the 1980s when shoulder pads were huge and apocalyptic nightmares of nuclear annihilation were the hot retro craze.

From what I gather, Russian forces had been bombing Turkmen (ethnic Turks living in Syria) villages for weeks, and been warned by Turkey for weeks to stop. So, yesterday, the Turks proved they weren’t bluffing. There is an armed group in Turkey formed of mostly of Turkmen, and they have been opposed to the Assad regime since the beginning of the civil war, and according to Robert Farley, ISIS is nowhere near the site. (I Will Send an Su-24 Fencer to Remind You of My Love)
So, what I see here is that for all of the chaos and ill will that ISIS is generating, Turkey and Russia spend more time pursing their own agendas in Syria (for Turkey that means bombing Kurds, for Russia that means dropping dumb bombs on the population centers that oppose the Assad regime) than they do actually fighting ISIS.

Here’s hoping that cooler heads will prevail and that in 20 years time veterans of all sides of this conflict can continue the struggle in a series of hotly contested beach volleyball games organized by humanitarian charities.


Comments: 10


This is precisely correct. Even Noam Chomsky. Liberal, generally anti-war Noam Chamsky said that what would really stop IS is an invasion by Turkey. They are the only neighboring nation that could blitz the Islamic State. Just as Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia signaled he beginning of the end for the Khmer Rouge, the same might happen to the IS if Turkey stepped in. But Turkey has other agendas, as do the Russians.


Uh, gotta say, I’m pretty convinced there are NO moderate rebels left. They’re all varying shades of Islamist nutjobs. I’d need to see some pretty convincing proof that these Turkmen rebels are worth supporting.

And yeah, Assad is a bastard. But he ain’t a Sunni salafist takfiri bastard, thank goodness.

And yeah, it sucks that we have to make these sorts of choices. If we’d just man up and tell King Abdullah (or whoever-it-is that runs riyadh these days) to stop ISIS or we’d turn Mecca into a parking lot, I’m sure things’d get fixed. But we’re too pussy for that.

Fuckin’ saudis


Assad have done way more atrocities than Daesh ever did, even considering the Paris attentats.

Right now, as a french, I take Daesh over Assad any day. But there’s truth in that western countries should just stop using wars to implement “democracy” or simply as a way to have the regimes they want. It alway backfire.

I don’t know if there is any moderate rebel left. The kurd one aren’t really religious nuts, and are actively against Daesh.


And, you’re LGM source seems to have completely whitewashed the fact of turkey getting to redraw it’s border on the fly, in much the same way as was used to justify the murder of iranian border guards during the gulf war.


I liked it better when the quote at the top of the page was a random line from Seinfeld. SERENITY NOW!


There’s really no good solution, and Turkey being a NATO member, any escalation will be a disaster. There’s really no good solution to this mess.

Hey, remember when the ‘Sunni Awakening’ was seen as a positive development by the administration and media? OOF!


Turkey’s not going to invade because Erdogon is making WAY too much money buying oil from ISIS and reselling it as from Iraqi Kurdistan(mostly through Israel). Erdogon is pissed because those 1000 oil trucks were carrying oil he planned on buying. Now he’s sucker punched Putin and run away yelling for “big brother” NATO to protect him. What its going to take for the western power establishment to fianally decide that Erdogon and his little running mates are surplus to requirements is anybodies guess but this latest debacle should help clarify the matter for the less acute.


John Milius has a boner right now.


What is abundantly clear is that the top brass of the old iraqi army and many of the baa’thist bureaucrats that constitute IS *that were removed by the US and mistreated by Maliki* will only ride out this storm, they already are striking toward Libya’s and Iraq’s main oil fields and short of a massive ground operation by a majority of NATO, will there is really no end in sight.


I feel for the pilots, but the orders to skirt a border you’ve been told you’ll be shot down if you go over – told days, weeks in advance – while bombing the allies of said border?

Yeah. It was dumb. Who’s running to NATO? It’s not like the UN is going to do any more than scold Turkey and Russia doesn’t have the time or ability to do more than punitive bombing. Which would just double down on stupid.

So the pilots are just fodder for the grist.


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