The two incidents involving Turkey and the Russian aircraft operating in northern Syria on successive days in the weekend throw into bold relief the single most crucial template of the Syrian conflict in the coming months. Turkey happens to be the only regional power that could actually create a “quagmire” for Russia in Syria – similar to the role Pakistan performed in the eighties vis-à-vis the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
Like in the case of Pakistan (which started nurturing Islamist groups in Afghanistan as far back as the early seventies, much before the Soviet intervention), Turkey too has a 3-4 year old nexus with the extremist groups in Syria (including the Islamic State). These Islamist groups hold the potential to be transformed as the famous “Peshawar Seven” of the Afghan jihad in the eighties – provided, of course, Turkish President Recep Erdogan chooses to follow the audacious footsteps of the Pakistani dictator Gen. Zi ul-Haq.
Will he, or won’t he? That is the question that Moscow will be keenly testing out in the weeks and months ahead. Consider the following.
An unnamed Turkish official bragged on Friday that the country’s radar system had “locked on” the Russian aircraft operating in northern Syria. If so, no doubt, it was an unfriendly — and needlessly provocative — act by Turkey.
Washington’s impulsive use of power is a danger to America and to the world. Arrogant Washington politicians and crazed neoconservatives are screaming that the US must shoot down Russian aircraft that are operating against the US-supplied forces that have brought death and destruction to Syria, unleashing millions of refugees on Europe, in Washington’s effort to overthrow the Syrian government.
Even my former CSIS colleague, Zbigniew Brzezinski, normally a sensible if sometimes misguided person, has written in the Financial Times that Washington should deliver an ultimatum to Russia to “cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets.” By “American assets,” Brzezinski means the jihadist forces that Washington has sicced on Syria.
Brzezinski’s claim that “Russia must work with, not against, the US in Syria” is false. The fact of the matter is that “the US must work with, not against Russia in Syria,” as Russia controls the situation, is in accordance with international law, and is doing the right thing.
Lawrence Wilkerson on the 70 Years Old and Counting US National Security State
On occasion a college professor answers an interview question in such a way that it creates in some listeners a sudden, if fleeting, urge to drop everything, move across the country, and sign up for a course. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson, whose background includes being a colonel in the United States Army and chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided such an answer at the end of a 12-minute interview on RT this week.
Russia's Campaign To Snuff Off The CIA's Al-Qaeda Forces
With some 125 strikes in three days the Russian bombing campaign continues to build. The US media is now obsessed with the idea that Russia may be using "dumb bombs" instead of Syrian "barrel bombs". This is becoming a new propaganda meme. But videos from the Russian airbase show that at least some of the planes are armed with KAB-500S-E satellite (GLONAST) guided bombs which are precise "smart" bombs. (Other pictures and video from the Russian air base show a quite comfortable life including air conditioned quarters, a mess tent, Gulaschkanonen, a bakery, a laundry etc. This base is not an improvised short-term installation.)
Eric Margolis: US Fight Against ‘Covert Western Asset’ ISIS is a ‘Big Charade’
Eric Margolis returned to the Scott Horton Show on Wednesday for another intriguing interview regarding international relations and war. In the interview, Margolis, a Ron Paul Institute Academic Board member and international affairs writer, lifted the lid on the ongoing fight of the United States and coalition members against the Islamic State (ISIS), referring to ISIS as a “covert western asset” and the US-supported fight against ISIS as a “big charade.”
US-Funded NGO in Syria Uses Old Photo to Claim Civilian Death in Russian Airstrikes
From the moment the first Russian warplanes started launching attacks inside Syria, a new campaign in the information war was also launched, with various groups trying to get their stamps on conflicting stories about what exactly Russia attacked, whether they hit ISIS, ISIS allies, pro-US rebels, or just random Syrian civilians.
Why is Washington Against Russia Bombing ISIS and Al-Qaeda?
On Wednesday the Russian military became active in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria. Pursuant to a request from the Syrian government, Moscow first began deploying military equipment and trainers as well as humanitarian assistance. Then the Russian parliament approved the use of force, and force was indeed used on Wednesday.