The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Examining Turkey’s Shoot Down of a Russian Jet

First, the ostensible reason for this incident is the Turkmen rebels in Syria. Erdogan summoned the Russian ambassador earlier this week to warn against strikes against the Turkmen in Syria.

Second, it’s worth considering that much of this is about Turkish domestic politics. Erdogan is playing to the crowd, in the same way done by jingoistic politicians all over the world.

Then there is Putin’s statement:

This event is beyond the normal framework of fighting against terrorism. Of course our military is doing heroic work against terrorism… But the loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can’t describe it in any other way. Our aircraft was downed over the territory of Syria, using air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16. It fell on the Syrian territory 4km from Turkey.

We will analyse everything, and today’s tragic event will have significant consequences, including for Russia-Turkish relations. We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don’t know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours.

So, Putin is saying that Turkey is the “accomplice of terrorists.” Because the preponderance of evidence is that Turkey has been keeping supply lines open for ISIS, I would tend to agree. But something being true, and something being stated by the leader of a Great Power are two different things. Putin calling Erdogan an accomplice of terrorists is a big deal.

Russia can retaliate in a number of ways, from the obvious (shooting down a Turkish jet in a “tit-for-tat”), to the brutal (cutting Turkey off from natural gas this winter) to the subtle (taking the Turkish PKK under wing and becoming their new sponsors, while providing the Turks in general with equipment such as man portable anti-air missiles and anti-tank weapons).

Bear in mind that the Turkish military is very large, with a pile of tanks. They have, however, spent their recent history mostly in anti-insurgency efforts (burning Turkish villages, rape and torture, the usual), and anti-insurgency tends to degrade militaries.  It is also an open question how much the purges of the officer corps have affected the military.

NATO and President Obama have both made supportive sounds, so Russia and Putin are likely to lump in the West with Turkey in this matter.

I feel I should point out the obvious, once more. Russia is still a nuclear armed state with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world multiple times over. A confrontation between NATO and Russia is not acceptable to anyone even remotely sane.

Finally, there is the question of whether or not the Russian jet was in Turkish airspace. The Turks claim it was (for a few seconds), the Russians claim it wasn’t. I certainly don’t know which is true.

But over-fussiness about a few seconds strikes me as absurd. The US routinely violates virtually every country in the world’s airspace. Turkey and everyone else in the region routinely violates Syrian airspace, while Russia actually has permission to be there.

I believe that countries should not violate each other’s airspace. And I would be willing to support that principle in a world where that was the practice, but it is not.

That said, the real rule of airspace is: “Can you shoot me down?” And Syria’s answer is: “No.” But Russia’s answer Russia is: “Yes,” and Russia could decide to defend Syria’s airspace from Turkey at the request of the Syrian government.

All of this is vastly complicated by geography. Turkey can close off the Black Sea from the Mediterranean any time it wants. This means that Russia’s supplies to Syria must go through either Iran and Iraq, or it must come the long way around from the Baltic Sea.

By and large, however, this entire exercise stinks of hypocrisy. The fact is that despite all the screaming and the rhetoric almost no one actually wants to defeat ISIS. Turkey definitely doesn’t want to, the US doesn’t want to because its allies like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel in varying degrees support ISIS, and the West in general doesn’t want to (as with France bombing empty depots in response to the Paris attacks; sound and fury accomplishing nothing.)

Russia wants to support the Syrian government, and the first thing Russia wants to do is seal the Turkish border in order to cut off ISIS’s main supply line and source of recruits.

That is what this is really about. Turkey wants what remains of the Syrian state to collapse or to become a puppet (thus “Assad Must Go”).  The goals of the two states are in direct opposition. And Erdogan has just made it clear in how much direct opposition.

This particular incident is about ISIS only indirectly, but be clear: The only people who really want to defeat ISIS are Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Kurds, and Iraq. No one else of significance does.

Your deaths in Paris and elsewhere, children, whatever hypocrisy Western leaders like Hollande may spew, are acceptable collateral casualties to your masters. They will turn Europe into a police state in an attempt to root out ISIS cells (and because they wanted a police state already and this is a great excuse), but they are not actually serious about defeating ISIS.

(Addendum, Obama’s statement:

President Obama noted that it was important to ensure that Russia and Turkey continue to talk to each other, but went on to say: “This points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operation, in the sense that they are operating very close to the Turkish border and going after moderate opposition supported by Turkey and a wide range of countries.”

Anyone who says “moderation opposition” is either abysmally stupid or lying. (Again, no Western country is serious about defeating ISIS.))

(Addendum #2, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy:

Now the General Staff is elaborating additional security measures for the Russian airbase.

First: All the activities of the attack aviation will be carried out only under cover of fighter aircraft.

Second: Air defence will be reinforced. For that purpose, the Moskva cruiser equipped with air defence system Fort analogous to the S-300 one will go to the shore zone of Latakia. Russian Defence Ministry warns that all the potentially dangerous targets will be destroyed.

Third: Contacts with Turkey will be terminated at the military level».)

Ouch. AKA, “Don’t try that again unless you want an actual fight.”)

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Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet


The Silver Lining of Thanksgiving Past


  1. S Brennan

    My take on it done for FBook. Note; of my friends [most describe themselves as “liberal”], almost all are big supporters of Obama and can find no fault with him, indeed, one describes Obama as, “the greatest president in history”…none, not one, was in the least concerned with the bombing of a Russian Airliner that killed 244 Russians, most posted on the 129 killed in Paris – about half sported the French flag over their face, most posted on the desperate need to resettle refugees “created by Assad’s brutal dictatorship”. So this post is another vain attempt to get them to open their eyes.

    As our Peace-Prize-Prez eases the USA towards WW III, his fanboys clap ever louder.

    Meanwhile, as the reality of what the Turks have done starts to sink in…and Russia and the US prepare for an abeyant Armageddon. It’s worth noting that, while the critical need for Assad’s removal is considered worth the risk of worldwide destruction, not only by Obama, but also his fanclub , DC chickenhawks and the minions in the media. But the specific reason for the actual attack and subsequent murder of two Russian airman who’s mission it was to cut off supplies to terrorists may have more than one cause.

    As a NATO member, Turkey knows that the rest Europe must defend it…no matter how egregious it’s provocations may be. As a weapon supplier of ISIL/Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra/[insert terrorist organization here], they have been making a lot of money on the US/Saudi led carnage and stood to gain much territory with the break-up of Syria. Additionally, Erdoğan’s son was the oil minister of Turkey, so Turkey’s ruling family was making 100’s of millions on the sale of terrorist oil. Erdoğan and family have had their dreams of making a fortune off the off the terrorism unleashed by US/Saudi/Qatar/[insert gulf-state here]. The Russians need to be intimidated, they must stop bombing Erdoğan’s money making machinery.. Never mind it was built on the death, displacement and impoverishment of over a million people…after all, it’s nothing compared to what Turkish army officer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk did to the Armenians & Kurds…truth be told, until Hitler hit his stride, Turkey ruled the Genocide roost.

    The risk of creating WW III would be a small factor in the mind of a corrupt politician like Erdoğan, a man with dreams of empire and extreme wealth. Why not roll the dice with his countryman’s lives, surely it’s worth their sacrifice.

    Or is it a cat’s paw for NATO. It’s possible that the Turks did this with NATO approval. Any retaliation by Russia, forces all of Europe into war, a world-war that the US has been quietly preparing for since Clinton expanded NATO to the borders of Russia, Bush’s emplacement of an anti-ballistic missile system* meant to blunt any attempt of Russia to use missiles against any large troop formations and Obama’s forward placement of large stockpiles of highly mobile mechanized armaments. The US, by it’s own choice, is a declining empire, it’s citizens repeatedly cheated and lied to have lost much of the “gusto” for empire, but IF THE EMPIRE IS TO HAVE A FUTURE, WITHOUT REFORM, it must pick off this Asian axis that has been formed largely in response to the US/England/Germany’s abuse in financial affairs.

    What’s a billion or so people’s lives when a financiers bottom line is at stake?

    And Obama, what’s his motivation for continuing President Cheney’s policy of regime change? I’m sure Obama’s already planning on surpassing the $150-200,000,000.00 amassed by Clinton’s boot licking Presidency…Politicians, doing powers bidding, seems to be a very profitable enterprise.

    So…what’s the real underlying cause? Greed, in one form or another.

    *Full disclosure, I worked on part of that system, at the time I thought it to be a defensive system, not a system in support of “wars of aggression”. I am proud of my work and saddened by it’s abuse in Europe.

    And an update on this; Obama in his VOA post makes it appear as if Turkey and the US consulted a prior to the shoot down of the Russian aircraft interdicting ISIL supplies coming from Turkey…so this could be both.

  2. S Brennan

    This link should’ve followed my update:

    The timing of the shoot down does appear to be fortuitous for Obama..Hollande met with Obama today and will meet with Putin later this week…after pledging solidarity to Obama and his “stay the course against Russia” policy.

    The picture in the link below tells the story, Hollande may be Obama’s prison bitch, but he’s reluctant and full of resentment, but that’s the lot of a weak man. Someday, “liberals” will learn that while the opposite is not necessarily true, men who lack physical courage are also bereft of moral courage…oh who am I kidding, US “liberals”, since JFK/LBJ, have always preferred their heroes to have never shown courage.

  3. ISIS is basically the equilibrium solution to all the interests in the region. Their interests map out an ISIS-shaped hole, both geographically and conceptually.

  4. VietnamVet

    Yes. We the People are collateral damage.

  5. Peter*

    Not a good day/week/month for Putin and his Syrian gambit, repeated violation of Turk air space finally got his flyboys burned and then a chopper, come to rescue them, gets its crew killed by a TOW strike and it’s all on video.

    The missiles fired by the Turk pilots may have been warning shots expecting the supposedly advanced Russian ECM on the SU to actually work. Erdogan running to NATO for support may point to that possibility and possible repercussions.

    Putin’s rant about Turkey being the accomplices of terrorists seems to be identifying the same rebels he was trying to assimilate a few weeks ago as the terrorists today. I haven’t seen any evidence the Islamic State gets much if any of their arms and supplies from Turkey but the Turkey backed Syrian rebels do and that is why the Russians were bombing the Turkmen villages which set the stage for this confrontation.

    I can’t agree with Ian about the lack of desire by the West to defeat the IS but they may not be willing to pay the heavy human price required to try and neither is Putin willing to send in ground troops to back up his ineffectual air war against the IS. His air war against the Syrian rebels may require ground troops to actually make sustained gains.

  6. We were thinking along the same lines. Another step towards war.

  7. io

    Peter, you are a delusional neoliberal troll. You’re a sad little man. Your empire is crumbling around you, and your desperation to bend reality to your ideology is hilarious. I have a feeling that you are the sock puppet account of Tom.

  8. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    If any Turks want to overthrow Erdogan, I expect the Russians are talking to them now.

    That over-ambitious nitwit just put a target on his back.

  9. Check this out:

    Was the shooting down of the Russian plane Erdogan’s payback for Russian aircraft destroying over 1000 oil tanker trucks?

    Turkish Socialist party member Gursel Tekin has established that Daesh’s smuggled oil is exported to Turkey by BMZ, a shipping company controlled by none other than Bilal Erdogan, son of “Sultan” Erdogan.

    At a minimum, this violates UN Security Council resolution 2170. Under the light of Putin’s message of going after anyone or any entity engaged in facilitating Daesh’s operations, Erdogan’s clan better come up with some really good excuses. 

  10. Tom


    The SU-24 likely wasn’t carrying an ECM pod or had its RWR set updated. Not knowing what particular SU-24 model we’re even discussing here, I can’t comment any further on it. For all we know it may have been overloaded with bombs because it was flying such a short distance to its targets and when the pilot saw the RWR warning, he didn’t have enough time to dump his ordinance and dodge. But again not knowing the particulars that is all speculation.


    I always use Tom and I don’t have sockpuppets.

    As for Erdogan’s supposed ties to IS.

    No hard evidence shows him supporting them and quite to the contrary we have plenty of evidence of him fighting them. Kobane could not have held if Erdogan hadn’t allowed several thousand FSA, PKK, and KDP Forces to cross Turkish borders to fight IS.

    The PKK/PYD advance in June-July would not have been possible if Erdogan again had not allowed FSA to send 5,000 fighters to the PKK/PYD Cantons and bringing TOWs and T-55s across Turkish Borders.

    PKK/PYD’s immediate ethnic cleansing against Arabs and Turkmens and stabbing Erdogan in the back by assassinating police in their sleep was when Erdogan decided to blow up PKK support networks in Turkey and Qandil, while ensuring they never expanded East of the Euphrates River.

    If Erdogan truly supported IS, he would have had his artillery soften Kobane up for the IS advance and flew jets over it to keep US planes from operating over it.

  11. S Brennan

    Shorter Tom;

    If [a] were true, then this unrelated, but totally cockamamie [b] thing would have to happen, [b] never happened, therefore [a] is false…now let me bloviate as only an armchair “general” can.

  12. anonymouscoward

    Turkey’s angle is to shoot down negotiations just when it seemed that the EU clowns might be coming to see that the Syrian adventure is too costly for them (floods of refugees, ISIS terror attacks, the beckoning abyss of endless military campaigns far from the European homelands – it is all accumulating and compounding and there is nothing but deeper darkness to be seen down the length of this tunnel). No one can seek understanding and accommodation with Putin while tensions are escalating between Russia and Turkey, a NATO member. Hollande was scheduled to meet with Putin tomorrow. They will meet as planned, it’s just now that they have nothing to talk about: France cannot have an independent foreign policy which conflicts with Washington’s aims. It is just not permitted. If France steps out on us, more Russian planes will be downed, taking us to the brink and forcing France to “side” with its master. I lean towards the view that the timing of this shoot down is not accidental at all, and that probably Turkey had the go ahead from Obama, who in turn is probably responding to orders as well.

  13. io

    Neoliberals like Tom/Peter support terrorism- plain and simple.

    Here is Erdogan contradicting himself about airspace violations.

    Here is Turkey violating Greek airspace 20 times in a single operation.

    Ooopsies, there goes your bullshit narratives neoliberal scum.

  14. Peter*


    This claim about Erdogan’s brother could be true but why didn’t the politician identify who is buying the oil? Some of this oil goes to Assad’s areas of Syria and also to the Kurds in Iraq who pipe it through Turkey into the international market.

    The number of tankers sitting waiting for this cheap oil shows that the demand is far larger than the supply so even though the danger is now great some tankers will still roll to make the huge profits from this oil.

  15. Peter*


    Interesting speculation but I still doubt the Russian military would leave their aircraft unprotected in a war scenario any more than the US would. I do recall the Russians stating that they had detected Turkish radar locks, with their RWR, on their jets during an earlier encounter.

    Trying to use logic, facts or even rational thought to interact with True Believers such as our stalker io is a fools errand. If you are not a believer in the orthodox fantasy that Assad is a moderate democratic statesman and Putin is leading a glorious Holy War against the evil Muslims you are asking for a quick inquisition and a hot fire of purification.

  16. hvd

    One needn’t argue that Assad is a moderate democratic statesman (and no one here is so arguing) to recognize the fact that under international law other nations have no right to intervene in civil unrest much less foment it.

    Neither does one have to claim that Putin is leading a glorious holy war (and no one here is so arguing) to recognize the simple fact that one nation may invite another to assist in putting down its civil unrest.

    Straw men arguments are exactly as strong as straw men.

  17. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Now, now, HVD. Don’t interfere with Asterisk’s fantasy of being the heroic victim of repression by us scummy peasants of the vile mob.


  18. Peter*


    There seems to be a bit of straw in your apologia for Putin’s killing Muslims in Syria. It may be legal, no one but Putin says so, to help another nation bomb their citizens but is it moral or ethical even if they are revolting. Don’t we claim the right in the US, even if it is never exercised, to overthrow our government without foreign interference, if it is corrupt?

    I doubt that Putin waited for Assad to ask for this armed intervention, he was probably told to ask to publicly justify Putin’s decision, Assad being summoned to Moscow provided the PR venue for this inverted reality.

    I don’t condone the US or Gulf support of the rebels or interference in Syria but I understand why the Syrian rebels made this compromise, who else could they turn to for aid and arms?

    My criticism was aimed at this io persona’s babble and others who use similar trash talk when they apparently are unable to discuss or debate issues. I think I can dismantle your reasons for supporting Putin and Assad even if you don’t agree but your response will tell how close or far you are from io’s level of discourse.

  19. Tom


    Russia finally revealed the SU-24 model as the M2. This means it has the SVP-24 navigation system.

    Turkey’s line is the SU-24 violated its airspace for 17 seconds flying approximately 1.15 miles…

    IE the SU-24 was flying at stall speed.

    This basically tells us the Turks jumped the SU-24 and shot it down to send a message to Putin to back off the Turkmen Brigades of the FSA.

    Case closed.

  20. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Paul Craig Roberts: “Turkey Is Lying”

  21. Peter*


    I don’t know anything about the systems you mention and only a little about aviation but for the numbers you quote to make sense I would think the Russian jet would have been on a banked circular flight path that penetrated Turkish airspace a maximum of 1.15mi with a much longer actual distance to the flight path. This would increase the airspeed to a reasonable number for such a maneuver and have given the Turk pilots more space to have attacked it.

    It’s reasonable to assume the Russian bombing and airspace violations led to the orders the Turk pilots were operating under but the Russian reaction to that deadly message has opened up a whole new can of worms with increased bombing and the destruction of an aid convoy

  22. Hugh

    US allies in the Middle East are Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan, and they really bring home the point that with friends like these who needs enemies. Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, in particular, routinely sabotage US interests in the area. Re ISIS, Erdogan allowed, and still pretty much effectively allows, Turkey to be the main pipeline for foreign recruits into ISIS held Syria. He also as let Turkey serve as the main outlet for ISIS based smuggling. I mean how much intelligence does it take to know that an oil tanker truck heading north from anywhere near the Syrian border is transporting smuggled oil? Remember those pitiful US trained “moderate” rebels the US threw half a billion at? and how they were captured and their equipment stolen right off the bat because Turkish intelligence betrayed them? Or how the Erdogan wouldn’t let the US use the Incirlik air base for attacks against ISIS, then eventually did, but only in return for heavy Turkish bombing of anti-ISIS Kurdish forces? And oh yes, Erdogan did allow limited help to Kurds fighting in Kobane, but only under heavy US pressure. Then, of course, Erdogan also allowed ISIS and al Nusra to infiltrate refugee camps on Turkish soil. He wanted to establish a buffer area inside Syria where he could dump said refugees to keep them safe from Assad, but again not ISIS and al Nusra. When this didn’t happen, he encouraged these refugees to flood Europe. Do you really think that all those refugees could have transited Turkey to the coast and then been shipped to Greece by Turkish human traffickers without Erdogan’s knowledge or without Turkish police and intelligence turning a blind eye to these activities?

    The Russian jet was not shot down because it may or may not have crossed into Turkish air space. It was not shot down by mistake. It was shot down because of conflicting Russian/Assad and Turkish/Turkmen spheres of influence in Syria. Turkey was basically sending a message to Russia that it would not tolerate Russian bombing of its ethnically Turkish clients.

    One point I would like to make is that while Erdogan and Saudi Arabia share some interests in promoting Sunni Islam, the Saudi dictatorship remains virtulently opposed to and threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood, Erdogan’s brand of Islam. This was seen in them backing different groups in Egypt. Erdogan supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi while Saudi Arabia supported the anti-Muslim Brotherhood general al-Sisi.

    Finally, I would like to point out again that these conflicts need to be seen in their larger contexts. All the government’s of the world are kleptocracies with minor local color and variation. They do not do humanitarian. And failed and failing states like Syria are our future as we hit the wall of overpopulation, overuse of the world’s resources, and environmental degradation.

  23. V. Arnold

    @ Hugh

    A very good assessment, IMO.
    I would add that with Putins addition of the S-400 AA system, he has created a defacto no-fly zone.
    Putin has made it clear there will not be a war over this, but a price will be extracted.

  24. Peter*


    Interesting spin you’re putting on this incident. Putin gets bitch-slapped by little Erdogan and his defensive reaction, moving in AA missiles to protect his airbase from a nonexistent threat of attack by Turkey or anyone else, is a macho No Fly Zone. No one is contesting this airspace and it is unlikely anyone will.

    Putin did go on the offensive by increasing bombing of civilian/rebel villages, a border crossing and an aid convoy. This is all he can do short of going to war with Turkey/NATO who can fight back, unlike the Syrian rebels.

  25. Lisa

    A few facts:

    Despite Peter*’s desperate repetition the Russian plane was NOT over Turkish airspace, even by Turkey’s own ‘facts’. The area (for all of 17 secs) is claimed by Turkey, but is in actual fact Syrian.

    Turkey and the US has repeatedly invaded Syrian airspace…like all the bombing of Syrian Kurds…. and the US pinpricks to channel IS back to Syria and not go too far ‘off reservation’ elsewhere.

    The shootdown was a set up, with Turkish planes waiting and who flew into Syrian airspace to do it.

    The US approved it…of course.

    Turkey brole an agreement with Russia over airspace management, hence the ‘stab in the back’ comment by Putin.

    Turkey (and the US) is ‘all the way’ with IS (and Al Nasra and the rest of the jihadists) and always has been (Hersh broke that story years ago) as per this:

    Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey Links
    By David L. Phillips”

    The key thing is that the US has decided to go ‘full neo-con’ and up the ante and drop any pretence of ‘fighting’ the Sunni jihadists. I await Abama or Kerry (as McCain did) meeting with and having photo-ops with Al Qaeda leaders any day now (as Reagan did in the past).

    Over at Moa:
    “Seemingly completely detached from the real situation in Syria U.S. neocons have opened a concerted campaign for the eradication of the Sykes-Picot borders and the destruction of Syria and Iraq.

    John Bolton in the New York Times: To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State
    Max Boot in the LA Times: Islamic State’s Achilles’ heel: Its Sunni identity
    James Dobbins in USA Today: Partition Syria to crush the Islamic State”

  26. V. Arnold

    @ Lisa

    Nice summary.
    Peter* likes to operate in a fantasy fact free zone and is an apologist for Turkey (NATO in general) and the ISIS scum. And of course implies the poor “rebels” who machine gunned the parachuting pilot are just hapless victims.
    NATO countries violate Syrian airspace at will.
    The latest information indicates the shoot down was indeed a U.S./Turkey “set-up” because Russia gave the U.S. the time and location of the SU-24’s flight path.

    It boggles the mind how Americans; uneducated, provincial, and racist to the core are so easily led to follow lies, damn lies, and more lies from their fascist oligarchy.
    They willingly listen to outright propaganda and ignore their lying eyes…

  27. Jerome

    Yea, people in the west have no clue as to how Russia is aghast at this situation, and demanding of Putin to respond. Hundreds dead in that bombed flight and now a downed plane. The pilot on their TV saying he was not alerted at all.

    Very nice look at it S Brennan. Putin would have to show tremendous resolve here not to respond. Maybe it’s 50-50 which way it goes and one of those is a disaster.

  28. different clue

    I have heard/read that Russians understand patience and the quiet execution of plans quietly made. If, for example, Putin were to suddenly cut off natural gas deliveries to Turkey when a super deep-freeze has begun there, leading to widespread infrastructure damage and destruction and widespread hypothermia casualties, I don’t think the Russians would quibble about why Putin “took so long” . Just as a hypothetical.

  29. Lisa

    V. Arnold.

    But the Turkman standing over the dead body shouting ‘”Allahu Akbar”‘ were doing in a moderate, secular, democratic way.

  30. V. Arnold

    @ Lisa

    Indeed; thanks for that clarification. 😉

  31. Peter*


    Your ‘hypothetical, is quite demented and I doubt that even Putin is that depraved or insane. Imagining Putin as a Mr Freeze character murdering hundreds or even thousands of civilians for revenge over a military action with one death indirectly caused by the attack shows you don’t think much of Putin or the Russian people if you think they wouldn’t quibble.

    I don’t think Putin is stupid and he knows he has no power to directly answer this attack so he is flexing what little economic power he has to punish Erdogan. Punishing Turkey economically also injures Russia and cutting off gas supplies would destroy their status as a reliable world supplier which would only accelerate the current rapid growth of LNG supplies to replace Russian gas.

  32. different clue

    My dear Peter Asterisk,

    I wouldn’t imagine Putin cutting off the gas for spite or revenge. I would imagine him doing it to destabilize Turkish society as hard and as fast as possible to see if he can induce the crumbling apart and the crashing down of the AKP government, followed by Kemalist reconquest and decontamination of all the institutions which AKP has conquered and contaminated with AKP personnel. Though if it became clear that such gas embargo would not topple the AKP government, then Putin would be willing to restore gas supplies if the AKP government makes enough geo-political payments in return . . . payments such as permitting zero assistance to the rebellion going forward and zero interference with the R + 6 exterminating the rebellion down to a manageable level such that the Assad government can keep its remnants contained.

    As to your accusation that I am demented, well . . . so what if I am? Here is a little joke to illustrate a big principle. One day a man had a flat tire outside the grounds of a mental hospital. He was changing the tire. He had the lugnuts on the upside down hubcap and then somehow he knocked the hubcap over and lost the lugnuts into a little puddle of bottomless mud. Oh shit! What now? Well . . . a hospital inmate had been watching this and told the man
    to take one lugnut from each other wheel and use them on the transplanted spare-tire wheel to hold it on long enough to make it to the lugnut store. The man said “brilliant!” and did just that. Just before he was about to drive away, he asked the mental hospital inmate ” how could a mental hospital inmate such as yourself come up with such a brilliant suggestion?” The mental hospital inmate replied ” just because I’m crazy doesn’t mean I’m stupid.”

    Putin can either do “nothing” or he can do “something”. Since he is not a childish petulant lasher-outer like our Great Leader of the Global Axis of Jihad, I expect Putin will do something “effective” and “real” to get a desirable-from-Putin’s-viewpoint result.

  33. V. Arnold

    @ different clue

    What a great reply, cheers.
    Oh, and I agree; Putin is a leader, unlike the majority in the west.

  34. Lisa

    “Turkey suspends Syria flights after crisis with Russia – Nov 27 2015

    Caught in the act Erdogan is now compelled to install the desired no-fly zone over Syria. For Turkish jets..

    The Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter, sparking an unprecedented crisis between Ankara and Moscow.

    The decision was taken following the eruption of the crisis with Russia in which a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian warplane early Nov. 24 after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace, according to diplomatic sources.”

    And the Russian S-400 systems are now up and running n Syria, the big guns are out now and the gloves are off. Any Turkish planes entering Syrian airspace will die.

  35. V. Arnold

    @ Lisa

    Ah, the S-400’s…
    Seems that got some attention where it counts.
    Maybe the west isn’t as stupid as they seem? Nah, they’re stupid as dirt (no insult to dirt intended; I like good dirt).

  36. Peter*


    Wishing for ‘widespread hypothermia casualties’ among Turkish civilians is still demented no matter how much backpedaling you do or verbiage you print to cover your slimy trail.

    Turks enjoy a higher standard of living than Russians and their votes seem to count, they stopped Erdogan from becoming president for life unlike Putin so why would they allow a demented foreign power to destroy their government/economy and dictate their FP?

    You seem to have as little respect for democracy in Turkey, however poorly it works, as you do for Putin and the Russian people. The use of Might Makes Right to save the bloody autocrat Assad from his fate at the hands of Syrians is as demented as your Mr Freeze scenario.

  37. Lisa

    Peter* “….president for life unlike Putin “…He’s not.

    “Assad from his fate at the hands of Syrians …”. But which Syrians? The moderate. secualar, democratic head chopping murdering jihadists ….or the ‘bad ones’….

    Here’s an article about what it is like to be a woman under your ever so beloved IS’s rule (the gays just get thrown off rooftops), of course I am assumng that as a white, heterosexual male you even care about such things (sadly far too many don’t):

    “ISIS Women and Enforcers in Syria Recount Collaboration, Anguish and Escape”
    “The police had hauled in two women she had known since childhood, a mother and her teenage daughter, both distraught. Their abayas, flowing black robes, had been deemed too form-fitting.
    Dua sat back down and watched as the other officers took the women into a back room to be whipped. When they removed their face-concealing niqabs, her friends were also found to be wearing makeup. It was 20 lashes for the abaya offense, five for the makeup, and another five for not being meek enough when detained.”

    Under the ‘ever so hated by Peter*Assad”s rule this didn’t happen until IS took over:
    “Mandatory abayas and niqabs were still new for many women in the weeks after the jihadists of the Islamic State had purged the city ”

    ISIS Takes Over:
    “At the start of 2014, everything changed. The Islamic State wrested full control of Raqqa and made the city its command center, violently consolidating its authority. Those who resisted, or whose family or friends had the wrong connections, were detained, tortured or killed.”

    “As foreign fighters and other volunteers began streaming into town, answering the call to jihad, they became the leading lights of the shaken-up community. In Raqqa, the Syrians had become second-class citizens — at best.”

    “In the moment, each choice seemed like the right one, a way to keep life tolerable: marrying fighters to assuage the Organization and keep their families in favor…”

    Little More Than Sex Slaves
    “Only months in, widowed and abandoned and forced to marry strangers again, would they see how they were being used as temporary salves to foreign fighters whose only dedication was to violence and an unrecognizable God.”

    “Everyone had heard of Fatima, who had killed herself by slitting her wrists after being forced to marry a fighter, and there was the Tunisian girl next door who burst into tears every time someone mentioned her husband’s name. And even they were considered luckier than the captured women from the Yazidi minority, who were being smuggled into town as slaves for other fighters.”

    “The Organization also cast a long shadow over her marriage. Though Aws had always wanted a baby, Abu Muhammad asked her to take birth control pills, still available at Raqqa’s pharmacies.
    When she pressed him, he said his commanders had advised fighters to avoid getting their wives pregnant. New fathers would be less inclined to volunteer to carry out suicide missions.”

    “By the time the trees blossomed that spring, it was common to see the heads of captured soldiers and people accused of treason hanging in the main square near the clock tower.”

    “She tried to console herself with the thought that it was honorable to be a martyr’s wife. But days later, she learned a fact that made things even harder to bear: Abu Soheil had killed himself in an operation not against the hated Syrian Army, but against a competing rebel group that the Islamic State was trying to wipe out.”

    “Just 10 days later, another man from her husband’s unit came to the house. He told Dua she could not stay home alone and would need to marry again, immediately.”

    “She felt her identity was being extinguished. “Before, I was like you,” she told a reporter, waving her arms up and down. “I had a boyfriend, I went to the beach, I wore a bikini. Even in Syria, we wore short skirts and tank tops, and all of this was normal. Even my brothers didn’t care — I had no trouble from anyone.””

  38. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    DC: Are you also R U Reddy over on The Confluence? Your verbal styles are similar. 😕

  39. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    “The use of Might makes Right to save the bloody autocrat Assad from his fate at the hands of [a force of foreign Wahhabi fanatics recruited by a Certain Interesting Agency and its local satraps to serve as pawns on Global Capital’s chessboard, with a few actual Syrians as window dressing] is as demented as your Mr. Freeze scenario.”

    FIFY. 😈

  40. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    And if some of the Certain Interesting Agency’s attack dogs slip their leashes and maul some Europeans, North Americans, or other “First Worlders”?

    That just makes the peasants in “the First World” more willing to accept more restrictions on their civil liberties, making it easier still for their plutocratic lords to rob them.

    “Blowback” isn’t a bug; it’s a feature. 👿

    Putin, that magnificent bastard, will never be mistaken for a saint–but Haruhi help us all, he may be the world’s best current hope against Global Plutocracy (I decided that would be a better term than “Global Capital”).

  41. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Oh, I left something out. Occasional human-attack-dog maulings of First World peasants also make those peasants more willing to buy the expensive toys for the First World military forces and “intelligence” agencies, and pay the cushy salaries and benefits of the higher-ranking members of those organizations.

    If the attack dogs never slipped–or were never allowed off–their leashes, why then we peasants might decide we don’t really need all that tax money spent on “defense”, and so it could be diverted to things like single-payer health care.

    Again, blowback isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.

  42. Peter*


    I’m not sure what side you’re on printing this NYT Sunday human interest Agitprop. Its target audience of weepy eyed Liberal Interventionists will certainly become emotional and reactive consuming the carefully chosen trigger words such as identity, anguish, modern and the denial of this young modern woman’s rights to wear pretty (western) clothes and party the night away.

    All of her cultural references are Western, Hollyweird, writers and clothes which make her familiar, modern and part of us and not one of the Bad Muslims who must be destroyed, a clever and calculated piece of propaganda.

    Mr Putin and his Mad Monks have had a few choice words to say about our Hollyweird degenerate morals and culture and he won’t be projecting rainbows onto the Kremlin any time soon.

  43. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Asterisk Dude begins to sound like a fundamentalist of some sort, but I can’t figure out which sort.

  44. Lisa

    I said “I am assumng that as a white, heterosexual male you even care about such things”.

    Apparerently my assumption was wrong and the misogyny flowed out.

    “…denial of this young modern woman’s rights to wear pretty (western) clothes and party the night away.”

    What part of rape, physical abuse, imprisonment and sexual slavery did you not read, or are you arguing that those are just ‘pretty’ western ‘liberal’ concepts that you do not agree with?

    Are you stating for the record that such ‘liberal’ women’s concerns are irrelevant and that such slavery and rape is acceptable?

    That women should not be free to act the way they want or have the right of consent over sex, but rather be forced by physical violence to conform to what males want and that rape be an accepted part of society? That women are simply forced to have sex with any man that another man picks for them?

    The implication of your comment is that what women want is totally irrelvant to you. That the far greater rights of women under the secular Assad Govt means nothing, compared to your desire for a Sunni Wahabbi state with Sharia law being forced on them. That a life with no freedom, imprisoned in their homes and being little more than a domestic slave with a set of holes and a womb is ok with you.

    Glad you cleared up your position Peter*.
    We now know where you stand about women..proudly alongside the jihadists, the religious bigots’, the misogynists and the MRAs.

  45. Lisa

    Ivory Bill Woodpecker: “Asterisk Dude begins to sound like a fundamentalist of some sort, but I can’t figure out which sort.”

    I agree. I think he actually admires the jihadists and the type of society they espouse. Religious fundamentalism, with rigid social rules and, of course, total control over women.

    A nasty little secret about how IS (etc) manage to get so many recruits from all over the world, the fighters are guaranteed women, either as a slave or as a wife (just another type of slave).

    This is very attractive to those male losers who are incapable of actually attracting a women based on their own merits.

  46. V. Arnold

    @ Lisa

    Good job; you drew out Peter* to his full glory.
    He’s likely an American and he exemplifies all that’s wrong with that country.
    America is a morally bankrupt nation which is racist to its very core. So, is it any wonder he embraces such values he expresses here?
    Empires die because of a rot from within; it has long been said that the U.S. will never be taken from the outside; but rather from within and it is being played out before our very eyes.
    Good job Peter*, keep on trucking…

  47. Peter*


    Nice try at deflection but all I get is that you believe the NYT is a reliable news source and that your clever intuition is telling you fairytales about my positions on anything except that you are FOS. What’s next are you going to tell us they hate us for our Freedoms.

    The young woman you are trying to depict as a housebound victim had a job and was given a gun and training, hardly something a victimizer would do and she was the one wanting to have children.

    Assad certainly gave some women superficial Western social freedom while at the same time feeding some women into his torture chambers along with their male friends and relatives if they dared question his rule and many of these people weren’t even rebels.

    Defending Assad is pathetic but why not Putin or even better the other member of the Axis of Resistance Iran, they certainly must display Western Liberal values towards women and others to receive your unquestioning support.

  48. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    No, Syria, Iran, and Russia are far from sinless.

    But in this specific conflict, their alliance represents a lesser evil than the liver-eating barbarians whom Asterisk Dude admires–much as in WW2, the Allies were far from sinless, but compared to the Axis, the Allies represented a lesser evil.

    Quoth Lisa: “[ISIS sexual enslavement of women] is very attractive to those male losers who are incapable of actually attracting a woman based on their own merits.”

    I do believe Asterisk Dude just got…

  49. Peter*


    I see you are totally compromised now spouting LOTE hogwash. Just another arrogant Westerner judging and bloviating about what to do with non compliant Muslims.

  50. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Those “non-compliant Muslims”, both from ISIS and from the allegedly “moderate” liver-eaters, are killing more of their fellow Muslims than they are killing from any other group.

    The phrase “fellow Muslims” assumes, of course, that ISIS and its allies can legitimately be called Muslim, instead of members of a bizarre thanatolatrous apocalyptic cult which steals the name of Islam; I suspect the latter.

  51. highrpm

    America is a morally bankrupt nation which is racist to its very core. So, is it any wonder he embraces such values he expresses here?

    how much were hollywood and wall street complicit in setting this course and speeding “us” along? don’t let those f’in high iq eastern euro’s off the hook.

  52. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    “high iq eastern euro’s”

    Uh, just whom does highrpm mean by that phrase?

  53. Peter*

    Stuck in his Manichean trap, bound by cult of personality delirium I understand why VA strikes out against anyone who is free to possess values that require the denunciation not only of the Hegemon and its minions but also petty bloody dictators and their supporters especially when one starts spilling more Muslim blood such as Putin for their own geopolitical goals and calls it Holy War.

    Hollywood and Wall Street represent and promote the rot that is the Beast Amerika today along with the EuroTrash you mention but the other settler states Canada and Australia share some of this gory glory also.

  54. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Asterisk Dude’s ideology is too baroque for me to figure out. Have any of the rest of you managed it?

  55. V. Arnold


    Your word salad is meaningless tripe.
    Manichean trap? Do you even know what the word means?
    You’ve gotten way more attention than your sophomoric missives deserve; bye.

  56. Lisa

    Ivory Bill Woodpecker : Nope total mystery, except the love of religious extremists. I wonder if it extends to Christian ones, such as the person who killed those at Planned Parenthood (which I assume P* is against given his clear and stated misogyny).

  57. different clue

    Ivory Bill Woodpecker,

    Yes, R U Reddy was an old nom d’ keyboard of mine. I used to comment at a few different blogs, including some now extinct. On one of those blogs, someone accused me of being “differently clued” about something. So I took the name different clue to honor the insult. But on the couple of other blogs where I was R U Reddy, I remained so . I was the same R U Reddy who became “among the banned” over at Digby’s Hullabaloo. She later decided it best to ban the whole comments function and erase all the archives besides . . . at about the same time she revealed her True Deepest Self by bringing There Is No Spoon onto her blog.

    Verbal styles are like fingerprints, not subject to easy changing.

  58. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Justin Raimondo: The Phony War On ISIS

    Raimondo is a libertarian, so he can’t accept that “US global hegemony” actually means “the global hegemony of Big Business”, but he makes sense otherwise.

  59. different clue

    I think Peter asterisk is a classical troll of the old school. HeeSheeIt just says stuff to get a response. Maybe also to show off herms’s verbositized intellectualoidal superioritism.

  60. Peter*


    I could say you are a clownish dolt but that would be rude so I’ll stick to what you have proven yourself to be, a demented or possibly even deranged raver craving the pleasure of watching Putin freeze civilian Turks to produce your desired political outcome.

    The hope that Putin was drawing France or anyone else away from the Western alliance and Syrian rebel demand for Assad’s departure was short-lived with Hollande stating clearly that Assad Must Go before any alliance against the Islamic State can proceed.

  61. different clue

    oooooOOOOOooooo . . . . . did I hit a nerrrrve, Petie baby honey precious?

    You know what they say . . . if the foo shits, wear it.

  62. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    “demented, or possibly even deranged”

    I thought “demented” and “deranged” meant the same thing?

  63. Lisa

    Summary of P*’s positions:

    Syria: Assad must go and the jihadists take over.
    Jihadists: are not that bad at all, it is their ‘cultural’ right to be head choppers, rapists, etc.
    Misogyny: stated clearly, women don’t matter (perhaps some of IS’s ideas on them are not so bad after all?).
    Anti-LGBTI: implied but probably a given.
    Western strategey: back the jihadists.
    Russia: Attack.
    Iran: Attack.
    Alawites, Christians. non Salafist Sunnis, Shiites: Don’t matter, the males should all die and their wives and daughters given to the jihadists as slaves.

    Have I missed anything?

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