“There is beauty in truth, even if it’s painful. Those who lie, twist life so that it looks tasty to the lazy, brilliant to the ignorant, and powerful to the weak. But lies only strengthen our defects.” – Jose N. Harris
The Russian Defense Ministry won the quote of the week award with its “theater of the absurd” description of the US State Department’s and Pentagon’s denials that they knew anything about Turkey’s aiding and abetting ISIL via the massive oil smuggling operations from Syria. They were lying of course, and admitted that Turkey was guilty for not only the oil smuggling but all the other supplies crossing the border for ISIL.
US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein had earlier said the amount of oil being trafficked into Turkey was insignificant. And then US coalition spokesman Colonel Steve Warren went even further by saying, “Any thought that the Turkish government is somehow working with ISIL is just preposterous and completely untrue.”
Every major intelligence agency and military with communication intercept and satellite capability has been watching this go on for a long time now. And what cab driver in the world does not know that nothing moves through Turkey without Turkish Intelligence knowing, and getting a piece of the action for its bosses? If ISIL were a problem in Turkey, it would not last over 48 hours.
How did all the Western ISIL smuggling deniers pull the scam off for so long? The possibilities are that they were stupid and incompetent; they had been ordered to lie to the world and their own people for political reasons; or legal ones, like aiding and abetting in a crime against humanity. Or… maybe they are the real Axis of Evil, something I do not say flippantly, as the pile of dead and wounded, the tortures and executions, and over ten million refugees is no joking matter.
When democratic governments pander such pathological lies in front of those they have taken an oath to protect and defend, is it unfair to describe them as evil? And when the evil train leaves the station and we see more state leaders running after it, like David Cameron with his claim that Britain had an obligation to bomb ISIL in Syria to help protect the 70,000 in the Free Syrian Army, is that not manipulation on an evil level?
I can’t leave out the Qataris and Saudis, with their undying support for their Wahhabi brethren who became the Founding Fathers of the Muslim Axis of Evil. They of course think they are accountable to no one, including God, which I think was a bad move on their part and one they will regret.
But none of this has bothered their Western partners who make money selling them huge amounts of weapons to protect themselves from the retribution that they know they are due. Having a nuclear big brother with not only a Navy but a huge air transportation capacity to project power is not a luxury but a necessity when being a smaller country-sponsor of terror.
Iran and Russia were caught with their pants down on this to a degree. Iran had been reaching out to all the Gulf countries trying to improve relations via investment opportunities trying to ease tensions to undermine the US State Department’s continuing to list Iran as a state sponsor of terror. Iraq, Iran and Russia were further compromised somewhat, via the financial ties they had via trade with and through Turkey.
For example in Northern Iraq the majority of its imports come in through Turkey. And during the worst of the sanctions squeeze in Iran, Turkey was an important lifeline. Russia had major trade relations, gas exports and strategic pipeline deals in the works with Ankara, critical to its economy. Such geopolitical concerns cannot be ignored by responsible state leaders.
But that all changed for Russia when Turkey shot down the SU-24 in what is generally agreed to have been a well-planned ambush, and one which NATO and Saudi AWACs are widely suspected to have been involved, thickening the morality soup even more.
Lavrov told Italian media on December 9th that Russia had prior knowledge of ISIL smuggling going on through Turkish territory, and had had long discussions about it with “our Turkish partners without making a great fuss or accusing them of anything… We were reluctant to believe that [the Turkish leadership was involved] and tried to address these problems through special channels. It did not work.”
Please make a note that the US admission of knowing about the Turkish-ISIL oil smuggling came the following day. Lavrov had smoked them out with his concession the day before.
But the Theater of the Absurd cranked up to another level with the Turkey-NATO flanking move into Iraq’s oil region. Different versions of the story were leaked to different media to create a confusing situation that the public would quickly tune out. VT’s sources confirmed the 150-man force was a straw dog, that the real number was 1500, and the troops and the tanks had been there for some time in various locations. Obviously Iraq did not want to admit that they had never addressed it before.
Part of the media roll out for this new Axis of Evil destabilization came from the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of the Senate. John McCain and Lyndsey Graham were calling for 10,000 US troops to go into the Syrian-Iraq border region as “guards”, and then behind that came stories of 90,000 more Gulf troops, under the guise of protecting the border… ten divisions, not counting the Turks, to send a message to Baghdad to say bye-bye to Anbar province, as it was going to be “guarded” for a long time.
We have long editorialized at Veterans Today that without more international pressure against these illegal military actions inside another state without its permission, that they would grow in size to become permanent occupation forces under the guise of counter-terrorism operations. This is now turning into a major East-West brinksmanship game, and so far the push back against it has been weak, but fortunately not invisible.
Germany has refused to share Intel with Turkey because it is an untrustworthy partner, a major slight after Merkel pushed through the 3 billion Euros to Turkey for refugee support. President Melos Zelman of the Czech Republic states that despite Turkey being a NATO member state it should never become an EU member because it “sometimes behaves as if it were an ally of the Islamic State.” Willy Wimmer, former state secretary in the German Defense Ministry said that Ankara was “not in a position” to drag NATO into a war, and stressed the military bloc would be better off without Turkey.
We are also seeing growing pushback on the EU- Russian sanctions renewal that the West wants passed for another six months. Former French transport minister and current MP Thierry Mariani has presented a resolution to the Parliament calling for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions due to the great economic harm they have done to both countries. Italy has demanded that the sanctions extension be discussed further before approval.
Back in the US there were a few surprises, also. The leading lunatic in the Republican presidential race, Ted Cruz has advocated carpet bombing ISIL with nukes. Listen to how low the US has sunk in its political leadership: “We will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out”, said Cruz as he was quoted in the Des Moines Register. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Fortunately, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, AF General Paul Selva, rejected Ted Cruz’s suggestion. He counter with “…the US military does not now, and will not in the future, engage in carpet bombings. And even Donald Trump got a slap down by the Pentagon for his stupid remark calling to ban all Muslims from coming into the country, claiming it would help Daesh’s recruitment for a holy war.
Iraq needs to get its act straight. We heard of a deadline for the Turks and all options are on the table, and then it is going to the UN Security Council. Next we hear a request for the Russians to consider setting up an air base, and then that Baghdad wants to “work things out” with Turkey. As I am writing Iraq says it will ask the UN to get Turkey out of Iraq. Who knows what they will say tomorrow.
Erdogan responds to the pull out ultimatum by saying hell no, he won’t go, as he is on an anti-terrorism campaign for the US coalition, which is actually to be the northern flank for taking the Kurds and Anbar province away from Iraq via a permanent occupation.
I am seeing these moves as baiting Russia and Iran into a wider war to stop the NATO-Gulf State-Israel coalition from carving up Syria and Iraq as they want, to do their pipeline dealing from the barrel of a gun. Colonial gunboat diplomacy has unfortunately come back in fashion.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”