Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Reflectiions on Turkey's war on Syria

An August, 1914 moment


On this hot day in Wellington I find myself forced to speak once again.

I woke up this morning and turn on the RT News. Listening to their coverage of events overnight in Syria my thoughts immediately turned to mainstream media, in particular the Guardian, and how they would cover events.

Over the weekend news came from third party sources like Zero Hedge who talked, not only of the Turks shelling the Kurds in the Aleppo region and sending their troops,albeit in small numbers, across the border.

There has been talk in alternative media of 150,000 Saudi troops joining joining the fray. While this may be an exaggeration, there is no doubt that the Saudis Are joining their friends and allies in Turkey the American airbase in southern Turkey and are readying themselves for a ground operation if given the clear ahead by the American allies.

The Americans have publicly come out criticising Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions  saying both sides should “desist”.

There is no doubt that the Turks are testing their alliance with the American and Erdogan has come out with what is essentially an insult, to Obama by saying that America has to choose between Turkey and the "terrorists".

We can discuss whether this is the true position of the American administration or just smoke and mirrors. I am fairly convinced that Obama and Kerry genuinely don't want a shooting more with Russia but it is equally clear that the neocons and the crazies are itching for a fight.

This brings me back to this morning stories.

Listening to RT I was sure of one of two things – either the Guardian would be silent about Turkish actions (and I was partially right, and partially wrong about this) or that that they would be repeating accusations delivered by the Turkish PM accusing Russia of firing a strategic rocket into a hospital which is situated only 20 km from the Turkish border in the town of Azaz which is the last point for the Kurds and the Syrian army before the border.

At the same time the Turkish PM (I can't pronounce his name) stated that Ankara would not allow the town to be taken by the Kurds - reaction would be “harsh”.

Sounds like an ultimatum to me

The PM’s statement was delivered standing alongside Ukraine's pm, Arseny Yatsenyuk, something that already should be setting off alarm bells.

However, the statement by the Turkish Prime Minister was repeated by western media without any sense of irony..

You just have to stop and think for a moment or two.

Why on earth would the Russians use a strategic bomb, something they have not used so far, to destroy a hospital 20 Km Inside Syria.

Far more likely, I would have thought, that the Turks, that have been lobbing missiles across the border all weekend are responsible for this outrage. After all the weapons that have been put at their disposal by their American allies are not exactly something out of the Stone Age.

However, all this would make perfect sense if you ignore the news that has been coming out over the weekend.

I did see Radio New Zealand quoting the BBC in  saying that the Americans were critical of Turkish actions but the Guardian put things in a totally different light.

According to the Guardian, now that the Kurds, previously seen as the victims of terrorists and as allies, are lining up with the Syrian government and the Russians - they are now turning into an enemy force who are upsetting the Turks who seemingly, according to the Guardian, can do no wrong.

It looked to me and see if we are seeing the liberal Guardian - turned attack dog and advocate of war - adopting an even more extreme position, if that was possible, than the BBC and State Department.

I have since listen to a discussion on RT Recorded a day or so ago which Mark Sleboda, Dmitry Babich and Moscow-based businessman Eric Kraus give a very sober, if not depressing, interpretation of what is going down.

Essentially, they are comparing this with the events of July 1914 when all sides were accusing each other and any attempt to stand above the fray and talk logically brought about an accusation of being unpatriotic. The parallel of this today are accusations of either being a “conspiracy theorist" or a Putin apologist.

In short, they were saying that we stand before the 2016 equivalent of August 1914 when everyone went to war. The main difference is that I can see Is that the technology and destructive power is completely different a century later.

We have an Empire that has not won any of its wars  sinceVietnam -  whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan,Libya and now Syria.

American foreign policy has been an abject failure and there quickly losing their hegemony. 

Their only choice is to double down.

The Empire cannot admit defeat – and this makes what is happening now most dangerous point in human history.

The other, and biggest elephant in the room, it's abrupt climate change, the methane clathrate gun along with 60 odd other positive feedback mechanisms– 

In short, the threat of near-term human extinction or at the very least the end of human civilisation.

But as I sit here I have to ask myself whether the human fate may not be to destroy ourselves in thermonuclear war.

As I say, ad nauseum, we are living in a world that has gone collectively totally bonkers and clear logical thinking has become a threatened species.

I have never learnt anything in the past five years to induce me to recant my contention that humanity of numerous front stands before the precipice – in fact, - Is rushing towards it.

I shall give my last living breath to trying to find - and communicate the truth as I see it - in the most logical way I can.

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