Turkey attacks Russia: a wake up call, or is the western intelligentsia too far gone?

The Turks have shot down a Russian jet that may (or may not) have been skirting into Turkish territory at the time. This marks the first time since the start of the Cold War that nuclear-armed NATO has committed an act of war against another nuclear-armed state. It’s a well-known and well-rehearsed scenario for a possible global conflagration.

Many of us have been warning about such an eventuality for some time – since at least the moment the US and its tame puppies in Europe went full Strangelove and began openly backing what amounted to a NATO takeover of Ukraine and Crimea. Now it’s come to pass. And if this isn’t the trigger for Armageddon, the next such flashpoint might be. And there will be more – and more and more – until the non-crazies find the spine to step in and put an end to the madness.

Let’s not kid ourselves. This incident is not likely to be Turkey acting unilaterally. Nor is it some unfortunate screw-up. ISIS are currently being pressed almost to death. The communication corridors between northern Syria that permit ISIS oil to enter Turkey (in those un-stoppable convoys), and weapons to enter Syria, are coming under increasing pressure from Russian airstrikes and from ground operations by Syrian forces. If these previous wide-open corridors are closed or disrupted it would very possibly mean the beginning of the end for the NATO-proxy force striving to destroy the Syrian government. It would also be a big fail for Turkey’s president Erdogan in his bid to destroy the Kurds and establish a wider Turkey.

The shoot-down has to be seen in that context, as a deliberate and completely insane escalation, very probably with the tacit or overt support of the most lunatic neocon factions in Washington, in order to draw NATO in to “defend” Turkey from “Russian aggression.” A Hail Mary, last ditch attempt to win out or die trying.

It’s yet another clear message that there are people with access to power in Washington who are a) not sane and b) not going to be stopped by any thought of consequences.

The question is – will this – not so long ago unthinkable – event be a final wake-up call to non-crazy portions of the establishment, that they can’t just roll along, hoovering up cash and kudos, and assume everything will turn out ok?

The signs aren’t good. After all most of the European heads of state, diplomats, corporate media are more or less US appointees, chosen for their obsequiousness, cupidity and lack of moral compass, not for their brains or acumen. They have been dimwittedly cheering their way to global annihilation for over a year. And, judging by the Guardian live feed, it doesn’t look as if much is changing thus far.

Shaun Walker is still making arch comments about Russian “sabre-rattling”, as if he thinks WW3 is a joke, or a video game, or that barstool he parks his arse on is ICBM-proof.

Philip Hammond, the UK Foreign Secretary, is gleefully quoted accusing Labour MP Dennis Skinner of being an “apologist for Russian actions” because Skinner questioned the wisdom of Turkey being in NATO.

Does Hammond think it was Russia that shot down a Turkish plane?

Does he think at all?

Some blithering moron with a blog is quoted, because he thinks Putin won’t really mind too much about losing a plane or two, and opines smugly that “I suspect neither Moscow nor, at the very least, the other European Nato powers will want to let this go too far.”

Hmmm…And what about the NATO power(s) that decided shooting down the plane was a good move? Should we be confident they don’t want to “let this go too far”? Because I think the fact they shot down the jet in the first place implies that is exactly what they do want. I further suggest blind faith and smug smiles are not going to be enough to get us through the next days, weeks and months.

But then this “New York university professor” displays almost total estrangement from reality in other ways, when he adds “Putin really wants a return to 19th century geopolitics, when might made right…”

In fact right there is a microcosm of the entire problem confronting us. This man apparently lives in the same world the rest of us live in. He has seen Libya unfold. He’s seen what happened in Iraq. He’s watched the naked aggression of the US expressed all over the world. He must know that “might makes right” is the central tenet of US foreign policy.

Yet he writes something that is the total reversal of this truth. And apparently expects his readers to accept it. He may – even more worryingly – actually believe it himself. And the Guardian thinks this is an appropriate response to the situation we find ourselves in today.

This is the same estrangement from veridical reality that now seems to affect the entire political and media establishment in most of the western world. They live and breathe in a made-up world, where truth is – whatever the group dynamic says it is. They are given a sense of unity against “them” (i.e. us) who are dangerously “other” and tell plausible-sounding “lies” that have to be quickly erased. They are given a sense of total impunity by the apparently global reach of their narrative, and they encounter very few individuals in the inner sanctum of their daily lives who question its truth. They have become bubble people. Insulated from the real, and therefore impervious to the idea of consequence. They have learned to despise everything that is not them or their chums, even if it’s the largest country in the world, with an arsenal of nuclear weapons sufficient to end all life on the planet. This is why they have no fear, and precious little sanity.

These people could happily go on making their silly speeches about Russian aggression, tapping out their silly column inches of faux narrative and Doublethink, and no one would be more surprised than they when the war they are helping to sell becomes a reality.

But let’s be hopeful. Maybe Obama is going to find more to say than warmed-over Cold War blather, sub intelligent conflations of Assad with ISIS, and fairly blatant threats? Maybe Merkel is going wake up that torpid brain of hers and realise it’s time to get off the death train. Maybe Hollande is going to do more than simper and play runner for the cool kids. Maybe Cameron really is up to the challenge ahead.

Time will tell. But don’t set your hopes too high.

Meanwhile on CiF the same handful of brain-dead trolls keep posting their pitiful war-mongering trash (without being censored) again

and again

and again

and again

until hell freezes over, or the earth boils, as oblivious to consequence as their masters.


  1. Pingback: Thankfully, Russian Leaders are Rational

  2. John says

    See http://www.thenational.ae/world/turkey/20140831/turkeys-new-pan-islamist-pm-wants-to-reshape-middle-east#full (from August 2014). This may help to explain some of what is happening in Turkey and Syria right now.

    Syrian “buffer zones” occupied by ethnic Turkmen are a start towards reclaiming the former Ottoman Empire and tearing-up Sykes-Picot, wouldn’t you say? The ethnic Turkmen were the ones the Russians were bombing at the time their plane was shot down by Turkish fighter jets. What does one make of that? Nothing to do with NATO?

    Of course, the zionist Yinon Plan project also benefits from these shenanigans, does it not?

  3. JetBoy says

    The information coming out about this is that the Turks where used as patsies by the US, fed the information, the when, the where. Most Turkish F16s are flight controlled from Incirlik airbase which is basically just one big CIA operations base (and incidentally the base where ISIS jihadis where first trained by US and Israeli special forces back in 2012) Erdogans business in transporting ISIS stolen oil (with his brother) having been rudely interrupted by the Russians bombing 500 of their trucks the week before made it easy to manipulate the already short fused ‘Sultan’. Anyway the low down is that Russia immediately deployed S300 and S400 missiles in Syria after the SU24 was shot down, a de facto no fly zone. There hasn’t been a US flight in Syria since. Also interesting story doing the rounds about the US and ‘allies’ dropping leaflets on ISIS before bombing them, giving them a 45 minute window to allow them to do a runner. RT and Russia Insider with photos of the Arabic leaflets on that one. This seems like a big power play by the US as things are ramping up in Ukraine as well, we could see the Russians fighting proxy battles against their ‘allies’ in Syria and the US backed junta in Kiev by the end of the month.

  4. I just did a Norwegian translation of this interesting, but slightly depressing article. Any preference on byline, or is it a team effort?

  5. Davide says

    Very interesting interview here – former NORAD commander in Alaska says that Soviet planes flew into their airspace many times, but they “would never do anything like that” (shoot it down). Goes on to say that it’s clearly a provocation from Erdogan, who has made Turkey authoritarian and Islamist, trying to create a conflict between NATO and Russia. This on Fox News, not known for views sympathetic to Russia.


  6. Davide says


    Could it be that the US isn’t willing to back Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanist expansion plans all the way to the moon? The US was 100% behind Saddam Hussein until he invaded Kuwait, Erdogan may learn that American loyalty does come with conditions. I’m sure Erdogan is getting increasingly desperate, NATO has made no headway against ISIS despite supposedly trying oh-so-hard, while in a matter of weeks, Russia has made significant gains against the Turkey-funded jihadis, and bombed those previously invisible oil convoys heading for Turkey. Erdogan is seeing his plans to crush the Kurds and install a pro-Turkish puppet in Syria fall apart in front of his eyes, it’s a calculated gamble he thinks will force NATO to take on Russia and further Turkey’s goals in Syria. If he thinks the US will actually take on Russia, though, he’s absolutely insane. I don’t know if Erdogan paid attention to the Ukraine situation or not, but NATO only fights with words where Russia is involved.

  7. Turkey is not a Part of West dont wan,t to a part of this child murdres Gang.

  8. Michaelk says

    I’ve just read the Guardian’s view, an editorial on the days events, and, not surprisingly it’s pathetic. Stay cool everyone, wow! Aren’t they hip, or is it hyped? They even bring up the fairytale about the non-existent moderate Syrian opposition that nobody can find, and claim the Russians are only bombing them and not IS. The guys sure don’t look or sound like typical Guardian readers to me. Maybe the Guardian should go look for the moderates and interview them? I’d be inclined to send some to the most attractive among the Guardian’s staff, both men and women, and supply the moderate rebels with free copies of the Guardian, which I’m sure they all read avidly. One could ask them about their attitudes to homosexual and transgender rights in the New Syria their fighting to create on the ashes of the old one. I, for one, can’t wait for the results of the Guardian’s quest to find the moderate fighters, men brave enough to confront both the might of the evil Assad and the even more evil Putin.

  9. Guest says

    Thank you for writing a sensible thoughtful article about today’s events.

    The collusion of the media and the gives with Turkeys actions are really sickening.
    I honestly don’t understand why such an action would be supported.

    Why do they want things to escalate?

  10. Michaelk says

    You’re accurate in you analysis of the Guardian’s journalism. It’s truly appalling. I think it’s close to a kind of kinder, gentler… fascism. Fascism for liberals. In the sense that the State has more or less merged with the great corporations and militarism, typified by Blair’s and New Labour’s embrace of neo-conservatism, along with the other major Westminster parties, is a form of government that Mussolini would have recognized and applauded. I imagine most liberals would be appalled by this comparison, unfortunately it’s obvious. Perhaps this is why so many working for the Guardian are so sympathetic to the advance of fascism in the Ukraine?

    • Seamus Padraig says

      When fascism returns to the West, they will call it ‘democracy’.

    • Liberals are fucking hypocrites, end of story really. They serve up pious platitudes about identity politics whilst acting as cover for the state’s most mirderous intentions.

      Liberals are the defenders of the state, why? Because they determine how far debate can go and that’s why there aren’t many of them, and why people won’t vote for them.

      Daly the modern Labour Party is stuck with loads of them because even idiots like Tristram Hunt and Simon Dancsak know no one would vote for them if they admitted what they really were.

      Corbyn would do best to remove them all but I’m sure he can’t that easily.

  11. The NWO are at the gates of Syria .They fail here and it’s over. Russia Iran know what they are up against
    Syria falls humanity goes with it .it will be finish off Iraq, then onto Iran ,then Russia The stakes are massive Defeat does not bear thinking about

  12. Michaelk says

    Faced with too much reality, which they no longer controlled or understood, the Roman’s too began an intellectual retreat into a form of managed theatre which they mistook and preferred to the real world. This retreat seems to be a defining characteristic of empires when the world is changing around them. The Austro-Hungarian empire, remember that one? Knew it was in trouble before 1914. Powerful forces were pulling the multi-ethnic empire apart and one way of pulling it together was through the time-honoured method of nationalism and militarism on steroids, also known as war. As we know, things didn’t quite work out as the ruling Austrian elite hoped. Instead of hammering the empire together under the hammer and anvil of war, the opposite happened. The empire was smashed to pieces, and along with it Russia and Germany too, and the whole of Europe was eventually reduced to little more than a servile appendage of the Washington empire, and it’s been that way every since. So, these intellectual turning away from reality in favour of myth and false narratives, can have really serious and tragic consequences.

    • The stupidity of today is s big reminder of sarijavo 100 years ago.

      All through my childhood we were posing the question “how did WW1 happen?” How was such a monumental cluster fuck allowed to pass. Well that was thirty years ago, now here we are – weak governments, Oil and Banking calling all legislation. Aggression replacing diplomacy. Venal capitalism. And these clowns think they’re in uncharted territory.

      What did Marx say ” History repeats it’s self once as tragedy, once as farce”?

      Well what a farcical Empire we have


      • CoolKiwi2015 says

        Very good points @Shatnersrug & glad to see you commenting here at OffGuardian. I used to often read your comments at CIF (before we both got moderated off for politely posting well reasoned comments which ran contrary to the Guardian orthodoxy, I.E. what is commonly known as “telling the truth” !)

        I was thinking earlier today about the similarities between what is presently happening and the beginnings of WW1. Another good quote which springs to mind – “those who will not learn from the mistakes of history are condemned to repeat them.” Those clowns over at The Guardian etc. obviously haven’t learned anything at all from history.

        • That’s very kind of you, glad to see you here as well!! It’s a great place to come and vent steam about the lies of the Empire! I still stick my head in at CIF but I can’t stand the lies and cowardliness of the editorial comment, and the trolls – paid Tory and especially UKIP – were starting to actually depress me with their contempt for fellow humans.

          I’m with Tariq Ali on this one,


        • goldenmileclover says

          So relieved to see this about paid trolls, it has been breaking my heart since the election thinking it could be real people. Is it anything to do with the 77th Brigade?

  13. gorlagonuk says

    And yesterday, here was I thinking that it couldn’t get any worse than watching the House of Commons debate the strategic defence announcement with all the idiots who were tsking and saying “remember Iraq” a fortnight ago suddenly seeing the French do some big (not) dick bombing and them getting the green eye about French dicks looking bigger than British dicks and then dusting off their mournful, concerned faces – you know, the ones they have that they use to conceal their raging hard-ons for death and destruction. THESE PEOPLE RUN OUR COUNTRY. They are stupid, incompetent, bubble people and I wouldn’t trust them to do my supermarket shopping.

    And then today comes and I realise that it can always get worse.

    (Sorry, strangled sentences and crudities. I can barely type from despair.)

  14. Thanks. For the last twelve years or so I’ve been concerned about the similarities of the first years of this century resemble the first years of the last. In particular, my thesis is that the First World War was ultimately caused by the failure of an irrelevant and anachronistic political and economic system in Europe, a desperate last attempt of a corrupt and uncomprehending system to save itself from becoming a fossil. I believe the same is happening now, our political and economic system is dying, it’s no longer working for the people or the planet and its leadership is just as uncomprehending as any European royalty. In particular American exceptionalism, and by extension, the West’s exceptionalism, is not that much different in logic from the divine right of kings or Germany’s Thousand Year Reich. That the other two major players on the world stage are just as corrupt and unrepresentative of the interests of their people or the planet and are equally fossilised, we have a the perfect recipe for yet further even more violent parallels with the early years of last century.

  15. “But let’s be hopeful. Maybe Obama is going to find more to say…”

    Ahhhhm, using those two words in the same sentence, “Obama” and “hope” and long been proven to be an excercize in self-delusion… as in “audacity-to-hope”.

    These are depressing and frightening times, with the West ruled by psychopaths.

  16. Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet and commented:

    We have seen how the west and US condones assassinations (it’s called “targeted killings”) and it is justified by a few against many. In that vain if a consensus can be reached by a few over many, by the same logic, that consensus would make it perfectly legal to proffer Erdogans name for assassination- ahem, sorry, “targeted killing” also. Where do I sign? The west and US have gone so far down the road of insanity and hypocrisy with their petty small minded thinking(if indeed it could be called that) and hollow rhetoric of “civilised democratization” I honestly don’t believe they can tell the difference between their lies and the reality. So the whole world goes up in flames leaving ruinous ash behind because of a few demented, vacuous war hawks drunk on power and an overinflated sense of their own importance and deluded self righteousness are allowed to dictate to the little people(that would be the electorate)their final destiny. Stop the world I want to get off.

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