same old russophobia, sniggers & hand-wringing: media response to Turkish attacks is a dismal failure

Yesterday we wondered whether the non-lunatic parts of the western intelligentsia would be up to the task of resisting the new neocon push for war that obviously lies behind the Turkish shoot-down of the Russian SU-24. Signs continue to suggest the answer to that is “probably not.” In fact there’s every indication of an absolute lack of direction in the media outlets, suggesting they have not had their playbooks updated following this near-disaster and are having to improvise – a thing they are not trained to do.

In the current confusion some media comment is showing signs of dawning awareness of humanity’s peril, but it’s largely the panicked bewilderment of the cult-member who begins to realise there’s cyanide in the Kool-Aid. There’s little impression that anyone yet has marshalled the insight or intelligence to actually break step with the old official narrative which is currently marching us all toward the cliff.

Today’s Telegraph is typical of many such. It’s awake enough to at least pay lip service to the obvious fact that “it is important this incident does not escalate into a confrontation between Russia and Nato,” but that’s as far as its ability to think outside its longstanding programming goes. Most of the rest of its copy is just a re-statement of the usual institutionalised russophobia, which of course is the very thing that made the Turkish shoot-down conceivable for the madmen involved. There’s no realisation here that when you continually demonise, mock and minimise a nuclear powered nation, a “confrontation” is exactly what you are inviting. And that simply saying “let’s not fight” at this stage is not even close to enough.

Likewise the Daily Mirror. Its headline is a panicky plea – “Don’t rush us into war as shot down Russian warplane shows how unpredictable Syria really is” – but it offers no awareness of the forces that brought us to this unimaginable point, or any insight that reckless western demonising of Russia and Putin played any part in it, or needs to be abated. Like the Telegraph it offers no condemnation of the insane Turkish provocation, only gutless hand-wringing about both sides “showing restraint,” and anxiety about Britain’s possible role in Syria – as if that is even a major issue when a NATO/Russian stand-off is now a live and ongoing possibility. Does the Mirror think Britain would survive that maelstrom if it had no troops in Syria? What messed up, parochial non-thinking is this?

The NYT goes a little further than the generally lamentable effort by the UK media, and may well be speaking for the saner elements in Washington when it reminds its readers that “NATO countries have been concerned about Mr. Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies for some time.”

Is this a hopeful sign that Recep is about to be sent to the naughty corner, or at least heavily censured behind the scenes and told firmly not to do it again? Maybe, but let’s not get our hopes up. The NYT piece still falls well short of any kind of recognition of the real situation the world is currently facing. Its level of denial is plain in the way it airily claims “while few expect a military escalation, with neither Russia nor NATO wanting to go to war…”, as if it has no idea what Turkey did was already an act of war and that military escalation has only been avoided by Russia showing a massive restraint that will not continue should the same thing happen again.

The Guardian is as befuddled as all the other British papers. Its editorial is another of the Telegraph variety, anxiously warning about the need for “calm” while offering up the same shop-worn neocon lies and distortions designed to incite hatred of the country Turkey just attacked. It pretends Russia is not bombing ISIS, despite proof that it is. It pretends Russia is instead bombing those elusive “rebels”, when it’s been clear for weeks now these “rebels” are militant jihadists such as al Qaeda and al Nusra. It makes no effort to condemn the actions of Turkey.

In short the bewildered writer is calling for “calm” while reflexively stoking the fires of war, simply because he hasn’t had any orders to desist.

Elsewhere in the Graun, Yavuz Baydar commences with the unpromising words “no matter which side is responsible…”, and only goes downhill from there. This pathetic apology for journalism tries, without citing anything but that convenient Graun standby unsourced “suspicion”, to suggest Russia was responsible for downing the Turkish jet in Latakia in 2012, thereby muddying the waters enough to salvage some portion of the failing official narrative. Not content with that Yavuz goes on to whitewash Turkey’s blatant support for ISIS, claiming “Turkey’s Syria strategy has been looking increasingly vague and reactive recently,”, and even has the brazen nerve to claim its shooting down of a Russian jet has given Turkey “a stronger arguments to call for a no-fly zone along its entire border area.” Which, alone, demonstrates this writer’s grasp on geopolitical realities, right there.

Meanwhile, in another part of the Guardian forest, Roy Greenslade does a lighthearted overview of the media-reaction and quips happily about Putin “rattling his sabres.”

Cue knowing smiles in Graun HQ, before they all nip down to the pub for a long and liquid lunch. Putin – what a wanker with his sabre-rattling. Good job we know better. Mine’s a double.

Sadly for Roy, and Roy’s retirement plans, and all his media chums, and for the rest of us on planet earth, Putin is almost certainly not just sabre-rattling. In fact, while virtually unreported in Roy’s own paper, Russia is currently moving their S-400 missile system to their Khmeimim airbase in Syria, and sending the missile cruiser Moskva off the coast of Syria, near Latakia, “ready to take down any aerial targets threatening its airbase..with long-range surface-to-air missiles.”

It’s a fool indeed who thinks this is all for show. Russia was attacked by a NATO country, and if it happens again, Russia will take action, which may well entail shooting down a Turkish jet.

And that will possibly be a prelude to the worst and last war in human history.

This dangerous possibility should be getting discussion by politicians and coverage by the media. There should be calls for Erdogan to be publicly censured and sanctioned, and for Turkey’s NATO membership to be reviewed. This might send a strong enough message to deter further insane actions by Erdogan and his likely lunatic provocateurs in Washington. Anything less is in danger of giving the gang a free pass to go again.

Scripted russophobia, sniggers and hand-wringing is not going to cut it this time, but to a large extent it’s becoming apparent that for most of the intelligentsia – that’s all they got.


If you enjoy OffG's content, please help us make our monthly fund-raising goal and keep the site alive.

For other ways to donate, including direct-transfer bank details click HERE.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nov 25, 2015 11:52 PM

Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Nov 25, 2015 9:56 PM

“NATO countries have been concerned about Mr. Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies for some time.”

Yeah, Angela Merkel was so concerned that, on her last visit to Ankara, she threatened Turkey with… expediting their EU membership application!

BTW, as dismal as most of The Graun articles on this incident have been, there is one silver lining: on those articles where they declined (forgot?) to turn the comboxes off, the comments were running about 90% against Erdo-war.

Nov 25, 2015 7:53 PM

Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin.

Nov 25, 2015 5:46 PM

It was a terrible decision by Murdergan and his fundamentalist cronies, as anything looking remotely threatening in that Northern Syria are will be dealt with accordingly ,, in other words that area is now a no fly zone for Turkey, and the Russians are going full retard all over the Turk Syrian border
Turkey announced that a meeting between Ahmet Davutoğlu and Lavrov had been arranged , denied by Lavrov accusing the duplicitous turks of lying

I doubt any nation over the last 50 years has been responsible for the bloodshed in Syria than the Turks over the last 4-5 years

Mick McNulty
Mick McNulty
Nov 25, 2015 5:43 PM

The antics of Erdogan’s son proves today’s elites are mobsters, except their bootleg liquor is oil, the boys they send round are armies and their Tommy guns are TOWs. It is the gangster stage of capitalism.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Nov 25, 2015 5:42 PM

So Turkey shoots down a Russian war plane. The editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site suggests (*here ) that it is highly unlikely that Turkey would have committed such a provocative act of war “. . . without direct prior approval from the US government.” So why would the US approve this provocation?

The baiting, to my mind, consists in this: lure Russia into a war with Turkey; allow these two belligerents to expend their blood and treasure against one another, thereby drastically diluting Russia’s ability to effectively deter or counter NATO and the US military, and when the moment appears to be ripe, directly engage a militarily weakened Russia.

The endgame seems to be to prevail over and finally subjugate Russia. Russia either surrenders to western imperialism or there will be a world war.

The situation appears to be perilous, indeed.


Nov 25, 2015 5:23 PM

I have been amused, if that is the right word, about all the Natobots on CIF claiming that Russia is ‘aways’ infringing the airspace of other countries and ‘testing’ them. Particularly, they allege around the Baltic. The actual figures prove the absolute opposite. Over the past five years, these are the officially reported infringements of Swedish airspace by foreign aircraft.
42 infringements, of which Nato members were responsible for 29. Russia just 6 times!
Monaco, incidently was a case of Prince Albert being all haughty and royal about his private jet going where his royal highness wanted it to go without bothering to seek permission to do so.

USA Nato 7
Russia 6
Germany Nato 6
Norway Nato 5
Monaco 3
Belgium Nato 2
Netherlands Nato 2
Poland Nato 2
Qatar 2
Albania 1
Bahrain 1
Denmark Nato 1
Estonia Nato 1
France Nato 1
Portugal Nato 1
Turkey Nato 1

Nov 25, 2015 3:41 PM

Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet and commented:

If we were to substitute Russian for British in the downing of a Jet, would the Russophobes still be jubilant, because that could so easily have been the case. Or would they, in their sophistry, spare a thought for what could be the consequences of their dumbed down thinking?

Nov 25, 2015 3:20 PM

All aircraft no matter their origin can only be in Syria legally under Syrian law & S400 can police this – the next step is Hollande has to decide if he continues to support ISIS along with Erdogan or wether he is with the French people.

Then Putin will start to take ownership of 100% of Syrian airspace under full compliance with international law until the headchopper mob are erased from this planet & hopefully with France’s help?

In a Bush famous statement that now applies to ISIS “You are either with us or against us” – the separation of the ISIS supporting nations & non-supporting nations has arrived & we all now know for 100% certainty that Erdogan is on the ISIS side.

Nov 25, 2015 3:17 PM

Whichever side is responsible! Hahaha! I love it. It’s just like their Israeli coverage – Israel Rockets Gaza kills 10s if not 100s of people – Guardian say “whichever side is responsible!” Shockingly stupid, they’d be better to ignore it than print this excreta!!

Which I see today they are! Oh and blaming the Turkmen! Christ. Someone tell the establishment that if they grip liberal media to tight everyone stops believing it.

Nov 25, 2015 3:17 PM

This saber-rattling Putin and his crew look cool, though, They’re not going to be rushed into any unwise course of action, which is what Erdogan and his handlers in America wish. There will be other provocations and attempts to distract Putin. But he is going finish the job on hand, namely, dispatch America’s terrorist collaborators in Syria. Turkey will have its come uppance.

Nov 25, 2015 3:20 PM
Reply to  KT

Erdogan has the oil companies up his butt over this, yet want their war and if Oby don’t give it to ’em they’ll push from another place.

I smell a Chaney