You thought it was all about geopolitics, you thought it was all about Jihadism, you thought it was all about neocolonialism, you thought it was all about Russians flexing their muscles….but as always, it was all about oil.
More and more people across the planet have seen maps (almost entirely on internet blogsites, I might add) showing the varously proposed ways of getting oil out of the ground and into Europe. So clear is what’s at stake when seen visually, it’s a case of not even having to join up the dots.
Some pipeline proposals cut Russia out (which is the US/EU aim) and some don’t. Syrian cooperation is crucial to most of them….but Syria has been allied to Russia from way before even Allah was God. The vehemently pro-Moscow Basshar Assad therefore had to go. Even though 72% of the Syrian people want him to stay. Even though trying to get rid of him has probably created the biggest European refugee disaster since 1940-41.
Evidence grows week by week – some of it down the rabbit hole, but most of it not – that almost certainly ISIS was created WHERE it was created in order to control the US-backed Syria/Iraq route to Qatar. It was done with the intimate cooperation of the Saudis – to knock Russia out of the market, and then raise prices – and perhaps also the UK….although that remains to be proved in my view.
And it was all done behind your back.
But from an early stage in the process, one-move-ahead Putin saw it coming, and poured arms, advice and support into Assad’s coffers. Unlike the Sheiks and the Texans, Vlad the Lad had a miltary objective: the destruction of all forces ranged against Syria’s alawhite leadership. He wasn’t going to go in and bomb things willy nilly to create more anarchy and give NATO more room to plead the case for Assad’s departure: he was going to take out American-backed rebels to the south, and the US/Sheik created ISIS to the east.
In two weeks, Russian forces have near-annihilated the effectiveness of all those keen to gain power at Basshar Assad’s expense. So either the American military is very crap, or their aim was mayhem, not military victory. You decide.
Either way, it was always about the price and distribution of oil, the survival of the petrodollar, and rich sheiks whose main leisure activity appears to be amateur amputation surgery.
So where does this leave our old friend Erdogan the Mad? As usual, it leaves him in every tent wherein there might be gains for him and his Islamist economic agenda….while behaving like a solid and loyal member of NATO.
Early on in the Syrian conflict – when Assad stood ludicrously accused of bombing Turkey – Recep Erdogan enthusiastically ‘confirmed’ the reports and began a media campaign of vilification against Syrian aggression. Not as strong then as he is now, Erdo abruptly cut off the vitriol when the Turkish public asked, “Are you kidding?”
But Erdogan is now back in power and busily engaged in eradicating the opposition. One of his favourite ‘fronts’ for this is to brand people he arrests ‘Daesh Takfiri sympathisers’. Daesh is a murderous Jihadist schism largely originating from Pakistan, present in Iraq/Syrian locations and keen to eliminate Assad as a traitor to radical Islam. Even the majority of Islamists think they’re mad. But oddly, the US left them alone….the more mayham the merrier, as they say in the Pentagon.
This is getting complicated (it always does) but bear with me, there’s a reveal coming. Yesterday, Turkish police arrested 38 foreigners for reportedly ‘seeking to join Daesh in Syria’. Local anti-Erdo media say the charge is risible. But even worse, it masks yet another of the many faces of Recep.
For behind your back, Erdogan the supplier of extremism is bunging munitions to these same anti-Assad Daesh beheaders via the Syrian border crossing at Jarablus, sources in Turkey report. While the Turkish leader blames Daesh Takfiri in public for supposed atrocities carried out on Turkish soil (to frighten people into supporting him), in practice he works with the régimes in Qatar and the UAE to prop them up on the NATO mission to get rid of Basshar Assad.
But does that make him just another loyal US toady? Nope, it makes him a liar….because he is now flying Daesh psychos to the Yemen….so they can help step up the attacks on the American-backed Saudis.
Over five years ago, UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a shameful speech in Ankara, licking Erdogan all over and suggesting that “Opposition to Turkish [EU] entry is based on prejudice. Hopefully, we can move in the coming weeks to direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, so it’s Turkey that can make the case for peace, and Turkey that can help to press the parties to come together, and point the way to a just and viable solution.”
It was wrong, ill-informed, devious and probably American inspired; and as the Slogpost of the time asserted:
‘Absolute drivelling bollocks. Turkey is the next Islamist target after Pakistan, and its presence in an already spineless EU would spread still further the nazified intolerance of any opposition to extreme Islamic law and beliefs.’
I would suggest that was reasonably prescient in the light of later events involving the ‘Second Wave’ of EU migrants that almost certainly came from Turkish internment camps.
Erdogan did it behind your back. Merkel welcomed them publicly, then ordered the Italians to turn them around – behind your back – for political gain. Brussels then did a deal with Erdogan – behind your back – to pay him money and shower praise upon him, if he stopped the flow of migrants. That helped him strut the world stage, win a Pariamentary majority, and then start doing what he’s up to now…..behind your back.
As Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is fond of saying, “If this is your idea of liberal democracy, you can keep it”.