What we know so far (according to the “news”):
According to reports from multiple sources, there appears to be NO claim Russia was targeting ISIS. They were targeting Turkmen tribesmen (anti-Assad). ISIS is reportedly not even in that area.
According to at least two sides (the Turkmen and the Russians), at least one pilot was deliberately shot (and killed) as he parachuted to the ground.
In one report, Turkey says the violation was all of 17 seconds, with 10 radio warnings in that time period (presumably on the Guard channel – a universal frequency recognized by all nations’ air forces, and ALWAYS monitored while flying regardless of any other frequency being used – there are at least two receivers, one for Guard, and the other as part of the transceiver for normal 2-way communication).
The US (via “our” President) has come out in support of Turkey’s right to defend its airspace.
A Russian marine (“soldier” in another story) was killed on board a rescue helicopter that was shot up as it attempted to rescue one or both downed pilots. The rescue helicopter was subsequently destroyed by somebody’s mortar fire (presumably the Turkmen, but who knows at this point?). The rest of the Russian rescuers were themselves later rescued and flown to safety by Russia (to a Russian base in Syria).
With all that, I offer the following. First, you just don’t EVER shoot pilots as they parachute to the ground following a bailout. That hit me deep in the gut, as a former Air Force pilot – that just is not done! Even the North Vietnamese regulars captured our pilots as they bailed out of their downed aircraft. Where’s anyone’s outrage at the serious violations just in shooting a parachuting pilot as he descends helplessly, or a rescue helicopter (killing someone on that rescue mission)?
What about escorting the plane out of Turkish airspace? It was Turkish F-16s that shot down the Russian aircraft.
Seventeen SECONDS of violation (that’s Turkey’s figure according to BBC – the Russians, of course, deny even violating Turkey’s airspace)? Seventeen SECONDS? How do you make 10 warning transmissions in 17 seconds? You can’t say anything in the way of a warning transmission in 1.7 seconds and repeat such calls 10 times? OK, maybe the Russian plane was getting close, so the Turks started warning him 10 seconds prior to crossing the border. No, let’s make that a very generous 20 seconds – which is considerable distance at the speeds being traveled. The last few seconds of the violation don’t even count, because the anti-aircraft missile was in the air for several of those seconds, and the video appears to how the plane at a reasonably substantial altitude. So let’s go with 20 + a very generous 12 seconds, or 32 seconds to make 10 warning radio transmissions. Whoopee – not even counting keying and unkeying the mic button, pausing a moment, then rekeying the mic button to make the next transmission, that’s all of 3.2 seconds per warning call. What can you say in 3.2 seconds that constitutes a warning (try it and time it)? Total BravoSierra. And the US is supporting this cr@p? So fine – the time simply makes that 17 second time frame impossible. We can move to claimed scenario #2.
Alternative time line: Turkey also is reported to have said they warned the Russian jets 10 times in five minutes, not 17 seconds (whoopee – 30 seconds per transmission including pauses between warnings). Even given that, the two Russian aircraft were equipped for relatively low level bombing, and it was Turkish F-16s that shot it down (the bomber was no match for two high performance fighters). So why not fly right up close and personal, as is so commonly done, and “escort” the aircraft out or at least let it continue defying the Turkish aircraft before shooting it down? The Turks aren’t even claiming the jet was many miles inside their territory – in one story, less than a mile (0.62 miles).
On the Russian’s side, they destroyed their own argument that they’re in there after ISIS (not that anybody believed that was their primary objective). They’re propping up Assad, which arguably may avoid a worse evil if a sudden power vacuum is created by his ouster or killing. But then what’s all the talk about trying to ally with Russia in “their” fight against ISIS? Again, a load of Bovine Cr@pola.
The other observations about Obama cozying up to Erdogan are, of course, both well established and well taken.
So, we’ve got Russia deliberately talking out of both sides of its mouth (nothing new), Washington playing games that are serious beyond reason, both Russia and the US using their proxies to create an ever more dangerous situation, and no end in sight. Add North Korea and Iran funneling in weapons to the region, and solid evidence that the US has helped BUILD (if not create) ISIS in the first place. On top of that, look at the power vacuums in Libya, Iraq, and (effectively) Syria, among others, with the US playing out its dangerous games in each of those countries. It makes no sense to almost anyone, and therefore people continue to (with the “news” media’s help) draw the conclusion that Barack Hussein Obama is inept and doesn’t know what he’s doing. I submit that he knows EXACTLY what he’s doing (as does the semi-hidden team behind him – Ms. Valerie, et al).
Proposal: This might appropriately be moved to the WWIII thread, since anyone with more than three brain cells to rub together knows that Syria is a proxy war between the US and the
Soviets (oops – there I go again) Russians. This is getting more and more dangerous almost by the day. And with Biblical prophecy discussing massive troop movements down from the north (including areas that would seem almost certain to include Russia, Syria, and Turkey), anyone factoring in those prophecies has even more to chew on. Either way, it ain’t lookin’ good.
I admit to having almost gotten suckered into thinking we might be able to work with Russia (probably behind the scenes) against ISIS. That’s not what they’re about. Nationalists at heart? Yes, most probably. But is that the end of their aim? I don’t think so. If one goes back to classic communist philosophy (practical as well as theoretical), it’s a multi-generational struggle. You “lose” a struggle, taking a step or two backwards, figuratively (then literally) disarm your enemy while building strength, and later move forward three or four steps. Up and back, but ever forward overall. Putin’s obvious intent to remain in power personally over Russia as long as he can – simply changing jobs along the way. Adding that to his solid KGB roots does not suggest we’re looking at a reformed man with whom we can deal. One can explain away Crimea and eastern Ukraine as nationalistic interests only, but I have never, ever, believed that when the wall came down, the struggle was over. It just looked that way, and we were fed that until all but us old folks believe that struggle was dead decades ago. WWIII in the making indeed – Biblical prophecies included or not.