Turkish Russian Shootdown: Massive Blunder Or Crafty U.S. Wargame?




South Front via The Saker, The air navigator of the SU-24: 'I have a debt to repay for the Commander,' video pool interview, Nov. 26, 2015.

Liberty Radio via Antiwar.com, Ron Paul Asks ‘What’s Next?’ Daniel McAdams, Nov. 24, 2015. News that Turkey, a NATO member, has attacked and shot down a Russian fighter attacking ISIS positions in Syria has placed Russia and NATO on a footing as tense as at anytime during the Cold War. Turkey claims that Russia violated its airspace, but even if true according to Turkish radar it would not have been for more than 12 seconds. That means the Turks were ready to fire on the Russians. What does this mean? What will Russia do? Is there any way to avoid this escalating situation? Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report looks at the troubling developments:

Contact the author Andrew Kreig Establishment Criticism of Bipartisan U.S. Anti-Assad Foreign Policy U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Austin Scott Introduce Legislation to End Illegal U.S. War to Overthrow Syrian Government of Assad, Nov. 19, 2015. Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), both members of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced H.R. 4108, a bipartisan bill to end U.S. efforts to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed combat veteran, said the intent of the bill is to “Bring an immediate end to the illegal, counter-productive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard explained,“The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria. The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11. The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. “The war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria—which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world. Also, the war to overthrow Assad is illegal because Congress never authorized it.” Congressman Austin Scott, shown in an official photo, said, “Our primary mission should be the war against ISIS, al Qaeda, and radical Islamic extremists that have operations both inside and outside of Syria and Iraq. Those groups have carried out attacks on American allies, and are currently threatening attacks on our homeland. This represents a clear and present danger to our citizens, and I support eliminating these radical Islamic terrorists through any means necessary. Working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be.” Forbes, Turkey Downs Russian Plane, Joins With Islamic State: U.S. Should Drop New Ottoman Empire As Ally, Doug Bandow, Nov 25, 2015. Turkey’s rash decision to shoot down a Russian plane for allegedly violating its airspace isn’t likely to trigger World War III. But Ankara has demonstrated where it stands. With the Islamic State and against the West. The justification for Turkey’s membership in NATO and America’s defense guarantee for Ankara long ago passed. Turkey’s irresponsible action proves that it is no U.S. ally. The Obama administration’s war against the Islamic State is turning into another interminable conflict that serves the interests of other nations far more than America. U.S. policy has been impossibly incoherent, attempting to do everything: oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, shove aside next door Iran, defeat vicious jihadist insurgents, promote ineffectual “moderate” forces, convince the Gulf States to act against the extremists they’ve been supporting, promote diplomacy without participation by Damascus and Tehran, and convince Turkey to serve U.S. rather than Islamic interests. While Russia’s September entry into the war outraged Washington, Moscow showed clarity and realism. Russia simply sought to bolster Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad against insurgents dominated by radical Islamists. Ironically, this approach was far more likely than the administration’s confused policy to advance America’s core interest of defeating ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliates such as al-Nusra. The U.S. had little choice but to accommodate Moscow, despite nutty proposals from some Republican presidential candidates to shoot down Russian planes. Shooting down the Russian aircraft was even more irresponsible. Whatever the circumstances of the alleged incursion, Ankara knew that no attack on Turkish forces was planned. President Putin stated the obvious when he declared: “our pilots, planes did not threaten Turkish territory in any way. It is quite clear.” Downing the plane was a direct attack on Moscow for supporting the Assad government against various insurgents, of whom the Turkish-supported radicals are the most important. Whether to punish Russia for opposing Ankara’s objectives or deter Moscow from taking further action, the attack raises tensions not only with Turkey but also NATO, including America, the alliance’s most important member. Striking nuclear-armed Russia for an alleged overflight lasting just a few seconds appears to be seeking war. The U.S. should shun Ankara for playing chicken with Moscow. Fox News via Alex Jones Radio Show, Top U.S. Air Defense Commander: Turkey’s Shootdown of Russian Jet “Had to Be Pre-Planned," Nov. 26, 2015. McInerney knows how to tell innocent from hostile incursions by foreign fighter jets. Lt. General Tom McInerney is an expert on handling threats from fighter jets. In his role as Norad commander for Alaska, McInerney dealt with more Russian fighter jet incursions (which he calls “bear penetrations”) than anyone else in the world. So McInerney knows how to tell innocent from hostile incursions by foreign fighter jets, standard rules of engagement of foreign fighter jets, how to read radar tracks, and the other things he would need to know to form an informed opinion about the shootdown of a foreign jet. Yesterday, McInerney told Fox News – much to the surprise of the reporter interviewing him – that assuming the Turkish version of the flight path of the Russian jet is accurate, Russia wasn’t threatening Turkey, and that Turkey’s shoot down of the Russian jet “had to be pre-planned”, as the jet wasn’t in Turkish air space long enough for anything other than a premeditated attack to have brought it down. U.S. / U.K. Mainstream Media News and Comment Washington Post, Russia plays down idea of coalition with West to strike ISIS, Andrew Roth, Nov. 27, 2015. The Kremlin on Friday played down the possibility of a grand coalition with the West to strike the Islamic State in Syria, despite personal visits by French President François Hollande to both Washington and Moscow following a spate of horrific terrorist attacks tied to the terrorist group. “At the moment, unfortunately, our partners are not ready to work as one coalition,” Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman, told reporters during a conference call on Friday. Peskov’s comments came less than 24 hours after Putin himself sounded hopeful notes at a meeting with Hollande in the Kremlin, where he said Russia “was ready to cooperate with the coalition which is led by the United States.” But Russia has sought cooperation on its terms, providing diplomatic and now military shelter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and attacking rebel groups that include the Islamic State but also more moderate opponents of Assad backed by Western countries. President Obama and other Western leaders have sought to bring Putin into a U.S.-led coalition instead, a force that Putin has called illegal because it is launching airstrikes in Syria without Assad’s permission. Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah White House June 29, 2010 Reuters via Yahoo News, Saudi king showered Obamas with $1.3 million in gifts in 2014, Olivier Knox, Nov. 27, 2015. President Obama often receives curious gifts from foreign dignitaries. But when the State Department published its annual accounting of gifts from foreign notables to American government officials on Wednesday, what stood out wasn’t so much the “What the heck is that?!?” as the “Wait, they gave how much?!?” That’s because, throughout 2014, Saudi King Abdullah and top kingdom officials spent a fortune on gifts for Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters — roughly $1.35 million on the list. The accounting was made public the day before Thanksgiving. These gifts aren’t bribes. If Obama wants to keep anything he gets from another world leader, he has to pay fair market value for it and take it with him when he leaves office. Otherwise, U.S. law stipulates that the president must turn over everything to the National Archives or other institutions for storage or display. JIP Editor's Note: Even if Obama, his family, and other high officials do not accept gifts now the gifts remind them of the largesse for friendly officials that awaits upon end of their government posts. Washington Post, Russian foreign minister calls warplane downing ‘planned provocation,’ Andrew Roth, Hugh Naylor and Brian Murphy, Nov. 25, 2015. The Kremlin sharpened its accusations Wednesday in the wake of Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane, as Moscow’s top diplomat called the incident a “planned provocation” that has dealt a major blow to already fragile relations with NATO. But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also tamped down speculation of a military response by Russia after the jet broke apart in flames along the Turkish-Syrian border. “We’re not going to war against Turkey,” he said after talks with his Turkish counterpart. Still, Russia moved to strengthen its forces in Syria, saying new anti-missile systems would be deployed at an air base less than 20 miles from the Turkish frontier. Lavrov’s comments offered the clearest signals that Moscow views the downing as more than an accidental mishap while Russia steps up its airstrikes in Syria to support the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad. In a show of Russia’s deepening military involvement, it plans to deploy powerful S-400 anti-missile systems to Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in northwestern Syria. The batteries — with a range of 250 miles — has the potential to create headaches for Turkish and other aircraft in the U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State. Mirror (London), Turkey moves 20 tanks to its border and sends 18 fighter jets on patrol as Russia crisis continues, Anthony Bond, Nov. 26, 2015. Military sources from Turkey said the tanks were moved by rail to an armored brigade at its western border with Syria. Reports also say 18 fighter jets were sent on a patrol exercise near the border. A military source told Turkey’s Anadolu agency: "Accompanied by police and gendarmes, 20 tanks were sent by rail from Turkey’s western provinces by railway to Gaziantep in the south of the country, and then redirected to the Syrian border." Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday morning close to the Syrian border leading to a crisis between the two countries. Russia yesterday started bombing Syrian rebels in the area close to where its fighter jets was shot down. Missiles have been fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean and fighters jets have also been launching raids in Syria's Latakia province. At least 12 air strikes hit Latakia's northern countryside, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. A Turkmen commander said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean were also hitting the area, as well as heavy artillery shelling. It comes one day after a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey causing a crisis between the two countries. Hassan Haj Ali, the head of Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a rebel group operating in western Syria, also said there were fierce battles in the area, with Russian aircraft supporting pro-government forces. Vladimir Putin announced today he was sending an air defence system to Syria and a warship to the Mediterranean. Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed the advanced S-400 air defence system was being deployed to the war torn country. It will be taken to a Russian air base in Syria's Latakia province. It also emerged today that Putin is deploying a warship to the Mediterranean. The furious Russian president has broken off military contact with Turkey and dispatched the warship. Russia says it will destroy “any targets representing a potential danger” to its military working in Syria. As reported by the Daily Mail, Russian bombers will now also be escorted by jets while carrying out raids in Syria. Map showing where Russian jet was shot down by Turkey. This map shows the flights paths which Russian and Turkey claim the jet took Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian military analysts, said war with Turkey was 'most likely.' In a tense escalation of the Middle East crisis, Putin warned Turkey – a key member of Nato and ally of Britain – of “significant consequences.” At least one pilot is believed to have been killed near the Syrian border by rebels as the airmen parachuted from the blazing jet. Another Russian soldier was reported dead after Syrian rebels blew up a search-and-rescue helicopter sent by Putin to find the missing pilots. Turkey insisted the Russian SU-24 M had flown into its air space and was warned 10 times in five minutes before finally being shot down – claims furiously denied by the Russians. Washington Post, Russian provocations led to the downing of its fighter jet by Turkey, Editorial board, Nov. 25, 2015. Following Turkey's shoot-down of a Russian military jet Tuesday, Western leaders rightly addressed themselves to heading off an escalation between Moscow and a NATO member. In the process, they were not as clear as they could have been about where responsibility for the incident lay. So we’ll say it: The first shoot-down by a NATO member of a Russian plane in 60 years is the result of the reckless and increasingly dangerous behavior of Vladi­mir Putin’s regime. New Eastern Outlook, Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down, F. William Engdahl, Nov. 25, 2015. This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was “caught with IS pants down.” By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS–or Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference–terrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence he apparently said a lot regarding the role of Netanyahu’s IDF in supporting IS. In late October an Iranian news agency, quoting a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, reported the capture of an Israeli army colonel, named Yusi Oulen Shahak, reportedly related to the ISIS Golani Battalion operating in Iraq in the Salahuddin front. In a statement to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency a Commander of the Iraqi Army stated, “The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel.” He added that the IDF colonel “had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group’s terrorist operations.” He said the colonel was arrested together with a number of ISIL or IS terrorists, giving the details: “The Israeli colonel’s name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade… with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434.” New York Times, Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane Near Syrian Border, Ceylan Yeginsu and Neil MacFarquhar, Nov. 24, 2015. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia confirmed that an F-16 Turkish fighter jet brought down a Russian jet, but he said it had remained in Syrian airspace and never threatened Turkey’s territory. Washington Post, Obama: Turkey has the right to defend its airspace, Juliet Eilperin and Karen DeYoung, Nov. 24, 2015. During a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande, President Obama reassured the public that the Islamic State will be defeated. Addressing the American public directly, Obama said "We cannot and will not succumb to fear, nor can we allow fear to divide us." President Obama urged Russia and NATO allies to take all steps Tuesday to “discourage any escalation” after a Russian warplane was downed along Turkey’s border with Syria. The incident has been denounced by Russian President Vladmir Putin as a “stab in the back.” “Turkey like every country has the right to defend its territory and its airspace,” Obama said during a joint news conference in Washington with French President François Hollande. Their talks focused on the Paris attacks and the broader strategies against the Islamic State. CNN, Netanyahu visits Putin amid concerns about Russian involvement in Syria, Holly Yan, Oren Liebermann and Greg Botelho, Sept. 21, 2015. With Russia apparently beefing up its military presence in Syria, some countries are getting nervous about what could happen -- including Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss "the Middle East peace process and the fight against the global terrorist threat," the Kremlin said. But in a rare move, Netanyahu (shown in a file photo) brought several top Israeli military and security officials with him to Moscow. Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IDF Director of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Hertzi HaLevi and National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen accompanied the Prime Minster, Netanyahu's office said. The meeting, which was closed to the media, came after satellite pictures showed a rapid buildup of an air force base in Syria, with loads of Russian military equipment moving in. Among the Russian equipment are advanced Russian Sukhoi Flanker fighter jets. Wall Street Journal, Russia Says Marine Killed During Mission to Find Downed Pilots, Thomas Grove, Nov. 24, 2015 (subscription required). Defense Ministry says marine killed when helicopter fired upon during search for Su-24 fighter pilots. Reuters via Yahoo News, U.S. weighs ‘genocide’ label for IS in Iraq — and more than a word may be at stake, Michael Isikoff, Nov. 12, 2015. The Obama administration is moving to designate the Islamic State’s murderous attacks on the Yazidi in Iraq an act of “genocide,” an extremely rare move intended to ratchet up international pressure against the terror organization, administration officials tell Yahoo News. The action, which sources say could be announced by Secretary of State John Kerry in the next few weeks, has been pushed by top officials at the human rights and religious freedom offices at the State Department. It has also been prodded by a report to be released today by the U.S. Holocaust Museum. The report documents horrific mass killings and sexual slavery targeting the small Yazidi community, as well as crimes against other ethnic minorities, by IS forces who swept through Northern Iraq last year. “What we found is there was a deliberate attempt by the forces of the Islamic State to not only ethnically cleanse the Yazidi population [forcibly remove them from their lands] but to exterminate them,” said Cameron Hudson, the director of the museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, which commissioned the report. “And as they are continuing to hold, kidnap and enslave the [Yazidi ] women and children, this a crime that is still being committed,” he said. The move to invoke the powerfully evocative “genocide” label comes amid continuing internal discussions among senior officials at the White House, the State Department and other agencies about the legal implications of such a statement. A loosely worded 1948 treaty calls on signatory nations, including the United States, to take unspecified actions to “prevent and to punish” the “odious scourge” of genocide. But officials cautioned that there were still issues to iron out before committing the U.S. to a legal designation that some may argue requires an adjustment to U.S. military strategy. That strategy is currently designed, in President Obama’s formulation, to “ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) — a goal that one administration supporter, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, acknowledged this week could take between 15 and 20 years absent intervention by ground troops from neighboring countries. The Yazidi — an ancient population of about 500,000 who practice a religion that incorporates elements of Christianity and Islam — first attracted international attention over a year ago as Islamic State forces besieged thousands of refugees who had fled to Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq, trapping them without food or water. Their plight prompted President Obama to launch initial airstrikes in what he described then as a “humanitarian” effort to save the lives of innocent civilians. What especially alarmed officials — and set IS’ conduct apart from other atrocities by IS against Christians and other minorities — is that the terror group openly declared its intention to wipe out the Yazidi. In its English language magazine Dabiq, IS denounced the Yazidi as devil worshipers and exhorted followers to kill male Yazidi (“sit in wait for them at every place of ambush”) and enslave the women. Washington Post, Turkey says it shot down Russian warplane near Syrian border, Hugh Naylor, Andrew Roth and Daniela Deane, Nov. 24, 2015. Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian jet Tuesday after NATO-member Turkey says it violated its airspace near the border with Syria, a major escalation in the Syrian conflict that could further strain relations between Russia and the West. Russian officials confirmed that a Russian Su-24 warplane had been shot down but insisted it had not violated Turkish airspace. The downing highlights a scenario feared by the Pentagon and others: a potential conflict arising from the overlapping air Syrian missions between Russian warplanes and the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes the Islamic State. It also could complicate a diplomatic push by France to bring greater international coordination to the fight against the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that claimed at least 130 lives.The Russian Defense Ministry said the plane, flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters (nearly 20,000 feet), was likely shot down “due to shelling from the ground.” It said it wanted to “stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.” U.S. Alternative News and Comment Antiwar.com, Stumbling to War With Russia? Pat Buchanan, November 27, 2015. Conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan, shown in a file photo, is the author of "Churchill, Hitler, and The Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World." Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian warplane was a provocative and portentous act. That Sukhoi Su-24, which the Turks say intruded into their air space, crashed and burned – in Syria. One of the Russian pilots was executed while parachuting to safety. A Russian rescue helicopter was destroyed by rebels using a U.S. TOW missile. A Russian marine was killed. "A stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists," said Vladimir Putin of the first downing of a Russian warplane by a NATO nation in half a century. Putin has a point, as the Russians are bombing rebels in northwest Syria, some of which are linked to al-Qaida. As it is impossible to believe Turkish F-16 pilots would fire missiles at a Russian plane without authorization from President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, we must ask: Why did the Turkish autocrat do it? Why is he risking a clash with Russia? Answer: Erdogan is probably less outraged by intrusions into his air space than by Putin’s success in securing the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, whom Erdogan detests, and by relentless Russian air strikes on Turkmen rebels seeking to overthrow Assad. Imperiled strategic goals and ethnicity may explain Erdogan. But what does the Turkish president see down at the end of this road? And what about us? Was the U.S. government aware Turkey might attack Russian planes? Did we give Erdogan a green light to shoot them down? These are not insignificant questions. For Turkey is a NATO ally. And if Russia strikes back, there is a possibility Ankara will invoke Article V of NATO and demand that we come in on their side in any fight with Russia. And Putin was not at all cowed. Twenty-four hours after that plane went down, his planes, ships and artillery were firing on those same Turkmen rebels and their jihadist allies. Consortium News via OpEdNews, Turkey Provokes Russia, Robert Parry (shown in a file photo), Nov. 25, 2015. President Barack Obama -- always sensitive to neocon criticism that he's "weak" -- continues to edge the world closer to a nuclear confrontation with Russia as he talks tough and tolerates more provocations against Moscow, now including Turkey's intentional shoot-down of a Russian warplane along the Turkish-Syrian border.Rather than rebuke Turkey, a NATO member, for its reckless behavior -- or express sympathy to the Russians -- Obama instead asserted that "Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace." It was another one of Obama's breathtaking moments of hypocrisy, since he has repeatedly violated the territorial integrity of various countries, including in Syria where he has authorized bombing without the government's permission and has armed rebels fighting to overthrow Syria's secular regime. Obama's comment on Turkey's right to shoot down planes -- made during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday -- was jarring, too, because there was no suggestion that even if the SU-24 jetfighter had strayed briefly into Turkish territory, which the Russians deny, that it was threatening Turkish targets. Russian President Vladimir Putin angrily called the Turkish attack a "stab in the back delivered by the accomplices of terrorists." He warned of "serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations." Further provoking the Russians, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels then killed the two Russian pilots by riddling their bodies with bullets after they parachuted from the doomed plane and were floating toward the ground. Another Russian soldier was killed when a U.S.-supplied TOW missile brought down a Russian helicopter on a search-and-rescue mission, according to reports. But Obama, during the news conference, seemed more interested in demonstrating his disdain for Putin, referring to him at one point by his last name only, without the usual use of a courtesy title, and demeaning the size of Putin's coalition in helping Syria battle the jihadist rebels. Obama and the U.S. mainstream media also have pretended that the only terrorists that need to be fought in Syria are those belonging to the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh), but Al Qaeda's Nusra Front and its ally, Ahrar al-Sham, which was founded in part by Al Qaeda veterans, make up the bulk of the Turkish-and-Saudi-backed Army of Conquest which was gaining ground -- with the help of those American TOW missiles -- until Russia intervened with air power at the request of Syrian President Assad in late September. Bilal Erdogan, son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Zero Hedge, Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President, Tyler Durden, Nov. 26, 2015. Russia's Sergey Lavrov is not one foreign minister known to mince his words. Just earlier today, 24 hours after a Russian plane was brought down by the country whose president three years ago said "a short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack," had this to say: "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation" by Turkey. But even that was tame compared to what Lavrov said to his Turkish counterparty Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier today during a phone call between the two (Lavrov who was supposed to travel to Turkey has since canceled such plans). As Sputnik transcribes, according to a press release from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov pointed out that, "by shooting down a Russian plane on a counter-terrorist mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria, and one that did not violate Turkey’s airspace, the Turkish government has in effect sided with ISIS." It was in this context when Lavrov added that "Turkey’s actions appear premeditated, planned, and undertaken with a specific objective." More importantly, Lavrov pointed to Turkey’s role in the propping up the terror network through the oil trade. Per the Russian statement: "The Russian Minister reminded his counterpart about Turkey’s involvement in the ISIS’ illegal trade in oil, which is transported via the area where the Russian plane was shot down, and about the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers that are also located there." Others reaffirmed Lavrov's stance, such as retired French General Dominique Trinquand, who said that "Turkey is either not fighting ISIL at all or very little, and does not interfere with different types of smuggling that takes place on its border, be it oil, phosphate, cotton or people," he said. OpEdNews, Why did Turkey shoot down a Russian Air Force jet? George Abert, Nov. 26, 2015. George Abert is a former Air Force Intelligence officer. Turkey is so militarily inferior to Russia that it is unlikely Turkey would commit an act of war against Russia without encouragement from Washington. We might think that Turkey would feel shielded by NATO, but it is doubtful that many European members of NATO would risk nuclear annihiliation by going to war with Russia in order to save Turkey from the consequences of such a reckless and irresponsible act as shooting down a Russian military aircraft and lying about it. Turkey has issued no apology and no believable explanation. Unless Erdogan has lost his mind, Washington is behind the shootdown, and the reason is Washington's desperation to decode the new Russian technology that gives Russian forces total control over a battlefield, whether on land, sea, or air. When the Russians deployed their forces to Syria they also deployed some new stealth technology. So far as I know they've only used this technology in Syria twice, once during their first sortie and one other time when some Israeli Air Force jets entered what they knew was Russian operational airspace. I suspect somebody wants the Russians to start using this stealth technology more often, often enough for its weaknesses to be exposed. Shooting down that Russian jet might just get the Russians motivated to do that. Alex Jones Radio Show, Mafia Don Erdoğan Retaliates for Russian Strike on Family Crime Syndicate, Kurt Nimmo, Nov. 25, 2015. Dirty business deals and terrorism by the Erdoğan clan. Like a vengeful Mafia don, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shot down a Russian plane and nudged the Middle East a step closer to all-out war. A few hours after the attack Obama climbed up on his soap box and said Turkey has a right to protect its national sovereignty. Erdoğan’s attack, however, had nothing to do with sovereignty or airspace. It was retaliation for Russia messing with his family business. The son of Turkey’s president is accused of making a fortune on the sale of oil stolen by the Islamic State. “Bilal Erdoğan owns several maritime companies,” writes F. William Engdahl. “He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdoğan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.” According to Gürsel Tekin, the vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples’ Party, “Bilal Erdoğan is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.” Tekin explains Bilal’s maritime company dealing in stolen oil and trading with the Islamic State, BMZ Ltd, is “a family business and president Erdoğan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public funds and took illicit loans from Turkish banks.” In addition to working with a fundamentalist Turkish Muslim sect to train Islamic State fighters and providing logistical support, Erdoğan “organized the pillage of Syria, dismantled all the factories in Aleppo, the economic capital, and stole the machine-tools,” according to Thierry Meyssan. “Similarly, he organized the theft of archeological treasures and set up an international market in Antioch.” The Russians are threatening to put these Mafia operations out of business and that provided the motivation to shoot down a Russian jet and stir the cauldron that is the Syrian “civil war,” in fact a manufactured proxy war designed to carve up the country and turn it over to a gang of psychopaths who follow a deviant sect of Saudi Wahhabism. Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Turks and ISIL have in common the downing of Russian aircraft, Wayne Madsen, Nov. 24, 2015 (subscription required). Wayne Madsen, a widely published author and commentator and shown in a file photo, has authored 13 books and is a former Navy intelligence officer. Turkey, a NATO member, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has been aided and abetted by Turkish military, intelligence, recruitment, and logistics support, have shown they have something in common: both have downed Russian aircraft in the last three weeks. Antiwar.com, Turkey’s Stab in the Back: Downing of Russian plane by Turkey augurs World War III, Justin Raimondo, Nov. 24, 2015. War is the great clarifier, and in the case of the battle against Islamist insurgents, including ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, the downing of the Russian war plane by the Turkish military has demonstrated this principle quite dramatically. The U.S.and its NATO allies, including Turkey, claim to be fighting ISIS, otherwise known as the “Islamic State,” but the Turks’ main fire has been directed at the Kurds and the Syrian regime itself. Turkey has been the main conduit for aid to the Islamic State, and the Turkish intelligence agency has long collaborated with Islamists in the region. This incident has revealed what the real sides are in the Syrian civil war: who is fighting whom, and for what. The Russian plane crashed into Syrian territory and one of the pilots was shot from the skies as he parachuted: this barbaric act was captured on video by the rebels. The area is controlled by an alliance of rebel forces dominated by the al-Nusra Front, which is the official Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda. The jihadists took control of the area in March of this year, and it has been the focal point of recent fighting between al-Qaeda and Syrian government forces backed by the Russian air offensive. Yes, folks, your tax dollars are going to support Islamist crazies in Syria. The same people who attacked Paris are being aided and abetted by the US – and if that isn’t a criminal act, then there is no justice in this world. Guardian, Putin condemns Turkey after Russian warplane downed near Syria border, Kareem Shaheen, Shaun Walker and Julian Borger, Nov. 24, 2015. Russian president calls Turkey ‘accomplices of terrorists’ and says it was ‘obvious’ that plane posed no threat, Russian fighter jet shot down near Turkey-Syria border. Vladimir Putin (shown in a file photo) has called Turkey “accomplices of terrorists” and warned of “serious consequences” after a Turkish F-16 jet shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday morning, the first time a Nato country and Moscow have exchanged direct fire over the crisis in Syria. The Russian president, speaking before a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Sochi, said the plane had been shot down over Syrian airspace and fell 4km inside Syria. Putin said it was “obvious” the plane posed no threat to Turkey. “Our military is doing heroic work against terrorism....But the loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can’t describe it in any other way,” he said. Putin suggested the Turks were shielding Islamic State terrorists from Russian attacks, saying: “Do they want to make NATO serve ISIS?” The Turkish military said it scrambled two F-16 fighter jets after a plane entered Turkish airspace in the province of Hatay at 9.20am on Tuesday, warning it to leave 10 times in five minutes before shooting it down. A government official said: “In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15km or less away from the border. The aircraft didn’t heed the warnings and proceeded to fly over Turkey. The Turkish air forces responded by downing the aircraft. This isn’t an action against any specific country: our F-16s took necessary steps to defend Turkey’s sovereign territory.” Russia’s defence ministry, in a series of tweets, confirmed that a Russian Su-24 had been shot down, but insisted the plane had never left Syrian airspace and claimed that fire from the ground was responsible. “At all times, the Su-24 was exclusively over the territory of Syria,” the defense ministry said. “The Su-24 was at 6,000 metres and preliminary information suggests it was brought down by fire from the ground. The circumstances are being investigated.” There were unconfirmed reports that both pilots were killed after parachuting from the jet. A graphic video purporting to show a dead Russian pilot has been widely circulated. Turkey-Syria Border with new buffer zone unilaterally declared by Turkey (Global Research map) Global Research, Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border, Syrian Free Press, Nov. 24, 2015. Global Research Editor's Note: This article, originally published on October 7, 2015, is of utmost relevance in understanding the action taken by Turkey to down a Russian jet fighter over Syria airspace. One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border [in October] while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south: "Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly." "If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit [sic] here." National Journal, Leaderless, Ron Fournier, Nov. 23, 2015. I once asked, “What if Obama can’t lead?” The answer after Paris is painful. Per­son­ally, I’m no hawk. I’m not con­vinced the United States needs more ground troops in the Middle East, cer­tainly not without a rad­ic­al re­think­ing of how the war against IS­IS would re­quire shared sac­ri­fice. I am sym­path­et­ic to the fact that Obama faces no easy op­tions after in­her­it­ing Pres­id­ent Bush’s ill-con­ceived war in Ir­aq. And I’ve got ab­so­lutely no pa­tience for the GOP pres­id­en­tial field’s hy­per­bol­ic, dis­hon­est, and big­oted rhet­or­ic. But there is only one com­mand­er-in-chief, and ours is stub­bornly cling­ing to a strategy against IS­IS that lacks clar­ity, cre­ativ­ity, and ur­gency. There is only one pres­id­ent, and ours doesn’t seem to know how to rally us to a com­mon cause. PaulCraigRoberts.org, Turkey Has Destroyed Russia’s Hope Of Western Cooperation, Paul Craig Roberts, Nov. 24, 2015. The conservative scholar Dr. Roberts is the author of a new collection of his columns, The Neoconservative Threat to World Order: Washington's Perilous War for Hegemony. Turkey’s unprovoked shoot-down of a Russian military aircraft over Syria raises interesting questions. It seems unlikely that the Turkish government would commit an act of war against a much more powerful neighbor unless Washington had cleared the attack. If the attack was cleared with Washington, was Obama bypassed by the neocons who control his government, or is Obama himself complicit? Clearly the neoconservatives are disturbed by the French president’s call for unity with Russia against ISIL and easily could have used their connections to Turkey to stage an event that Washington can use to prevent cooperation with Russia. Washington’s complicity is certainly indicated, but it is not completely out of the question that the well-placed Turks who are purchasing oil from ISIL took revenge against Russia for destroying their oil tanker investments and profitable business. The responses to the shoot-down are also interesting. From what I heard of Obama’s press conference, Obama’s definition of “moderate Syrian rebels” includes all the extremist jihadish groups, such as al Nursa and ISIL, that are the focus of the Russian attacks. Only Assad is an extremist. Obama, following the neocon line, says that Assad has too much blood on his hands to be allowed to remain president of Syria. And what about the blood on Obama’s hands? Here we are talking about a very large quantity of blood: the blood of entire countries — Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and the blood that Obama’s puppet government in Kiev has spilled of the ethnic Russian inhabitants of Ukraine, not to forget the Palestinian blood spilled by Israel using US supplied weapons. If the blood on Assad’s hands disqualifies Assad from office, the much greater quantity on Obama’s hands disqualifies Obama. And Cameron. And Hollande. And Merkel. And Netanyahu. CounterPunch, An Invisible U.S. Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness, Dave Lindorff. Nov. 24, 2015. In considering the terrifying but also sadly predictable news of a Russian fighter jet being downed by two Turkish fighters, let’s start with one almost certain assumption — an assumption that no doubt is also being made by the Russian government: Turkey’s action, using US-supplied F-16 planes, was taken with the full knowledge and advance support of the US. In fact, given Turkey’s vassal status as a member of US-dominated NATO, it could well be that Ankara was put up to this act of brinksmanship by the US. What makes the downing of the Russian jet, and the reported death of at least one of its two pilots (the other was reportedly captured alive by pro-turkish Turkmen fighters on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkish border, and will presumably be returned to Russia) so dangerous is that as a member of NATO, supposedly a “mutual assistance” treaty that binds all members to come to the defense of one that is attacked, if Russia were to retaliate by downing a Turkish military plane, NATO countries including the US would be obligated to come to Turkey’s defense. Russia knows this, and that is why so far the Russian response to the downing has been muted. Had it been a Jordanian, Saudi or Kuwaiti jet that downed the Russian SU-24, Russia’s response would have been instantaneous. The guilty party would have had some of its planes shot down, or perhaps even bombed on the ground. But President Putin so far has limited himself to demanding a meeting, to warning that Russian-Turkish economic relations would be threatened, etc. This restraint is good, but clearly, Vladimir Putin will not stop there. Even putting aside domestic considerations (imaging the public clamor for a military response here in the US if some small country shot down a US plane!), he will have to respond or his whole project — so far stunningly successful — of restoring Russia to its pre-USSR-collapse position as a global power, would be a failure. Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov in 2010 State Department photo Global Research, Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government, Adam Johnson, Sept. 21, 2015. FAIR has noted before how America’s well-documented clandestine activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media discuss the Obama administration’s “hands-off” approach to the four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces — one in the New York Times detailing the “finger pointing” over Obama’s “failed” Syria policy, and a Vox “explainer” of the Syrian civil war — did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so. First, let’s establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the Washington Post, which — partly thanks to the Snowden revelations — detailed a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget. In addition to the CIA’s efforts, there is a much more scrutinized and far more publicized program by the Department of Defense to train “moderate rebels,” of which only a few dozen actually saw battle. The Pentagon program, which began earlier this year and is charged with fighting ISIS (rather than Syrian government forces), is separate from the covert CIA operation. It has, by all accounts, been an abysmal failure. Russian News and Comment Russia Insider, Here Is Why Erdogan's Ambush of Russian Jet Was a Massive Blunder, Alexander Mercouris, Nov. 27, 2015. Turkish president actually undermined his Western support. In shooting down the Russian SU24 Turkey’s President Erdogan has blundered badly. He has caused the Russians to reinforce in Syria and is feeding Western doubts about him. He has exposed himself to his Western allies as a dangerous and unpredictable ally. RT, Moscow to deploy S-400 defense missile system to Khmeimim airbase in Syria, Staff report, Nov. 25, 2015. The Russian Air Force base in Latakia will be reinforced with S-400 SAM system, which will soon be deployed there, Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday. Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Su-24 was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet near the Turkish-Syrian border. One pilot died in the incident. The second one was rescued and brought to the Russian airbase in Latakia. Moscow maintains the jet did not violate Turkey's airspace. It ditched on Syria's territory four kilometers from the border. Turkish officials have financial interest in oil trade with group - PM Medvedev Shortly afterwards, the MoD announced three steps to be taken following the attack on the Russian Su-24 bomber, including providing aerial cover by fighter jets for every airstrike, boosting air defense by deploying guided missile cruisers off the Latakia coast, and suspending all military-to-military contacts with Turkey. The S-400 is Russia's most advanced anti-aircraft defense system. It is as an upgrade of the S-300 Growler family, designed and developed by Almaz Antei. The S-400 is employed to ensure air defense using long- and medium-range missiles that can hit aerial targets at ranges up to 400 kilometers. The S-400 is capable of hitting tactical and strategic aircraft as well as ballistic and cruise missiles. The system includes a set of radars, missile launchers and command posts, and is operated solely by the Russian military. RT, Russia deploys missile cruiser off Syria coast, ordered to destroy any target posing danger, Staff report, Nov. 24, 2015. Moscow plans to suspend military cooperation with Ankara after the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkish air forces, Russian General Staff representatives said on Tuesday. Further measures to beef up Russian air base security in Syria will also be taken. Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian bomber in Syrian airspace by a Turkish fighter jet as “a severe violation of international law.” He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory. The crash site was four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber. The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added. South Front via The Saker, The air navigator of the SU-24: 'I have a debt to repay for the Commander,' video pool interview, Nov. 26, 2015. Today at the Latakia air base, Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin, an air navigator of the Russian SU-24 frontline bomber which was shot down by the Turks, gave his first interview with Russian media, in which he stated that there is no way that his plane violated Turkish airspace. "No. It is not possible, not even for one second," he said, as translated. "Especially because we were flying at around 6.000 meters, the weather was clear, as we say in our jargon a day in a million, our whole flight up to the moment that the rocket hit us was completely under my control. I saw the border and our exact location perfectly both on the map and on the surroundings. There was not even the threat of crossing over into Turkey," he told reporters. "We have carried out combat missions there many times, we know the area inside out, we perform combat missions and return on the reverse route to the air base. As the navigator, I know practically every elevation over there. I can even navigate without instruments," he said. The pilot said that the Turkish missile hit the plane suddenly and it was not possible for the crew to avoid it and there was no advance warning from the Turkish side. In fact there were no warnings at all – not by radio traffic and not visually, there was just no contact. For this reason we went on combat course in regular mode. You need to understand how fast a bomber is and how fast a F16 fighter is. If they had wanted to warn us, they could have shown themselves, by holding a parallel course, but there was nothing like that. In effect, the missile suddenly came at the tail of our plane anyway. We didn't even observe it visually, which might have allowed us to carry out an anti-missile maneuver, said the pilot. Captain Murakhtin added that he himself feels all in all ok now. "I wait impatiently for them to discharge me to return to duty immediately," he continued. " will ask command headquarters to leave me at this airbase, I have a debt to repay for the commander." Israeli News and Comment Times of Israel, Russia deploys S-400 missile battery in Syria, state media says, Judah Ari Gross, Nov. 26, 2015. Placing of sophisticated system in Latakia would grant Russia aerial control over Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus, and stretch as far as Israel’s international airport. The Russian military has deployed its sophisticated S-400 missile battery and radar array in Syria, a Russian state-run media outlet claimed Thursday. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had announced Wednesday that the system would be deployed in Latakia, in northwest Syria, in response to Turkey shooting down a Russian warplane the day before. The advanced missile system, completed in 2007, is capable of detecting and destroying aircraft some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. Its deployment in Latakia will grant Russia aerial control over practically all of Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus, over half of Turkey, parts of Iraq and Jordan — and, of course, Israel: Planes flying in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport — approximately 395 kilometers (245 miles) from Latakia — would be within Russian sights. “Do we have something to fear? The answer is: yes and no,” Russia expert Zvi Magen told The Times of Israel on Wednesday. “If [the S-400] is indeed deployed,” Magen explained before Moscow’s state-run media announced the system’s deployment, “it will be a game-changer.” Anything from an F-15 fighter jet to a B-2 stealth bomber that comes into the range of the S-400 is at risk of being blown out of the sky. For Israel, the threat is not one of inevitable conflict: Russia is, after all, not an enemy. The threat is in the potential, said Magen, now a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies. If the state-run Russian media reports are true, Israel will not have the freedom to send in aircraft to Syria unannounced; nor will the United States, United Kingdom, France and the other members of the coalition bombing the Islamic State in Syria.“Maybe he’ll take advantage of an opportunity to hit them here and there,” Magen said, “but the response will likely be political and economic, not a military conflict.” Times of Israel, France, Russia to tighten cooperation, Staff, wire reports, Nov. 26, 2015. The presidents of France and Russia agreed Thursday to tighten cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group, although they remained at odds over their approach toward Syrian President Bashar Assad. IS has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks against both of the countries’ citizens in recent weeks: the November 13 shootings and suicide bombings in Paris which killed 130 people, and the October 31 bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that claimed 224 lives. French President Francois Hollande has been on a diplomatic drive since the Paris attacks to increase cooperation in tackling IS, which holds swathes of territory in both Syria and Iraq. He has met this week with President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi before flying to Moscow on Thursday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hollande and Putin agreed on increasing intelligence sharing, intensifying their airstrikes against IS in Syria and cooperating on selecting targets — two days after Turkey downed a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. “We agreed on a very important issue: To strike the terrorists only, Daesh and the jihadi groups only, and not to strike the forces and the groups that are fighting against the terrorists,” Hollande said after the meeting, referring to IS by its Arabic acronym. “And we are going to exchange some information about that: what can be struck, and what must not be struck.” Israel National News, Game changer? Russia says it deployed S-400 in Syria, Ari Yashar, Nov. 26, 2015. Despite US concerns that it will put all aircraft - including those in Israel - under Russian threat, Moscow deploys system to its base. Flaunting the concerns of the US, Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency announced on Thursday that Moscow has deployed its advanced S-400 anti-aircraft missile system to a base in Syria. The S-400 anti-missile system, known to NATO as the SA-21 "Growler," is said to have a maximum range of 250 miles, and can bring down airplanes at up to 90,000 feet - more than double the height of a cruising commercial airliner. The range puts Israel squarely in the system's sights. Russia's decision to deploy the system to its base in Latakia, located in western Syria where it is propping us Bashar al-Assad's regime, comes after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 fighter jet on Tuesday near the Turkish-Syrian border, killing one pilot. The system has been placed in a region some 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) from Turkey, adding extra urgency to the tensions between Russia and Turkey. An American official on Wednesday said there are "significant concerns" over the deployment, and spokesperson William Stevens of the US Embassy in Moscow said earlier on Thursday that the deployment "will further complicate an already difficult situation in the skies over Syria." The S-400's range covers most of Syria, southern Turkey, the eastern portion of the Mediterranean Sea, much of Israel and the British airbase of Akrotiri in Cyprus. No less than 300 targets can be tracked simultaneously by the radar complex of the S-400, which sports six anti-aircraft missile launchers. News and Comment About and By Turkey A handout photo released by the Turkish Presidential Palace Press Office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the capital, Ankara, on November 24, 2015. (AFP photo). Press TV, Turkish President Erdogan approves new cabinet, son-in-law named energy minister, Nov. 24, 2015. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved a new elected cabinet, following a victory by his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in recent parliamentary elections. Erdogan on Tuesday approved a list presented by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. According to some Turkish sources, Berat Albayrak, a son-in-law of Erdogan, has been appointed as the energy minister, while Ali Babacan, the once popular and powerful head of the economy, is not included in the list. Babacan’s portfolio will go to former Finance Minister Mehmet Sismek. Mevlut Cavusoglu has returned to the government as the foreign minister, while Volkan Bozkir will act as the European Union minister. The AKP stormed to victory in the November 1 elections and regained its parliamentary majority, which it had lost in June. Erdogan had ordered the snap votes after Davutoglu failed in his efforts to form a coalition government. Before the Tuesday announcement, the Turkish prime minister was heading an interim cabinet. The approval of the new cabinet came only hours after the Turkish military said it had downed a Russian fighter jet after, Ankara stated, the aircraft violated Turkey’s airspace. Paris Bombings Washington Post, France launches fierce assault on ISIS targets in Syria in coordination with U.S. defense officials, David Nakamura and Karen DeYoung, Nov. 15, 2015. French warplanes launched a ferocious retaliatory assault late Sunday on targets in Raqqa, Syria — the Islamic State’s de facto capital — after coordination with U.S. defense officials who helped with the targeting. The French Defense Ministry said that 10 aircraft dropped 20 bombs on facilities used by the militant group, which has claimed responsibility for Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, striking a command center, a militant-training facility and an arms depot. Opposition activists reached in Raqqa said they counted at least 30 bombs, which they said had hit, among other things, a local football stadium, a museum and medical facilities. They said the strikes had knocked out electricity in the city of about 200,000 people. The French statement said the operation, launched from bases in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, was conducted in coordination with U.S. forces, which have compiled an extensive target list in Raqqa. American officials, speaking at the G-20 summit here that President Obama is attending, said the French operation was discussed between the two militaries. The Hill, Former CIA deputy director: ISIS strategy not working, Bradford Richardson, Nov. 15, 2015. A former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) says the U.S. strategy toward the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) “is not working.” Michael Morell said recent attacks by the terrorist group in Paris and on a Russian passenger plane show it’s time for the U.S. to reconsider its strategy. “I think it’s now crystal clear to us that our strategy, our policy vis-à-vis ISIS is not working, and it’s time to look at something else,” Morell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. He said the U.S. may need to rethink its opposition to Syrian President Bashar al Assad. “You know, clearly he’s part of the problem, but he may also be part of the solution, right?” said Morell, shown in a file photo. “An agreement where he stays around for a while and the Syrian army, supported by the coalition, takes on ISIS may be the best result here.” He said the U.S. needs to take seriously the sophisticated attacks ISIS has proven capable of carrying out. “You’ve got a large number of operatives. They have to get explosives. They have to get weapons. They have to communicate among themselves and communicate back to Iraq and Syria,” Morell said. “This is a level of sophistication that we have not seen since the London bombings in 2005.” World Crisis Radio, How France Must Retaliate Against Terrorism: Cut the ISIS Supply Lines Crossing the Syrian-Turkish Border Between Jarablus and Aleppo, Quickly Destroy the Islamic State, and Bring the War in Syria and Iraq to an End, Webster G. Tarpley, Nov. 15, 2015. Paul Craig Roberts.org, “Paris Changes Everything,” Say Merkel’s German Political Allies, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in file photo), Nov. 15, 2015. In my recent writings I have explained the many agendas served by the false flag Paris attack. I also predicted that other countries would follow France’s lead in closing their borders, thus dispossessing the dissenting political parties of their issue and preserving the political power and control of the European establishment. Germany is now moving in the direction of repulsing refugees. By the time the Paris attack and all that will come in its wake run their course — new military measures against ISIL, Western intervention without Syrian government approval, PATRIOT Acts for European countries, and possibly a new and more draconian PATRIOT Act for the US, increased association of dissent with ISIL terrorism — Trump and Sanders will no longer command attention. Pushed aside, they will not regain the limelight. Just as with 9/11, Charlie Hebdo and the Boston Marathon Bombing, the media was scripted with the story and ready to go the minute the happening was reported. There is no investigation, no questioning, just the media moving in lockstep with the scripted official story. Again, the perpetrators conveniently leave their ID. Again, the attack coincides with an official drill of the attack. No matter how transparent the false flag attack and the agendas served by it, patriotism whipped to a frenzy blinds people to the reality. A television watcher sees French President François Hollande after attacks on Nov. 13, 2015 Washington Post, Hollande: Paris attacks an ‘act of war’ by Islamic State, Pope: Attacks leave scars from ‘piecemeal Third World War,’ Maura Judkis, Griff Witte and Brian Murphy, Nov. 14, 2015. The deadliest attacks in France since World War II have had a ripple effect in Europe and beyond as border checks were imposed, and Iran's president canceled a planned trip. Extra security measures are also in place in major U.S. cities. French President François Hollande decried the massacres across Paris as an “act of war” by the Islamic State, amplifying signals Saturday of a major response from France and its allies after coordinated gunfire and bombings that killed at least 127 people. Moments later, a message attributed to the Islamic State asserted responsibility for the worst attacks in France since World War II and among of the most deadly terrorist strikes on Western soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Left behind were the latest scars, said Pope Francis, from the “piecemeal Third World War.” One survivor described the gunmen coldly picking off hostages in a packed concert hall as if “we were birds.” Reuters via Huffington Post, Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Deadly Paris Attacks, Eric Knecht, Nov. 14, 2015. The militant group also redistributed a video threatening to attack France if bombings continue. Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for attacks that killed 127 people in Paris, saying it sent militants strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns to various locations in the heart of the capital. The attacks were designed to show the country would remain in danger as long as it continued its current policies, Islamic State said in a statement. "To teach France, and all nations following its path, that they will remain at the top of Islamic State's list of targets, and that the smell of death won't leave their noses as long as they partake in their crusader campaign," said the group. Daily Mail, From SS butcher to drugs kingpin: The astonishing story of the notorious Nazi who helped kill Che Guevara and worked for cocaine boss Pablo Escobar, Brendan Cole, Nov. 14, 2015. German SS officer and Nazi war criminal Klaus. OpEdNews, Another Paris False Flag Attack? Paul Craig Roberts (shown in file photo), Nov. 13, 2015. At 7 pm on Friday 13th, we do not have much information about the "terrorist attacks" in Paris other than that Paris is closed down like Boston was after the "Boston Marathon Bombing," also a suspected false flag event. Possibly believable evidence will be presented that the Paris attacks were real terrorist attacks. However, what do refugees have to gain from making themselves unwelcome with acts of violence committed against the host country, and where do refugees in France obtain automatic weapons and bombs? Indeed, where would the French themselves obtain them? The millions of refugees from Washington's wars who are overrunning Europe are bringing to the forefront of European politics the anti-EU nationalists parties. By supporting for 14 years Washington's neoconservative wars for US hegemony over the Middle East, establishment European governments eroded their electoral support. Realizing its vulnerability, it is entirely possible that the French Establishment made a decision to protect its hold on power with a false flag attack that would allow the Establishment to close France's borders. Some people are so naive and stupid as to think that no government would kill its own citizens. But governments do so all the time. Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues Breitbart, Roger Stone: New Media Holding Hillary Accountable for Arming ISIS, Putting Americans in Danger, Tony Lee, Nov. 23, 2015. Political strategist and author Roger Stone says the rise of new media outlets such Breitbart News and cable television will prevent the mainstream media from giving President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton a pass for enabling ISIS’s rise and putting Americans in danger. Stone, the author of The Clintons’ War on Women, told host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily that “America is in danger” and the ISIS terror threat reveals the “the wide dichotomy between the American media and the American people.” He said that when there were just three television networks in the 1960s, “they said Oswald killed Kennedy and there was no alternative theory that was ever allowed to be examined.” “So it is with ISIS,” Stone said. “You have the New York Times and the three networks parroting the administration line.” On Monday, President Barack Obama even asked the media to help get out the administration’s spin on terrorism, which would have been a lot easier in a world in which there were only three networks that served as gatekeepers. Stone said that “this is not some abstract concept,” but since 9/11 happened a long time ago, “unfortunately people forget” and “their views soften… they begin to believe that we are safe again.” jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var caption = $('.item-image .caption').attr('title'); $('.item-image .caption').parent().append(' ' + caption + ' '); }); Get New Articles by Email Subscribe to JIP Newsletters Select Optional Title Mrs. Ms. Miss Mr. Master Mx. M. Dr. Fr. Rev. Atty. Hon. Prof. Pres. VP Gov. Ofc. Pr. Br. Sr. Chancelor Vice Chancelor Principal Warden Dean Regent Rector Provost Director Sir Dame Lord Lady Excelency Cl. His Holiness His Grace Elder Rabbi Cantor Imam Shaykh Venerable Gen. Lt. Gen. Maj. Gen. Brig. Gen. Col. Lt. Col. Maj. Capt. 1st Lt. 2nd Lt. Chief Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Sgt. maj. of the Army Command Sgt. Maj. Sgt. Maj. 1st Sgt. Master Sgt. Sgt. 1st Class Staff Sgt. Sgt. Cpl. Spc. Pvt. Adm. Vice Adm. Rear Adm. Cmrd. Lt. Cmdr. Lt. j.g. 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  • March News 2024 Editor's Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and March 2024 news and views Note: Excerpts are from the authors' words except for subheads and occasional "Editor's notes" such as this March 2 Top Headlines New York Times, Middle East Crisis Deaths of Gazans Desperate for Food Prompt Fresh Calls for Cease-Fire Washington Post, U.S. to launch airdrop campaign over Gaza, Biden says New York Times, Live Updates: New York Times, U.S. Makes First Aid Airdrop in Gaza New York Times, Witnesses of Aid Convoy Violence Describe Shooting, Panic and Desperation New York Times, Trump Says Little on Gaza, and Nothing About What He’d Do Differently New York Times, Analysis: How the Biden-Trump Border Visits Revealed a Deeper Divide, Shane Goldmacher Washington Post, Investigation: How RFK Jr. hiring a bird smuggler threw his environmental group into turmoil, Peter Jamison More On U.S. 2024 Presidential Race New York Times, U.S. Presidential Election Updates: Trump wins in Michigan, Missouri and Idaho as Democrats’ concern grows after new poll New York Times, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley are hitting Super Tuesday states while a Michigan mutiny brews New York Times, Voters Doubt Biden’s Leadership and Favor Trump, Times/Siena Poll Finds New York Times, The big change between the 2020 and 2024 presidential races? 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Thom Hartmann Washington Post, Analysis: Why Trump’s effort to run out the clock in federal election case is working, Philip Bump Washington Post, Trump seeks to move Fla. trial to 2025, while prosecutors push for July Washington Post, Justices set oral argument for week of April 20 on whether Donald Trump can be criminally prosecuted for acts he took while president MSNBC, Andrew Weissmann: The Supreme Court has given Trump the win Lawyers Defending American Democracy, Opinion: Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to hear the appeal of the presidential immunity claim is the ultimate example of the adage: justice delayed is justice denied OpEd News, Opinion: Merrick Garland Must Go, Arlen Grossman Washington Post, Opinion: Supreme Court order gives Trump’s long-shot immunity claim a boost, Ruth Marcus Hopium Chronicles, Opinion: Democrats Really Like Their President, The Republican Party Is Splintering, Mitch's Dark Legacy, Simon Rosenberg Washington Post, Opinion: What the Supreme Court told us, Jennifer Rubin Washington Post, What happens next after Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump immunity case Collapsing GOP Impeachment Probes Of Bidens New York Times, Hunter Biden Calls G.O.P. Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Partisan Political Pursuit’ Washington Post, Opinion: How do you say ‘impeachment is dead’ in Russian? Dana Milbank Washington Post, Analysis: Hunter Biden gives House Republicans the rebuttal they didn’t want, Philip Bump More On Israel's War With Hamas The Intercept, Commentary: WCNSF – the most haunting acronym the world has produced, Ryan Grim New York Times, Aid Groups Question U.S. Airdrop Plans for Gaza Washington Post, More than 100 killed in Gaza City, officials say; Israel cites stampede at aid drop Washington Post, Global leaders react to casualties during Gaza aid delivery Washington Post, On Gaza, Biden increasingly looks ineffective and weak, Fareed Zakaria Politico, Biden set to deliver State of the Union address without a cease-fire deal to tout New York Times, Hamas Rejects Cease-Fire Proposal, Dashing Biden’s Hopes of Near Term Deal New York Times, Analysis: After 4 Months of War, Biden and Netanyahu Are on Different Timetables, Peter Baker and Isabel Kershner New York Times, Opinion: Israel Is Losing Its Greatest Asset: Acceptance, Thomas L. Friedman New York Times, Parties to Gaza Cease-Fire Talks Offer Mixed Signals Russia-Ukraine War, Navalny Death, Russian Goals Alexei Navalny was President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent and a fierce critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Denis Kaminev photo via the Associated Press) Washington Post, Putin threatens nuclear response to NATO troops if they go to Ukraine Washington Post, Russian opposition leader’s body headed to cemetery as thousands follow New York Times, Surprisingly Weak Ukrainian Defenses Help Russia’s Advance New York Times, Macron stands by remarks about sending troops to Ukraine New York Times, Ukraine Charges Key Figure in Arms Trade With Corruption New York Times, Seeking to Unsettle Russia, Macron Provokes Allies New York Times, Kremlin Warns Against NATO Ground Intervention in Ukraine New York Times, Yulia Navalnaya, Seen in a New Light More On Trump's Cases, Claims, Allies, Insurrectionists Washington Post, Defiant Jan. 6 rioter spars with judge at sentencing hearing Washington Post, Deputy who claimed to help police sentenced in Jan. 6 attacks on officers Washington Post, Illinois judge removes Trump from primary ballot Washington Post, Appeals court ruling means over 100 Jan. 6 rioters may be resentenced, New York Times, Donald Trump Asks for August Trial Date in Classified Documents Case New York Times, Trump Says He Might Have to Sell Properties to Pay $454 Million Penalty Washington Post, Trump Media co-founders sue company, alleging a scheme to dilute shares New York Times, Suspicious Powder Found at Courthouse Where Trump Judge Has Offices New York Times, In Trump Criminal Case, Manhattan D.A. Asks for Gag Order Before Trial Meidas Touch Network, Commentary:Judge Cannon Denies Trump Co-Defendant's Motion For Access To Classified Documents, Aaron Parnas New York Times, Donald Trump Is Racing Against Time to Find a Half-Billion Dollar Bond Washington Post, Trump faces a cash crunch as time runs out to post half a billion dollars in bonds Washington Post, How Justice Engoron’s numbers add up for Trump’s penalty in the N.Y. fraud trial Wayne Madsen Report, Commentary: Trump's name will be treated by future historians in the same manner as Quisling and Vichy France's Marshal Petain, Wayne Madsen U.S. Reproductive Rights, Culture Wars New York Times, CVS and Walgreens Will Begin Selling Abortion Pills This Month Washington Post, Alabama lawmakers pass legislation to protect IVF treatment New York Times, Alabama Republicans Race to Pass an I.V.F. Shield Law, New York Times, Senate Republicans appeared ready to block a bill that would establish federal protections for I.V.F. treatmen New York Times, Republican lawmakers in Florida suspended a bill that aimed to protect an “unborn child” after the Alabama ruling New York Times, At least one in six abortions was conducted via telehealth from July through September, data shows Washington Post, Shock, anger, confusion grip Alabama after court ruling on embryos Washington Post, Alabama embryo ruling may have devastating effects on cancer patients Washington Post, Alabama justice who quoted Bible in IVF case often invokes religion Washington Post, Frozen embryos are children, Ala. high court says in unprecedented ruling More On U.S. National Politics, Governance Politico Magazine, The Democrat Who Won Back George Santos’ Seat Has Advice for His Party, Ryan Lizza Washington Post, Offensive comments by N.C. Republican stand out even in Trump’s party, Hannah Knowles Washington Post, Thousands of millionaires haven’t filed tax returns for years, IRS says Letters from an American, Commentary: March 1, 2024 [Biden Signs Bill To Avoid Shutdown], Heather Cox Richardson New York Times, Menendez Ally Pleads Guilty in Bribery Case and Agrees to Cooperate Politico, McHenry’s ‘extreme candor’ on Johnson splits GOP New York Times, Opinion: My Joe Biden Fantasy, Maureen Dowd Hopium Chronicles, Opinion: Let's Thank Joe Biden, Dems Fighting Hard For The Senate, Moving On From The Trump Trials, Simon Rosenberg Letters from an American, Commentary: February 29, 2024 [U.S. Government Funding], Heather Cox Richardson Associated Press via Politico, Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Democrats’ congressional redistricting challenge New York Times, Oregon Is Recriminalizing Drugs, Dealing Setback to Reform Movement Wayne Madsen Report, Investigative Commentary: Stop the Steal and the J6 insurection have significant roots in 2016 election, Wayne Madsen New York Times, Read more: jQuery(document).ready(function($) { }); 2022 CAPA JFK Conference Videos Mission Statement Andrew Kreig JIP Editor The Justice Integrity Project (JIP) researches official misconduct Andrew Kreig's Twitter Tweets by joomlakave Broadcast Broadcast and lecture audiences can count on the Project's director to deliver blunt, entertaining and cutting-edge commentary about public affairs, with practical tips for the millions of Americans caught up in unfair litigation or regulation. Based in Washington, DC, Andrew Kreig is an accomplished fighter for the public interest. Learn from his decades of reporting, analysis and advocacy: • Shocking tales of recent corruption, deception and cover-up by both parties in communities ranging from small towns to world capitals; and • Practical how-to tips for reformers on action that brings real-world results. To book guest broadcast appearances on your station, write: This email address is being protected from spambots. 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