After the downing of a Russian Su-24 jet in a premeditated Turkish Air Force operation, the reaction of 'official' versus unofficial Washington revealed growing cracks in the American 'Deep State', to say nothing of its Turkish counterpart. The risk of the Turks dragging the U.S. into a direct military clash with Moscow thanks to NATO's Article 5 had to be minimized quickly by the faction inside the Department of Defense and intelligence community that doesn't want to risk WW3. Consequently, we saw leaks within hours of the Su-24 shootdown halfheartedly supporting the Turks version of brief border violations, but saying the Russian jet was hit by a Turkish missile after returning to Syrian air space. Also within hours, we saw Wikileaks publish an authentic-looking letter from the Turks to the United Nations Security Council admitting that the Russian jet may have only been in their air space for 17 seconds or less. We also witnessed Greeks and Cypriots loudly complaining that the hypocritical Turks had violated their air space for years often for hours at a time with impunity, including Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras 'trolling' his counterpart over the subject of Turkish aerial incursions into Greek skies on Twitter.
The State Department and Dept. of Defense Not Only Say the Russians Are Lying About the Turks and ISIS -- But Also Several Retired U.S. Generals
But the icing on the cake in terms of push back against the latest neocon or 'dark side of the American Deep State' attempt to provoke a wider conflict with Russia came from a most unexpected source: multiple retired generals, possibly saying what the Pentagon under this President cannot say itself. The Russia Analyst predicted in August that Turkey would be 'thrown under the bus' for the spectacular rise of ISIS. But even we were stunned, within 72 hours of the Su-24 shoot down, that no fewer than four distinguished retired generals -- Charles Dunlap Jr. and Thomas McInerney of the United States Air Force, and former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark and Paul Vallely representing the U.S. Army -- criticized the Turks for either a pre-planned provocation or rash decision. The latter two generals Clark and Vallely explicitly stated that Turkey has been supporting ISIS and turning a blind eye if not directing the flow of arms and jihadists one way and oil from the other direction.
The Russian Defense Ministry press briefing accusing Turkey and the Erdogan family of selling stolen ISIS oil, Wednesday, December 2, 2015
All of which made the subsequent State Department and Pentagon denials of Russia's allegation that Turkey profits from stolen ISIS crude hilarious. Because Col. Steve Warren is arguing not only against the allegations raised by Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, but also probably one of his former bosses in General Clark!
State Department spokesman Mark Toner's pathetic denials that the Turkish government if not Erdogan personally are complicit in ISIS oil traffic
Such is the absurd state of the intra-Washington fight between militarists and realist wings of globalism, that Ft. Rus noticed the apparent contradiction between State Dept. and DoD pro-forma denials and Secretary of State John Kerry insisting Turkey needs to do more to seal its border with Syria:
Compare and contrast, because, at end, there will be a short quiz:“We reject the premise that the Turkish government is in league with Daesh to smuggle oil. We have seen no evidence to support such an accusation.” — Julia Mason, State Department spokesperson.“There is no Turkish government complicity in some operation to buy illegal oil. We just don’t believe that to be true in any way, shape or form.” — Mark Toner, US State Department spokesman.“Let me be very clear that we flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL. That is preposterous and kind of ridiculous. We absolutely, flatly reject that notion.” — Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)"There’s about 98 km that are still used as a transit point for foreign fighters, ISIL shipping up fuel for sale that helps finance their terrorist activities.” —Barack Obama, President of the United States:“It’s as much in the interest of Turkey to close off the movement of illegally transported oil, or to close off the passage of foreign fighters in one direction or another.” — John Kerry US Secretary of State________________________________The short quiz:What is preposterous?What is ridiculous?
The Russian allegations of Turkish smuggling of ISIS oil, backed by satellite and drone reconnaissance footage complete with a big Turkish flag waving over a processing center where tanker trucks were arriving from ISIS controlled territory, clearly have thrown official Washington off balance. President Barack Obama's press conference of December 1st in Paris was notable for its petulant tone and Obama's insistence that the Russians would soon get bogged down if they weren't already, in another Afghanistan -- just like his smug Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had warned those Rooskies:
"The Russians now have been there for several weeks, over a month, and I think fair-minded reporters who looked at the situation would say that the situation hasn’t changed significantly. In the interim, Russia has lost a commercial passenger jet. You’ve seen another jet shot down. There have been losses in terms of Russian personnel."
Obama's line about the Russians being doomed to failure, not coincidentally, is the White House talking point propaganda line expressed by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times and numerous other pundits who know nothing about military affairs or how desperate the jihadists sponsors in Ankara, Riyadh and Doha are clearly getting that their proxies are losing men and territory.
In this Washington Establishment version of events, ISIS and the non-ISIS jihadi radicals are so well dug in, they enjoy such popular support in Sunni areas, and their Jabhat al-Nusra buddies have such whiz-bang wunderwaffen as the U.S.-made TOW missile that the Russians, Iranians and Assad can never decisively defeat them. Because how could the low-tech, hopelessly backward Russians and Iranians hope to succeed where the mighty U.S. military and its 'coalition partners' had failed to defeat ISIS or Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria? That would simply be intolerable blow to America and the U.S.-military backed petrodollar's prestige in the Mideast, now wouldn't it?
Russia. Paraphrasing - "They will 'come around' to our view about Syria and accept that what we want must be." Once again, pilgrims, I see nothing in anything the Russians are doing that indicates they are going to "come around."
The War. Paraphrasing - "Nothing the Russians have done since they began their operations in Syria has changed the situation. They will eventually understand that a military solution in Syria is not possible." SWMBO listened to that and remarked that this man knows nothing of war. I agree.
US Politics. Paraphrasing - "I rely on the wisdom of the American people to insure the election of a Democrat as my successor." Remarkable. In 75 years I have not seen an American president inject party into discourse on foreign soil and at an international meeting. Remarkable.
Turkey. Paraphrasing. "I am assured that Turkey will seal its border against movement of IS oil, people and supplies." Sultan Tayyip must believe that he has already died and gone to heaven.
His attitude. His imperial majesty [Obama] displayed the now familiar petulant disdain for all who dared question him. The atmosphere was the kind of thing one sees in meetings in which a teacher tries to contain his patronizing of students. His reference to the UK as "the Brits" was painful to hear.
Regarding the Russian Defense Ministry presentation and how it had to be humiliating for Commander in Chief big Zero, Col. (USA ret) Lang added:
Well, pilgrims, the US has quite adequate overhead reconnaissance means. We know all about the "columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighbouring Turkey."
So, who is it that Obama and his girls think they are kidding when he claims that Sultan Tayyip is going to seal the existing border gap against IS? Who do they think they are kidding?
Turkey and the U.S. Mainstream Media Attempt to Pushback Against the ISIS Charges, Mostly Fail to Debunk Anything
Realizing that their own weak PR machine (the Turks have been trying to create a news channel modeled after Al-Jazeera and RT in the past few months) had been blitzed by the Russian allegations of complicity with ISIS, Ankara turned to Cold War rhetoric and its NATO partners' shills to deny, obfuscate and attempt to throw the charge back at the Russians. Writing for the New York Observer, ex-NSA analyst John R. Schindler admitted that Turkey had been turning a blind eye to ISIS oil smuggling and arms flows to jihadist radicals if not directly to the Islamic State. But Schindler sought to minimize the damage to NATO morale and credibility from Turkish complicity with terror, by claiming the Russians had somehow done the same thing. Schindler of course, did not substantiate this claim in his latest article. But in the past has pushed 'Al-KGB-aeda' theories on his blog and at the NSA/CIA friendly site Business Insider, claiming that al-Qaeda no. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri was recruited as an FSB asset after a brief stint in a Russian jail in the Caucuses back during the 1990s.
Not surprisingly, given BI's connections to Schindler and others like him keen to label any U.S. or American allies' links to ISIS 'Russian active measures/disinformatziya', Business Insider's headline was dismissive of the Russian Defense Ministry's allegations, "Russia presented 'evidence' of Turkey's oil ties to ISIS -- but it has a fatal flaw".
The Donald Joins the Chorus Throwing Ankara Under the Bus, Says 'It Looks Like Turkey is Supporting ISIS'
Mainstream media also sought to deflect the allegations by flat out ignoring Clark and Vallely despite them dropping their bombshells on easily YouTube'd cable news, while hinting that one GOP presidential candidate supporting them added up to somehow supporting Putin. That's right, the headline for Politico's story on Tuesday December 1st was a porterhouse steak of presstitution:
Donald Trump aligned himself with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, saying that Turkey appears to be on the side of the Islamic State.
“Turkey looks like they’re on the side of ISIS, more or less based on the oil,” Trump said Tuesday morning in an interview with Sirius XM's "Breitbart News Daily," echoing comments from the Russian president on Monday.
The last time we checked the sky is usually blue and water is wet regardless of whether Vladimir Putin or someone else the mainstream media wants Americans to hate says it. Breitbart of course, being in The Donald's corner, didn't try to spin in favor of the Turks, whom it has been hammering of late for flooding Europe with Islamic migrants:
“We have a President over there worried about Climate Change instead of worrying about Nuclear Weapons coming into the middle of our cities. We are being run by stupid people,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with host Stephen K. Bannon on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily.
Dismissing concerns over Global Warming, said Trump, “we have a form of Global Warming that’s a very serious form of Global Warming. And that’s called Nuclear Global Warming. Because if we don’t get our act together and corral all of these countries that want to get themselves some real power, we’re going to be in big trouble. You know, you do have North Korea, which nobody talks about.”
Concerning the increasing Islamization of Turkey, Trump said, “You don’t want to have World War III over what we’re talking about. It’s a problem. It’s going to be a problem. ISIS is composed probably of 60,000 people, fighters. It’s a problem that we should have been able to win easily but we haven’t used the right thought process.”
Suggesting he’d find the right people and deal with it, Trump said: “We will take it out. But this is not something that you want to end up in WWIII over.”
The last line about ending up in WWIII was a not very subtle dig by Trump at his increasingly fading competitors for the Republican presidential nomination. Breitbart reports Trump went on to say:
Trump contrasted his view with those who wanted to “go right after Russia” given recent events between them and Turkey. “I’m tougher than all of them times ten, but there are times to fight and there are times you don’t have to fight,” said Trump.
Calling for a stronger military, Trump said America will be stronger than ever under his leadership. “But who wants to fight over Syria and literally start WWIII?” he quipped. “If you listen to some of the people on that stage (the Republican debate stage) and some of the people in the Senate, you’re going to end up in a World War. Over what? Over Syria. That’s not what you end up in world wars over.”
Trump Pokes a Sacred Cow in American Politics -- the Israel Lobby -- Just a Tad
While RogueMoney readers know we are not the biggest fans of Donald Trump as a human being and are as skeptical of the 'realist' globalists he may represent as well as any other GOP presidential candidate -- we have to recognize the man has played the media game very well. Every attack by the mainstream media on Trump's character as a rich jerk blowhard has only fueled his 'outsider' or crass everyman done good (though he was born into wealth) status. It's like the game Richard Milhous Nixon played with his 'silent majority' of 1972, when most of the media hated him as a crook and right wing reactionary, but remade for the Twitter/social media/24 hour news cycle soundbite-driven age. Even the Clinton News Network after reporting the boasts of Hillary's campaign staff that Trump would be the perfect old rich white guy opponent for the Democrats to rip in 2016 has acknowledged he could win.
According to my Washington D.C. source tonight, although 'W' the Intelligence Insider recently said not to count Jeb Bush out quite yet, the Bush campaign has spent $120 million in SuperPAC and donors' money to basically go nowhere as a candidate. Trump according to my source has spent a measly $300,000 on advertising, with likely more than that spent on campaign jet and bus fuel. And now Trump has gone one further than merely expressing a willingness to work with Putin diplomatically to end the Syria war and a desire not to start WW3, like his opponents, for an American no fly zone to save the likes of 'moderate Syrian rebels' Ahrar al-Sham from Russian bombs. The Donald, perhaps in part because he's a long time supporter of Israel who slammed the Iran deal for show, is touching the third rail of American foreign policy: the Israel lobby.
It remains to be seen, of course, if Trump actually meant to insult his hosts at the Republican Jewish Coalition or was simply being his brash, often abrasive self, responding to hecklers in his Washington audience. Headed into the event, the RJC's funders had told reporters for The Forward Trump was already almost anathema to the group's board. Who would prefer candidates with tough foreign policies like Sen. Lindsey "Ms. John McCain .01% of the GOP electorate" Graham. Trump probably didn't read The Forward article featuring both named and anonymous RJC sources denigrating the Donald, but his campaign aides most assuredly did. Trump also as a Presbyterian who has taken shots at Dr. Ben Carson's 7th Day Adventist beliefs has a daughter who converted to Orthodox Judaism. As some RJC folks who went on the record for The Forward article admitted, Trump is more of an insider than outsider to Manhattan Jewish culture.
Therefore, the AP headline coming out of Trump's exchange Thursday with a slightly skeptical if not hostile RJC crowd were nothing short of extraordinary -- as were the attempts by more 'liberal progressive' mainstream media at damage control on this front too:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Jewish donors gathered Thursday had two demands of the Republican presidential candidates who'd come to speak to them: unambiguous support for Israel and respect.
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump seemed to fail at both.
The party's 2016 front-runner openly questioned Israel's commitment to the Mideast peace process in his remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition, echoing comments he made the night before in an interview with The Associated Press. He drew boos after refusing to endorse Jerusalem as the nation's undivided capital. And he suggested to the influential group simply wanted to install a puppet in the White House.
"You're not going to support me even though you know I'm the best thing that could happen to Israel," Trump said. "I know why you're not going to support me — because I don't want your money. You want to control your own politician."
It was an extraordinary speech to a group used to deferential treatment. And Trump's comments on Israel — particularly the billionaire businessman's repeated questioning of its commitment to making a peace deal with the Palestinians — sparked an aggressive backlash from his Republican rivals.
Although initially we did not agree with all of Evo Consulting's analysis of the shoot down of the Russian Su-24 and the players behind it, we may have to reconsider Evo's take in light of Trump's remarkable challenge to the Israel lobby and the neoconservatives. In particular, we may finally see in 2016 prominent (including right wing Zionists who secretly admire Putin) Israelis telling the likes of Max Boot, Bill Kristol or even The (War) Wall Street Journal editorial board to get over their Putin/Cold War 2.0 obsession as it's not so good for Israel. The billions in dollars Israel receives in aid every year from the American taxpayer after all, are not dependent on the good graces of neocon hacks. As we'll discuss in an upcoming article here at Rogue Money, Tel Aviv needn't choose between U.S. aid or Mediterranean gas deals with the Russians and Balkan countries fueling a renewed Southstream pipeline if they can have both -- and keep Israel's options open with the Eurasian axis led by Russia and China.
From the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment)
The long anticipated by Syria conflict watchers surge of Iranian troops and combat aircraft into central/western Homs region to fight ISIS will certainly present the Israelis and their U.S. backers with a PR quandary -- isn't the Islamic State a horrible terrorist organization that has repeatedly threatened not only Israel but the entire civilized world? But yet Iran which until recently Benjamin Netanyahu was portraying as just a nation state version of ISIS hellbent on Israel's destruction is fighting them, and thanks to Russian firepower accomplishing far more than the U.S. anti-Daesh coalition effort. The appearance of selfie-taking Russians or Hezbollah flag waving soldiers with Gen. Qassem Soleimani in the liberated ruins of Palmyra (that ISIS boasted of blowing up) in the coming weeks will certainly represent a powerful psychological blow to Washington's Narrative.
The White House/State Department/MSM twofold party line that 1) the Russians aren't seriously fighting ISIS and 2) the Russians are inept, cannot handle operations in Syria and are doomed to a second Afghanistan quagmire is about to take a direct hit. Having learned something from American 'effects based operations' like Desert Storm, the Russians and Persians are preparing a major offensive to take Palmyra and open the highway to Deir es Zor and the Syria-Iraq border. As a Jewish kid named Bobby Zimmerman of Hibbing, Minnesota sang over forty five years ago, the times they are a changing'. And the proof is in the positioning of a certain ambitious to be vice president, finger in the wind U.S. Senator from Texas:
Does this man want to be Trump's running mate? Cruz slams 'nation building', says 'arm Kurds' and use more U.S. airpower to crush ISIS, while taking shots at Sen. Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton over the disastrous failed state left behind by the intervention they enthusiastically supported in Libya