Some brainless jackass in Turkey may have launched World War III. Whether he had the advice and consent of an equally brainless jackass far up the United States military command may never be known.
If we believe his government ’s story — but why should we? — he shot down a Russian warplane that invaded Turkish territory. NATO and the United States support this version of the event.
But even the United States acknowledges that if —IF — the Russian plane, engaged in fighting rebel groups in the insane Syrian civil war that the U.S. created, did in fact violate Turkish territory, it did so for — all of five seconds.
The Russians say the plane never strayed beyond the border of Syria, where it was engaged in fighting not just what the U.S. calls ISIS or ISIL, but all of the forces that seek to overthrow what is, like it or not, the legitimate government of Syria. Russia is there at the Request of the Syrian government and with the formal blessing of the United Nations. The United States is there because its rmilitary-industrial oligarchs demand unceasing war somewhere, preferably where the war-hawk government of Israel wants war to be.
The Turks insist they “warned” the Russian aircraft ten times. Ten times in five seconds? C’mon man!
The plane crashed in Syria. Someone on the ground shot one of the pilots as they parachuted toward earth. This violates the Geneva Convention; it is a war crime. The whereabouts of the second pilot is unknown as I write this. If he landed in turf controlled by one of the rebel groups that the U.S. supports, he will meet or have already met the fate of a Jordanian pilot who baled out and landed there: immolation in a steel cage. This goes beyond being a war crime; it is a barbarian affront against civilized humanity. Unless, of course, it is done by a United States ally.
United States “policy” in the Middle East — and around the globe — has become such a mish-mash of illogical shooting first and asking questions later, if at all, that future historians will never decipher it all. If there are any future historians.
Because whatever is left of this planet when the war launched by this Turkish asshole is over will probably not be inhabitable. If there are pockets of habitability in the nuclear winter, they will probably be in the large land-mass countries — China and Russia — that we have chosen to alienate in our own pursuit of endless war all over the globe. Not to quibble with Einstein, but there may not be enough people close enough to one another to fight the next war with clubs, sticks and stones.
The Turks, by shooting down the Russian plane, have assured that every nuclear power on the globe now has a stake in what follows. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who is perhaps right now more popular with his own people than any other head of state in the world, cannot retain that support without responding in some warlike fashion against Turkey.
Turkey is a member of NATO, whose Article IV maintains that a strike against one is a strike against all. That would require a host of nuclear powers to retaliate against Russia. Russia would respond with its own nuclear arsenal, and its treaties with China and other nuclear powers would bnring their A-power into the carnage.
Our pal in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, would no longer be under any restraints from using his nuclear arsenal. Bibi would go to his own obliteration happy in the knowledge that before he turned to cosmic dust, he had nuked Iran into nothingness.
Who or what will survive this madness? Read Cormack McCarthy’s “The Road.” It is, if anything, too optimistic an answer.