Anyone who has had to teach or watch a group of children knows what happens when you leave them alone in a room. Those who have a beef with each other will find a pretense to start trouble with one another. The children are kept under control because of the fear they have for the authority in control. When that is removed, they become their own authority.
Likewise, when you have countries involved with one another, there needs to be a level of fear in the group. There needs to be a lead country, one that controls old rivalries and conflicts; someone who can calm down and credibly threaten needs to pull everyone together and focus their attention. This fear and focus are lacking in the Syrian conflict because Obama refuses to lead.
Now, Russia is making a power play. This has given the Turks a reason for concern. Russo/Turkish relations have never been good. They have been enemies or rivals for 300 years. As the U.S. has voluntarily backed away from leadership, the Russians are stepping up into that role.
Sputnik News reports:
“The savage terrorist acts on Paris almost immediately resulted in a French-Russian military alliance against the Islamic State in Syria, with French President Hollande and most of Europe dramatically breaking with the Obama Administration’s nearly two-year-old policy of isolating Putin’s Russia over the Ukrainian crisis,” Professor Stephen Cohen, Contributing Editor to The Nation magazine and Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies & Politics at NYU and Princeton, wrote in his article.
After the terrorist attacks in the country, Paris demonstrates “the growing decline of Washington’s leadership and influence even with its own Western alliance,” the expert says.
And once France suffered such a horrific attack on their people, Russia was the logical military ally, as they were and are doing more to fight the Islamic terrorists than any other nation. As I reported, the U.S. did absolutely nothing to restrict or stop Russia from intervening in Syria, even though our goals are clearly different. This lack of acting on the U.S.’s part next led to the supposed encroachments on Turkish airspace by the Russians. And now the incident yesterday.
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday, saying the jet had violated its air space, in one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane had been attacked when it was 1 km (0.62 mile) inside Syria and warned of “serious consequences” for what he termed a stab in the back administered by “the accomplices of terrorists.”
The question now for America and its NATO partners is what will they do if Russia escalates the conflict? Are we really willing to go to war over this situation? A situation that is anything but clear cut, because Russia is disputing Turkish accounts.
With a major diplomatic crisis looming between two states on opposing sides in the Syria conflict, Russia angrily insisted its jet never had entered Turkish airspace.
The shooting down of the plane was “a stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorists,” Putin said at a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Moscow.
So, as the two countries were supposed to be fighting a common enemy (ISIS), they are now on the brink of fighting one another. And this is the reason that Obama’s foreign policy has been such a failure. It refuses to look at reality and history. Instead, it pushes through with its policy based on the idea that all the world’s problems and conflicts were caused by American intervention.
But what about the 1500-year-old civil war going on in Islam itself. This, more than anything, is at the heart of the downing of this jet. Russia is backing the wrong set of Muslims, at least from Turkey’s perspective.
We are doomed to fail in this region because we are faced with a perfect storm. We have to take a side, and we have to act before we are sucked into a holy war where all sides want us defeated.