by Stephen Lendman
Downing Russia’s aircraft was an act of war and treachery - Erdogan revealing his rogue credentials for the whole world to see, compounded by his Big Lie about invoking Turkish rules of engagement against the plane entering its territory.
Russia has clear evidence proving otherwise, including exposing his fraudulent claims about issuing “10 warnings.” Lies compounding other lies produce Bigger Lies.
Turkey was caught red-handed. No explanations came from Western media scoundrels, supporting what demands condemnation, especially US imperial wars.
Surviving navigator Konstantin Murakhtin told RT International: “It’s impossible that we violated (Turkish) airspace even for a second. We were flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters in completely clear weather, and I had total control of our flight path throughout.”
“In actual fact, there were no warnings at all. Neither through the radio, nor visually, so we did not at any point adjust our course.”
“You need to understand the difference in speed between a tactical bomber like a Su-24, and that of the F16. If they wanted to warn us, they could have sat on our wing.”
“(T)he missile hit the back of our plane out of nowhere. We didn’t even have time to make an evasive maneuver.”
Both crew members ejected on impact. Pilot Sergey Rumyantsev was killed. A Turkmen terrorist allied with Ankara claimed he was shot while parachuting.
RT said a 12-hour search operation by Russian and Syrian special forces rescued Murakhtin. In Russian military flying competition last year, he won Top Navigator” award honors.
He wants to return to frontline service as soon as he’s declared fit to fly. “I must pay back the debt for my captain,” he said. Russia called what happened a “planned provocation,” stopping short of explaining all it knows.
Washington’s dirty hands were involved, the likely orchestrator of what happened, Erdogan acting as a convenient hitman. Putin straightaway suspended military cooperation between both countries.
Expect more payback coming, including likely canceling the multi-billion dollar Turkish Stream pipeline project, enabling Turkey to become a major transit country for Russian natural gas exports to European markets - gone at least for now, perhaps as long as Erdogan is around, a blow to Turkey’s economy.
Moscow suspended visa-free travel from Turkey to Russia, beginning January 1. Expect other measures to follow. Russians are an important part of Turkey’s tourism industry. They’ve been warned to stay away because of internal dangers to their safety.
Russia’s biggest tour operators terminated relations with Turkish hotels and resorts. Russian imports of Turkish products may suffer. Hundreds of trucks were stopped at the Georgian/Russian border. Slow inspections followed. Customs officials suggested a possible terrorist threat from goods being transported.
Dozens of Turkish businessmen attending an agricultural exhibition were detained for entering Russia on tourist, not business visas. They’re being deported, maybe others prevented from coming.
Moscow cancelled planned 2016 cultural exchanges between both countries. A Turkish nuclear power plant project may be scrubbed. Its military issued an absurd, hugely offensive statement, claiming it didn’t know the downed aircraft was Russian.
It knew perfectly well what it was doing - a well-planned provocation, Washington’s dirty hands involved. Erdogan now says he wants to “meet Putin face-to-face in Paris…to bring the issue to a reasonable point…disturbed that the issue has been escalated.”
His duplicitous remark likely fell on deaf ears in Moscow. His criminal act won’t soothe the anguish of family members of the Russian pilot he murdered - nor Moscow officials justifiably enraged, betrayed by a phony ally turned open adversary.
Putin said the incident seriously jeopardizes joint cooperation in the war on terrorism, none involving Turkey. Downing the aircraft and killing its pilot created a major international incident - unacceptable by any standard. Phony explanations don’t wash.
Well-known Russian analyst John Helmer tweeted: “Never before has the personal animosity of the heads of state of the United States and Turkey towards the President of Russia been so sharp and expressed so obviously. The (likely) consequences, too.”
Statements Putin made Thursday expressed his usual straightforwardness, saying:
“I would like to remind you that it was the passive position of a number of countries, and often their direct collusion with terrorists that actually led to the rise of the terrible phenomenon known as the Islamic State.”
“They not only cover up for the terrorists, their illicit trafficking in oil, people, drugs, works of art and arms, but also benefit from it, making hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars.”
“I have to say that we find absolutely inexplicable the treacherous stabs in our back dealt by those we thought to be our partners and allies in the antiterrorist struggle.”
“I am referring to the incident with the Russian bomber hit by Turkish air defence forces.”
Later the same day, he added: “Those who apply double standards when dealing with terrorists, using them to achieve their own political aims and engaging in unlawful business with them, are playing with fire. History shows that sooner or later such actions will backfire against those who abet criminals.”
“Look, we informed our American partners in advance when our pilots were going into action and where, in what air corridors. The American side, which leads the coalition, to which Turkey is also a party, knew about the location and time of our operation.”
“And this is precisely where we were hit. The question is, why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they are not in control of what their allies are doing or they hand out this information every which way without understanding the implications.”
“We are ready to operate in a different format that would be acceptable for our partners. We are ready to work together with the US-led coalition.”
“It goes without saying that incidents like the downing of a Russian jet and the death of Russian servicemen, a pilot and a marine trying to rescue his brothers in arms, are absolutely unacceptable. We assume that this won’t happen again.”
“Otherwise, we don’t need such teamwork with anyone, with any coalition or any countries. If Turkey is destroying it, we don’t see any smoke or flames from burning oil.”
“Again, we’re talking about amounts on an industrial scale. A plant would have to be built to destroy that much oil. None of that is really happening. If top level leaders in Turkey know nothing about this, then tell them now.”
“I admit that there may be some elements of corruption or collusion. Let them figure it out. However, we have no doubt about this oil going straight to Turkey. We can see it from the air: fully laden trucks go there and come back empty.”
“Then again, they leave terrorist-held Syria for Turkey fully loaded, and return empty. We see it every day. Regarding Turkey’s Air Force allegedly failing to recognise Russian aircraft, this is simply not possible!”
“The aircraft have insignia that are clearly visible, indicating that they are Russian aircraft, not anything else. This is the first thing I wanted to say.”
“Second, I’ve already said, and will say again: under our agreement with the United States, we have shared information on where our pilots will fly, at what flight levels, where and when. As we understand it, this is an operating coalition.”
“Turkey is a part of this coalition. Thus, they should have been informed that the Russian Air Force was operating in the area. Who else could it be? How would they act if they knew it was an American jet? Would they hit it? This is all nonsense.”
“These are just excuses. It’s highly regrettable that instead of seriously analysing this issue and making sure that such incidents never happen again, we are hearing inconclusive explanations and statements that they don’t have anything to apologise for. Anyway, this is Turkey’s choice, not ours.”
Putin chooses his words carefully, always speaking forthrightly, in contrast to rogue NATO members, notably America, Britain (a US appendage) and Turkey.
Are lunatics in Washington behind virtually all these type major international incidents bent on starting WW III?
A Final Comment
Moscow’s sincere efforts to work constructively with Ankara failed. Erdogan didn’t reciprocate in kind - just the opposite, a major black mark against his rogue agenda, a high crime.
Sergey Lavrov explained bilateral Russian/Turkish relations will be seriously revised in the wake of what happened. Russian officials won’t visit Turkey or receive their counterparts in Moscow.
“We cannot (let what) happened (go) unanswered,” he stressed. It was “a planned provocation (by no means) unintentional…an obvious ambush.”
We know what top Russian officials said publicly. Imagine their private discussions given how justifiably angry they are about what happened.
How can Moscow have normal relations with any country actively supporting terrorist enemies it’s combating - especially Turkey and Washington!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.