'NATO didn’t buy into Turkish insanity'
Larry Johnson, retired CIA and State department official said that according to reports coming out of a NATO meeting, several ministers were concerned about Ankara’s actions against the Russian warplane.
NATO held an emergency meeting in Brussels Tuesday following the Turkish air force downing a Russian fighter jet in Syria. NATO officials called Ankara to show restraint. Many envoys condemned Turkey for its failure to find other ways of dealing with the incident.
“I was immediately concerned that NATO might buy into the insanity being demonstrated by Turkey,”Johnson told RT.
“Fortunately, the reports coming out of the NATO meeting indicate that several of the NATO ministers were asking Turkey: ‘What in God’s name were you thinking? There were other ways of handling this without firing,’” he added.
He said they don’t worry about going back to the Cold War, but what really alarms him is “this could escalate very quickly to a hot war. And the last thing we need is to have Russia and the West engaged in a war of some sort.”
According to Johnson “Turkey has been a major instigator, major sponsor of terrorist activity, of the activity of these radical Islamists and for them to pretend otherwise as a joke.”
“To go after a state sponsor of terrorism, Turkey is now in that position,” he concluded.
“NATO is an anachronism. There is no reason for NATO to even exist anymore,” Johnson told RT.
He argues that the problem with the West is “we don’ t understand the kind of very unfortunate signal it does send to Russia, because NATO’s expressed purpose for existence is to counter a Russian invasion of Europe which Russia is not planning.”
“The West seems completely incapable of understanding Russian sensitivities about being invaded from its western border,” he added.
ISIS: cancer to be cut out of our world
Islamic State is a threat of the 21st century that could be defeated only if the West, Russia, China and India form a global coalition against them, Paul Nuttall, UKIP Deputy Leader told RT.
“We need to sit round the table and we need to decide who the real enemy is here,” Nuttall said.
He believes the enemy and the threat that we’re facing in the 21st century doesn’t come from Russia or anybody else, but “it comes primarily from Islamic fundamentalism.”
“We need to cut this cancer out of our world and we’re only going to do that if we get together – and I am talking about Western powers; I am talking about India, China, and indeed Russia. We all form a global coalition, and we go for Islamic State because they are the threat to our children,” Nuttall told RT.
The UKIP deputy leader said: “We’ve got to ask the question: whose side is Turkey on?”
According to Nuttall, there is evidence that Ankara is purchasing oil from ISIS. “If you remember the Turkish did absolutely nothing during the siege of Kobani. It seems that Turkey is more worried about the threat of the Kurdish population than it is about IS,” he continued.
“Of course this then throws up the issue of Turkey wanting to join the EU. That is something that I am absolutely opposed to – primarily because only three percent of Turkey is actually in Europe,” he said.
“Beyond that Turkey is a country which borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria – places which harbor terrorists,” Nuttall added.
He argues that President Erdogan is going to have to make a decision whose side Turkey is on.
“At the moment they seem to be wanting to dip their toe in both baths and say: ‘Yes, we want to be a part of a global coalition, we want to be a part of NATO.’ But equally it seems that if Turkey, in an underhand manner, is supporting ISIS,” Nuttall concluded.
Critical decision: West’s safety or overthrow of Assad
The neoliberal crusade to destroy the Syrian Arab Republic is making ISIL stronger, political analyst Caleb Maupin told RT.
“For the last four years, Syria has been trying to secure its borders – both its Turkish border and its border with Jordan have been open and weapons have been flowing across those borders,” he said.
Maupin added that “training camps for anti-government fighters exist on Turkish soil and on Jordanian soil. And they are crossing the border, going into Syria, kidnapping people, murdering people, taking people for ransom, just committing horrendous crimes. Every day that those borders remain open ISIL gets stronger. Let’s be clear about that.”
His hope is that “this is the French government waking up to the fact that ISIL is dangerous and that every day those borders remain open ISIL is getting stronger. That is the reality.”
“Western leaders have really got to decide: Do they want safety and the defeat of terrorism or do they want to continue their neoliberal crusade to topple the Syrian government. Which is more important – overthrowing the Syrian government or safety and the end to terrorism? That is the decision that they have to make,” he told RT.
“The neoliberal crusade to destroy the Syrian Arab Republic is making ISIL stronger. ISIL originated as part of the Western-backed insurgents fighting the Syrian government and every day that campaign continues, every day weapons continue to flow into Syria, ISIL gets stronger. What’s more important: Safety or overthrowing the Syrian government?” he continued.
Maupin thinks that “the safety of the people in the Western countries from ISIL terrorism would get priority.”
Russian jet’s downing: wrong message from Turkey
By downing a Russian warplane Ankara wanted to send a strong message to Moscow, but it didn’t think about all the following negative repercussions, says political analyst Bashdar Ismaeel.
“Finally, there is a sense of coalition after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the shooting down of the Metrojet over the Sinai Peninsula,” Ismaeel told RT.
He said that Turkey wanted to send a strong message to Russia.
“But do you have to shoot down a jet in order to send that strong message? Yes, you can choose to do so, but, of course, there is going to be a lot of repercussions as a result of that,” he continued.
“We are talking about a border area; we are talking about jets in terms of zones of influence and aspects, etc. You could be travelling kilometers in literally milliseconds,” Ismaeel added.
In his opinion, “Turkey perhaps hasn’t thought about the full weight of the ramifications here of the war on Islamic State, and, of course, on trade and economic relations with Russia. Yes, you shoot down a jet to prove the right to defend your airspace, but it is a much bigger topic.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.