Hell has special place for murderers of downed pilots

John Wight
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
Only a grotesque distortion of the English language could apply the word ‘moderate’ to people that shoot pilots as they parachute helplessly to the ground. Yet these are the very people being armed and supported by Turkey and its Western allies.

A special place in hell is reserved for those who murder downed pilots as they descend to the ground after ejecting from crippled aircraft. It was a practice associated with the SS during the Second World War and is now labelled a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

As if this isn’t bad enough, the Turkmen ‘rebels’ responsible for this vile deed filmed the body of the Russian pilot they had shot and could be heard repeating religious slogans. At one point they even discuss burning the body.

These are the moderates the world is constantly being assured constitute the answer to both ISIS and Assad. In so doing they have plumbed the depths of indecency and immorality these past five years, as they work for the Islamization of Syria and its destruction as a secular state in which the rights of religious and ethnic minorities are protected and upheld.

The Turkmen, however, are the one Syrian minority that has thrown in their lot with the opposition. They are ethnic Turks and in Syria number between 100,000-200,000, primarily located close to the Syrian border with Turkey in the north of the country. Not only have they been fighting against Syrian government forces, they have also been involved in fighting against the Kurds of Syria, under the influence of their Turkish ally and sponsor.

The idea that there is such an entity as moderate rebels fighting in the Syrian conflict was exposed as a myth before this incident. It was exposed, for example, back in 2013 when an FSA commander had himself filmed cutting open the body of a dead Syrian soldier, before removing his inner organs and taking a bite out of them.

It is an inarguable fact that the overwhelming majority of Syrians support the country’s legitimate government. Eighty percent of Syrians are living in government-controlled parts of the country in the West, and logic dictates that if it did not enjoy popular support it would not have been able to survive as it has throughout the conflict.

Moreover, according to a leading French expert on Syria, Fabrice Balanche, the majority of internally displaced persons in Syria have sought sanctuary in government-controlled rather than rebel-controlled areas of the country. In an interview conducted with the US Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in January, the French academic revealed: “Most of the population movement inside the country is headed away from insecure and impoverished rebel-held territory toward more stable and economically functioning government-controlled areas.”

Turkey’s role in this conflict stands exposed not only in the court of world opinion but also the court of history. When Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, described the shooting down of the Russian jet as a “stab in the back,” he articulated the role of Turkey’s President Recip Erdogan in the region over recent years.

Under Erdogan’s leadership Turkey has navigated a path of opportunism and treachery, voicing on the one hand its commitment to confronting terrorism, while in truth helping to facilitate and bolster it. ISIS and other fanatical extremist organizations in Syria simply could not have succeeded as they have, for as long as they have, without Turkey’s support.

The Russian pilot executed by Turkmen ‘moderates’ was a victim of Erdogan’s treachery. He was killed on a mission to save a country and a people fighting to stem a tidal wave of terrorism and barbarism, one that has seen countless thousands slaughtered in the most bestial ways imaginable. People beheaded while still alive, burned alive in cages, thrown from the top of tall buildings, dismembered, tortured, raped and enslaved – these are the grisly methods of the people that Turkey, a NATO member state, has been supporting.

None other than retired US supreme NATO commander General Wesley Clark agrees. In a recent interview with CNN, he said: “All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way,” before going on to opine: “Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS is selling, it’s going through somewhere, it looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey.”

Western governments have a very important decision to make. They can no longer continue with the obfuscation and dissembling they’ve employed to paint the Assad government and Russia as the bad guys in this crisis and conflict. If the Syrian government collapses, the hell that would result would be of an entirely different order from anything the region has experienced before.

The only moderates in this conflict are to be found in the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army, fighting for their people, homes, and country against religious extremism and fanaticism alongside their Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies.

Those who argue otherwise are merchants of mendacity.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.