Readers will recall that for some time now, since the beginning really, I've been predicting that our shortsighted approach to intervention would eventually land us in hot water. I didn't quite expect things to come to a head so quickly. What certainly did NOT surprise me was the media's inability to perform a Wikipedia search regarding the territory we are now debating the border of.
So... now that our maybe-sort of-sometimes-ally has blown our maybe-sort of-sometimes-enemy's fighter jet out of the sky, what do we do now?
To complicate matters further, we think that the shootdown happened while our maybe-sort of-sometimes-enemy was bombing positions held by some of our mostly-sort of-almost-allies, but our sometimes-enemy says that they were really bombing positions held by yet another always-usually-mostly-common-enemy. After which, just in case things weren't nearly bad enough yet, our mostly-almost-allies decided to shoot down our maybe-sometimes-enemy's rescue helicopter.
Or, to break that down for you: we say Turkey shot down a Russian plane while Russia was bombing Turkmen forces, which Turkey is funding in an attempt to break apart the Syrian regime in the faintly preposterous hope that if we achieve ISIS's strategic objective for them, we can defeat them faster. Russia says that they are bombing the regime's enemies because the fastest way to defeat ISIS, which wants to overthrow the Syrian regime, is to strengthen the regime so that it cannot be overthrown.
This war began as a macabre theatre of the absurd and is swiftly descending even further into farce. If Russia was looking for justification for refusing to toe the Western line in the Syrian intervention, they now have it.
The most alarming part of this is that the present generation of post-Cold War leadership has completely, 100% forgotten the lessons of the Cold War. Their mentality is all the way back to the 1950s doctrine: confront Russia, as aggressively and uncouthly as possible. Push them until they break. And never mind their nukes!
I wonder if our own militarist right is hoping our planes stay in theatre so that they can have a chance to shoot down some Russians, too. I wonder what Harper would do if he was still prime minister...
Here's my next prediction: it will take at least three days for a mainstream journalist to realize that according to a Syrian map the Russian plane probably never entered Turkey anyways. Even though a simple Wikipedia trip explains why.