Monday, December 19, 2016

Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

This event today is certainly entangled with crucial larger issues in play, and possible outcomes.

Among other things, one immediate issue appears: will Erdogan tell the real truth to Russia and to the world? I hope any serious major power with serious intelligence capabilities knows by now not to take at face value the PR of folks quite willing to "bend the truth" for their political purposes. The news says it was a Turkish policeman who shouted "Ali Akbar." Erdogan wants to blame everything on Kurds and Yezidis, but to accept such BS PR right now would be a strong warning about the sanity and maturity of anyone believing it. (Sure, Russia has some value in being tactful and not saying "BS PR" itself to the TV, but.,.. )

At best, Erdogan might have just been "playing to his base" by shifting Turkey to be more of an Islamic Republic with Sunni theocracy and sharia and so on... just as Trump has at times played to a base. But it is clear that "playing to that base" has serious consequences. Purging the independent thinkers and managers form the police and the army of course creates the potential for this situation... and a lot more. In his deal with Erdogan, Putin was ... making a deal with the devil... while Erdogan himself might have executed an actual employment contract of that sort.

Clearly Putin now has an option, after Trump's election, to move decisively to a different kind of deal. It would also have some costs (maybe quiet and lubricated), but a lot less than the kind of thing we saw today and where it might lead to. It helps to have a principled goal.


So many jokes floating in the ether....

China navy grabs a US research drone, opens it and sees the secret... the secret is "made in China." Oops.

Is it time to turn Turkey over to Assad?


but back to reality...  

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