Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas at Ground Zero

“Wars have a funny way of taking on a life of their own” wrote Mark Ames after Turkey shot down a Russian plane and World War III became a very real prospect.

It’s taken a backseat to Donald Trump’s strip mall fascism and the Clinton II machine devouring all in its path, but Obama might be facing a real war between First World nations in his final year. And all because of Syria.

There are parallels to another war a hundred years ago: uppity peasants, great power treaties no one ever expected to act on, and a single incident turning into a snowball of death and destruction. To his credit, Obama hasn’t made any firm commitments to Turkey in the event Putin puts Ankara on his list. But then, he and the US at large isn’t about to abandon a NATO member, no matter how pants-crappingly stupid they’re acting.

It would be easy to blame this all on the Turks - they’ve been coddling ISIS all through the Kobane campaign - but that would be letting the rest of the Western powers off the hook. And as we’ve established, the Western powers are fucking idiots.

We’re talking about the groups that have smiled and made nice with the House of Saud, the most reactionary power since the Victorians went out of business and the biggest net exporter of jihadism from the Maghreb to Chechnya. Even now, DC is talking about punitive measures against Iran for less than what North Korea has been doing every year since 2006. Iran is the only effective counterweight to Daesh in the Middle East, but Bibi don’t like ‘em so they’re official enemies of democracy. The Saudis don’t like ‘em neither, cause Israel and The Kingdom are both firmly on the wrong side of history.

They could afford to be wrong up until now thanks to being America’s most valued proxies, but that’s rapidly changing:

In the first half of 2016 we should be contemplating a situation where the S-400s will be targeting and covering the whole Turkish-Syrian border. This will be the moment when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will completely lose his marbles.

The US and Europe could have quashed ISIS when it was just starting in 2013 - or at the very least scolded the Saudis until they turned off the cash flow. But everyone was busy worrying that some of the many thousands to die in Syria might have been gassed by Assad’s forces, rather than just lined up against a wall and shot. This isn’t “chickens coming home to roost” though, this is geopolitical bungling that could see Russian bombers taking more detours over the Turkish border, everyone provoking each other until either Trump or Clinton II takes the reigns and decides to look tough...

A full nuclear exchange is still unlikely, since Putin isn’t suicidal and the American ruling class is terrified of anything that might curtail their donations from Wall Street. But don’t be surprised to hear about US troops shooting at other white people for a change in Ukraine once the new president-elect is sworn in.

...and a happy New Year!

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