World View: Russia and Turkey Try to ‘Blackmail’ Armenia into Their Conflict

Commemorations Are Held To Mark The Centenary Of The Armenian Genocide
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This morning’s key headlines from

  • Russia and Turkey try to ‘blackmail’ Armenia into their conflict
  • The mirror images: Donald Trump and Barack Obama

Russia and Turkey try to ‘blackmail’ Armenia into their conflict

Russian Mi24 helicopters
Russian Mi24 helicopters

With the dispute between Russia and Turkey showing no signs of ending, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane a “casus belli” (justification for war), although he added that full-scale war is not planned. ( “25-Nov-15 World View — Turkey shoots down Russian warplane, evoking memories of many Crimean wars”)

Russia already has soldiers stationed in a Russian military base in Armenia, near the border with Turkey, and those Russian troops have been put on high alert. Seven Russian Mi-24P attack helicopters and some Mi-8 transport helicopters have been delivered to another Russian military base in Armenia.

Even before the downing of the Russian plane, plans had already been announced for a unified air defense system, where Russia would extend its air defense system to Armenian airspace in order to contain Turkey in particular, and Nato more generally.

To add to the tensions, the day after the plane was downed, Russia’s Parliament introduced a bill that any individual who denies that Turkey committed genocide against the Armenians in 1915 is to be fined 500,000 rubles (more than $7,500). The Armenian genocide accusations have been infuriating Turks for decades.

Armenia is a long-time ally of Russia, but Armenia is concerned that it is going to be dragged into the Russia-Turkey against its will. According to Manvel Sargsyan head of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies, Armenia’s close relationship with Russia has gone on for many years, but:

Now, it causes big problems. At this point we can not abandon that policy; instead, the desire to create a unified air defense system will further those relations. Armenia has allowed Russia to use its air defense units. … Of course, the new situation in the region, and will deepen these processes, which contains many dangers.

Even worse, Armenia is being blackmailed into becoming a pawn in the conflict, because Turkey will encourage its ally Azerbaijan to provoke Armenia via the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. (See “7-Dec-15 World View — Azerbaijan faces rising radical Shia Islamist insurgency”)

According to Sargsyan:

One thing is clear. The conflict that arose between Russia and Turkey… makes use of the various factors involved. And if Russia so demonstrably raises the issue of the [Armenian] Genocide, it is natural that Turkey should remember the [Nagorno-]Karabakh issue to the parties involved in the conflict. Firstly, this is blackmail, but it would have meant that both sides are trying to involve Armenia in the conflict. And it creates a difficult situation for Armenia, taking into account Armenia’s and Russia’s strategic relationships, attachment to each other.

Sargsyan added that Turkey had hoped that Nato would defend Turkey’s claim that the Russian plane had entered Turkey’s airspace before being shot down. According to Sargsyan, Nato’s member states were opposed to defending Turkey, and so it was left to Nato’s Secretary General to make a statement defending Turkey. Thus, Turkey has created problems for Nato.

Now, according to Sargsyan, Turkey “is doing everything in order to be able to come out of this hole,” and so it’s involving other countries, including Armenia. Jamestown and Deutsche Welle and Armenia Now (26-Nov) and First News (Armenia, 1-Dec) (Trans)

The mirror images: Donald Trump and Barack Obama

Obama and Trump are mirror images of each other, and both are embarrassments to the United States.

Years ago, John Kenneth Galbraith developed the concept of “countervailing power” in labor markets — large corrupt corporations give rise to large corrupt labor unions. In the same sense, Obama has given rise to Trump.

Obama never accomplishes anything, but never tires of implying that the entire country is mean and racist, never tires of inciting black violence against cops, never tires of disparaging and offending Christians, never tires of blaming innocent gun owners for the crimes of Islamist terrorists, or of making moronic remarks like blaming terrorism on climate change, while his foreign policy has been one disaster after another.

Trump has no clue what is going on in the world, and thinks that foreign policy consists of insulting any racial or religious group or person he dislikes by treating them as he would any incompetent jerks who work for him. His money has made him powerful, and his power has gone to his head and made him completely corrupt. He thinks that he can buy anything or fire anyone, leaving him free to be as destructive and offensive as he wants to other people. His recent statements about banning Muslims are a disgrace to America. However, people are supporting Trump because they’re sick and tired of being constantly offended, insulted and lectured to by Obama, while accomplishing nothing.

Obama is the cause of Trump, and is to blame for Trump, by the principle of “countervailing power.” But it’s neither Obama nor Trump, but the rest of us who will have to pay the consequences. EconLib: John Kenneth Galbraith: Countervailing Power

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Armenian genocide, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Manvel Sargsyan, Nato
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