World View: Another Putin Lie: America Wanted Turkey to Shoot Down Russia’s Plane

Vladimir Putin
The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Another Putin lie: America wanted Turkey to shoot down Russia’s plane
  • Vladimir Putin praises Donald Trump
  • Israel and Turkey reach preliminary deal to normalize relations
  • Turkey announces plans to build a military base in Qatar

Another Putin lie: America wanted Turkey to shoot down Russia’s plane

Putin at his tv call-in marathon on Thursday (AP)
Putin at his tv call-in marathon on Thursday (AP)

On Thursday, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin gave one of his marathon voter call-ins, answering people’s questions for three hours.

Apparently he was feeling good, because he finally admitted that there were Russia troops in Ukraine, essentially also admitting that he lied about it in the past, but we all knew that, anyway.

What was more significant was that he all but accused the United States and President Obama of a secret deal with Turkey: Turkey would shoot down a Russian plane, and America would get a part of Iraq:

We do not know it for sure and we do not know whether it was right or wrong if somebody in the Turkish authorities decided to lick Americans in a certain place.

Firstly, I do not know whether Americans need it or not. Perhaps there were some agreements at a certain level, that ‘we shoot down a Russian plane and you close your eyes on it,’ and that we, let’s say, enter Iraq and occupy some part of Iraq.

I do not know, but maybe such exchange did take place, however, we do not know it for sure.

If Obama had wanted to occupy some part of Iraq, he would have done so months ago. Obama has repeatedly made it clear that he doesn’t, and Putin knows that, so Putin knows that his remark is completely full of crap. Putin’s remarks are simply a new lie.

Putin’s technique is that when something goes well, he takes the credit, and when something goes wrong, he blames it on America. This is the same kind of technique that President Obama uses, taking credit when something goes right, and blaming President Bush when something goes wrong.

With regard to Ukraine:

We never said that there weren’t people there [in Ukraine] dealing with certain tasks, including in the military sphere.

But that doesn’t mean there are regular Russian forces there. Feel the difference.

In fact, Putin repeatedly denied that there was no military role in Ukraine, so this is an admission of past lies. Keep in mind, we already know that there were thousands of Russian troops in Ukraine, because last year it was reported by multinational sources, including British and European reporters, Nato, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the U.S. State Dept.

In fact, several Russian officials were forced to admit that Russian soldiers were participating in the invasion of Ukraine, but they always insisted that they were “volunteers.”

This is another joke. Last year we quoted the Moscow Times as saying:

About 190,000 members of the 760,000-strong Russian army are currently serving upon their own volition. The rest are conscripts.

So when Russian officials refer to “volunteers,” they are referring to the 190,000 “volunteers” in the Russian army. By the way, the American army is 100% “volunteers,” so when we send soldiers to Afghanistan, they are just “volunteers.”

Two weeks ago, I made list of several of Russia’s recent lies about Ukraine and Syria: Russia lied about its invasion of Crimea, Russia lied about invading east Ukraine, Russia lied after shooting down a passenger plane over Ukraine, Russia lied about Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad’s use of Sarin gas on his own people, Russia lied about the purpose of its military intervention into Syria as being to attack ISIS.

A number of web site readers, including several paid Russian trolls, complained that I was being unfair repeating Russian lies. My response is that if Putin and other Russian officials keep lying over and over and over, then they cannot expected to be believed in the future. I recommend that these people read the Aesop Fable about the Boy Who Cried Wolf for further information. The moral to the fable is that nobody believes a liar, even when he tells the truth. Tass (Moscow) and Moscow Times (1-Sep-2014) and Telegraph (London) and Aesop: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Vladimir Putin praises Donald Trump

Donald Trump has repeatedly praised Russia’s president Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail. During his marathon voter call-in, Putin returned the favor:

It is not our business to determine his merits, that is up to US voters. But he is the absolute leader in the presidential race. He is a very outstanding person, talented, without any doubt.

So if we apply the rule that Putin never tells the truth except by accident, then we have to assume that this statement is meaningless except that Putin wants to do one two things:

  • Help Trump get elected.
  • Hinder Trump from getting elected.

Does Putin want Trump to be president, or not? We’ll have to see what he says in the future. BBC

Israel and Turkey reach preliminary deal to normalize relations

The Mavi Marmara
The Mavi Marmara

Israel and Turkey have reached a proposed agreement to normalize relations, including the return of ambassadors to both countries, according to an Israeli official. The agreement was apparently reached at a secret meeting in Switzerland.

Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after the deaths of nine Turkish citizens on May 31, 2010, in a confrontation between Israel’s navy and the boat Mavi Marmara in a flotilla headed for Gaza in violation of Israel’s Gaza blockade. Since then, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has specified three conditions that Israel would have to fulfill, in order to restore normal relations. First, Israel would have to apologize, and Israel did so in March 2013, under intense pressure from President Barack Obama.

Second, Israel would have to pay monetary compensation to the families of the victims. According to the Israeli report:

The two nations agreed on a number of steps: Israel will found a compensation fund for victims of the raid on the Marmara; all charges against Israel will be cancelled; the ambassadors will be returned to work; and high-ranking Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri will be banned from entering Turkey.

Reports indicate that the compensation fund will contain $20 million, provided by Israel to Turkey.

Erdogan’s third condition was the lifting of the blockade of Gaza. News reports on the agreement do not mention this condition, and it is unlikely that any such proposal would be acceptable to either Israel or Egypt. Today’s Zaman (Ankara) and AP

Turkey announces plans to build a military base in Qatar

Turkey has announced that it will build a military base in Qatar, to help the two countries confront “common enemies.” This will be Turkey’s first Middle East military base outside of Turkey itself. Plans are to station 3,000 ground troops, as well as air and naval units, military trainers and special operations forces.

More than other Middle East countries, Qatar has had the closest relationship with Turkey in the past. After the 2014 Gaza war between Israel and Hamas, there was a major split among the Arab countries, with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority allied against Hamas, Qatar and Turkey. ( “3-Sep-14 World View — Mideast realignment continues following the Gaza war”)

That split has largely healed since then, but Qatar and Turkey still have many common interests not always shared by other Mideast countries. They both support the Muslim Brotherhood, they both oppose the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, both have condemned Russia’s intervention in Syria, and both have opposed Iran’s increasing influence in the region.

According to Ahmet Demirok, Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar:

Turkey and Qatar face common problems and we are both very concerned about developments in the region and uncertain policies of other countries. We confront common enemies. At this critical time for the Middle East cooperation between us is vital.

Demirok said that the establishment of the base was a renewal of the “historic and brotherly ties” between the two countries, referring to the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Qatar is also home to the largest US air base in the Middle East, Al Udeid, which serves around 10,000 personnel. Middle East Eye and Al Bawaba and Reuters

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Turkey, Syria, Ukraine, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Israel, Mavi Marmara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar, Ahmet Demirok
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