I've been, as most readers know, in "catch up" mode regarding the downing of the Russian airliner since the Secret Space program conference two weekends ago, and many people have kindly shared articles and, more importantly, their thoughts about what might be going on.
These have ranged the whole gamut, from Surface to Air missiles, an air-to-air missile (and thus a military strike), to the usual "Israel did it" crowd, and even private thoughts that it might be a colossal design failure in the Airbus aircraft that various parties want to keep secret.
For the most part, I tend presently to lean to some sort of bomb on board, or a missile strike of some sort, though both views are problematical for different sets of reasons. Mr. G.B., however, shared two articles, both from RT, which highlight the growingly complex geopolitical situation in the Middle East against which, in my opinion, any accurate assessment of the tragedy that happened to the Russian flight crew and passangers must be placed. The first concerns Turkey's growing role in the region:
What is of interest here is the subtle shift in Turkish rationalizations for its role in Syria. Originally, of course, this was ostensibly to assist the US in its efforts to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus, but I strongly suspect that this original involvement was as much about dealing with the Khurds, and also staking out a position against any radical regime that might have emerged in Damascus if Mr. Assad's government fell. In other words, Turkey was already looking at American policy in the region - rightly so - with a skeptical eye.
Now, however, that rationalization has changed, with a direct willingness on Turkey's part to combat ISIS, and I suspect that this is the result of Russia's intervention as much as it is any discontent with Washington.
More importantly, however, our friends at Zero Hedge have come out with an article indicating alleged US willingness to give advanced SAM missiles to "select militant groups":
Presumably, of course, it isn't really airliners that the Saudis or the CIA want to bring down, but Russian military aircraft, via whatever proxies they have left inside that country. (The problem, of course, is that nasty Russian jamming technology that appears to be in play in Syria) As also noted in the Zero Hedge article, and as most readers here are aware, Britain has shut down flights in the region and other countries, including Russia, appear to be following suit, and that means, for the moment, that "terrorism" of some sort is the agreed upon story.
And if it's terrorism, whether by missiles or bombs, then its a desperation move in a situation that otherwise is going all Moscow's way. What remains to be seen is what Russia's explanation for the sad event is, and Moscow is going to have to play that one, and craft that story, very carefully to avoid escalations of the situation. If, indeed, it was a missile, then as Mr. T.G. suggested to me, Mr. Putin will either downplay, or deflect, attention from that in order to avoid escalations with the West (and pressures for a response at home), until the ISIS situation is addressed completely.
But as I've often warned... if indeed that was the case, then two can play the covert operations game... and the Russians are quite good at it.
See you on the flip side...