So Turkey is now getting more engaged in the fight against ISIS, allowing U.S. warplanes to start using its convenient airbases, and recently sending its own fighter/attack planes to hit ISIS targets in northern Syria. Except Turkey is using this as an excuse to concentrate on hitting its Kurdish enemies in northern Syria whom they worry about more than ISIS. So now they’re pounding the brave Kurds who have been fighting ISIS successfully in places like Kobani, and the lead Kurdish insurgent group, the PKK, is setting off car bombs inside Turkey in retaliation, and the Turkish government is making mass arrests of suspect Kurds inside Turkey.
Also, just as importantly, Turkey wants to get rid of the Assad regime in Syria, and don’t be surprised if in the next few weeks Turkey, with the biggest and most effective armed forces in the region, does a ground invasion of northern Syria under the pretext of fighting ISIS, but instead rolls into Damascus, with Saudi financial help (because both the Sunni Turks and Saudis prioritize overthrowing Assad before taking care of ISIS), and the Turks and Saudis also want to reverse Iran/Persia’s growing influence there, especially now that Iran will be getting stronger, getting all kinds of new military equipment from the Russians and money for terrorism after the recent nuclear ‘deal.’ And when Turkey finally goes into northern Syria it will compensate the huge expense of the invasion by taking over all the oil fields there, the oil production facilities that ISIS now has and from which it partly finances its operations by selling the oil on the black market, so Turkey will roll over ISIS in such key locations, with lots of U.S. air support, but then Turkey will start heading for Damascus to overthrow Assad while the U.S. says “Huh? What’s going on?” ha ha.
Turkey is now losing money, now that its lucrative tourist trade is starting to drop because of the increasing Kurdish terrorism, and Turkey absolutely does not want an independent Kurdistan, nor do the Saudis for that matter. And another huge incentive Turkey has to do this, that the American government has been ignoring, is the opportunity to finally repatriate the huge number of Syrian refugees now in Turkey back to Damascus and Aleppo, etc., where the monumental costs of reconstruction and support for the refugees and restarting the economy will be financed by a U.N. and international community desperate to remedy the dismal living conditions that can provide a breeding ground for Islamist Jihadis. So the resettled refugees will be grateful to Turkey for initiating this and will constitute an electorate that will support a friendly Syrian regime that Turkey and the West will be trying to put into place to replace Assad. You see, it all fits.
Meanwhile, Iran, and Russia, have to keep propping up Assad, because Russia doesn’t want to lose its Mediterranean ports, that are absolutely crucial to their navy, and Iran doesn’t want to lose its ally that is also being helped by Hezbollah. So a Middle East regional war is quickly beginning to brew. Now that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are starting to get seriously involved the chances for an all-out Sunni-Shia civil war are rapidly rising and ISIS can only benefit from the increasing chaos as more and more Sunnis get radicalized. In response Russia and Iran, to preserve and defend their influence in the region, and to boost their own national prestige and power, will not allow Turkey and the Saudis to get away with this. Putin in Russia, and his entire national security establishment, will go all out here for another extremely important reason…because the past year’s slide in oil prices, engineered by the U.S. (behind the scenes) and Saudi Arabia, when the Saudis significantly increased oil production last year as part of the American plan to curb Russian power, is killing Russia’s economy, so Russia absolutely NEEDS higher oil prices, to keep its citizens happy and prevent any potential domestic unrest which could weaken the Kremlin, AND to be able to keep paying for Russia’s huge military modernization which is one of Putin’s top priorities. So Russia will try to kill two birds with one stone. Because if Russia gets involved militarily, sending ships to Syrian ports and maybe doing some long range aerial bombing, maybe, oops, hitting an oil field, well, the oil markets will freak out and the oil price will skyrocket. And for as long as the chaos continues the world is back to over $100 per barrel oil, which punishes the West and saves Russia.
So Russia and Iran have every incentive to act once Turkey acts. Furthermore this is Iran and Russia’s precious, but possibly narrowing, window of opportunity, to move fast now that momentum for a Middle East regional war is building. Russia and Iran have to deal only with Obama, and Obama, as they well know, is an appeaser and is highly reluctant to engage America in the role of deterring and responding to their aggression. So that’s the fourth compelling reason why Russia, under Putin, is more likely to roll the dice sooner rather than later. The U.S. might make some token complaints but if Russia moves quickly, and this is Putin’s style, then it will be a fait accompli before there can be a growing public movement in the U.S. to nip this in the bud before it all becomes irreversible.
And when all this starts rolling all the other countries in the Middle East will scramble to take advantage of the cover of growing chaos to settle old scores. The Shia militias in Iraq will maybe try to exterminate the remaining Sunni population to be positioned as well as possible for the peace conferences of the future, the Turks will redraw their southern border and make all out war on the Kurds, maybe, who knows? Meanwhile oil prices remain high and Putin finally has the money to bail out Greece and get Greece out of NATO, maybe, and get those Greek ports for his Black Sea fleet, in addition to the Syrian ones, weakening Europe geopolitically that way and through the high oil prices, which will also weaken them economically (the third compelling reason for Russia to act, out of the four reasons).
Meanwhile, as America finally begins to act, it will be facing an emboldened Russia and Iran and Russia might start to ratchet up its bellicosity in naval encounters in the Black Sea and on the high seas (ever see the 1966 cold war movie ‘The Bedford Incident’ with Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier?), and probably there will be incidents with fighter planes from the two sides encountering each other in games of chicken, etc. (Right now, for example, Russian Bear bombers have been increasing threatening patrols off America’s two coasts). And this will be a protracted crisis calculated to rattle American nerves at the same time that high oil prices will be triggering a global recession, at a time when the national debt stands at $18 trillion, when the U.S. defense budget is under pressure, and the American public is war weary after more than a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, and while America still has to deal with the growing threat of radical Islamist terrorism in an environment of increasing cyber attacks emanating from Russia and Iran, cyber attacks that will be calibrated in such a way as to gradually scare America more and more but not be so severe as to provoke serious American retaliation if they’re carried out in a ‘gray area’ kind of way that affords Russia and Iran just enough plausible deniability to make America hesitate.
And grinding down American will and resolve and economic capacity in this kind of long range strategic chess match that Putin and the Ayatollahs are hatching, because in their eyes it’s either they or we who will go down, well, it might necessitate a return to conscription and compulsory national service in America. And the target of the new grim reality of universal military, or national (for the conscientious objectors), service will be the Millennials who will freak out that they can’t just veg out with their I-phones all day long anymore. So America, knock yourself out with a coming hefty serving of a unisex draft, when girls’ names will go into a draft lottery too (because the liberals can’t push for total female equality in America in the good times but have young women shirk the most important responsibility of citizenship when bad times happen), and middle-class American parents freak out too. Putin and the Ayatollahs will be rubbing their hands with glee, ha ha.
So, all this is having a higher and higher probability of starting to come to fruition very soon. And ain’t it a creepy coincidence that it’s about to be the month of August? August has a reputation of being the time when bad things happen and serious hostilities break out, as with the first Persian Gulf war, the Soviet coup against Gorbachev in 1991, and the two mothers of all calamities, the First World War, memorialized in the cliche phrase `The Guns of August’, and then World War II which started on September 1st 1939 (just one day after the end of August) when Hitler invaded Poland. But there is one silver lining in all this. Once this stuff starts to happen any momentum that the liberal agenda for climate change action might have now will vanish almost overnight as building the Keystone pipeline and revving up Canadian tar sands development comes back on the front burner and the Pope’s climate policy influence and the upcoming Paris conference on climate change all die a sudden death, ha ha ha. Ain’t life full of surprises?