Syrian rebels blow up Russian rescue helicopter with TOW missile.
The ecstatic ululations of “Allahu Akbar!” make my blood boil, and here we find ourselves, allied with Turkey which just shot down a Russian fighter in defense of Islamist insurgents.
But, as Walter Russell Mead points out, if we don’t stand by Turkey, who ever is going to believe we will stand by the Baltic States or Poland and the rest of Central Europe or do anything meaningful to stop Russia swallowing Ukraine?
The rapid deterioration of global order took an ugly turn this morning and we all moved a little closer to the abyss: Two Turkish F-16s have shot down what appears to be a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian border. Two Russian pilots parachuted out of the plane as it went down in flames. One pilot was captured by Turkmen fighters in Latakia province, with early reports indicating the second pilot did not survive the ordeal. Turkey is claiming the bomber was warned ten times about being in Turkish airspace before it was shot down. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has called for a special consultation with Turkey’s NATO allies.
The facts of the case aren’t clear as I write. The Kremlin is calling it a “very serious incident” but said it was still studying the specifics. Russia’s initial spin appeared to be that the plane was brought down by fire from the ground, but that story is not likely to hold for long given that Turkey is insisting it did the shooting. The plane was “exclusively over Syrian territory throughout its entire flight”, Russia’s foreign ministry maintained. “This is recorded by objective controls.” Turkey, however, has released a radar trace of the incident purporting to show that the plane had crossed into Turkish airspace over the province of Hatay.
Russia has been flying missions over Latakia province since it began combat operation in Syria at the very end of September, and has by some accounts upped their intensity since Russia fingered ISIS as the party responsible for the downing of its civilian airliner over the Sinai. ISIS is not known to be operating in Latakia, however, and just yesterday, Prime Minister Davutoglu had said that Turkey would “not hesitate” to act on Syrian soil to protect the Turkmen people. (The Syrian Turkmen minority is one of many groups scattered between China and Bulgaria who speak a Turkic language and share cultural and historical roots with the Turks of Turkey.)
Regardless of the facts of this case, the root cause of the problem is continued aggressive Russian activity in and around Turkish airspace. That aggression was bound to cause problems at some point. Whether Russia or Turkey is more to blame with respect to this particular situation, overall there is no doubt that Russia is the country that bears the political responsibility for the incident.
It’s now critical that Russia not be allowed to intimidate or pressure Turkey over the episode. That means NATO support. Turkey, unlike Georgia and Ukraine, is a full-fledged NATO member, and failing to stand behind it threatens to unravel the alliance. Putin’s number one goal, we must remember, is to break NATO—or at minimum to show that it is a paper tiger.
Turkey’s Intelligence Chief on Sunday explicitly defended ISIS and the Islamic Revolution.
Ankara— Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known by the MİT acronym, has drawn a lot of attention and criticism for his controversial comments about ISIS.
Mr. Hakan Fidan, Turkish President’s staunchest ally, condemned Russian military intervention in Syria, accusing Moscow of trying to ‘smother’ Syria’s Islamist revolution and serious breach of United Nations law.
“ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentalité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,” – Anadolu News Agency quoted Mr. Fidan as saying on Sunday.
A more cheerful perspective comes from an anonymous Facebook friend who is apparently some sort of US spook, and who is very hostile personally to Russian intervention in Syria:
Never forget that Turkey’s army is 3X larger than Russia’s, is better trained and equipped, has far better air support, and that they have access to 60 nuclear weapons held for them in a U.S. bunker at Incirlik.
And then there’s this: Turkey is a member of NATO, has been forever, and has as much right to invoke Article 5 as do Germany, France, UK or the US.
Putin was warned, explicitly, by dozens of us that the risks of a shoot down like yesterday’s were “very high” when he put his foot in the shitpile. He didn’t listen.
He should have paid closer attention.
Some douchebag plays John Lennon’s “Imagine” on a piano with a Peace Sign outside Paris’s Bataclan Theater.
Kathy Shaidle, at Taki Mag, tells us just how grossed out she was by some of the popular reaction to the Islamic Terrorist attacks in Paris.
The French hate America because you saved their asses during World War II while they were screwing German officers and pretending to be in the Resistance. They never stop bitching about Coca-Cola colonialism and America’s tacky, shallow, plastic “culture”—yet they’ve nevertheless embraced one of the Anglosphere’s most embarrassing exports: those “makeshift memorials” that have been de rigueur mortis since the death of Diana.
Except, as Taki’s own Gavin McInnes reported, Parisians added weird stuff to their stupid piles of flowers, like a poster of the Doors’ Jim Morrison (?) with his eyes blacked out (!). …
“Why Paris is doomed, in one image,” I blogged, in a post that went viral: “Outside the Jewish-owned Bataclan, this guy (a) played ‘Imagine’ on a piano with (b) a peace sign on it, which he’d transported to the site (c) on a bicycle.
“Couldn’t that at least have been—I rack my brain—(a) ‘Rock the Casbah’ on a guitar with (b) a Star of David on it, next to your (c) Hummer or something?”
A disgusted Mark Steyn added (which is why he makes the big bucks):
“When Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, did everyone coo because somebody dragged along a piano to the naval base and played a hit song from 1896?”
We were also ordered to be deeply moved or else by this immigrant father’s assurance to his little boy that they were safe from “the bad men.”
“They might have guns,” the father tells him, “but we have flowers.”
“But flowers don’t do anything,” his son replies, rightly.
The boy is gently corrected:
“The flowers and candles are here to protect us.”
Advice on family differences from Uncle Strickland:
This kid, my nephew, will never admit to being a communist, it’s always this “moderate independent” crap. But his Facebook feed is full of Bernie Sandinista, if you know what I mean, and he recently tweeted some gibberish about riding the bus in Czechoslovakia and identifying as a “human being” instead of what he is, an American. He’s been a “student” at some Ivy League circlejerk for the better part of a decade. I think he’s 29, who the hell even cares? If he’s the future, this country’s digging its own grave and I’m glad I won’t be there when it finally kicks the bucket.
Now that Turkey has brought down a Russian fighter, and Vladimir Putin is promising retaliation, just in time! Daniel Greenfield has whipped up a short guide intended to help US progressives decide whom it is they should be rooting for.
This morning you’re probably wondering why there’s something about Turkey shooting down a Russian plane in the news. Why is this story taking up valuable space in your news feed and taking away time from reading about how stupid Donald Trump and Ben Carson are, or how yoga is cultural genocide or how oppressed Yale students are? And didn’t Obama already fix the Syrian Civil War with a hashtag?
You’re probably worrying over which side is the progressive one in the Turkey-Russia spat.
Assistant Surgeon William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of a 16,500 strong evacuation from Kabul in January 1842 in Lady Butler’s Remnants of an Army, 1879, Tate Gallery.
Philip Mason (writing as “Philip Woodruff”) in his The Men Who Ruled India: Volume One, The Founders praised generally quite fulsomely the courage, intelligence, and disinterested statesmanship of most Governors-General of British India, but George Eden, Lord Auckland, Governor-General 1836-1842, initiator of the First Afghan War, failed to come off, in Mason’s history, quite so well.
[Lord Auckland] had a reputation in England for ability. he had a mild preference for justice, a mild and amiable good nature. In India, however, he was bored. Invested with the empire of Tamerlane and Akbar, made suddenly heir-at-law to Kubla Khan and Prester John, he was bored. Charged with the destiny of millions, moving in magnificence at which he mildly chafed through a country-sidestriken by famine, among children dying of starvation, he was bored. ‘G. detests his tent, and his march and the whole business so activelythat he will not perceive how well he is’, wrote his sister. She took him one evening to see an interesting ruin, but poor G. was more wretchedly bored than ever. …
Lord Auckland was a humane man. It may be that he was appalled by the horrors of the famine and dismayed at hos ignorance, his impotence to take any effective steps. It may bethat he concealed his wretchedness behind an emotion that seemed more appropriate to his birth. That is an interpretation more charitable to the man and more in keeping with his character than to take his boredom at face value; it does not, however, raise his reputation as Governor-General. …
The famine was at least the result of the weather and cannot be attributed directly to Lord Auckland. Not so the Afghan War. Miss Eden has a pleasantry of a flying squirrel that sat on G.’s shoulder, apparently whispering to him, ‘and though G. said the squirrel was only pulling his ear I am convinced he had more to do with public affairs than people generally supposed.’ Some explanation of public affairs was certainly needed.”
From Steven Hayward
Quote from the Yale Class of ’69 list-server:
Harvard had more points but we had a more diverse defensive line. Does that mean we won?”
“Yes. Because that diverse line didn’t inhibit Harvard’s freedom of expression and opposition to our view they should not score more points than us and win, but was allowed to express and implement that point of view at will with almost no resistance from us.”
Hat tip to Frank A. Dobbs ’69.
Geoffrey R. Stone wonders out loud:
[I]f Woodrow Wilson is to be obliterated from Princeton because his views about race were backward and offensive by contemporary standards, then what are we to do with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson, all of whom actually owned slaves? What are we to do with Abraham Lincoln, who declared in 1958 that “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,” and that “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people”?
What are we to do with Franklin Roosevelt, who ordered the internment of 120,000 persons of Japanese descent? With Dwight Eisenhower, who issued an Executive Order declaring homosexuals a serious security risk? With Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act? With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage?
And what are we to do with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who once opined in a case involving compulsory sterilization that “three generations of imbeciles is enough”? With Leland Stanford, after whom Stanford University is named who, as governor of California, lobbied for the restriction of Chinese immigration, explaining to the state legislature in 1862 that “the presence of numbers of that degraded and distinct people would exercise a deleterious effect upon the superior race”?
And what are we do with all of the presidents, politicians, academic leaders, industrial leaders, jurists, and social reformers who at one time or another in American history denied women’s right to equality, opposed women’s suffrage, and insisted that a woman’s proper place was “in the home”? And on and on and on.
When former head of the NKVD Nikolai Yezhov was purged and executed in 1940 by Stalin, his image, too, was purged from official photographs.
With characteristic Ivy League administrative courage, Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber surrendered to snowflakes of color demands that former Princeton (& US) President Woodrow Wilson be purged for holding racial opinions a century ago deemed politically incorrect today.
Following a 32-hour standoff with student protesters, the president of Princeton University acceded Thursday night to demands that Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from campus.
In a statement released Thursday evening, the university announced that President Christopher Eisgruber, along with Dean Jill Dolan and Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun, had reached an agreement with members of the Black Justice League to resolve a sit-in that had been taking place outside Eisgruber’s office since Wednesday afternoon.
Seventeen students also signed the document addressing their demands for various diversity initiatives, which was inspired by the Mizzou protests, and in the process received immunity from disciplinary consequences related to their demonstration.
In the agreement, the administrators promise to “initiate conversations” with the Board of Trustees on proposals to change the name of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as well as to remove a mural of the former U.S. president from a dining hall on campus.
Wilson served as Princeton’s president prior to his election to national office—hence the tributes to him on campus—but the student protesters believe such references to him are unbecoming, insofar as the progressive-minded President was also a virulent racist and staunch segregationist.
In addition, the Black Justice League also secured concessions on related demands for mandatory cultural competency courses for all school employees and the creation of a cultural center for black students on campus.
While the school did agree to expand the availability of cultural competency training, it stopped short of committing to make the training mandatory as the protesters had requested, instead inviting the BJL to send representatives to an upcoming meeting to discuss the possibility of implementing a cultural diversity requirement.
The administrators also pledged to immediately designate four rooms in a building on campus for use by “Cultural Affinity Groups,” promising over the longer term to pursue the creation of “Affinity Housing for those interested in black culture” with the Residential Colleges.
Princeton’s eagerness to purge its one-time favorite son is absolutely loaded with delightful ironies, alas! lost upon the ideologically-deranged minority students as well as upon their slimy and invertebrate praecepters.
Yale renaming the residential college previously named in honor of Yale’s greatest contributor to political thought is rather tragic, but Princeton throwing Woodrow Wilson to the wolves of trendy contemporary elite opinion could scarcely be more fitting.
Woodrow Wilson himself would have been among the first to chisel out the name of any distinguished predecessor currently in bad odor with the forces of Moral Uplift and Progressive Thought. One can almost picture Wilson arising from his tomb in order to recant all of his old-time racial and eugenicist positions, and to volunteer to take down his own portrait, while getting in a few unkind remarks along the way about George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
Abraham Lincoln (the dirty racist!) will be next.