By striking Russia's Su-24 Turkey has obviously committed an act of aggression against Russia; however, it is highly naive to believe that President Erdogan acted alone, unilaterally deciding to attack the Russian plane, US author and syndicated columnist Stephen Lendman emphasizes.
In his latest piece for Global Research Lendman calls attention to the fact that Ankara's obvious lies about the Russian Su-24 entering the Turkish airspace being warned almost "ten times" have been accepted as the truth by Western leaders and NATO officials.
"As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO Ally, Turkey," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in an official statement after the emergency meeting requested by Ankara.
Stoltenberg also added: "I have previously expressed my concerns about the implications of the military actions of the Russian Federation close to NATO's borders."
Needless to say, Washington dominates NATO policy, Lendman stresses, adding that the Alliance's statements clearly reflect US interests.
Washington and NATO have immediately sided with Turkey turning a deaf ear to Russia's official statement that the Syrian Air Defense Forces, as well as objective monitoring data, confirms that the Russian aircraft had not entered Turkish airspace.
In addition, rescued Su-24 co-pilot Captain Murahtin admitted that there was no violation of the Turkish airspace and there were also no visual or radio warnings issued by Turkey.
"There were no warnings. Not via radio, not visually. There was no contact whatsoever. That's why we were keeping our combat course as usual. You have to understand what the cruising speed of a bomber is compared to an F-16. If they wanted to warn us, they could have shown themselves by heading on a parallel course. But there was nothing. And the rocket hit our tail completely unexpectedly. We didn't even see it in time to take evasive maneuvers," Captain Konstantin Murahtin told journalists.
Stoltenberg's statement has "explicitly endorsed Erdogan's act of war on Russia," Lendman emphasizes, adding that "longtime imperial tool" UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also endorsed the Turkish actions, by failing to condemn them.
Commenting on the issue, President Barack Obama said that Turkey "has a right to defend itself."
Lendman points out that French President Hollande in his turn also refused to denounce Turkey's naked military aggression.
What will Russia do in response?
Lendman stresses that Russian General Staff official Sergey Rudskoy announced that the air defense of the Hmeymim airbase, where the Russian Aerospace Forces group is stationed, would be reinforced. Rudskoy warned that henceforth every target posing a potential threat will be destroyed.
On Thursday, RIA Novosti reported that Russia's S-400 Triumf next generation surface-to-air missile system has already been deployed to the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
On the other hand, the Russian government has discussed a series of restrictive economic measures against Turkey in the wake of the incident.
"[President] Putin, [Prime Minister] Medvedev and other Russian officials know Turkey is complicit with Washington in recruiting, arming, funding, training and directing ISIS elements along with other terrorists on its territory, aiding their free movement cross-border into Syria and Iraq and back," the geopolitical analyst underscores.
Russia's Economic Development Minister Ulyukayev stated Thursday that the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project as well as the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant would fall under the restrictive economic measures currently mulled by the Russian government.
"Erdogan's reckless act, with virtually certain US support, destroys chances for East-West cooperation against terrorism — at the same time, upping the stakes for direct confrontation. The Doomsday Clock inched closer to midnight," Lendman warns grimly.