Turks Hit Russian Fighter – Escalation?

Today a pair of Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian SU-24 over what they claimed was Turkish airspace. The plane crashed in Syria, the pilots thought shot as they parachuted to the ground. What will NATO do? How might Russia respond?

Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams and it’s good to see you Daniel.

Daniel McAdams: Good morning Dr. Paul.

Ron Paul: This morning we had some news that hit the wires as we woke up, having to do with a Russian plane being shot down, at least the news says by the Turks and I guess somebody might argue that that’s a little bit escalation and that’s one of our concerns that’s been, the more people getting involved over there, including ourselves, the more likely it is that the war might escalate and it looks like that could be happening.

As happens so frequently at the beginning when this breaks you can’t be a 100% certain who the pilots where and who shot the missiles and who where flying the airplanes and this sort of thing. We do know a little bit about this, I think we can certainly know that a Russian jet plane got shot down and possibly both pilots got killed, but we are not even sure of that.

Daniel McAdams: Yeah, we are pretty sure now because both the Turks and the Russians have said it was Turkish F-16s who shot down the Russian Sukhoi 24 fighter. The Turks have claimed that it had ventured into Turkish airspace and they provided a radar picture to show that there is a little finger of Turkey over which they claimed that the plane has passed. It would have been simply a matter of seconds if they had crossed into Turkish airspace. It is considered quite an escalation, quite a dramatic response, because normally even in the most extreme circumstances you might fire a warning shot, or something of that nature, but to actually shoot down the plane is considered a pretty dramatic response.

Ron Paul: I am in concern for a long time, especially since 2011 when the current administration announced Assad had to go, which I thought this is going to be a lot of trouble, although we’ve been involved over there for a long time, setting the stage for this both in Afghanistan and Iraq. This thing has continued and escalated, but the problem is still knowing how much we are involved, what I am concerned about now is what can this get us into.

My immediate response to some of this when I hear these news is to look at the financial market. Financial markets tell you a whole lot and if it were World War III, the markets would have acted differently. The markets actually, they reacted, but they were rather subdued. That doesn’t give us any reinsurance, because this is still very, very serious, but it’s not quite like oil doubled in price and the oil lines would be closed down and the Russians would be sending in the tanks and this sort of thing, but it still is rather serious.

The other thing that concerns me is the fact of an entangling alliance we’ve had since World War II, called NATO, which had a purpose at one time, quite different than now, now it’s just try to aggravate the Russians and they did that in Ukraine and Europe and putting our missiles in. But, Turkey is in NATO. I wonder what the possibilities might be that they are going to go to NATO and say we need help there, the Russians overstepped their bounds and we are in a conflict with Russia right now.

Daniel McAdams: In fact they’ve done exactly that, Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of NATO this afternoon, as if they were the ones that were attacked, but already some NATO members are expressing some concerns about the Turkish behavior, for example the Czech Prime Minister Zeman said this is really out of bounds to shoot down the plane, they are concerned. The U.S. from what I could tell before we went on air time, has not commented at all and the real question remains and you can get both sides.

Some say the Turks would never have done this without U.S. permission and other’s might claim that the Turkish President Erdogan felt emboldened by his recent electoral victory and may have wanted to forestall what he saw was a very successful Russian effort to turn back the regime change tied in Syria.
Ron Paul: I don’t have any proof, but I would tend to be very suspicious that the Turks wouldn’t do this without the quid pro quo and understanding with the United States, it is just not likely to happen.

The other thing they raise the question once again, who are all these people, we have ISIS and Al-Qaeda and we have the Russians and we have the Americans in there and yet could it be and I think you might have even made this suggestion, it may be that Russia was doing a pretty good job in defending an ally and going really closer to the rule of law. I mean, there was a leader elected or a declared leader in Syria and they went in. Maybe they have come close to a victory and something else had to happen. Of course, we don’t admit it, but there is evidence that we certainly have given support to Al-Qaeda and then ended up with our weapons in ISIS in order to subdue Assad.

Maybe Assad has made some gains and I think most people would agree that they have made gains, they don’t have Syria back again, but this may be an escalation out of desperation.

Daniel McAdams: Russian President Putin made a very angry statement this morning where he claimed we had set up a method to communicate, so that these things wouldn’t happen and he said that the Turks had stabbed him in the back by doing this, despite the fact that they had some communication, but yeah in terms of geography that part of northern Syria was the area where the Turks and some in the U.S. wanted to set up a no-fly zone and also a safe haven, because we are looking at talks toward a political solution approaching and some claim that in order for that to happen there needs to be some territory controlled by these U.S. backed moderates.

They need to have a base to operate and that the part of the area that was supposed to be carved out. Now, actually they may be a victim of their own aggression because I can’t see how Russia can’t claim carte blanche to go into this area at will, certainly the French did it after Paris, so the Russians would seem to me, have a green light to escalate as far as they like.

Ron Paul: They may be less encumbered by an entangling alliance where we pretend we are going to be involved in dealing with our NATO allies and do what it is, like France is a NATO ally, should we go, I think they wanted that to be NATO event, but here this is an event, it’s pretty bizarre that NATO may be drawn into it. It just reinforces my belief that these agreements are terrible. My argument is that you shouldn’t be able to amend the Constitution through a treaty and these are really a preemptive declaration of war, that means if there is an attack, we promises that we would go to war and nobody would ever consider not going to war, if they were indeed really attacked.

How can one generation make these declarations on the next generation? Generally that is the case, whether it happens in economic policies, we pass on debt to the next generation, we pass on bad foreign policy and people become so unaware of it. Right now, I am sort of concerned with the use of the problems we have over there just as another reason to excite the American people into further expanding the war and right now Cameron thinks he can probably get, he’s just begging and pleading and itching, he can’t wait to go in and do this fighting.

I keep thinking why do you want to do this for, why do you want to emphasize your participation, because you are going to get attacked. I mean, the Russians were attacked because they are involved there and we get attacked at least over there and we’ve been threatened. I don’t understand exactly why somebody is so anxious to get involved. I think, I suspect why they want to do it, but it’s so stupid and it’s so costly and it never works and guess what you end up with this problem of escalation and I guess the big question now is is this going to down in a week or I wonder what the worst thing that could happen here. I wonder what the worst thing is that Putin might do in the scheme of settling and calming it down.

Daniel McAdams: I think the response will probably be asymmetric, it would be something different, maybe arming the Kurds or something, but when you are talking about the war frenzy, it’s interesting I was watching your old, sometimes ally, sometime nemesis, Barney Frank was interviewed and he made a point that I think you would agree with, which is that he’s not seen America stirred up into a war frenzy this much since 9/11. It may even surpass 9/11 in the war frenzy, so it really is incredible.

But, with regard to the attack itself, Putin claimed and it’s a good point, he never accepted that they’ve gone into Turkish airspace and it’s not settled, but let’s just say even if they did, Putin claimed we are out there attacking ISIS, why would you down our, I thought ISIS was the enemy, what is going on here.

Ron Paul: Yeah, he’s in the driver’s seat there, a so-called moral highground, if there is such a thing, he wants to go after ISIS. It seems like we don’t like that, we pretend ISIS is the real enemy, but ISIS is also our subtle ally to help get rid of Assad. Maybe our government and a few others ought to give up, just let Assad be alone for a little bit and see what happens. it just seems like if the world is a little bit quiescent with an ongoing war, it seems like certain people on both sides of the equation, the East and the West, the United States and Europe, they just have to have something to go, like Ukraine.

I wonder how Ukraine just pops out of nowhere and we say we have to get rid of this guy and stir up trouble and Assad has to go, he’s a bad guy, Saddam Hussein, he has to go. It creates a monster of a situation over there and it’s on and on and the worse it gets, the immediate thing is bomb, like some of those candidate right now, they want to escalate and you say those are just Republicans except for one that might not want to do all this bombing. What are you going to do, go with Hillary? Because she might have a little bit better approach to this? She’s probably as bad as all the neocons.

Daniel McAdams: She’s called very much for the no-fly zone and the Americans don’t understand the implications of that, because ISIS and all of the other Al-Qaeda, they don’t have planes, a no-fly zone is only directed toward the Russians and the Syrians, they are the only ones non-NATO there that have planes.

Ron Paul: Anyway, this is a serious situation and everybody will be talking about it today and of course the resolution of this will not come quickly and exactly what happens I don’t know and even though I make the case that some of the danger that they talk about is blown way out of proportion. I fear my own government a lot more than I fear an invasion by a foreign government taking away our liberties.

Our government takes away our liberties, there is no invasion that does it. It’s under war conditions that our liberties are taken away. just think of our reaction to 9/11. Yes, we should have had a reaction, we should have done something, of course we should have reanalyzed out foreign policy, but the real reaction that hurt is when our government became the enemy of our freedoms and now we are a lot less free and right now let’s hope Barney Frank is wrong, that the warmongering isn’t worse that it was after 9/11.

That means we are open to it, but other countries are doing the same thing, we have to follow the United States, we have to have more patriot Act programs and more NSA spying and it looks like we are self-destructive and there is no need for this if people had a proper understanding. I still believe that if you had an out-and-out vote of the American people or the people of the world and just said is war good, is this good that we do, yeah, I just love war. No, I think people want peace, but they get badgered into it with a propaganda, the government propaganda and the control that the military industrial complex has and the hatred that they can build up and then the use of religion to get people antagonistic against each other.

I still believe that it is a more natural thing for people to want to have peace then it’s the minority that want the war, but they instigate it and they arouse these fears in the people and I think a lot of that is what is going on. I think the more the people are informed about what is happening, the better judgment they can make, but it shouldn’t be considered unpatriotic to question your own government’s policies. That’s what we need to do today more than anything.

I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.