MERCHANTS OF CHAOS

                    November 25, 2015 - The downing by Turkish missiles of a Russian war
plane allegedly bombing ISIS fighters in Syria has exposed the chaos and disaccord among
a global alliance of nations who all claim to be confronting Islamic terrorists but are following
their own national agendas.
                 
The pivot of this unholy alliance of nations with forked tongues is Turkey,
next door to Syria, next door to ISIS. Their despotic Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Er
dogan is far more interested in defeating his domestic Kurds, so silencing their call
for independence, then eliminating the black-clad decapitators of the Caliphate.
                 The downing of the Russian fighter came just three days after a massive Russian
naval and aerial attack destroyed the main Isis oil refinery and hundreds of storage tanks at
Deir Ezzor. The black market Isis oil was being shipped from the port of Ceyan mainly to
Japan by a Turkish shipping company called BMZ Ltd owned by Bilal Erdogan, son of the
Turkish Prime Minister.
              
The Russian fighter-bomber was apparently targeted in retaliation for ruining
the Isis oil running racket out of Deir Ezzor amid growing evidence, Turkey, a NATO
ally, is actively facilitating arm transports to Isis, the movement of Isis fighters and the
illegal export of Isis oil. When Turkish border police last year stopped a convoy of
weapons from Saudi Arabia going  to Isis in Syria and arrested the Turkish Secret
Service (Mit) agents accompanying the  shipment they were ordered to let the convoy
proceed. The policemen who made the arrest were later charged with subversion and
espionage.

         
Saudi Arabia, awash in petrol money, is handing out “leave us alone” donations
to all sides and the Russians, long time friends of the besieged Syrian president Bashar

al-Assad, their favorite Middle East client, have been bombing, according to US intelligence,
not ISIS strongholds but the militia groups fighting to oust Assad.
          Neither the Americans nor its western allies want to see boots on the
ground in Syria or Iraq to confront ISIS. Instead the allies drop bombs on suspect ‘terrorist’
positions which often turn out to be civilians whose deaths only augments the hatred and
the cry for jihad and suicide attacks. No war has ever been won with bombs.
            The French who have more Moslems living in their country then any other
western nation have been busy launching air-born missions into Syria, perhaps seeking
colonial type concessions from a future handpicked government as they did in vain in
Libya. Action always produces a reaction, surely one of the reasons the jihadists have
singled out Paris for particularly cruel and inhuman massacres, like the one in Paris this month.   
            
Many nations including the super-rich Saudis and the Arab Emirates have
probably, directly or indirectly, supplied arms and money not only to groups fighting
Assadin Syria but fighting Shiites anywhere. By chance or by design many of these
 
funds and weapons seem to have found their way to ISIS.
             When the Americans trained and supplied an entire brigade of Iraqis with
ophisticated weaponry to fight ISIS in recent months the brigade, once trained and armed,
defected to the
terrorists with all their modern American hardware.
               In this cesspool of alliances and conflicts no one today knows who is
helping who anymore, who covets funds and arms under false pretenses and who is on
your side today and shoots you down tomorrow - as the Turks did.
               The only people who have been dying in large numbers in the fight
against ISIS are the unfortunate Kurds who lost large tracts of their envisaged homeland in
Iraq to the ISIS Caliphate. For centuries the Kurds have been fighting and dying as
warriors for nations who promised them a homeland, the legendary Kurdistan, only to renege
on the pledge once the war was won.
                Turkey which has the central geographic position today in the war of the
world against terror has a large Kurdish population which the war might empower to unite with
their claim for a united homeland joining Iraqi Kurds and Turkish Kurds on both sides
of the Iraq-Turkish border. Erdogan, who had over one hundred unarmed prote
sters
shot  recently without hardly a bad word from his western allies, rules his nation like a despotic
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He has U.S. basis on his territory, he demands membership i

n the European Union for his Moslem nation, loyalty from NATO as one of its members and the
Kurdish question settled out of court – in his favor.
                According to the New York Times since 2014 Turkey has bombed
Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria 300 times and ISIS targets only three times. This blatant
misuse of the aims of the anti-terrorism coalition is a slap in the face of the U.S. which
supports the Kurds and sees them as allies and the only effective force fighting ISIS on the
ground.   
               All these conflicts might have never happened if the U.S. led coalition had
not pricked a hornets’ nest in the Middle East with its invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan or if the
French (always eager to play a role beyond their capacity) had not blundered terribly when
they spearheaded attacks on the regime of Colonel Khadafy in Libya.
               Under the propagandistic guise of liberating people from depots these
military interventions destabilized what were stable nations even though their rulers were
despots. Once these rulers were ousted or killed the cohesion they had built through harsh,
often brutal repression was immediately replaced by ‘liberated’ tribal, religious and power-
seeking militias in these oil-rich nations whose current combat to gain power might
continue for decades.
               As leading nations either East or West took sides in these mini-wars they
became suppliers of military hardware in return for oil or for concessions in the territories
taken over by “their” militias.
              The chaos in the region can be mind boggling: In Syria Assad buys oil from ISIS
in exchange for weapons supplied to Syria by Russia. Turkey supplies arms to the Turkmen,
ethnic Turks living in Syria whose Syrian territory Erdogan is eager to annex
once Syria is partitioned at the end of the war. The U.S. operates from an airbase in
Turkey but is constrained in the choice of targets by its hosts who see ISIS as a silent but
useful partner in Turkey’s constant battle to suppress the clamor for a Kurdistan.  
                At the source of all these conflicts is profit and since neither borders nor
morals can contain profit-seekers someone will always be ready to make fortunes on the
blood and misery of others.

Uli Schmetzer was foreign correspondent for Reuters and the Chicago Tribune for nearly forty years.
He is the author of four books available on www.amazon.com