Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Russian Plane Shootdown & Changing Narratives

 What's in a name? William Shakespeare understood there was a whole lot to a name. 
 Perception managers, marketers and war makers understand there is a whole lot riding on just the right name.  
 Two identical cars, one named "Dart". The other  named "Drat". Which would you purchase?
Of course you'd prefer the aerodynamic "Dart" to a frustrating "Drat" Marketers understand this. What's in a name
"Very often the first piece of information we have about a person is their name. It’s often the first thing you learn about someone and we form judgments about people very rapidly.  And those judgments accumulate, so the first piece of information is especially important.  It can lean you in a positive direction or a negative direction.  And those first impressions can set the stage for future interactions"
What's in a name when it applies to the shooting down of the Russian jet? 

It can be argued that it really doesn't matter who shot down the Russian plane resulting in the death of it's pilot.  However, I believe it does. For the very simple fact that an effort has been made to reassign responsibility from one group to another.    I noticed that the very day the shoot down occurred and wondered why a concerted effort was being made to shift blame from one group to another?

 Briefly: Jaysh al Nasr  released the footage of the shootdown first. They proudly took responsibility for their deed. Their logo was featured/promoted in all the initial video and very first news reports.
Covered in the first post regarding the shootdown:  Russia Confirms Su-25 Downed in Syria- Repercussions?

Later in the day the logo on the video (after it had been on line) was altered to that of Tahrir al Sham. I specifically noted that in my second post on that topic: Breaking Reports: Russia Has Responded to Plane Shootdown in Syria

 Knowing there was going to be hell to pay one had to wonder why exactly Tahrir al Sham would want to take credit for this... Doing so was equivalent to putting a big bullseye on yourself and saying come and get me.

In my opinion there are two reasons for this narrative shift:

Reason # 1: Create a distance between US supplying of man pads to their terror proxies. 

You see Jaysh al Nasr was supplied US weapons aplenty. The dots can be connected quite easily between Jaysh al Nasr and the US.  Jaysh al Nasr were part of the claimed group of "moderate" rebels the US openly cavorted with.
Jay(i)sh al Nasr

 Jaish al-Nasr, which is considered a “moderate opposition group" that received weapons from the United States. Minutes after the downing of the Su-25, Alaa al-Hamwi, the military commander of Jaish al-Nasr’s aid defense battalion, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Reason # 2:    Blame/frame Turkey.  

Cause Russia and Turkey to question their cooperation? Make Turkey look worse in the eyes of the general public who consume 5 eyes main stream and 5 eyes alt media

"The situation in the area is under Turkey’s control and [the downing of the jet] could have served to exacerbate the Russian-Turkish disagreements. 
I think Western intelligence services [also damaged] our further relations with the United States,” said Klintsevich, a hard-liner and a staunch critic of the United States.
“Our Defense Ministry is now conducting a serious investigation to find out who was behind this attack," he said. "But in this complex configuration of military actions, the role of American intelligence is becoming clear. They want to discredit our work on the fight against terrorists, and such provocations will continue.”

Idlib is a de escalation zone under both Russian and Turkish oversight.

I covered this in the post titled: Realpolitik2 At Sochi

*Turkey and Russia Agree to Speed Up Observation Posts in Idlib
 Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to step up efforts to form observation posts in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, a source in Erdogan’s palace said on Wednesday.
 This has been the case for some time now- Why it's not more widely known has much to do with the bias against Turkey, that's been mentioned in this post: Realpolitik at Sochi

So far Turkey and Russia's cooperation looks to be holding. They've worked together to collect the remains of the pilot. They are teaming up to get plane debris out of Idlib.

RT:“Russian military intelligence, in cooperation with its Turkish colleagues, has returned to Russia the body of pilot Major Roman Filipov, who heroically died in Syria on February 3,” the Ministry said.
the Pilot leaves behind a wife and small child

TASS : "The Russian Defense Ministry has dispatched a request to Turkey for assistance in obtaining all debris of the Russian jet Sukhoi-25, down by terrorists on February 3 with a man-portable missile in air space over Syria’s Idlib province," the ministry's statement runs.
 Is there a party or parties that don't want Turkey and Russia to continue cooperating?
I can think of a few. 

Al Monitor's oped wants us to think Turkey was involved in the shoot down
"At the expert level, however, the rationale that Ankara might have played an official role in the attack stems from the deep-seated distrust between Russia and Turkey, their tacit disagreements over Idlib, and previous incidents, including both Turkey's downing of a Russian jet over Syria in 2015 and the recent shelling of the Khmeimim air base"
 I'm going to withhold drawing any conclusions at this time. 

I can think of far too many reasons for Turkey to not have been involved.  I wrote about the Russian jet shoot down in 2015-  I didn't get the impression Russian leadership believed Turkey aka Erdogan was involved. Same with the drone attack at Khmeimim. However, it's clear some parties/persons wish to create a specific perception in the minds of the masses.
Time will clarify this situation.

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