Remember the order of events:
Erdogan refuses apology to Putin over the downing of a Russian jet (November 2015)
Erdogan apologizes to Putin over the same (June 27, 2016)
Turkish coup-countercoup (July 15, 2016)
Revival of Turkish Stream gas project with Russia (July 27, 2016)
Erdogan’s reinstallation of compete autocratic control (now)
Go back in time a little bit: http://www.newsweek.com/us-accuses-assad-aiding-islamic-state-through-airstrikes-338582 The article gets at Assad’s method of incubating ISIS (let it grow!).
Keep in mind the appearance of strident “Red Brown Green” — old comrade networks, new nationalists, Islamists — politics in the open democracies of the west.
In Hungary, Orban developed and promoted law favoring his own authoritarian rule; in Turkey, a similar thing but along Islamist lines.
Putin knows that the Christian-majority states of Europe, once goaded by terrorism, would have a chance of reverting to nationalism (and its fevers) to fight it. Possibly, for that reason, western leaders have chosen to absorb the spill-off from terrorism rather than relent with regard to the political theater produced by Russia and Russo-Iranian cooperation.
What that world looks like may be on display in Syria.
Do you want to live in a medieval world with modern weapons?
Islam has to emphasize pluralism, update, and reform — but not everyone wants it to do that, including some of its familiar enemies.
Also keep in mind that Moscow refuses to designate either Hezbollah or Hamas as terrorist organizations.
The questions are much easier to ask than to answer.
How did the Democratic Party become so infected with an (anti-Semitic) “Red-Green” contingent?
How did the American campus and other intellectual assets become so infiltrated by ideologues professing the same thoughts to young students with their minds wide open?
How did that Turkish autocrat, the president of a once stable NATO state reverse course and revert so abruptly backward to theological proto-fascism, destroying an army, building a police element devoted to his social ordering, and moving the mob to destroy at least one bookstore (one may expect more to come from those forces as they lose their containment and inhibition)?
Is there a “Silent Majority” today that hates to see the nation so divided along lines laid in during the 1960s and 1970s?
Where is that majority today?
American will learn part of the answer to that in November.
Given the “social contract” involved in the creating and sustaining of the world’s democracies, how powerful is money in the hands of the world’s business and political elites?
As “ships of state”, the democratic open societies of the west have sailed along in comparative peace and prosperity for many years, inspiring the want of democracy — fair and free elections, meaningful laws, justice systems infused with integrity — and now each faces the decision of being dragged back into the political snakepit of the medieval world.
How do Russians feel about the transformation of the post-Soviet environment into the “vertical of power” state?
How do Americans feel today about their education in American civics, geography, and history? How are they feeling now about developing for themselves — in each household — a substantial grasp involving foreign affairs, international relations, and world history?
So many questions!
Regarding Putin’s imperial and medieval revanche, there should be no question that it has assaulted NATO not with tanks but with sufficient disinformation, agitation, and propaganda to encourage “fascism on the left” in the Democratic Party and resurgent nationalism (of an unknown character) in the Republican Party.