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HOW A WORLD COULD BE LED TO WAR, AND HOW IT CAN BE LED OUT OF IT, JUST AS EASILY.|
PUTIN SHOULD ACCEPT ERGODAN'S REQUEST FOR A MEETING, BUT THE VENUE IN PARIS ON THE SIDE OF THE CLIMATE SUMMIT SEEMS TO BELITTLE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SHOOTING DOWN OF A RUSSIAN PLANE, AND ALSO DISTRACTS THE WORLD'S ATTENTION FROM THE AGENDA OF THE CLIMATE SUMMIT - TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS GLOBALLY.
THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TALK MUST BE AGREED UPON AHEAD OF TIME, AS MERELY SITTING DOWN WILL NOT PRODUCE ANY AGREEMENT.
AND THIS COMES TO THE QUESTION, WHAT AGREEMENT CAN BE EXPECTED FROM SUCH A HIGH LEVEL MEETING? TO THIS, THE ANSWER SHOULD BE FIRST SUPPLIED BY ERDOGAN. TO WIT, ERDOGAN WILL AGREE THAT IF IT IS PROVEN OBJECTIVELY BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT THE RUSSIAN PLANE DID NOT ENTER TURKISH AIR SPACE, THAT TURKEY WILL APOLOGIZE TO RUSSIA AND COMPENSATE IT AND THE PILOT FOR THEIR LOSSES. AND, PUTIN WILL AGREE THAT IF IT IS PROVEN THAT THE RUSSIAN PLANE DID ENTER TURKISH AIR SPACE, RUSSIA WILL ACCEPT IT AS AN UNFORTUNATE HUMAN ERROR, AND PROMISE NOT TO ENTER TURKISH AIR SPACE AGAIN WITHOUT PERMISSION.
But, this is the problem of diplomacy - what if the Russian plane did enter Turkish airspace but was not properly warned of its doing so, and warned to leave the area, but was shot down unaware of the incursion into Turkish air space? Should Russia demand an apology nonetheless as the action of Turkey was out of proportion to the threat it faced? Under UNCLOS, warships of foreign countries are allowed to pass through one's 12-mile territorial sea if it was not threatening the host country, and was not flying directly towards it, and this kind of "INNOCENT PASSAGE" does not negate the sovereignty of Turkey nor pose a threat to it, which is protected by international convention from any military attack by the host country.
And what if the fact remains that Turkey has evidence its pilots warned the Russian plane repeatedly of its entering Turkish air space, but the Russian plane did not receive the warning, and did so nonetheless, but there is no proof of any technical glitch, electronic interference or manipulation from any internal or external source, and thus the situation remains factually unresolved?
Herein is the diplomatic faux pas of President Erdogan who was caught unprepared by the expert reporter interviewer who focused on highly inflammatory comments by Russia for him to focus on. The whole exercise is to emotionally make it impossible for Erdogan to even think that Turkey could have erred in either falsely flagging the Russian plane as being in Turkish air space when it is not (because he believes 100% in the accuracy of his borrowed or bought equipment) or failing to transmit the warnings to the Russian plane (because he believes such a simple radio transmission cannot be blocked or delayed internally, or externally, including by glitches or tampering of the Russian plane). How could he humanly think of these possibilities, when he is asked what he thinks instead of Putin's accusation that he is a "backstabber" and "accomplice of terrorism", when the question of the factual causes of the shootdown has not been fully confirmed by comparing the data from both sides? The art of the interview - foreign leaders should avoid being interviewed by non-native reporters, becasuse they cannot sense an unnatural drift of the inquiry that he would have instantly detected if spoken to by a native Turkish reporter. Erdogan assumed that Russia was in the wrong, and therefore did not preface his refusal to apologize with the natural and expected qualification, "if the Russian plane did enter Turkish air space, then the obligation to apologize would rest with Russia, but if the Russian plane can be proven not to have entered Turkish air space, then Turkey would apologize and compensate Russia for its losses."
Thus, if it is proven that the Russian plane did stray into Turkish air space, that Turkey did warn, but the message was not transmitted and therefore not received by the Russian pilots, then it is a wash. Both sides should call it an "unfortunate accident" and each should vow to (1) properly warn the other side of any violations of air sovereignty and (2) avoid shooting each other other regardless of the violation and report the violation to their home government for further action, with no talk about any apology or compensation.
All of these need to be worked out before any summit can be held, not out of spite for Erdogan, but out of fear his meeting with Putin will be used to further inflame their countrymen against each other, and also, out of concern for each other's grip on power, because both Erdogan and Puitin are not the darlings of the mainstream media, and any damage to their domestic popularity would be a welcome result to their detractors, irregardless.