(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
Are we heading toward another World War?
As tensions rise around the globe, from Europe to Syria to China, it’s starting to feel like we are on the cusp of an unstoppable catastrophe.
In particular, there is reason to be concerned about the escalating tensions between Turkey and Russia.
The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was assassinated Monday.
He was shot and killed before a live audience, by a special ops member of the Turkish police force.
The assassin was standing behind the ambassador — he looked like a member of the secret service.
It could have easily been a scene from a James Bond film.
After he murdered the ambassador, the assassin stood in front of the crowd and shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “we die in Aleppo, you die here.”
Russia and Turkey are both involved in the Syrian civil war, backing different factions and occasionally colliding.
This isn’t the first sign of escalating tensions between these two regional powers.
A little over a year ago, in late November, 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian military jet for supposedly violating Turkish airspace and crossing into Turkish territory.
At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it “an ambush” and a “stab in the back by terrorist accomplices.”
But ultimately, and thankfully, Putin decided not to retaliate with force.
This time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has joined Putin in condemning the assassination.
But one can never really know what’s going on behind the scenes in Turkey.
The country has devolved into an Islamist dictatorship, where opposition political figures are jailed, media outlets are shut down and political dissidents face the death penalty.
Following a failed military coup earlier this year, we’ve seen more and more power concentrate into the hands of Erdogan and his inner circle.
Turkey also appears to be deliberately provoking former allies.
The problem with this internal chaos is that Turkey is a member of NATO — the political and military coalition of Western nations, which includes Canada.
NATO’s founding principle is that of “collective self-defence”’ as defined by Article 5 of NATO’s 1949 Washington Treaty.
Article 5 states that, “an armed attack on one or more [members] shall be considered an attack on all.”
It calls for members to assist the victim of any such attack.
Hence the talk of a possible World War III.
If this feud worsens...(READ MORE)