As the dust settles from the Turkish coup, there are obvious winners and losers, but predicting things in the Middle East these days is a tricky business.
It was certainly not because it posed any threat. The plane is old, and the Russians were careful not to arm it with missiles.
U.S. policies have resulted in a small number of Middle East monarchs controlling some 60-70 percent of the region's oil wealth.
Its first stumble was a strategic decision last fall to undermine competitors by upping oil production and, thus, lowering the price.
"Faced with these attacks, let us stand together for freedom, equality, fraternity and peace."
As Turkey gears up for one of the most important elections in its recent history, the country appears to be coming apart at the seams.
Iraq has witnessed a growing mass protest movement with demonstrations held every Friday since July 31 at Tahrir Square.
The agreement between Turkey and the U.S. to cooperate against the Islamic State in Syria brings to mind a description of "crackpot realists."
A quiet meeting this past March in Saudi Arabia, and a recent anonymous leak from the Israeli military, set the stage for what may be a new and wider war in the Middle East.
The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized Wednesday.