That is the current seeming tone of the online punditocracy in their missives to their equally confused readers in the alternative and left-leaning mainstream media. All of their pained hullabaloo concerning the weekly antics of our favorite man in the middle, the man with a plan, the man who knew too much, The Talented Mr. Erdoğan. When it comes to parsing the tea leaves to make sense of the conflicting messages from the other side of darkness in hopes of gleaning a hint of what is real from what is a certain tripwire into the weeds, only one thing is certain now - The Talented Mr. Erdoğan is playing someone for a fool.
With the invasion of Turkish forces into Syria and the concomitant seeming about-face of the US posture towards the Kurds in Syria, the once general consensus on "wtf is going on in Syria?" has fallen into a state of conflicting versions of "The Truth."
For some like Michel Chossudovsky (US-NATO-Turkey Invasion of Northern Syria: CIA "Failed" Turkey Coup Lays Groundwork for Broader Middle East War?) the current scenario has exposed a series of wily deceptions by Erdoğan in concert with Uncle Sugar: 1) the coup in Turkey 2) Erdoğan's rapprochement with Putin 3) Erdoğan's supposed backing away from the NATO/US agenda in Syria 4) Erdoğan's moving away from the NATO/US agenda in general. Michel Chossudovsky is certain in his recent missive that the invasion into Syria with US air and ground forces in support, proves that the recent coup was a sham, staged in concert with the US in order to purge opposition and consolidate public support for a planned Syrian invasion. The rapprochement with Russia is also believed to have been a deception in order to gain Russian's trust, allowing Turkey to invade Syria for a small operation in order to stop the Kurds from consolidating power for themselves and the US in northern Syria. But now that the Turks are working with the US instead of against them, it is believed that the protests against this development coming out of Moscow are in fact sincere signs of a Turkish betrayal.
For many other pundits the above is most likely NOT the truth concerning The Talented Mr. Erdoğan's gambit in Syria.
Many of them believe that what we are seeing is in fact part of the Russian rapprochement with Erdoğan, and the Russian cries of protest over the invasion are more than likely a sham. These other pundits see the US aid for the Turkish invasion as an attempt to gain the favor of Erdoğan and the people of Turkey, with the US acting on a contingency basis in their support of the invasion along with the quick and sudden mysterious abandonment of their favored allies in the region, the Kurds. It was just a scant few days ago when US fighter jets scrambled to scare off the Syrian air force in the Syrians quick skirmish with Kurdish forces in Hasakah. That was followed by threats to the Kurds from the US to back off or face dire consequences. And the sudden about-face, demanding that their closest allies pull back or lose any further support from Uncle Sugar, well, to many that reads like it is all without a plan and that the US is acting on a contingency basis as events on the ground unfold, in order to lure Turkey back into rejecting Russia and Iran and being close allies of NATO and the US. This line of reasoning takes as a given that the coup in Turkey was real, and was either entirely homegrown or done at the behest of the US due to Erdoğan's rapprochement with Russia.
For many other pundits ,both of the above versions of The Truth are most likely not THE truth concerning The Talented Mr. Erdoğan's gambit in Syria.
Many others believe that Erdoğan is NOT acting in cooperation with either the Russian or NATO/US agenda. Many believe that Erdoğan is playing both sides in order to achieve a longstanding desire of his for a rebirth of an neo-Ottoman Empire, specifically for the increased power and prestige of Sultan Erdoğan and his family as the Capo di tutti i capi of the region. Why partner with Russia at the expense of losing support from NATO and the US? Why partner with the NATO/US at the expense of losing support from Russia (or Iran)? And what part do the Saudis and Gulf states have in Turkish plans? And what about Israel? Maybe The Talented Mr. Erdoğan wants to be seen as his own man? Maybe he wants Turkey to be seen as its own kingdom in the sun, on its own, sans being seen as the puppet of either the US, Europe, Russia, the Sheikhdoms, or Israel? Maybe he is simply a trailblazer, kicking down the weeds and cutting through vines, creating a road that others hopefully will follow? Being the true heir to the spiritual and material caliphate/sultanate - the long hoped for appearance of the Mahdi?
But there is another version of THE truth that I haven't heard kicked around yet by the punditocracy, and it goes something like this:
Maybe, just maybe...the coming Clinton administration had something to do with it? Maybe somebody reached out to somebody and they reached out to somebody and all of a sudden motions were set and things were things all of a sudden? With promises down the road made? Sidestepping Obama and co? Maybe putting the current POTUS in a predicament vis a vis the Kurds, making the Obama admin not too happy... (ツ)
What is real and what is an illusion, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-