Revanchist Israel Bent on Territorial Expansion. Towards “Greater Israel”?

Global Research, July 15, 2019

Israel is the only nation without official borders. From its inception it was planned this way to extrajudicially annex more territory.

A territorial expansion plan was drawn up in the 1980s as part of the US/Israel plan to redraw the Middle East map to their advantage, wanting subservient puppet regimes installed in partitioned Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and other Arab countries.

In 2006, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya wrote about “(t)he (US-Israeli) Project for a New Middle East.”

Their objectives remain unchanged, including the creation of “arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and borders of” Central Asia and North Africa.

Endless US-led NATO wars rage in this broader region, no end of them in prospect. Beginning weeks after 9/11, what followed was well planned in advance.

The mother of all false flags launched Washington’s escalated imperial agenda in this oil and other resource-rich part of the world.

US forever wars are part of its divide, conquer and control strategy, the human cost of no consequence. Israel shares the same objective regionally that Washington aims for worldwide.

In 1982, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs senior advisor Oded Yinon published a document for regional conquest and dominance — titled “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s.”

Israel Shahak (1933 – 2001) published a translated/edited version titled “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.”

It’s considered the most explicit, detailed statement of Zionist rage for redrawing the Middle East map to serve Israeli interests.

Its two essential premises include the following:

To survive, Israel must dominate the region and become a world power.

Achieving its imperial aims requires dividing Arab nations into small, easily controlled states – partitioning them along ethnic and sectarian lines as weakened Israeli satellites.

According to Yinon,

“(t)he existence, prosperity and steadfastness of (Israel) depend(s) upon its ability to adopt a new framework for its domestic and foreign affairs,” based on securing its material needs through winnable resource wars and Arab world divisions.

“All the Arab States east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with inner conflicts even more than those of the Maghreb” (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, and Western Sahara).”

Gulf states are “built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil.” Jordan is in reality Palestine, Amman the same as Nablus.

Other regional states are similar, including Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others.

The US, NATO, Israeli scheme is all about creating endless regional violence and chaos, exploited to their advantage for gaining control over regional nations and their valued resources.

In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine, siezing the rest in June 1967, including Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city the US and Israel consider the exclusive Jewish state capital, no matter how contrary to international law.

Israel illegally occupies most all valued West Bank land and Jerusalem. It always aimed for maximum Jews and minimum Arabs throughout historic Palestine.

On Friday, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Occupied Palestine Michael Lynk said actions of the Jewish state “occupying power (are) bent on further (illegal) territorial annexation.”

During a visit to Amman, Jordan, the Netanyahu regime denied him permission to enter Occupied Palestine.

My earlier articles about Israel/Palestine explained the following:

Occupied Palestinians live in limbo, controlled by a repressive foreign army and a system of institutionalized and codified racism.

They’re denied self-determination, the right of citizenship, and control over their daily lives, what’s fundamental for all free socities.

Living in a constant state of fear, they suffer from economic strangulation, collective punishment, denial of free movement and expression, along with enduring virtually every form of indignity, degradation, and crime against humanity imaginable.

Their population centers are isolated from each other for easier control and theft of their land.

They endure curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, other barriers, mass arrests, imprisonments, torture, separation walls, bulldozed homes, and targeted killings.

Their fundamental rights affirmed under international law are denied by oppressive Israeli regimes, ruling by what Edward Said called “refined viciousness.”

They’re punished by inadequate or denied vital services, punitive taxes, regular neighborhood incursions, land, sea and air attacks, imprisonment of lawmakers for belonging to the wrong party, ethnic cleansing, and slow-motion genocide for praying to the wrong God.

Challenging Israeli authority verbally, in writing, or by peaceful demonstrations risks arrest, injury, or death.

Israel is to Palestinians what Nazi Germany was to Jews, slow-motion extermination compared to industrial scale.

Two million besieged Gazans endure the world’s largest open-air prison, an entire population enduring mass suffocation.

Lynk slammed the Netanyahu regime for failing to fulfill its “obligations as a UN member to cooperate fully with Experts of the United Nations.”

He expressed special concern for Gazans, enduring protracted humanitarian crisis conditions enforced by Israel.

“Palestinians seeking redress through the Israeli legal system face a multitude of obstacles such that ultimately, justice is elusive and largely impossible to obtain,” he stressed, adding:

“Israel’s conduct of the 52-year-old occupation is an affront to modern international law.”

“The United Nations has stated on numerous occasions that the Israeli settlements are illegal, its annexation of East Jerusalem is unlawful, and its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians breach international covenants and treaties.”

“Now is the time for the international community to hold Israel fully accountable for its actions, and to determine whether (its) role as the occupying power has crossed the bright red line into illegality.”

There’s no ambiguity about Israeli high crimes of war and against humanity, its vicious persecution of defenseless Palestinians.

Yet the world community has done nothing to hold the Jewish state accountable, nothing to seek redress for the Palestinian people.

As long as Israel has US support, it’ll continue getting away with mass murder and a whole lot more. They’ll be no end to Palestinian suffering.

Fulfillment of Netanyahu’s campaign pledge to annex illegal settlements if implemented will be the latest Israeli affront to their fundamental rights.

Israel has never been held accountable for “its prolonged occupation, annexation and defiance of international (laws, norms, and standards) with respect to settlements, the separation wall, and collective punishment,” said Lynk.

Nor is it likely ahead unless international tribunals fulfill their obligations to hold serial lawbreaker Israel and its officials accountable for their high crimes.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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Turkey Will Get a Chunk of Syria: An Advantage of Being in NATO

Source

July 14, 2019

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

The success of Turkey’s takeover of Syria’s most pro-jihadist province, Idlib, is making less and less likely that Syria will be able to continue maintaining Idlib as being a part of Syria. (This is something I had predicted, back on 14 September 2018, to be possible or even likely, and now it is actually happening.) On July 10th, Reuters headlined “Assad hits a wall in Syrian war as front lines harden”, and reported that, “More than two months of Russian-backed operations in and around Idlib province have yielded little or nothing for Assad’s side. It marks a rare case of a military campaign that has not gone his way since Russia intervened in 2015. While resisting government attacks, the insurgents have managed to carve out small advances of their own, drawing on ample stocks of guided anti-tank missiles that opposition and diplomatic sources say have been supplied by Turkey.” It continues:

Moscow has appeared keen to preserve its ties with Ankara even as its air force bombs in support of Assad: Turkey says Russia has intervened to stop attacks on Turkish forces from Syrian government-held territory. … The Idlib area is dominated by Tahrir al-Sham, the jihadists formerly known as the Nusra Front. [And before that, they were called Al Qaeda in Syria, but Western news-agencies, such as Reuters, prefer not to mention that fact, especially because the U.S. used_Nusra to train ‘our’ proxy boots-on-the-ground ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria to bring down Syria’s Government. Elsewhere, the Reuters article calls them ‘insurgents’.] Some 300,000 people fleeing bombardment have moved toward the Turkish border since April, prompting the United Nations to warn that Idlib was on the brink of a “humanitarian nightmare”.

For Ankara, the Syrian opposition’s last major state sponsor, preventing another major influx of Syrian refugees is of paramount importance: Turkey already hosts 3.6 million of them. …

A Russian private military contractor who was based near Idlib province told Reuters that rebel fighters there are far more professional and motivated than their adversary. Pro-government forces cannot win the battle for Idlib unless Moscow helps them on the ground, he said. …

Of course the regime [that’s the legitimate Government, but Western ‘news’-agencies such as Reuters call it ‘the regime’, and most of their audience don’t even recognize that their own intelligence has just been insulted by calling Syria’s Government a ‘regime’ while calling the invading regimes, Turkey and U.S., not that] has the desire to recover Idlib by force [as if the sovereign Government of Syria doesn’t have this right], but … without the Russians it can’t[those nasty Russians, who are defending Syria from U.S.-Saud-backed proxy-armies that are led mostly by Al Qaeda in Syria], because there are many militants and the Russians are completely committed to the Turks,” the source said.

Syria’s Government is fighting hard against jihadist forces in Idlib who meet Turkey’s standard of being ‘moderate rebels’ against Syria’s Government, but unless Russian forces there — which were invited in by Syria’s Government, instead of being invaders there like Turkey and the United States are — will commit far more forces for the defense of Syria (which seems increasingly unlikely), Turkey will win Idlib as being a part of Turkey.

Consequently, Turkey is already starting to build infrastructure even immediately to the north and east of Idlib in order to stake its claim to a yet larger portion of Syria than just Idlib. This might not have been part of the deal that was worked out by Russia’s Putin, Iran’s Rouhani, and Turkey’s Erdogan, in Tehran, on 9 September 2018, which agreement allowed Turkey only to take over — and only on a temporary basis — Idlib province, which is by far the most pro-jihadist (and the most anti-Assad) of Syria’s 14 provinces. Turkey was instead supposed to hold it only temporarily, but the exact terms of the Turkey-Russia-Iran agreement have never been publicly disclosed.

Until that 9 September 2018 Tehran conference, Idlib had been the province to which Syria’s Government was busing defeated jihadists who had surrendered instead of choosing to stay and die where they were. Syria’s Government had given its surrounded jihadists this final option, in order to reduce as much as possible the numbers of jihadists’ civilian hostages who would also likely be killed in an all-out bombing campaign there. So, the existing population of Idlib, which was already the most pro-jihadist in Syria, was now starting to overflow with the additional thousands of defeated jihadists who had chosen to surrender instead of to be immediately killed.

At that time, just prior to the Tehran conference — and this was actually the reason why the conference was held — the U.S. and its allies, and the U.N., were demanding that an all-out invasion of Idlib, which had been planned by the Governments of Syria and of Russia, must not take place, for ‘humanitarian’ reasons. There was all that ‘humanitarian’ concern (led by the United States) for the world’s biggest concentration of Nusra and Nusra-led jihadists — and for Syria’s most jihadist-supporting civilian population. So much ‘kindness’, such ‘admirable’ ‘humanitarianism’. Furthermore the U.S. Government was threatening to greatly increase its forces against Syria if that invasion by Syria and by Russia into Idlib (which is, after all, part of Syria — so, what business is it, even of the U.N., at all?) were to be carried out. The Tehran conference was meeting in order to resolve that emergency situation (mainly America’s threats of a possible war against Russia), so as to forestall this attack.

However, now that it’s clear that Erdogan will not  follow through on his generally understood promise that this would be only a temporary military occupation of Idlib, the question is: what can Syria and Russia and Iran do to keep Idlib inside Syria, and whether they even want to do so. If Syria loses those jihadists, then not only will it lose the perhaps hundred thousand surviving jihadists there — many of whom came from other countries in order to fight against Syria’s secular Government — but also will lose some of those Idlib natives, who were always against Syria’s secular Government. Since those people would no longer be voting against Bashar al-Assad, because they would become Turks, this would actually be a Syrian political advantage for Assad. Yet, he has been resisting it, in order to hold Syria together. He has always been committed to holding Syria together.

Turkey’s negotiating position is exceptionally strong, because Turkey now is riding the fence between the U.S. alliance, NATO (of which Turkey has been the only predominantly Muslim member ever since it joined in 1952), versus Russia. According to a major report in English from Iran’s Fars News Agency — which had translated from published Arab sources in many countries and which report hasn’t been denied by any of them — Russia had saved Erdogan’s life on 15 June 2016, when there was a coup-attempt to get rid of him. Headlining on 20 July, just five days after the failed coup, “Erdogan Warned of Incoming Coup by Russian Alert”, Fars said that,

Several Arab media outlets, including Rai Alyoum, quoted diplomatic sources in Ankara as saying that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known locally as the MIT, received intel from its Russian counterpart that warned of an impending coup in the Muslim state.

The unnamed diplomats said the Russian army in the region had intercepted highly sensitive army exchanges and encoded radio messages showing that the Turkish army was readying to stage a coup against the administration in Ankara.

The exchanges included dispatch of several army choppers to President Erdogan’s resort hotel to arrest or kill the president.

In any case, after that event, Turkey’s foreign policies definitely switched away from being clearly U.S.-allied, to being on the fence and calculated purely to serve Turkey’s advantage, no longer tied, at all, to NATO or the U.S., and, in many important respects, very much contrary to the U.S. regime. In fact, Erdogan has been emphatic that this coup had been led by Fethullah Gulen, a billionaire Muslim cleric, formerly allied with Erdogan, who since moving to the U.S. in 1999 has been his bitter enemy. In fact, some of NATO’s forces in Turkey were participating in the attempted coup. However, Erdogan holds on tenaciously to that NATO membership, because it gives Turkey enormous leverage it can use in order to grab territory from Syria, which the U.S. regime wants Turkey to do.

Here is how Erdogan has clearlly committed Turkey to taking at least parts of Syria’s northeast:

On 6 June 2018, Reuters headlined “Turkish university to open campus in northern Syria” and reported that, “Turkey’s Harran University, in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa [Turkey], said it is preparing to open a faculty in Al-Bab [Syria] for students in towns under Turkish control. … The Turkish cabinet has also approved opening a vocational high school in Jarablus [Syria] affiliated with Gaziantep University, Turkey’s official gazette said on Tuesday.”

On 30 July 2018, Syria.LiveuaMap headlined “Turkey start[s] to build highways starting from Cobanbey-al-Bab to Jarablus-Manbij in Syria” — all of which is in the parts of Syria’s north that Turkey controls.

On 23 May 2019, Gaziantep University posted an announcement of “The Global Syrian Refugee Crisis” conference to be held in Gaziantep, Turkey, on 14-18 October 2019, and also announced that: “The medium of instruction of our university is entirely English in %80 of faculties and Turkish in some faculties. However, after the ferocious civil war in Syria, we opened four departments (Engineering, Architecture, Administration and Theology) that teach in Arabic language. This was achieved by hiring Syrian academic staff in these programs which created opportunities for refugee students who want to continue their studies in Arabic.” So, it does seem to be Erdogan’s intention that directly across the border in Syria, this part of what has, until recently, been a part of Syria, is to be instead a part of Turkey. This would be the chief favorable outcome for the U.S. regime resulting from the Syrian portion of the CIA-planted “Arab Spring” rebellions in 2011.

On 27 May 2019, the Daily Sabah headlined “Turkey to Build New Faculties to Promote Higher Education in Northern Syria” and reported that

Gaziantep University, located in southern Turkey close to the Syrian border, decided to offer education for Syrians living in the northern part of the war-torn country, the areas that were liberated by Turkey’s two cross-border operations. … 

The university applied to Turkish education officials to set up four faculties in northern Syria’s al-Bab, Azaz and Mare districts, which is planned to focus on economics, business, teaching and engineering; some 2,700 prospective students have already taken proficiency exams. The faculties will be the second move by Gaziantep University as it previously opened a vocational school last year in Aleppo’s Jarablus district. While vocational education currently continues in five departments, the university is planning to expand it with four more and to provide education for 500 students.

In 2016, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield and cleared about 2,000 kilometers of area in northern Syria, which was once dragged into darkness by the Daesh terrorist organization.

This seems to reflect Syria’s actual capitulation to Turkey, which henceforth is to control that area — permanently. The only question now is how large the seized area will turn out to be.

The first person, it seems, who recognized quickly the significance of this takeover was the tweeter “domihol” who on 28 May 2019 posted

Turkey is also throwing serious money at its seemingly permanent slice of Syria.

You don’t build universities just so Damascus can take it over soon.

Right below that is his:

I’m sorry to say – my prediction for Syria’s near and possibly medium term future still holds …

Dominic | دومينيك added,

[15 December 2018]  prediction:

TRUMP gets the oil & gas

ERDOGAN gets the water

PUTIN gets the “mission accomplished” moment …

9:49 AM – 28 May 2019

However, his predictions there (as is routine for tweets, which are good for communicating only bumper-stickers) are unsupported by anything. For example: Where is Turkey’s oil and gas? Is it actually anywhere near to the Turkish border? Here’s a map which shows where it is, and that’s certainly not near the Turkish border.

In addition, the U.S. regime is evidently preparing to assist Turkey’s takeover of parts of Syria, but focuses it specifically against Iran. On 24 May 2019, the U.S. State Department advertised a “Grant Opportunity” for NGOs to be “Supporting Local Governance and Civil Society in Syria” and are offering up to $75 million to each, in order to “Counter extremism and disinformation perpetuated by Iranian forces” and “End the presence of Iranian forces and proxies in Syria” and otherwise support America’s war against Iran. Perhaps the U.S. and Turkey have agreed that U.S. operations against Syria will continue in the Turk-seized areas after the U.S. occupation of the remaining parts of Syria has ended.

If Assad were to give a press conference now, the first question to ask would be: “Is Syria going to allow Turkish universities and highways to be built on Turk-seized Syrian territory?” Because, if the answer to that is anything like yes, then not only would it seem that Turkey has won against Syria and Russia and Iran, but so too has the U.S., whose fall-back position, ever since it first tried a coup in Syria in 1949, has been to at least break off a piece of Syria, when and if it failed to take the whole thing. The construction of a Turkish university, highway, and/or etc., in Syria, would be a huge apparent win for Donald Trump, but an even bigger apparent victory for Tayyip Erdogan, who now seems to be, yet again, a member of America’s alliance against Russia. (And Iran, too, would seem to be endangered by Syria’s apparent defeat in that part of Syria. But maybe not: is Turkey going to end altogether its alliance with the U.S.?)

Usually, successful aggression is impossible without allies, and the U.S., again, seems to have Turkey as one — and as an extremely important one (more important, perhaps, than ever before).

The U.S. Government wants to remove land from Syria’s Government. The Turkish Government wants to be the Government that actually takes it. So, U.S. and Turkey seem to have made a deal. Turkey took Syrian territory while promising (as the Qatar regime’s Al Jazeera headlined on 5 June 2018 — “YPG confirms withdrawal from Syria’s Manbij after Turkey-US deal”). Al Jazeera reported there that, “The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said its military advisers would leave the town of Manbij a day after Turkey and the United States said they reached an agreement on the armed group’s withdrawal.” Those two foreign invaders against Syria (Turkey and U.S.) came to this agreement in Washington DC, regarding their respective invasions: Turkish forces won’t conquer YPG (separatist-Kurd) forces in any part of Syria unless and until that part has already become instead a part of Turkey — swallowed-up by Turkey. The U.S. will be protecting those Kurds until the U.S. ends its military occupation of Syria. After that, those Kurds will be on their own.

Back on 10 January 2018, Elijah J. Magnier had commented,

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also considers Turkey to be another occupying force in northern Syria. He would like to liberate the entire Syrian territory, which is not the case with Russia, which would prefer to end the war as soon as possible and undertake the work at the negotiating table.”

Magnier seems to have been correct: Russia appears not to be objecting to Turkey’s land-seizures in Syria. Therefore, Turkey is a “middle-man” between both U.S. and Russia — strategizing with both.

On 19 January 2018, Tony Cartalucci commented,

The Syrian government with support from its Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies has embarked on a major military operation to retake parts of Syria’s northern governorate of Idlib. As it does so, the US and its regional allies are rushing to position themselves to ensure the permanent partition of Syria is achieved.”

He continued (all of which has likewise subsequently been borne out):

It should be noted that Afrin is located between [Idlib and] territory Turkey is currently occupying. Turkish troops, should they seize Afrin [which they soon did], would effectively have expanded Turkey’s “Euphrates Shield” by 30 miles (53 km) and present an opportunity for its troops to link up with troops of Turkey’s “Idlib Shield.” This would create a large, singular buffer zone within which US-NATO forces could harbor militants driven back by Syria’s most recent offensive.

Depending on Turkey’s success, the zone could be expanded even further, even as far as including Idlib city itself[which happened in September of that year] – thus granting the US an opportunity to present it as a second Syrian “capital” much in the way Benghazi was used in Libya during US-led regime change there. There remains, however, the fact that Idlib is openly occupied and administered by Al Qaeda, making the proposal of transforming it into an “opposition capital” particularly dubious.

Meanwhile, the US itself continues its own uninvited, illegal occupation of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates, having previously justified the invasion and occupation of Syrian territory under the guise of fighting the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS). …

The US occupation of Syrian territory will be difficult for Damascus and its allies to contest without being drawn into a direct military confrontation. Turkey’s occupation may be easier to confound, but if sufficient political will exists to maintain it along with US backing, it could effectively result in a Golan Heights-style occupation of Syrian territory [by Turkey] that provides a long-term geopolitical pressure point versus Damascus for years to come.

And while US efforts to destroy Syria have fallen short, the US now permanently occupies territory within one of Iran’s closest and most important regional allies. Like a splinter under the skin turning septic, the US occupation will remain a constant potential source of wider infection both for Syria and the rest of the region.

Perhaps Cartalucci was the first person publicly to recognize what has been happening here.

On 8 February 2018, Russia’s RT bannered, “US-led coalition conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes against Syrian forces”, and reported,

The US-led coalition has also firmly stressed its ‘non-negotiable right to act in self-defense,’ since its service members are embedded with the [anti-Syrian] ‘partners’ on ground in Syria. … ‘It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists,’ Lavrov said.

All of this, likewise, has since been borne out. Key was the September 2018 Tehran summit of Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani (Syria not even being represented there), to decide how to handle Syria’s most pro-jihadist province: Idlib. (It’s even more jihadist than Raqqah, where ISIS was headquartered, and which is the second-most-jihadist.)

On 9 September 2018, the Turkish-Government-controlled (and this also means anti-Syrian) Daily Sabah newspaper bannered “The outcome of the Tehran summit” and reported that:

We know for a fact that Erdoğan’s goal was to prevent the Russians and the Assad regime from carrying out a comprehensive operation in Idlib. In this sense, he got what he wanted. At the joint press conference, the Russian president announced that the three countries, at the request of President Erdoğan, urged all parties to lay down their arms. As such, it became possible to prevent another humanitarian disaster, a new influx of refugees, the collapse of the Astana process [which Putin had established to replace the U.N.’s peace process immediately after Obama bombed on 17 September 2016 Syria’s Army at Deir Ezzor, thus violating the ceasefire agreement that his Secretary of State John Kerry had just signed with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 9 September 2016and the radicalization of moderate opposition, who would have moved closer to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) [Al Qaeda in Syria]. At the same time, a clear distinction was made between ‘terrorists’ and opposition groups. At the same time, there is no doubt that the Iranian president’s proposal to remove the United States from the east of the Euphrates river was in line with Erdoğan’s own agenda.

Actually, however, the truthfulness of that last sentence is still very much in doubt.

The ultra-reliable Al Masdar News reported on 10 September 2018 that

Russia and Iran have already informed Turkey that they will not accept any jihadist factions inside of Idlib; however, the latter is attempting to convince Moscow and Tehran to avoid carrying out the attack in favor of Ankara clearing these groups.”

Putin and Rouhani accepted Erdogan’s promise there (of “Ankara clearing those groups”), and consequently allowed Turkey’s troops to handle Idlib. But, evidently, Erdogan had been lying about that. He didn’t eliminate the jihadists — he has instead been protecting them (except that his forces attack the Kurdish-independence forces against Syria’s Government, the anti-Assad fighters whom Erdogan authentically has been obsessed to kill).

The very next day, on September 11th, Paul Mansfield at Syria News headlined “Erdogan Buys Time for Terrorists at the Tehran Summit” and he observed that

The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah released the components of Turkey’s plan for Idlib. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out it effectively means annexing Syrian territory, entrenching Turkish proxy Free Syrian Army forces, while falsely legitimizing their presence through a trilateral agreement, one made (it should be mentioned) without the presence of the country it concerns: Syria.

On 18 September 2018, another of the Turkish regime’s major newspapers, Yeni Safak, headlined “Turkey tells 50,000 FSA fighters to be ready for deployment as tensions rise in Idlib” and reported that,

As the Assad regime and Russian warplanes viciously attack the last opposition-held stronghold of Syria’s Idlib, Turkey ramped up its military reinforcements in northern Syria and instructed over 50,000 Free Syrian Army (FSA) [that being the Turkish-led anti-Assadfighters stationed in Afrin, Azaz, Jarabulus, al-Bab and al-Rai to ‘be ready for military deployment.’”

This anti-Syrian report continued, “The Bashar al-Assad regime recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive in Idlib, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.” It didn’t mention that those “armed opposition groups” were the members of Al Qaeda-led forces defeated elsewhere in Syria who had chosen to be bused by the Syrian Government into the most pro-jihadist Syrian province, Idlib, instead of to be outright shot to death on-the-spot by Syrian troops, where they had been fighting. Such crucial information was left out of Western news-reports.

It went on: “An attack on Syria’s Idlib, the last opposition-held stronghold, would be a massacre,” and (since this newspaper reflected Erdogan’s anti-Assad, meaning anti-Syrian, viewpoint) it alleged that “Russia and Assad regime target civilians” instead of try to exterminate jihadists — especially now in Idlib itself, to which Syria’s Government had, indeed, been busing the surviving defeated jihadists. (As was previously noted, the only alternative that Syria’s Government had had regarding those hold-out fighters would have been simply to go in and slaughter not only them but the human shields behind whom they were fighting, which would have enormously increased the civilian casualties, which the ‘barbaric’ Assad-led Government was always trying to avoid doing. So: that’s how and why so many of the Al Qaeda-led forces came to be collected inside Idlib to begin with.)

NOTE:

Erdogan might be a double-agent here. But how could Turkey be building infrastructure in Syria and not be permanently taking that land? All of those “seems to be” could be wrong, but it’s hard to see how Syria’s Government could accept any such blatant grab of land away from their nation. I had written on 14 September 2018 about Erdogan’s duplicity, headlining “U.S. Protects Al Qaeda in Syria, Proven”:

Erdogan is in both camps — America’s and Russia’s — and playing each side against the other, for what he wants. But he could turn out to be the biggest loser from ‘his’ success here.

If he exterminates Idlib’s jihadists, then the U.S. side will condemn him for it. But if he instead frees those jihadists to return to their home-countries, then both sides will condemn him for having done so.

The biggest apparent ‘winner’ from all this, Erdogan, could thus turn out to be the biggest real loser from it. And the biggest apparent ‘loser’ from it, Assad, could turn out to be the biggest real winner from it.

Then, three days later, on September 17th, I argued that the big winners from this will probably be Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani, and Assad. The headline of that was “Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ as I Recommended”, and the basic case was presented that this would turn out to be only a feint on Erdogan’s part, and that he and Putin and Rouhani (and Assad) would all benefit from this feint by Erdogan, and take home the win. It still could be that. But only Erdogan himself probably knows. And who can read his mind? The main sign I would look at is whether Putin and Rouhani just ignore, as much as possible, Turkey’s ‘seizures’ of Idlib and of the most-jihadist parts of Aleppo province bordering Idlib to Idlib’s immediate east. (For example, this fundamentalist-Sunni family from Sweida — which is perhaps the most pro-jihadist southern province — migrated during the war to Al-Bab, which is Turk-controlled.) If Putin and Rouhani ignore Turkey’s solidification of its control over those areas of northwestern Syria, then this is how the U.S. side and proxy forces — jihadists and Kurdish fanatics — might lose in Syria, and be forced out of there. This Turkish ‘win’ would entail a loss for both the U.S. and its proxy-forces, especially the Kurds. But it would also entail Syria’s loss of the areas that were always the greatest thorn in Assad’s side. In that case, America’s former proxy-forces in northwest Syria — Al Qaeda’s surviving Syrian forces, plus the separatist Kurdish forces — would henceforth be under Erdogan’s control. If Putin, Rouhani and Assad won’t object to that, then the main loser could be the U.S. regime, which would cede to Erdogan not only America’s last holdout in Syria but also all of its proxy-forces in Syria, henceforth to be totally subject to whatever Erdogan has in mind for them. However, the biggest losers could still be the Turkish and the American regimes. But that would be true only if the surrounded U.S. forces in Syria’s northeast become forced out. If the U.S. occupation stays in Syria, then the U.S. and Turkey will have taken all of northern Syria. But no oil or gas is there, either. (It’s south of there.) What, consequently, is this war even about, any longer? Is it about contending national leaders who refuse to acknowledge defeat? Is that now the only real reason for all of this ongoing death, and destruction? Is it just pure ego?

If Turkey quits NATO, then the biggest loser from the end-part of the Syrian war would be the U.S. and its allies. But, of course, the biggest losers from the entire war are the Syrian people. There’s no doubt, whatsoever, about that.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

مَن يحرص على تجنيب لبنان الحرب: السيد حسن نصرالله أم منتقدوه؟

يوليو 15, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– ظاهرياً يتلبّس منتقدو خطاب السيد حسن نصرالله ثوب الحرص على تجنيب لبنان تداعيات أي تطور دراماتيكي للمواجهة الأميركية الإيرانية، ويعتبرون تهديداته بالدخول على خطها تلميحاً وتصريحاً تعريضاً للبنان للخطر، وتخديماً لمصالح إيرانية على حساب لبنان وأمنه واستقراره. فيقولون، إن اتصالاتهم بالأميركيين ومن خلالها ما يردهم عن نتائج الاتصالات الأميركية بالإسرائيليين، فإن واشنطن وتل أبيب مستعدتان لتحييد لبنان عن أي مواجهة مع إيران إذا استجاب حزب الله لهذه الدعوة بالتحييد، وإن كلام السيد نصرالله وموقفه يسقطان هذه الفرضية ويضعان لبنان في دائرة الاستهداف، ويضيف هؤلاء أنهم نجحوا عبر الاتصال بواشنطن لضمان استعداد أميركي لفتح قناة اتصال مع حزب الله، رغم وجود العقوبات، لكن حزب الله لم يكتفِ بالرفض بل استعمل ذلك للتصعيد بوجه واشنطن.

– ظاهرياً، يبدو هذا الكلام منطقياً، لكن هناك ما هو أهم للكشف عن صدق وطبيعة النيات الأميركية العميقة من مساعي تحييد حزب الله، تكشفها مساعي الوساطة لترسيم حدود لبنان براً وبحراً التي قادها معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية السابق ديفيد ساترفيلد، الذي تولى حديثاً مهام سفارة بلاده في تركيا، لتقول شيئاً لا علاقة له بما يقوله اللبنانيون الذين يتحدثون عن الحرص على تحييد لبنان من أي مواجهة أميركية إيرانية، ففشل مساعي ساترفيلد بعدما استهلكت وقتاً طويلاً أظهر أن المقصود منها كان تحييد حزب الله عن أي مواجهة إيرانية أميركية، دون أن يطلب من الحزب ذلك، بل بمحاصرته بمناخ لبناني متحفز للحصول على الحقوق اللبنانية من الثروات النفطية، وجعل المستوى الأول في لبنان ينظر بإيجابية للمساعي الأميركية، بحيث لن يتسامح مع أي موقف تصعيدي لحزب الله إذا ما تدهورت الأوضاع على جبهة طهران واشنطن بما يهدّد بالإطاحة بهذه الفرصة اللبنانية الذهبية، لكن التراجع الأميركي المفاجئ بلا مقدّمات عن جهود الوساطة الشكلية، كشف المستور بعدما تيقنت واشنطن من شراكة حزب الله بقرار واعٍ وواضح في أي مواجهة بينها وبين إيران بحسابات تعرف أنها لن تستطيع تغييرها.

– لدى حزب الله مقاربة مخالفة كلياً لما سبق، وهو يعتبر أن كلام السيد حسن نصرالله ترجمة لهذه المقاربة بكل حساباتها وتفاصيلها. فخطة تحييد حزب الله، هي خطة الحرب، وليست خطة الخروج منها وفقاً لرؤية الحزب، والفشل بتحييد حزب الله يعني سقوط خيار الحرب، لأن واشنطن لن تشنّ حرباً على إيران تعرّض أمن «إسرائيل» للاهتزاز، لكنها إذا نجحت بالفوز في الحرب على إيران، بعد النجاح في تحييد حزب الله، وبالتالي ضمان أمن «إسرائيل» أثناء الحرب على إيران، فلن تتردد بالارتداد نحو حزب الله لتدفيعه ثمن انتصاراته على «إسرائيل» وتغيير معادلات الردع التي بناها بوجه القوة الإسرائيلية، بعدما تكون إيران قد هُزمت وتمّ تغيير المناخ المعنوي والنفسي والمادي لظروف خوض الحرب على حزب الله، فيصير تحييد حزب الله وعبره لبنان مجرد تكتيك حربي مؤقت لجدول أعمال الحرب لا يقع في حبائله ولا يصدّقه إلا الأغبياء، الذين يربأ حزب الله بنفسه وباللبنانيين أن يُحسَبوا من ضمنهم.

– في حسابات حزب الله، معادلة واضحة لقوانين الحرب والسلم في المنطقة عنوانها، أن أمن «إسرائيل» هو الذي يدفع أميركا لخوض الحروب وهو الذي يجعلها تعيد النظر بخيارات الحروب، وأنه كما في الحرب على سورية، في الحرب على إيران، سؤال الأميركيين الأول، هو هل يرد احتمال أن يقوم حزب الله بتعريض أمن «إسرائيل» للخطر، فإن كان الجواب إيجابياً عدلت واشنطن عن الحرب وإن كان العكس مضت بها وإليها، وفي حسابات حزب الله أن واشنطن التي شكّل التحريض الإسرائيلي أحد الأسباب في حملتها العدائية لإيران نظراً لما للتأثير الإسرائيلي على معادلات القوى الناخبة في واشنطن، ستتأثر بما تتلقاه من الرأي العام الإسرائيلي حول خيار الحرب على إيران، وبالتالي فإن تهديد الأمن الإسرائيلي بأكلاف عائدات الحرب وجعل ذلك قضية الرأي العام الأولى في كيان الاحتلال يتكفّل بجعل التحريض الإسرائيلي لواشنطن معكوساً، فبدلاً من معادلة «اضربوا إيران كمصدر خطر على أمن إسرائيل كي نقف معكم»، يصير «لا تغامروا بأمننا في حرب مع إيران سندفع نحن ثمنها إن كنتم تريدون أن نقف معكم».

– معادلة حزب الله أنه لن يكون محيداً ومعه لبنان إذا قررت واشنطن الحرب على إيران، إلا مؤقتاً ضمن خطة تكتيكية للفوز بالحرب بكل مراحلها، ومنها مرحلة القضاء على حزب الله بعد الفوز بالحرب على إيران، وأن طريق منع الحرب على لبنان يبدأ من منع الحرب على إيران، وطريق ذلك واضح، جعل أمن «إسرائيل» في كفة موازية للحرب على إيران، وهو ما يضمنه التهديد بدخول حزب الله على خط الحرب، الذي يضمن على الأقل وبكل تأكيد تحفيز الرأي العام الإسرائيلي لرفض المغامرة بالحرب، فعدم الحياد من الحرب هو طريق تحييد لبنان من الخطر.

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US anti-Iran bullying failed on all fronts: Rouhani

Source

Sun Jul 14, 2019 05:44PM

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) addresses a gathering of local officials in North Khorasan Province. (Photo by president.ir)Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) addresses a gathering of local officials in North Khorasan Province. (Photo by president.ir)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says all attempts by the United States to “bully” Iran have fallen flat as a result of an expanding global front against Washington’s mischief.

Rouhani said Sunday that Tehran has managed to defeat the administration of US President Donald Trump on various fronts with its patience and measured policies.

“The US made attempts and was defeated in the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Court of Justice at The Hague, the Warsaw Conference,” he told local officials in North Khorasan Province. “This is a victory for the Iranian nation and we were able to show our power in major challenges.”

The president further said Washington failed to persuade the world community to follow in its footsteps and was left alone because no country in the world bought into its anti-Iran policies save for a few “tiny regimes.”

“Only a fake regime and one or two tiny countries supported the US while the whole world resisted America and its bullying and praised our strategic patience against it, which was a difficult task to accomplish,” he added.

Rouhani then referred to Trump’s decision in May 2018 to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Upon announcing his departure from the landmark agreement, Trump said he would launch a pressure campaign against Iran that will make use of sanctions and other hostile measures to force Iran into renegotiating a new deal that would address its ballistic missile program and curb its regional influence.

Since then, the US has imposed sanctions against Iranian oil exports while also sending troops and military equipment to the Persian Gulf region to confront what it refers to as “threats” coming from Iran.

Rouhani said Washington has tried in vain to rally the world behind it in forcing Iran to leave the JCPOA through sanctions and “economic warfare.”

“As a seasoned nation and a [seasoned] government, we are dealing with an inexperienced administration in the US,” he said.

Russia, China did well on JCPOA unlike Europeans

Rouhani added that Russia and China did well to meet their commitments as signatories of the JCPOA but the European parties to the deal — the UK, France and Germany — either “refused or couldn’t” follow suit.

The three European countries (E3) have repeatedly expressed support for the deal but have done little to meet Iran’s expectations.

Having grown impatient with the E3, Iran has been cutting back on its commitments under the deal by increasing enriched uranium stocks and enrichment purity beyond the limits set by the JCPOA.

Tehran has made it clear that it won’t reverse the decisions unless the E3 deliver on their pledge to protect bilateral trade from US sanctions through the special payment channel known as the INSTEX.

‘Iran always ready for talks’

Rouhani noted that Iran was always prepared for direct talks with other countries, including the US, long as they treated it with respect and didn’t resort to bullying.

“We are always ready for negotiations, even at this very hour and very second, if you drop bullying and sanctions and come back to your senses and the way of logic,” he added.

Trump and several of his hawks, including State Secretary Mike Pompeo, have expressed readiness for talks without any preconditions.

Iran, however, has made it clear that it won’t come to the table under pressure.

‘Hysterical and Stupid’: Kushner Reveals His Attitude Towards the Palestinians

Wayne Madsen
July 12, 2019
Image result for ‘Hysterical and Stupid’: Kushner Reveals His Attitude Towards the Palestinians

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and the person Trump appointed to broker a Middle East peace agreement recently called Palestinians “hysterical and stupid.” That is particularly galling language coming from a notorious New Jersey, New York, and Maryland slumlord and the son of a federally convicted criminal. Kushner’s father and real estate mogul, Charles Kushner, spent fourteen months in prison after being convicted of tax fraud and witness tampering, among other crimes. Jared Kushner believes his father was wrongly convicted and imprisoned. But the wunderkind son-in-law of Trump has no problem in maintaining the status quo in the Middle East, one that has led to the large-scale incarceration of the people of the Gaza Strip in virtual desert ghetto.

Mr. Kushner does not have the business acumen to run a New York City sandwich cart, let alone a major foreign policy initiative like a final Middle East peace agreement. Such a concordat has eluded a every US president since the creation of Israel in 1948. Kushner’s real estate bankruptcies are legendary, and they have resulted in him and his father panhandling for loan relief financing from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and China, among other countries.

In the wake of Kushner’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan unveiled at a workshop in Bahrain in June of this year, government officials around the world reacted with an almost-unanimous thumbs down. The Bahrain conference more resembled a meeting of potential investors in one of Kushner’s real estate scams. The Palestinians, claiming that to present an economic plan for the Palestinian territories prior to a political settlement, boycotted the Bahrain conclave. Under the “Kushner Plan,” Gaza was to become a tourist resort with transport routes through Israel to the West Bank. No mention was made of the crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockades imposed on the densely populated Gaza enclave of 1.8 million people. Kushner displayed his utter ignorance of geo-politics, history, and diplomacy when he said Palestinians would reap a financial whirlwind of real estate development and tourism investment money if “there’s not a fear of people doing terrorism.” Doing terrorism? In Kushner’s pampered rich kid myopic view of the world, “doing terrorism” is like “doing lunch” or “doing a Broadway show.”

Participating in Kushner’s gabfest, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claimed that Kushner’s roll-out was like a “hot IPO,” an initial public offering of shares in a company. Seasoned Middle East experts, including diplomats and scholars, were far less enthusiastic, with one likening Kushner’s conference to a Monty Python sketch.

Kushner also lambasted the Palestinian leadership for saying “crazy things.” The son-in-law of the man who, on a daily basis, says and tweets “crazy things” believes that it is “crazy” for Palestinian leaders to condemn Israeli expansion into East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. In fact, “crazy” was Trump ordering the moving of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, shuttering the US Consulate General in Jerusalem that served as the de facto US mission in Palestine, cutting off all US economic assistance to the Palestinians, closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Syria’s Golan Heights.

Kushner called the Palestinians “stupid and hysterical.” However, nothing exemplifies hysterical and stupid more than Kushner family friend Binyamin Netanyahu, who once stood before the United Nations General Assembly and displayed a cartoon drawing of a bomb to “prove” that Iran was nearing development of a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu’s histrionics before the world assembly was not the first time he resorted to gimmickry and lying in order to tick off a list of favorite Zionist talking points.

Kushner does not appreciate the hyper-hysterical nature of Israel and its supporters, of which he is one. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement targeting Israel’s racist and expansionist policies has resulted in hysterical extreme measures aimed at undercutting constitutional and other inherent freedoms of speech in other countries. These anti-free speech actions have been advanced by Kushner’s friends and colleagues and include twenty-eight American states enacting legislation that bans individuals and companies supporting BDS from receiving state government contracts. Israel’s intelligence service, Mossad, is actively working to disrupt the global BDS movement, including the operations of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

The anti-BDS campaign includes Mossad collecting intelligence on BDS operations in foreign countries and placing BDS leaders and supporters on INTERPOL and EUROPOL watch lists. Kushner’s Zionist friends have even spoken of Israel filing lawsuits against BDS organizations and individuals abroad. There was little surprise when Mossad’s anti-BDS activities in the United States were linked to the now-defunct Israeli private intelligence firm PSY-Group and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Kushner can whine all day long about Palestinians being “hysterical.” No one is more hysterical and hypocritical than Kushner and his Orthodox Jewish cabal that includes the dodgy Chabad movement – which has been tied into everything from drug and human organ trafficking to tax evasion and money laundering, as well as the 2020 presidential campaign of New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker. No sooner had New England Patriots football owner and Trump Mar-a-Lago club member Robert Kraft beat a criminal charge of soliciting prostitution from a Florida massage parlor employing Chinese indentured employees, he donated his $1 million Genesis Prize – Israel’s version of the Nobel Prize – to the anti-BDS movement. That kind of money would have paid for quite a lot of $57 “sessions” at Kraft’s favorite, but now closed, Florida massage parlor. Even though Kraft was dumb enough to get caught on video tape in a law enforcement sting on illegal prostitution activities, Kushner claims it is the Palestinians who are “stupid.”

Recently, Kushner’s friends in Israel and Germany forced the resignation of Dr. Peter Schäfer, a foremost scholar of Judaic Studies, as director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum. Using Inquisition-like tactics, Schäfer stood accused by Israel supporters of backing the BDS movement by tweeting a link to a letter signed by 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars opposing a bill passed by the German parliament that linked the BDS movement to anti-Semitism. The campaign against Dr. Schäfer was centered on the activities of an Israel-based organization called NGO Monitor. The group, which is nothing more than a cipher for Mossad, targets international non-governmental organizations tagged with being supportive of the Palestinians or the BDS movement.

Under pressure from such anti-democratic forces as NGO Monitor; its Geneva-based companion, UN Watch; the American Jewish Committee; and similar repugnant pressure organizations, the freedom of speech rights of pro-Palestine activists have been severely hampered by actions of the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and other nations.

Mr. Kushner and his friends who gathered in Bahrain for his real estate development (land theft) prospectus seminar would trick the world into believing that it is the Palestinians who are “hysterical.” When international supporters of the Palestinians decide to hit the Israelis where it hurts the most – their wallets – all one can hear from the offices and board rooms of Tel Aviv, West Jerusalem, Haifa, Ashkelon, Eilat, Ramat Gan, New York, and other centers of Israeli commerce and intrigue is loud wailing and promises to “get even.” And Kushner accuses the Palestinians of being “hysterical.”

In fact, the Palestinians have been quite measured in response to Israel’s overt and covert campaigns against them and their inalienable rights. Since Trump and Kushner launched their diplomatic, political, and economic warfare against Palestine, the State of Palestine has been recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Colombia; Italy voted for a UN Security Council for a resolution that opposed the US movement of its embassy to Jerusalem; the UN’s Group of 77 (G77) developing nations invited Palestine to chair the group’s meeting during 2019; Spain’s Josep Borell, who is pro-Palestinian and tough on Israel, was named the next Foreign Affairs Commissioner of the European Union; and former US President Jimmy Carter called on the United States to recognize Palestinian sovereignty. These small but significant advances on behalf of the Palestinians were achieved as a result of Palestine’s commitment to diplomacy, not the hysteria practiced by Kushner and his friends in Israel, as well as by pro-Israel embeds found throughout the Trump administration.

Shifting Alliances: Is Turkey Now “Officially” an Ally of Russia? Acquires Russia’s S-400. Exit from NATO Imminent?

Global Research, July 13, 2019

Turkey is taking delivery of Russia’s S 400 missile defence system. What this signifies is that Turkey and Russia are now “officially” allies. The first shipment of the S-400 landed in Ankara on July 12, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Defense. (see image below)

Two more shipments are due, with the third delivery of “over 120 anti-aircraft missiles of various types… [scheduled] tentatively at the end of the summer, by sea.” 

Reports confirm that the “Turkish S-400 operators will travel to Russia for training in July and August. About 20 Turkish servicemen underwent training at a Russian training center in May and June, …”(CNN, July 12, 2019)

How will the US respond?

In all likelihood, Erdogan’s presidency will be the object of an attempted regime change, not to mention ongoing financial reprisals directed against the Turkish Lira as well as economic sanctions. 

Bloomberg screenshot

What is unfolding is an all out crisis in the structure of military alliances. Turkey cannot reasonably retain its NATO membership while at the same time entering into a military cooperation agreement with the Russian Federation. 

Reminiscent of World War I, shifting alliances and the structure of military coalitions are crucial determinants of history.

Today’s military alliances, including “cross-cutting coalitions” between “Great Powers” are markedly different and exceedingly more complex than those pertaining to World War I. (i.e  the confrontation between “The Triple Entente” and “the Triple Alliance”).

Turkey’s de facto exit from NATO points to a historical shift in the structure of military alliances which could potentially contribute to weakening US hegemony in the Middle East as well as creating conditions which could lead to a breakup of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO constitutes a formidable military force composed of 29 member states, which is largely controlled by the Pentagon. It is a military coalition and an instrument of modern warfare. It constitutes a threat to global security and World peace. 

Divisions within the Atlantic Alliance could take the form of one or more member states deciding to “Exit NATO”. Inevitably an NATO-Exit movement would weaken the unfolding consensus imposed by our governments which at the this juncture in our history consists in threatening to wage a pre-emptive war against Iran and the Russian Federation.  

Sleeping with the Enemy

While Turkey is still “officially” a member of NATO, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (right) has for the last two years been developing “friendly relations” with two of America’s staunchest enemies, namely Iran and Russia.

US-Turkey military cooperation (including US air force bases in Turkey) dates back to the Cold War.

Turkey by a long shot has the largest conventional forces (after the US) within NATO outpacing France, Britain and Germany,

#NATOExit

Broadly speaking, the US-Turkey rift and its implications for the Atlantic Alliance have sofar been ignored or trivialized by the media.

NATO is potentially in a shambles. The delivery of the S-400 almost a year ahead of schedule will contribute to further destabilising the structure of  military alliances to the detriment of Washington.

Turkey is also an ally of Iran. Inevitably, Turkey’s possession of the S-400 will affect ongoing US war plans directed against Iran (which will also be acquiring the s-400).

Does this mean that Turkey which is a NATO member state will withdraw from the integrated US-NATO-Israel air defense system? Such a decision is tantamount to NATOExit.

Moreover, Turkey’s long-standing alliance with Israel is no longer functional. In turn, The US-Turkey-Israel “Triple Alliance” is defunct.

In 1993, Israel and Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding leading to the creation of (Israeli-Turkish) “joint committees” to handle so-called regional threats. Under the terms of the Memorandum, Turkey and Israel agreed “to cooperate in gathering intelligence on Syria, Iran, and Iraq and to meet regularly to share assessments pertaining to terrorism and these countries’ military capabilities.”

Image on the right: Sharon and Erdogan in 2004

The triple alliance was also coupled with a 2005 NATO-Israeli military cooperation agreement which included “many areas of common interest, such as the fight against terrorism and joint military exercises.”  These military cooperation ties with NATO were viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.”

The “triple alliance” linking the US, Israel and Turkey was coordinated by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was an integrated and coordinated military command structure pertaining to the broader Middle East. It was based on close bilateral US military ties respectively with Israel and Turkey, coupled with a strong bilateral military relationship between Tel Aviv and Ankara. In this regard, Israel and Turkey were close partners with the US in planned aerial attacks on Iran since 2005. (See Michel Chossudovsky, May 2005). Needless to say, that triple alliance is defunct.

With Turkey siding with Iran and Russia, it would be “suicide” for US-Israel to even consider waging aerial attacks on Iran.

Moreover, the NATO-Israel 2005 military cooperation agreement which relied heavily on the role of Turkey is dysfunctional. What this means is that US-Israeli threats directed against Iran are no longer supported by Turkey which has entered into an alliance of convenience with Iran.

The broader Realignment of Military alliances

The shift in military alliances is not limited to Turkey. Following the rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is in disarray with Qatar siding with Iran and Turkey against Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Qatar is of utmost strategic significance because it shares with Iran the world’s largest maritime gas fields in the Persian Gulf. (see map below)

The Al-Udeid military base near Doha is America’s largest military base in the Middle East, which hosts US Central Command’s forward headquarters in the Middle East. In turn, Turkey has now established its own military facility in Qatar.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

A profound shift in geopolitical alliances is also occurring in South Asia with the instatement in 2017 of both India and Pakistan as full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).  Inevitably, this historic shift constitutes a blow against Washington, which has defense and trade agreements with both Pakistan and India. “While India remains firmly aligned with Washington, America’s political stranglehold on Pakistan (through military and intelligence agreements) has been weakened as a result of Pakistan’s trade and investment deals with China.”  (Michel Chossudovsky, August 1, 2017)

In other words, this enlargement of the SCO weakens America’s hegemonic ambitions in both South Asia and the broader Eurasian region. It has a bearing on energy pipeline routes, transport corridors, borders and mutual security and maritime rights.

Pakistan is the gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia, where US influence has been weakened to the benefit of China, Iran and Turkey. China is involved in major investments in mining, not to mention the development of transport routes which seek the integration of Afghanistan into Western China.

Where does Turkey fit in? Turkey is increasingly part of the Eurasian project dominated by China and Russia. In 2017-18, Erdogan had several meetings with both president Xi-Jinping and Vladimir Putin. Turkey is currently a dialogue partner of the SCO.

The Antiwar Movement: #NATOExit People’s Movement

Of crucial significance, the crisis within NATO constitutes a historic opportunity to develop a #NATOExit people’s movement across Europe and North America, a people’s movement pressuring governments to withdraw from the Atlantic Alliance, a movement to eventually dismantle and abolish the military and political apparatus of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Image right; logo of the No Guerra No Nato Florence Movement to Exit NATO

Part of this updated article was taken from an earlier text by the author.

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