Turkish conflict with United States

Turkish conflict with United States

July 14, 2021

by Batko Milacic – Independent analyst – for The Saker Blog

The events in the Middle East have made a large number of interstate relations of the former “allies” very complicated due to the large-scale operation “Arab Spring”. After the failure of the original idea of creating the Great Middle East, a project in which the main role was played by Washington, in alliance primarily with the Gulf monarchies but also with Turkey, there was a great redefinition of relations within the axis.

Realizing that its interests in the region will not be satisfied in the alliance with the United States, Turkey turned another page in foreign policy, trying to satisfy its own interests, thus at the same time defying the synergistic policy of the NATO pact in the Middle East.

This act was a revolt within the NATO bloc itself. The most concrete results were seen with the realization of the “Turkish Stream” project with Russia and the purchase of modern S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Russia, despite numerous warnings from official Washington.

However, the question arises as to what other choice the Turkish leadership had. The “Arab Spring” project failed, and European leaders were clear that Turkey would not become a member of the European Union. On the other hand, out of its own interests in the war against Syria, Washington continued to support the Kurds and their parastate in northeastern Syria, thus calling into question Turkey’s national interests.

Faced with these problems, Turkey has decided to formulate its own policy, of course paying the price. The coup organized against Erdogan was the best example of how Washington does not forgive betrayal but also neither the change in foreign policy of “allies“. Especially when foreign policy is not in line with the interests of official Washington.

The surviving coup was a good lesson for the Turkish leadership that the United States is a superpower, and that enmity with Washington is costly. This was best felt by Turkish citizens, as Turkey’s economy has weakened significantly, because of the escalation of economic sanctions by Washington towards Turkey.

However, strong pressure from Washington further united the Turks. The lived experience, regardless of the political differences, united a significant part of the Turkish, primarily nationalist opposition, with Erdogan in relation to the United States. Erdogan has begun to pursue an increasingly Turkish-oriented foreign policy. Turkish society, especially its nationalist and secular elements reached the historical peak of contempt for US foreign policy.

Turkey, no matter how economically weaker than the United States, has shown that it is not a small nation that a “big boss” can discipline simply as it has in some other periods of history. The example of Turkish resistance to subordinate its policy to Washington interests is becoming dangerous, because the Turkish example of sovereignty of foreign policy and rebellion within the NATO pact can be followed by others.

Turkish nationalism got a new impetus by merging what previously seemed incompatible, and that is the greatest merit of US politics. With the failed Gulenist coup against Erdogan, Washington showed that it tried to treat this great nation as Haiti, which awakened Turkish national pride and opened the biggest gap in relations with the United States so far.

On the other hand, Russia, which was originally and still is in a geopolitical conflict with Turkey, accepted Turkish sovereignist policy and showed that, unlike America, it wants cooperation with Turkey and wants to treat Turkey without humiliation. In addition to the aforementioned “Turkish Stream” and the S-400 system, cooperation has also been established in the field of nuclear energy.

It is also very indicative that the last war in the Caucasus passed with the coordination of Moscow and Ankara, for mutual benefit. And guess who was the biggest loss of that war? Again of course the United States!

Russia and Turkey have demonstrated in a simple way who is the boss in the region, and that Washington is incapable of protecting its “allies”. This is especially related to Armenia, whose government is headed by a pro-US prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan. Turkey was a demonstrator of force through Azerbaijan, while Russia appeared as a protector, which was another slap in the face for Washington. Turkish society is increasingly mobilizing against the United States, especially in the media. The extent to which Turkish society is antagonized in relation to the United States is best shown by the new Turkish documentary “Dying Empire”:

Is there really a group ready to hang Erdogan out to dry?

May 01, 2020

Is there really a group ready to hang Erdogan out to dry?

by Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

Australian Investigator and Reporter, Chris Ray, has written an excellent piece [1]on Syrian born Imam Fedaa Al Majzoub, a graduate from the world’s most prestigious Muslim institution, Al-Azhar University, and who, until recently, enjoyed a privileged position in the Sunni Islamic community in Australia as a leader and academic and was presented as a “moderate”. Like many of his peers, he engaged with government and NGO’s in “interfaith” activities [2], reassuring the Australian government and public of unity, fraternity and equal regard for the law [3]and governance of Australia , glossing over, or in fact denying any contradictions vis-à-vis their hardline Takfiri agenda and where loyalties ultimately lie, also perhaps underplaying the decades-long role Saudi Arabia has played in the Muslim communities of Australia[4]. Some of the positions this Imam held in Australia were; Adjunct Lecturer at a public Australian university, Religious Advisor to the Islamic Council of NSW (the most populous state in Australia), Deputy Chairman of the NSW board of Imams, Member of the Fatwa Board on the Australian National Imams Council and Head of Muslim Chaplaincy within the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services.

My interest in the subject of the Al Majzoub family began back in 2012 when they received media coverage and government sympathy in Australia. They were well known for their opposition to the Syrian government. Several people produced exposes of two brothers of the family including Fedaa Al Majzoub, and corporate media in Australia even repeated those allegations and defended the family. In closed forums the background was discussed and explored regarding the father of the family Hassan AlMajzoub, Syrian born, educated further in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and having lived and worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he came and went from Australia for a period of time. When allegations broke out in late 2014 in Australia about the academic and cleric, Imam Fedaa Majzoub, the subject of Chris Ray’s current article, government leaders and the major media rushed to defend him. The prestigious, conservative paper, a prominent newspaper,The Australian, published an article titled “The Respected Aussie imam smeared by Assad regime.” [5], referring with outrage to alleged Syrian Government allegations against him. One of the allegations was that Majzoub was implicated in massacres, one which Ghassan Kadi and I described in English from a Syrian, Arab language documentary.[6]

Notwithstanding Chris Ray’s excellent article on Al Majzoub and his alleged activities, including a previous piece on the two brothers written in 2014 [7], it appears that part of the sources he drew from, namely that of author Abdullah Bozkurt, could be problematic but, even if it does, it provides an interesting story in itself.

Bozkurt produces stunning exposés on Erdoğan, one after another. They are quite delightful to read. Many of his articles are excellent. Nevertheless, Bozkurt appears to have his own dubious agenda. The recent news regarding documents implicating Fedaa AlMajzoub, which Chris Ray has picked up on, seems to only originate from one source; Bozkurt [8]. Perusing Arabic, English and Turkish language media, there appears to be nothing about Fedaa AlMajzoub being in trouble with Turkish authorities. I stand to be corrected, but I will not accept to be corrected if there are reports or the subject is covered by any Gülenist media or supporters because of their history. This is because I believe Bozkurt is working with or sympathetic to the Gülenists. In Sweden, after evacuating from the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey where he was the Ankara bureau chief of the Gülen-friendly “Today’s Zaman Daily, Bozkurt established the media outlet https://www.nordicmonitor.com/. From Sweden, Bozkurt made his claims regarding connections between Al Majzoub and Erdoğan, replete with documents described as genuine.

Abdullah Bozkurt, professes to have recently come across or been furnished with leaked memos allegedly from Turkish police and intelligence compiled way back in 2012. They appear to not contain letter heads and, according to some observers, are not written in a style recognised as typical of Turkish officials. Of interest, the documents don’t implicate any Western powers despite it being well-known that the war on Syria and Libya was prosecuted primarily by the West and that with regard to Syria, Turkey was a crucial enabler for its NATO allies and terrorists’ to access Syria. Bozkurt, being an experienced media man, a former Bureau Chief of a large Turkish newspaper with many contacts, could well be telling the truth about the reliability of these documents, particularly if they have come from dissidents, including Gülenists, who have or still are deeply embedded into the Turkish apparatus, a weeding out task seemingly almost impossible for Erdoğan.Gülenists have been used by the CIA in intelligence operations and are referred to as Gladio B operators[9] and, naturally, they are not going to expose the dirt of the West and their allies in the going-ons regarding Syria or anywhere else. Gülenist articles on international or Turkish affairs may seem attractive, but they are yet another side of the coin when it comes to terrorism.

Bozkurt’s claim is that the classified intelligence documents he states he received, reveal a jihadist group called the Ben Ali Group, led by an Abdaladim Ali Mossa Ben Ali, a Libyan with close ties to Al Qaeda, having participated in transferring foreign fighters and weapons from Libya through to Turkey and that links existed between this group and Erdoğan who was Prime Minister at that time. The documents presented as genuine, show a close working relationship between Ben Ali and Fedaa Al Majzoub, which it alleges was in touch with Erdoğan’s then chief advisors, namely Ibrahim Kalin, now the Presidential spokesman, and Sefer Turan, now the chief Presidential advisor, during the process of arranging the transfer of foreign fighters and weapons. None of this news is new information to those up-to-date on the attempts to take down the sovereign state of Syria. The surprise lies in the total absence of Bozkurt implicating any role of Western forces behind the events he reports on and their close relationship, particularly at this period, with Erdoğan.

At the time of these documents which were claimed to have been created in 2012, any such concerns expressed within them by Turkish authorities would have been laughable as all the enemies of Syria worked together for as long as they were moving forward in achieving their individual aims.

Clearly until the break between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in 2017, memberships in terrorist groups largely were interchangeable and often based on who provided the best or most exciting opportunities. Ghassan Kadi explained to Sputnik in 2015 [10] that “…members walk in and out of these organizations all the time, and in effect, there is no difference between them at all”. Their relationships only fell apart when they failed to take down the Syrian government and scrambled to look for whom to blame for their own failures. Even well after this alleged police and intelligence report, numerous exposés appeared on Erdoğan’s own son and son-in-law’s business ventures with ISIS regarding Syrian oil.

Perusing many of Bozkurt’s articles in turkishminute.com, clearly a Gülenist mouthpiece or strong sympathiser media site, there is no evidence [11]of Bozkurt mentioning any Western players in bed with Turkey with regards to any of the mischief and mayhem going on with Syria and all the bands of terrorists involved. His Twitter account renders no satisfaction either on this deficit.

Had the Western enemies of Syria decided it was time to take down Erdoğan, surely this article and its contents, and maybe some others by Bozkurt, would suddenly have gained prominence, making it to “news flash” status. Fetullah Gülen is no longer a favourite tool of the Americans; some of his key people and enablers spend more time in court than doing anything else in the US. Or, perhaps it is early days and the news, if true, hasn’t been taken up by entities of America’s choosing. If the documents are genuine and have only recently come to the attention of Erdoğan, surely the paranoid megalomaniac would be on another purge within his government and all its apparatuses; that is unless it is being kept very quiet. However with opposition to Erdoğan around the world, keeping the lid on any purge might be difficult.

Investigations I carried out on Feeda AlMajzoub placed him clearly with the FSA and if the 2012 Turkish reports are true, he would have worked with all kinds of people and entities committed to taking down the Syrian government. It was publicly stated by AlMajzoub’s own people that he was the “only Australian “[12] on the Syrian National Council, the political wing of the FSA, at that time funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He was allegedly in the terrorist area when his brother was killed [13] and there are many photos of him with militants from all over the world.

However, once Saudi Arabia and Qatar fell out, the FSA and its affiliates were funded primarily by Qatar, with Turkey facilitating and allowing all the physical logistics such as training camps and, most importantly, access into Syria. Saudis no doubt from the beginning would have felt uncomfortable that they could not control all aspects of the war on Syria due to the longest border with Syria being that of Turkey. Whilst Saudi Arabia controls Jordan, Jordan’s long border with Syria could not provide in any way the logistics and attributes possessed by Turkey. It is common knowledge that Syria would never have been invaded without the key help of Turkey due to its geography[14].This reality was a boon for Turkey’s (Erdoğan’s) dream to gain world Sunni leadership [15].

So why, according to Bozkurt’s article, is Turkey turning on alleged assets such as this Imam, when the regime itself is and has for a long time been deeply involved in the actions described in Bozkurt’s exposé? If this is true, perhaps one explanation could be offered that such individuals have served Erdoğan’s purposes. If that is the case, Erdoğan would likely want to identify all who were loyal and co-operative with him on Syria but who also took money and orders from Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom Erdoğan wishes to wrestle the title of “Leader of the Sunni world” from and, who Erdoğan these days, along with Qatar, stands against. If these claims of Bozkurt are true, and if a Turkish “crackdown” on Al-Qaida has indeed been taking place, given that Al-Qaida, also identified as Al Nusra, which has been a crucial asset to Erdoğan, surely it would merely be a tokenistic action for Western consumption.

Boztkurt’s exposé intimates that the lid is about to blow off on the activities of Erdoğan in respect to this Ben Ali Group and associates. No evidence of such an impending event seems to exist, nor does potential collaboration by powerful entities or states seem to transpire around these allegations, let alone any sign of a developing action brewing in an attempt to set up Erdoğan for a fall. When the time for Erdoğan to take a tumble arrives, we may get a surprise as to who will be responsible.

References and Footnotes:

[1] Chris Ray. “Moderate” Australian Imam Named in Syria arms trafficking operation

[2] Footnote: Chris Ray’s article picks up an important point of a strategy used in Australia by the hidden radical leadership in the Sunni community, that being the activities of “Interfaith” meetings. Such meetings, encouraged initially by the Jewish B’nai B’rith movement, were embraced by Government and relevant NGO’s and educational facilities as a celebration and affirmation of a harmonious, diverse and culturally rich Australia. Concurrently this raised the profile of government “approved” and endorsed, mostly highly qualified, articulate Islamic leaders in the country, ignoring the fact that not all of the country’s Muslims were Sunni. Not only did they become the “show ponies”, trotted out each time Australian authorities or NGO’s wanted to express harmony, they were also used to quell the public anxieties after 9/11, subsequent attacks attributed to “Islamic terrorism” or any disharmony such as the Cronulla Riots in 2005. Fedaa Al Majzoub was up there with Prime Ministers and people of influence. Note the fifth last paragraph of the report below regarding a high level interfaith event; “Interfaith Dinner honouring His Grace Bishop Kevin Manning as the 2010 Champion of Cultural Inclusion”, 9 June 2010

https://islamicfriendshipevents.blogspot.com /2010/06/interfaith-dinner-honouring-his-grace.html

[3]Dinner Meeting between the Imams and the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mr. Tony Negus 25 December 2010

https://islamicfriendshipevents.blogspot.com/2010/09/dinner-meeting-between-imams-and.html

[4] Footnote: Saudi Arabia’s role in strong business relationships with Australian government and companies and as a strong US ally, gave them a powerful inroad to radicalising Muslim communities, including emerging refugee communities. Saudi Arabian Wahhabi missionaries could easily enter Australia and go about their activities. Funding for Islamic based activities was substantial. This included funding universities, mosques, study groups, promoting to government particular Islamic leaders, inculcating Saudi Wahhabi culture into communities in place of their traditional cultures, just to mention some of their strategies to replace Sunni Islam with the Wahhabi version. Some links” “Revealed: the Saudis’ paymaster in Australia”, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 September, 2005; https://www.smh.com.au/national/revealed-the-saudis-paymaster-in-australia-20050910-gdm1ko.html ,and “How to be a useful idiot: Saudi funding in Australia”, Mervyn Bendle, 13 October 2008, updated 29 September 2010; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-10-13/32626 and “NATIONAL SECURITY:Secret Saudi funding of Australian institutions”,Mervyn Bendle (reviewer) 21 February 2009 http://www.newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=3808. All this time, it appeared Australian authorities in general, possessed little of no capacity in appreciating the nefarious undercurrents to many of these events, culminating in recruitment opportunities for Wahhabis for the wars and conflicts that interested them.

[5] Respected Aussie Imam Smeared by the Assad Regime, The Australian, December 2014

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-respected-aussie-imam-smeared-by-the-assad-regime/news-story/01bafc012a5b37d65c626e82be829049

[6] OGARITE DANDACHE’S AUGUST 2013 DOCUMENTARY ON LATTAKIA MASSACRE

https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/10/ogarite-dandaches-august-2013.html

[7] Blood Brothers; the Sydney Jihadists who took on Assad, Chris Ray, 9 January 2014
https://www.crikey.com.au/2014/01/09/blood-brothers-the-sydney-jihadists-who-took-on-assad/?wpmp_switcher=mobile?wpmp_switcher=mobile%20*http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/the-controversies-raging-inside-our-islamic-schools-%2020151012-gk790z.html

[8]Al-Qaeda group in Libya had close ties to Erdoğan, intelligence documents reveal, Adbullah Bozkurt, 20 January 2020

[9] The Origins of NATO’s Secret Islamic Terrorist Proxies. Tom Secker, 11 March 2013

[10] “Moderate Islamism” Washington, Brussels Playing with Fire in Syria, Iraq. Ghassan Kadi, Sputnik,12 December 2015

https://sptnkne.ws/x3Zy

[11] Search on Adbullah Bozkurt’s articles https://www.turkishminute.com/author/abozkurt/

[12] Popular Sydney Sheikh Mustapha Al Majzoub martyred in Syria, Muslim Village, 20 August 2012; https://muslimvillage.com/2012/08/20/27205/popular-sydney-sheikh-mustapha-al-majzoub-martyred-in-syria/

[13] Footnote: In 2012 the younger brother of Imam Fedaa AlMajzoub, Sheikh Mustapha AlMajzoub was killed in a terrorist held part of Syria. He was a “Sheikh”, a school teacher responsible for cultivating the minds of young Muslims in Australia and, on his Facebook page, boasted about the capture of 72 Syrian government loyalists. Under his post a friend asked if they had been “slaughtered” yet. The then Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell, allegedly, according to Arabic Newspaper, An-Nahar, published on 27 August 2012, offered his condolences for the “killing” of Sheikh Mustapha Al Majzoub. This is despite on the 22nd of August 2012, The Australian publishing that the Sheikh was ” … known to police and intelligence services because of his “extreme” views” https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sydney-sheik-killed-in-syria-an-extremist/news-story/795ec65ea88ecf84f0622b84e08a6aa4. The grieving father Hassan AlMajzoub travelled to the terrorist held area where his son was killed to visit his grave.The headstone says “Al Shahid Mustapha Al Majzoub”. The father posted a video on his Facebook page of his visit https://www.facebook.com/hassan.almajzoub.31/videos/310864785734275/?__cft__%5B0%5D=AZUKkfhfK2lZeHTBMp5Z_JM9y_nmpWkOiHq6DUuo9B_uWgbB72S38q6xaXp9SUYvvQ7QrUza_-_cfDLMuT2ctlurWw-ElbqHXUQ2J4pUkPhPBSQMZBmXiPZwVfBMeCwee8cKigq-hiQCxN5nzxe6S_Ws&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-y-R

[14]The Gateway To Idlib Goes Via Cilica, Ghassan Kadi, The Saker,1 March, 2020 http://thesaker.is/the-gateway-to-idlib-goes-via-cilica/

[15] Erdogan’s Long-Coming Reality Check: Ghassan Kadi , The Saker, 14 February 2020

US Special Forces Deployed with Al Qaeda in Idlib in False Flag Attack on Turkish Forces (updated)

Source

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor -March 8, 2020

Communications intercepts and intelligence from inside Turkish backed terror groups tell an interesting story.  Americans are there, for the past 2 days, loads of cash, promises of US passports and families resettled in the US.

US forces are to set up ambushes and suicide bombings against Turkish outposts in Idlib in order to bring about an end to the truce negotiated in Moscow between Erdogan and Trump on March 5.

Whether video will be shot using captured Syrian uniforms may be possible.  It is also rumored that Turkish officers, some under CIA/Gulen control, may take part as well.

Some sources say the same Americans had come down from Afrin during the failed chemical attack five days ago scheduled to coincide with US envoy Jim Jeffries illegal visit with terrorist forces.  Jeffries and his party entered Idlib through Syria, meeting with Al Qaeda and White Helmet representatives while, nearby, a number of militants, including members of the White Helmets, were severely injured when chemical weapons they were planning to deploy leaked.

White Helmet and Reuters film crews were on station to provide dramatic video of a US envoy carrying dead children, a disaster when it failed to materialize and the opportunity was lost.

With a collapsed American economy and the US reeling from accusations of an attempted coup against Saudi Arabia, there was little chance that a few children murdered for Facebook was going to make an election year difference for Trump and his administration now reeling in failure after failure.

BIOGRAPHYGordon Duff, Senior EditorSenior Editor , VTGordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014gpduf@aol.com

العدّ التنازلي لربع قرن مع رجب أردوغان

يونيو 24, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لم يكن جدياً وصادقاً موضوعياً الحديث عن العد التنازلي لزعامة رجب أردوغان في تركيا بمثل ما هو اليوم. فتلك الزعامة التي قامت على أركان الوعد بالتنمية الاقتصادية والزعامة الإقليمية لتركيا، انطلقت من الفوز ببلدية اسطنبول قبل ربع قرن، واسطنبول هي البيئة التي حضنت رجب أردوغان الشخص والمشروع، وهي العاصمة الحقيقية اجتماعياً وسكانياً واقتصادياً وسياسياً في تركيا، والانتخابات التي ترنّح فيها أردوغان نيابياً ورئاسياً، لكنه فاز بها في النهاية في هذه المدينة الاستثنائية الأهمية، قرّر منح معركتها البلدية صفة الاستفتاء على زعامته وسياساته، عندما حوّل انتخابات بلديتها إلى ما هو أكثر من مجرد رمزيتها، نحو جعلها بالإعادة المفتعلة معركة الحسم السياسي لمستقبل تركيا، محولاً رئيس البلدية المنتخب من الحزب الجمهوري المعارض المنافس المقبل على رئاسة الجمهورية.

– جاءت الانتخابات بعدما بلغ أردوغان ذروة ما تطلع إليه، وأخذ الأتراك إلى قعر ما كانوا يخشون منه. فهو نجح بإقصاء منافسيه داخل حزبه وحوّله إلى حزب «الشخص»، وأسقط من الدستور أي شراكة له في القرار ولو من قيادة حزب حاكم تتوزّع مراكز الحكومة والرئاسة، فجعل الحكم حكم «الشخص»، وطهّر التيار الديني المتصالح مع النمط الغربي للحياة، فشطب شريكه فتح الله غولن وزج بكل أتباعه في السجون، وأمم الإعلام وكمّم الأفواه، وامتلك أغلب النظام المصرفي والمصالح الكبرى في شبكة الاتصالات وتجارة النفط. وبالتوازي سقط مشروع «العداوات صفر مع الجيران» الذي سوق له كمشروع إقليمي لزعامته، وجاء السقوط مدوياً. وها هو حلفه مع أميركا ينهار، دون أن يبدو أنه حليف موثوق لروسيا، ووعوده العثمانية السلطانية تتهاوى من سورية وعلى أسوار مدنها ومساجدها الأمميّة التي وعد مرة بالصلاة في نسختها الدمشقية. وعندما صار العجز محكماً، قال هذا حصرم رأيته في حلب فليكن المسجد حلبياً، وتهاوت الوعود بالرفاه والنمو وحل مكانها الركود والتقشف وتهاوي أسعار الصرف وتراجع قطاعات الاقتصاد بلا تمييز، وزيادة نسب الفقر.

– الأكيد أن المعارضة التركية وعلى رأسها حزب الشعب الجمهوري لا تملك وعوداً براقة للأتراك على طريقة ما كانت عليه وعود أردوغان، عندما كان معه حزب فاعل أو عندما بات حزبه مجرد يافطة يرفعها بلا روح، بعدما حوّله إلى مجرد إطار لخدمة حزب الأخوان المسلمين خارج تركيا على حساب الأتراك، ودائماً كانت خسارة المعارضة التركية أمام أردوغان تعود إلى عدم التوازن بين الخيارات والوعود التي يقدّمها الفريقان، حتى صار مجرد الوعد بالتخلص من أردوغان جاذباً. فالأتراك يقولون بتصويتهم في اسطنبول إنهم ليسوا بحاجة إلى وعد بسلطان جديد وباب عالٍ جديد، ولا إلى وعد بنمو ورفاه، بل يكفيهم أن يأمنوا العيش كمواطنين في دولة تحترمهم ويمنحهم كرامة العيش وحرية القول وحق الشراكة في مناقشة الخيارات.

– تغوّل مشروع أردوغان بينما كان الأتراك يفقدون هويتهم القومية لحساب الهوية الأخوانية، ويفقدون معيشتهم اللائقة لحساب تغوّل آخر لبطانة أردوغان مالاً وفساداً، ويخسرون مهابة جيشهم لحساب ميليشيات مسلحة من الأخوان المسلمين الهاربين من بلدانهم والحائزين على امتيازات تعلو على المواطنة، ويخسرون الإحساس بالأمن والحرية مع ظهور شركات الأمن الخاصة تنتشر في شوارع وأحياء مدنهم ومواكب المرافقات المنفرة والمستنفرة، وتنامي وسائل الإعلام المبهرة بالتقنيات والمموّهة بالحريات، والموظفة للعبة بروباغندا التسويق للأشخاص والأفكار والتفاهة في العيش.

– انتخابات بلدية اسطنبول تقول إن لحظة الحقيقة المرة التي رفض أردوغان تجرّعها على مراحل، بعدما أصرّ على إعادة الانتخابات وجعلها حرباً سياسية مصيرية وجودية، باتت كأس سم يتجرّعها دفعة واحدة.

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The House of Saud’s ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

It was packaged as a stark, graphic message, echoing across Eurasia: Presidents Erdogan and Putin, in a packed hall in Istanbul on Monday, surrounded by notables, celebrating completion of the 930 kilometer-long offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline across the bottom of the Black Sea.

This is no less than a key landmark in that fraught terrain I named ‘Pipelineistan’ in the early 2000s. It was built by Gazprom in only two and a half years despite facing massive pressure from Washington, which had already managed to derail TurkStream’s predecessor, South Stream.

TurkStream is projected as two lines, each capable of delivering 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The first will supply the Turkish market. The second will run 180 km to Turkey’s western borderlands and supply south and southeast Europe, with first deliveries expected by the end of next year. Potential customers include Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Call it the Gazprom double down. Nord Stream 1 and 2 supply northern Europe while TurkStream supplies southern Europe. Pipelines are steel umbilical cords. They represent liquid connectivity at its best while conclusively decreasing risks of geopolitical friction.

Turkey is already being supplied by Russian gas via Blue Stream and the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Significantly, Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest export market after China.

Erdogan’s speech, strenuously emphasizing the benefits of Turkey’s energy security, was played and replayed all across a rainy, ultra-congested Istanbul. To witness this geopolitical and geoeconomic breakthrough was particularly enlightening, as I was deep into discussing Turkish geopolitics with members of the progressive Turkish Left.

Even the opposition to what in Europe is routinely defined as Erdogan’s brand of “Asian illiberalism” concedes Turkey-Russia trade connectivity – in energy, in the military domain via the sale of the S-400 missile system, in the building of nuclear power plants – has been conducted with consummate skill by Erdogan, who is always careful to send direct and indirect messages to Washington that Turkish national interests will not be compromised.

The big prize: leading Islam

Now juxtapose this developing entente cordiale between the Bear and the (aspiring) Sultan with the gripping drama in Istanbul. Ibrahim Karagul – never afraid to apply a Rabelais touch – is always useful as a mirror reflecting the state of play of AKP circles around Erdogan.

For this political elite, a breakthrough in the Erdogan-conducted “Death By a Thousand Leaks” is imminent, allegedly proving that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly gave the order for the killing and slaying of Jamal Khashoggi.

The consensus among the AKP leadership – confirmed by independent Left academics – is that the US-Israel-House of Saud-UAE axis is deep in negotiations to extricate MBS from any culpability.

That includes key items in the hefty Erdogan “package” dangled to the axis to essentially buy Ankara’s silence – an end of the Saudi blockade on Qatar and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, described across the Turkish political spectrum as the leader of FETO (the Fetullah Terrorist Organization).

The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry are very much aware that the high-stakes game goes way beyond ‘Pulp Fiction’ in Istanbul and the Astana peace process on Syria – carefully micro-managed by both Putin and Erdogan alongside Iran’s Rouhani. The big prize is no less than the leadership of the Islamic world.

There is nowhere better than a few stops in select landmarks of Ottoman imperial power, or a lively conversation at Istanbul’s Old Book Bazaar, to be reminded that this was the seat of the Islamic Umma for centuries – a role usurped by those Arabian desert upstarts.

Alastair Cooke has captured with perfection the House of Saud’s close involvement in the slaying of Khashoggi and how this raises questions about Saudi Arabia’s status as “no more than an inept Custodian of Mecca and Medina”. This is indeed splashed all over the – Erdogan-aligned – Turkish media. And Cooke notes how this status “would strip the Gulf of much of its significance and value to Washington”.

My ongoing conversations with progressive, Kemalist Turkish academics – yes, they are a minority – have unveiled a fascinating process. The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud’s shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework.

And that’s the rationale behind Erdogan and Turkish media relentlessly denouncing what is interpreted as a plot concocted by MBZ (MBS’s puppet master), Tel Aviv and the Trump administration.

No one can possibly advance the endgame. But that carries the strong possibility of a dominant, Erdogan-led Turkey all across the lands of Islam, allied with Qatar and also with Iran. Plus all of the above enjoying very close geopolitical and economic relations with Russia. Expect major fireworks ahead.

The ‘fiancée’ and Gülen

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2018

The ‘fiancée’ and Gülen

Crown Prince “All Smiles” As Saudis Sign $50 Billion In Deals At “Davos In The Desert”” (Durden):

“It’s this river of capital that, more than anything else, should insulate MbS from any substantial blowback over the Khashoggi affair, just as it did when he imprisoned rival members of the royal family and women’s rights activists, or when he effectively kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon, or as Saudi Arabia continues to wage a war of aggression against innocent civilians in Yemen, much to the international community’s bizarre silence.”

I’m betting on MbS weathering the storm, perhaps a little weakened.  If so, will there be repercussions?  The attack was obviously from Turkey, backed up by Big Jew (Sheldon) in America (guys like Corker don’t open their mouths without shekels).  The Israelis were terrified about this, and tried to ignore it, or even tried the ‘Khashoggi was a terrorist’ line (i.e., MbS did everybody a favor by bonesawing him).  Will we see a cooling in Saudi-Israeli relations as punishment for Sheldon’s attempted coup?

The ‘fiancée’ and Gülen!!!:  “Insights Into The Khashoggi Ordeal; Who And Why” (Kadi).  Once you start talking about Gülen you bring the CIA into the picture, and everything you think you know about this incident might be wrong!  I like the analysis where Kadi notes that what seems normal to us – going to a government office for a bureaucratic procedure – would not be normal for a Saudi guy of status like Khashoggi.  So what was he really doing?

Image result for Khashoggi fiancée

Was the ‘fiancée’ his intelligence handler?

Western Media Attacks Critics of the White Helmets. The New McCarthyism” (Sterling).

DNC Emails–A Seth Attack Not a Russian Hack by Publius Tacitus” (eight is new):

“So what do we know for certain?

First, no one in the Federal Governemnt—law enforcement or intelligence—was granted access to examine the computer servers and files on the DNC server even after the DNC claimed they had been hacked by a foreign government.

Second, the steps that Crowdstrike allegedly took to shutdown computer hacking by Russia do not match the timeline of the actual download of the documents from the DNC server.

Third, Seth Rich worked at the DNC and had access to the computer server and systems.

Fourth, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange identified Seth Rich as a “source” and posted a $20,000 reward for information concerning his murder.

Fifth, a Federal law enforcement agent told two witnesesses that Seth Rich had email exchanges with Wikileaks.

Sixth, two people with direct access to Julian Assange told three separate sources that Seth Rich was the source of the DNC material published by Wikileaks.

Seventh, the documents published by Guccifer contain meta data that establish that the documents were physically downloaded onto a device like a thumb drive.

Eighth, the NSA has confirmed that it has Top Secret and Secret documents responsive to a FOIA request for information concerning contact between Seth Rich and other people including Julian Assange.”

The EU Russia China Plan to Avert Iran Oil Sanctions” (Engdahl).  Blockchain versus dollar hegemony (thus avoiding NSA scrutiny and providing no target for secondary sanctions).  Of course, it seems pretty obvious that ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ (Bitcoin/Silk Road are/were honeypots) is CIA or NSA (and Engdahl specifically refers to a Bitcoin competitor)!

Insights Into The Khashoggi Ordeal; Who And Why

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

In this insane historical era in which we currently live, events, their causes and consequences do not necessarily follow this particular logical sequence of reporting and analyzing; and we have to get used to much worse.

To this effect, a week ago, it was almost impossible to work out who “killed” Khashoggi and why even though the financial and political and consequences were fairly obvious. However, the events of the few days that followed are beginning to shed some light for speculation about the how and why Mr. Khashoggi was killed and who did it.

In asking “how”, the question is not in relation to the gory details of how the man was physically murdered, but in the events that have possibly led to this fateful event. Some conspiracy theorists abound about there being no death or murder. Were he alive, given that the Saudi’s are under such extreme attack worldwide, they would find any opportunity to drag this man before the world’s cameras to prove their innocence.

To analyze the events leading up to the entry of Mr. Khashoggi to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October 2018, we need to look at a myriad of facts and also possibilities; including cultural ones.

It is very hard to understand the Saudi mind for someone who has never lived in that country. One of the many peculiar aspects of this state is that people, even ordinary people, do not engage in the day-to-day official requirements that members of other nations would.

When I worked and lived in Saudi Arabia, one of the first things I learnt was that the company I worked for had a fulltime employee with the job description of “Mu’aqeb”. The best translation of this title is “expeditor”. This man was in charge of every matter that had to do with dealing with government. He is the one who takes one’s passport and sees that a Saudi “Iquama” (temporary certificate of residence) is produced. He is the one who renews driving licenses. He is the one that does the necessary paperwork to grant employees exit and re-entry visas when they go away on holidays. He even applies on one’s behalf for visas to visit other countries. He even paid water and electricity bills. He did it all, and of course, on top of his salary, he expected a present from employees on their return to work from holidays, and some employees would risk big penalties smuggling in Playboy magazines to reward him with. But the company I worked for was not alone in this regard; all other companies had their own “Mu’aqeb”.

It is against the Saudi psyche, culture and “pride” to go to a government office, wait in line and make an application for anything. Not even uneducated poor Saudis are accustomed to go through the rigmarole of government red-tape and routine.

Mr. Khashoggi was from the upper crust, and it is highly doubtful that he would have been willing and prepared to physically enter the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul seeking an official document.

Furthermore and more importantly, Mr. Khashoggi had a better reason not to enter any Saudi territory. Even though some recent reports portray him as a Wahhabi in disguise among other things, the man had nonetheless made some serious anti-MBS (Mohamed bin Salman) statements https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-journalist-called-saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salmans-behavior-in-foreign-policy-impulsive-2017/

Jamal Khashoggi was no fool. He knew the modus operandi of the Saudi Government too well. He knew that what he had said was tantamount to a death sentence in the brutal Kingdom of Sand. So what incited him to walk into the Consulate? To receive a divorce certificate so he could remarry as the reports are trying to make us believe? Not a chance.

But this is not all. As a Muslim, Mr. Khashoggi could have gone to any country that upholds Muslim marriage rites and remarried without having to formally divorce his first wife, and then go to America and live with his “new wife” under the guise of a de-facto relationship. So why would he risk his life and walk into a potential death trap?

Logic stipulates that Khashoggi entered the Consulate after he was given vehement assurances that his safety was guaranteed by the Saudi Crown. He would have never entered the Consulate had he not been given this assurance.

But why would the Saudi Government give him this assurance even though he had been very critical of MBS? A good question.

Once again, a logical hypothetical answer to this question could be that Khashoggi had some important meeting with a high ranking Saudi official to discuss some issues of serious importance, and this normally means that he had some classified information to pass on to the Saudi Government; important enough that the Saudi Crown was prepared to set aside Khashoggi’s recent history in exchange of this information.

If we try to connect more dots in a speculative but rational manner, the story can easily become more interesting.

Hatice Cengiz (Turkish for Khadijeh Jengiz) it is claimed, raised the first alarm for Khashoggi’s disappearance, announcing at the same time that she is/was his fiancée. But that latter announcement of hers came as a surprise even to Khashoggi’s own family.

Not much is said and speculated about Hatice in the West, but she is definitely making some headlines in the Arab World, especially on media controlled and sponsored by Saudi Arabia. To this effect, and because the Saudi neck is on the chopping board, it is possible that for the first time ever perhaps, the Saudis are telling the truth.

But the Saudis are the boys who cried wolf, and no one will ever believe them. But, let us explore how they might have got themselves into this bind.

As we connect the dots, we speculate as follows:

Some reports allege that Hatice has had a colourful history, including Mossad training https://youtu.be/6SPuKo7WMSA. The same YouTube alleges that she was a Gülenist and was arrested by Erdogan and released under the condition that she works for his security apparatus in order to guarantee her freedom. If such is the case, do we know if she has been also blackmailed in exchange for security of family members, loved ones, property etc? We don’t know.

It has also been reported that Jamal Khashoggi met her only as early as May 2018 and later introduced her as an expert on Omani history and politics. In reality, irrespective of what his family members are saying now, Khashoggi has never introduced her to the world as his fiancée; and this is fact.

So was she his fiancée?

It is at least possible that she wasn’t?

So, who was she to Khashoggi and what role did she possibly play?

The following speculation cannot be proved, but it makes sense:

To explain what a Gülenist is for the benefit of the reader who is unaware of this term, Erdogan blamed former friend and ally Fethullah Gülen for the failed coup attempt of July 2016 and persecuted his followers, putting tens of thousands of them in jail. Erdogan’s relationship with America was already deteriorating at that time because of America’s support to Syrian Kurds, and to add to Erdogan’s woes, America was and continues to give Gülen a safe haven despite many requests by Erdogan to have him extradited to Turkey to face trial. But Gülen is falling out of America’s favour as he seems to have outlived his use-by date, and the Gülenist movement would be in dire need of a new benefactor.

Cengiz, a former Gülenist, released on the above-mentioned conditions and possible threats, might have introduced herself to Khashoggi as an undercover Gülenist, and she had a history to support her claim. Being a former Gülenist, she might have indeed kept a foot in the Gülenist camp, and with the diminishing support of the American Government to the Gulenist movement, she might have been recruited to source finance. The Gülenists might have eyed Saudi Arabia to take this role, and as the rift between the Saudi royals and Erdogan intensified after their former joint effort to topple the legitimate secular government of Syria, the Gülenists would have found in Al-Saud what represents an enemy of an enemy, and they had to find a way to seek Saudi support against Erdogan. MBS himself would have inadvertently invited the Gülenists to approach him when he announced, back in March 2018 during a visit to the Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Egypt, that the triangle of evil in the Middle East is comprised of Iran, Islamist extremists groups and Turkey, and, in naming Turkey, he obviously meant Erdogan personally. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/08/saudi-crown-prince-sees-a-new-axis-of-evil-in-the-middle-east/

Khashoggi, with his expansive connections, looked like a good candidate to introduce the would-be new partners and broker a deal between them.

Back to what may have incited Khashoggi to enter the Saudi Consulate and to why the Saudi Government would have, in that case, given him a safe entry despite his history. Possibly, Khashoggi believed that he had a “big story” to relay to the Saudi Government; one that most likely exposed big time anti-Saudi dirt about Erdogan.

With the Saudi-led Wahhabi version of fundamentalist Islam competing with the Muslim Brotherhood side, politically and militarily headed by Erdogan, it is not far-fetched to believe that either party is conspiring to topple the other. If Khashoggi had a story to this effect, even if it was fake but credible enough for him to believe, it would have given him the impetus to seek an audience at the Saudi Consulate and hence an expectation for the Consulate to positively reciprocate. In reality, given the history and culture involved, it is hard to fathom that any scenario short of this one would have given either Khashoggi and/or the Saudi officials enough reasons to meet in the manner and place they did.

It is highly likely that Saudi officials had several contingency plans for Khashoggi’s visit; depending on its outcome and the information that he had to offer. Those plans might have included giving him a wide range of treatments, ranging from a red carpet reception in Saudi Arabia, to beheading and dismembering him within the Consulate’s grounds. What happened after Khashoggi entered the precinct of the Consulate is fairly muddy and hard to speculate on. If the above speculations thus far have been accurate, then these are the possible scenarios that followed the fateful CCTV coverage of Khashoggi’s entry to the Consulate:

1. It is possible that the Saudi officials in Turkey have had their own contacts with the Gülenists prior to the supposed ground-breaking visit of Khashoggi. In such a case, if the story Khashoggi may have offered did not fall in line with the story the Saudi’s already know, then Khashoggi would have automatically been branded as suspicious and his safe entry would have been revoked. In such a case, he would have walked into his own trap.

2. On the other hand, if Khashoggi indeed gave Saudi authorities vital information, so vital that it clearly is vehemently pro-Gülen, and as Gülen is no longer an American favourite, then upon his return to America he may have become a Saudi liability that can potentially muddy the Saudi-American waters that the Saudis desperately try to keep clear. In such an instance, it would be opportune for the Saudis to finish him off before he could return to America.

3. A third possibility is that some Saudi officials already working covertly with Gülen saw in Khashoggi an already persona non grata, a dangerous Erdogan implant and decided to take action against him.

If any of the above scenarios are accurate, then the role of Erdogan in this story is not that of a scavenger who capitalized on the rift generated between the Saudis and America, but that he was instrumental in conjuring up and orchestrating the whole drama. Erdogan might have subjected the Saudi Government to the Gülen litmus test, and in such a case, the victim is Saudi Arabia and the scavenger is America seeking silence money in lieu of continued protection of Saudi interests.

In all of the above scenarios, Khashoggi would have been driven into the trap by his alleged fiancée and had his impunity revoked by the Saudi officials because he failed the test.

But what triggered him off personally to walk into this possible trap? What was in it for him? Definitely not divorce documents. Most likely, Khashoggi was after amnesty from the Saudi Crown, and this would be a safety concern not only for Khashoggi himself, but also for his family that continued to live in Saudi Arabia. He may well have thought that by providing vital and sensitive information to his government, his previous “sins” would be set aside and he would be treated as a hero, his family would feel safe, despite that fact that he has criticized the Crown Prince in the past.

Arabic media are inundated with posts and YouTube videos that are very damning of Hatice Cengiz. Most of them perhaps are Saudi propaganda and should not be taken for a grain of salt. In reality however, her sudden emergence as Khashoggi’s “fiancée”, the fact that she allegedly waited for nearly 24 hours before reporting his disappearance and her personal, professional and political history are all factors that cast much doubt about her innocence and instead, portray her as a possible key element in the series of events that led to the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Furthermore, why would a person in her position make rules and conditions about meeting the President of the United States of America, even if this President is Donald Trump? How many people in history have refused the invitation of American Presidents? Who does she think she is or who is she trying to portray herself as?

And if Trump is seizing the opportunity to grab MBS, and this time he will be grabbing by the wallet, if Erdogan smells a hint of preparedness of MBS to support Gülen, then Erdogan would want MBS’s wallet and head. Any whichever way, the silver lining of this story is that for once, Saudi Arabia is finally running for cover. Few around the world will give this brutal royal family any sympathy.

There are other rumours spreading in the Arab world now alluding to the removal of MBS from office and passing over the reins to his brother. MBS has committed heinous war crimes in Yemen and has made huge errors of judgment with regard to Syria and Qatar. He made many enemies, and it seems that Erdogan is out to get him.

It does seem possible that the Assad-must-go curse has reached the neck of the Saudi throne.

Imran Khan Has Successfully Exposed Liberalism as Pakistan’s Greatest Enemy

America’s Establishment – the military-industrial complex

During his final address as President of the United States of America, General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the development of a military-industrial complex in the following way:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.

We recognise the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”.

Since Eisenhower’s speech, the US military-industrial complex has become so influential that its policy making role in government is thought to exceed that of elected officials up to and including the head of state. As the country with the world’s most powerful military and strongest economy, this means that not only does the US military-industrial complex threaten democracy in the US but it threatens the peace and freedom of those in other nations whose governments may occasionally quarrel with Washington.

Against this background, it is both absurd and hypocritical for anti-patriotic forces within Pakistan to heap scorn on the young government of Imran Khan and his PTI party under the guise that they are “too close” to Pakistan’s military establishment. In the United States, it has proved to be impossible to even get close to power by promising a revision in the nation’s foreign policy while in Pakistan, PTI proved that a party with a clearly reformist approach to foreign policy making can not only win but in many cases obliterate the vote of the old legacy parties as well as fringe extremist parties.

It is in fact true that Pakistan has a long history of open conflict between civilian governments and what is widely called The Establishment – the military. In July of this year however, a peaceful democratic election signifying only the second ever peaceful transition of power in Pakistan’s history has signalled the early stages of a shift from a policy of confrontation between the Establishment and government to one of cooperation. Before going further, it must be noted that while conflict between the military and elected government is a phenomenon that the international media tends to universally associate with Pakistan, such conflicts transpire in multiple nations with different histories and societal issues.

Turkey

Modern Turkey has a long history of civilian governments in open conflict with the military. In spite of reforms early during Erdogan’s time as Prime Minister to harmonise the relationship between the Turkish Army and elected government, the apogee of conflict between the military and government in Turkey occurred as recently as 2016 when elements of the Fethullah Terror Organisation infiltrated the Army and led an illegal coup against President Erdogan. The result has been an intensified effort by Erdogan and the civilian government to bring to justice those in the Army associated with all forms of anti-government activity. After his recent re-election under new constitutional regulations, Erdogan has made good on his pledge to make the army directly answerable to the president rather than operate as a body that was previously allowed to make public political pronouncements without conclusion with civilian factions.

Egypt

After the US backed de-stabilisation of Egypt in 2011, a Muslim Brotherhood government came to power in Cairo that was directly at odds with the military. In 2013, the military led an ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Mohammad Morsi and put General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power who remains President to this day. While some called Sisi’s rise to power a coup, others point out the reckless incompetence, unpopularity and social extremism of Morsi and his followers. Egypt is clearly a country where mainstream forces all make reasonable arguments both for and against the Army’s strong influence on the country’s national political development.

Pakistan’s light at the end of many tunnels 

Therefore, while Turkey took decades to peacefully harmonise military-civilian government relations and while Egypt has yet to fully do so, Pakistan stands on the verge of peacefully achieving such harmonisation. Furthermore, this was largely accomplished through the ballot box and domestic diplomacy. This is not to imply that the incoming PTI led coalition government of Pakistan is “subservient” to the Army as some of PTI’s domestic detractors have said for obvious enough self-serving reasons. Neither is it to say that Fatima Bhutto (whose relations with a powerful Pakistani political family are minimised by the Guardian’s editors) is correct in stating that “Imran Khan is only a player in the circus run by Pakistan’s military” as she recently did in Britain’s ultra-liberal Guardian newspaper.

In reality, Pakistan is maturing into a state where both the military and civilian leaders are increasing cooperating for the benefit of the nation, just as is the case within all three major superpowers where open schisms between the military and government are largely unheard of. While all such moves in any nation are bound to have growing pains, the fact of the matter is that Pakistan’s leaders are embarking on a new era of national unity – something that is necessary in order to ensure peace and prosperity for future generations. Therefore, less open antagonism between the government and military in Pakistan should be welcomed rather than be subject to conspiracy theories and wild speculation disguised as analysis.

Pakistan has a real enemy within and it is not The Establishment 

With PTI is moving to modernise and harmonise the government’s relationship with the Establishment on a legal and win-win basis, Imran Khan’s transformation from opposition leader to statesman has laid bear the face of the true enemy within. In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s critics have sunk to new lows in their ever more frequent gossip column style criticism of the new Prime Minister. Before Imran has even settled into his new desk, his critics are already proclaiming the PTI led government a failure in a manner that only serves the foreign enemies of the Pakistani people and which in turns threatens the unity and survival of the state.

But while Imran Khan’s opponents continue to hurl stones within a glass house, they fail to realise that in shrieking about their own country’s supposed inferiority under the prying eyes of India, Afghanistan and The United States, they do not realise that when compared with other nations, Pakistan’s problems are not unique. To say otherwise is to fall into the trap of the colonial mentality which in the last election doomed the PML-N and PPP to electoral failure.

Liberal Pakistanis complain about the country’s blasphemy laws and the fact that PTI has no plans to change such laws. Meanwhile, such forces ignore the fact that in the countries of Europe and North America – countries which face a substantially low terrorist threat vis-a-vis Pakistan, legislators are hastily drafting new laws to censor criticism of just about any social trend ranging from feminism to sectarian politics. While Pakistani laws defend the country’s historical religious traditions, western governments are passing laws to protect the pagan gods of the west – the totemic ramparts of ultra-liberalism. Thus, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws should not be viewed in a vacuum and should certainly never be seen as more dangerous than the decrepit state of Indian society in which Muslims are being openly lynched with the support of members of the ruling political party simply for going about their daily business in peace. Until western hypocrisy and Indian mob rule are addressed, there is little point in growing hysterical over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Liberal Pakistanis then complain about press freedom before realising that Pakistan actually has some of the freest political speech in the world.

In an age where US corporate media, European corporate and state media and the Indian government all look to clamp down on free speech, Pakistan remains a place whose levels of political free speech are staggeringly high. Whether on Urdu, English or provincial language media, Pakistanis can say almost anything they want about almost anyone they want and for the most part it is all done in relative peace.

When the PTI government announced a further step to free Pakistan’s already highly open media it was clear that existing trends will only improve under the leadership of Imran Khan While private media outlets have long had editorial freedoms, according to a recent statement from Pakistan’s Information Minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain, now even state owned media will be given full editorial freedom.

As per vision of @ImranKhanPTI Ended political censorship on PTV, clear instructions issued for a complete editorial independence on PTV and Radio Pakistan, drastic changes ll be visible in Information Dept in coming 3 months Inshallah — Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 21, 2018

This means that if fully realised, Pakistan’s private and state owned media will be more free to criticise the government than both private and state owned media outlets in many European countries where opposition views are increasingly shunned or derided as “fake”.

The real fight for Pakistan’s future 

Imran Khan has drawn the liberal werewolves out of their hiding places and has thus exposed the real enemies of social and economic progress in Pakistan to be liberal forces who see it fit to criticise every element of Pakistani society without cessation. Such people take perverse delight in blaming the Establishment for doing that which it does not do while summarily ignoring how the US military-industrial complex is vastly more powerful than Pakistan’s Establishment ever was. Likewise, Pakistan’s liberal fifth column somehow believe that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are unusual while similar things either already exist or are being legally erected in the countries who join Pakistan’s home grown liberals in heaping scorn on a nation being antagonised both on its eastern and western borders.

What good is it to be on guard against terrorism from Afghanistan and India if Pakistan’s own liberal fifth column continues to scapegoat the nation itself for every problem under the sun. Pakistan does have problems and most of these problems are not unique to Pakistan. What is however unique is the agility with which supposed patriots of Pakistan do more for the country’s foreign enemies than the foreign enemies themselves could ever hope to achieve.

By increasing the amplification of these anti-national voices in so far as his presence seems to agitate them into fits of Pakistan hating hysteria, Imran Khan has already proved why he is in the best position to fight this enemy within and secure a better internal and external future for Pakistan.

By Adam Garrie
Source: Eurasia Future

What’s Behind the US-Turkey Rift?

Unrelated to Pastor Brunson Imprisoned in Turkey

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

Imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016 on charges of involvement in the failed months earlier coup attempt against President Erdogan, the Trump regime’s demand for Andrew Brunson’s release conceals what’s really behind the US/Turkey rift.

It’s all about what Michel Chossudovsky calls a “Russia-Turkey-Iran ‘triple entente,’” – growing Ankara ties with Washington’s main adversaries.

The US doesn’t give a hoot about the safety and well-being of its ordinary citizens at home or when abroad – only its privileged ones, no others.

Turkey is a key NATO member, its military second largest in the alliance to Washington’s.

The Trump regime wants Erdogan allied with its anti-Russia, anti-Iran agenda. He rejects US sanctions on both countries, intends maintaining normal political and economic relations.

Days earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said his government

“never supported any sanctions against Russia. We have already said that we are not going to support sanctions against Iran either.”

He called on the Trump regime to rescind sanctions on Turkey, adding

“(t)hey must drop their threats, otherwise there can be no progress in (bilateral) relations.”

His relationship with Washington deteriorated in the wake of the aborted 2016 coup attempt.

He blamed it on ex-pat cleric Fethullah Gulen, living in Pennsylvania. Washington refuses to extradite him. No evidence indicates his involvement in what happened. He denies accusations against him.

While his relations with America soured, they’ve grown stronger with Russia since a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian Su-24 warplane in Syrian airspace in November 2015.

His political and economic ties to Moscow and Tehran are growing. Washington treats Turkey as both ally (in NATO) and Eurasian adversary.

Erdogan is playing the Russia/Iran, and US cards simultaneously, increasingly shifting his allegiance East, away from the West – another body blow to Washington’s imperial agenda.

On August 17, Trump disgracefully tweeted:

“Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!”

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin threatened more US sanctions on Turkey on top of others imposed “if they don’t release (Brunson) quickly.”

Erdogan’s foreign minister Cavusoglu responded, saying

“(t)he US does not know, it cannot see who its true friend is. We can easily solve problems with the US but not with its current mindset.”

Both countries sharply increased tariffs on each other’s products – on Turkish steel and aluminum, on US alcohol, tobacco and vehicles.

Ankara began selling off US sovereign debt, reduced from $32.6 – $28.8 billion in June, according to a US Treasury report. In November 2017, Turkey held $61.2 billion worth of US treasuries, less than half that amount now.

In 2018, Russia dumped over 80% of its US sovereign debt holdings, holding less than $15 billion now.

The Trump regime slammed Ankara’s agreement with Russia to buy its S-400 missile defense systems. It threatened non-delivery of contracted for US F-35s to its military.

Erdogan expressed ire over US support for Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria he wants removed or eliminated near Turkey’s border.

Washington wants all nations bending to its will. Erdogan’s support for what the Trump regime opposes lies at the root of the deep rift between both countries.

It’s got nothing to do with pastor Brunson the Trump regime didn’t give a hoot about until recent weeks.

*

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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.

Escalation in Syria – how far can the Russians be pushed?

February 16, 2018

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

Events in Syria have recently clearly taken a turn for the worse and there is an increasing amount of evidence that the Russian task force in Syria is being targeted by a systematic campaign of “harassing attacks”.

First, there was the (relatively successful) drone and mortar attack on the Russian Aerospace base in Khmeimin. Then there was the shooting down of a Russian SU-25 over the city of Maasran in the Idlib province. Now we hear of Russian casualties in the US raid on a Syrian column (along with widely exaggerated claims of “hundreds” of killed Russians). In the first case, Russian officials did openly voice their strong suspicion that the attack was if not planned and executed by the USA, then at least coordinated with the US forces in the vicinity. In the case of the downing of the SU-25, no overt accusations have been made, but many experts have stated that the altitude at which the SU-25 was hit strongly suggests a rather modern MANPAD of a type not typically seen in Syria (the not so subtle hint being here that these were US Stingers sent to the Kurds by the USA). As for the latest attack on the Syrian column, what is under discussion is not who did it but rather what kind of Russian personnel was involved, Russian military or private contractors (the latter is a much more likely explanation since the Syrian column had no air-cover whatsoever). Taken separately, none of these incidents mean very much but taken together they might be indicative of a new US strategy in Syria: to punish the Russians as much as possible short of an overt US attack on Russian forces. To me this hypothesis seems plausible for the following reasons:

First, the USA and Israel are still reeling in humiliation and impotent rage over their defeat in Syria: Assad is still in power, Daesh is more or less defeated, the Russians were successful not only their military operations against Daesh but also in their campaign to bring as many “good terrorists” to the negotiating table as possible. With the completion of a successful conference on Syria in Russia and the general agreement of all parties to begin working on a new constitution, there was a real danger of peace breaking out, something the AngloZionist are absolutely determined to oppose (check out this apparently hacked document which, if genuine, clearly states the US policy not to allow the Russian to get anything done).

Second, both Trump and Netanyahu have promised to bring in lots of “victories” to prove how manly and strong they are (as compared to the sissies which preceded them). Starting an overt war against Russian would definitely be a “proof of manhood”, but a much too dangerous one. Killing Russians “on the margins”, so to speak, either with plausible deniability or, alternatively, killing Russians private contractors is much safer and thus far more tempting option.

Third, there are presidential elections coming up in Russia and the US Americans are still desperately holding on to their sophomoric notion that if they create trouble for Putin (sanctions or body bags from Syria) they can somehow negatively impact his popularity in Russia (in reality they achieve the opposite effect, but they are too dull and ignorant to realize that).

Last but not least, since the AngloZionist have long lost the ability to actually getting anything done, their logical fall-back position is not let anybody else succeed either. This is the main purpose of the entire US deployment in northern Syria: to create trouble for Turkey, Iran, Syria and, of course, Russia.

The bottom line is this: since the US Americans have declared that they will (illegally) stay in Syria until the situation “stabilizes” they now must do everything their power to destabilize Syria. Yes, there is a kind of a perverse logic to all that…

For Russia, all this bad news could be summed up in the following manner: while Russia did defeat Daesh in Syria she is still far from having defeated the AngloZionists in the Middle-East. The good news is, however, that Russia does have options to deal with this situation.

Step one: encouraging the Turks

There is a counter-intuitive but in many ways an ideal solution for Russia to counter the US invasion of Syria: involve the Turks. How? Not by attacking the US forces directly, but by attacking the Kurdish militias the US Americans are currently “hiding” behind (at least politically). Think of it, while the US (or Israel) will have no second thoughts whatsoever before striking Syrian or Iranian forces, actually striking Turkish forces would carry an immense political risk: following the US-backed coup attempt against Erdogan and, just to add insult to injury, the US backing for the creation of a “mini-Kurdistsan” both in Iraq and in Syria, US-Turkish relations are at an all-time low and it would not take much to push the Turks over the edge with potentially cataclysmic consequences for the US, EU, NATO, CENTCOM, Israel and all the AngloZionist interests in the region. Truly, there is no overstating the strategic importance of Turkey for Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle-East, and the US Americans know that. From this flows a very real if little understood consequence: the Turkish armed forces in Syria basically enjoy what I would call a “political immunity” from any US attacks, that is to say that (almost) no matter what the Turks do, the US would (almost) never consider actually openly using force against them simply because the consequence of, say, a USAF strike on a Turkish army column would be too serious to contemplate.

In fact, I believe that the US-Turkish relationship is so bad and so one-sided that I see a Turkish attack on a Kurdish (or “good terrorist”) column/position with embedded US Special Forces far more likely than a US attack on a Turkish army column. This might sound counter-intuitive, but let’s say the Turks did attack a Kurdish (or “good terrorist”) column/position with US personnel and that US servicemen would die as the result. What would/could the US do? Retaliate in kind? No way! Not only is the notion of the US attacking a fellow NATO country member is quite unthinkable, it would most likely be followed by a Turkish demand that the US/NATO completely withdraw from Turkey’s territory and airspace. In theory, the US could ask the Israelis to do their dirty job for them, but the Israelis are not stupid (even if they are crazy) and they won’t have much interest in starting a shooting war with Turkey over what is a US-created problem in a “mini-Kurdistan”, lest any hallowed “Jewish blood” be shed for some basically worthless goyim.

No, if the Turks actually killed US servicemen there would be protests and a flurry of “consultations” and other symbolic actions, but beyond that, the US would take the losses and do nothing about it. As for Erdogan, his popularity at home would only soar even higher. What all this means in practical terms is that if there is one actor which can seriously disrupt the US operations in northern Syria, or even force the US to withdraw, it is Turkey. That kind of capability also gives Turkey a lot of bargaining power with Russia and Iran which I am sure Erdogan will carefully use to his own benefit. So far Erdogan has only threatened to deliver an “Ottoman slap” to the USA and Secretary of State Tillerson is traveling to Ankara to try to avert a disaster, but the Turkish instance that the USA chose either the Turkish or the Kurdish side in the conflict very severely limits the chances of any real breakthrough (the Israel lobby being 100% behind the Kurds). One should never say never, but I submit that it would take something of a miracle at this point to really salvage the US-Turkish relationship. Russia can try to capitalize on this dynamic.

The main weakness of this entire concept is, of course, that the USA is still powerful enough, including inside Turkey, and it would be very dangerous for Erdogan to try to openly confront and defy Uncle Sam. So far, Erdogan has been acting boldly and in overt defiance of the USA, but he also understands the risks of going too far and for him to even consider taking such risks there have to be prospects of major benefits from him. Here the Russians have two basic options: either to promise the Turks something very inciting or to somehow further deteriorate the current relationship between the US and Turkey. The good news here is that Russian efforts to drive a wedge between the US and Turkey are be greatly assisted by the US support for Israel, Kurds, and Gulenists.

The other obvious risk is that any anti-Kurdish operation can turn into yet another partition of Syria, this time by the Turks. However, the reality is that the Turks can’t really stay for too long in Syria, especially not if Russia and Iran oppose this. There is also the issue of international law which is much easier for the USA to ignore than for the Turks.

For all these reasons using the Turks to put pressure on the USA has its limitations. Still, if the Turks continue to insist that the USA stop supporting the Kurds, or if they continue putting military pressure on the Kurdish militias, then the entire US concept of a US-backed “mini-Kurdistan” collapses and, with it, the entire US partition plan for Syria.

So far, the Iraqis have quickly dealt with the US-sponsored “mini-Kurdistan” in Iraq and the Turks are now taking the necessary steps to deal with the US-sponsored “mini-Kurdistan” in Syria at which point *their* problem will be solved. The Turks are not interested in helping Assad or, for that matter, Putin and they don’t care what happens to Syria as long as *their* Kurdish problem is under control. This means that the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians should not place too much hope on the Turks turning against the USA unless, of course, the correct circumstances are created. Only the future will tell whether the Russians and the Iranians will be able to help to create such circumstances.

Step two: saturating Syria with mobile modern short/middle range air defenses

Right now nobody knows what kind of air-defense systems the Russians have been delivering to the Syrians over the past couple of years, but that is clearly the way to go for the Russians: delivering as many modern and mobile air defense systems to the Syrians. While this would be expensive, the best solution here would be to deliver as many Pantsir-S1 mobile Gun/SAM systems and 9K333 Verba MANPADs as possible to the Syrians and the Iranians. The combination of these two systems would immensely complicate any kind of air operations for the US Americans and Israelis, especially since there would be no practical way of reliably predicting the location from which they could operate. And since both the USA and Israel are operating in the Syrian skies in total violation of international law while the Syrian armed forces would be protecting their own sovereign airspace, such a delivery of air-defense systems by Russia to Syria would be impeccably legal. Best of all, it would be absolutely impossible for the AngloZionist to know who actually shot at them since these weapon systems are mobile and easy to conceal. Just like in Korea, Vietnam or Lebanon, Russian crews could even be sent to operate the Syrian air defense systems and there would be no way for anybody to prove that “the Russians did it” when US and Israeli aircraft would start falling out of the skies. The Russians would enjoy what the CIA calls “plausible deniability”. The US Americans and Israelis would, of course, turn against the weaker party, the Syrians, but that other than feeling good that would not really make a difference on the ground as the Syrians skies would not become safer for US or Israelis air forces.

The other option for the Russians would be to offer upgrades (software and missile) to the existing Syrian air defense systems, especially their road-mobile 2K12 Kub and 9K37 Buk systems. Such upgrades, especially if combined with enough deployed Pantsirs and Verbas would be a nightmare for both the US Americans and the Israelis. The Turks would not care much since they are already basically flying with the full approval of the Russians anyway, and neither would the Iranians who, as far as I know, have no air operations in Syria.

One objection to this plan would be that two can play this game and that there is nothing preventing the USA from sending even more advanced MANPADs to their “good terrorist” allies, but that argument entirely misses the point: if both sides do the same thing, the side which is most dependent on air operations (the USA) stands to lose much more than the side which has the advantage on the ground (the Russians). Furthermore, by sending MANPADs to Syria, the USA is alienating a putative ally, Turkey, whereas if Russia sends MANPADs and other SAMs to Syria the only one who will be complaining will be the Israelis. When that happens, the Russians will have a simple and truthful reply: we did not start this game, your US allies did, you can go and thank them for this mess.

The main problem in Syria is the fact that the US and the Israelis are currently operating in the Syrian skies with total impunity. If this changes, this will be a slow and gradual process. First, there would be a few isolated losses (like the Israeli F-16 recently), then we would see that the location of US and/or Israeli airstrikes would gradually shit from urban centers and central command posts to smaller, more isolated targets (such as vehicle columns). This would indicate an awareness that the most lucrative targets are already too well defended. Eventually, the number of air sorties would be gradually replaced by cruise and ballistic missiles strikes. Underlying it all would be a shift from offensive air operations to force protection which, in turn, would give the Syrians, Iranians, and Hezbollah a much easier environment to operate in. But the necessary first step for any of that to happen would be to dramatically increase the capability of Syrian air defenses.

Hezbollah has, for decades, very successfully operated under a total Israelis air supremacy and their experience of this kind of operations would be invaluable to the Syrians until they sufficiently built up their air defense capabilities.

Conclusion: is counter-escalation really the only option?

Frankly, I am starting to believe that the Empire has decided to attempt upon a partial “reconquista” of Syria, even Macron is making some noises about striking the Syrians to “punish” them for their use of (non-existing) chemical weapons. At the very least, the USA wants to make the Russians pay as high a price as possible for their role in Syria. Further US goals in Syria include:

  • The imposition of a de-facto partition of Syria by taking under control the Syrian territory east of the Euphrates river (we could call that “plan C version 3.0”)
  • The theft of the gas fields located in northeastern Syria
  • The creation of a US-controlled staging area from which Kurdish, good terrorist and bad terrorist operations can be planned and executed
  • The sabotaging of any Russian-backed peace negotiations
  • The support for Israeli operations against Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and Syria
  • Engaging in regular attacks against Syrian forces attempting to liberate their country from foreign invaders
  • Presenting the invasion and occupation of Syria as one of the “victories” promised by Trump to the MIC and the Israel lobby

So far the Russian response to this developing strategy has been a rather a passive one and the current escalation strongly suggests that a new approach might be needed. The shooting down of the Israeli F-16 is a good first step, but much more needs to be done to dramatically increase the costs the Empire will have to pay for is policies towards Syria. The increase in the number of Russian commentators and analysts demanding a stronger reaction to the current provocations might be a sign that something is in the making.

The Saker

عبد الباري عطوان: اللعنة السورية تطال اردوغان.. تركيا تحت شبح التقسيم

تاريخ النشر : 2017-05-13

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

عبد الباري عطوان

الرئيس التركي رجب طيب اردوغان غاضب هذه الأيام على الجميع، الحلفاء والاعداء معا، غاضب على الولايات المتحدة، غاضب على أوروبا، غاضب على ايران والعراق، وغاضب على دولة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وناقم على اليونان، وبات من الصعب ان نجد دولة واحدة راض عنها، او غير غاضب عليها على الأقل.

هذا الغضب له تفسيرات عدة، ابرزها في نظرنا حالة الإحباط التي يعيشها الرئيس التركي من جراء خذلان حلفائه التاريخيين له، والامريكان على وجه التحديد بعد الخدمات التي قدمتها بلاده لهم، من خلال عضوية حلف الناتو على مدى اكثر من ستين عاما.

يوم الثلاثاء المقبل سيحط الرئيس التركي الرحال في واشنطن للقاء الرئيس الأمريكي دونالد ترامب الذي عوّل عليه كثيرا في دعم سياسته، أي اردوغان، في سورية، والشق المتعلق منها بإطاحة حكومة الرئيس بشار الأسد، وإقامة مناطق عازلة، وعدم تقديم أي دعم عسكري او سياسي للاكراد.

***
فرص نجاح زيارة الرئيس اردوغان في تحقيق أهدافها تبدو محدودة، واحتمالات الفشل اكبر بكثير من احتمالات النجاح، فادارة الرئيس ترامب لن تسلّم الداعية فتح الله غولن، المتهم بالوقوف خلف الانقلاب العسكري، وأعلنت الخميس على لسان العقيد دون دارن، المتحدث باسم قوات التحالف الدولي لمحاربة “الجهاديين”، انها ستسرع تنفيذ قرارها بتسليح قوات حماية الشعب الكردية السورية بدبابات وصواريخ واسلحة حديثة تؤهلها لشن الحرب لاستعادة مدينة الرقة من “الدولة الإسلامية”، بغطاء جوي ومشاركة برية أمريكية.

والاهم من ذلك ان الرئيس اردوغان شن هجوما شرسا على إسرائيل، واتهمها بالعنصرية على غرار نظام جنوب افريقيا الأبيض، ووصف الحصار المصري لاسرائيلي لقطاع غزة بأنه لا محل له بالانسانية، واعرب عن رفضه لقرار إسرائيلي بمنع الآذان من مآذن مساجد القدس المحتلة، ويأتي هذا الهجوم بعد اشهر من الصمت وتطبيع العلاقات.

وزارة الخارجية الاسرائيلية ردت على الرئيس اردوغان قائلة “ان كل من ينتهك حقوق الانسان بشكل منهجي في بلاده لا ينبغي ان يعظ حول الاخلاقيات للديمقراطية الوحيدة في المنطقة”.

الهجوم بهذه الشراسة على إسرائيل، الدولة التي تحكم حاليا البيت الأبيض، لا يمكن ان يقع بردا وسلاما على قلوب الرئيس ترامب وصهره جاريد كوشنر، اقرب مستشاريه ووزير الخارجية الأمريكي الفعلي، اللهم الا اذا كان هذا الهجوم غير جدي، وغير نابع من القلب، مثلما وصفه يواف غالنت، وزير الإسكان الإسرائيلي في حديث لاحد الصحف الإسرائيلية، الذي قال “ان تركيا وإسرائيل بحاجة الى الحفاظ على العلاقات بينهما.. ان ادلاء اردوغان بتصريحات محرضة بين الفينة والأخرى يعكس مصالحه الخطابية السياسية.. دعوه يتكلم ونحن نعرف كيف نتكلم”.

ما اغضب اردوغان من حليفه الإسرائيلي امران، الأول عدم تهنئة بنيامين نتنياهو له بالفوز في الاستفتاء، والثاني، تمزيق الأخير لوثيقة “حماس″ الجديدة والقائها في سلة المهملات امام عدسات التلفزة، فالاخير، أي نتنياهو، يعلم جيدا ان اردوغان يقف خلف هذه الوثيقة، وما تضمنته من أفكار تمسح ميثاق الحركة وتقبل بدولة فلسطينية على حدود عام 1967 على امل تخفيف الحصار الاسرائيلي والغربي عليها، وفتح ميناء ومطر، في غزة بالتالي بدعم تركي قطري.

الحقيقة التي ربما يرفض الرئيس اردوغان الاعتراف بها علنا، هو شعوره بالخديعة، من قبل من يدّعون انهم حلفاؤه، أي الامريكان، الذين استخدموه، وورطوه في الملف السوري، طوال السنوات الست الماضية، ونسفوا بذلك كل إنجازاته الشخصية والحزبية، ودمروا بالتالي طموحاته السياسية، ثم تخلوا عنه لصالح الد اعدائه، أي الاكراد.

***
دعم الرئيس ترامب للاكراد السوريين الذين تضعهم تركيا على قائمة الإرهاب، وتعتبرهم خطرا وجوديا عليها، وتسليحهم بدبابات ومدرعات وصواريخ حديثة متطورة، واعتمادهم كحليف مؤتمن لـ”تحرير” مدينة الرقة، يعني وضع النواة الاصلب لجيش الدولة الكردية، التي يمكن ان تمتد على طول الحدود التركية السورية، وتهدد الوحدة الترابية والديمغرافية لتركيا.

الامريكان استخدموا الاتراك، والرئيس اردوغان تحديدا لطعن العرب في الظهر، وتفتيت دولهم المضادة لهم (أي للامريكان وإسرائيل)، وبعد ان حققوا معظم مهمتهم في العراق وسورية وليبيا، هاهم الآن يخططون الاستخدام الاكراد، وربما غيرهم، لتفتيت تركيا.

الفرصة سانحة امام الرئيس اردوغان لمراجعة سياساته، وتقليص الخسائر، وإنقاذ تركيا والمنطقة من مخططات التدمير والتفتيت، فهل يفعل ذلك؟

لدنيا الكثير من الشكوك.. ونأمل ان لا تكون في محلها، وان يثبت الرئيس اردوغان عدم صحتها.

رأي اليوم

The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan

JANUARY 16, 2017

Photo by Marc Nozell | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Marc Nozell | CC BY 2.0

As Donald Trump prepares for his inauguration, he is struggling with opposition from the US media, intelligence agencies, government apparatus, parts of the Republican Party and a significant portion of the American population. Impressive obstacles appear to prevent him exercising arbitrary power.

He should take heart: much the same was said in Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2002 when he led his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the first of four election victories. He faced an army that, through coups and the threat of coups, was the ultimate source of power in the country, and a secular establishment suspicious of his Islamist beliefs. But over the years he has outmanoeuvred or eliminated his enemies and – using a failed military coup on 15 July last year as an excuse – is suppressing and punishing all signs of dissent as “terrorism”.

As Trump enters the White House, the AKP and far right nationalist super majority in the Turkish parliament is this month stripping the assembly of its powers and transferring them wholesale to the presidency. President Erdogan will become an elected dictator able to dissolve parliament, veto legislation, decide the budget, appoint ministers who do not have to be MPs along with senior officials and heads of universities.

All power will be concentrated in Erdogan’s hands as the office of prime minister is abolished and the president, who can serve three five year terms, takes direct control of the intelligence services. He will appoint senior judges and the head of state institutions including the education system.

These far-reaching constitutional changes are reinforcing an ever-expanding purge begun after the failed military coup last year, in which more than 100,000 civil servants have been detained or dismissed. This purge is now reaching into every walk of life, from liberal journalists to businessmen who have seen $10bn in assets confiscated by the state.

The similarities between Erdogan and Trump are greater than they might seem, despite the very different political traditions in the US and Turkey.

The parallel lies primarily in the methods by which both men have gained power and seek to enhance it. They are populists and nationalists who demonise their enemies and see themselves as surrounded by conspiracies. Success does not sate their pursuit of more authority.

Hopes in the US that, after Trump’s election in November, he would shift from aggressive campaign mode to a more conciliatory approach have dissipated over the last two months. Towards the media his open hostility has escalated, as was shown by his abuse of reporters at his press conference this week.

Manic sensitivity to criticism is a hallmark of both men. In Trump’s case this is exemplified by his tweeted denunciation of critics such as Meryl Streep, while in Turkey 2,000 people have been charged with insulting the president. One man was tried for posting on Facebook three pictures of Gollum, the character in The Lord of the Rings, with similar facial features to pictures of Erdogan posted alongside. Of the 259 journalists in jail around the world, no less than 81 are in Turkey. American reporters may not yet face similar penalties, but they can expect intense pressure on the institutions for which they work to mute their criticisms.

Turkey and the US may have very different political landscapes, but there is a surprising degree of uniformity in the behaviour of Trump and Erdogan. The same is true of populist, nationalist, authoritarian leaders who are taking power in many different parts of the world from Hungary and Poland to the Philippines. Commentators have struggled for a phrase to describe this phenomenon, such as “the age of demagoguery”, but this refers only to one method – and that not the least important – by which such leaders gain power.

This type of political leadership is not new: the most compelling account of it was written 70 years ago in 1947 by the great British historian Sir Lewis Namier, in an essay reflecting on what he termed “Caesarian democracy”, which over the previous century had produced Napoleon III in France, Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany. His list of the most important aspects of this toxic brand of politics is as relevant today as it was when first written, since all the items apply to Trump, Erdogan and their like.

Namier described “Caesarian democracy” as typified by “its direct appeal to the masses: demagogical slogans; disregard of legality despite a professed guardianship of law and order; contempt of political parties and the parliamentary system, of the educated classes and their values; blandishments and vague, contradictory promises to all and sundry; militarism; gigantic blatant displays and shady corruption. Panem et circenses [bread and circuses] once more – and at the end of the road, disaster.”

Disaster comes in different forms. One disability of elected dictators or strongmen is that, impelled by an exaggerated idea of their own capacity, they undertake foreign military adventures beyond their country’s strength. As an isolationist Trump might steer clear of such quagmires, but most of his senior security appointments show a far more aggressive and interventionist streak.

A strength of President Obama was that he had a realistic sense of what was attainable by the US in the Middle East without starting unwinnable wars as President George W Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the presidential election campaign, Trump showed signs of grasping – as Hillary Clinton did not – that Americans do not want to fight another ground war in the Middle East or anywhere else. But this naturally limits US influence in the world and will be at odds with Trump’s slogan about “making America great again.”

The disaster that Namier predicted was the natural end of elected dictators has already begun to happen in Turkey. The Turkish leader may have succeeded in monopolising power at home, but at the price of provoking crises and deepening divisions within Turkish society. The country is embroiled in the war in Syria, thanks to Erdogan’s ill-judged intervention there since 2011. This led to the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) establishing a de facto state in northern Syria and Isis doing the same in Syria and Iraq. At home, Erdogan restarted the war with the Turkish Kurds for electoral reasons in 2015 and the conflict is now more intractable than ever.

Every few weeks in Turkey there is another terrorist attack which is usually the work of Isis or a faction of the PKK – although the government sometimes blames atrocities on the followers of Fethullah Gulen, who are alleged to have carried out the attempted military coup last July. In addition to this, there is an escalating financial crisis, which has seen the Turkish lira lose 12 per cent of its value over the last two weeks. Foreign and domestic investment is drying up as investors become increasingly convinced that Turkey has become chronically unstable.

Erdogan and Trump have a further point in common: both have an unquenchable appetite for power and achieve it by exploiting and exacerbating divisions within their own countries.

They declare they will make their countries great again, but in practise make them weaker.

They are forever sawing through the branch on which they – and everybody else – are sitting.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of  The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

Kevin Barrett: Israel-Linked Forces Might Be Behind Murder in Ankara

Posted on December 22, 2016

Press TV

The recent assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara was possibly perpetrated by Israel-linked forces which want to destabilize Turkey and damage its warming relations with Moscow and Tehran, according to an American scholar and political analyst.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, an author, political commentator and a founding member of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry denied American involvement in the assassination of Russia’s envoy to Turkey, voicing concern about Ankara’s rhetoric against Washington.

Earlier, Turkey blamed US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen for Monday’s assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey and tried to place blame on the United States for allowing Gulen to live in the country.

“It’s interesting that John Kerry feels it’s necessary to deny American involvement in the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara,” Dr. Barrett said.

“And indeed it’s a real testament to the power of the internet, which has awakened so many people around the world to the reality that all sorts of dirty dealings have been going on under the cover of the mythical mainstream media pabulum that’s what pretty much people have been imbibing since the print press turned into a sort of daily news press back in the nineteenth century,” he stated.

“But today because we have such a wild plethora of news sources available, the really dirty laundry stuff that’s banned from the mainstream organs has gotten a lot of attention. And today people understand that these kinds of spy vs. spy games, political assassinations, false flags and other kinds of things are going on that you never really hear about in the mainstream [media],” the analyst noted.

“And that’s why when something like this happens, Kerry actually has to deny the possibility of American involvement because people now know that Operation Gladio, for example, which is an ongoing wave of NATO-sponsored terrorism and political assassinations, is run by the United States’ military and deep state,” he explained.

He said, “They shot the Pope a couple of decades ago.  They committed most of the supposed leftwing terrorism in Europe during Cold War.”

Gladio B continues

“And today Gladio B continues, killing people and blaming radical Islam for it. And Gladio is very much centered on Turkey,” said the author of Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie.

“A majority of the people murdered during the Cold War era by the US military’s deep state Operation Gladio were in Turkey. So Turkey is a real focus,” he added.

He said the assassination, “it seems to have been calculated to try to ruin relations between Turkey and Russia. The first question that people today, the awakened people ask themselves is who benefits?”

“And we have seen this coup attempt against Erdogan, after which Erdogan was supported by Iran and Russia. The coup attempt has been blamed on Fethullah Gülen, who is a CIA-linked so-called Islamist who lives in Pennsylvania,” the commentator said.

“And elements of the US deep state were widely blamed for that coup attempt, which was also perhaps an attempt to ruin warming relations between Turkey, Russia and Iran,” he said.

“So the rumors are going wild and indeed being amplified by people who are in official positions in Russia and Turkey who are saying that this looks like may have been done by the usual sort of Gladio and/or Israel-linked forces to destabilize Turkey and ruin its warming relations with Moscow and Tehran,” the analyst said.

“Kerry himself may very well believe that the US had no role because the deep state is not usually connected to the State Department.  Everything is deniable, everything is compartmentalized. But Kerry has to deny, that’s part of his job. And it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to believe it,” the researcher concluded.

Behind the regional scene: the collapse of Saudi Arabia خلف المشهد الإقليمي: انهيار السعودية

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The successive vote in the Senate and the US House of Representatives to overthrow the presidential veto on Gesta Law alerts the unwary about what is going on to Saudi Arabia and putting it within an appropriate context to help in understanding what is going on in the region, so the puzzle of many scattered, especially the Deputy Walid Jumblatt in the interpretation of the hurrying of Saad Al-Hariri to have a strange re-positioning in his opinion, that is similar according to Jumblatt’s point of view to the re-positioning of the father of Sheikh Saad Al-Hariri the date Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri with the option of extension for the President Emile Lahoud eleven years ago, as it explains what is going on in Saudi Arabia for those who wonder about the reason of the acceleration of the concessions in search for a political government by the government of Masour Hadi in Yemen.

Many can interpret what is going on in Syria and the speech of the Turkish about the visit of the President Recep Erdogan to Moocow and Tehran after he waited for months the achievement of the Saudi promise of compensating the losses resulted from the Russian sanctions at least in the agricultural sector but in vain.

Erdogan went to Moscow but his eye on Jarblos after he has lowered the ceilings of his expectations even if his screaming remained high, what is happening in the eastern of Aleppo under his sight is an accurate reflection about the limits of his ability to move and the size of the allowable steps to take comparing with what he would have been done and said if a similar thing had happened a year ago.

In the memory of Erdogan there is Fethullah Gulen who was behind the military coup and who lived in Washington, while Al Hariri goes to Haret Hreik after he has a tour as a bride from Bnashii to Rabieh to Ain Al Tineh while his eye is on Tripoli where is the political line which targets Al Mustqbal Movement, Fethullah Gulen is Rifi who stood behind the municipal coup against Al-Hariri and prepares to make a parliament coup against him while he lives in the Saudi bosom.

All of this from Jarablos to Tripoli and from Gulen to Rifi can be understood in knowing what is happening in Saudi Arabia, where the US democracy and the US judiciary are two means to end everything in its Muslim Brotherhood and Wehabbi versions after a marriage of decades and bets on strategic and fateful options which all of them have failed and brought the disasters.

The beginning is from the Saudi Turkish failure in encircling the tripartite Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah, then the repetitive rapid failure in winning a war of overthrowing this tripartite in the Syrian war and the completion with the US penalty on the Turkish Saudi bilateral, and the re-positioning at the lines of the direct interests which are protected by the force of what America has of money, weapons, information pipes and communication technology, towards the inevitable status in making the diplomatic legitimacy and the UN resolutions for negotiations that it imposes surely as an indispensable partner by Russia, China, and Iran. A US wall of pipes of money, information, technology, and energy which America hides behind it as the cement wall which the Israeli leadership decided to hide behind and prepared to make it a diplomatic, political legal wall by dramatic steps under the slogan of entering in negotiations for peace process under American Russian sponsorship.

Saudi Arabia enters the last stage of the path of the collapse which its first episode was breaking the Israeli military superiority in the Middle East which gave Saudi Arabia after the year 1967 and the defeat of the project of the noble liberating Arab leader Gamal Abdul Nasser the opportunity of stabilizing its leadership of the Arab world since 1970 and its consolidation by the force of the rise of the oil prices after the war of October 1973.

Since the fall of the Israeli prestige and its emergence to be weaker than the cobweb, the Saudi leadership started to collapse in a path that started in 2000 with the Israeli compulsory withdrawal from the southern of Lebanon towards the war of July 2006 which targeted Lebanon to crush the resistance, but it has ended with Israeli resounding defeat. The second episode started with the Saudi failure in overthrowing Syria and having control over it, despite the size of the financial and the intelligence embroilment and mobilizing Al-Qaeda organization with direct understandings to turn into the only authorized army to overthrow Syria and its president according to the description of the US Vice President Joe Biden in front of Harvard University.

The third episode started with the collapse through the Saudi failure in stopping the US thrust toward signing the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program, after the inability to exert pressure on the Americans to carry out the military strike by their fleets against Syria, towards the unexpected  Saudi failure in their considerations in their war in Yemen and its turn sequentially into existential security strategic dilemma  that exhausts them financially and threatens of the unity of the social and the geographical structure which the Yemenis are forming an essential part of it, towards the last dual.

The Saudis face the first unique challenge since their entry as a feared force in the stock of the financial abilities; they are in front of a variable that was not into consideration. For the first time the House of the representatives and the Senate vote to topple the presidential veto on a law that is dedicated to Saudi Arabia in a majority reaches to consensus. the law allows the families of the victims of the events of the eleventh of September to sue the governments of the countries from where the suicide bombers came to ask for compensation,  the matter is neither for compensation itself, nor for the symbolism of the political abandonment only, nor related to the moral humiliation only, it is related to what will happen by blocking all the Saudi assets in the US banks with instating the first lawsuit under the law, up to the time of  setting the lawsuit which will be followed by lawsuits.

This means the Saudi preparation to keep approximately seven hundred billion dollars, this is all of what is left of their wealth and which are in US banks frozen indefinitely, after the Saudis involved too much in the war of prices to push Russia and Iran to bankruptcy during two years ago or to the political surrender, so this has led to the decline of the Saudi income annually nearly three hundred dollars with the decline of the price per barrel from one hundred twenty -four dollars to reach to the thirty dollars and then to be settled between forty and fifty dollars according to a country that the oil forms the semi only source of its income, it sells twelve million barrels daily, but the low –income and the direct and the indirect of costs of the Syrian and the Yemeni wars have led to an annual deficit of nearly one hundred billion dollars in the Saudi budget, having no hope but to spend from the deposited funds in the US banks and the return to the policy of raising the oil prices by holding the market with the cooperation of Russia and Iran.

The Saudis have proposed the cooperation on the Russians they have asked an integrated political oil deal starts from Syria, they went to Algeria for OPEK Meeting asking for an Iranian cooperation, the answer was that Iran after the understanding has restored its status in the oil markets and will not accept to reduce its production in exchange of Saudi reducing to raise the demand for oil and raise its prices. Now the role of Iran is to respond fight back.

Iran said that it has the right to ask for raising its share to seven million barrels daily for ten coming years to compensate what has left of its share which was agreed upon as a result of the sanctions and after the others have used it at their forefront and most notably Saudi Arabia, they have reached to a suggestion that Saudi Arabia must decrease its production to five million barrels daily in exchange of five million barrels for Iran.

This means that Saudi Arabia will not achieve any improvement in its income but more loss, hoping that this decrease will lead to an improvement in the price that returns to it what it gets today, but after the price reaches nearly hundred dollars per barrel, it will bear additional bleeding that may last for a year or more. Once the meeting of Algeria for OPEK organization failed, the price of the oil barrel has declined 10 % and the stocks of the Gulf and the prices of the shares stated to collapse with ratios that range during hours between 5 and 10 %.

According to the description of the US presidential candidate Donald Trump Saudi Arabia is a purse of money only. By the way Trump has met his rival Hillary Clinton in supporting the veto against the presidential veto, so there is no hope for Saudi Arabia to improve their financial positions after the US presidential elections but they have only one hope, its gate is the understanding with Iran in oil market and other things.

Image result for ‫سعد الحريري وعون‬‎Sheikh Saad Al-Hariri is one of the family members, he knows what to discuss of concerns and interests in the evenings of the royal bureaus, but in front of the anguish and the lament there is no place to talk about his concerns but to let him bear what he did, everything in Saudi Arabia is money, but this purse of money is depleted, but saving Al-Hariri has only one gate it is the Sarai and its key is Harel Hreik passing by AL Rabieh, as it is the Turkish security gate in Moscow and Tehran, and Aden security gate in Sanaa, where the pressure are escalating, so what if Erdogan delayed of the repositioning and the Kurdish line remained, and what if the group of Mansour Hadi delayed of the settlement and the Saudis surprise them after they expelled them from Riyadh to Aden by announcing the stopping of the war unilaterally and without coordination, and what if Al-Hariri delayed and the supports of Aoun went down to the streets, and Ashraf Rifi or other decided to implicate Al-Hariri with going to the streets and Hezbollah obliged to move?

The phase of the Saudi era ends, so everyone has to reconsider his affairs on that basis sooner or later.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

خلف المشهد الإقليمي: انهيار السعودية

ناصر قنديل

– يدق التصويت المتتابع في مجلسَي الشيوخ والنواب الأميركيين لإسقاط الفيتو الرئاسي على قانون جستا، جرس الاستيقاظ للغافلين عما يجري للسعودية ووضعه في سياق مناسب للمساعدة على فهم ما يجري في المنطقة، فتتبدّد حيرة الكثيرين، وخصوصاً النائب وليد جنبلاط، في تفسير مسارعة الرئيس سعد الحريري لتموضع غريب عجيب في رأيه، يشبه برأي جنبلاط تموضع والد الشيخ سعد الرئيس الراحل رفيق الحريري مع خيار التمديد للرئيس إميل لحود قبل إحدى عشرة سنة، كما يفسّر ما يجري للسعودية للذين يتساءلون بحيرة عن سبب تسارع التنازلات بحثاً عن حلّ سياسي من جانب حكومة منصور هادي في اليمن، ويمكن أن يفسّر الكثير مما يجري حول سورية، والكلام عن التركي عن تفسير توجه الرئيس رجب أردوغان نحو موسكو وطهران بعدما انتظر شهوراً تحقيق وعد سعودي بتعويض الخسائر الناجمة عن العقوبات الروسية، على الأقلّ في القطاع الزراعي، ولكن دون نتيجة.

– ذهب أردوغان إلى موسكو وعينه على جرابلس، بعدما خفض سقوف توقعاته ولو بقي صراخه عالياً، وما يجري في شرق حلب تحت عينيه أدق تعبيراً عن حقيقة حدود قدرته على الحركة وحجم الخطوات المتاح له القيام بها قياساً بما كان يمكن أن يفعله ويقوله لو حدث شيء مشابه قبل عام، وفي ذاكرة أردوغان فتح الله غولن الواقف وراء الانقلاب العسكري عليه والقابع في واشنطن، فيما يذهب الحريري إلى حارة حريك بعدما يطوف جولة العروس من بنشعي إلى الرابية وعين التينة، وعينه على طرابلس، حيث الشريط السياسي الذي يستهدف تيار المستقبل، وفتح الله غولن ريفي الذي وقف وراء الانقلاب البلدي على الحريري ويستعدّ للانقلاب النيابي عليه، والقابع في الحضن السعودي، وهذا كله من جرابلس إلى طرابلس ومن غولن إلى ريفي، يمكن فهمه في معرفة ماذا يجري للسعودية، حيث تبدو الديمقراطية الأميركية والقضاء الأميركي آلتين لتصفية الحساب بنسختيه الأخوانية والوهابية، بعد زواج عقود ورهانات على خيارات مصيرية واستراتيجية، خابت جميعاً وجلبت الكوارث.

– البداية من الفشل التركي السعودي في تطويق الثلاثي سورية وإيران وحزب الله، ومن ثم الفشل المكرر والذريع في الفوز بحرب إسقاط هذا الثلاثي في الحرب السورية، والتتمة بالعقوبة الأميركية للثنائي التركي السعودي، والتموضع عند خطوط المصالح المباشرة المحمية بقوة ما تملكه أميركا في حقول المال والسلاح وأنابيب المعلومات وتكنولوجيا الاتصالات، وصولاً للمكانة الحتمية في صناعة الشرعية الدبلوماسية والقرارات الأممية لمفاوضات تفرضها حكماً شريكاً لا يمكن أن تستغني عنه روسيا ولا الصين ولا إيران، جدار أميركي من أنابيب المال والمعلومات والتكنولوجيا والطاقة، تحتمي وراءه أميركا يشبه حدار الاسمنت الذي قرّرت القيادة الإسرائيلية الاحتماء خلفه وتستعد ربما لخطوات دراماتيكية لتحويله جداراً دبلوماسياً سياسياً قانونياً، تحت شعار الدخول في مفاوضات لعملية سلام برعاية أميركية روسية.

– تدخل السعودية المرحلة الأخيرة من مسار الانهيار الذي كانت حلقته الأولى بتكسر رماح التفوق الإسرائيلي العسكري في الشرق الأوسط، الذي منح السعودية بعد العام 1967 وهزيمة مشروع القائد التحريري العربي الكبير جمال عبد الناصر، فرصة تثبيت زعامتها للعالم العربي منذ العام 1970 وتوطيدها بقوة ارتفاع أسعار النفط بعد حرب تشرين العام 1973، ومنذ سقطت الهيبة الإسرائيلية وظهرت أوهن من بيت عنكبوت، بدأ تداعي الزعامة السعودية، في مسار بدا عام 2000 بالانسحاب الإسرائيلي القسري من جنوب لبنان وصولاً لحرب تموز 2006 التي استهدفت لبنان لسحق المقاومة وانتهت بهزيمة إسرائيلية مدوية. وجاءت الحلقة الثانية مع الفشل السعودي في إسقاط سورية ووضع اليد عليها رغم حجم التورط المالي والمخابراتي وتوظيف تنظيم القاعدة بتفاهمات مباشرة ليتحوّل إلى الجيش المعتمد الوحيد لإسقاط سورية ورئيسها، وفق وصف نائب الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن أمام جامعة هارفرد. وجاءت الحلقة الثالثة للانهيار في الفشل السعودي بإيقاف الاندفاعة الأميركية نحو توقيع التفاهم حول الملف النووي الإيراني، بعد العجز عن الضغط على الأميركيين لتنفيذ الضربة العسكرية التي جاؤوا بأساطيلهم لتنفيذها ضد سورية، وصولاً لفشل سعودي غير متوقع في حساباتهم في حربهم على اليمن وتحولها بالتتابع إلى مأزق أمني استراتيجي ووجودي، يستنزفهم مالياً، ويهدّد وحدة النسيج الاجتماعي والجغرافي الذي يشكل اليمينون جزءاً عضوياً منه، لتصل الحلقة الأخيرة مزدوجة.

– يواجه السعوديون أول تحدّ من نوعه منذ دخولهم كقوة مهابة الجانب بورصة القدرات المالية، فهم أمام متغيّر لم يكن في الحساب، فللمرة الأولى يصوّت مجلسا النواب والشيوخ الأميركيين لإسقاط الفيتو الرئاسي على قانون يخص السعودية، وبغالبية تصل حدّ الإجماع، والقانون يتيح لأهالي ضحايا أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول مقاضاة حكومات الدول التي يحمل الانتحاريون جنسياتها طلباً للتعويض، والأمر ليس بالتعويض، ولا برمزية التخلي السياسي فقط، ولا بالمهانة المعنوية وحسب، إنه بما سيحدث من تجميد لكلّ الأرصدة السعودية في البنوك الأميركية مع رفع أول دعوى بموجب القانون، ريثما يبت بالدعوة، التي تليها دعاوى، وهذا يعني الاستعداد السعودي لبقاء قرابة السبعمئة مليار دولار هي كل ما تبقّى من ثروتهم، والموجودة في المصارف الأميركية، مجمّدة إلى أجل غير مسمّى، بعدما تورّط السعوديون كيداً في حرب أسعار لدفع روسيا وإيران للإفلاس خلال عامين ماضيين، او الاستسلام السياسي، ما أدّى إلى انخفاض الدخل السعودي سنوياً قرابة الثلاثمئة دولار بهبوط سعر البرميل من مئة وأربعة وعشرين دولاراً ليلامس سعر الثلاثين ويستقرّ بين الأربعين والخمسين، بالنسبة لدولة يشكل النفط مصدر دخلها شبه الوحيد وتبيع اثني عشر مليون برميل يومياً، وترتب مع تدني الدخل وإنفاق الحربين السورية واليمنية، المباشر وغير المباشر، تسجيل عجز سنوي يقارب المئة مليار دولار في الموازنة السعودية، من دون أمل سوى الإنفاق من الأرصدة المودعة في البنوك الأميركية والعودة لسياسة رفع أسعار النفط بضبط السوق بالتعاون مع روسيا وإيران.

– عرض السعوديون على الروس التعاون فطلبوا صفقة متكاملة سياسية نفطية تبدأ من سورية، وذهبوا إلى الجزائر في اجتماع أوبك يطلبون تعاوناً إيرانياً، فكان الجواب أنّ إيران بعد التفاهم استعادت مكانتها في الأسواق النفطية ولن ترتضي السير بتخفيض إنتاجها مقابل تخفيض سعودي لرفع الطلب على النفط ورفع أسعاره، فقد جاء دور إيران لردّ الصاع صاعين، وقالت إيران إنّ من حقها أن تطلب رفع حصتها إلى سبعة ملايين برميل يومياً لعشر سنوات مقبلة لتعويض ما فاتها من حصتها المتفق عليها بسبب العقوبات واستعمله الآخرون وأولهم وأهمّهم السعودية، وصولاً لاقتراح أن تخفض السعودية إنتاجها إلى خمسة ملايين برميل يومياً مقابل خمسة مثلها إيران. وهذا يعني عدم تحقيق السعودية لأيّ تحسين في دخلها، بل المزيد من الخسارة أملاً بأن يترتب على الخفض تحسّن في السعر يعيد لها ما تناله اليوم، ولكن بعدما يبلغ السعر قرابة المئة دولار للبرميل، وتحمل نزف مالي إضافي قد يتواصل لسنة وأكثر، وبمجرد فشل اجتماع الجزائر لمنظمة أوبك تراجع سعر برميل النفط 10 وبدأ الإنهيار في بورصات الخليج وأسعار الأسهم بنسب تراوحت خلال ساعات بين 5 و10 .

– السعودية وفقاً لوصف المرشح الرئاسي الأميركي دونالد ترامب كيس مال فقط، وبالمناسبة تلاقى ترامب مع منافسته هيلاري كلينتون، في دعم التصويت ضدّ الفيتو الرئاسي ما يسقط أيّ آمال سعودية في تحسين أوضاعهم المالية ما بعد انتخابات الرئاسة الأميركية، ويبقي لهم أملاً وحيداً، بوابته التفاهم مع إيران في سوق النفط وأشياء أخرى.

– الشيخ سعد الحريري واحد من العائلة ويعرف ما يناقش من هموم واهتمامات في سهرات دواوينياتها وأمام حجم الكرب والندب لا مكان للحديث عن همومه، إلا بالانصراف لقلع شوكه بيديه، فكلّ شيء في السعودية مال، وكيس المال ينضب، وتعويم الحريرية له بوابة واحدة هي السراي، ومفتاحها في حارة حريك مروراً بكأس الرابية المرّة، مثلما هي بوابة الأمان التركي في موسكو وطهران، وبوابة الأمان العدني في صنعاء، كيف وأنّ الضغوط تتسارع، فماذا لو تأخر أردوغان عن التموضع وتواصل الشريط الكردي، وماذا لو تأخرت جماعة منصور هادي عن التسوية وفاجأهم السعوديون بعدما طردوهم من الرياض إلى عدن، بإعلان وقف الحرب من طرف واحد ودون تنسيق، وماذا لو تأخر الحريري ونزل العونيون إلى الشارع، وقرر أشرف ريفي أو غيره توريط الحريري بنزول شارع، واضطر حزب الله للتحرك؟

– زمن الحقبة السعودية ينتهي، وعلى الجميع ترتيب أمورهم على هذا الأساس عاجلاً أم آجلاً.

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Turkey’s New Role: From Islamist NATO Lapdog to SCO?

Note: 

Here, we have to remember Erbakan’s project for to lift the global capitalist domination of his country and turn Turkey into a major industrial nation.

Erbakan believes that there is a close alliance between Zionism and global capitalism responsible for corrupting the world through wars and Hollywood and the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

After the parliamentary elections in 1996, he embraced the idea of the establishment of the Islamic Group of Eight (Turkey – Egypt – Iran – Nigeria – Pakistan – Indonesia – Bangladesh – Malaysia), to be the nucleus of a bigger gathering for the sixty Islamic States in one organization (United Nations Organization of Islamic countries) and the idea of founding of a joint defense cooperation between Islamic countries and an Islamic common market an (Islamic Dinar) instead of dealing in dollars.

The army overthrew the government of Erbakan, banned his party from political action, and the next governments cancelled all agreement he signed especially the Islamic Group of Eight.

The military coup against Erbakan, triggered a division in the Turkish Islamic movement where questions arises such as:

  • Do we stay on Erbakan’s project that caused the coup?
  • Or follow Sadat’s steps and start  an understanding with the US and Western powers, (holding all the cards) ?

The founding of the Justice and Development Party by Erdogan and Abdullah Gul was an internal coup backed by American International “Muslim” Brotherhood network  a sharp contrast to the Turkish Mother Islamic movement project. Just before the party gets the legal status the new pragmatic leaders too off the cloak of the Islamic movement.

Turkey which, since the Cold War, has been used as a tool against Russia, .

The so-called New Ottoman “Emerging Empire” have been crashed on the rock of Syria’s steadfastness and resistance axis. Syria, was the gate for founding the Ottoman’s old Empire, and the Grave Yard for the myth of neo-ottoman Empire. Moreover, Partitioned Syria ,welcomed  by the Anglo-Zionist Empire is a red line for Turkey, because is will pave the way for partitioned Turkey.

The US backed coup was a “gift from God” to Erdogan crush  Gulen’s deep state and avoid a coming stab in his back similar his stab in the back of  Erbakan.

I fully agree with the author:

The U.S. support for the Kurds is part of the creation of  the New Middle East “to carve out a Kurdistan in the region, which would become a client-state of Israel; thus providing the Zionist regime with an effective proxy army against its Arab enemies” 

If Turkey is to emerge as a strong regional power, not EMPIRE , Turkey have to leave “the Zionist axis and find a solution to the Kurdish question in conjunction with Syria and Russia” 

 

Turkey’s New Role: From NATO Lapdog to Emerging Empire?

Global Research, September 03, 2016
Gearóid Ó Colmáin 31 August 2016
nato-turkey

The recent Turkish coup attempt marks a turning point in NATO’s war on Syria. An emerging empire and portal to the orient, Turkey has always played a key role in NATO’s ‘Drang Nach Osten’- the drive to encircle Russia, destroy its client-states Syria and Ukraine, and serve as a bulwark against other emerging powers such as Iran. But now it seems Turkey may no longer be carrying out its designated role.

That the United States was behind the coup attempt there is little doubt, though some prominent analysts such as Thierry Meyssan disagree that the coup was orchestrated by Gülenists. Fethullah Gülen is known to be close to the CIA and the U.S. obmutescence during the coup was typical of standard procedure during U.S. covert regime change operations. While Erdoğan is unquestionably a war criminal who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Syria and Libya and heavy repression at home, nonetheless, as in the case of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the Turkish leader seems to have fallen out of favour in the West.

The media have already begun the predictable, clichéd demonisation process –  publishing pictures of the Turkish incumbent’s opulent palaces etc. Turkey desperately needs a new, progressive regime, which would contribute to peace in the Middle East. But if the choice is between a monster the CIA wants out and a monster the CIA wants in, the latter is the best option as it weakens U.S. imperialism.

Thanks to Ming-yen Hsu - https://www.flickr.com/photos/myhsu/. Used under Creative Commons. No modifications have been made.

Turkey’s strategic imperatives

Stratfor director George Friedman claims Turkey is now a world power whose military is more powerful than the French or British. The U.S. strategy for Europe was to force Turkish entry into the EU – most recently through weapons of mass migration. The policy worked in Turkey’s favour. But the British decision to exit the European Union changed the balance of power. Moscow took the opportunity to extend the hand of friendship once more to Ankara. Just before the July 19th  coup attempt, there were reports of a possible détente between Turkey and Syria.

U.S./Turkish relations have soured considerably since 2013 when U.S.-based billionaire Fethullah Gülen fomented the Gezi Park protest movement against the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regime. Though there was certainly popular discontent in the country with Erdoğan’s Islamisation policies and his support for terrorism in Syria, the Gezi Park protests were really about pushing Gülen’s attempt to destabilise the regime and take over. Fethullah Gülen is the founder of a vast empire of private prep schools throughout the world. He promotes an extremist form of Islam.

Though originally close to Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), Gülen’s movement Hizmat (service) is less nationalist and therefore more amenable to U.S./Zionist interests. The Gülenist network operates as a fifth column in Turkey, a para-state operating at the highest levels of the military, intelligence and judicial apparatuses. I was asked by Russian state media RT to comment on the Turkish shooting down of a Russian jet in November 2015. I said then that the Turkish government was acting against the national interest. It has since transpired that the attack was carried out by Gülenist military personnel who have been prosecuted for the crime. President Erdoğan recently apologised to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the attack. In fact, Turkey had indicated on July 13ththat it intended to normalise relations with Syria, thus ending the war against Assad.  Contacts between Ankara and Damascus have been growing in recent months and it now looks like Russia and Turkey may have begun to mend relations. Southstream, Russia’s plan to pipe oil to Europe through Turkey, had to be abandoned last year due to U.S. pressure on Ankara. There is now a possibility of renegotiation recommencing between Moscow and Ankara. Recent Turkish/Iranian contacts also indicate that the Kurdish question is forcing Ankara to re-calibrate its foreign policy.

Although secret talks have reportedly been taking place between Ankara and Damascus, the two countries remain at war in Syria and there is no change yet in the official position of either state.

The geopolitical theories of Greek turkologist Dmitiry Kitsikis have had a major influence on Turkish foreign policy. Kitsikis is famous for promoting the notion of Turkey as a civilisation-state which naturally encompasses the region stretching from North Africa, through the Balkans and Eastern Europe; Kitsikis refers to this as the ‘Intermediate Region’. Turkey’s previous ‘good neighbourly’ policy seemed to be in accordance with  Kitsikian geopolitics but was sabotaged by Ankara’s treacherous collaboration with U.S. chaos strategy in the Middle East since the U.S.- fomented ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011.

U.S. policy towards Turkey has always been to support the regime as a strong regional power to wield against Russia while at the same time supporting the Kurdish YPG (people’s defense units) in Syria. U.S. support for the Kurds is part of the long-term geopolitical remodeling of the region – the creation of what former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice at the start of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in 2011 referred to as the “New Middle East”. The U.S. and Israel want to carve out a Kurdistan in the region, which would become a client-state of Israel; thus providing the Zionist regime with an effective proxy army against its Arab enemies –  once the Da’esh-fomented genocide has created the requisite Lebensraum.

Erdoğan’s ambitions of reviving the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East ultimately threaten U.S. hegemony. The United States Navy rules the waves. The U.S. will not allow another major maritime power to threaten its global control. Rapid economic growth and the paying off of its IMF debt in 2013 have seen Turkey emerge more and more as a strategic regional power with increasing independence and political assertiveness. Turkish investment in Africa has increased more than ten-fold since 2000. The Turks  have opened embassies all over Africa. Ankara is selling the notion of ‘virtuous power’ in Africa with infrastructural development projects and investments designed to compete with China and the United States. Turkish involvement in Somalia has turned the East African nation into a veritable client-state of the emerging Turkish Empire. In 2015 Turkey opened a military base in Somalia. Turkey will henceforth have a strategic reach in the Gulf of Aden, one of the most important oil choke-points in the world. Ankara also has plans to establish military bases in Azerbaijan, Qatar and Georgia.

The Turkish regime has been attempting to oust the presence of the Gülenist movement in many African countries by offering to supply  state funds for education programmes. A recent statement by a Turkish government spokesman alluded to Ankara’s desire to counter Western ‘neo-colonial’ interests in Africa. The statement clearly shows that Turkey intends to join the new ‘scramble for Africa’ as part of neo-ottoman imperialism.

Turkey in Central Asia and China

Turkey has considerable power and influence in Central Asia where many Turkic-speaking people reside. In 2009, Turkey helped found the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States.  Turkish investment has been increasing in Central Asia. Ankara has also been training military personnel in Central Asian states.  The oil-rich Turkmenistan is one nation which has received visits in recent years from the ‘Sublime Porte’. During its spat with Moscow, Ankara sought to deepen ties with Turkmenistan in hopes of enticing that state to participate in the Trans-Caspian Pipeline – a project to pipe gas from the Caspian Sea through Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe, thereby bypassing Russia. Turkey also has considerable influence in Turkic speaking regions of the Russian Federation such as Tartarstan. Though relations with Moscow have now improved, Ankara’s links in Central Asia remain key strategic levers in the renaissance of Turkish imperialism.

Turkey’s links with Uighur terrorists in China’s troubled Xinjiang (East Turkestan) province has led to diplomatic rows with Beijing. Many of the Uighur terrorists operating against China have been trained and facilitated by Turkey in Syria. Although Turkey’s support for Uighur terrorists in Xinjiang complies with NATO policy towards China, it shows once again the potential reach of Turkish power.

Turkey’s drive for world power status, together with the decline of Europe as a political entity, means that Ankara will continue to flex its muscles in the international arena. The French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said that Turkey is no longer a reliable partner in NATO’s fight against the Islamic State. Of course, Ankara was never a partner in the war against the Islamic State as the Turkish regime has been arming and training the Islamic State terrorists along with its NATO partners and has been caught in flagrante delicto on several occasions. But what the French Foreign Minister’s remarks mean is that Turkey may no longer be as sanguine in its support for terrorism in Syria, due to the West’s support for the Kurds; rapprochement with Moscow and Damascus, and now more than ever after the failed U.S.-backed coup attempt.

Israel’s double game

The situation is further complicated by Israel’s stance towards the Turkish coup attempt and its aftermath. The Turkish regime thanked Israel for its help quashing the coup. Relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara have improved, in spite of the current dispute with Washington. One should not overlook the fact that, although the Israeli Lobby exerts considerable control over U.S. foreign policy, Israel often adopts a friendlier attitude to many of America’s so-called enemies. Israel’s relationship with Belarus has always been generally good, in spite of repeated U.S. aggression. Israel’s relationship with Azerbaijan  has been good, in spite of major diplomatic rows with the U.S..

Israeli/Russian relations are far better than Moscow’s relationship with Washington. Israel has always had a more nuanced oriental policy than the U.S. The Israelis are masters at playing both sides off each other in international conflicts. During the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein’s regime while Israel eventually provided Israel covert supplies of weapons to  Iran with on U.S. approval. The Israelis had established ties with Iranian fifth columnists Mir-Hossein Moussavi and Hachemi Rafsanjani. The aforementioned Stratfor director George Friedman has said that the Iran/Iraq war would be a template for dealing with the rise of Turkey as a world power.

A rising maritime power in trouble?

Turkey will pay dearly for the folly of abandoning its ‘good neighbourly’ regional policy, which showed some promise until 2011. It had a glorious opportunity then to exercise ‘virtuous power’. Now the country could be facing civil war. The purge of Gülenists in the Turkish regime has already led to hundreds of arrests of top military and government personnel. If Turkey is to emerge as a regional empire, it will have to leave the Zionist axis and find a solution to the Kurdish question in conjunction with Syria and Russia. It is currently beginning to appear that  previous secret plans agreed upon by Ankara and Paris to carve out a Kurdish state in Northern Syria may have to be abandoned. As the French escalate bombing of Raqqa in Syria in the wake of the Nice terrorist psyops, Turkey could be facing an acute state of emergency.

The United States cannot tolerate the emergence of a major maritime power like Turkey which, since the Cold War, has been used as a tool against Russia. Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase holds up to 80 percent of Washington’s nuclear arsenal in Europe. A significant oriental shift in Ankara’s  foreign policy would signal the end of America’s prospects of ‘full spectrum dominance’, creating the conditions for a new imperial division of the world- a geopolitical reconfiguration some might imagine as falling in with conjectures of a Moscow/Constantinople axis or, in mytho-historical terms, a ‘Third Rome’.

It is possible that the U.S. already sees that a reconfiguration of imperialist alliances is necessary with the influential former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski advocating a détente in U.S. relations with Russia and China. What is clear from recent events in Turkey is that the world imperialist system is going through seismic changes, with old military alliances breaking down and new configurations of imperial power emerging.  What prospect exist for global,working-class liberation in a period of deepening capitalist crisis and war remain to be seen.

Two Birds with One Stone: US ‘Sacrifices’ Its Kurdish Allies in Syria

Source

August 31, 2016

Kurdish forces in Syria

A Sputnik report

By sacrificing its Kurdish allies in northern Syria, Washington wants to mend relations with Ankara and prevent Turkey from strengthening its ties with Moscow, thus far killing two birds with one stone, expert on Middle Eastern affairs Jean Perier believes.

Washington’s Kurdish allies in Syria have become the US’ bargaining chip in negotiations with Ankara, according to Jean Perier, an independent researcher and expert on Middle Eastern affairs.

“By throwing the Kurds under the bus, the White House has not only solved the problem of mending its relations with Turkey by preventing Ankara from strengthening its ties of friendship with Moscow. It has also significantly reduced the intensity of Ankara’s demands to extradite the self-exiled cleric Muhammed Fethullah Gülen by making this matter a purely legal question and thus facilitating Joe Biden’s mission in Turkey,” Perier writes in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

The expert underscores that the Russo-Turkish rapprochement, accelerated by the attempted coup in Turkey, has not gone unnoticed by Washington.

Furthermore, Ankara’s statement that the Syrian conflict cannot be resolved without Russia has obviously hit the Obama’s administration raw nerve. To add more fuel to the fire, it was announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin may visit Ankara on August 31.

“Under these circumstances, Washington has decided to go all-in with a bid to mend its relations with Ankara by sacrificing its new-found Kurdish friends,” Perier underscores.

This is apparently why Washington sent influential Vice President Joseph Biden, not Secretary of State John Kerry, to mend ties with the Erdogan government.

As a result, Turkey launched a ground offensive against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) on August 24 with Washington’s “blessing” and assistance in northern Syria.

However, Western media sources called attention to the fact that amid its anti-Daesh campaign the Turkish armed forces targeted the Kurdish People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) fighters and demanded that they return from the Syrian town of Manbij to the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

Turkish President Erdogan’s motivation is understandable: he wants to prevent the Kurds from creating an independent entity in northern Syria, along the Turkish border.

The YPG “has been Washington’s most effective proxy in the fight against Islamic State in Syria. Its fighters-ethnic Kurds, Arabs and Yazidis are doing the bulk of the fighting. Without them, Islamic State [Daesh] would have seized northern Syria long ago, posing an even larger risk to Turkey,” the Wall Street Journal highlighted Wednesday.

However, Joe Biden has made it clear for the Kurds that they have to abide by the order to move back to the eastern bank of the Euphrates river, otherwise Washington would leave them out in the cold.

“As for Syria’s Kurds who Washington previously used to achieve its goals in the Middle East, they have become a bargaining chip that the White House is willing to sacrifice. Once the Kurds have fulfilled their role, their interests can easily be neglected by the US with Washington preferring to restore its ties with Ankara instead,” Perier remarks.

The question then arises how the US will continue its military operation in northern Syria without the Kurdish YPG fighters.

Commenting on the matter, expert in Middle Eastern affairs Leonid Isaev of the Higher School of Economic told Svodobnaya Pressa that following the liberation of Manbij it was expected that the US-backed Kurdish militants would move to Afrin through the Syrian town of al-Bab.

“Now that the US pressured the YPG into leaving Manbij, it is most likely that the northern Syria will be divided into “spheres of influence” with the US’ brokering. It is of great importance for Americans to prevent large-scale clashes between their allies [in the region]. I believe that the United States will continue maneuvering between the Turks and the Kurds while trying to maintain relations with both,” Isaev suggested.

However, citing American and European volunteers fighting alongside the YPG, Svobodnaya Pressa noted that by backing the Turkish-led advance in northern Syria Washington has “spit in the face of the Kurds.”

“Although today Washington was ‘bearing gifts’ to Ankara at the expense of Syria’s Kurds, tomorrow any other ‘strategic partner’ of the White House may find itself in the shoes of those forsaken Peshmerga fighters,” Perier warns.

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Turkey Invades Northern Syria — Truth of Turkish “Coup” Revealed?

August 25, 2016 (The New Atlas) – Syria’s conflict has escalated into dangerous new territory as Turkish military forces cross the Turkish-Syrian border in an attempt to annex the Syrian city of Jarabulus. The operation includes not only Turkish military forces, but also throngs of Western-backed militants who will likely be handed control of the city before expanding operations deeper into Syria against Syrian government forces.

With the beginning of the operation, aimed allegedly at seizing the city from militants of the so-called Islamic State as well as preventing the city from falling into the hands of advancing US-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara’s move has made several things clear about the current geopolitical dimensions of the ongoing regional conflict.

The “US-Backed” July Coup Was Likely Staged 

First, with US warplanes providing close air support  for Turkish operations, claims by Ankara that the US was behind an attempted coup in July appear to have been fabrications and the coup itself likely staged.

US Vice President Joseph Biden made an official visit to Turkey just this week in what was the highest level visit by a US representative since the attempted coup in July. Vice President Biden discussed bilateral relations and joint US-Turkish military cooperation.

Reuters in its report, “With Biden visit, U.S. seeks balance with truculent Turkey,” would claim:

Biden, who visited Latvia on Tuesday, will look to show support with Turkey, while raising concern about the extent of the crackdown, according to officials. Turkey will press its case for Gulen’s extradition.

“The vice president will also reaffirm that the United States is doing everything we can to support Turkey’s ongoing efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt while ensuring the rule of law is respected during the process,” a senior Obama administration official told reporters, briefing ahead of Biden’s visit on condition of anonymity.

It is difficult to believe that Fethullah Gülen could have orchestrated a violent military coup while residing in the United States without the explicit approval and support of the United States government. Thus, for the US to “hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt” would require the identification and detainment of those Americans who were involved.

Regarding US joint operations with Turkey specifically, the BBC in its article, “Syria Jarablus: Turkish tanks roll into northern Syria,” would report:

An unnamed senior US official in Washington told BBC News before the start of the Turkish operation that it was “partly to create a buffer against the possibility of the Kurds moving forward”.

“We are working with them on that potential operation: our advisers are communicating with them on the Jarablus plan.

“We’ll give close air support if there’s an operation.”

It would be likewise difficult to believe that Turkey truly suspected the US of an attempted decapitation of the nation’s senior leadership in a violent, abortive coup just last month, only to be conducting joint operations with the US inside Syria with US military forces still based within Turkish territory.

What is much more likely is that the coup was staged to feign a US-Turkish fallout, draw in Russia and allow Turkey to make sweeping purges of any elements within the Turkish armed forces that might oppose a cross-border foray into Syria, a foray that is now unfolding.

Anthony Cartalucci, a Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst would note in a July 18 piece titled, “Turkey’s Failed Coup: “A Gift from God” or from Washington?,” that:

…the coup was staged – not against Turkey – but in part by it, with the help of not only the United States, but also Gulen’s political faction. It will represent a 21st century “Reichstag fire” leading to a 21st century “Hitlerian purge,” removing the last remaining obstacles to President Erdogan and the corrosive institutions he has constructed in their collective bid to seize absolute power over Turkey. 

And quite to the contrary of those changes one would expect Turkey to make if truly the US engineered this coup to oust, not abet Erdogan, Turkey is very likely to double down on hostility toward neighboring Syria and its allies.

With Turkey now moving into northern Syria, backing militant forces that will go on to fight Syrian forces and prolong the conflict from a new forward base of operations inside Syria and with NATO protection, this is precisely what has now happened.

Building Long-Desired Militant Safe-Havens 

The crossing of Syria’s border constitutes the fulfilment of longstanding plans predating both the Kurdish offensive and the rise of the Islamic State.

The plans laid by Washington and its regional allies seek to establish a buffer zone or “safe-haven” within Syrian territory unassailable by Syrian forces from which Western-backed militants can launch operations deeper into Syrian territory. Currently, these operations are launched from Turkish territory itself.

With militants being incrementally pushed out of Aleppo and Syrian forces making advances everywhere west of the Euphrates River, it appears that the US is attempting to use Kurdish forces to annex eastern Syria while Turkey’s latest move is aimed at finally creating a long-desired northern safe-haven in order to prevent a full collapse of fighting within the country.

British special forces, meanwhile, are reportedly in southern Syrian attempting to carve out a similar haven for militants along Jordan and Iraq’s borders with Syria.

The participation of US airpower in the ongoing operation also makes clear the lack of strategic and political depth of US loyalty to its supposed Kurdish allies, a betrayal in motion even as Kurdish forces are being marshalled and directed against Syrian forces by the US in eastern Syria.

Plans for such safe-havens were disclosed as early as 2012, with US policymakers in a Brookings Institution paper titled, “Assessing Options for Regime Change,” stating (our emphasis):

An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under [Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s] leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.

This is now precisely what is being created, starting in Jarabulus, and likely to extend westward toward Azaz, directly north of the contested Syrian city of Aleppo. Since 2012, various pretexts have been invented, abandoned and then revisited in order to justify a cross-border operation like the one now unfolding.

Creating a Pretext — Staged Terror Attack Was an Option 

This included Ankara itself plotting attacks on its own territory to look like cross-border terrorism that could be used as impetus for the creation of a Turkish-controlled Jarabulus-Azaz corridor.

The International Business Times in a 2014 article titled, “Turkey YouTube Ban: Full Transcript of Leaked Syria ‘War’ Conversation Between Erdogan Officials,” would reveal the details of a transcript in which Turkish leadership contemplated staging just such an attack:

Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”

Hakan Fidan: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: “Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”

Yaşar Güler: “It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”

It may just be a coincidence that a similar provocation unfolded just ahead of the current Turkish cross-border operation. The New York Times in its article, “Wedding Bombing is the Latest in a Series of Deadly Terror Attacks in Turkey,” would detail the provocation now being cited for Turkey’s current operation:

A bombing on Saturday night at a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep, a Turkish town near the Syrian border, was one of the deadliest in a string of terrorist attacks that have struck Turkey. Since June 2015, Kurdish and Islamic State militants have staged at least 15 major attacks across Turkey, killing more than 330 people.

Thus, Turkey’s government and a complicit Western media have helped place the blame equally on both the Islamic State and Kurdish militants ahead of the now ongoing cross-border operation.

The above mentioned BBC article would also note:

Turkey has vowed to “completely cleanse” IS from its border region, blaming the group for a bomb attack on a wedding that killed at least 54 people in Gaziantep on Saturday.

In the aftermath of the July coup, many were hopeful Turkey would realign itself geopolitically and play a more constructive and stabilising role in the region.

Instead, while citing the threat of the Islamic State and Kurdish forces along its border, a threat that its own collusion with US and Persian Gulf States since 2011 helped create, Turkey has decisively helped move forward a crucial part of US plans to dismember Syria and move its campaign of North African and Middle Eastern destabilisation onward and outward.

The response by Syria and its allies in the wake of Turkey’s cross-border foray has so far been muted. What, if any actions could be taken to prevent the US and its allies from achieving their plans remain to be seen.

While the toppling of the government in Damascus looks unlikely at the moment, the Balkanisation of Syria was a secondary objective always only ever considered by US policymakers as a mere stop gap until eventually toppling Damascus as well. Conceding eastern and parts of northern Syria to US-led aggression will only buy time.

The New Atlas is a media platform providing geopolitical analysis and op-eds. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Turkey on the Way to Exit NATO: No Reasons to Stay

Turkey on the Way to Exit NATO: No Reasons to Stay

PETER KORZUN | 22.08.2016

Turkey on the Way to Exit NATO: No Reasons to Stay

The question of Turkey exiting NATO is hot on the agenda. The recent emergency statement on the issue shows it’s a probable prospect.

The relationship between Turkey and the West has recently deteriorated. Turkey has been angered by what it sees as lukewarm condemnation by its Western allies of the abortive July 15-16 putsch against President Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government. The relationship has soured to the point when Ankara’s NATO membership is questioned. In an outburst following NATO’s perceived lack of backing after the failed coup, foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened Turkey would «think of exit» if NATO did not step up to defend the country.

The latest example of deteriorating relations is the row over Turkish Vice Admiral Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu who served as assistant chief of staff, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk. Turkey issued an arrest warrant for Ugurlu on charges that he is affiliated with the Gulenist movement. Ankara asked NATO to terminate his posting and return him to Turkey. The Vice Admiral has applied for asylum in the United States and is now apparently missing. Turkey says Ugurlu has vital information on Gulenist subversive activities in Turkey and finds it hard to accept that he simply disappeared.

Turkey says military units that are part of NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps-Turkey were involved in the coup attempt on July 15. It makes Ankara suspect that NATO had a role to play.

It has been reported that many officers involved had served long stints in NATO and were identified with strong pro-Western views.

Many Turkish media outlets believe that NATO was aware of the plot.

Suleyman Soylu, Turkey’s labor minister openly suggested that the US was behind the attempted takeover.

Prime Minister Binali Yidlirim put it bluntly threatening to go to war with ‘any’ country that supports Fethullah Gulen – a direct reference to the United States.

Hurriyet Daily News reported:

«Anti-Americanism and Western skepticism are common phenomena among Turks. It is not limited to certain segments of the society. One would be surprised to see the intensity of anti-Americanısm and Euroskepticism among the educated elites, even the Western educated ones.» According to the newspaper, a «surprising level of anger and frustration felt against first Americans and then Europeans by the residents of Ankara».

The recently published photo of the US Ambassador’s plot leaders, has caused great concern in Turkey. It was made a day before the coup.

Many Turks are taking the US refusal to extradite Gulen as evidence of complicity in a Gulenist insurrection plot. Muhammed Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic cleric blamed by the Turkish government for masterminding the abortive coup. Turkey has requested the United States to deport him but to no avail.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan actually gave the United States an ultimatum, demanding the extradition.

The US has repeatedly refused to hand over the cleric, saying that Turkey would need to provide «evidence, not allegations» against Gulen in order to have him extradited. Erdogan said the US would eventually have to choose between its relationship with Turkey and Fethullah Gulen.

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that exploiting the coup to crack down on its detractors and undermine its democracy could cost Turkey its NATO membership.

If Kerry’s remarks are meant to sound a warning, they are falling on deaf ears in Turkey where a campaign against Turkey’s NATO membership is also gaining steam.

Indeed, the coup attempt has greatly complicated the Turkey-NATO ties, already aggravated by the Syrian crisis, the migrants’ problem, the differences over how to fight the Islamic State, the Kurdistan Workers Party, and the issue of human rights. The idea of NATO membership appears to lose attractiveness in Turkey.

Turkey will «conduct its own independent foreign policy»said Umit Yardim, Turkey’s ambassador to Russia, after a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on August 9.

 «In no way can NATO limit our contacts with other countries… It means NATO has no right to dictate its terms and tell us who we should or should not meet and communicate with», the ambassador emphasized.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu pointed out that Turkey has options outside of NATO when it comes to defense cooperation.

He said that Turkey and Russia will look to establish a joint military, intelligence, and diplomatic mechanism. «Turkey wanted to cooperate with NATO members up to this point»,the minister said. «But the results we got did not satisfy us. Therefore, it is natural to look for other options».

It should be noted that Russia, not a NATO member state, was the first country to be visited by Turkish President after the failed coup.

With relations between Washington and Ankara worsening, the United States has started moving nuclear weapons from Turkey, allegedly to Romania.

During the failed coup in Turkey in July, Incirlik’s power was cut, and the Turkish government prohibited US aircraft from flying in or out. Eventually, the Turkish base commander was arrested and implicated in the coup. Now the US control over the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is questioned.

It has gone far enough to put into doubt the Lockheed Martin F-35 program.

Turkey has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters. Losing 100 F-35 orders as well as a reasonably large industrial partner would doubtless push the costs of the F-35 program through the roof.

If Turkey leaves NATO, its security will not weaken much. Recently, Ankara has mended fences with Russia and Israel returning to the policy of zero problems with the neighbors. Exiting NATO will not give rise to any serious disadvantages. Article 5 of the Washington Treaty envisions the support of other NATO member countries in the case of external aggression. The response measures are left at the discretion of member states – it can be a mere diplomatic note of support without providing any real aid. NATO never exercised Article 5 in cases of Turkey clashing with other states, despite Turkish attempts to initiate the process. Besides, Turkey has a larger military and higher defence spending than any one of its neighbors or its NATO allies, with the exception of the US. Its defense capabilities may even increase as the country will be under no pressure to sign deals with non-NATO states to enhance them. For instance, NATO made Turkey reject a lucrative deal with China to enhance air defenses.

NATO failed to offer anything to compensate the loss.

The territorial dispute between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea and Turkey’s support for Northern Cyprus has traditionally spoiled relations between Turkey and NATO. NATO countries support the Kurds in Syria and have even used the above-mentioned Incirlik airbase to support Kurdish YPG units. Turkey itself considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization. Thus, Incirlik – a Turkish military base – is used to support an organization that allegedly supports separatist movements inside Turkey.

Actually, there are no objective reasons for Turkey to remain in NATO.

If Turkey quits, the alliance will suffer as a result. As mentioned above, Turkey has the second biggest military in NATO after the US. It has commanded the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan twice and has sent thousands of troops to serve under the NATO flag in multiple military operations in the Balkans, Syria and Libya. The western Turkish port city of Izmir hosts one of the five NATO headquarters, which is responsible for coordinating major operations of land-based forces. Izmir is also hosts an important US military airport.

With no bases – five major military facilities – in Turkey, the consequences for out-of-Europe operations will be grave. NATO’s advanced radar systems in Kurecik, in eastern Turkey, deployed under its ballistic missile defense program, hardly meet Turkey’s interests, but are important for the alliance. NATO was keen to conduct military exercises in the Black Sea and was pressurizing Turkey for a permanent presence there, something Ankara opposes. The Black Sea presence concept cannot be implemented without Turkey.

Turkey serves as the linchpin to America’s security strategy in the Middle East and the Balkans based on its geography and longstanding alliance with the United States. The fight against Islamic State (IS) will become more challenging. NATO former Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis explained in a Foreign Policy article that

Turkey has been critical to «virtually every NATO operation with significant impact: training Afghan Security Forces and leading coalition efforts in the central district, including Kabul; sending ships and aircraft to Libya; participating in counterpiracy operations; maintaining a steady presence in the security and peacekeeping force in the Balkans».

Moreover, according to Stavridis Turkey has

an «enormous ability» to influence events,«from the Islamic State to Syria; Israel to oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean; responding to radical Islam to stability in Egypt».

All in all, it proves that Turkey is a major NATO asset; indeed, it’s been more of a benefactor than benefiter from the alliance.

If some foreign power is proven to have been involved in the attempt to overthrow the Turkish government, Ankara will be forced to radically reconsider its geopolitical alignment. Out of NATO, Turkey could play a balancing role between the Atlantic and Eurasia, arguing that it was patently clear NATO did not serve Turkey’s interests anymore. Ankara may also attempt to shift its geopolitical stance in favor of integration into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and enhanced cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union. If one considers the two presidents’ meeting in the context of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s recent visit to Ankara and the summit held between the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran in Baku, then it is understandable that what is at stake is not merely the restoration of pre-crisis relations, but a powerful step forward towards incorporating Turkey into Eurasian integration processes and its future accession to the SCO, where Turkey already has an observer status.

Turkey is a major Eurasian power. Its integration into the Eurasian system acquires greater significance as the relations with NATO worsen. Further progress on the way to integration will facilitate the dialogue between the Eurasian powers and Turkey and strengthen Ankara’s position with regard to the West in general. One way or another, the clock appears to be ticking on the waning hours of the once great military alliance.


كلينتون وكيلة غولن وشريكة بترايوس والانقلاب التركي – النصرة طالبان سورية وليست القاعدة؟

ناصر قنديل
– تتقاطع جملة من المعلومات الوافدة من واشنطن لترسم مشهداً عن الاضطراب الأميركي قبيل الدخول في نهايات حرب القرن الحادي والعشرين التي كانت حرب الإمبراطورية العظمى الحالمة بحكم العالم، منذ سقوط جدار برلين وبدء حملة أوروبا التي قادها بيل كلينتون إلى حملة آسيا التي قادها جورج بوش وانتهاء بثنائية الاتحاد الأوروبي والعثمانية الجديدة لحصار روسيا والصين وإيران وإسقاط سورية قبيل الانسحاب من أفغانستان، والتي قادها باراك اوباما.

– يسلم الأميركيون على اختلاف مقارباتهم، وتنوّع ولاءاتهم وحساباتهم بفشل مشروع الأحادية القطبية في حكم العالم، ويبدو خير دليل على ذلك، الحال الانتخابية التي يعيشها الحزب الجمهوري المفترض وفقاً لثنائية الاستقطاب والتداول التي يقوم عليها النظام الأميركي، أن يرث الحزب الديمقراطي بخيارات أشد تطرفاً، فيعجز عن تقديم نموذج لمرشح متماسك ويصير سقف ما يقدّمه هو دونالد ترامب المضطرب والمرتبك والفاقد سياسة منسجمة، حتى صار التسليم لدى نخب الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي بأن المرشحة الديمقراطية هلاري كلينتون هي الرئيس الأميركي المقبل، بما ترمز إليه من تقاطع تطلعات نخب الحزبين، عند التسليم بحقيقة فشل الحروب، والعجز عن كسبها مجدداً، وتجنب المغامرة بخوضها، والسعي حصراً لرفع سقوف التفاوض مع الشركاء الجدد الذين كانوا خصوم الأمس، وتحديداً الثلاثي الآسيوي الروسي الصيني الإيراني، الذي سيرث أفغانستان مع الانسحاب الأميركي منها.

– تمثل هيلاري كلينتون سقف تطلعات المعترضين على ما يصفونها بتنازلات باراك اوباما أمام روسيا وإيران خصوصاً، وبالتوازن مع روسيا وإيران يتحدد حجم الدور الأميركي في النظام العالمي الجديد، وحجم حلفاء واشنطن وخصوصاً السعودية و«إسرائيل»، في النظام الإقليمي الجديد، وتأتي كلينتون المتقلبة من تأييد حروب جورج بوش إلى وراثة فشلها، ومن تأييد الحرب على سورية وخسارة وزارة الخارجية بسبب التمسك بشنها، إلى التسليم بالعجز عن ذلك، ومن مناوأة التفاهم على الملف النووي مع إيران إلى اعتباره أفضل الممكن، لتشكل نموذج الانتهازية السياسية التي تبحث عنها واشنطن هذه الأيام، كما يبحث عنها حلفاء واشنطن، فكيف وأنها من نوعيات السياسيين الذي تؤثر المصالح المالية الشخصية في مواقفهم، والذين يطبع الفساد تاريخهم، ويتضمن سجلهم ملفات جرمية مالية مثبتة مثل دور كلينتون ومكتبها في فضائح ملف الفيفا وتسمية قطر لاستضافة الأولمبياد، وملفات جرمية أشد سواداً مثل دورها الموثق في تسليم الأسلحة الكيميائية لجبهة النصرة عبر السفارة الأميركية في بنغازي، لتبرير شن الحرب على سورية.

– شكلت كلينتون مع ديفيد بترايوس يوم كان رئيساً للمخابرات الأميركية ثنائي الحرب على سورية، وتشكل اليوم مع وزير الدفاع أشتون كارتر ثنائي اللعب والعبث في الوقت المتبقي من ولاية أوباما، لوضع رؤوس جسور تتناسب مع معادلة تخفيض سقف التنازلات، في مضمون التفاهمات، لحفظ أحجام أعلى في النظام العالمي الجديد، بوجه روسيا خصوصاً، وحجم مماثل للسعودية و«إسرائيل» في النظام الإقليمي بوجه إيران خصوصاً، وتشكل جبهة النصرة حصان الرهان الوحيد للمهمتين.وهذا هو التفسير الذي تقدمه صحف أميركية كبرى، للتغيير المفاجئ في وضعية النصرة وتسميتها، كما قالت واشنطن بوست، وللصاروخ الذي أسقط الطوافة الروسية، المسلّم لجبهة النصرة بموافقة وزارة الدفاع الأميركية، كما قالت نيويورك تايمز، وتاريخ كلينتون مع النصرة من يوم بنغازي والسلاح الكيميائي يقول بما قاله رفيق دربها ديفيد بترايوس عن النصرة كشريك بديل للجيش السوري في الحرب على داعش.

– ينحصر الخلاف داخل الخيارات الأميركية، بين معادلتين تحت سقف الذهاب للتسوية، معادلة يقول بها أوباما ووزير خارجيته جون كيري، إن العبث مع روسيا وإيران بتبني النصرة ورفض تغطية الحرب عليها، سيُحرم واشنطن من فرص الفوز بحرب على داعش، ومنح روسيا وإيران وسورية فرص الفوز بالانفراد في الحربين على داعش والنصرة، من جهة أخرى، وأن مثل هذا العبث يشبه الدعوة لترك روسيا تدخل برلين وحدها، عشية إنزال النورماندي، في نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية، تحت شعار ترك روسيا تواجه النازية وتغرق في الرمال.

والمعادلة المقابلة التي تتبناها كلينتون ومعها كارتر الموعود بالبقاء في وزارته إذا فازت كلينتون ومعهما بترايوس ونخب ديمقراطية وجمهورية، تقوم على أن أفغنة سورية بوجه روسيا وجعلها تدفع أثماناً بمنح النصرة فرص المواجهة والأسلحة المناسبة، يفتح الفرص لتفاوض بشروط مختلفة، وأن حرب الاستنزاف لم تستنفد أغراضها لإنضاج الحل، وأن كون روسيا وإيران متورطتين مباشرة في الحرب، يمنح واشنطن فرصة الاستثمار على الزمن ورفض الاستعجال، وعبر تعديلات في وضعية النصرة يجري العمل عليها يمكن أن تكون شريكاً سورية يشبه طالبان وليس القاعدة، وأن حرباً طويلة في سورية بلا تورّط مباشر على طريقة حرب أفغانستان قبل أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول تمنح واشنطن فرص الحفاظ على توازنات، وأدوار لها ولحلفائها من موقع القوة لا الضعف، وتجعل موسكو وطهران في موقع العرض لا الطلب.

– المخاطرة غير ممكنة بترك الاختبار لهذه السياسة لما بعد نهاية ولاية أوباما، فالزمن متسارع وستكون التفاهمات التي تمّت في موسكو قد أتمّت مفاعيلها وانتهت النصرة، وفازت موسكو وطهران ودمشق بقصب السبق، وإن لم يحدث ذلك وتواصلت الحرب، قد تشكل المغامرة مصدراً لإثبات صحة تحذيرات أوباما وكيري، من دفع لروسيا وطهران وسورية لخوض الحرب بالانفراد، واختلال التوازن لصالح روسيا عالمياً ولصالح حلفائها إقليمياً، لذلك فإن التوقيت الأمثل هو خوض الاختبار قبل ربع الساعة الأخير، أي في ما تبقى من ولاية أوباما ومن قلب إدارته وتحت رايتها، فإن أفلحت دخلت ولاية الرئاسة المقبلة من موقع القوة في التفاهمات، وإن أخفقت شكل سقف ما تبقى من ولاية أوباما فرصة لإنقاذ الموقف والعودة للتفاهمات.

– حديث وزير الدفاع الأميركي عن جبهة الجنوب وما يعنيه من صلة بنشر وحدات من النصرة المعدّلة تحت شعار الحرب على داعش على حدود الجولان وتوفير الغطاء لها، وما يحدث في شمال سورية من حرب ضروس تخوضها جبهة النصرة بوجه روسيا وسورية وإيران وحزب الله، في ظل موقف أميركي متلعثم، وتشجيع سعودي «إسرائيلي» مباشرين، يكشف الحلقة المفقودة في اختبارات كلينتون، وهي تركيا، السند الذي لا غنى عنه لمثل هذه المخاطرة. وهنا تحضر الرواية الخطيرة التي تتحدث عنها تقارير استخبارية تركية وروسية، حول دور تولاه الجنرال ديفيد بترايوس في تدبير الانقلاب في تركيا بعدما قررت الاستدارة نحو موسكو، والتيقن من فشل الرهان على النصرة، والتموضع على ما أسماه الأتراك بخط تطبيع العلاقات. وعن علاقة مكتب هيلاري كلينتون للمحاماة بإدارة مصالح فتح الله غولن داخل أميركا وخارجها، وعن دور لقاعدة أنجرليك وقائد المنطقة الوسطى في الجيوش الأميركية، وألغازهما عند بترايوس سيد أنجرليك والمنطقة الوسطى والنصرة معاً، وربما يفسر ذلك إذا صحت الروايات نقاط ضعف الإنقلاب التي تسبّبت بفشله، والتي ربما إذا انكشفت كلياً تتسبب بسقوط فرص كلينتون بمواصلة خوض اختبار ربع الساعة الأخير رغم التمويل السعودي السخي والتشجيع «الإسرائيلي» العلني.

– بنظر متابعين في موسكو ما يجري في شمال سورية وفي واشنطن يعني شيئاً واحداً، وهو أن إدارة أوباما تحولت من الآن بطة عرجاء، وأن التفاهمات تبدو حبراً على ورق لا تملك إدارة أوباما قدرة حمايتها، وليس فقط تنفيذها، ولذلك يبدو ترك الكلمة الفاصلة للميدان السوري بلا حدود وضوابط. هو الطريق الوحيد الذي دعا إليه السوريون والإيرانيون وحزب الله واستمهلتهم موسكو لمنح واشنطن فرص التموضع على خطوط التفاهمات، وتبدو تركيا اليوم بنظر موسكوشريكاً أفضل من واشنطن للتفاهمات، كما تبدو واشنطن القادمة مع كلينتون شريكاً غير جدير بالثقة إلا منزوع الأنياب، وأولها استكمال سحق النصرة، وتأخير روزنامة الحرب على داعش، وترك التفاعلات في العلاقات التركية الأميركية تكشف المستور عن دور كلينتون في الانقلاب.

 

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Is Erdogan Really Severing Ties with the West?

 photo erdogan_zpsoxu7wlyy.jpg

A Penitent Sinner or a ‘Viper Who Can’t Be Trusted’?

Is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan really turning his back on the West? Or is what we’re seeing in the media today all just a charade? And if it’s a charade, what is the purpose of it?

Since the failed Turkish coup, we have seen Erdogan seemingly pivoting away from the US and toward Russia. And as this has been happening, we have also observed certain writers and pundits, including some who in the past have offered reasonable analyses, seemingly begin to reassess their views of the Turkish leader. It is almost as if Erdogan’s support for terrorists who have committed unspeakable horrors in Syria over the past five years is now not worth getting too bothered over–and all because Erdogan now seems to have switched his political alliances.

This is the case in Russian media in particular, but Western commentators have been offering similar views–which is why I wanted to post the following video filmed in Syria shortly after the coup attempt.

The people interviewed are Syrians on the street, who speak of the joy they felt upon first hearing of the coup taking place in Turkey…followed by the disappointment and letdown when news came that it had failed. Well can we understand their feelings. They, more so than anyone, are fully cognizant of the depravities Erdogan has unleashed upon their country.

Clearly these Syrians viewed Erdogan’s potential overthrow as a good thing–as something that could have brought an end to the five-year-long Western-waged proxy war that has plagued their country.

But you can go here and view two analysts interviewed on Press TV, both of them (starting at about 15 minutes into the program) expressing the view that it was a good thing the coup failed; or here to read a Counterpunch article whose author asserts confidently, “The Obama administrations (sic) disregard for the national security interests of its allies, has pushed the Turkish president into Moscow’s camp.” Amazingly, the author of the latter piece completely glosses over atrocities committed in Syria and Erdogan’s support for the terrorists who carried them out.

By contrast, Sheikh Imran Hosein has characterized Turkey as a “Trojan horse.” In a talk given in Kuala Lumpur on July 29 (see video here starting at about 35:38), Hosein gives an analysis of the Turkish coup, offering up the view that “Turkey is being prepared to become the Trojan horse for Russia.” He returns to the subject again at the tail end of the program (1:49:27):

This is not a civil war between Muslims and Muslims. You (Turkey and others who have supported NATO) have left Islam when you joined NATO. And you are proud and happy to be a member of NATO. And now you are becoming NATO’s Trojan horse after the failed coup d’état. He (Erdogan) knew the coup d’état was coming. He knew that Fethullah Gulen was part of it. He knew that NATO was a part of it. He knew all of that. And he knew that the coup was going to fail so that he could have a chance now to wipe out all the opposition there is to him in Turkey, so that Turkey now is strong, without any internal opposition, so that Turkey can now play a strategic role in anticipation of the war against Russia. We are not fools. Erdogan should know we are not fools. And I hope Putin knows that this is a Trojan horse.

Important to note here is that Erdogan is scheduled to visit Russia on August 9 for a meeting with Putin. The Turkish Stream gas pipeline is expected to be one of the topics of conversation. The pipeline would make it possible for the Russian company Gazprom to transport gas to Turkey, via the Black Sea, for export into southern Europe. Talks on the project began in 2014, but were suspended last year after the Turkish downing of a Russian Su-24 jet.

I’m not saying this is absolutely going to happen, but suppose Russia and Turkey were to seal an agreement, and suppose as a result Russia were to invest enormous sums of money into building the pipeline–only to see Turkey, once the pipeline is built, switch its alliance back to NATO and the US?

In the following video, most of the speakers, including the show host Peter Lavelle, take the “penitent sinner” view of Erdogan, seeing him, in other words, as one who has finally seen the error of his ways and who should, provided he meets certain stipulations (like sealing the Turkish-Syrian border to terrorists)  be welcomed back into humanity’s fold. The only member of the panel to take an opposing view is Mark Sleboda, who refers to Erdogan as “a viper who can’t be trusted.”

One of the guests, Dimitry Babich, does make an important point, however, and that is that prior to the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Turkey had been well-thought of and Erdogan himself a respected figure on the world stage. Babich is correct in this. In 2009, at a World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Erdogan castigated then-Israeli President Shimon Peres over the Jewish state’s brutal assault upon Gaza (in Operation Cast Lead), and even quoted Gilad Atzmon in his comments! When the event moderator, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, tried to cut him off, Erdogan angrily got up and walked out of the event.

The episode made international news. Erdogan left Davos and returned home to a hero’s welcome in Turkey. Thousands of people turned out at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul waving Turkish and Palestinian flags. And it wasn’t only people in Turkey who were cheering at that point. A leader of a country–and not just any country, but a member of NATO–had finally told off the Israelis!

The following year, Erdogan’s esteem grew even higher. This was when a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, led a humanitarian effort to break the blockade of Gaza. The Israelis attacked the ship, and killed nine people (a tenth died later), all of them Turks, except for Furkan Dogan, who was Turkish-American.

But starting in 2011, Erdogan changed. He began to align himself with what might conceivably be thought of as the powers of darkness. He gave his support to Zionist attempts at regime change in Syria. In essence it was a declaration of war by Turkey upon its southern neighbor. There was no outward reason for this sudden shift in policy. Relations between Syria and Turkey had been cordial up until this point. Why did Erdogan do it? I don’t know the answer to that, but I am reminded here of the temptation of Christ as told of in the gospels. I’ll quote a bit from the Gospel of Matthew:

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Did the Zionists promise Erdogan “the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” if he would cooperate in the regime change effort in Syria?

Did they promise him a newly-reestablished Ottoman empire in a Middle East with redrawn national boundaries?

Or perhaps fabulous wealth from stolen oil? And is that why US leaders had nothing to say when Turkish troops entered northern Iraq in the latter part of last year? Is it why they still have nothing to say about their presence there now?

Is it also possible this is why they had nothing to say about Turkish support for ISIS–even after Russian surveillance exposed ISIS convoys of stolen oil entering Turkey?

And here is  perhaps the most pertinent question of all: Now that Turkey has carried out a policy of treachery against its Syrian neighbors over the past five years, has it at this time begun to plan a further treachery against Russia?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I’m inclined to agree with Sleboda when he offers the opinion that Erdogan is “a viper who can’t be trusted.”

Another point worth making is that most of Erdogan’s opposition is now jailed, which, as Hosein points out, gives the Turkish leader a much freer hand. This means that should he commit some outrage, against Russia or another country, Turkish civil society will be much less able to mount any sort of effective opposition.

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