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There Is Nothing the Turkish Government Can Do to Stop Isis

The killing by an Islamic State (Isis) gunman of 39 civilians in a nightclub in Istanbul is the latest massacre in Turkey, where such slaughter is now happening every few weeks. The perpetrators may differ but the cumulative effect of these atrocities is to persuade Turks that they live in an increasingly frightening and unstable country. It is also clear that the Turkish government does not know what to do to stop the attacks.

These are likely to continue with unrelenting savagery whatever the government does, because Isis is too big and well-resourced to be eliminated. It is well rooted in Turkey and can use local militants or bring in killers from abroad, as may have happened at the Reina nightclub and was the cae in the assault on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport earlier in the year.

As in France, Belgium or Germany, it is impossible to stop attacks when ordinary civilians are the targets and the killers are prepared to die. Their success is often blamed on “security lapses” but in practice no security will provide safety.

What makes “terrorism” in Turkey different from Europe and the Middle East is not the number of dead – more are killed by Isis in Baghdad every month – but the diversity of those carrying them out. Three weeks ago, the killing of 44 people — mostly policemen — outside a football stadium in Istanbul was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), allegedly an arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey in Ankara on 19 December was blamed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a third group, the followers of Feithullah Gulen, who are held responsible for the failed military coup on 15 July.

All these are powerful groups with thousands of committed members inside and outside Turkey and none of them are going to go out of business soon. The government in Ankara is making the usual noises about tracking these different groups “to their lairs”. but this will be easier said than done. Both Isis and the PKK have established powerful de facto states in Syria and Iraq, something that could only have happened because of Erdogan’s ill-conceived involvement in the Syrian civil war after 2011.

Isis, which once used Turkey as a transit point and a sanctuary, now denounces it as an enemy and has calibrated its assaults to cause maximum divisions. A striking feature of Turkish reaction to the attacks over the last two years is that it has not led to national solidarity but has, on the contrary, provoked pro and anti-Erdogan forces to blame each other for creating a situation in which terrorism flourishes.

There is another menacing aspect of the attack on revellers in a nightclub: it is evidently levelled at seeking the sympathy or support of puritanical Islamists. The Salafist creed is spreading in Turkey and providing fertile soil for Isis cells established over the last few years.

Erdogan makes threats to crush Isis and the Syrian Kurds by advancing further into northern Syria. Turkish forces are close to the Isis stronghold at al-Bab, North-east of Aleppo, but are meeting stiff resistance and suffering significant casualties. For all Erdogan’s tough talk, it is not at all clear what the Turkish army and its local allies hope to achieve in northern Syria where they have few real friends and many dangerous enemies. They are being sucked into a battle which they cannot hope to win decisively.

(Reprinted from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: ISIS, Terrorism, Turkey 
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  1. There are astonishing parallels between what happened in Pakistan/Afghanistan in the 1980s and what is happening in Syria/Turkey now.

    In AfPak in the late 1970s and 1980s, whiskey swilling Paki generals drunk on CIA help and Saudi money fuelled an Afghan rebellion against a Soviet/Russian backed regime in Afghanistan. That regime was toppled but the consequences of this meddling would be felt for several decades. The Islamic extremists nurtured by CIA, Saudi and Pakistan have now infested Pakistan and are destroying that country through continuous attacks. The US also got “hit” on 9/11 and continues to suffer terror attacks abroad and on US soil. Bin Laden himself had been CIA trained.

    In Syria, the main difference is that the Russian backed regime hasn’t and won’t collapse. However, Turkey is likely to suffer lethal consequences of fomenting Islamic extremists in Syria because Saudis and Qataris bribed Erdogan and his “boys” to play this game. The US will also take further hits from this meddling as ISIS is now growing world-wide along with Al Qaeda, which has spread to many countries, including inside the US.

    What is shocking is the hubris of Erdogan in believing that this fomenting of anarchy and slaughter in Syria won’t cause “blowback”. Actually, after the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, I believe it is a matter of time before there is an attempt on Erdogan’s life. It is worth noting that the man who shot the Russian Ambassador was also once part of Erdogan’s security detail. Who is to say how many of Erdogan’s current bodyguards are influenced by ISIS “ideology” and won’t attempt to kill Erdogan himself (who is now regarded by the extremists as a backstabber who joined hands with the Russians and Iranians in Syria)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Geoffrey Chaucer in The Parson's Tale:

    And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.
    , @Truth Watch
    Rubbish!
    Afghanistan was liberated through tremendous sacrifice and unprecedented courage shown by the afghan resitance nad the Pakistani leadership ofn that tiome to stare down a bullying super power, something Turkey has been unable to or unwilling to do. Pakistan is now attacking it own citizens by generals trained in the Musharraf tradition and owned by the US.

    Cockburn writes for Russian and Iranian interests, but fails to mention the heretical and savage sect Assad and his allies, the Lebanese Hizbullah, the Russian air force and intelligence, extremist Shias from Afghanistan and Pakistan recruited during pilgrimage to Iraq by Iranian intelligence , and Iranian generals and their artillery. All of them have committed war crimes against the Syrian people. Instead Cocknburn wants a diversion to not name the real scoundrels
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  2. What is shocking is the hubris of Erdogan in believing that this fomenting of anarchy and slaughter in Syria won’t cause “blowback”

    How is ‘shocking’, when it’s a typical MO of US-managed states? But now it’s ended, so there’s hope after all…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Should be shocking to a rube like yourself, that anyone behaves in this fashion in 2017. Please go to Ankara and Raqqa and explain to them why tribal behavior is problematic and outmoded before it's too late!
  3. Both Isis and the PKK have established powerful de facto states in Syria and Iraq, something that could only have happened because of Erdogan’s ill-conceived involvement in the Syrian civil war after 2011.

    In assessing Erdogan’s personal responsibility and his competence for the historical record, it’s important to remember just how opportunist and voluntary this policy choice was for Erdogan. Granted he was under pressure to act by sunnis and by Turkey-uber-alles types, and undoubtedly by the US regime as well, but he had a clear political justification available to him for imposing a policy of strict, closed border neutrality instead, if he had chosen to do it.

    On the other hand, it’s also important, of course, to remember how different things looked back in 2011, and how inevitable the imminent fall of the Syria government appeared then to almost everyone who knew anything about the situation.

    All these things will likely be viewed differently after the fact, if, as is far from impossible now as a direct result of Erdogan’s policy choices, we see a genuine implosion of Turkey over the next few years. Of course, it’s likely Erdogan won’t be around to see it if it does come to pass, as the most likely trigger would be his own assassination.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    "how inevitable the imminent fall of the Syria government appeared then to almost everyone who knew anything about the situation."

    Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown. If Erdogan didn't know that he wasn't fit to make any kind of decision regarding Syria.
  4. I thought Turkey was tacitly allied with ISIS against Assad. Wasn’t this the nature of the dispute with Russia?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>I thought Turkey was tacitly allied with ISIS against Assad. Wasn’t this the nature of the dispute with Russia?

    Apparently they were. They still may be, but that won't stop them from simultaneously being at war with ISIS.

    There is an old Roman saying, I can't cite the source but I'm sure it's out there, easy to find. The saying goes like this - "Arabs: you want them neither as friends nor enemies."

    Lesson: stay the hell out of Arab politics. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by meddling with Arabs.
  5. @Mao Cheng Ji

    What is shocking is the hubris of Erdogan in believing that this fomenting of anarchy and slaughter in Syria won’t cause “blowback”
     
    How is 'shocking', when it's a typical MO of US-managed states? But now it's ended, so there's hope after all...

    Should be shocking to a rube like yourself, that anyone behaves in this fashion in 2017. Please go to Ankara and Raqqa and explain to them why tribal behavior is problematic and outmoded before it’s too late!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Its the current year, its time to promote gay parades!
  6. @Marcus
    Should be shocking to a rube like yourself, that anyone behaves in this fashion in 2017. Please go to Ankara and Raqqa and explain to them why tribal behavior is problematic and outmoded before it's too late!

    Its the current year, its time to promote gay parades!

    Read More
  7. @Charles Martel
    There are astonishing parallels between what happened in Pakistan/Afghanistan in the 1980s and what is happening in Syria/Turkey now.

    In AfPak in the late 1970s and 1980s, whiskey swilling Paki generals drunk on CIA help and Saudi money fuelled an Afghan rebellion against a Soviet/Russian backed regime in Afghanistan. That regime was toppled but the consequences of this meddling would be felt for several decades. The Islamic extremists nurtured by CIA, Saudi and Pakistan have now infested Pakistan and are destroying that country through continuous attacks. The US also got "hit" on 9/11 and continues to suffer terror attacks abroad and on US soil. Bin Laden himself had been CIA trained.

    In Syria, the main difference is that the Russian backed regime hasn't and won't collapse. However, Turkey is likely to suffer lethal consequences of fomenting Islamic extremists in Syria because Saudis and Qataris bribed Erdogan and his "boys" to play this game. The US will also take further hits from this meddling as ISIS is now growing world-wide along with Al Qaeda, which has spread to many countries, including inside the US.

    What is shocking is the hubris of Erdogan in believing that this fomenting of anarchy and slaughter in Syria won't cause "blowback". Actually, after the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, I believe it is a matter of time before there is an attempt on Erdogan's life. It is worth noting that the man who shot the Russian Ambassador was also once part of Erdogan's security detail. Who is to say how many of Erdogan's current bodyguards are influenced by ISIS "ideology" and won't attempt to kill Erdogan himself (who is now regarded by the extremists as a backstabber who joined hands with the Russians and Iranians in Syria)?

    Geoffrey Chaucer in The Parson’s Tale:

    And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.

    Read More
  8. I fully agree with the article, but I would like to add that the witch hunt on Gulen’s sympathizers and their jailing has deprived the police and the army from experienced elements who were fiercely opposed to extreme Islam.
    To get more votes and satisfy his personal ambitions Erdogan has pushed for more Islamiation of the country, restrictions on drinking, Koranic teachings at school, and pampering Diyanet.
    The result was an increase of the popular vote from rural areas and pious citizens. The drawback is that it has demonized secularism and as a result a large part of Erdogan’s voters have rejoiced at the Reina night club killings
    The country is now polarized: Secular vs Islamist and the president is openly siding with the Islamists.
    Erdogan has tried to take a different approach as he is now fighting ISIS that he has supported previously, but this is too late. ISIS is now turning against him in revenge. Erdogan is trapped in his own making.
    The only solution for Turkey is the replacement of Erdogan by a more balanced leader, like Gul was. The problem is that Erdogan has such a network of blinded worshipers that his replacement may create a violence that the divided police and army cannot control.
    Gulen could represent a good balance between secularism and Islam and could very well play a positive role in country. Erdogan is so worried that Gulen could replace him that he has done all he could to demonize him and remove any chance for Gulen to come back.
    Erdogan is isolated and his party impotent in front of the violence.
    He has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Parbes
    "Gulen could represent a good balance between secularism and Islam....Erdogan...has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country."

    Turkey cannot be restored to being "a secular country" under the likes of Gulen, who is an Islamist of a similar mold to Erdogan. In fact, Erdogan and Gulen were good buddies until just a few years ago; and had been cooperating for at least a quarter of a century before that, as fellow cadres of the same broad anti-secular, Islamist movement, to destroy the remains of the secular order installed in Turkey by the founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk. The falling out between them is SOLELY due to the question of who will have the formal reins of power, whose "organization" will fill the government positions with its own people and control the machinery of state, the military and security forces, etc.

    , @Avery
    {Erdogan is isolated and his party impotent in front of the violence.
    He has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.}


    Erdogan is not isolated from his Islamist voter base.
    His base responded massively when he called them out onto the streets during the half-baked coup attempt. They went out and stopped Turkish military tanks with their bodies and lives. You call that isolation?

    Something unprecedented happened then that had never happened before.
    In previous coups, people may not have been happy, but kept their reverence of Turkey's military.
    This time soldiers were beaten and humiliated.
    High ranking generals were sexually abused in the standard Turk fashion.
    The respect and fear of the Turk military is gone.

    Turkey cannot restore itself, because the Islamist genie is out of the bottle. There has always been an Islamist undercurrent that was artificially suppressed by Kemalism, with the help of US/NATO. The lid was blown off when AKP won and kept winning elections. The Islamist masses in Turkey will never go back under secular rule.

    As Cockburn wrote: "The Salafist creed is spreading in Turkey...."

    ISIS against the Government.
    Sunni Turks against Alevi Turks.
    Kurds against Turks.
    Secular/Kemalist Turks against AKP/Islamist Turks.

    Yeah, sure: Turkey will restore itself alright.
    Any day now.
  9. @SIMPLE
    I thought Turkey was tacitly allied with ISIS against Assad. Wasn't this the nature of the dispute with Russia?

    >>I thought Turkey was tacitly allied with ISIS against Assad. Wasn’t this the nature of the dispute with Russia?

    Apparently they were. They still may be, but that won’t stop them from simultaneously being at war with ISIS.

    There is an old Roman saying, I can’t cite the source but I’m sure it’s out there, easy to find. The saying goes like this – “Arabs: you want them neither as friends nor enemies.”

    Lesson: stay the hell out of Arab politics. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by meddling with Arabs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Nor by letting them move to or settle in your country.
  10. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “As in France, Belgium and Germany it is impossible to stop attacks..”

    They could be REDUCED by ending all Muslim immigration/migrants/ “refugees” etc from settling there. Not one more single person gets in.

    And they could be ENDED by repatriating all other muslims back to their countries of origin. There was no muslim terrorism in these lands when the Muslim population was zero.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEexpert
    By getting the hell out of Middle East. US, Britain, Germany, France, Netherland, Norway, etc. have no business having forces in the Middle East.
  11. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Daniel H
    >>I thought Turkey was tacitly allied with ISIS against Assad. Wasn’t this the nature of the dispute with Russia?

    Apparently they were. They still may be, but that won't stop them from simultaneously being at war with ISIS.

    There is an old Roman saying, I can't cite the source but I'm sure it's out there, easy to find. The saying goes like this - "Arabs: you want them neither as friends nor enemies."

    Lesson: stay the hell out of Arab politics. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by meddling with Arabs.

    Nor by letting them move to or settle in your country.

    Read More
  12. @Virgile
    I fully agree with the article, but I would like to add that the witch hunt on Gulen's sympathizers and their jailing has deprived the police and the army from experienced elements who were fiercely opposed to extreme Islam.
    To get more votes and satisfy his personal ambitions Erdogan has pushed for more Islamiation of the country, restrictions on drinking, Koranic teachings at school, and pampering Diyanet.
    The result was an increase of the popular vote from rural areas and pious citizens. The drawback is that it has demonized secularism and as a result a large part of Erdogan's voters have rejoiced at the Reina night club killings
    The country is now polarized: Secular vs Islamist and the president is openly siding with the Islamists.
    Erdogan has tried to take a different approach as he is now fighting ISIS that he has supported previously, but this is too late. ISIS is now turning against him in revenge. Erdogan is trapped in his own making.
    The only solution for Turkey is the replacement of Erdogan by a more balanced leader, like Gul was. The problem is that Erdogan has such a network of blinded worshipers that his replacement may create a violence that the divided police and army cannot control.
    Gulen could represent a good balance between secularism and Islam and could very well play a positive role in country. Erdogan is so worried that Gulen could replace him that he has done all he could to demonize him and remove any chance for Gulen to come back.
    Erdogan is isolated and his party impotent in front of the violence.
    He has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.

    “Gulen could represent a good balance between secularism and Islam….Erdogan…has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.”

    Turkey cannot be restored to being “a secular country” under the likes of Gulen, who is an Islamist of a similar mold to Erdogan. In fact, Erdogan and Gulen were good buddies until just a few years ago; and had been cooperating for at least a quarter of a century before that, as fellow cadres of the same broad anti-secular, Islamist movement, to destroy the remains of the secular order installed in Turkey by the founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk. The falling out between them is SOLELY due to the question of who will have the formal reins of power, whose “organization” will fill the government positions with its own people and control the machinery of state, the military and security forces, etc.

    Read More
  13. Turkey’s best course is to dump destabilizer NATO and work more closely with stabilizer Russia.

    Read More
  14. @Virgile
    I fully agree with the article, but I would like to add that the witch hunt on Gulen's sympathizers and their jailing has deprived the police and the army from experienced elements who were fiercely opposed to extreme Islam.
    To get more votes and satisfy his personal ambitions Erdogan has pushed for more Islamiation of the country, restrictions on drinking, Koranic teachings at school, and pampering Diyanet.
    The result was an increase of the popular vote from rural areas and pious citizens. The drawback is that it has demonized secularism and as a result a large part of Erdogan's voters have rejoiced at the Reina night club killings
    The country is now polarized: Secular vs Islamist and the president is openly siding with the Islamists.
    Erdogan has tried to take a different approach as he is now fighting ISIS that he has supported previously, but this is too late. ISIS is now turning against him in revenge. Erdogan is trapped in his own making.
    The only solution for Turkey is the replacement of Erdogan by a more balanced leader, like Gul was. The problem is that Erdogan has such a network of blinded worshipers that his replacement may create a violence that the divided police and army cannot control.
    Gulen could represent a good balance between secularism and Islam and could very well play a positive role in country. Erdogan is so worried that Gulen could replace him that he has done all he could to demonize him and remove any chance for Gulen to come back.
    Erdogan is isolated and his party impotent in front of the violence.
    He has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.

    {Erdogan is isolated and his party impotent in front of the violence.
    He has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.}

    Erdogan is not isolated from his Islamist voter base.
    His base responded massively when he called them out onto the streets during the half-baked coup attempt. They went out and stopped Turkish military tanks with their bodies and lives. You call that isolation?

    Something unprecedented happened then that had never happened before.
    In previous coups, people may not have been happy, but kept their reverence of Turkey’s military.
    This time soldiers were beaten and humiliated.
    High ranking generals were sexually abused in the standard Turk fashion.
    The respect and fear of the Turk military is gone.

    Turkey cannot restore itself, because the Islamist genie is out of the bottle. There has always been an Islamist undercurrent that was artificially suppressed by Kemalism, with the help of US/NATO. The lid was blown off when AKP won and kept winning elections. The Islamist masses in Turkey will never go back under secular rule.

    As Cockburn wrote: “The Salafist creed is spreading in Turkey….”

    ISIS against the Government.
    Sunni Turks against Alevi Turks.
    Kurds against Turks.
    Secular/Kemalist Turks against AKP/Islamist Turks.

    Yeah, sure: Turkey will restore itself alright.
    Any day now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Yeah, sure: Turkey will restore itself alright.
    Any day now.
     
    Well, that's what a leader is supposed to do: find a uniting theme for most, isolate and suppress the opposition that can't be appeased. I don't think the fat lady has sung yet; let's see how good Erdogan is...
  15. @Avery
    {Erdogan is isolated and his party impotent in front of the violence.
    He has to go, so Turkey can restore itself to what Ataturk made of it, a secular country.}


    Erdogan is not isolated from his Islamist voter base.
    His base responded massively when he called them out onto the streets during the half-baked coup attempt. They went out and stopped Turkish military tanks with their bodies and lives. You call that isolation?

    Something unprecedented happened then that had never happened before.
    In previous coups, people may not have been happy, but kept their reverence of Turkey's military.
    This time soldiers were beaten and humiliated.
    High ranking generals were sexually abused in the standard Turk fashion.
    The respect and fear of the Turk military is gone.

    Turkey cannot restore itself, because the Islamist genie is out of the bottle. There has always been an Islamist undercurrent that was artificially suppressed by Kemalism, with the help of US/NATO. The lid was blown off when AKP won and kept winning elections. The Islamist masses in Turkey will never go back under secular rule.

    As Cockburn wrote: "The Salafist creed is spreading in Turkey...."

    ISIS against the Government.
    Sunni Turks against Alevi Turks.
    Kurds against Turks.
    Secular/Kemalist Turks against AKP/Islamist Turks.

    Yeah, sure: Turkey will restore itself alright.
    Any day now.

    Yeah, sure: Turkey will restore itself alright.
    Any day now.

    Well, that’s what a leader is supposed to do: find a uniting theme for most, isolate and suppress the opposition that can’t be appeased. I don’t think the fat lady has sung yet; let’s see how good Erdogan is…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Well, that’s what a leader is supposed to do: find a uniting theme for most, isolate and suppress the opposition that can’t be appeased. I don’t think the fat lady has sung yet; let’s see how good Erdogan is…
     
    And what happens if Erdogan is no longer around?

    As I noted above, there's a plausible case to argue that Turkey is currently an assassination away from a real civil war (over and above the perennial Kurdish issues and coups).
  16. @anon
    "As in France, Belgium and Germany it is impossible to stop attacks.."

    They could be REDUCED by ending all Muslim immigration/migrants/ "refugees" etc from settling there. Not one more single person gets in.

    And they could be ENDED by repatriating all other muslims back to their countries of origin. There was no muslim terrorism in these lands when the Muslim population was zero.

    By getting the hell out of Middle East. US, Britain, Germany, France, Netherland, Norway, etc. have no business having forces in the Middle East.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.

    In any case we should neither be invading the Arab world or INVITING the Arab world.

    Don't send our troops to Arab countries. Don't ever let any Arabs settle in western lands. The problem of Arab terrorism solves itself!

    The Bush administration would have done far more good had it ended Muslim immigration after September 11th 2001, then its hare-brained attack on Iraq.
  17. It is true that Turkey is in danger today.

    The US are probably sending their terrorists against Turkey as they did in Afghanistan when the Soviet Union was trying to help the legitimate government.
    ISIS is a paper tiger but the US is now expert at generating chaos after having done that to Afghanistan, Libya, Irak, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine.
    To get rid of ISIS you just need to get rid of the Saudi family or at least freeze all their accounts and put all their foreing belongings on hold. I cannot understand why the US is applying sanctions against Russia and not against the Saudi family.
    Back to Erdogan: He is probably understanding that it is better for him to trust Russia than the US if he wants to get out alive form the mess he has generated. The agreement between Turkey and Russia concerning the ceasefire in Syria is certainly infuriating the US, but if Erdogan does not meet his obligation towards that deal, he will have no more friends.
    The Turks should realize that their future will be better if they quit NATO, align with the East and become part of the silk road than trying to join the EU.
    Any ways Turkey is going to face strong head winds.

    Read More
  18. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @MEexpert
    By getting the hell out of Middle East. US, Britain, Germany, France, Netherland, Norway, etc. have no business having forces in the Middle East.

    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.

    In any case we should neither be invading the Arab world or INVITING the Arab world.

    Don’t send our troops to Arab countries. Don’t ever let any Arabs settle in western lands. The problem of Arab terrorism solves itself!

    The Bush administration would have done far more good had it ended Muslim immigration after September 11th 2001, then its hare-brained attack on Iraq.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.
     
    Well the Germans voted for it a year ago:

    Bundestag votes to deploy German troops in Syria

    And the Syrians were (with justice on their side) complaining about it six months later:

    Damascus: Presence of French, German Troops in Syria an 'Overt Aggression'
    , @MEexpert
    Here is a YouTube presentation titled "Norwegian 'Punisher' troops sent to Iraq fight ISIS army - YouTube Video for Norwegian troops in Iraq."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH7XLQgQK2g
     
    Just google it and you will get more sources. There are also Italian, Spanish, and forces from some east European countries as well. This is the problem. US has NATO involved in the middle east to do its bidding. Hundreds of Thousands people have been displaced from Iraq and Syria. So, in a way, it is a payback to these countries.
  19. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Yeah, sure: Turkey will restore itself alright.
    Any day now.
     
    Well, that's what a leader is supposed to do: find a uniting theme for most, isolate and suppress the opposition that can't be appeased. I don't think the fat lady has sung yet; let's see how good Erdogan is...

    Well, that’s what a leader is supposed to do: find a uniting theme for most, isolate and suppress the opposition that can’t be appeased. I don’t think the fat lady has sung yet; let’s see how good Erdogan is…

    And what happens if Erdogan is no longer around?

    As I noted above, there’s a plausible case to argue that Turkey is currently an assassination away from a real civil war (over and above the perennial Kurdish issues and coups).

    Read More
  20. @anon
    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.

    In any case we should neither be invading the Arab world or INVITING the Arab world.

    Don't send our troops to Arab countries. Don't ever let any Arabs settle in western lands. The problem of Arab terrorism solves itself!

    The Bush administration would have done far more good had it ended Muslim immigration after September 11th 2001, then its hare-brained attack on Iraq.

    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.

    Well the Germans voted for it a year ago:

    Bundestag votes to deploy German troops in Syria

    And the Syrians were (with justice on their side) complaining about it six months later:

    Damascus: Presence of French, German Troops in Syria an ‘Overt Aggression’

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    "Well the Germans voted for it a year ago".

    You mean the German GOVERNMENT voted for it. I would bet my bottom dollar, that via a public referendum, it would NEVER have passed among the ordinary German population.

    Interestingly Germany just recently ended the draft. It is politically much easier to send an all-volunteer force abroad to serve the whims of the elites then a draft force. The only good that came out of Vietnam for ordinary Americans was the draft being killed.

    I still see no merit in the Arab-Muslim takeover of western Europe.
  21. @Charles Martel
    There are astonishing parallels between what happened in Pakistan/Afghanistan in the 1980s and what is happening in Syria/Turkey now.

    In AfPak in the late 1970s and 1980s, whiskey swilling Paki generals drunk on CIA help and Saudi money fuelled an Afghan rebellion against a Soviet/Russian backed regime in Afghanistan. That regime was toppled but the consequences of this meddling would be felt for several decades. The Islamic extremists nurtured by CIA, Saudi and Pakistan have now infested Pakistan and are destroying that country through continuous attacks. The US also got "hit" on 9/11 and continues to suffer terror attacks abroad and on US soil. Bin Laden himself had been CIA trained.

    In Syria, the main difference is that the Russian backed regime hasn't and won't collapse. However, Turkey is likely to suffer lethal consequences of fomenting Islamic extremists in Syria because Saudis and Qataris bribed Erdogan and his "boys" to play this game. The US will also take further hits from this meddling as ISIS is now growing world-wide along with Al Qaeda, which has spread to many countries, including inside the US.

    What is shocking is the hubris of Erdogan in believing that this fomenting of anarchy and slaughter in Syria won't cause "blowback". Actually, after the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, I believe it is a matter of time before there is an attempt on Erdogan's life. It is worth noting that the man who shot the Russian Ambassador was also once part of Erdogan's security detail. Who is to say how many of Erdogan's current bodyguards are influenced by ISIS "ideology" and won't attempt to kill Erdogan himself (who is now regarded by the extremists as a backstabber who joined hands with the Russians and Iranians in Syria)?

    Rubbish!
    Afghanistan was liberated through tremendous sacrifice and unprecedented courage shown by the afghan resitance nad the Pakistani leadership ofn that tiome to stare down a bullying super power, something Turkey has been unable to or unwilling to do. Pakistan is now attacking it own citizens by generals trained in the Musharraf tradition and owned by the US.

    Cockburn writes for Russian and Iranian interests, but fails to mention the heretical and savage sect Assad and his allies, the Lebanese Hizbullah, the Russian air force and intelligence, extremist Shias from Afghanistan and Pakistan recruited during pilgrimage to Iraq by Iranian intelligence , and Iranian generals and their artillery. All of them have committed war crimes against the Syrian people. Instead Cocknburn wants a diversion to not name the real scoundrels

    Read More
  22. @anon
    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.

    In any case we should neither be invading the Arab world or INVITING the Arab world.

    Don't send our troops to Arab countries. Don't ever let any Arabs settle in western lands. The problem of Arab terrorism solves itself!

    The Bush administration would have done far more good had it ended Muslim immigration after September 11th 2001, then its hare-brained attack on Iraq.

    Here is a YouTube presentation titled “Norwegian ‘Punisher’ troops sent to Iraq fight ISIS army – YouTube Video for Norwegian troops in Iraq.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH7XLQgQK2g

    Just google it and you will get more sources. There are also Italian, Spanish, and forces from some east European countries as well. This is the problem. US has NATO involved in the middle east to do its bidding. Hundreds of Thousands people have been displaced from Iraq and Syria. So, in a way, it is a payback to these countries.

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    • Replies: @anon
    The obvious solution (for Europe) would be to dissolve NATO. It should have been dissolved a long time ago. That way the countries of Europe could not be involved in the USA's meddling in the middle east, through NATO.

    Btw, I STILL THINK ny basic points on restricting Arbas and Muslims from being allowed to enter into Europe still stands. I see no benefit from it for Europeans at all.
  23. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @MEexpert
    Here is a YouTube presentation titled "Norwegian 'Punisher' troops sent to Iraq fight ISIS army - YouTube Video for Norwegian troops in Iraq."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH7XLQgQK2g
     
    Just google it and you will get more sources. There are also Italian, Spanish, and forces from some east European countries as well. This is the problem. US has NATO involved in the middle east to do its bidding. Hundreds of Thousands people have been displaced from Iraq and Syria. So, in a way, it is a payback to these countries.

    The obvious solution (for Europe) would be to dissolve NATO. It should have been dissolved a long time ago. That way the countries of Europe could not be involved in the USA’s meddling in the middle east, through NATO.

    Btw, I STILL THINK ny basic points on restricting Arbas and Muslims from being allowed to enter into Europe still stands. I see no benefit from it for Europeans at all.

    Read More
  24. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Randal

    There are Norwegian troops in the middle east? And German ones? I doubt that. I think even Israel would be uncomfortable with the latter group in the region.
     
    Well the Germans voted for it a year ago:

    Bundestag votes to deploy German troops in Syria

    And the Syrians were (with justice on their side) complaining about it six months later:

    Damascus: Presence of French, German Troops in Syria an 'Overt Aggression'

    “Well the Germans voted for it a year ago”.

    You mean the German GOVERNMENT voted for it. I would bet my bottom dollar, that via a public referendum, it would NEVER have passed among the ordinary German population.

    Interestingly Germany just recently ended the draft. It is politically much easier to send an all-volunteer force abroad to serve the whims of the elites then a draft force. The only good that came out of Vietnam for ordinary Americans was the draft being killed.

    I still see no merit in the Arab-Muslim takeover of western Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    You mean the German GOVERNMENT voted for it.
     
    Absolutely. I reread my comment afterwards and metaphorically kicked myself for that mistake. If the time for editing had not expired, I'd have modified it to read: "Well the German political elites voted for it".

    Interestingly Germany just recently ended the draft. It is politically much easier to send an all-volunteer force abroad to serve the whims of the elites then a draft force. The only good that came out of Vietnam for ordinary Americans was the draft being killed.

     

    One of the reasons I'm far less certain than I was in my youth that professional armies rather than the national service model are really the right way to go.

    I still see no merit in the Arab-Muslim takeover of western Europe.
     
    I agree.
  25. @Randal

    Both Isis and the PKK have established powerful de facto states in Syria and Iraq, something that could only have happened because of Erdogan’s ill-conceived involvement in the Syrian civil war after 2011.
     
    In assessing Erdogan's personal responsibility and his competence for the historical record, it's important to remember just how opportunist and voluntary this policy choice was for Erdogan. Granted he was under pressure to act by sunnis and by Turkey-uber-alles types, and undoubtedly by the US regime as well, but he had a clear political justification available to him for imposing a policy of strict, closed border neutrality instead, if he had chosen to do it.

    On the other hand, it's also important, of course, to remember how different things looked back in 2011, and how inevitable the imminent fall of the Syria government appeared then to almost everyone who knew anything about the situation.

    All these things will likely be viewed differently after the fact, if, as is far from impossible now as a direct result of Erdogan's policy choices, we see a genuine implosion of Turkey over the next few years. Of course, it's likely Erdogan won't be around to see it if it does come to pass, as the most likely trigger would be his own assassination.

    “how inevitable the imminent fall of the Syria government appeared then to almost everyone who knew anything about the situation.”

    Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown. If Erdogan didn’t know that he wasn’t fit to make any kind of decision regarding Syria.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown.}

    Despite popular support and SAA being overwhelmingly Sunni and supporting Assad and fighting bravely, SAA was slowly losing ground in the face of massive international Islamist terrorist invasion supported by US, UK, France, Turkey, and the Gulf sheikhdoms.

    Without Russian AF bombing the s___ out of ISIS and other assorted terrorist targets and cutting off terrorist aid convoys, SAA would be near collapse today, if not completely collapsed.

    The fact that Palmyra was re-taken by ISIS relatively easily proves that SAA does not have enough strength to stand on its own, even today with RuAF helping it.

    Also, the support of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters on the ground was great help to SAA.
    But without RuAF in Syria, NATO would start bombing and Assad would be gone.

    Those who wanted Assad out never expected Russia coming in ready and willing for a fight with NATO and anybody else. They expected Libya redux.

    , @Randal

    Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown. If Erdogan didn’t know that he wasn’t fit to make any kind of decision regarding Syria.
     
    No, I don't think this is correct. I think it's mostly hindsight wisdom.

    For certain almost nobody, either knowledgeable or informed only by the mainstream media propaganda flow, believed Assad had sufficient support to survive. I suspect that at the time, they were correct and he didn't have such support, except in key areas in the military and security structures and in key foreign capitals. He built support by successfully resisting the regime change attempt, and by the population recognising that the alternative was not going to be very attractive after all.
  26. @anon
    "Well the Germans voted for it a year ago".

    You mean the German GOVERNMENT voted for it. I would bet my bottom dollar, that via a public referendum, it would NEVER have passed among the ordinary German population.

    Interestingly Germany just recently ended the draft. It is politically much easier to send an all-volunteer force abroad to serve the whims of the elites then a draft force. The only good that came out of Vietnam for ordinary Americans was the draft being killed.

    I still see no merit in the Arab-Muslim takeover of western Europe.

    You mean the German GOVERNMENT voted for it.

    Absolutely. I reread my comment afterwards and metaphorically kicked myself for that mistake. If the time for editing had not expired, I’d have modified it to read: “Well the German political elites voted for it”.

    Interestingly Germany just recently ended the draft. It is politically much easier to send an all-volunteer force abroad to serve the whims of the elites then a draft force. The only good that came out of Vietnam for ordinary Americans was the draft being killed.

    One of the reasons I’m far less certain than I was in my youth that professional armies rather than the national service model are really the right way to go.

    I still see no merit in the Arab-Muslim takeover of western Europe.

    I agree.

    Read More
  27. @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    "how inevitable the imminent fall of the Syria government appeared then to almost everyone who knew anything about the situation."

    Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown. If Erdogan didn't know that he wasn't fit to make any kind of decision regarding Syria.

    {Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown.}

    Despite popular support and SAA being overwhelmingly Sunni and supporting Assad and fighting bravely, SAA was slowly losing ground in the face of massive international Islamist terrorist invasion supported by US, UK, France, Turkey, and the Gulf sheikhdoms.

    Without Russian AF bombing the s___ out of ISIS and other assorted terrorist targets and cutting off terrorist aid convoys, SAA would be near collapse today, if not completely collapsed.

    The fact that Palmyra was re-taken by ISIS relatively easily proves that SAA does not have enough strength to stand on its own, even today with RuAF helping it.

    Also, the support of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters on the ground was great help to SAA.
    But without RuAF in Syria, NATO would start bombing and Assad would be gone.

    Those who wanted Assad out never expected Russia coming in ready and willing for a fight with NATO and anybody else. They expected Libya redux.

    Read More
  28. @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    "how inevitable the imminent fall of the Syria government appeared then to almost everyone who knew anything about the situation."

    Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown. If Erdogan didn't know that he wasn't fit to make any kind of decision regarding Syria.

    Actually, those who knew about the situation were all well aware that Assad had huge support in Syria and, short of a NATO invasion, there was zero chance of his being overthrown. If Erdogan didn’t know that he wasn’t fit to make any kind of decision regarding Syria.

    No, I don’t think this is correct. I think it’s mostly hindsight wisdom.

    For certain almost nobody, either knowledgeable or informed only by the mainstream media propaganda flow, believed Assad had sufficient support to survive. I suspect that at the time, they were correct and he didn’t have such support, except in key areas in the military and security structures and in key foreign capitals. He built support by successfully resisting the regime change attempt, and by the population recognising that the alternative was not going to be very attractive after all.

    Read More
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