Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 18, 2018

New Interests Join The Clash About North-East Syria

Turkey's ongoing currency crises creates some new regional aspects that will influence the war on Syria and the fate of its U.S. occupied north-east.

Over the last two weeks Turkey's Lira (TL) behaved extremely volatile.


Chart via Xe - bigger

At the beginning of the year one U.S. dollar cost 3.5 lira. At the beginning of August it cost 4.80 lira. It then went up to 7.00 lira/$ and at Friday's closing it was down again at 6.00 TL/$. But Monday morning lira will again lose more of its value:

Turkey’s credit rating was cut further into junk Friday by S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service, which said the volatile lira and wide current-account deficit may undermine the Middle East’s largest economy.

S&P reduced Turkey’s foreign-currency rating to four notches below investment grade at B+ from BB-, on par with Argentina, Greece and Fiji. Moody’s lowered its grade to Ba3 from Ba2, three notches below investment grade. The ratings companies said the weak currency, runaway inflation and current-account deficit are Turkey’s key vulnerabilities.

Turkey's crisis is homemade. The current spat with the United States only exaggerates it. For years Turkey borrowed large amounts of money from abroad and invested it into local infrastructure instead of producing exportable products. Its current account deficit this year will again be some $50 to $60 billion. International banks and other foreign lenders now demand interests rates above 20% from Turkish lenders because the chance of losing the lent money is high.

After the 17% crash on August 13 down to 7 TL/$ the Turkish Central Bank used some one-time measures to support the currency without raising its interest rate. The Turkish president Erdogan is ideologically adverse to interests and keeps the bank from doing what it must do to cool the Turkish economy and to stabilize the currency.

Erdogan asked Russia for help but received nothing but good advice. He also called in favors. When in June 2017 Saudi Arabia's clown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) tried to take over Qatar and to steal its juicy $350 billion sovereign wealth fund, the emir of Qatar called on Turkey for help. Erdogan sent the Turkish army and air force. His troops protected Qatar from a Saudi invasion.

With the lira in trouble the emir flew to Ankara and promised a new $15 billion investment into Turkey. Additionally some mysterious cargo was unloaded from his plane. That saved the lira for a few days. But Turkey's structural problems are unsolved. Erdogan is no longer trusted and his son in law, who he made finance minister, lacks the necessary qualification for the job. Thus:

"We forecast a recession next year," S&P said. "Inflation will peak at 22 percent over the next four months, before subsiding to below 20 percent by mid-2019."

The Qatari move came a few days before its arch enemy Saudi Arabia also moved into the area. On Friday the U.S. announced that Saudi Arabia would support the U.S. occupied north-east Syria with 100 million dollar. The Wahhabi Saudis are now financing the secular Kurdish terror organization PKK/YPG, the local U.S. proxy in north-east Syria.

If the Saudi clown prince MbS wants to take revenge on Turkey's Erdogan for messing up his plans for Qatar, he now has his chance. The PKK has been fighting Turkey for decades to establish a Kurdish state in east Turkey, north Iraq and north Syria. Saudi money and lots of U.S. weapon supplies will multiply their capabilities in their guerilla fight against the Turkish army.


bigger

In north-east Syria the U.S. is settling in. Trump had complained about the occupation and wanted the U.S. troops to leave as soon as possible. But his beef was only with the money the occupation would cost, not with the neo-conservative plan to overthrow the Syrian government. The financial problem is now solved. The Saudis and others stepped in and with that no U.S. funds are needed to finance the further occupation.

While the Pentagon continues to build more military infrastructure and the State Department named three high level envoys to push for its desired results:

The State Department will pull back funding it had allocated to rebuild parts of Syria once held by the Islamic State, saying Friday that other countries will now provide $230 million in planned spending.
...
Commitments from other countries already total $300 million, according to State Department officials, including $100 million announced this week by Saudi Arabia.
...
Trump’s initial announcement that he expected an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria — and the freezing of stabilization funding — sparked widespread concern that the United States was giving up leverage to press for its long-term goals in Syria, including the eventual departure of Assad and end to Iranian influence there, ...

The State Department named James Jeffrey, a former ambassador to Turkey, as "representative for Syria engagement." Recently Jeffrey worked at the Washington Institute which is part of the Zionist lobby. His latest opus there was guidance for the Trump administration policies in the Middle East. Its number one aim: "Containing Iran and its Shiite proxies".

Retired Army Col. Joel Rayburn, who was a senior director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in the National Security Council, now joins the State Department as deputy assistant secretary for Levant Affairs, and as a "special envoy for Syria." The current envoy to the U.S. coalition to defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk, will continue in his position.

There are now three high caliber State Department envoys tasked with dismantling Syria into federated entities that they can easily manipulate and control. But too many cooks tend to spoil the broth. And the U.S. isl not the only entity with a plan.

Publicly the U.S. will keep the threat of ISIS alive to justify its illegal occupation of north-east Syria. That is why it planted way too high estimates for remaining ISIS members.

Brett McGurk confirmed that the several times announced assault on the remaining ISIS forces in the U.S. occupied area will be delayed further until the bit of ISIS that is left is no longer of use:

Although 99 percent of territory formerly held by the militants has now been retaken, “we still have not launched the final phase to defeat the physical caliphate,” McGurk said. “That is actually being prepared now, and that’ll come at a time of our choosing. But it is coming.”

McGurk described a “very significant military operation, because we have a significant number of ISIS fighters holed up in a final area of the Middle Euphrates Valley. And after that, you have to train local forces to hold the ground, to make sure that the area remains stabilized so ISIS cannot return.”

“So this mission is ongoing,” he said, “and it’s not over.”

The U.S. wants to stay in Syria and anyone but Israel and the Kurds dislikes that.

Today Erodgan's Justice and Development Party's (AKP) held its sixth grand congress. With regards to Turkey's economic problems Erdogan was defiant:

"They were not able to make us collapse and they will never be. If they have their dollars, we have our God. We will walk toward the future together with firm steps," Erdoğan told the crowd, referring to what he described as an "economic attack" on Turkey and its national currency.

He also announced that he will continue his plans to attack the PKK/YPK in Syria even as it is under U.S. protection:

During his address to the AKP congress, Erdogan also repeated his intention to continue military operations to push the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), back from Turkey’s southern border.
...
“Turkey will continue cross-border operations by expanding them further,” Erdogan said, according to the state-owned Anadolu Agency.

“We will do what we previously did in Jarabulus, Al-Bab, Afrin along our border starting from Suruc to Cizre,” he added, referring to Syrian territory to the east of the Euphrates River controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

A renewed fight with the PKK/YPK Kurds, who are leading the U.S. proxy force SDF, will be a nice diversion from Turkey's economic troubles. That such a fight is now also a match between Qatari and Saudi money will intensify and prolong it. For serious national security reasons Turkey can not accept the U.S. proxy entity in north-east Syria. It is a dagger at its underbelly.

Syria and its allies will try to use the intensifying of the U.S.-Turkish conflict to their advantage. Turkey failed to dismantle al-Qaeda in Idleb governorate and the Syrian army has now been tasked with removing it. The Turkish plans to eventually annex the province are over. Other parts in north Syria held by Turkish allied forces will meet a similar fate. The best outcome Turkey can hope for is a sovereign and centrally ruled Syria that can keep the Kurds in Syria under tight control and hinder them from attacking Turkey.

Turkey will have to cooperate with Syria to reach that desirable end state. To achieve the removal of the U.S. from Syria necessitates a common plan.

When will Erdogan understand and accept this?

Posted by b on August 18, 2018 at 03:56 PM | Permalink

Comments

"When will Erdogan understand and accept this?"

How do you know they did not discuss this with Lavrov? Maybe he accepted it, who knows? Time will tell.

Posted by: T | Aug 18, 2018 4:40:04 PM | 1

Elite money dropping by to roast a turkey for thanksgiving?

Posted by: Sadness | Aug 18, 2018 4:40:53 PM | 2

Weird. When I lived in the UK in the 1990s, Turkish products--particularly white goods--were better, cheaper and more efficient than anything made in Europe. That's when the Turks still thought they had a shot at joining the EU.

Posted by: unheilig | Aug 18, 2018 4:54:01 PM | 3

One refinement to add to 'b's outstanding post (how the hell does he do it, miraculous !) as far as I can see Turkey fell into the same deep state bankers financial trap, that Spain Greece Italy fell for. Bail out a vunrable country then pull the rug out ! You own them ! So I would slightly disagree with it being entirely of there own making. I blame the Rothchild family.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 18, 2018 5:12:42 PM | 4

Moody's and S&P ratings agencies are fraudulent institutions. For having AAA rated billions worth of junk mortgages, they should have been indicted and prosecuted.

Posted by: Fastfreddy | Aug 18, 2018 5:32:52 PM | 5

Excellent analysis again, b. You surpass yourself. There is something you talk about that has always intrigued me…

“For years Turkey borrowed large amounts of money from abroad and invested it into local infrastructure instead of producing exportable products.”

There is a parallel here with Spain. From entry into the Euro in 1999 the floodgates of credit opened. Bankers, politicians and builders were involved in creating vast swathes of speculative urbanization; two airports were built which now stand empty, a formula 1 track hosted five races before closing, a phantom theme park; huge, almost empty accommodation complexes, and the list goes on. The ghost airport in Ciudad Real, which cost £1.2 million euros, was sold off to Chinese buyers for a mere 10,000 euros. The “Cajas”, the regional banks, were all bailed out by the government.

Apart from local corruption, which is nothing new, I think there must have been a deliberate strategy on the part of EU elites not to finance industrial projects that would generate export currency, and hence compete with EU industrial powers such as Germany (I once read Spanish academic paper arguing this but have not managed to track it down). When the same happens in Turkey, obviously not an EU country, you have to wonder whether is it part of a transatlantic banker strategy: corrupt national elites finance corrupt local elites to build ghost infrastructures as cheap and shoddy as you can get, the banks that financed it get bailed out if it all crashes. What’s not to like?

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 18, 2018 5:44:06 PM | 6

Turks can't avoid Greek-style crisis now. The solution calls for a violent swing in trade balance from huge deficit to sizable surplus, somewhere in a range of $100B. That can't happen unless people of Turkey are warehoused in slave-labor-condition factories that can be competitive enough to displace Asian players. That entails bone-crushing fall in living standards.
All in all, 20 percent decline in GDP is now all but certainty. The longer Erdogan tries to avoid the harsh medicine, the deeper this cancer goes. He should either bow to IMF, or to exit NATO, join BRICS and ask for loans from that grouping.
Of course, Turkish military can say bye-bye to its present size. It's unsustainable. Financial crunch will reduce Turkish armed forces to less than half of their present size.
And if Erdogan wants to keep his soldiers well-equipped for half the price - which he should - he'll have to switch to much more reasonably priced Russian weaponry. Once he does that, even Russia may contribute $10B to his bailout kitty.
Otherwise, Erdogan is a dead man. The economic hurricane barreling his way is only gathering strength with every passing day. And all he is doing is unfurling umbrellas and increasing the volume of music.

Posted by: telescope | Aug 18, 2018 5:50:52 PM | 7

Moon of Alabama is astonishing. I read five or so alternative sites every day. They are mostly compilations. Here, it is always real analysis, up to date and knowledgeable across the world. This puts the media to shame. The USSR fell because the Party’s lies. The corporate lies are documented here every day. When John Brennen and gang are acknowledged as courtiers of Saudi Arabia and Israel against the best interests of the Westerners; the NATO occupation of Eastern Syria is sure to fail. If one has hope, it is that the collapse will be peaceful, but that seems a forlorn dream after the last two decades.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 18, 2018 6:05:25 PM | 8

@ 8

"When John Brennen and gang are acknowledged as courtiers of Saudi Arabia and Israel against the best interests of the Westerners..."

Are not the Westerners those who have pillaged and stole, pirated or raped or enslaved for nigh five centuries while spreading democracy and good Christian values?

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 18, 2018 6:21:58 PM | 9

Can not see Erdogan talking to President Assad, too much bad words and serious blood was shed. But I do believe 2nd and 3rd level turkish regime people are talking to the Syrian Government. The operation Idlib Dawn will show whether Russia-Turkey-Syria-Iran talks are working or not.
I would not take any Erdogan's speech as real plans, he is a populist and talks to ordinary Turks to raise their morale and strengthen his position, Erdogan is in deep problem, inflation is coming fast and high and Turkey will go down in a deep recession very soon, dark clouds over Turkey for the the next 2-3 years. Should US and KSA are funding PKK, than this is equal to a declaration of war against Turkey, and if Turkey does not do anything now, Turkey will be gone under a severe civil war soon.

Posted by: Canthama | Aug 18, 2018 6:24:51 PM | 10

Qatari vs Saudi money... it is too bad all that money couldn't have been put to a better use... ask a class of kindergarteners, they would probably come up with better uses.

Posted by: Out of Istanbul | Aug 18, 2018 6:27:30 PM | 11

That list of infrastructure @ Lochern mentions looks geared toward the holiday industry which in the past has been a major income for Turkey ! Worth at the time perhaps investing in. Very popular with Eurapians but very popular with Russians. My wild guess would be---- some dodgey ploy by the west to drive a wedge between Russia and Turky, devideding and ruling both! By meens of conflict and bank debt .The gains would be numerous long term and short term. But as already mentioned may back fire and bring Russia and Turkey closer. I hope so.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 18, 2018 6:29:19 PM | 12

Much of Turkeys external debt is private and not government . Their BIS controlled central bank kept interest rates high. This forced Turkish banks to take out loans in USD or Euro which had lower interest rates to meet loan demands in the private corporate sector , which they made at higher interest rates after exchanging for Lira. More profitable. The assumption was there would be a relatively stable exchange rate. So there was risk.

That risk made them vulnerable fx attack by the globalist banking cartel. When Erdogan took over more control from the TCB last month to reduce interest rates and reduce demand for foreign loans this was seen as an act of war. The independence of the central bank must be defended. Trumps additional tarrif increases, mild as they were were simply a symbolic barking of orders to take Turkey down

Looking at the broader picture. Since the 2008 financial blowout there has been “carry trade” fueled by zero-cost liquidity pumped into the global system by quantitative easing, which was then shipped to high-interest emerging markets such as Brazil, Turkey and other countries.

With the beginning of the Fed’s “tapering” of QE and rising interest rates since 2015, the whole financial system has triggered a “reverse carry trade” where dollars flow out of emerging markets back to safer havens. This is what you are seeing in Turkey, Argentina, Russia, Brazil, etc.

The last 10 years are a replay of the decade running up to the 1997/1998 crisis. While the 1985 ‘Plaza Accord’ dollar devaluation was not exactly QE, it had the same intent and results – a flood of cheap money and dollar debt, and therefore growing global dependence on the dollar and vulnerability to US monetary and economic policy

Some say countries like Turkey should know better, but countries have little control over their monetary policy under the global and independent central banking system forced on them. Go against this system and you will be hit with sanctions , subject to regime change or will be invaded

So call it a homegrown crisis if thats the reality you choose to live in. Who am I to say otherwise?

Posted by: Pft | Aug 18, 2018 6:30:54 PM | 13

Trump is tweet bragging about not paying the 230 million annually to Syria. He bullied the Saudis and others to pony up.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 18, 2018 6:32:52 PM | 14

These rating agencies are the same ones that rated junk mortgage bonds AA. They are for sale to highest bidder or since they haven't been prosecuted for their criminal behavior, vulnerable to threats from the same political machine that turned a blind eye in 2008.
Turkey may have homegrown economic problems as you have pointed out but they certainly have even more problems with a vindictive and extremely corrupt Uncle Sam who ruthlessly punish any and all independent actions.

Posted by: CDWaller | Aug 18, 2018 6:52:06 PM | 15

Indeed, the current economic issues will force Erdogan to choose which part of North Syria to waste money on, because he won't be able to provide Idlib rebels with money and equipment and attack YPG in NE Syria at the same time. And, if he has to make a choice, odds are that he'll throw Idlib under the bus and will jump at the Kurds' throat.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 18, 2018 7:06:54 PM | 16

Another excellent blog B. I agree with many of the above commenters that the breadth and depth of the analysis on MOA is truly amazing.

Pft@13. Good analysis as well.

However, I would expect that Turkey will not be another Greece. Rather I expect Turkey to get help from its friends to stabilize its economic position, resist U.S. sanctions and avoid an IMF bail-out.

With the support of Qatar, and I would expect China as well, I would expect Turkey to protect its banks. However, it is also possible that they will let some private Turkish companies, with dollar denominated debts, default. Such defaults, combined with the pressure that declining dollar liquidity is already putting on other emerging markets and Italy, would be destabilizing for the Western financial system. Sooner or later, and I suspect sooner, the FED will be required to start printing money again, which will reverse the dollar's recent strength and relieve the pressure on Turkey.

At the end of the day, however, I expect that this episode will be another step in the direction of de-dollarization and will further reduce the ability of the U.S. to use economic sanctions to bully its adversaries.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Aug 18, 2018 7:26:48 PM | 17

A strange paradox of life !
Owe your bank 1000 the bank manager will make you bankrupt, owe the bank a million and he'll invite you home for dinner ! More to lose !
By this token I'd like to think, the more country's that refuse there debt, the less power the west will have ! The less credibility and the less fear and influence they can inflict .
If the west wants to weaponise banking so be it ! Bring it on. Let's pull the rug out from under the banks/Rothchilds.
Feet ! Natural justice !

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 18, 2018 8:03:33 PM | 18

Pft @ 13 said:"Some say countries like Turkey should know better, but countries have little control over their monetary policy under the global and independent central banking system forced on them. Go against this system and you will be hit with sanctions , subject to regime change or will be invaded."

CDWaller @ 15 said:"These rating agencies are the same ones that rated junk mortgage bonds AA. They are for sale to highest bidder or since they haven't been prosecuted for their criminal behavior, vulnerable to threats from the same political machine that turned a blind eye in 2008."


The usual suspects described perfectly.

Posted by: ben | Aug 18, 2018 8:19:12 PM | 19

@6

Your story about Ciudad Real airport is not quite accurate. The airport was built for 1.1 Billion Euros and went bankrupt. The Chinese bid of 10,000 Euros with a contingency spending of 100 Million in the future was rejected. The airport was finally sold for 56 million Euros and may soon open.

But the rest of your post is accurate with respect to financial corruption and baiting.

Posted by: Alpi | Aug 18, 2018 9:10:19 PM | 20

Proof of Terrorist Group Collusion: Newly found video reveals UK and US backed White Helmets and al-Qaeda Operating Together in Jisr Shoughour Idlib, 2015

https://steemit.com/new/@clarityofsignal/seg1gljm

Posted by: Liam | Aug 18, 2018 9:31:12 PM | 21

Bu-u-t S&P and Moody's had no problem with Lehman's, because they knew TBTF bailout was backed by the 'full faith and credit' of the US Petro-dollar, and $500B a year in debt service by the serfs.

USA pays TWICE Reagan's Cold War defense budget on interest-only debt service... FOREVER! Until the End of Days, the Fed Bank will steal half of all health and human services.

So where is 'Defense'?

Get Blue Team, or die trying.

E pluribus now get back to work.

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 18, 2018 10:13:21 PM | 22

The beginning of Turkey's era with an all powered president is a prelude to a disaster. Erdogan is a populist but a zero in economy and in foreign relation. The Gulenists were the real architects of the economic and cultural boom in Turkey. They have all been removed and jailed. The country's economy is in the hand of amateurs under Erdogan's "expertise" and the international observers have no trust in this team.
How this will end? Not good for the country. As the AKP's popularity is linked to the economy, one year of high inflation maybe the end of Erdogan and the AKP..

Posted by: Virgile | Aug 18, 2018 10:23:14 PM | 23

CDWaller @15 "These rating agencies are the same ones that rated junk mortgage bonds AA. They are for sale to highest bidder or since they haven't been prosecuted for their criminal behavior, vulnerable to threats from the same political machine that turned a blind eye in 2008."

Yep, these are also the same agencies got fined by us regime for daring to down-rating it. It's really beyond ridiculous. Who rated whom!?

That's why alternatives are badly needed. Alternative rating agencies to bypass moody and its ilk, alternative internet to bypass google manipulations, alternative banks to bypass us sanctions, alternative commodity indexes, etc, etc.

Needless to say, Erdogan must shallow his pride and seriously starts negotiating with Assad. He must also seriously changing directions to the east instead of playing the opportunist game. Keep playing such games and he will even more and more being perceived as untrustworthy.

Posted by: Face The Fact | Aug 18, 2018 11:10:28 PM | 24

Turkey sent its top General and top Intel director to Moscow. They met with Shoigu and Gerasimov and were told what it going to happen. Russia decides. Turkey accepts.

Idlib will be cleansed by a massive boiler surrounding the scum (maybe as many as 50,000). Russian and Syrian air power and artillery will decimate the terrorists. Then armor will move in and blast the holdouts or hidden.

Russian special operators are in Idlib verifying the targets.

Turkey can join this as the Kurds have. In Moscow, the Turks certainly were given an opportunity to work in coordination with the operation the Russians have planned.

Later, in the northeast and east, the remnants of ISIS and AQ will be finished off, regardless of US military.
The US, Israel and Jordan did not matter in the Daraa-SW operations. Russia bombed wherever it wanted to.

The handwriting is in Cyrillic and on the walls of the CENTCOM jackals. The US in Syria faces exiting on its own or being kicked out.

Trump pulling reconstruction money from Syria weakens the last sliver of legitimate involvement.

The US can appoint 30 specialists, not just three.
The decision has been made in Moscow.

All nations not invited to stay will be ejected.

Iraqi AF has been flying missions into Syria to blast ISIS targets. That is an indicator that the Syrian government has not just Iran, but Iraq, Russia, China (for reconstruction), Hezbollah, some Syrian Tribal Arabs, some of the Kurds as military allies.

The US has the media bullhorn and some flatulence from Saudi Arabia, and a terrified Israel who now sees Russian MPs posted at the Golan.

Turkey needs to be on the side that will rule Syria and influence the ME for decades to come. That's standing with Moscow.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Aug 18, 2018 11:30:16 PM | 25

I heard on the radio an hour or so ago that Putin has called on Europe to assist with Syria's rebuilding and recovery. Experience and observation tell me that Putin doesn't kid himself. If he's talking about beginning to rebuild Syria now, that's what will happen.

He has effectively told Europe that AmeriKKKa's Syrian policy(?), and AmeriKKKa itself, can be safely ignored. If the Yanks are too stupid to get out of Syria asap it'll be amusing to hear who they decide to blame for the forthcoming Public Humiliation. China has already indicated its willingness to assist Syria so an opportunity to humiliate AmeriKKKa in doing so must be bordering on irresistible.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2018 12:45:57 AM | 26

My first post here. Erdogan can follow the examples of Greece and Argentina, capitulate, and meet a similar fate - the scene in “The Matrix” of plugged in human dreaming donors serving as hosts for life-sucking parasites comes to mind - or he can default, make a clean break from NATO, join the SCO, and join the Alliance against the Empire (to switch to a Star Wars analogy.) I have a 70% bet on the latter, because Dumpf doubling down on sanctions leaves Erdogan few options. To this point Erdogan has been busy playing one side off against the other, using whatever leverage he has, but his leverage with the West is almost used up. Threaten to unleash hordes of immigrants upon Europe? Does Dumpf (or Israel) care? Threaten to leave NATO? Those threats have already been fielded. Does anyone see them backing off Dumpf? I don’t.

Posted by: Jndillard | Aug 19, 2018 1:07:39 AM | 27

I love the frisson of China and Russia rebuilding Syria whilst the Yanks sulk in their Bases & Bunkers shouting "The war isn't over 'til we say it's over!"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2018 1:08:06 AM | 28

It supports health to get rid of wishful thinking.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Aug 19, 2018 1:51:18 AM | 29

Sadly fascinating text ! I gather from it a few facts. The ongoing financial crisis in Turkey is from Erdogan’s making. His absolute power on his country and his economical beliefs stop him from correcting it. His allies are either reluctant to give him money (Russia) or short on their wallet (Qatar). Erdogan’s answer is « … we have our God ».
Erdogan’s belief in a neo Ottoman destiny forces him to enter Syria, Irak and Greece. He can’t give up this speech or he is politically toast so he has to expand his actions in Syrian and Irak.
With this in mind, he is an unreliable ally and a formidable enemy without any remorse or hesitation to lie, cheat, kill to make his gains.
The USA, Saudi Arabia (MBS in fact) and the Kurds have another agenda. The want to stop and destroy the Iranian influence in the region. The PKK/YPK members are the pawns of the game with ISIS. The second justifies the help for the first. The aim is Iran and the play field is Syria.
They oppose Erdogan who is using them to distract his population for his economical woes.
My bet is that Erdogan will not cooperate with Syria. It would be giving up his neo-ottoman destiny, his big dream. This dream pushed him from a street thug to the absolute power in Turkey. Giving it up would be admitting that his life is a failure.
In a sense, he is in the position of Hillary Clinton who wanted since her youth to be the first female president of the USA. She failed and can’t accept it. Erdogan hasn’t failed yet. I think he will and will accuse anybody but himself of that failure.
Another point comes into my mind. He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. I can’t believe he quitted because there’s too much power with it. He is with his god so he can’t fail because he is following the orders of his god. When he’ll go bust, he’ll accuse traitors having destroyed the will of his god and make very graphic moves against the « traitors ».
I do hope I’m wrong.

Posted by: DidierF | Aug 19, 2018 2:39:35 AM | 30

Funny article. How does one justify $21 Trillion of the US debt? Because they can?

The US GDP is bullshit just as is economy. Yet according to analysts' it is still sound. I can see turkish products here and there, what's is the american one? CDS, FANG stock, new tranches of the IMF loan? Ahhh, yes, Raytheon bombs, and missiles. That is very productive.

Please....give me a break with BS.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 19, 2018 3:23:47 AM | 31

any country may have "good" economy based on the us postulates. credit and printing money. a monkey in the jungle can create that kind of economy.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 19, 2018 3:28:22 AM | 32

did not see the bridges collapses in turkey. italy is far sicker than turkey, italy's public debt is far higher than that of turkey yet italy is in deep shit thanks to the eu.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 19, 2018 3:50:30 AM | 33

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/italy-not-turkey-is-the-biggest-threat-to-european-banks-strategist.html

Italian PM Matteo Salvini: "euro is a crime against humanity".

Abrose Evans Picthard called the Turkey crisis, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_buffa

Posted by: partizan | Aug 19, 2018 4:00:10 AM | 34

DidieF 29
Reminds me of when they brought the news to Phillip the second that his 'divine ' Armada had been defeated in what was then to be God's new inscrutable plan .

After two centuries of Iberian- basically unhindered - conquest it must have and did come as quite a shock . The wheel turns !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Aug 19, 2018 7:22:29 AM | 35

a "news" from mainstream.
https://www.rt.com/usa/436302-trump-syria-money-ridiculous/

real reason.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/beyond-fragility-syria-and-the-challenges-of-reconstruction-in-fierce-states/

Today, for all intents and purposes, the structure, governance, and organization of post-conflict reconstruction in Syria are settled issues. The Assad regime has consolidated its dominance over the levers of reconstruction, rendering it virtually impervious to external pressure.


translated, get hell out of here. us and eu would like to buy syria with a fist of dollars like in east europe and elsewhere.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 19, 2018 7:56:35 AM | 36

You can be sure that Israil are haveing a major influence on America's policy re-Turkey ! Obviously for geographic reasons. But also regarding food and warter resource, strategically close to the Middle East control those two and you control the area.
So with all the fuss about Russian influence on us politics. The silence and hypocracy regarding Israil influence is deafing !

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 19, 2018 8:03:33 AM | 37

To add to my above. ---- Has Israil taken over America ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 19, 2018 8:15:48 AM | 38

...
To this point Erdogan has been busy playing one side off against the other, using whatever leverage he has, but his leverage with the West is almost used up. Threaten to unleash hordes of immigrants upon Europe? Does Dumpf (or Israel) care? Threaten to leave NATO? Those threats have already been fielded. Does anyone see them backing off Dumpf? I don’t.

Posted by: Jndillard | Aug 19, 2018 1:07:39 AM | 26

Dumph wants to Make Swampica America Again.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2018 8:40:30 AM | 39

How can we really say how life should be, unless we first understand what it is? I think that under all the complexity, there is a very basic dynamic, which even physics overlooks.
Consider reality as a dichotomy of energy and form. Look at galaxies. Energy radiates out, as form coalesces/gravitates in. As living organisms, we evolved a central nervous system to collect and sort form, aka information. Along with the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems to collect and combust the energy to drive ourselves on. Basically the motor and steering functions. The reason our intellectual institutions overlook this, is because they see everything as information, quantification, measurement, etc and have come to live in this realm of platonic information, taking the forces propelling it as secondary.
This relationship is the basis of time, in that as energy is constantly changing form, the energy goes from past to future, as form goes future to past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday, because the earth turns. As an effect of action, time is more like temperature, than space.
All of life lives in the present and what most of live communicates about is the present, from dangers to desires, but people learned to tell each other stories and learned to live vicariously. Our minds are not to discover fundamental truths, but simply to make sense of our environment, so much of that we think and say is more rationalizations, than rational. Tying together all the information pouring in is more essential than studying it objectively.
As communities of people grew more complex, the elders developed structures and selected leaders. This evolved into government. Which with its executive and regulatory functions, is analogous to the body's central nervous system. Processing and dealing with all the information of the environment.
When societies were small, economics, the energy and motor of the community, was organic and reciprocal. It was far more logical and efficient to share than saving and hoarding individually. Yet as they grew, forms of accounting, planning and storage became necessary. What has happened though is that the accounting and storage have become confused with each other. Money is a method of accounting, essentially a community voucher system. As such it is a social contract and economic medium. Yet because we experience it individually as hope and security, we try to store it. Since political influence is based on how much hope and security leaders can provide, it is logical for them to just add more money, than insist everyone keep circulating it. An analogy for why this is a problem, is that in the body, blood is the medium and fat is the store, or for cars, roads are the medium and parking lots are the store.
So now we have a system, Capitalism, where the goal is simply to create and store as much of these community vouchers as possible, without regard for the fact we are destroying the environment and society that gives them value in the first place.
Eventually we will have to go back to sharing communities, where value is stored collectively. We all save for the same general reasons, from raising children and housing, to healthcare and retirement, so if we found ways to recreate these as community functions and not try mining all value out of everything to store individually, it would be far more healthy and efficient, but we have a long ways to go, to get there.
Just some ideas for a Plan B, otherwise Disaster Capitalism is coming home to roost, when the Treasury can't pile up anymore debt and those with all the old notes start trading them for public properties.

Posted by: John Merryman | Aug 19, 2018 8:53:15 AM | 40

Mark2@37 If by 'Israel' you mean the Jews in US Congress .... yes we have been taken over.
Find the members of US Congress that have duel citizenship conferred on them by the Israelis.
The list will reveal the truth. A nation of proselytizes ... proselytizing US Politicians. Telling the truth about this matter will be called 'anti-Semitic'.

Posted by: ger | Aug 19, 2018 9:17:56 AM | 41

Much of Turkeys external debt is private and not government . Their BIS controlled central bank kept interest rates high. This forced Turkish banks to take out loans in USD or Euro which had lower interest rates to meet loan demands in the private corporate sector , which they made at higher interest rates after exchanging for Lira.
Posted by: Pft | Aug 18, 2018 6:30:54 PM | 13

What happens if Erdogan allows the banks with the USD/Euro loans to fail/default? who gets affected the most?

Posted by: BM | Aug 19, 2018 9:22:53 AM | 42

Because Turkey has its own currency, the crisis is more conventional, it brings to my mind Mexico 1994, when I lost ca. 10,000 dollars in savings. As Mexico joined NAFTA, there was a surge of confidence in Mexican securities and an associated flight-in of capital. Peso bonds were deemed to be appropriate for retail investors and to accommodate morons like myself, mutual funds were formed. Then to everybody's surprised aggregate borrowing exceeded the ability to service the debt and the more intelligent money flew out. Peso crashed, hyperinflation ensued and there were few years of economic crisis. Argentina also reduced perceived currency risks by pegging the currency to USD, and similar cycle occurred. In the case of Turkey, the perceived risks were perhaps lowered by the backing from the Gulf, and where the royalty there started a huge row, Turkey had to choose the backer. My guess is that whatever the choice, the resulting stream of investments would be much lower. Qatar is smaller, but KSA+UAE combo has to many over-ambitious projects: while they want to dominate Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon etc., some clients get a very shoddy treatment -- Hariri of Lebanon is an example.

Erdogan's contribution was trying a bit more than sustainable. Turkey does have large and somewhat diversified exporting industries, decent agriculture, good tourist sector, huge electricity generation capacity and perhaps other quality infrastructure. But a number of white (or pale gray) elephant projects including a billion for the presidential palace dented the balance sheet unnecessarily, and nepotism accelerated after the row with Gulenists.

The conflicts that Erdodan selected had incremental bad effects that probably accumulated. After his first attempt to get parliamentary supermajority failed because of newly organized Kurdish party, otherwise non-chauvinistic Erdogan developed deep hatred of "independent", KPP connected Kurds, although before he engineered ceasefire with KPP and some half-way reforms accommodating Kurds, like allowing Kurdish language in media. A series of very bloody bomb attacks at HDP gathering was followed with full scale civil war and whole cities were demolished.

On-off spates with Israel were probably least consequential but given the hostility in created in USA, that probably already precluded a "rescue package" in a case of crisis. Absurd "pastor conflict" also added absurd sanctions.

Engagement in Syrian civil war had also costs that were not easily compensated by Gulf money, and terrorism perpetrated by the pet cobras of Erdogan hurt the tourism. Conflict with Russia had a non-negligible cost too. Some Arab markets were probably closed. EU was very nicely extorted, but that was one-time trick.

The purge of Gulenists brings memory of the purge of "cohorts" of Marshal Tukhachevsky. Back during Russian Civil war he was the most talented Communist commander, while Stalin was associated with rather mediocre Budionny. After his rise to power, Stalin was quite patient until he "discovered" an enormous plot around 1937. Besides "usual human toll", the very formula to identify the collaborators of Tukhachevsky eliminated most of competent officers from the military and had a huge psychological toll on the officers and generals that remained. While Erdogan was not near as bloody as Stalin, his formula for identifying enemies to be purged is also biased against educated and competent.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 19, 2018 9:32:21 AM | 43

I guess that unless you are gathering up all of your finite resources and selling them to the rest of the world you will end up in "crisis". Somehow this simple fact that underlies all global conflict, war, suffering, death, doesn't demand a second look....

Oh well ....back to the exciting act of discussing all of the symptoms/ramifications of this tragedy ad nauseam.

Posted by: Jef | Aug 19, 2018 9:59:25 AM | 44

Piotr Berman 43
The peso devaluation of the 90s. (I mentioned in another thread.) A Mexican-American friend related to me the same thing. I always keep it in mind as one reason (along with low pay, corruption, etc) for the flood of "migrants" to the US. Many had their savings wiped out. And Bill Clinton shook his finger at FNC's Chris Wallace that he got Mexico to pay off their debt back then. We know how. Privatize initial gains, socialize the losses. There is a book out there called, "And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out) Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina" where the same thing was done to yet another country. The result is the same: pain, suffering, turmoil, unrest.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 19, 2018 10:01:29 AM | 45

Thanks ger @ 41
The ambiguity was mine. I went for brevity to achieve full effect ! And I deliberately did'nt mention the j word for fear of being wrongly accused of anti semitism. In short I ment what I said. I was speaking literally !
Has the Israeli govenment taken over America lock stock and barrel !
Govenment, banks, oil, agriculture, industry, and commerce ! National and international policy. The whole lot! Mind boggling I know but the more I think about it the more it makes sense ! Look at the un, opcw, nato. An Israeli patten and foot print 100% same brutality and duplicity !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 19, 2018 10:38:45 AM | 46

Privatize initial gains, socialize the losses. Posted by: Curtis | Aug 19, 2018 10:01:29 AM | 45

That is a general principle that requires further elaboration. This variant of the scheme is that a large amount of credit is issued and at some point someone notices that the payback is far from assured, the potential creditors require higher interest rates that only decrease the possibility of payback and you get a downward spiral for mis-named securities. That requires a period of time with "unreasonable confidence". In the case of Mexico, NAFTA increased the confidence in Mexican currency and thus the pool of lenders (including myself). In the case of Argentina, one may identify dollar peg and associated "conservative budget", and the same happened in the case of Greece. In the case of Greece, Euro eliminated currency risk completely, so with the passivity (or worse) of European Bank, the amount of unreasonable credit could reach levels reminding Tulip Mania.

Mind you, given human creativity, there are many variations of "privatize gains, socialize the losses". E.g. British schemes for privatizations of railroads, utilities and hospitals that have the form of discrete transaction with no need for increased confidence and thus rather reliable outcome -- steady private gains, unstable and more expensive services, leaving no room for a mayhem inducing crisis. If you take comparisons with ecology, you can have swarms of leeches or packs of predators.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 19, 2018 10:59:16 AM | 47

ashley albanese 35, if Erdogan fails it'll be his end. I remember hearing some commentator explaining that as long a muslim leader wins it means that his god is protecting him. Erdo's destiny is impressive to say the least. Therefore, if my hearsay is correct, Erdogan must strongly believe in his god's protection. Again, if my hearsay is correct, he has to continue.
This hearsay would be a good explanation for his extraordinary self confidence and his capacity to lead his country. It would also explain why telling the truth, for instance he is in bed with ISIs for oil smuggling, is an act of spying against Turkey (his Turkey).
So, you don't have to be Muslim to believe that when you win and you're rich, you're god protected and can do as you please. Therefore, I accept my hearsay as real as long as nothing contradicts it.

Posted by: DidierF | Aug 19, 2018 1:44:27 PM | 48

I don’t understand why Turkey and Iraq continue to allow the US to supply it’s troops and the YPG using Turkish and Iraqi territory. Block them.

I understand why Russia has not enforced Syrian air space but they need to do it or help the Syrians do it eventually (after Idlib is liberated).

Posted by: Alaric | Aug 19, 2018 2:35:55 PM | 49

"Turkey will have to cooperate with Syria to reach that desirable end state. To achieve the removal of the U.S. from Syria necessitates a common plan.

When will Erdogan understand and accept this?"

Turkey entered Syria to put stop to an existential national security threat to the state of Turkey. It has no choice but to be where it is untill it is convinced the threat has been removed by other means.

The threat it faced was the creation of a Zionist-friendly Kurdistan running from Iran to the Mediterranean. If that happened Turkey would lose a substantial part of its territory adjoining Syria and most importantly the province of Hatay with the port of Iskanderun. The Kurds would need access to the sea to be a viable state and the Zionists would want that to gain control of eastern Med energy resources as part of the plan for Israel to replace Russia as a major energy supplier to Europe (all the better to keep those uppity Yurps, especially Germany, under a tight leash).

This existential threat was real and Turkey had no choice but to block this by sending troops in to surround the eastern enclave of Kurds. At the time, the SAA was in no position to do anyhthing itself, but now that is changing.

As for the financial crisis being of Turkey's own making - that is only true in the sense that it has ceased being obedient to the Zionists. The financial markets are totally rigged. It is possible for insiders to manipulate any currency against the USD. All it needs is a slight trigger and algorithmic systems will then switch in to do the heavy lifting.

To put the financial stability and integrity of various states in context, the ratio of debt to GDP is one (imperfect) indicator. The ratio is about 105% for the US and 64% for Germany. The figure for Russia is about 12% and Turket about 28%. Yet the US and Germany are considered to have strong sound economies, and Russia / Turkey weak ones. The US debt is clearly (and intentionally?) unpayable in the long term so why on earth would anyone take any more on? Yet that is still done apparently.

The other key factors are i) how USD-denominated loans does Turkey have and ii) how much does it trade in USD viz Ruble, Yuan, Iranian Rial, etc. All of these other national currencies are also being forced down against the USD so if this trade is a major part of the Turkish economy, the effect of the deteriorating USD-Turkish Lira exchange rate will be minimal.

Paradoxically, the Zionist-created financial crisis intended to destroy Turkey may act in its and Syria's favor. Even allowing for the postcoup decapitation of the NATO-trained high level Gulenist military leaders, Turkey will be in no position to implement the so-called 'Turkish caliphate' and will have to go for a relatively peaceful (subject to domestic Turkish politics) and low cost solution. The ideal would be for the Syrian Kurds to recognize they are Syrian and go through the now standard reconciliation process. This would allow the SAA to take control of the border with Turkey. If Turkey seals its border with Idlib preventing escape by and resupply of the terrorists then they should fall relatively quickly.

I close with a statement that should be on every national country leaders lips (with appropriate changes) - ie such leaders should put their own country first and deal dispassionately with others.

"I am not your friend, bride or groom. I am the President of Russia". V.V.P.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 19, 2018 2:37:33 PM | 50

Turkey's crisis is homemade. The current spat with the United States only exaggerates it. For years Turkey borrowed large amounts of money from abroad and invested it into local infrastructure instead of producing exportable products.

This is a false dichotomy. b possibly wrote it because he's German, where this ideology is dominant.

Since the crisis of the 90s, Germany has adopted a macroeconomic policy of enhancing, by whatever means necessary, exports in value terms (i.e. high-technology products) in order to cover it accounts deficits. As a result, emphasis was put into repressing workers' wages so that they consume less and thus export more. This became entrenched in the German psyche over the last three decades, to the point a consumer-based economy -- like the UK or even Greece -- became an anthema to them: that's why popular support for austerity (to the others) is so big in Germany, it worked for them in the 90s, so why wouldn't it work for the Mediterraneans in the 2010s? Problem is, with the creation of the Euro, the less industrialized members at the moment of its creation were simply dispossessed of its capability to equally industrialize and thus compete with Germany in exports, so, basically, Germany climbed the ladder just to kick it to the ground.

But an exporter economy presupposes a consumer economy. Enter the USA, which as the owner of the standard fiat currency (the Dollar) can indebt indefinitely (as long as the rest of the world continues to be forced to use it in international transactions). That's why rising in consumption is never criticized when it is the USA that does it, but very criticized when it is a Third World "populist" who does it.

The good news is, there is a third option: industrialization. China has demonstrated that, if you use your surpluses to induce industrialization (i.e. produce goods that produce more goods), then you can have rising wages without high inflation (because there are more goods now than before). That was Erdogan's error: to use this cheap money when times were good to invest in unproductive sectors (housing and civilian infrastructure), not in industrialization (productive sectors) -- not that he didn't emphasized in "exports".

Posted by: vk | Aug 19, 2018 3:10:48 PM | 51

fast freddy @14 wrote:

Trump is tweet bragging about not paying the 230 million annually to Syria. He bullied the Saudis and others to pony up.

Before anyone gets too impressed with that feat, it might be a good idea to think through the ramifications.

Anyone who enlists in the US military is now signing up not just to defend the US but also to be a foreign mercenary at the command of the Gulf States, not the CoC.

As usual Congress is asleep and unable to exercise any spine whatsoever. A different group with from a better time would be drawing up articles of impeachment.

Posted by: Chris | Aug 19, 2018 4:04:05 PM | 52

The 'cost' of Erdogan's choosing to align with SCO is an economic downturn for Turkey. It will simply take time for Turkey to adjust to increased sanctions and the real prospect that the free-trade agreement with EU is terminated (Turkey got the free-trade agreement after it entered NATO).

Erdogan will seek SCO help with the economic adjustment but I think Erdogan is also seeking a geo-political gain: to retain the areas in northern Syria that he currently occupies and maybe even his control further east so that he controls the entire border region.

This is not mere speculation! Erdogan has said that's what he wants to do: Afrin -> Manjib -> entire border region.

But Erdogan's retaining northern Syria would conflict with Assad's determination to win back ALL of Syrian lands. It also would allow USA to make a stronger case for remaining in Syria - and possibly for partitioning Syria.

This is a complex game. I have expressed doubts about Erdogan's 'turn east' many times. Erdogan takes big risks if the leaves NATO/West but the obvious "compensation" that he might demand to do that might actually help USA/NATO/West.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 19, 2018 4:10:16 PM | 53

b,

1. Will the German-dominated-EU save Turkey from collapse?

And the most important of all questions:

2. As you stated yourself, if Turkey indeed does collapse economically will it cut back on it's enormous military ? Before it does that, will it not use it's present military might to gain what it can beforehand? Who will be the target? Greece?

Posted by: redrooster | Aug 19, 2018 4:44:14 PM | 54

VK @ 51:

I hate to tell you that your argument is on the circular side. The Mediterranean countries are in trouble because, being part of the Eurozone as Germany is, and having started industrialisation late compared to Germany, their industries cannot compete with their German equivalents.

In a later paragraph, you propose a "third" option: industrialisation!

Had you said that the Mediterranean zone should go back to their original currencies or be allowed greater fiscal control over their economies, in addition to "industrialising", your argument would have better sense. But to be honest, I can't see how "industrialisation" is going to help the Mediterranean zone much if these countries also have to compete with cheap Chinese-made manufactured goods.

Italy has tried the family-run / high-quality niche market approach (in fashion, shoes, handbags and the like) but even this is wilting in the face of cheaper (if lower quality) Chinese manufactured goods.

I agree that Erdogan's approach to stimulating the economy is flawed in that it favoured those sectors (housing and infrastructure construction) that benefited his family and business cronies while also gaining support from the Justice and Development Party's core constituency (the Anatolian heartland rural poor and working class).

I would add that spending money on building religious schools and favouring religious education - instead of investing in education that prepares lower middle class and working class Turkish young adults with knowledge, technical skills and critical thinking abilities needed in an industrial economy, to be able to identify what the country needs and work towards fulfilling those needs - is a significant issue that will come to overshadow Erdogan's long-term legacy. Turkey's ban on teaching evolution and the education system there favouring creationism is one aspect of the Erdogan government's failure to invest in the education (including technical and scientific education) that Turkish people need. This failure though might accord with Erdogan's flattering of himself as a neo-Ottoman sultan figure, as historically the Ottomans gained support among ordinary people by building mosques, madrasahs and hospitals, and giving them needed social services.


Posted by: Jen | Aug 19, 2018 6:44:50 PM | 55

Jen @ 54

"I hate to tell you that your argument is on the circular side. The Mediterranean countries are in trouble because, being part of the Eurozone as Germany is, and having started industrialisation late compared to Germany, their industries cannot compete with their German equivalents. "

Nah.


Late industrialization can create an advantage (due to more modern production devices) for the late one as it did for Germany in the 1800s compared to the UK. Germany's advantage is due to a lot of things but not early industrialization. Germany has long been the largest market in Europe and it was (at one time) unable to grow enough food for its population, making exports a necessity so as to import food. Germany was given preferential access to all of the US/UK colonies after World War II. The Euro further increased Germany's advantages as it effectively gave Germany an undervalued currency while giving the poorer countries in Europe an overvalued currency compared to their economy, making their economies less competitive.

Posted by: alaric | Aug 19, 2018 8:28:44 PM | 56

Alaric @ 55:

I had in mind late industrialisation being post-WWII industrialisation. At the time, Spain and Portugal were still mostly rural (and ruled by fascist governments) with the main industrial areas in the Basque and Catalan-speaking areas. Greece after WWII was completely destroyed by Nazi German occupation - and on top of that destruction had a civil war that lasted 3 years.

---

Come to think of it, West Germany (in the last half of the 20th century) did well relying on foreign workers from countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece and especially Turkey to work in its manufacturing industries. The problem though was that these foreign workers did not return home (for various reasons in their home countries: fascist governments, military governments, no jobs, governments spending money on promoting tourism rather than industry, whatever) and so these countries missed out on the skills these workers gained.

Turkey did once push to be admitted to the EU so its unemployed and unskilled workers could have Schengen zone access to continue to work in a united Germany (which now relies on eastern European labour or outsourcing its industries to Poland and other eastern European countries). That dream is now impossible. Turkey should have then prepared for a future in which its people have the education and the skills to work in value-added high-technology industries.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 19, 2018 9:24:36 PM | 57

UN Report Finds ISIS Given “Breathing Space” in US-Occupied Areas of Syria

By maintaining an ISIS pocket in the territory it occupies, the U.S. can continue to justify its illegal presence in the country for the long-term, ultimately substituting Iran for ISIS as its new regional boogeyman.

maps of eastern Syria make it clear that the pockets of Daesh within U.S.-controlled territory have remained unchanged in size since November 2017 while the Daesh pockets in the Syrian government-controlled portion of eastern Syria have shrunk considerably since last November.

...when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has tried to attack Daesh positions in the area this year, they have been targeted by U.S. coalition airstrikes.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 19, 2018 10:14:12 PM | 58

Mark2, Pft, Lockhearn, ben, Chipnik and others, it’s great to see y’all discussing the supra-national bankster cabal which I see as truly the root of all the evils in today’s world.

Sure, there’s plenty of evil in the Military/Industrial Complex, the rapacious extraction industries, the manipulation of universal spiritual experience through organized religions to acquire power and control over the masses and plain old sociopathy/psychopathy.

But it is the bankster cabal that profits off of each and every one of those lesser evils (and more), and surely appears to be the string-pullers behind all the puppets danced before us in the public sphere.

I’ve posted numerous times links to IMF, World Bank, BRICS, SOC and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank showing that they are all parts of that same cabal. Today, let’s look a bit more closely at the BIS.

The Bank of International Settlements gets almost no mention in MSM (or alternative sites) exactly as they’ve always intended.


The BIS enjoys similar protections to those granted to the headquarters of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and diplomatic embassies.


Founded by an international treaty, and further protected by the 1987 Headquarters Agreement with the Swiss government, the BIS enjoys similar protections to those granted to the headquarters of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and diplomatic embassies.

The BIS has the right to communicate in code and to send and receive correspondence in bags covered by the same protection as embassies, meaning they cannot be opened. The BIS is exempt from Swiss taxes. Its employees do not have to pay income tax on their salaries

The bank’s extraordinary legal privileges also extend to its staff and directors. Senior managers enjoy a special status, similar to that of diplomats

The BIS’s main mission, in its own words, is threefold: “to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in these areas, and to act as a bank for central banks.”

The BIS was founded in 1930. It was ostensibly set up as part of the Young Plan to administer German reparations payments for the First World War. The bank’s key architects were Montagu Norman, who was the governor of the Bank of England, and Hjalmar Schacht, the president of the Reichsbank who described the BIS as “my” bank. The BIS’s founding members were the central banks of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and a consortium of Japanese banks…. J. P. Morgan, the First National Bank of New York, and the First National Bank of Chicago.

The New York Times described Schacht, widely acknowledged as the genius behind the resurgent German economy, as “The Iron-Willed Pilot of Nazi Finance.”

During WW II: “Basel was the perfect location, as it is perched on the northern edge of Switzerland and sits al- most on the French and German borders. A few miles away, Nazi and Allied soldiers were fighting and dying… Nationalities were irrelevant. The overriding loyalty was to international finance. The president, Thomas McKittrick, was an American. Roger Auboin, the general manager, was French. Paul Hechler, the assistant general manager, was a member of the Nazi party and signed his correspondence “Heil Hitler.” Rafaelle Pilotti, the secretary general, was Italian. Per Jacobssen, the bank’s influential economic adviser, was Swedish. His and Pilotti’s deputies were British.”


If the New World Order Globalists running the AZ Empire have a single organization in which they collude to rule over the 99%, and resolve conflicts between branches of the octopus, BIS would surely seem to fit the bill.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 19, 2018 11:04:16 PM | 59

@7

"Of course, Turkish military can say bye-bye to its present size. It's unsustainable. Financial crunch will reduce Turkish armed forces to less than half of their present size."

Turkey claims to only spend 2% of GDP on defense. Could be nonsense but there isn't much to cut back if true especially in its environment.

Posted by: quote | Aug 20, 2018 12:24:51 AM | 60

@58

It is 2% of their current inflated GDP. Should the economic collapse indeed take place, Turkey's GDP will fall by at least 20%, which makes the spending on military way higher than 2%.

Posted by: redrooster | Aug 20, 2018 1:58:29 AM | 61

@ vk | Aug 19, 2018 3:10:48 PM | 51

"The good news is, there is a third option: industrialization."

Good explanation till this sentence. In the "free trade" world and narrative it boils down to "race to the bottom" i.e., who is gonna to have a cheaper labor, or stay competitive. Or, everything at same point turn to currency war.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 4:57:15 AM | 62

@redrooster | Aug 20, 2018 1:58:29 AM | 59

the US spends like ~2.5% on military, officially. It looks reasonable and almost nothing to that bloated GDP which included everything. Out of these 2.5%, 55% is tax revenue - cash.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 5:12:19 AM | 63

....and the rest is guess what?...credit.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 5:13:01 AM | 64

@61

2.5% of the biggest GDP on the world is massive.

Yes, the argument can be made that the USA GDP is inflated too, but no one seriously believes that it is under threat, contrary to the GDP of smaller and weaker countries. At least not for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: redrooster | Aug 20, 2018 5:26:36 AM | 65

bloated it is. if you buy for example tv and than you return it to the buyer in one week after the super-bowl it is counted as a sales thus gdp. non-performing loans goes into gdp, student loans, cds, cdo, etc, etc.

realistically the us' gdp is about ~$12B.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 6:59:02 AM | 66

@64

When you return a purchased item to a shop, it has to cancel the ealier purchase when receiving it. So it is "counted on the GDP" only temporarily if you so will.

Loans are of course counted, because the system assumes they will be paid back with interest. As long as the bubble doesn't burst it is counted normally on GDP. After the bubble burst however the GDP plummets because it has to write off the losses.

So yes i agree with you that the US GDP is bloated but i don't see it realistically threatened any time soon.

Posted by: redrooster | Aug 20, 2018 7:26:47 AM | 67

"...because the system assumes they will be paid back with interest."

that's funny assumption. 40% of Americans can't cover a $400 emergency expense.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 9:06:40 AM | 68

@66

Does this statistic include children and infants? Just joking.

Whatever the reality might be if the bubble had burst we would have noticed it.

Posted by: redrooster | Aug 20, 2018 9:20:50 AM | 69

yes, just like this.

https://twitter.com/BitarSaif/status/1031537410331619328

Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 9:48:33 AM | 70

Great analysis & detail again, b.

However, I suspect that Erdogan is partly correct about USA meddling with his Lira. A bunch of serious neo-cons buried into the US Dept of Treasury at the end of the Cheney Regime, and Obama never rooted them out. Since then, managing financial sanctions against Iran has been a much higher priority for Treasury than managing the US economy.

I'm not certain, but I would bet that they have recently been buying & selling Lira to exacerbate the problems. They might not be able to waste $T to the Lira, but they could well have triggered the recent volatility by buying a few $B in Lira one day and dumping them the next day. The Treasury would lose money on the deal, but why they would consider it (other people's) money well spent.

Posted by: elkern | Aug 20, 2018 12:59:16 PM | 71

Pat Lang has a relevant post which talks about Erdogan's desire to keep Idlib and to extend his control further east along the border.

Erdogan's anti-Kurd stance could be helpful but his desire to keep Idlib is problematic (of course). It might be possible in the context of Turkey's moving into the SCO orbit. But if Turkey can keep Idlib, that only justify's the partition of Syria. Interestingly, only a few months ago we suddenly saw comments to the effect that "Syria is not a country" - but such talk seemed to quickly disappear.

I wrote a comment about this a couple of days ago that never appeared.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 20, 2018 1:10:56 PM | 72

@ Posted by: Jen | Aug 19, 2018 6:44:50 PM | 55

When I mentioned industrialization, I was referring to b’s quote (about “exports[...]”). I specifically stated the equivalence of sustainable development with exports (i.e. austerity) is a 90s-00s German mirage (or the “austerity mirage” if you will).

I agree with you: the fate of the EZ countries not named Germany is already sealed. In a hundred year from now, you great-grandchildren will ask “were these countries once considered the crème de la crème of civilization”? With the same astonishment we today ask ourselves how the Middle East was once the center of human civilization during the Bronze Age or China in the Middle Ages.


@ Posted by: partizan | Aug 20, 2018 4:57:15 AM | 62

That’s only true in the capitalist system. In capitalism, yes, once you decide your country will be industrialized, it will have to begin to super-exploit your own people at first, then it will reach an apex of life quality (a moment when productivity and profit rate are high at the same time – this happened once, in the post-WWII reconstruction), then profit rates will begin to fall (due to high organic composition of capital) and the country will have to enhance exports in value terms (i.e. raise the relative quantity of commodities produced to be directed to exports, which will imply in wage stagnation and then, finally, decrease).

But this is only valid for a capitalist country. China is a socialist country, so this rule is not dominant (yes, I know, a capitalist counter-revolution can happen in China, China can become capitalist in the future etc. etc., but today, August 2018, it is not). Yes, I’m implicitly advocating for socialist revolutions in the so-called Third World, because the road to industrialization through “free trade” (i.e. capitalism) is definitely closed (because, as I’ve already stated, capitalist industrialized countries inevitably reach a stage where they will have to export, which implies in raw-materials-exporter/manufactures-importer countries, a.k.a. the Third World itself – this was the most glaring stroke of genius of Mao Zedong).

Posted by: vk | Aug 20, 2018 8:26:11 PM | 73

Daniel @ 59
Good comment as always ! Top to bottem you nailed it. All the rest of world affairs are but 'details' strange people refuse to ever mention who's pulling the strings. The task falls to us!
Late reply down to incoming fire!

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 21, 2018 6:26:38 AM | 74

Here’s something that didn’t get much (any?) coverage at MSM “news” sites. Regarding those thousands of “boots on the ground” the US has in Iraq…

“We’ll keep troops there as long as we think they’re needed”… Colonel Sean Ryan told a news conference in Abu Dhabi.


Not as long as the Iraqi government thinks they’re “needed.” As long as “we think they’re needed.” Rather a different answer than the ones given by Iran, Lebanon and Russia when asked about withdrawing from Syria.

Speaking of Syria, a reminder of US policy:

An abrupt U.S. withdrawal could complete Assad's sweep of Syrian territory and help guarantee [President Assad’s] political survival — an outcome that would constitute a win for Iran, his close ally.

To avoid that outcome, U.S. officials say they plan to maintain a U.S. troop presence in northern Syria… and establish new local governance, apart from the Assad government, in those areas.

"By placing no timeline on the end of the U.S. mission . . . the Pentagon is creating a framework for keeping the U.S. engaged in Syria for years to come."


How many years? Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria for decades!

ps. thanks, and back atcha again Mark2.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 21, 2018 11:52:00 PM | 75

I am worried that the sudden demands by new British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for yet more sanctions against Russia on the totally unsubstantiated claims on Salisbury poisonings together with other memes from known propagandists suggest we are about to see 'Assad' commit some more self defeating nerve agent attacks in Syria.....

Posted by: Mark T | Aug 22, 2018 4:09:33 AM | 76

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