Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 09, 2015

Turkey's Imperial Motive In Attacking Syria And Iraq

Turkey's attack on Syria and Iraq and its support for Islamists in those countries and elsewhere is often described as religiously motivated. But that is only a part of the story. The real-political side is an imperialist effort to expand Turkey into the space of the former Ottoman empire.

A former head of Israel’s National Security Council Giora Eiland writes in The Guardian:

About a year before that meeting with the Russian, I met a senior Turkish official. That was at a time when relations between Jerusalem and Ankara were excellent. At that meeting, the Turkish official spoke openly about his country’s world view. “We know that we cannot get back the lands that were under the control of the Ottoman empire before 1917,” he said, “but do not make the mistake of thinking that the borders that were dictated to us at the end of the first world war by the victorious countries – mainly the UK and France – are acceptable to us. Turkey will find a way to return to its natural borders in the south – the line between Mosul in Iraq and Homs in Syria. That is our natural aspiration and it is justified because of the large Turkmen presence in that region.”

A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency assessment in 2012 provided:


The former Turkish military adviser Metin Gurcan in AL-Monitor analyzes the aims of the Turkish invasion of Iraq:

Ankara — which realizes each player in Syria and Iraq is setting up its own “boutique power base” — feels a best-case scenario for Turkey will be:
  • To allow emergence of the Mosul-based "Sunnistan Autonomous Administration," which is loosely linked to Baghdad, as Baghdad's central authority is waning by the day.
  • To enable cooperation between the KRG and the Sunni bodies in Syria, and the "Iraqi Sunnistan" under the security umbrella of the Turkish military.
  • For Turkey to become the regional sponsor of this new three-entity structure.

Some U.S. circles like the plan. John Bolton recently wrote an NYT op-ed To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State which endorses the deconstruction of Iraq.

I posted a link to the above piece with the "Sunnistan Autonomous Administration" line on Twitter and added:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA
@MoonofA #pt Turkey IMHO wants even more: "Annex Mosul and seize the northern Iraqi oil fields".

There followed this little exchange:

Erdal Ϝ ϓ ſ Ϟ - F16 @CccErdal
@MoonofA Mosul has always been Turkish land until the beginning of the 20th century. They are just taking what is theirs.
Moon of Alabama @MoonofA
@CccErdal Mosul is as much "Turkish land" as India is "British land".
Erdal Ϝ ϓ ſ Ϟ - F16 @CccErdal
@MoonofA Turks will bring peace and prosperity to the Middle East after British/French destroyed/colonized it in ww1.

I have no idea who CccErdal is but his profile picture is full of "Türk" whatever flags.

All the above is just to show that Turkey under Erdogan has a neo-Ottoman expansionist view. It wants parts of Iraq and Syria incorporated into Turkey. This view is popular in the ethnic Turk parts of Turkey. Erdogan is getting some support - or at least little resistance - from his NATO allies in pursuing this aim.

The overall Turkish plan is to re-establish the Ottoman administrative units or vilayets of Aleppo, Diyarbekir in its southern extend to the Euphrates and Mosul. These areas include large oil and gas fields in Syria and north Iraq. The Russian intervention in Syria frustrates the Aleppo plan. The temporary U.S. alliance with the YPK Kurds in Syria hinders the southern extension of Diyarbekir to the Euphrates. A serious move on Mosul started last weekend and has not yet been challenged by force. If diplomatic pressure fails to dislodge the Turks from the area Iraqi militia will attack the new Turkish positions near Mosul.

Turkey's plans are illegal under international law and under the charter of the United Nations. Moreover they do not respect the will of the people living in those areas. Are we to believe that Christians, Alawites and Yezidis, Kurds and Arabs in Syria and Iraq crave for being again ruled by ethnocentric Turks? The "Turkmen brethren" in Iraq and Syria which Ankara provides as justification for its moves are after all just a tiny minority.

But the Turkish expansion plans are serious and have wide support in Turkey's nationalist and Islamist circles. Turks, like other people, can be ruthless and brutal in such endeavors:

One of the two [Russian] pilots was captured by the pro-Turkish forces, killed and mutilated by the rebels. Pieces of the body, extremities and face, were taken away.

Erdogan is willing to risk a lot, including a wider war, to pursue his neo-Ottoman dreams. Blackmailing Europe and Iraq and challenging Russia in Crimea and Chechnya through insertion of Turkish "Grey Wolf" fascist and "Tatar" are only minor measures. We can expect a lot more fool play and carnage before the Turks finally have to acknowledge that their expansionist plans will fail.

Posted by b on December 9, 2015 at 9:24 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The "Sultan" plays with fire. His lunatic illusion of rebuilding the "empire" will bring additional trouble to the Middle East and Turkey.

Posted by: nmb | Dec 9 2015 10:46 utc | 1

Why doesn't Putin announce he is stationing a number (a dozen? A score?) of tactical nukes in Syria as a counterweight to the U.S. nukes in Turkey and as a line of defence for the Syrian Government against any uninvited foreign incursions into Syrian territory.

This would send a very clear message to the Turks, and others, and make the path of escalation crystal clear to everyone.

You know, merely the announcement is probably enough - it signals intent - he may not in fact even have to move any nukes there in reality.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 9 2015 10:47 utc | 2

There seem to be some weird confidence in Ankara and among the AKP goons that they can somehow confront Russia and get away with it.

The rhetoric coming out from AKP officials is not helping matters. I wonder why.

Posted by: Zico | Dec 9 2015 11:00 utc | 3

@2 Julian: Didn't he?

Vladimir Putin: With regard to strikes from a submarine. We certainly need to analyse everything that is happening on the battlefield, how the weapons work. Both the Calibre missiles and the Kh-101 rockets are generally showing very good results. We now see that these are new, modern and highly effective high-precision weapons that can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads.

Naturally, we do not need that in fighting terrorists, and I hope we will never need it.

Posted by: jaqwith | Dec 9 2015 11:15 utc | 4

This is disgusting, absurdly pro-israel journalist Jake Wallis Simons (google him!)
have a whole article praising Israel aid to Syrian terrorists!

Posted by: Seder | Dec 9 2015 11:24 utc | 5

If turkey expands to east, turkey will lost the west. Stambul will become Constantinopla again.

Posted by: anonimo | Dec 9 2015 11:30 utc | 6

I think it is quite possible that USrael is consciously egging on both the foolish Turks and Saudis. When those two have made a real mess of the entire middle east - with abundant support from the USraelis - USrael will, reluctantly, as always, step-in and provide 'stability', rearranging the furniture and sweeping up. At not only its most salient dupes' expense.

That seems to me to be their plan anyway. We'll see what happens. If were a betting man, I'd short 'em.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 9 2015 11:34 utc | 7

You do not have to "egg" on Ukrainian nationalists to hate "Moskals" or Erdogan to dream of the title of the Calif of the Faithful that was sadly relinquished by the last Ottoman Sultan as he was deposed. In Topkapi Erdogan can gaze at the hair from the beard of the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and the sword of Umar, one of his famous Companions.

Erdogan is an Ottomaniacs. He wanted to have Ottoman language as an obligatory subject in Turkish schools. While its vocabulary is only somewhat different than contemporary, it uses Arabic script and complicated orthography (quite distant from the spoken language), and utility would be small. Although, what is more useful than reconnecting with the glorious past! Tayyip the Magnificent, yea! it has nice ring to it.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 9 2015 11:57 utc | 8

Destabilization and fracturing of states (taking out seven countries in five years per General Wesley Clark) as prescribed by the Yinon Plan and PNAC, also makes handy the theft of land and resources.

It appears that both Israel and Turkey covet Syrian land and resources. We must assume that the US and UK side more with Israel here.

Destabilization (murder, torture, rape, imprisonment, chaos, refugees) is running as planned in any case (albeit a bit behind schedule to meet the seven down in five years goal).

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 9 2015 12:22 utc | 9

@zico, that is indeed what it looks like. Erdogan is no loose canon; every action is planned and checked by nato.
Impossible for nato to oppose russia directly in syria, via turkey is the only logical route to deter it indirectly, without risking an escalation to a hot war with nato.
Dangerous maneuvering here. Even nato is catious and has an exit ready when it spirals out of hand ( seen the reaction after the shootdown of the ru fighter; they somewhat backed turkeys right to defend but warned it not to get reckless).
What this signals is that nato/us do NOT want it to turn in a direct conflict with nato/us vs russia but do everything to save as much of their agenda.

The question remains what turkey really gains. These are major risks and costs they take. For what. Regional dominance?
It also happens that the saudis have had their time and it is not so far fetched that turkey is being endorsed as the next client state via whome the west controls the mid east.
Honestly, is saudi arabia the power that can counterbalance the persian rise?

Furthermore, the west seems to be breaking with sa. Germany addressing sa's support of extremsim in the eu and region. And an ex mi6 that opens about bandar bush. The trap in yemen.

Posted by: Slekkus | Dec 9 2015 12:24 utc | 10

This from RT is interesting:

If so, this is the sound of the door being closed upon US-IS/NATO etc. etc. aka 'the beginning of the end'. Funny how these things happen when the necessity for war is so urgently required.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 9 2015 12:25 utc | 11

"Moon of Alabama @MoonofA"

@CccErdal Mosul is as much "Turkish land" as India is "British land"."

Wrong, Mosul is as much Turkish land as Northern Ireland or Malvinas archipelago is British land. Or, Azerbaijan Caucasus is Russian now which is stolen and occupied by Russian troops.

Note: not quotes here.

Lets face it, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, KSA and those principalities in Persian Gulf are artificial entities, and imperial ones at that. The problem of Nazi settler state is particularly acute one and I am not mentioned it because "they" should be on the move again, to their ancestor land - Europe. In their ancestor land they may continue to practice racisms and Nazism with local population.

As for Russia, they just demonstrating its lethal capacity and showing it to the US and the EU, in addition they are interested in preserving status quo in East Asia, they are not there to "help" to Syrians. As faithful Zionist friend, this alliance with Iran is not "natural" and is politically and strategically very time constrained. I believe Iranians fell very awkward in company with Russians.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 13:21 utc | 12

In the context of this post and the discussion, it's worth looking again at recent moves by the Usual State to fast-track their manoeurvrings in the Balkans, which appear to be aimed at re-establishing a (sort-of faux) Ottoman presence there.

Despite successes in resistance against Usual's activities in the region (e.g. in Macedonia and Montenegro), Usual seems to be inching slowly but surely towards some of their goals:
--undermining (generally sound) Serbia-Russia rapprochement
--ever-so-slyly laying the groundwork for the realisation (with Zagreb's connivance) of their desire to saw off that geographically vulnerable Novi Sad block of northern Serbia (thereby further isolating and shrinking the rump Serbia; creating a putative Romany homeland a la Israel; most of all, strengthening Croatia, the effective inheritor of such a move; spin off - geopolitically weakening the independent-inclined Hungary)
--accelerating the spillover of Albania into surrounding territory
--dividing the FYR into a Christian Near Balkans and a (faux) Ottoman Far Balkans (rump-Serbia, the two Ms, Greece (in part or whole), Bulgaria, Eur-Turkey, Greater Albania...)
--colouring the whole of the Balkans natoblue.
--further weakening of the EU project
-- More, no doubt

Posted by: Petra | Dec 9 2015 13:24 utc | 13


n: - anybody paid by Anakra to forcibly occupy territory in Syria coveted by Turkey. May include native Truks, e.g. Fascist 'Gray Wolves' or thrid country mercenaries.

Not to be confused with 'Syrian Turkmen', people of Turkmen descent happil living in Syria.

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 9 2015 13:29 utc | 14

"--undermining (generally sound) Serbia-Russia rapprochement"

There is no such thing, got it? It is a myth which trailing from WWI and "slavic brotherhood" and so-called panSlavism.

Latest example is when Serbian Gov. scraped deal of gas pipeline and as their PM said they should be more sources of energy than one.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 13:36 utc | 15

"CccErdal" is obviously a member of "Grey Wolves" neo-fascist organization, related with the political party MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). "CCC" is the symbol of MHP (it demonstrates the Islamic crescdent).

Posted by: ellaam | Dec 9 2015 13:40 utc | 16

@ jfl

"I think it is quite possible that USrael is consciously egging on both the foolish Turks and Saudis."

yes, I always think about this...

Posted by: Dario | Dec 9 2015 13:50 utc | 17

I have to admit it ... I really like the twitter exchange.
Much quicker than a seance, and safer too. People in a trance + candles shouldn't be in the same room together. And similar to seances, one can never be certain of the true ID of the entity with whom one was able to exchange wisdoms.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 9 2015 13:53 utc | 18

Posted by: Zico | Dec 9, 2015 6:00:49 AM | 3

Russia is unnerved enough to threaten a nuclear first strike on Europe.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2015 13:55 utc | 19


@2 Julian: Didn't he?

Very good point, thanks for the link.

@Formerly T-Bear@11

This from RT is interesting:

If so, this is the sound of the door being closed upon US-IS/NATO etc. etc. aka 'the beginning of the end'. Funny how these things happen when the necessity for war is so urgently required.

We certainly hope so, the Iraqi parliament is such a collection of corrupt characters, their word is not worth a dime. They have been sitting on the fence re: Russia's participation in Iraq's war against IS, benefiting from US "aid" while permitting their enemies to violate Iraq's sovereignty. It is a complex situation, and while the Turks consolidate their position, Iraqi politicians talk their heads off.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 13:57 utc | 20

How the states has been invented and created.

The Ottoman argument - which it is not argument at all, can be seen quite frequently by various idiots, this include Pepe Escobar. It should be seen in context of Islamofobia and hate, sensationalism as well. Needlessly to say the Ottoman empire is not possible. While the current violent and rapacious state capitalism has nothing to offer anymore, and Engels said that "Capitalism can only go back to barbarism" something like monarchy would be anachronism.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 14:04 utc | 21

Syria, today's smells like Berlin after WWII or Bosnia in 1994. "They", they are those who instigated and created mayhem and calamity in Balkan and than presented, in the end, themselves as peacemakers.

In both abovementioned cases they carved city and country into Zones. What I am seeing today in Syria is that is carved, behind the scene, between the Russians and the US. Each built own AFB followed by various logistics and special operation thus we have the US "sector" on the east and the Russian in West of country.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 14:14 utc | 22

In the 20th century the Turks committed the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Armenian, Assyrian and Greeks from their native lands. And still recognizes none of these events.

In 1938 it annexation of Syrian land (modern day Hatay province) and puts settlers there.

In 1955 the Istanbul Pogroms were the last Greeks and also some Armenians were ethnically cleansed from Istanbul.

In 1974 the invasion, ethnic cleansing and annexation of Cyprus which its still illegally occupies. Bringing in settlers. And now wants Cypriot gas.

Wants what is left of the Greek part of Thrace because there are still Turks there. Unlike the Greeks who are no longer in their own homeland of eastern Thrace(were modern day Istanbul is) and Anatolia. Claims parts of the Aegean and its islands and its minerals. Has threatened Greece with war if it tries to extract said minerals from the Greek part of the Aegean. And doesn't not mind constantly flying jets or coming in with naval ships deep into Greek territory whenever it feels like it. Does the same thing to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. And its treatment of the Kurd's is well documented.

Nothing has changed and nothing will change as long as the West turns a blind eye and doesn't acknowledge and condemn these acts. Or because of its own interests in the region.

Often people that don't live in the region or know it well make the mistake of thinking this is something that has started with Erdogan. They couldn't be more wrong.

It doesn't matter if it's Erdogan and his Ottoman dream or some Kemalist and his nationalist dream. The outcome is the same for people in surrounding countries.

Posted by: John Jones | Dec 9 2015 14:23 utc | 23

Turkey's move within Iraq has a taste of "Cyprus bis". No wonder why the superpowers are silent.
Busy with COP21 and the recent privatization of the airspace?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 9 2015 14:25 utc | 24

It strikes me as odd that Erdogan, enraged by the arrogance of the foreigners who redrew the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire, at the point of a gun (without consulting the locals), wants to correct the errors of the past by redrawing them again, at the point of a gun (without consulting the locals).

Is there a word in the Turkish language for Negotiation?
And if so, shouldn't someone tell Tayyip the Magnificent about it?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 9 2015 14:34 utc | 25

@Hoarsewhisperer |

The Catholic Bulletin was particularly impressed with the Turkish negotiating skill at Lausanne and contrasted it to, what it saw as, the Irish failure in negotiating with the British in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 that left the country part of the British Empire and divided the national forces against each other. The Turks had successfully beaten the Imperial power and The Catholic Bulletin described Ataturk as the man of the year in 1923 and the greatest cause for optimism in a world that was shattered by the catastrophe of war.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 14:44 utc | 26

Why did Britain make war on Turkey?

This is one of the central questions of my book and it is very important to understand the British strategic imperatives so that misconceptions can be avoided.

For England the war on Turkey came from a great change of policy. Britain acted as an ally of the Ottoman Empire for most of the century before the Great War. During this period Britain was determined to preserve the Ottoman State as a giant buffer zone between its Empire and the expanding Russian Empire. It was part of what was known as the Great Game in England that the Russians should not have Constantinople and the warm water port that this would have given them. It was for this reason that England fought the Crimean War. Later on in the century the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli negotiated the Treaty of Berlin to help preserve the Ottoman Empire against another attempted Russian expansionism in the region.

However, whilst Britain was determined to preserve the Ottoman Empire and was prepared to use force to prevent the Russians having Constantinople its relations with the Sultan were very disadvantageous to the Turks. England, with the French, helped preserve the Ottoman Empire in a weak, dependent state through devices like the Capitulations so that outlying Ottoman territories could be absorbed into the British Empire in a gradual process (for example, Egypt) when a favourable opportunity arose.

If we take this as the truth than it is not difficult to fathom origin of Armenian genocide. The devils are in details which we will never know and finally Armenian genocide is serving as political tool in daily politics, not as a lesson from history. Minorities as as a rule tool in foreign hands. Might is Right remember that.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 14:50 utc | 27

Not quite off topic ... (one of the Top Ten best cartoons of all time, imo)

"Tough question for Obama"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 9 2015 15:14 utc | 28


@2 Julian: Didn't he?

[...] Naturally, we do not need that in fighting terrorists, and I hope we will never need it [...]

You brought up a very good point, and thanks for the link.

Master of subtlety Putin enveloped the message, but his emphasis was on "Naturally, we do not need that in fighting terrorists..." BUT (BIG BUT) we might need them somewhere else, and just in case, we have the Rostov-on-Don in the Mare Nostrum, missiles ready to get nuclear warheads.

That was not a "nuclear first strike" threat to Eurostan, as somebody@19 misinterpreted, the statement was purposely made to mark, once again, Russian red line re: the takfiris and their sponsors. Since the missile launching was done in the context of Russia's row with Turkey, and in the aftermath of Turkey's invasion of Iraq, the message had an intended target, not difficult to guess.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 15:29 utc | 29

GW?said it best;Beware of foreign entangling alliances.I say,Yankee Come Home.Please?

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 9 2015 15:32 utc | 30

A new document reveals somewhat different story how the Ottomans enter in WWI.

...Turkish scholar Ali Kaşıyuğun’s PhD thesis published in 2014 at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University revealed the original German-language copy of Enver Pasha’s order to Souchon in the Turkish military archive.

The Turkish fleet will establish naval domination on the Black Sea. To achieve it, search and destroy the Russian fleet where ever it is and without declaring war,” the German text said. A handwritten annotation by Hakkı Pasha on the German order states that it was “written by the instruction of Minister [Enver] Pasha and translated [into German] by myself.”

‘The death of 100,000 innocents’

In the first weeks of his diaries, Hafız Hakkı Pasha sounded upbeat, repeatedly stressing the importance of displaying “bravado” in the face of challenges like the ones the Ottoman Empire then faced in an “ill-timed” war.

As he led the Ottoman army in the east, he generally praised the empire’s ally Germany and seemed to be broadly agreeing with Enver’s decisions to invade the Caucasus. But he sometimes voiced complaints over the insufficient support to his troops provided by Souchon’s battleships or the “chaos” the presence of German officers in the Ottoman military headquarters created.

After the Ottoman army’s embarrassing defeat at the Battle of Sarikamish against the Russian army and its local allies, namely Armenian, Georgian and Caucasus Greek volunteers, Hakkı Pasha’s tone completely changed. In December 1914 and January 2015, his diary entries bluntly slammed Enver Pasha.

“Ah Enver! Ah! By launching this winter campaign and ordering the 9th Corps to attack, you caused the death of 100,000 innocents. God forgive you,” he wrote on Jan. 16, 1915.

In short, unlike what many Western historians still suggest, Enver Pasha had never “wanted to stand back” at the outset of World War I and his “bravado,” encouraged by many of his comrades, could have still lead to the unnecessary death of thousands even without an “independent-minded German commander.”

In this article a journalist call named the head of ruling clique "Adventure-loving Enver Pasha". Erdogan is no less Adventure-loving and in my judgment is no man of wisdom. He is a fascist type of politicians, chauvinists and racists, just like his Euro-American counterparts.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 15:39 utc | 31

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9, 2015 10:29:04 AM | 28

Turkey does not have nuclear weapons - yet. Europe has.

A nuclear first strike would only be justified by being existentially threatened with nuclear weapons.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2015 15:49 utc | 32

@Formerly T-Bear@11

This from RT is interesting:

If so, this is the sound of the door being closed upon US-IS/NATO etc. etc. aka 'the beginning of the end'. Funny how these things happen when the necessity for war is so urgently required.

Don't raise your hopes so high, Iraq's parliament and politicians are corrupt to the core, they posture with anti-imperialist statements, in reality they benefit from the crumbs the US gives them to keep their stranglehold on Iraq. The only hope for Iraq are the Iran-trained militias, as b pointed out just recently in the former thread.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 15:57 utc | 33


Turkey does not have nuclear weapons - yet. Europe has.

A nuclear first strike would only be justified by being existentially threatened with nuclear weapons.

You're rushing ahead of yourself. The takfiris have no nuclear weapons, and Putin's statement was "...I hope we will never need..." them. That didn't eliminate the possibility of using them, if necessary, with the takfiris. Implied is a warning to takfiris' sponsors, NATO included. In Putin's statement, subtlety is the key, he uses an stiletto, not a sledgehammer.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 16:17 utc | 34

Putin and Iran are chest players. Turkey plays backgammon.

Posted by: Virgule | Dec 9 2015 16:36 utc | 35

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9, 2015 11:17:14 AM | 33

Full quote

“Naturally, this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed,” the president added.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2015 16:49 utc | 36

b asks " Are we to believe that Christians, Alawites and Yezidis, Kurds and Arabs in Syria and Iraq crave for being again ruled by ethnocentric Turks?"

But, he doesn't really entertain the question. It's a very interesting one. I would bet most of those people wish they had Turkish passports rather than Syrian or Iraqi. Haven't read the comments, but this is a question that should be discussed much more. I think the Ottomans were ok at governance, compared to what they've got, ok may look pretty good. I know Algeria doesn't hate the Turks. Many people love a winner, and Turkey may appear to be so. There's not much that's sacrosanct about the borders drawn up in Sykes-Picot and you ask a question that I think is being very much discussed in cafes across the former Ottoman empire

Posted by: scottindallas | Dec 9 2015 16:49 utc | 37

35 Virgule--we play checkers

Posted by: scottindallas | Dec 9 2015 16:50 utc | 38

Das Geschenk ist für dich. . The present is for you

Posted by: c | Dec 9 2015 16:56 utc | 39

I am digressing quite a bit from the Turks and addressing the rest of the ME situation.

IMO the Saudis can be taken off the equation as they have their hands full in Yemen. They will need all the money they can muster
to replace the equipment being destroyed relentlessly by the Houthis.

After watching the Houthis in action and many other videos, I must say I am really impressed by their prowess on the battle field.

They would prove a match for any professional or mercenary army. Rag tag and on foot they are truly impressive.

Yet, the media reports only address the Saudi bombings. Nothing is being said of the sizeable losses the Sauds are experiencing despite their Abrams and other expensive toys.

Once the Houthis are equipped with manpads they will really be ultra tough to beat.

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 9 2015 16:58 utc | 40

Off topic.

CIA supporting death squads to counter advance of Taliban in Afghanistan

Posted by: Les | Dec 9 2015 17:05 utc | 41

Islam is shit - west are the best - yes that was basically the message from Australia’s ex-PM Abbott defends comments on Islam.

The comments by western leaders show their true neo colonial views.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday defended his comments suggesting Western culture is superior to that of Islam, AP reported. Abbott, a staunch Catholic, earlier in the day wrote in a Sydney Daily Telegraph opinion piece of the need to “modernize” Islam, saying it propagates a culture that is inferior to that of the West. Critics associated his comments with those of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “I am more than ready to assert the superiority of a culture that is decent and humane, and welcoming, over a culture that thinks it's right to kill in the name of God,” Abbott said in a speech in Singapore. He said that more assistance should be rendered by outside powers such as the US and Australia to help local forces fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Abbott was ousted in September by current leader Malcolm Turnbull in a Liberal Party coup after two years in office.

Posted by: Seder | Dec 9 2015 17:13 utc | 42

41 Seder As we out pace them in killing 100 to one. The old splinter in your neighbor's eye while ignoring the log in one's own

Posted by: scottindallas | Dec 9 2015 17:18 utc | 43


I agree. I would also add that the redistribution of Syrians, such as today's exile of militants and civilians from Homs to somewhere in Idlib, suggests the creation of a Northern zone too, under the auspices of the Turks.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 9 2015 17:27 utc | 44

41 More countries are requesting assistance from Russia in fighting these insurgencies as they find the groups being supported by the US-NATO. China is building its first military base in Afria. The counterinsurgency game has become analogous to an organized crime protection racket where the governments are blackmailed into accepting US military basing arrangements. In the case of Iraq and Syria, the US and its allies don't even make the pretense that they're invited in...

Posted by: Les | Dec 9 2015 17:34 utc | 45

Posted by: Les | Dec 9, 2015 12:34:30 PM | 44

41 More countries are requesting assistance from Russia in fighting these insurgencies

Can you please provide sources of your info or at least name 10 countries?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 9 2015 17:47 utc | 46

And where are Rothschild intentions in all of this?

Regarding a company of low repute:

"One of these is Genel Energy Plc. This is one of the Rothschild companies, which should start alarm bells ringing in itself. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, we can say that it has made vast investments in Syria and Northern Iraq and it would make more business sense if it could deal with one compliant government in these countries rather than two unreliable ones. Taking a less charitable line, we can suggest, as some pundits have, that there has long been a Rothschild plan to create a Kurdish state for this purpose, and it was in the works even before the 9/11 attacks.

"However, no one is going to sacrifice the Rothschilds, who can buy and sell any country on earth, and through investing in military actions. So if one of the players has to be cut out for being an embarrassment, it would have to be one the West already has plenty against. This is where, once again, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes in. He and his clan have made a lot of money by abusing their authority to become major components in this business. But if anyone has to take a fall to keep the operation running, they are the prime targets, and they know it.

"Divorce of convenience

"Turkey is a US ally because of where it is. It may be under constant disapproval for being everything the West claims to oppose, but as long as it is useful that doesn’t matter, unless, of course, you have the misfortune to live there.

"One of Turkey’s most useful features is its ports – or rather, certain ports not actually in Turkey. Under the Treaty of Kars, signed in 1921, the area now known as the Adjarian Autonomous Region was ceded by the transitional Turkish state to the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. However, one clause of that agreement states that Turkey has the right to transport goods in and out of the port of Batumi without paying any duties and can use the port whenever it wants without paying any duties. In effect, this means it retains control of Batumi’s port facilities, and can classify them as a “strategic interest”.

"This arrangement has several useful aspects. Firstly, the Georgian authorities cannot police the port. Turkey can do whatever it wants there, transporting goods which would be too risky to move elsewhere, and Georgia’s best bet is to claim a piece of the inevitable action. Secondly, as the port is a “strategic interest" -do read more-

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 9 2015 18:02 utc | 47

To No.36 - if you can say that Ottomans were good at governance, then you must have slept through the history lesson in high school (or, elementary school, for those w more rigorous curriculum). The Ottomans mostly just extracted taxes from the areas they governed and nothing else. For most of the 19th cent., Turkey was referred to as the 'sick man of Europe,' and it certainly is plausible that UK left it alone as a bulwark ag Russia (albeit in a weak form) and just waited for an opportunity to pounce on it and - w any luck - to dismantle it (preserving the passage to India, of course). Historical accounts confirm this (Pascali's Island is good entertainment in this regard). In the winter of 2002/2003, bef the Iraq war, there was a serious discussion in T. media ab whether this would provide an opportunity to reconstitute the Ottoman empire - seriously! Imperial history is hard to give up (for those of us who think that some countries would give up their hegemony w/o a fight!). On the other hand, in some Slavic languages, 'turk' is synonymous w 'dumb' - no doubt as a result of lengthy occupations and many struggles. Also to 36, in comparison w T., Syria was a much more inviting and tolerant place for the many minorities in the area (although they did have an issue w Muslim B. - not unjustifiably, as the latest history illustrates). And, don't forget, it was the nukes in T. that partly precipitated the October crisis under JFK. And that US-Is are playing a double and triple game can only be expected.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Dec 9 2015 18:06 utc | 48

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan (rejected), Nigeria in the last year alone.

Posted by: Les | Dec 9 2015 18:08 utc | 49

"The Russian Defense Ministry has quashed rumors about setting up another military base in Syria. There is “no operational need” to establish a new installation as Russian warplanes can already easily reach the farthest parts of Syria, an MoD spokesman said."

IMHO the airport at Latakia cannot accommodate frequent sorties of so many aircraft. What is really going on here? Surely Russia will not continue long-distance flights from Russia indefinitely. And she now must accompany SAA to protect it from "accidental" coalition strikes. Is Russia unable to protect another airport at Homs? Will they expand the Latakia airport?

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 9 2015 18:11 utc | 50

No country will request assistance from Russia in fighting these insurgencies because they see what happens in Syria.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 9 2015 18:18 utc | 51

Meanwhile in Yemen UAE deployed Colombian mercenaries to Yemen!

Posted by: Seder | Dec 9 2015 18:25 utc | 52


Journalist: Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western civilization?

Mr. Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 18:29 utc | 53

Lone Wolf

Ok? Should I take that that you agree with the racist Abbott or whats your point?

Posted by: Seder | Dec 9 2015 18:37 utc | 54

funny how ISIS and erdogan are both fanatics..

funny how ISIS and turkey's objectives have some similarities..

seeing ISIS as another part of turkeys foreign intervention policy is really a shame.

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2015 18:43 utc | 55


Here's the Juppe-Wright Plan, originally proposed to Erdogan to get him to abandon his then-emerging MidEast Common Mkt in favor of attacking Libya, then Syria. Not published till 2013.

Here's the Gulen-Powell map provided by agreement in 2003 to which Erdogan was a party. President Gül signed the secret document on 2 April 2003 during his term as Turkish Foreign Minister. In a TV Interview on 24 May 2004 Gül confessed to the secret agreement but the fact has been kept well outside mainstream media coverage and the political discourse ever since. With the onset of the subversion of Syria, Turkey´s role in the subversion as main hub for NATO mercenaries and terrorists, and a cohort of other factors however, has created the urgency to counter the further implementation of the US/NATO implementation of the “Greater Middle East Project” and the balkanization of Turkey.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 9 2015 18:53 utc | 56

@JFL 7 DC has very little understanding of what is going on at this stage yet blithly carrys on because its the Superpower and the Superpower enagages in conflicts.

Posted by: heath | Dec 9 2015 18:55 utc | 57

The 1962 census revealed that there were only 169,000 Kurds in Syria, which is an infinitesimal portion of the general population. But during the Turkish civil war of 1980-90, 2 million Turkish Kurds took refuge in Syria. The idea of France, Israël and the United Kingdom is to carve them out a state, not in their true home in Turkey, but by colonising the country which has generously sheltered them. [However, I think most are in the Turkish border area--P]

Syria had already been divided by France and the United Kingdom during the San Remo Conference (1920) according to the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916). Historically, it included not only the present Syria, but also Palestine, Israël, Lebanon, Jordan, Sanjak of Alexandretta (Turkish Antioch), and part of Iraq. The current project thus aims to continue this dismemberment.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 9 2015 19:21 utc | 58

The position of the US on all this is not very clear. Radio Free Europe (the Cold War Radio Free Europe) here has a map of where ISIS oil goes - including the washing of the oil as KRG oil.

A map that has a strange addition: *Note: US companies started to reject Kurdish crude in 2014.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2015 19:23 utc | 59

@ Penelope, did you see my post on last thread. Rockefellers vs Rothschilds? One has the banks, the other GMOs. And both the oil.

Regarding human nature, put three opinionated people in the same room, and each will have their own agenda. I don't think there is a master plans, there are thousands, imo.

Posted by: shadyl | Dec 9 2015 19:23 utc | 60


With Hillary fading, and Trump xenophobic posturing rising, the NeoCons are rampaging ahead with their Greater Israel New World Order, now that metallic taste of copper in your mouth, before you realize you've been shot, was confirmed by zIMF:

When is humanity going to throw off the Zionist World Bankster Yoke of a Thousand Years? Well, in about year CE 2967.

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 9 2015 20:33 utc | 61


Ok? Should I take that that you agree with the racist Abbott or whats your point?

Confucius said, if I put three corners and you don't put the other one, I am wasting my time. Connect the dots...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 20:33 utc | 62

@ Chipnik | 60

Gee, what is Greece, chump change? We should all go the way of Iceland.

Posted by: shadyl | Dec 9 2015 20:39 utc | 63

I was thinking of the movie Charlie Wilson's War, after listening to McCain's propaganda. Then today I when looking for recent articles by Bhadraumar. AND found this relevant 2013 article.

Somethings never change.

Moscow remembers Charlie Wilson’s War

by Melkulangara K. Bhadrakumar

George Crile details in the riveting book Charlie Wilson’s War, how the colorful congressman from Texas virtually formed part of the CIA’s Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan, which ensured a steady supply of sophisticated weapons such as the Stinger missiles reaching the mujahideen fighting the Soviet Army.

Indeed, the CIA funded the travel expenses of girl friends who accompanied Charlie Wilson on his numerous trips to Pakistan. The agency later conferred on him the Honored Colleague Award for his role in the Afghan jihad.

John McCain, the 77-year old senator from Arizona, certainly won’t push things that far, but eyebrows will be raised that on Monday he crossed the Turkey-Syria border on a clandestine trip accompanied by "General" Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army.

McCain apparently held meetings with Syrian rebel fighters and opposition figures in the Turkish city of Gaziantep and with Idris in tow, crossed the border into Syria where he spent "several hours".


Posted by: shadyl | Dec 9 2015 20:49 utc | 64

Lone Wolf

You are afraid to tell MoA that you are a racist?

Posted by: Seder | Dec 9 2015 20:49 utc | 65


You are afraid to tell MoA that you are a racist?

I am afraid whoever follows the thread would realize you're making a complete fool of yourself. Waste of time. End of conversation.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 9 2015 21:06 utc | 66

"No More Bets: Russia Asks US to 'Show Cards' on Daesh Sites"

Read more:

Lone Wolf

You are still butthurt about that "i was first to point out s-400 discussion" 3 weeks ago? Let it go or forever be a loner.

Posted by: Seder | Dec 9 2015 21:13 utc | 67

Concerning the attack on Syrian armed forces Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said “Russian aircraft were not on a mission in that area. All our flights in Syrian airspace are coordinated with air traffic control and the General Staff of the Syrian government’s armed forces.”

To avoid incidents between their aircraft and US-led coalition ones in Syrian airspace, the Pentagon is informed of their dates, times, altitudes and routes.

If US-led warplanes were not responsible for attacking Syrian forces, “why are the Pentagon’s representatives…hushing up the presence of their…aircraft” overflying Syria’s military camp on the day and time of the attack, Konashenkov asked?

Once Syrian authorities complete investigating shell fragments and other evidence on the ground, Washington and coalition allies won’t be able to duck responsibility for their flagrant attack, likely suggesting more hostile acts to come, including against Russia directly, elevating the risk of East-West confrontation".
If Russia are giving their plane flight coordinates to the US, just as a matter reciprocity, or of simple common sense, should not the US do the same for Russia

Posted by: harry law | Dec 9 2015 21:17 utc | 68

Sure, the Ottoman were ok at governance.

Were they between the many genocides they committed?

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Dec 9 2015 21:19 utc | 69

The Turkmens speak a Turkic language distinct from the Anatolian Turkish that is the official language of the Republic of Turkey. They are less entitled to be called Volkstuerken than the Germans of the Sudetenland were entitled to be called Volksdeutsche.

These new boundaries would include massive numbers of Arabs and Kurds (!) within Turkey. But perhaps that's the point.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 9 2015 21:29 utc | 70

Of course, the Republic of Turkey long called Kurds "mountain Turks" (dag Tuerkler).

Posted by: lysias | Dec 9 2015 21:32 utc | 71

@ ScottinDallas at 36:

The Ottomans were only strong and effective as long as they were constantly enlarging their empire by invading other lands. Once they reached the physical limits of their empire - the Ottoman army had to do all its campaigning in a limited time-period each year, finishing before autumn and returning to Istanbul before winter, and it couldn't live off the lands it conquered - the empire itself began to stagnate. The Ottomans depended on conquered peoples to supply them with the technology and skills they needed to maintain their army and keep up with advances in military technology in Europe.

The Ottomans also relied on conquered peoples to supply them with their administrators and slave women for the Sultan's harem. Several layers of the Ottoman bureaucracy including the position of grand vizier (equivalent to prime minister) were reserved for slaves who came from Christian families in the Balkans and who were converted to Islam under the institution of devsirme. All Ottoman sultans from Selim (1566 - 1574) onwards were descendants of his mother Roxelana / Khurrem Sultana who was a Polish or Ukrainian slave captured in eastern Europe by raiders from Crimea (an Ottoman vassal state at the time). During the 17th century and part of the 18th century, the de facto rulers of the empire were the sultans' mothers or step-mothers, several of whom were European.

In effect, the Ottoman empire was a slave empire maintained by slaves and the long-term consequence of Ottoman actions was to drain Ottoman territories of their most talented people and resources and concentrate them in Istanbul. This helps to account for the impoverished areas of the Middle East that Britain and France played dice over.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 9 2015 21:41 utc | 72

Giora Eiland? Opinion discarded. I'll never trust the word of a former head of Israel's National Security Council. That person literally lived a life built around deceit, assassination, state violence, theft of neighbors resources, and oppression of the indigenous Palestinians.

Also, the Guardian is a shameful zionist propaganda rag. It always has been. It's pro-Ukrainian junta, pro-FSA, pro-Israel, and pro-neocon. Its columnists and editorials have supported almost every war of aggression unleashed in the Middle East-North Africa region by Israel, the USA and NATO. Many of its senior columnists (e.g., Freedland, Aaronovitch, etc.) write for the notoriously racist and zionist Jewish Chronicle.

So Europeans are all Nazis, are they? Funny how I recall my European grandfather winning medals for fighting against the Wehrmacht ...and his best friend being shot in the head by a German soldier ...and millions of Europeans dying fighting the Wehrmacht ...Oh, hang on! I've got it: you're just a stupid racist bigot, Neretva'43! Yeah, now I understand.

In that light, I suppose that shouldn’t be surprised that you think the populations of The Falklands and Northern Ireland should have no say about the country to which they belong. Let's ignore that the majority of people in those two places keep voting to stay British, and unlike Israel's illegal settlements international law says both The Falklands and Northern Ireland are British territory.

Bigots such as yourself don’t like democracy, self-determination, or international law, do you, Neretva'43?

Posted by: Tyler | Dec 9 2015 21:41 utc | 73

pretty timely overview on turkey at john helmers from a week ago.. this would be before the turkish moves into iraq.. author is Gary K. Busch, London

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2015 21:53 utc | 74

Beijing Calls on Ankara to Respect Iraqi Sovereignity

Ankara must respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday, commenting on the issue of Turkish military presence in northern Iraq.

Mass Production: Daesh Begins Recruiting Fighters in China

The group's propaganda arm al-Hayat Media Center recently published a Mandarin-language nasheed (song or chant) to attract potential fighters to join the terrorist group, SITE Media Group reported.

"In the face of terrorism, no country can stand on its own, and the international community should stand closer together and cooperate to jointly strike against all forms of terrorism," China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

If the uncertainty of its Iraqi oil investments don't wake 'em up Da'esh pinning its target on Xinjiang will?

I hope that China understands that Turkey = Da'esh = KSA.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 9 2015 22:17 utc | 75

@jfl - SITE Media Group, eh? Sounds completely objective and neutral, and in no way functioning as the propaganda arm for ISIS at all.

Posted by: Information_Agent | Dec 9 2015 22:22 utc | 76

If you're in trouble (Syria), ask Russia for help.
They come.
And then they open the backdoor for their Western partners.

In the meantime, they (Russia) are fucked by that same Western partners.

"I have the sense that they won't pay it back because they are crooks," Medvedev said in an interview on state television. "And our Western partners not only don't help but also interfere."

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 9 2015 22:35 utc | 77

Turkey have told their citizens in Iraq to leave immediately, especially those near areas where they are engaging in 'anti Daesh' operations.

They claim theyve been there for ages at the request of Iraq, if so then why would there be the sudden new security threat?

Looks like they are going all in.

Posted by: Bob | Dec 9 2015 22:35 utc | 78

Least we forget, Mohammad Nour, Ibrahim al-Badri, Brigadier General Idriss Salem, Caliph, Islamic Emirate, ISIS and their never changing names:

John McCain and the Caliph 2014

In January of 2014, the Congress of the United States held a secret meeting at which it voted, in violation of international law, to approve funding for the Al-Nosra Front (Al-Qaeda) and the Islamic emirate in Iraq and the Levant until September 2014. [20] Although it is unclear precisely what was really agreed to during this meeting revealed by the British Reuters news agency [21], and no media US media dared bypass censorship, it is highly probable that the law includes a section on arming and training jihadists.


The Islamic Emirate represents a new step in the world of mercenaries. Unlike jihadi groups who fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Chechnya around Osama bin Laden, it does not constitute a residual force but actually an army in itself.

The Islamic Emirate is comparable to the mercenary armies of the European sixteenth century. They were conducting religious wars on behalf of the lords who paid them, sometimes in one camp, sometimes in another.


What new shit is McCain going to come up with next?

Posted by: shadyl | Dec 9 2015 22:49 utc | 79

thanks the west - nato/usa's agenda for regime change in libya, i hear sirte is the new raqqa.. the west must be real happy about getting rid of qaddafi.. i hope the oil revenues warrant helping isis set up shop.. seemed to be working in syria up until recently.. i guess it is back to same in iraq with turkey/isis help of course..

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2015 22:52 utc | 80


You're right about SITE group, but the US would like very much to export Da'esh to Afghanistan and to Xinjiang, even if SITE says so.

On the video, who knows. Let's hope that China "stand[s] closer together and cooperate[s] to jointly strike against all forms of terrorism" together with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Russia. They've been hanging Russia out to dry in Syria, but the gas/oil ought to matter to them as well, they have big investments in Iraq. And al-CIAduh/Da'esh is comin' to get Xinjiang, along with everywhere else on earth where the CIA, the Johnny Appleseed of terror, can get it to grow.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 9 2015 23:03 utc | 81

@ Jen | Dec 9, 2015 4:41:09 PM | 71

are you having fever?

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 9 2015 23:28 utc | 82

In a world where ever state seems to be devolving, Erdogan is trying to recreate an 19th century empire? More likely Turkey will end up being partitioned itself before that occurs.

Erdogan is as much of a fool as that smile on Davutoglu makes him look like a grinning idiot.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 9 2015 23:34 utc | 83

Control of the Tigris-Euphrates is a lever which Turkey holds over Iraq. It was a means by which Turkey already damaged Syria, since the failure/inability of the Syrian govt to overcome the water scarcity was a cause for rebellion among Syria's farmers.

From Ellen Brown [There's more in the article] :

Primary water is water newly produced by chemical processes within the earth; this water has never been part of the surface hydrological cycle. Created when conditions are right to allow oxygen to combine with hydrogen, this water is continually being pushed up under great pressure from deep within the earth and finds its way toward the surface where there are fissures or faults. This water can be located everywhere on the planet. It is the water flowing in wells in oases in the desert, where there is neither rainfall nor mountain run-off to feed them.

Scientific American March 2014: Study documents vast quantities of water beneath the earth’s surface. Study confirms “that there is a very, very large amount of water that’s trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep Earth… approaching the sort of mass of water that’s present in all the world’s oceans.”

BBC News December 2014: Study presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union-- researchers estimate there is more water locked deep in the earth’s crust than in all its rivers, swamps and lakes together.

Science March 2002 Japanese researchers report the earth’s lower mantle may store about five times more water than its surface oceans.

Pal Pauer of the Primary Water Institute maintains that a well sufficient to service an entire community could be dug and generating great volumes of water in a mere two or three days, at a cost of about $100,000. The entire state of California could be serviced for about $800 million.

[Please help spread the word. The oligarchs are buying up water everywhere & doing their best to make water scarce. The article contains more info]

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 9 2015 23:55 utc | 84

How far does Erdogan have to go before the Turkish military steps in?

Posted by: lysias | Dec 9 2015 23:57 utc | 85

Putin is keen on working with the Egyptian dictatorship and keeping them in power.

Putin - selling nuclear technology for power plants to Egypt, and to the despicable Saudi tyranny as well - Putin is also the enemy of humanities desperate need for clean energy.

But I guess if the Russian state and Russian private corporations make money from increasing the risk to all of humanity from Nuclear power, that's just fine, isn't it.

Posted by: tom | Dec 9 2015 23:57 utc | 86

Erdogan is increasingly a nut-case, but I doubt that he wants to reconquer territories where there are no Turks. That would be endless pain.

More likely the new Turkish base is intended to assure the resupply of ISIS in Mosul. The direct route from Raqqa has been cut, and a detour via long unsurfaced roads, is necessary. Better to source your resupply from a few kilometres away.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 10 2015 0:08 utc | 87

@Seder 53

I have a sneaking suspicion Ghandi's quote infers that the west becoming civilised would be a good idea.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 10 2015 0:27 utc | 88

@84 tom

I think you're right there. Putin is looking for technology to export, and nuclear power is one of the items on the shelf left over from the USSR. I think photosynthetic-hydrogen is the answer, myself, produced and consumed locally. The problem with perpetual growth/export oriented economics is that you don't care what it is you produce, or to whom you export it.

Russia looks good now because it's Saint George fighting the imperial dragon. But Russia, and China, are perpetual growth/export oriented economies themselves. It's really just a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Flying Dutchman. She cannot sail forever.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 10 2015 0:51 utc | 89

From The Soufan Group, the creation of Lebanese-born, ex-FBI Ali Soufan ... An Updated Assessment of the Flow of Foreign Fighters into Syria and Iraq

• In June 2014, The Soufan Group released its initial Foreign Fighters in Syria report, which identified approximately 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries.

• Nearly eighteen months later, despite sustained international effort to contain the Islamic State and stem the flow of militants traveling to Syria, the number of foreign fighters has more than doubled.

• Based on its own investigation, The Soufan Group has calculated that between 27,000 and 31,000 people have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State and other violent extremist groups from at least 86 countries.

... don't know how reliable it is.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 10 2015 1:22 utc | 90


I have a sneaking suspicion Ghandi's quote infers that the west becoming civilised would be a good idea.

Bingo!!! Thank you very much for enlightening our "partner" who has made a fool of himself for everyone to see.

If only closed minds came with closed mouths...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 10 2015 1:28 utc | 91

Penelope at 82 --

The idea of an ocean under the earth caught my eye, so I had a look at the underlying Scientific American article.

The first thing to note is water is "present not as a liquid but as hydroxide ions" which are present in a mineral called ringwood, itself found as a contaminant (he said unscientifically) in diamonds. The pressure needed to produce this particular crystalline structure of the mineral (found in the crust as a material called olivine) occurs some 400 miles below the earth's surface.

Second is the difficulty in extracting this material. This depth is "Too deep to drill," says the article. It is brought up from the deep mantle by an eruption known as a "kimberlite" (SciAm gives a link). This particular sample came from a mine in Brazil.

It is apparently contained in layer some 200-400 miles in depth itself.

So just as soon as we can figure out how to get a few hundred miles down, extract some gazillion or two kilotons of steaming earth crust, and process it to get the 1.5 pct. hydroxide ion content out, we'll be back to lush golf courses in the desert.

If were goin' techno-crazy on water scarcity, pullin' asteroids and comets out of the sky is way more cool. Lots of other neat minerals and stuff, too. And we actually know how to get out into space.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 10 2015 1:42 utc | 92

You are still butthurt about that "i was first to point out s-400 discussion" 3 weeks ago? Let it go or forever be a loner.
Posted by: Seder | Dec 9, 2015 4:13:36 PM | 66

Seder = Wayoutwest/Wayoutwaste.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 10 2015 1:50 utc | 93

Many thanks to everyone for a very rich discussion. There is an old saying, a form of high praise that goes "I learn from you" In gratitude and humility I extend those words of praise and thanks to all of you. With special note to Penelope, once again.

Posted by: Seamus | Dec 10 2015 2:04 utc | 94

@90 rufus magister

Ad Astra = To the stars!

I see mankind as naturally needing a frontier and it is becoming a necessity as we ruin the planet we are on.....can we live long enough to move off-planet?

At this point in the "arc of civilization" what does it say about us as a species that Turkey has Imperial motives, is supported to have those thoughts by other, higher in the food chain nations and all of this sick activity is perpetrated effectively by the world of private finance and those that own it. We face extinction now because of the control exerted by a few, kind of like a virus we can sense but can't raise the social will to cure.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2015 2:11 utc | 95

@ Neretva'43 at 80:

I must have, I managed to astound even myself.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 10 2015 2:18 utc | 96


So many butt-hurts you can't keep track, I reminded you that your Queen won't let you handle dangerous weapons, among other things.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Dec 10 2015 2:45 utc | 97

Given the attempts at partitioning going on I think the strike on SAA @ Deir ez-Zor was raising the ante, and Putin's nuke comment matched it. Somebody doesn't want the SAA getting comfortable in "the future sunnistan"; but Putin matched the ante w 1 little off-the-cuff remark. (which just happens to have been released and publicized).
This looks promising:
Brett McGurk, Washington’s special envoy for the US-led anti-IS coalition, said on Twitter, “The U.S. does not support military deployments inside Iraq absent the consent of the Iraqi government.” He added, for good measure, “This includes deployment of U.S. military personnel.” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis reiterated this position.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 10 2015 2:58 utc | 98

Erdogan's latest moves in Iraq and b's observation on Turkey's "imperial motives" reminded me of Napoleon's famous quote on strategy, "The policies of all powers are inherent in their geography," or "to know a nation's geography is to know its foreign policy. Looking at a map of the ME, makes it easier to visualize the empire’s strategic aims in the region.

Using Turkey/Israel/Jordan/Saudi Arabia geographical location, the empire’s intention was to squeeze Iraq/Syria/Lebanon by subverting them from inside (“Arab Spring”), supplying the not-so indigenous insurgency from the surrounding, “Assad must go” powers. The tactics used differed in each of the assailed countries, the objectives and the tools to achieve them were taken from the CIA’s classic CI book.

1) Color or season revolution.

2) Penetration of a legit popular movement by a fifth column, hijacking it.

3) Short evolution from a purely political movement to a military insurgency.

4) Attacks on security forces provoking counter-attacks and casualties.

5) Magnification of the casualties by the MSM stenographers, turning ruling government into “butchers.” False flags.

6) Massive support from surrounding countries for “regime change” or R2P, or a combination of both.

Turkey went from a policy of “zero conflicts” with their neighbors to a sub-imperialist policy with most of their neighbors, same with Saudi Arabia, whose intervention in Yemen aimed at subjugation, is on a par with Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. The geographical location and the geopolitical positioning of Turkey/Israel/Jordan/ KSA creates a natural pincer on Syria/Iraq/Lebanon, which combined with a not-so native insurgency, aimed at breaking those countries into pieces.

Turkey’s latest move invading Iraq, with the tacit complicity of the US/NATO, adds more evidence to the geopolitical pincer strategy being applied to Iraq/Syria/Lebanon. Obviously, these targets are just a jumping ground, the real target is Iran, followed by the main target, Russia, beginning with Russia's soft underbelly, the Kavkaz. They cannot break Iran without first breaking Syria/Iraq/Lebanon, and cannot break Russia without first breaking Iran.

That’s the geography of war the empire is applying in the ME, one the Russians are countering defining the territorial integrity of these countries under assault as a red line. Iraq needs to roll-back Turkey's army out of Mosul, exacting a tactical defeat to the empire's plan B after Syria became a no-go for the US/UK/NATO/Erdogan's original plans. If that is not achieved, Iraq is in danger of becoming the Achilles' heel to the 4+1.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 10 2015 4:16 utc | 99

Turkey used to have a "zero problems with the neighbors" foreign policy. Now it is the opposite.

Posted by: Edward | Dec 10 2015 4:41 utc | 100

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