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February 25, 2016

Open Thread 2016-09

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 25, 2016 at 18:51 UTC | Permalink

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It would seem that the ceasefire is holding, so perhaps it too will be frozen soon.

Meanwhile, back on the Eastern Front, the sick man of Eastern Europe continues its decline, even as the conflict there is frozen. But perhaps with the coming of spring, there will be a thaw. Political disarray continues apace in the Ukraine.

While both sides are asserting ceasefire violations and offensive intent by the other side, it seems unlikely that open war will resume soon. At least, that is is the opinion of US academic Nicolai Petro.

New Cold War has a long interview with him, which I recommend as a good examination of the present state of affairs in Banderastan.

One thing he notes is a split between the far right and intellectuals. The were united behind a "nationalistic vision of Ukraine, which isn’t exactly European but would unite the country. This coalition no longer exists. In other words, the more extreme elements of the right in Ukrainian politics have gradually distanced themselves from their support of the Maidan ideals. " But lacking a coherent narrative of their own, the pro-Russian elements of the population have not been able to unite and mount a challenge.

Minsk-2 is frozen.

What are Ukraine’s options at this point? On the one hand, they don’t want to implement it. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be the resources—Ukraine just doesn’t seem to have the resources—or the ability to fight against the rebels successfully and to defeat them. So this is essentially becoming, for lack of will in Kiev to actually resolve the situation, a frozen conflict.

But perhaps a change of regime will produce a resurgence of will power. Former PM Yulia Timoshenko is ready for it. Russia Insider thinks she is making her play with a call for New Elections, Americans Be Damned. Her "Fatherland" party is already out of the governing coalition.

"In several weeks the international community will accept that stability will come by rebooting parliament and the government, and not via the status quo," she said."

She's willing to go against the West confident that once she brings down the current government and picks up the pieces they'll have no choice but to line up behind her after the fact.

This presumes that she would benefit. Timoshenko faces a much more challenging landscape, should there be a "third Maidan" or similar disruption.

Posted by: rufus magister | Mar 4 2016 5:19 utc | 201

Oops -- "ceasefire in Syria holding"

Posted by: rufus magister | Mar 4 2016 5:20 utc | 202

Turkey seizes control of opposition paper Zaman


The Istanbul Sixth Criminal Court of Peace ordered the management of Zaman newspaper to be replaced by the trustees board appointed by the court.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday that the court decision came at the request of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

Şahin Alpay, a veteran political expert and a columnist for both Zaman and Today's Zaman, said, “It is utterly saddening ...Turkey is turning into a third-world dictatorship.”

Zaman, which is affiliated with the Gülen movement, is one of the few opposition media outlets operating in the country.

The Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, is allegedly using its influence in the government to stage a coup against Erdogan's rule.


The Gülen movement seems to have the CIAs fingerprints all over it, since the rounding of Zaman in 1986? surely since the 'establishment of Gülen schools in Central Asia'.

The Gülen movement is a transnational religious and social movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar and preacher Fethullah Gülen. The movement has no official name but it is usually referred to as Hizmet ("the Service") by its followers and as Cemaat ("the Community/Assembly") by the broader public in Turkey.

The movement has attracted supporters and critics in Turkey, Central Asia, and in other parts of the world. The movement is active in education with private schools and universities in over 180 countries as well as many American charter schools operated by followers. It has initiated forums for interfaith dialogue. It has substantial investments in media, finance, and for–profit health clinics.[1][2] Some have praised the movement as a pacifist, modern-oriented version of Islam, and as an alternative to more extreme schools of Islam such as Salafism.[3]

 - 1941 – Fethullah Gülen is born in Korucuk, near Erzurum, Turkey
 - 1950s – Gülen's first meeting with people from the Nur Movement[46]
 - 1960 – death of Said Nursî[47]
 - 1960s – Gülen begins attracting disciples while a state preacher in Izmir
 - 1971 – Gülen arrested for an alleged crime of organizing and/or participating in activities to change the basis of the constitutional system but is released seven months later.
 - late 1970s – Gülen establishes himself independently of other Nurju organizations; first ışık evleri ("houses of light," i.e., student residences)established
 - 1978 – First dershane (study center for university exams) opens
 - 1979 – Science journal Sızıntı begins publication[48]
 - 1981 – Gülen retires
 - 1982 – First "Gülen school" opens.[49]
 - 1986 – Zaman, a top selling daily newspaper in Turkey,[50] begins publication
 - 1988–1991 – Gülen gives lectures in Istanbul and Izmir
 - 1991 – Fall of Soviet Union permits establishment of Gülen schools in Central Asia
 - 1994 – The (Turkish) Journalists and Writers Foundation (Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfi), with Gülen as honorary president [51]
 - 1996 – Creation of Asya Finans (investment bank aimed at former Soviet Central Asia), with Tansu Çiller as an investor
 - 1998 – Gülen meets with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican[52][53]
 - 1999 – Gülen movement schools in Tashkent closed by Uzbekistan government after a rift between Turkish and Uzbek governments
 - 1999 – Gülen emigrates to Pennsylvania after the Turkish government charges him with attempting to set up an Islamist state in Turkey[38]
 - 2004 – Establishment of Niagara Foundation[54][not in citation given]
 - 2004 – Establishment of Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There?), a charitable organization;[55] 2010, receives "special" NGO status with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.[56]
 - 2005 – Establishment of TUSKON (Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists)[57]
 - 2012 – Journalists and Writers Foundation (Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfi) receives "general consultative status" as a Non-Governmental Organization of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations[58]

[1] The group is currently accused of attempting to overthrow the democratically elected Turkish government through a judicial coup in December 2013. The movement is often referred to as the Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETO) by Turkish officials, and was determined a national security threat for Turkey. The group is accused of engaging in illegal wiretapping, blackmail and issuing threats. Investigations into the group are continuing. [4]
[2] "The Turkish exception: Gallipoli, Gülen, and capitalism". Australia's ABC. Radio National. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
[3] Jenny Barbara White, Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: a study in vernacular politics, University of Washington Press (2002), p. 112
[4] Turkey's political imams: The Gulenists fight back
"Turkey challenged by terror in 2015". TRT World (in Turkish). Retrieved 2016-01-28.

[47] Ian Markham, Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: A Model of Interfaith Dialogue, p 4. ISBN 0754669319
[48] Son Karakol
[49] "'100 soruda Fethullah Gülen ve Hareketi' (Gulen and its movement in100 questions)". HaberTurk. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
[50] "Tiraj". Medyatava. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
[51] Fuchs Ebaugh, Helen Rose (2009). "The Gulen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam". Springer. p. 89.
[52] Salih, Yucel (Dec 2013). "Muslim-Christian Dialogue: Nostra Aetated and Fethullah Gulen's Philosophy of Dialogue". Australian eJournal of Theology: 200.
[53] Michel S.J., Thomas (Oct–Dec 2007). ""Fethullah Gulen and Pope John Paul II: "Two Frontrunners for Peace"". Dialogue Asia-Pacific (14): 6–8.
[54] Niagara Foundation. "History Niagara Foundation". Niagara Foundation. "The Niagara Foundation was created in 2004 by a group of Turkish-American businessmen and educators in order to realize the vision of their spiritual leader, Fethullah Gulen, himself a Turkish Muslim scholar and poet, as well as an educational and humanitarian activist. Today the Niagara Foundation is active in nine Midwestern states with 22 branches."
[55] Michel, S.J., Thomas. "Fighting Poverty with Kimse Yok Mu". Fethullah Gülen's Official Web Site.
[56] United Nations Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs http://esango.un.org/civilsociety/simpleSearch.do?method=search&searchTypeRedef=simpleSearch&sessionCheck=false&searchType=simpleSearch&organizationNamee=kimse+yok+mu&Submit=Go. Missing or empty |title= (help)
[57] "Hakkında". TUSKON. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
[58] United Nations Economic and Social Council (October 3, 2013). "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 1 September 2013" (PDF). United Nations Economic and Social Council. p. 3.


So now Erdogan is openly at war with both Russia and the US? But not to worry because the CIA is backing both/all three brands of warring Islamists? but as for Erdogan, the Saudis and Gulfies gonna save 'im? The CIA's Chaos' 'sphere of influence' continues to expand.

The really sardonic touch is the series of 'the US should not be the cops of the world' series put up at Consortium News by Robert Parry, written by none other than the godfather of Iran-Contra/al-CIAduh/the Boston Marathon bombing : Graham Fuller. Oops ... excuse me ... that's ex-CIA official Graham Fuller.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 5 2016 0:41 utc | 203

UN envoy calls for no foreign interference in Assad fate


The UN special envoy for Syria says it is only the Syrian people who should decide the fate of their President Bashar al-Assad, rejecting foreign interference in the country’s affairs.

"Can't we leave the Syrians to actually decide on that? Why should we be saying in advance what the Syrians should say, as long as they have the freedom and the opportunity of saying so?" Staffan de Mistura told France 24 TV on Friday.

"We say that it is supposed to be a solution Syrian-led, Syrian-owned," he added.


Will Staffan be leaving his post soon? He's not 'with' the US party line at all.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 5 2016 0:44 utc | 204

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