Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2016

NYT Pampers Erdogan - Declares Secularism To Be Extreme

In its coverage of the coup attempt in Turkey the New York Times asserts that being a secularist is "extreme":

Turkey’s politics was for decades divided between secularists and Islamists, but both Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Gulen have occupied a middle ground between these two extremes.

Secularism is:

the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.

Secularism is the basis of all modern democracies. How is that extreme?

Erdogan as well as Gülen are Islamists. They both believe in the primacy of religion. (Though Gülen's alleged $25 billion charter school empire, his ties to the CIA and to the Clinton Foundation cast doubt on any claim that he is driven by religious morality.) Erdogan called the coup a "gift of god".

In the same piece the NYT also asserts that:

Mr. Erdogan’s Turkey has been a reliable American ally and partner in the fight against the Islamic State.

That will be news to the Pentagon. It took years for Erdogan to take any concern about the Islamic State serious. His country still has a mostly open border policy towards the Islamic State. He just stopped U.S. air operation against the Islamic State in Syria by closing the Incirlik airbase. A move designed to pressure the U.S. to deliver Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania and is Erdogan's arch enemy, to Turkey. Is that really a "reliable ally and partner"?

Had the amateurish coup succeeded democracy in Turkey would have been suspended for some years. Now, that Erdogan has won. he is launching an astonishingly well prepared cleansing campaign. Thousands of soldiers, including many officers unrelated to the "coup", have been detained. Some 3,000 judges, a fifth of the judiciary, have been suspended. Hundreds of them, including supreme court judges, have been jailed. Independent news-sites get closed, editors are rounded up. Erdogan calls on his Islamist followers to occupy the streets. They attack Syrian refugees, Kurdish and Alevi neighborhoods. Democracy in Turkey is now lost for decades.

To pamper Erdogan by redefining moral norms, as the NYT does, will not better the situation of the Turkish people or of anyone else exposed to Erdogan's whims.

Posted by b on July 17, 2016 at 13:11 UTC | Permalink

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I see several interesting question arising from this attempted coup:

1) Did the US want Erdogan out because he was too Islamist?

2) Did the US want Erdogan out because he was "uncontrollable"?

3) Did the US want Erdogan out because hwas reversing his course and making nice with Russia?

4) Did the US want Erdogan out because they wanted someone else who would be MORE of a puppet than he is?

There seems to be little doubt that the US was behind this coup - Kerry's statement during the coup was a tip-off as was the "leak" that Erdogan was seeking asylum in Germany. So why - and what now that it has failed? Does Erdogan now beg and crawl back to the US - or does he look to Russia or elsewhere?

I don't have any answers because I felt Erdogan was Obama's stalking horse towards Syria, so I was surprised when they tried to get rid of him.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 17 2016 13:18 utc | 1

Incirlik airbase was closed because it was infiltrated by coup plotters, hostage to the US? Ridiculous, even US army people on the ground tells us differently!

Turkish authorities told the U.S. they were closing the air space until they could be sure all Turkish air force assets were under government control, CNN reported, citing a U.S. defense official.

U.S. planes that had already flown out on missions were allowed to land, CNN reported.

The power cuts to the base had not affected base operations, Cook said: "U.S. facilities at Incirlik are operating on internal power sources."

The U.S. Embassy said in a post on its website that local authorities were denying movement on and off the Turkish owned and operated base. But a spokesman for U.S. European command said that did not apply to U.S. personnel.

"There was not chaos at this base," said EUCOM spokesman Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, describing conditions at Incirlik. "All our assets in Turkey are fully under control and

Posted by: Golan | Jul 17 2016 13:45 utc | 2

NYT article employs the propaganda technique of plausible deniability. The author and ombudsman would say that two extremes - secular and religious - are compared as two extremely contrasting items - like hot and cold.

As conspiracy theorists, we know better and so do they. Words are powerful and by implication, the author writes that secularism represents an extreme ideology. The author (or the dictating government official) chose that word carefully and that is the implication that is made.

The stuff of Alice In Wonderland.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 17 2016 13:48 utc | 3

NYT preying upon the idiocy of a generation yet again.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jul 17 2016 13:49 utc | 4

Erdogan is a remarkably focused actor. And he thinks Big, consistency is the hobgoblin of small-minds.

His volte-faces are coming so quickly now that he is becoming ... a whirling dervish.

He's a traditionalist through and through.

He's interested only in his own future and that of - literally - his country.

So you can see why the traditional geopolitical powers are upset with him. They're getting dizzy watching him.

Just like Assad, now Erdogan too, must go.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 17 2016 13:50 utc | 5

I guess the NYTimes are dizzy. Erdogan as Kemalist is so over ... long, long ago.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 17 2016 13:53 utc | 6

It's not clear to me that an intelligence agency didn't tip off Erdogan, so he wasn't captured by the coup at that hotel. CIA seems to be favoring Erdogan and his support for jihadis in Syria. The CIA supports jihadis, always has, not just against the USSR, but in supporting the filthy Saudi monarchy. It's the US military who don't favor another war. Officially they are invincible but among themselves they know damn well there only wins are rubble, not conquests. Admittedly this view sees factional conflict among the rulers who have nothing to do with the ostensible political democracy. But I don't believe this is a free country.

But on the other hand, there really is a problem for Erdogan with the Kurds, and the KRG and Rojava are existential threats to his version of Turkey. So maybe he really is falling out with the US too.

As to notions that Erdogan is somehow reorienting to Russia? The Armenian attack on the Azeris says "no" very loudly to my ears.

One note, though. The NYT doesn't see Ataturk and his system as extreme in morals per se, but as political extremists. Ataturk was a revolutionary bourgeois democrat. The US rulers are counterrevolutionary and have a very minimal interest in bourgeois democracy, to phrase it cautiously. That's why one of them, Trump, is running against the whole idea now.

Posted by: s | Jul 17 2016 13:53 utc | 7

PS Since charter schools are also a huge Republican thing, aren't Harmony Public Schools also connected to the Republicans big time?

As far as rich people are concerned, they aren't paying bribes, and they "know" this is so, because they're not getting their money's worth. They see it as getting shaken down, being extorted by politicians who use their political power to pander to the lesser orders (aka "the people.") That's why Trump doesn't give a shit about not helping the Republican Party.

Posted by: s | Jul 17 2016 14:05 utc | 8

Two good links b, thanks. They're always good.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 17 2016 14:18 utc | 9

7;You funny.Trump a ruler?Of whom?What policies has he delivered that the ptb follow?
Reality says that the ziomonsters want no part of Trump and his alleged radical America First,which of course is normal traditional government,which the traitors and moles within want no part of,because,as seen with Erdogan,the only nationalism permitted is Zions.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 17 2016 15:10 utc | 10

8;No charter schools are zionist and Jewish backed,as their is a lot of dough to siphon from the public coffers.
A bipartisan gold mine.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 17 2016 15:12 utc | 11

another interesting tidbit, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Turkish commander of Incirlik was arrested. I am at a loss to understand the meaning of that.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 17 2016 15:13 utc | 12

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 17, 2016 11:13:12 AM | 12

incirlic airbase - wikipedia

Incirlik Air Base has a U.S. Air Force complement

The Turkish airforce at Incirlik was part of the coup.

Germany has troups in Incirlik. There must be a lot of NATO coordination going on - including the putsch Turkish troups.

For some reason Erdogan has blocked German MPs from visiting German troups in Incirlic.

It is clear he is using the airbase as negotiating chip.

Old news but interesting in the context

Turkey could let Russia use Incirlic Airbase

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2016 15:41 utc | 13

From above link

The Incirlik airbase is currently being used by the US, German, British, Qatar and Saudi air forces.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2016 15:42 utc | 14

Erdogan will transition this "staged coup" into a more oppressive and religious rule. Already in the wee hours of the "staged coup" he was calling for his followers to flood the streets and squares to fight the coup, his extremist followers who are allergic to any type of western lifestyle, secularism and the army (that had kept them in check until the 80s) were crowding the streets lynching the soldiers. Almost all the soldiers on the streets were privates (victims) doing their compulsory military service. Now hundreds and thousands of people will be arrested under the name of cleansing.

Seeds of anti-secular, Islamic rule had been planted long long ago in Turkey, now the climate is warm and the fruit is ripe.
Turkey is walking on a very tight rope.

Posted by: Alleben | Jul 17 2016 15:47 utc | 15

"He just stopped U.S. air operation against the Islamic State in Syria by closing the Incirlik airbase."

The base is open again. The Turkish military head of the base has been arrested on charges of being connected with the coup. The western coalition has resumed attacks aginst places where ISIS might have been at some time in the past.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 17 2016 16:09 utc | 16

I do not think the coup was "amateurish", but that it was leaked to the secret service and consequently had to be preponed some hours. This likely caused some failures. In the TV-address to the people curfew time was 6:00 am, that was according to the original planning and mistakenly not changed. So it was not a self coup. On the contrary I'm convinced the u.s. is deeply involved as the backing for Erdogan came quite belatedly and by now the mainstream media is heavily criticizing Erdogan. Next step will probably be an attempt to kill Erdogan as he seems to play with the taught to leave nato. (no Erdogan backing implied)

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 17 2016 16:11 utc | 17

The NYT is the establishment's paper of record. This latest article sounds like a desperate attempt to placate Erdogan -- he must be seriously pissed off at the US right now. Even if the US was not actively involved in the coup attempt the CIA and US military intelligence must have known about what was going on before hand. The important point is that Ergogan must strongly suspect US involvement. The job of the establishment today is to woo back Turkey. It is reasonable to suspect that the US let this coup proceed because they wanted to prevent Turkey from getting too close to Russia. Now the US is in damage control and hoping to prevent Turkey from accelerating its rapprochement with Russia.

Recall that the US worked hard to kill the South Stream gas pipeline. Once that happened Turkey and Russia agreed on a Turkish Stream deal. The shoot down of the Su-24 derailed that project. However, after Erdogan apologized to the Russians, Gazprom announced within a day that the deal could proceed. This must have seriously pissed off the US.

My interpretation of the coup assumes two things.

1) The widespread notion that Erdogan actually encouraged the coup in order to enhance his political power is false. Yesterday in the Guardian of the five above-the-fold articles on the coup attempt, three of those articles were were suggesting that Erdogan was behind the coup but without an iota of evidence in its support. That suggests to me that the story was false.

2. The rapproachement between Turkey and Russia is genuine. If Erdogan is serious about improving relations with Russia it only stands to reason the US would try to sabotage such efforts. This might even mean the Turks are willing to throw ISIS and al Qaida under the buss. I certainly hope that one of the effects of the coup will be to strengthen ties with Russia.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 17 2016 16:27 utc | 18

So MSM say it's a false flag?
That's very special, seldom occurs.

Posted by: From The Hague | Jul 17 2016 16:43 utc | 19

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 17, 2016 9:18:03 AM | 1

That's probably wrong. In order to draw up a list of 2,750 members of the judiciary to be suspended/ fired/ rounded up, and or jailed, it would be necessary to examine the "sins" of all 5 x 2,750 members of the judiciary. They say Rome wasn't built in a day, and similarly, selecting 2750 judges and minions from a total of circa 14,000 couldn't be completed in one day either (which is the time it took Erdogan to announce the lucky number). That's fairly persuasive evidence that the non-coup coup has the fingerprints of Erdogan, and his cronies, all over it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 17 2016 16:45 utc | 20

Again - how was the coup amateurish? They made their way to the political offices, seized much of the broadcasting,and apparently apprehended much of the high command. It was their inability to grab Erdog that undid it.

Also if this was a false flag, the participants are going all the way as they'll probably be executed or face hefty prison sentences

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 17 2016 16:49 utc | 21

Iran fully supports Turkey against the coup

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 17 2016 16:51 utc | 22

When will the shootings begin? Is Europe prepared for a new wave of refugees....educated middle-class Turks this time?

Posted by: dh | Jul 17 2016 16:52 utc | 23

Director of french institute in Istanbul on radio says that when Erdogan started his speech calling people to come to airport and take to the streets, the planes that had been flying over Istanbul at full speed immediately stopped. More than fishy.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 17 2016 16:59 utc | 24

thanks b and yonatan @16..

who cares what the nyt thinks? no one believes any of it anymore..

what we do know is erdogan is an authoritarian and idealistic fanatic who happens to be the democratically elected leader of turkey! it's another reason democracy gets a bad rap.. shutting down the free press, jailing your opponents and making war on 20 % of the population seems to be a good recipe for continuing as the 'democratically elected' leader of turkey.. democracy - erdogan style, lol..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2016 17:00 utc | 25

Hoarsewhisperer @20 - It seems from several posts on the previous thread that a purge of the military was coming and known. I'm left wondering whether that list of judges to be purged was part and parcel of the same rumor mill. If so, then said lists were in the making and well prepared before the failed coup coup.

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 17:05 utc | 26

@26 h.. i think it's very obvious a long list had been in prepared long before this latest coup attempt.. it was part of erdogans 'democratically elected' plan!

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2016 17:14 utc | 27

the Times is engaged in information management for the American public, and not really anyone else. these guys & gals & trannies are writers. cf.:
"...both Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Gulen have occupied a middle ground between these two extremes."
"...both Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Gulen have occupied a middle ground between these two poles."

even that change is misleading, b/c the Times universally subscribes to Manicheanism on every issue w/o exception: there are & only ever could be two opposing endpoints on one and only one axis on everything. the subtlety is not even 5th grade level.

Posted by: jason | Jul 17 2016 17:14 utc | 28

h @26:

lists were in the making and well prepared before the failed coup
But the swiftness of the announcement is suspect.

If this were a real coup, they wouldn't stroke the fire with such a crackdown so soon.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17 2016 17:16 utc | 29

At the height of the attempt to overthrow Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the rebel pilots of two F-16 fighter jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights. And yet he was able to fly on...

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 17:17 utc | 30

"I was listening to a program with Evgeny Satanosvky, one of the best Russian specialist in the Middle East. He mentioned an interesting detail about the coup. He said that the reason the coup appeared so badly organized and chaotic is that the rebels failed to detain, kill, or otherwise securely neutralize Erdogan. After the attempt failed, all further actions were also doomed to fail. This is the number one rule in a successful execution of any coup.Most likely the number of conspirators was way bigger in all levels of army and government. When it became clear that Erdogan survived, they all jumped the ship."

Posted by: From The Hague | Jul 17 2016 17:18 utc | 31

@27 and @29 - Yes, the swiftness of Erdogan's act is surprising. Maybe he took a page out of Rahm Emanuel's book of "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 17:21 utc | 32

Rup, my bad. Forgot those pesky quotes @30.

It should read -

"At the height of the attempt to overthrow Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the rebel pilots of two F-16 fighter jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights. And yet he was able to fly on..."

Hope all is forgiven...

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 17:24 utc | 33

h - honest mistake, lol...

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2016 17:28 utc | 34

You have to be careful about the meaning of these bastardized labels that are tossed around by Western commentators such as "moderate" or "extremist". The practical meaning of these words has more to do with Western propaganda then with dictionary definitions.

Posted by: Edward | Jul 17 2016 17:28 utc | 35

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain ...

"A main suspect in the failed coup against the Turkish government formerly served as a military attaché to Israel, reports say.

General Akin Öztürk, also the former commander of Turkey's air force, was arrested on Saturday along with at least five other generals in connection to the failed coup."

"According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, those behind the coup will not face the death penalty as it is against the country’s constitution, but constitutional changes are being considered to block future coups."

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17 2016 17:32 utc | 36

"President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arranged to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin within weeks, Turkish presidential sources said Sunday, Anadolu reported.

The agreement came in a telephone call from Putin in which he gave his support to Turkey following Friday’s attempted coup."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17 2016 17:39 utc | 37

10dahoit...Trump is one of the owners of this country, and he's always been one of the people who really count. But to be real specific, he's calling shots with the media. Popular comics may not like him, but the news media give him billions in free publicity. That counts as ruling in my book. And he's calling shots in the Republican Party too, without even bothering to raise money for them! Right wingers like to reduce everything to the "politicians" and pretend that the billionaires and the generals and the spook bureaucrats aren't running things. Politicians are basically salesmen for the owners (which includes not just Wall Street but Silicon Valley and the manufacturing that's left and the people who own things like Archer Daniels Midland and on and on,) who balance between competing owners while getting elected by throwing crumbs at the masses or whipping them up with demagogy fearmongering and hatemongering) or both.

Posted by: s | Jul 17 2016 17:52 utc | 38

Can this Turkish 'dish' possibly be more delicious?

"New emails and documents uncover ties between the Clintons and an Islamic imam from Turkey who has been in self-exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.

According to The Daily Caller, several pieces of evidence tie the Clintons to Fethullah Gulen, against whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has launched a crackdown."

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17 2016 18:00 utc | 39

I've read on social media some Turkish people stating that a Gulenist was responsible for shooting down the russian jet, and that gulenists are the ones supporting ISIL, rather than Erdogan.. is probably B.S. but something to throw in

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 17 2016 18:18 utc | 40

The rapproachement between Turkey and Russia is genuine. If Erdogan is serious about improving relations with Russia it only stands to reason the US would try to sabotage such efforts. This might even mean the Turks are willing to throw ISIS and al Qaida under the buss. I certainly hope that one of the effects of the coup will be to strengthen ties with Russia.
Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 17, 2016 12:27:56 PM | 18
Now, the coup attempt in Turkey comes in the wake of the Turkish-Russian rapprochement and nascent signs of a shift in Erdogan’s interventionist policies in Syria.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 17 2016 18:25 utc | 41

View from Russia (Sputik) ...

"I am sure that the coup [in Turkey] has a lot of influences from the outside…. It is now clear that the Russian plane was taken down by the pilot who belonged to the same group as those behind the coup, and now that Turkey renewed its ties with Russia, it clearly did not suit someone," Ivica Dacic said as quoted by b92 broadcaster."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17 2016 18:31 utc | 42

Well I am suspicious about the fact that the MSM are not sending a very unified message on this. Usually they speculate in one voice, picking up titbits of conjecture from each other, and the " bad guy" is named and shamed early on, and a potential future policy suggested. Not the case here. I am beginning to think this was a genuine coup attempt. In fact maybe it was even a success. Time will tell. Too much speculation flying around right now.

Posted by: dan | Jul 17 2016 18:33 utc | 43

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17, 2016 2:00:51 PM | 39

SOP when considering information is to evaluate both the information itself and the source of that information. Newsmax!!!!!????? The Daily Caller !!!!?????!!!!?????!!!!?????!!!!!

Fuck. Anyone got any smelling salts I can borrow?

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jul 17 2016 18:33 utc | 44

@Albberto & ToivoS, okiefarmer:

It is now clear that the Russian plane was taken down by the pilot who belonged to the same group as those behind the coup, and now that Turkey renewed its ties with Russia, it clearly did not suit someone

Yes, that is the consideration which I am using to interpret this failed coup for the time being.

As for the "democracy in Turkey" angle: under current conditions, being too democratic inevitably leads to becoming assimilated by the empire. China is doing fine, and it doesn't pretend to be a democracy.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2016 18:47 utc | 45

The coup has reached its goal!

This 'coup' is the second attempt (after the shooting of the Russian plane) by the opponents to Erdogan to isolate the country, destabilize the economy and poison the social atmosphere, just as Russia's forgiveness to Turkey was given hope for a return to economical stabiltiy.

That lasted coup appeared to have "failed". Yet it depends on what its intended goal was. If its "real" goal was to create an atmosphere where the Turks are more divided, where the foreign investments are slowed, where relation with the West put in question, where the tourists security is in doubt and where finally the country economy gets weakened then there is a high chance that coup is reaching its goal.

Are Erdogan's opponents preparing another style of "coup"?

Posted by: virgile | Jul 17 2016 18:57 utc | 46

b posted credited to New York Times ...

"Erdogan as well as Gülen are Islamists. They both believe in the primacy of religion. (Though Gülen's alleged $25 billion charter school empire, his ties to the CIA and to the Clinton Foundation cast doubt on any claim that he is driven by religious morality.) Erdogan called the coup a "gift of god"."

Irony maiden @44

Why is irony always so ironic?

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17 2016 18:57 utc | 47

Excellent blog post. I agree completely. A little slice, along with Libya, Syria and Ukraine, of what's to come when The Clintons are inaugurated for a third time, contrary to the sentiment of the Constitution, in January 2017. They are an unstoppable team — a Machine. As far as Teflon is concerned, Fried Eggs and everything else slides right off of them. John Gotti was a rank amateur compared to this Dynamic Duo hellbent on destroying the Free World, if there ever was such a thing and I don't think there ever was or will be. Freedom isn't total or absolute, rather it's a matter of degree & something you have vigilantly engender, nourish, maintain and perpetuate. The Clintons, under the guise of Humanitarianism & Democracy, adroitly sell slavery as freedom in their Neoliberal quest to fully consolidate power and implement Full Spectrum Dominance once and for all.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 17 2016 19:00 utc | 48

"Ex Erdogan aide: Intelligence learned of #TurkeyCoup plot before it occurred, forcing rebels to pull plans fwd & disrupt communication @ntv"

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 19:02 utc | 49

Hey irony@44 the report from the DC is citing documents from Judicial Watch cache. You might want to take a gander at the original article not the newsmax one...just sayin

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 19:09 utc | 50

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17, 2016 2:57:56 PM | 47

Why is irony always so ironic? Because I do consider not only the information but the source of the information and both Newsmax and Daily Caller are notoriously partisan sources of disinformation.

You seem ticked off, treating your posting of information from those sources with anything other than contumely and mockery is being nice.

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jul 17 2016 19:09 utc | 51

I too, like Dan in 43, am bemused by the helter skelter MSM reporting. If the coup really was US backed, however, this can be explained.

1) You do not have quite the anti-erdoghan "new Hitler" messaging that you expect for a target of US regime change.

2) You do not have much protest over the mass Roundup of opposition.


1) There was a coup. That is considered worldwide as an illegitimate event. The US has to be VERY careful about appearing to support it. It is already suspected of involvement, whether involved or not. The US does not have the freedom of maneuver it enjoys during other regime change operations.

2) During these events, the MSM just loves to glow over the brave civilians standing up to tanks. Well, here you actually have ever exactly that and a bunch of them got killed in the process. Where is the glow?

3) This coup was quite bloody, with the plotters bombing parliament, the presidential palace and shooting protesters. The US now can't touch it with a 10 foot poll. And it gives Erdoghan the freedom to Crack down hard. If he uses it as an opportunity to black bag legitimate opposition uninvolved with the coup...that is bad but not much anyone can do about it.

In other words, the color revolution formula can't be applied here. All its elements are on Erdoghan's side.

So to me, it is looking like the real thing, but only time will tell.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 17 2016 19:11 utc | 52

OT - Question: Do you believe there will be an election this fall in the US? I say no. The worst imaginable events will take place resulting in suspension of the Constitution and dictatorship - from Obama. Why? Simple - Using their own language, Obama is what is referred to as a known-known. At best, Billary and Trump are known-unknown, and unknown-unknown respectively. At this point in time, it is a better bet to back a known-known than either of the other two options. So what then needs to happen in order to bring that end result about? Does one really need to ask?

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Jul 17 2016 19:12 utc | 53

I'm starting to believe that Erdogan himself was behind this. That would explain why the coup pilots made no attempt to shoot down his Jet and why Erdogan was so well prepared for the now ongoing purge of Turkish politicians and military.

Posted by: alaric | Jul 17 2016 19:18 utc | 54

Just a note. b runs a great blog where information from various sources is exchanged, evaluated and commented on.

"You seem ticked off, treating your posting of information from those sources with anything other than contumely and mockery is being nice."

There are various social media forums where liking, disliking, etc., etc. are featured. MoA is NOT one of 'those' types of forums. Please save your ad hominem attacks for Huffington Post types of ideological entertainment fluff blogs.


Posted by: ALberto | Jul 17 2016 19:22 utc | 55

#45 Demian

Good to hear your voice again. Welcome back.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 17 2016 19:23 utc | 56

‘US needs Erdogan as ally to put pressure on Russia,’ but will never hand over Gulen

You know what happend with the site/blog that Leverett's had? No update for a year now?

Posted by: Golan | Jul 17 2016 19:31 utc | 57

maybe the Angry Arab is right to blame KSA. i forget who here has posted a link regarding AA=CIada, but the article in question was from a Kuwaiti BS newspaper...
KSA footprints are everywhere when things are so messy and badly executed

Posted by: Mina | Jul 17 2016 19:39 utc | 58

The purge also includes high level commanders of units fighting the Kurds, and ndividuals from all branches of the Turkish military, active and retired. The scale is going to affect the capabilities of the Turkish military.

"The need to replace a number of qualified personnel would seriously undermine the combat capability of the Turkish army in the medium term and the consequences of a failed coup the army as an organisation, it will take a few years to untangle the structure. Taking into account the need to continue the war with the Kurds, it is a serious problem."

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 17 2016 19:44 utc | 59

There's seem to be a shift in the way Western politicians and MSM are depicting the failed coup and Erdogan today. From the importance of protecting turkish democracy, they are now talking about Erdogan's will to "erode democracy". Some examples:

If there's a Erdogan's bashing campaign starting, that says a lot in my opinion about who's behind the coup. And all bets are off about what a wounded Erdogan will do.

Posted by: Jean | Jul 17 2016 19:55 utc | 60

I don't think it is coincidental that an armed opposition group has taken over a police station in Yerevan, taking several hostage. The demands are that the government should resign (standard regime-change m/o c.f. Electric Yerevan / Armenian Maidain in June 2015) and their leader should be released. He is being held for holding illegal arms. Armenia is also pro-Russia.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 17 2016 20:00 utc | 61

Posted by: Jean | Jul 17, 2016 3:55:43 PM | 59

Your second sentence explains the first And all bets are off about what a wounded Erdogan will do.

Somehow I think it is unlikely professional secret services would back this type of coup when "It was outside the chain of command which was the biggest handicap for the coup plotters". Not if they aimed for getting rid of Erdogan.

They might have instigated the coup if the aim was to get rid of a functioning Turkish army and destabilize Turkey.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2016 20:22 utc | 62

One quibble. To claim Turkey isn't a US ally in the fight against ISIS is the same as claiming B.P. isn't an ally of Exxon in the fight against climate change. No one, other than Russia,Iraq, and Syria, wants to destroy ISIS.

Posted by: TimmyB | Jul 17 2016 20:23 utc | 63

|@ ALberto | Jul 17, 2016 2:57:56 PM | 47

Why is irony always so ironic?

Because that is the mettle its made of.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 17 2016 20:23 utc | 64

Many of the commanders being removed were promoted and selected by the AKP three years ago. What we see now is a system so rotten, and a man so deranged, that even people close turn against him after three years. He has a right to be paranoid. While he siphons away of the wealth of the Turkish people for his own megalomania, and to provide his heirs with a endless inheritance, he is destroying any semblance of economic stability and will eventually strangle the Turkish economy completely.

In three years Turkey will either be out of NATO and like the KSA, or a new government will be in power and the existing one will mostly be six feet under. The next time there is a military coup, they will know what happened to conscripts who surrendered and were disarmed... and they will make sure never to occupy that position again, no matter how many supporters come onto the streets.

Many bases are still shut or locked down, with trucks of other vehicles blocking the entrances. This sultan is moving from following in Putin's footsteps to that of Stalin...and soon enough he will meet a similar fate as well to the later.

Posted by: In Istanbul | Jul 17 2016 20:26 utc | 65

In Istanbul
You are just being ridiculous with your propaganda, coup in 1997, was that also Erdogan's fault?

The military has intervened directly in Turkish politics three times, and in 1997 carried out a "postmodern coup."

Posted by: Golan | Jul 17 2016 20:38 utc | 66

@65 Golan

What do you mean?
Everything is fine in Turkey, now?

Posted by: From The Hague | Jul 17 2016 20:46 utc | 67

"Suspected mastermind in Turkey coup served as military attaché to Israel"

Posted by: h | Jul 17 2016 20:50 utc | 68

It is getting ridiculous actually.

149 police officials, including 49 chiefs of police, have been detained on Sunday in Ankara for complicity in failed coup attempt.

Adding a non functioning police to a non functioning army? Maybe this will prove Turkey does not need them ....

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2016 20:51 utc | 69

bbbb@40 - "...I've read on social media some Turkish people stating that a Gulenist was responsible for shooting down the russian jet, and that gulenists are the ones supporting ISIL, rather than Erdogan.. is probably B.S. but something to throw in..."

So Erdogan would be unapologetic for shooting down a Russian jet and endure their retribution this whole time when he could have conveniently blamed it on rouge AF Gulenists from the start? Social media from Turkey is blaming everything including the weather on the Gulenists today. This is nonsense, or outright propaganda. Erdogan couldn't ever have blamed it on Gulenists because the world would have laughed at him.

The 'Gulenists' (Hizmet movement) also have little reason to support ISIS. Gulen's brand of conservatist Sunni is largely non-political vs. Erdogan's very nationalistic flavor. Do you think the Grey Wolves are Gulenists? Of course not - they're exactly the opposite. Note that THEY made sure the Russian pilots were dead before they hit the ground.

Erdogan does not oppose the Gulen Hizmet movement because he disagrees with it on some ideological level. He disagrees with it because it does not promote Erdogan's demand for a slavish devotion to his government by everyone in Turkey. Those damn 'Gulenists' were even promoting reform for Kurdish rights in Turkey - imagine that! Erdogan has no need for apolitical Sunnis like Gulenists in Turkey. You're either with him, or you're against him.

ALberto@42 - Consider the source of that quote: Ivica Dacic, the Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister. Serbia is screwed for natural gas supplies. They need SouthStream and/or TurkStream built yesterday for their own energy security. And then there's the millions in transit fees Serbia could use. Serbia has every incentive on earth to see Russia and Turkey kiss and make up. They're going to jump on the bandwagon of demonizing Gulen if it somehow contributes to getting those gas pipelines into and through Serbia.

FWIW, Putin doesn't strike me as so easily fooled. It would be much more in Russia's interest to have a rational, non-violent apolitical Sunni movement like Gulen running the government in Turkey rather then Erdogan and his Cult of Personality Sunnis (as well as his MIT Stazi, his Grey Wolf pals and his closet ISIS supporters). Russia will never say this because they respect other nations' sovereignty and don't take sides in someone else's internal squabbles (unlike the U.S. and its sado-neocon R2P'ers). Notice Sputnik had to go all the way to Serbia for an 'opinion'. Why? Because Russia doesn't want to announce an opinion. In their mind, it's none of their business.

Russia has no intention of becoming best buddies with Turkey. Foreign relations are all business and professional to them, not personal or conniving. Russia is simply resuming their prior arms-length normalized relations slowly with Turkey after freezing them since the shoot-down.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 17 2016 20:51 utc | 70

It's very clear that Erdogan The despicable authoritarian, warmongering, state terrorist and Islamist fucktard is an unreliable partner of the evil US Empire. That piece of shit has political desires of maximal power which makes him not as subservient as the US Empire would like him. That's why there are others waiting to be forced in or installed into Turkush power by the US.
(I don't know myself but is Gulen really the next choice ?)
How can you rely or be a partner with this immoral dickhead who makes an enemy where ever he goes or whatever he touches.
He makes unreasonable demands on is NATO partners, disliked by everyone, cannot be trusted in any area, is self-serving autocratic maniac....and so much more. Erdogsn is not long for political power

Posted by: tom | Jul 17 2016 20:51 utc | 71

Forgot to mention that the only alternative is if the idiotic Russians and Chinese were to support this evil Erdogan fuckwit, they would sacrifice the Turkish people for their own short term geopolitical gains.

Posted by: tom | Jul 17 2016 20:58 utc | 72

From The Hague

What I mean is stop peddling stupid theories, go to the link I posted and learn something about the history of Turkey regarding coup and the military constant use of such treacherous methods, have nothing to do with AKP as you will understand.

Posted by: Golan | Jul 17 2016 21:13 utc | 73

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 17, 2016 4:51:35 PM | 69

Gülen schools are illegal in Russia. They are taking sides.

Gülen's ideology is very nice and recommendable. The problem is the sect-like undemocratic structure of the organization, their entry into the highest posts of society's institutions and their secret service CIA ties.

Gülen's schools get public money in the US (and I am afraid in Germany, too).

I am not sure the coup was truely Gülenist. But Erdogan seems decided to get rid of them as a parallel power structure. He now has Gülenists, ISIS and the PKK to fight with the rest of an army and - as seems now - the rest of a police force and a judiciary.

I wonder if Gülenists had the foresight to infiltrate the prison service, too.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2016 21:18 utc | 74

Tom (70 & 71)
This is not the way politics works. It's not about personal tastes or moral, it's about interests. Nobody cares about populations as long as a move may make come true the intended outcome. There are two poles again - the west and Russia / China on the other side. This opens space for maneuvering for lesser powers, Egypt or Turkey for example.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 17 2016 21:21 utc | 75

dan of steele@12 - "...the Wall Street Journal reports that the Turkish commander of Incirlik was arrested. I am at a loss to understand the meaning of that..."

Incirlik is a Turkish air base run by the Turkish 10th Air Wing as the Incirlik Tanker Base. Turkey has all of their 7 KC-135R air refueling tankers stationed there under the 10th Air Wing's 101st Refueling Squadron. The Turkish base commander and 101st Squadron commander (along with others) were arrested, but not for 'plotting' the coup. The fake rebel F-16s that apparently bombed mostly nothing, inexplicably didn't shoot down Erdogan's jet they were tailing, and basically just flew around for no reason at all were supposedly refueled by Incirlik tankers the night of the coup. So, if nothing else, Erdogan and the MIT can claim the commanders there were complicit in the coup (whether they were or not).

Incirlik hosts the USAF 39th Air Base Wing(ABW). None of the USAF commanders were involved or arrested - as far as we know). The MSM will often call the commander of the 39th ABW the 'Incirlik Base Commander', which is technically wrong. As a hosted unit, the 39th ABW commands nothing but itself and its supporting squadrons. Various USAF refueling groups will rotate in and out of the base and some use KC-135Rs just like the Turks. Normally, the TuAF 10th Air Wing tankers are tasked to only refuel Turkish aircraft, and units attached to the USAF 39th ABW will be tasked to refuel U.S. and coalition aircraft. They can refuel each other and do for joint exercises. As far as I know, the Turks don't refuel Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve aircraft (the ones bombing pickup trucks and motorcycles in Syria and Iraq).

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 17 2016 21:22 utc | 76

@72 Golan

Of course I read your link.
In 1997 the military saved Turkey's women and Turkey's atheists.

From your link:
In 1997 the military issued a series of "recommendations", which the government had no choice but to accept. The prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, agreed to a compulsory eight-year education programme (to prevent pupis from enrolling in religious schools), a headscarf ban at universities, and other measures.

Posted by: From The Hague | Jul 17 2016 21:27 utc | 77

The game in Turkey is not over. Erdogan is using this opportunity to humilate the army(who're a*sholes themselves). A fair prediction is either Erdogan will be eliminated or the country will decend into chaos. Neigher option is palatable. It's essentially a fight between MB Ikhwanis and Neo Kermalists.

The army is now being humiliated by the police left, right and center with arrests etc etc and they can't seem to fight back. Erdogan, a man on borrowed time, will now be looking over his shoulders at every turn. He doesn't trust his US "partners" and NONE of his generals.

Dark days ahead for Turkey...

Posted by: Zico | Jul 17 2016 21:31 utc | 78

@58/60 yonatan.. thanks for the updates... regime change is always a possibility if the country is friendly with russia... if the west can't get regime change in russia, they will attempt it with allies of russia.. this gets tiring and so predictable..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2016 21:38 utc | 79

@69 paveway... bingo.. i never bought that line myself, but it is good for those ''democratically elected leaders'' who want their adoring fans to continue with the adoration.. count on the ongoing ''gulen witch hunt'' to continue so long as folks are stupid enough to buy into it..

@72 golan.. do you like the theory about gulan responsible for shooting down the russia jet last november? it seems to appeal to erdogan voters!

my astro take on erdogan... the trouble will continue to mount for him.. guesstimate he is out by the fall sometime, if not late summer.. things ramp up late summer around the time of the solar and lunar eclipse charts sept 1st and the 16th..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2016 21:51 utc | 80

The Foreign Ministry raised the death toll to more than 290

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 17 2016 21:58 utc | 81

Turkey widened a crackdown on suspected supporters of a failed military coup on Sunday, taking the number of people rounded up in the armed forces and judiciary to 6,000

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 17 2016 22:02 utc | 82

somebody@73 - "...Gülen schools are illegal in Russia. They are taking sides..." Of course. I only posed it as an either/or proposition for Russia considering Turkey. Russia has been terribly suspicious of foreign NGOs, cults, fifth-columnists, etc. since the breakup of the Soviet Union. However noble Gulen's intentions, it has clearly been a tool of the CIA for decades.

"I am not sure the coup was truely Gülenist. But Erdogan seems decided to get rid of them as a parallel power structure."

I agree completely. He couldn't go on a witch hunt in Turkey without drawing widespread international condemnation on top of his existing press and MP crackdowns. I would guess that many he's arresting have nothing to do with Hizmat or Gulenists - they're simply Turks that would not recognize his self-appointed authority. 'Potential' insurgents - the most dangerous kind to a tyrant. Gulen is just an excuse and Erdogan must whine as loudly as possible to deflect attention from his continual power-grab.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 17 2016 22:10 utc | 83

At height of Turkish coup bid, rebel jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights word was out before they tried pulling it off.. i tend to agree with that view.

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2016 22:14 utc | 84

I think that if this was in fact some American-sponsored coup, then the rest of the world would be wise be on alert for some immediate type of fall-back attack. Venezuela for instance, Hezbollah or the Koreas.

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 17 2016 22:36 utc | 85

Posted by: Golan @56 You know what happend with the site/blog that Leverett's had? No update for a year now?

No. They seem to have stopped after the deal with Iran was signed. They worked hard on that issue. Looks like diplomacy with Iran has stopped and that was the Leverett's issue. I also was disappointed to see them abandon their blog.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 17 2016 22:41 utc | 86

bbbb@84 - "I think that if this was in fact some American-sponsored coup, then the rest of the world would be wise be on alert for some immediate type of fall-back attack."

Still pushing that fantasy despite clear evidence that it was a false-flag coup staged by Erdogan and the MIT? It did exactly what he wanted: provide and excuse for a witch hunt and lure out other enthusiastic dissidents for capture.

I have to say it's fiendishly clever. If the U.S. ever becomes that unstable, then I can see the same thing happening here: stage a fake military-led rebellion and make it appear successful at first to lure out dissident military commanders and/or civil leaders for immediate arrest. Scour internet traffic for all those basement rebels supporting it and round them up, too. Good test of the local and federal police - note any that did not immediately support 'the government' and replace them. A coup prevented is a coup you don't have to endlessly waste resources trying to protect your regime from encountering. People are easily tricked by the MSM and internet monitoring provides an easy way to identify all those invisible but sympathetic citizen 'rebels'. Then Obama declares a national emergency, suspends the otherwise worthless elections and starts WWIII. Oops - did I say that out loud?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 17 2016 23:18 utc | 87

@86 Gosh every news event in existence today seems to be a false flag. Silly of me to try using occams razor hey?

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 17 2016 23:47 utc | 88


Posted by: sejmon | Jul 17 2016 23:55 utc | 89

bbbb@87- I think he was being facetious. There isn't clear evidence of anything yet. Whether ff or state sponsored Erdogan took the opportunity and ran with it.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 17 2016 23:59 utc | 90

Erdogan’s followers have designated an Alevi commander, Colonel Muharrem Kose as head of the uprising. Fears mount that this may lead to the ethnic cleansing of yet another minority in Turkey

Posted by: virgile | Jul 18 2016 0:03 utc | 91

Erdogan's foreign policy actions after the coup should shed some light on who was behind it. If he in fact stops aiding nusra, ISIS, the FSA, etc and respects Syria's sovereignty then we should strongly suspect KSA, the US/NATO and/or Israel. I really doubt he'll do that, though he should because his foreign policy is a disaster.

Notice this coup is coming when Aleppo is about to be liberated. The Saudis threatened to invade Syria last time that happened with support and lots of posturing from turkey. NATO also became more belligerent. I believe Putin's truce was used to diffuse the situation.

Turkey has done the opposite this time; the PM announced intent to normalize relations with Syria instead of intent to invade. Those are grounds for regime change.

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 18 2016 1:39 utc | 92

bbbb@87 - No, I think you're just mixing up the neocon freak's long game plan for what happened this weekend. I think someone already posted the Sibel Edmonds interview on the Corbett Report: West Prepares to Replace Their Puppet in Turkey.

Everything she said made sense at the end of last year when it was published - I do believe the U.S. and cronies eventually want to get rid of Erdogan. The one thing missing for the usual neocon/CIA Arab Spring-type modus operandi was a sufficiently hostile and outraged public. They have split Turkish public opinion, but Erdogan is still far too liked by the Turks for any coup attempt to succeed. They had been ramping up the international demonization of Erdogan, but that never went too far within Turkey.

Why wouldn't I believe this was a REAL U.S.-backed coup attempt? Because we didn't see Erdogan getting Gadaffi'd or run away seeking asylum anywhere. There were no snipers killing citizens and police alike, inflaming tensions. That's always a favorite part of the CIA plans. It's a necessary part to give a hostile public the satisfaction of having 'defeated that bastard'. Even the most incompetent U.S.-backed attempt would have started with Erdogan's death at the hands of Turks. Maybe the U.S. 'testing the waters'? Nope. I'm sure they were watching Turkish public reaction very carefully, but the U.S. knows damn well that Erdogan is popular. Replacing him with some other U.S. puppet now would be a disaster - Turks would hate the replacement.

The U.S. Arab Spring schemes always have 1) an internationally (or at least westernly) demonized leader to depose, 2) a controlled opposition that will come to power as the new/replacement U.S. puppet, and 3) a public sufficiently sympathetic to the opposition and hostile to the existing leader.

I know #1 was ramping up at the end of last year, but sort of disappeared a few weeks ago. Erdogan does an about-face with Israel and Russia, and suddenly the MSM declares him reformed and maybe he's not so bad. Then you have the absolutely strangest part of this whole coup where there is a weird outpouring of support for Erdogan in the MSM. What the hell was THAT all about? You have to wonder if the NYT and WaPo ever bother to read their own dribble from six months ago about Erdogan.

For #2, does the U.S. have enough influence through Gulen right now to rely on them as a new puppet? I don't know. They certainly have some influence. What if the existing leaders in Turkey who were Gulen followers were not sufficiently pro-U.S.? Maybe this was a feint encouraged by the U.S. to get rid of those senior Gulen officials it didn't like? Maybe the U.S. decided Gulen itself was not a reliable vehicle to launch their puppet replacement and the U.S. wanted their influence diminished. That whole part is not clear, but between Erdogan and the U.S., one would have had incentive to instigate this attempt knowing it would fail and the other would have had incentive to let it play out until the perps were rounded up. At any rate, I can't believe that if the U.S. WANTED this attempt to succeed, Erdogan would have gotten away and CIA snipers wouldn't have been busy on the rooftops of Ankara and Istanbul.

#3? Nope - Turks are not sufficiently hostile towards Erdogan to see Gulen or the military as saviors right now. Some would have, but not nearly enough. Perhaps if Gulen was really strong that wouldn't matter so much. Gaddafi was pretty popular, but the U.S.-controlled opposition was far stronger when NATO was factored in. NATO can't support the opposition - Gulen or whomever - the same way in Turkey. The opposition must have the support of most of the people.

I would guess the U.S. either had a hand in this knowing it would fail, or knew it would happen and let it play out for whatever reason. That doesn't mean they've given up on getting rid of Erdogan by any means. That will happen eventually, but at a time when the U.S. decides it will succeed at putting the new puppet in place. It may take nothing more than sitting back and letting Erdogan dig his own grave. Paranoid psychopaths like him always clamp down more and more on the people as time goes by. They start seeing an enemy under every rock. And corrupt thieves keep stealing more and more from the people in increasingly arrogant and outlandish fashion. Eventually, Erdogan will push too many people too far and lose support of the little people. That's when the U.S. snake will strike because that's the only way it's going to work in Turkey.

As for Russia and pipelines: the U.S. only has to prevent the pipeline from operating at some point in time. There is no reason for a poorly-planned coup to stop any planning between Russia and Turkey right now. Will it make a difference if the pipeline is partially built in a few years, but a U.S. puppet running Turkey then refuses to complete it or will not let Russian gas transit Turkey? ZATO mission accomplished either way.

As Alaric just pointed out @91, Saudis had incentive to move right now. If they instigated it somehow, I still insist the U.S. would have just let it play out and Erdogan would have as well because it provided him several opportunities.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 18 2016 2:28 utc | 93

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 17, 2016 9:39:03 PM | 91

Politics is local first and foremost. Most likely scenario is Erdogan continuing/planning his clean up operation well before the coup and the coup being triggered by officers getting worried about being arrested whilst Turkish secret service or whoever informed Erdogan on the plot. Erdogan presumably waited for the coup to happen as only then he could justify what he is doing now. They probably had some inside people in the coup and might have knowingly provoked it.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 17, 2016 3:11:27 PM | 51 says the color revolution stuff is all on Erdogan's side so his side presumably was doing most of the planning.
A hint is Erdogan using facetime to get through to the media. Another hint is the very early announcement that the coup happened "outside the chain of command".

The effect though is that Turkey is completely destabilized no matter what Erdogan does now. And the local scenario does not exclude the possibility that outside actors were also informed on the coup and pushed it as the destabilization of Turkey suited them.

If Erdogan turns to Iran/Russia/Syria for alliance there will be a huge backlash destabilizing Turkey further. It is just not a very good place to rule for geopolitics.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2016 2:41 utc | 94

peps escobars latest..

i like @92 paveways quote "They start seeing an enemy under every rock." and somebodys comment @ 93 - "It is just not a very good place to rule for geopolitics." i guess the same could be said for syria..

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2016 2:48 utc | 95

@79 james, 'my astro take on erdogan... things ramp up late summer around the time of the solar and lunar eclipse charts sept 1st and the 16th...'

I haven't heard that kind of talk since 1967. Time and the tides warped by the Moon of Alabama.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 18 2016 3:02 utc | 96

@paveway @somebody,

Thanks for the comments. Nothing can be done prior to the purge/collapse of the neo-cons in the US/EU. Which will come first, their collapse or our purge? Their collapse is going to be painful for the folks invested in their faux worldview. The rest of us won't notice the difference ; if we just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and do then what we should have done a dozen years ago.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 18 2016 3:09 utc | 97

Colonel mustard in Ankara-

On the eve of the coup in Turkey, the Russian geopolitician and philosopher Alexander Dugin was in Ankara, where he gave a press conference. Among other things he said, he insisted that the same forces want the destruction of both Russia and Turkey and are threatening Turkish sovereingty. He said that President Erdogan understood now the situation and he added that the two countries are now inaugurating a new system of relations, not just restoring old ties, but moving towards a strategic alliance

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 18 2016 4:50 utc | 98

I'm glad to see the distinction being made between the standard US-organized color revolution and a US-approved internal putsch launched by a faction of a country's military. The two are worlds apart. And a color revolution was not going to get far in Turkey before it got crushed.

There is plenty of room for nuance in our understanding of this situation. It strikes me as a pretty nuanced situation anyway. Officers don't just rise up without a lot of subtle thinking and discussion having taken place, in muted tones. The US has obviously been talking with anyone who seems sufficiently disaffected to be a potential adversary or coup plotter.

The only thing I see currently that doesn't parse is the report that the rebel jets shadowing Erdogan's plane, and apparently locked on, refrained from firing. I don't think we know why yet. If this whole thing was theater, was it really necessary to get that chancy with a detail that could kill Erdogan, and that was not at all necessary to the script development? Is he really that trusting or tightly in control? I await more information on this one.

But everything else so far falls into place with the scenario of the US giving its blessing to the premature and hasty coup attempt, by plotters who were already being rounded up. This would have been only one of the options open to the the US, and it cost nothing. I'm quite certain the US is intensely reviewing its remaining options right now.

We often theorize that Putin has a list of people, his notorious 5th column. And if the situation ever comes to hot war or some calamitous upheaval threatening Russian society and state, we assume the people on that list will be among the first to get taken off the street.

Of course Erdogan has his own list. People are left in place because their loyalty is not detectable as compromised, or adequate charges don't exist, or players have not shown their hand and to arrest them would cost more than it would gain. But when we speak of Erdogan throwing editors in prison out of pique, and getting away with it, can we really think it was necessary for him to mount such an extraordinarily dangerous piece of theater simply in order to exert this control over these people?

Maybe I don't understand how simple it would have been for him to orchestrate this sham. But I think it would have been easier for him to put down a real coup than to devise a fake one and get away with it.

Erdogan is a skilled politician in a tough arena. His mind has been saturated for years with coup attempts as a likely scenario - one of a host of contingencies amid a mass of details regarding control of the state. Who knows what he knew, and at what point, and what cards he had available to play, even at gunpoint in the air? He could see at a glance who had turned, and who was loyal, what dice had rolled, and where the betting stood. All this is nothing special for this kind of man in this kind of position.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 18 2016 5:12 utc | 99

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