Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 26, 2016

Turkey's Foreign Policy Change Is Well Underway

Turkey is on its way to change its foreign policy orientation. Instead of facing "west" towards NATO and the pipe dream of European Union membership, it is looking "east" towards tighter cooperation with Russia, China and Iran. It will also want to intensify its already developed relations with the Central-Asian states Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

To cover the move, which began before the recent military coup attempt, the Turkish government needs some plausible excuses. The "guilty" party that justifies the change should not be itself but, preferably, its "western partners".

That the coup is probably related to covered activities of the Gülen movement in Turkey is a welcome gift. Turkey is convinced that the U.S. had some hand in the coup, or at least knew about it before it happened but did not warn Ankara. That the coup is U.S. related is not just a conspiracy theory without any basis. The tanker airplanes which filled up the F-16 bombers which bombed the parliament during the coup started from the NATO airbase in Incirlik where the U.S. command for the war on Syria is seated. Three of the five regiments involved in the coup in Istanbul are part of NATO's Rapid Deployable Corps. One of the coup commanders is the head of the Turkish second army which is coordinating the war on Syria (and ISIS) with the U.S. military.

Another signs for U.S. culpability, from the Turkish perspective, is the mealymouthed first statement Secretary of State Kerry gave when the coup was happening. From my live blogging of the coup before it started to fail:

Journo at ongoing Lavrov & Kerry press conference: "France, Belgium told their citizen in Turkey to stay at home." Lavrov: "Russian citizens should too."

2:11 PM - 15 Jul 2016 Talking Points Memo @TPM

#BREAKING John Kerry says he hopes for stability in Turkey as coup apparently under way

"Stability" - that's pro military coup talk ...

Kerry spoke diplomatese in support of the ongoing coup. Demanding "stability" instead of "democracy" or "respect of the legitimate government" was unlike to deter the coup plotters. "Stability", under their control, was their announced aim.

Today the Washington Post published an OpEd that seems to call for a new coup in Turkey. It gives advice on how to avoid the mistakes of the failed one.Turks will see this as still ongoing U.S. plotting:

In Turkey, the coup plotters did not wait for a contentious election or a wave of popular discontent. Perhaps more patient and strategic organizers would have fared better.

The Turkish Sufi cult leader and preacher Fethullah Gülen resides in Pennsylvania from where he controls his world wide charter school empire and network. Gülen is rumored to be under control of the CIA. Two former high ranking CIA officers gave supporting statements for him in the 1990s when he requested residency in the U.S.

Turkey now demands Gülen's extradition. The evidence Turkey is giving for his culpability in the coup consists mostly of confessions of involved officers. These were given under somewhat coerced conditions. They are unlikely to be sufficient to convince the various interest groups in the U.S. to allow Gülen's extradition.

But that would fit Turkey's plans well. Should the U.S. not response positively to the request, Turkey will have good reason to lower its relation with the U.S. and with NATO. The Turkish Foreign Minister just called again for Gülen's fast extradition. Displaying national unity the leader of the opposition CHP party issued the same demand. This is thereby not just some crazy Erdogan buffoonery,  but a request of the Turkish people. The U.S. will try to drag the issue out, but when even the Turkish opposition stands behind the demand it has little room to wiggle.

My prediction is that the U.S. will reject any extradition and that Turkey will use that to justify less amicable relations.

On the other side of the foreign policy turn are Russia and Iran. Both took an early and strong stand against the coup. Turkey explicitly thanked the Russian president Putin for his unconditioned support against the coup. (Unconfirmed reports claim that Russia warned the Turkish government hours before the coup happened.) The Turkish President Erdogan will meet Putin in person on August 5. Turkey wants to "take relations with Russia to new level."

The Turkish ambassador in Tehran hailed Iran's support against the coup.

As precondition for better relations Russia (and Iran) demand that Turkey stops its support for Jihadists rebels in Syria. According to the Economist, Turkey is complying with that:

As Mr Erdogan focuses on the enemy within, he has tried to batten down what hatches he can, periodically closing the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, hitherto the prime supply route to Syria’s Sunni opposition-held territory.
A few rebels argue that as part of his counter-coup Mr Erdogan might yet project his Sunni triumphalism abroad and come to their rescue. But among exiled leaders in Gaziantep and the Americans co-ordinating their logistical backup, the mood is one of despondency. “It’s game over [for Syria’s rebels] already,” says one.

Also this from the Financial Times:

Syrian rebels said last week they noticed a drift in Ankara’s attention [...] Turkey was inactive as rebels struggled. [...] Usually, the Turks would be checking in a lot, meeting with commanders and making sure everyone is doing their jobs.

A split over Gülen with the U.S., better relations with Russia and Iran and less support for the Syrian "rebels" - Turkey's foreign policy change is well underway.


Al-Qaeda in Syria, known under the name Jabhat al-Nusra, has been fearing a tighter cooperation between Russia and the U.S. and an extensive bombing campaign against it (as demanded by two UNSC resolutions.) To avoid the damage, al-Qaeda is trying to trick the public.

Jabhat al-Nusra will rename itself to Jabhat Fath al Sham and will publicly reject all ties to al-Qaeda central (though not its aims). Jabhat al-Nusra has about 5,000 fighters, a third of which are foreigners. The group hopes that this move is enough to no longer be designated by the UN and the U.S. as "terrorist organization" and instead to be recognized as "moderate rebels". These fall under a ceasefire Russia and the U.S. had agreed upon. Jabhat's Gulf state sponsors had pressed for such a step for some time. One wonders what promises the U.S. made to further the move.

Will the Obama administration accept this fake name-change and defend it? Will it ask Russia to stop attacks on the newly disguised al-Qaeda? That would be highly embarrassing in my view. But as the U.S. is even defending its support for "moderate rebels" who behead sick children, it might as well openly support a slightly renamed al-Qaeda.


Posted by b on July 26, 2016 at 15:37 UTC | Permalink

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Considering that the NATO base at Incirlik was used as a center for the coup attempt, I have to wonder if Erdogan wouldn't want to close it to NATO forces. But then why remain in NATO? Here in the US the idea of Turkey tell NATO to f*ck off is considered unlikely, but I can't help but wonder if that attitude is just one more reflection of the extreme hubris that dominates US thinking.
From a strategic standpoint, would Erdogan need to lay more groundwork for such a move? Or will see the coup attempt being used as leverage against the Americans (the conventional thinking I hear goes in this direction)?

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 26 2016 16:30 utc | 1

WaPo "contentious election" in Turkey
what "contentious election"?
he got 50%; the 3 other parties CHP,MHP and HDP got 25,12 and 11% respectively

in England you only to get 35% ( Labour in 2005 , Conservatives got 37% in 2015)
to get a majority

40% wins you a landslide.

Erdogan probably thought 50% vote was enough to call for him to call it quits
and declare a one-man,one-party dictatorship

Posted by: chris m | Jul 26 2016 16:32 utc | 2

Putting aside "Israel's" devotion to promoting, and exaggerating at every opportunity, the fake and insidious cancer of Identity Politics, Iran and Turkey have infinitely more in common than any trivial grounds for dispute.
Eat your heart out Bibi. Yinon has backfired. Starting with the pissiest little countries wasn't so smart after all, was it?
Welcome to Bibi's worst nightmare. Exodus?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26 2016 16:36 utc | 3

thanks b... i would like to be 'positive' on the development of a better relationship with russia/iran and turkey.. i think the proof will be in the support for the rebels that turkey does, or doesn't provide.. it will be interesting to see how the 're-branding' concept plays out as well.. a drastic situation calls for drastic measures.. i suspect more moving forward from all sides involved..

Posted by: james | Jul 26 2016 16:38 utc | 4

US is hand in hand with AQ and ISIS and so is France, Germany, UK and GC/Saudi. They will lower themselves to shit to save the terrorists that they don't want in their own country. The criminals will assemble again, Saudi has threatened Turkey for changing the side and they will do their best to destroy as much as possible. Their embarrassment in Yemen, UN, 9/11, war crimes, rigging US elections and almost everywhere is evident. Whatever happens in Syria should be before Killary takes office otherwise neo-cons/Saudis will try to reignite the war.

Posted by: RedSquare | Jul 26 2016 16:39 utc | 5

Erdogan restarted the war with the Kurds, and used that as cover for cracking down on disloyal elements, in his eyes, which included independent journalists and opposition parties like the HDP. The element of violence and coercion should have raised many questions about Erdogan's last election. You might object that's holding Turkey to a higher standard than other Western states, and some might agree.

The notion that Russia, China and Iran are going to be able to help Erdogan win his war on the Kurds makes no sense. And he is going to need the jihadis he's been supporting more, not less, precisely because he's attacking his Islamist opposition in the military, judiciary, etc. There has never been a threat of a unified Kurdistan, but the KRG in Iraq is bad enough, it's just a bunch of crooks who've been rented. But Rojava actually is kind of leftish and has real popular support. The thing is, suppressing the Syrian Kurds requires a powerful regime in Damascus. Trying to ally with Assad and Russia against the YPD etc while still fostering jihadis? A turn to the east is a tactical maneuver or desperation.

Posted by: s | Jul 26 2016 16:53 utc | 6

Posted by: RedSquare | Jul 26, 2016 12:39:39 PM | 5

Yeah, and nary a word of contrition from the Eurotrash "Leaders" who CAUSED the flood of hapless souls seeking refuge from the havoc in the HomeLand of the instigators of their misery. This SNAFU gives Stockholm Syndrome a whole new, and equally unfunny, meaning.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26 2016 16:57 utc | 7

Perimetr@1 - "Here in the US the idea of Turkey tell NATO to f*ck off is considered unlikely, but I can't help but wonder if that attitude is just one more reflection of the extreme hubris that dominates US thinking.

Hubris, sure. But the neocon's long game is (and always has been) to take down Russia and Iran and own/control the Middle East. They need both Europe and Turkey for that plan to work. My question is, "Exactly how far will these psychopaths go to ensure that Turkey stays in NATO?"

Erdogan needs to look no further than Ukraine to see the potential consequences for defying his U.S. neocon overlords. Is he angry enough to try, anyway? Probably. He'll bring Turkey dangerously close to the edge before he backs off, though. Psychopaths will be psychopaths.

Will the U.S. destroy Turkey and carve it up rather than lose over it via a NATO exit? Or worse, would they destroy Turkey and carve it up rather than lose it to Russia or - heaven forbid - a Russian/Iranian alliance? The sad answer is: "Of course they will - psychopaths will be psychopaths."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 26 2016 16:59 utc | 8

I don't think we should expect that the West will sit on its collective hands while Erdogan looks east. NATO has been in Turkey since 1952 and has deep ties with the Turkish military. Erdogan is not exactly a ramrod of integrity (to say the least) and it's not impossible he'll be coaxed back to the fold--although he has made it harder for another coup to take place. A plan of more representation for Kurds in their local areas of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq would be welcome as it could help speed regional peace while keeping national borders intact.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 26 2016 17:05 utc | 9

coup is probably related to covered activities of the Gülen movement

Posted by: mudduck | Jul 26 2016 17:10 utc | 10

You are no doubt right but it would be a sight to behold if Our Qaeda and ISUS ran out of ammunition before the low grade imbeciles in Washington and elsewhere had a chance to resupply. They are getting sloppy. Oh well, I can dream.

Posted by: Stephen | Jul 26 2016 17:12 utc | 11

@ Paveway #8

You are right, they will absolutely try to destroy Turkey before they let it join Russia and Iran. But the problem with that, from the sociopaths' point of view, is that breaking Turkey up means the Russians, Iranians and Syrians can pick up the pieces and rearrange them in a way that suits them. Heck, Syria might end up getting Hatay back.

So they have to be cautious about their regular plans.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 26 2016 17:40 utc | 12

@5 the Yemen debacle + the Syraq cauldron has to be damaging to the Saudis ability to project violence. The axis of resistance have taken out and chased out a large % of terrorists IMHO.

The failure of Turkey's coup is another massive setback as it exposed sell-outs to the Erdog regime to be purged.
The Kurds are probably not going to stir trouble as they are a relatively docile and stable society, and do not want to be sacrificial patsies.

I think Saudi Arabia will have a reshuffling of family leadership at the behest of Washington, and they'll lick their wounds and wait alongside the neocons for what the new directives the next administration will decide upon

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 26 2016 17:41 utc | 13

@14 But I have to temper my opinions with the possibility that Western leaders are not rational.
France is certainly pressing its way in, possibly as a fig leaf for a ramp-up of American aggression.
They could always whip out some R2P crap against Erdogan.

Posted by: bbbb | Jul 26 2016 17:47 utc | 14

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 26, 2016 1:40:29 PM | 13

They already had that experience in Ukraine.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 26 2016 17:48 utc | 15

RE Erdogan and NATO. Everybody here will accept status quo. Incirlik is effectively a hostage that NATO will accept. The State Department liar said that the power cutoff was no big deal. NATO can't afford to lose Incirlik because without it the soft underbelly of Russia suddenly becomes very robust and NATO is shown to be a paper tiger. As it is, its effectiveness as a staging ground for mischief is seriously hampered. Russian intelligence will have a field day keeping tabs on the goings on there. Erdogan has plenty on his plate to stabilize his position so no need to push in this area. However, now he will have more backing if NATO does try funny stuff, so his rear is now covered.

RE Kurds. With the shaken up military, Erdogan has more limited options to force his will here. All the other players (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq) want to keep the Kurds from uniting, but are OK with local autonomy of various flavors. Turkey will go along with this reasoning because the Kurds can cause too much trouble if pushed. Remember the no trouble with the neighbor policy was going to include the Kurds. This will be reinstated to the local satisfaction of all. Turkey's Islamist elements will settle for a more Islamic flavored Turkey and Erdogan will be happy to provide the pomp and circumstance to make it look awesome. Those that don't will be labeled terrorists and be handled in the usual manner.

The deep state, gladio, CIA, Gulen plots will still be operative, but their effectiveness is blunted.

Posted by: kafkananda | Jul 26 2016 17:59 utc | 16

Fethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy

Posted by: virgile | Jul 26 2016 18:53 utc | 17

The USA has been using Turkey as an ally because of its geographical position and its political stability. It has tolerated many disruptive excesses just to keep it as an ally.
Now that the country's path is unknown, the USA needs to be re-assured but instead, Erdogan is trying to flex his muscles and shout again.
Erdogan is famous for using blackmail as a political tool. He has used it with Europe but ultimately failed. Now he is trying to use it with the USA thinking that he can have the USA extradite Gulen.
He is not realizing that he is playing with fire.

Posted by: virgile | Jul 26 2016 19:11 utc | 18

Would immediate EU membership keep Turkey in NATO? Merkel gets a divorce and like in Medieval times marries some Turkish oligarch's son to seal the political union.

Posted by: Erelis | Jul 26 2016 19:15 utc | 19

Erdogan is a war criminal, terrorist supporter, destroyer of the Syrian nation, racist, misogynist, authortarian... Who should immediately be condemned and indicted, for at the least, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

But no, b and the other frauds of unprincipled hypocrites here are only really interested in geopolitics of their favourite calt leader.
If Putin is so morally awesome then how can he be so willing to work with criminally immoral Authortarian Erdogan where Putin will protect, defend and work with someone so evil, furthering and empowering more Erdogan evil to be committed. Which actually makes Putin complicit, just like Putin is complicit in the US war crimes of Afghanistan where he let the US use Russian bases while war crimes were being committed in real time.

Here in Australia the international recent report has declared Australia complicit for ( at the least )propaganda in support the genocide of Indonesia in 1965.
Right now we have others doing the exact same thing for turkey. Disgusting.

Posted by: tom | Jul 26 2016 19:19 utc | 20

Will the Obama administration accept this fake name-change and defend it?


Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jul 26 2016 19:29 utc | 21

former air traffic controller sez nuttin takes off zato airbase without clearance...
specially aircraft to fuel fighter jetzzzzz...

Posted by: mick savage | Jul 26 2016 19:53 utc | 22

Lysander@13 - "...But the problem with that, from the sociopaths' point of view, is that breaking Turkey up means the Russians, Iranians and Syrians can pick up the pieces and rearrange them in a way that suits them..."

One would think that ZATO would have their nose in any 'rearranging' as well. If the U.S. seeks to break up Turkey, they will do so in a way that the resulting pieces are either advantageous to them or disadvantageous to Russia (and pals).

Funny you should mention Hatay. Just had a long conversation with some old cronies where we decided WWIII could very possibly start over that piece of land. With the proper geopolitical shell game accompanied by a bloody, bloody war and breaking up of Turkey, the U.S. would somehow insist Hatay be returned to Syria. I won't even guess at the twisted logic they would use, but imagine it would be something like "The French had no right to give it to Turkey in 1939!"

The real purpose, of course, is to eventually make Hatay (or at leas the southern part) a part of an independent Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). There's really no precedent for this - it was never really Kurdish territory. But why let history or facts get in the way of a nice pipeline and port?

Annexing Hatay means that between the U.S. puppet regime in Rojava (the PYD) and U.S.-puppet mob boss Barzani (and the KDP) in Iraq, 'someone' now has a nice pipeline route from the Mediterranean all the way to Iran. No need to deal with the crooked Turkish government or the Erdogan clan in Ceyhan once KurdStream comes on line. And when Iran falls to ZATO, well... there's all that gas and oil that has to go somewhere, too.

It's a comfortable conspiracy theory - it fits far better than the fantasy of U.S. neocons sincerely trying to somehow either help the Syrians or Kurds.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 26 2016 20:17 utc | 23

@16 kafkananda - I agree completely with your take on the situation, except that conceivably Incirlik may not be the hostage we think. Don't we hear sounds from the US that it now has to reconsider the value of storing nukes there, in what is now dubious territory? I think the US could quit that base without any domestic political disgrace, propaganda being what it is. The military implications are beyond me, however.

I like what Paveway and Lysander have said about the US breaking up Turkey. But can it do it?

I suggest we live precisely in the moment of history to discover if the US actually has the power to do such a thing. My prediction is that it does not - that Turkey's power to remain intact is greater than the power of the US to break it - and that a careful parsing of US activities over the next couple of years will reveal this.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 26 2016 20:43 utc | 24

What about the very large donations that Gulen has given the Clinton Foundation. Also his misuse of visas for student and when they arrive he appoints they as teachers. Violation of U.S. Law.

Posted by: Hal | Jul 26 2016 21:05 utc | 25

I think we are forgetting the Israeli angle in all this. I came across a perceptive analysis on a site published by “Bel Suave” who appears to be a Turkish intellectual. After arguing along the lines of Tom @ 20, I found especially interesting the following paragraph:

“Throughout the winter, Israel took advantage of the Ankara regime's growing isolation to pressure it into any number of secret concessions. During that interval a secret Israeli diplomatic shuttle to Moscow was also endeavoring to seal an agreement with Moscow which would achieve some relief for the beleaguered mercenary proxies Tel Aviv had working for its interests in Syria and Iraq. This resulted in the 'surprise' Russian disengagement of March past, which was simply a negotiated pause brokered by Tel Aviv and for which Russia was guaranteed an eventual Turkish come down and no threat of Syrian/Iraqi intervention.”

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 26 2016 21:26 utc | 26

He (Erdo) is not realizing that he is playing with fire.
Posted by: virgile | Jul 26, 2016 3:11:52 PM | 18

If b's diagnosis is correct, and Turkey is swinging East, then Erdogan has a problem with spare IsUS terrorists left over from Syria. What better place to send them than the Home of the Brave/Land of the Free(d)?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26 2016 21:27 utc | 27

Turkey and Russia have restarted discussions over TurkStream.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 26 2016 21:34 utc | 28

Erdogan must curtail any carving of the Turkey.

Wonder how many CIA guys Erdogan deported in the purge.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 26 2016 23:01 utc | 29

chris m @ 2 You say that "Erdogan probably thought 50% vote was enough to call for him to call it quits and declare a one-man,one-party dictatorship." But he has not done that. He has not done that at all. Just as France is living under "temporary" martial law and the US never having rescinded the Continuity of Government martial law of 9-11, Turkey (with much better justification) is under emergency rule due to a massive coup attempt. To say that he has declared a one-man, one-party dictatorship is nothing but propaganda, either your own propaganda or that of others which you thoughtlessly repeat.

Posted by: Macon Richardson | Jul 26 2016 23:45 utc | 30

I think the weak link in the chain of Turkey's 'move' East is Erdogan. He's a bully and a thug and a real tough with the Kurds, and a champion spreader of DD&D, arming and supplying al-CIAduh and IS murderers, but he'll cave to the US and NATO ... or the Turkish armed forces will take him out when they feel existentially threatened, with all the help they need from US/NATO.

Erdogan's still arming and supplying the assorted mercenary terrorists in Syria, who may have given him a few minutes 'grace' due to his domestic difficulties but will bring on the terror in Turkey itself if they are denied in Syria.

Anymore 'strongmen' in Turkey to pick up with the East if Erdogan fakes/tries and bites the dust? Just because I don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist, but I don't see them.

I certainly agree that real rapprochement between Russia, Turkey-Syria-Iraq-Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia and China would be a wonderful step forward, but I can't get past Erdogan in imagining how it might actually come about.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 26 2016 23:55 utc | 31


... will bring on the terror in Turkey itself if they are denied in Syria, and al-CIAduh's name change will be enough to allow Erdogan to keep the blood flowing in Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 0:02 utc | 32

Way too funny and appropriate that they changed their name to Jabhat Fath al "Sham." Indeed! The name change is a sham.

Posted by: Al | Jul 27 2016 0:43 utc | 33

The Turkish government is now only preoccupied by an eventual re-occurence of a coup.
Why is ISIS keeping quiet in Turkey and perpetrating attacks in Europe? Maybe it is just watching with satisfaction Erdogan cracking on the anti-ISIS in the Turkish army and in the government with the approval of all the political parties, as well as Saudi Arabia and Iran. Secularism is now synonymous with anti-democracy and must be eradicated whatever form it takes.
When this will be done, it is highly probable that ISIS would wake up again to impose its extremist ideology. There would be noone to oppose it anymore,

Posted by: virgile | Jul 27 2016 1:37 utc | 34

The moment has arrived when the Baathists look to the USA as a force for good. Will their amen corner follow suit?

Syria welcomes statements issued following the recent US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Moscow in assertion of agreement between Moscow and Washington on counterterrorism.

An official source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Sunday that the Syrian Arab republic has followed with interest the statements issued following the US Secretary of State’s visit to Moscow on the 15th of the current month, which stressed the agreement between the Russian and US sides on combating terrorism (ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra groups), adding that Syria, which is standing in the frontline in combating this sweeping evil, welcomes these statements.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jul 27 2016 2:12 utc | 35

@ Posted by: Grieved | Jul 26, 2016 4:43:55 PM | 24

They may very well feel they have to protect the nukes by removing them, actually a wise concern. The functional loss of the base would, I think, be enormous though. They would obviously play up the protecting the nukes angle, but the real players would know it was a real retreat in capacity to project power in the soft underbelly of Russia.

Posted by: kafkananda | Jul 27 2016 4:10 utc | 36

Louis Proyect@35 - Qaddafi also saw a ray of hope that the West was finally starting to take the threat of terrorism seriously. That was just before we whacked him.

I'm curious why you seem to prefer to refer to whatever Franken-Baathist government Assad has crafted as 'Baathist'. I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but Assad's mafia-like 'Enlightened Clan' rule of Syria seems pretty distinct from the Baathist clothes it supposedly wears.

Maybe I just misunderstand Baathism. I've heard arguments that they are one in the same, but I really don't see much difference (in a general sense) from the way the Barzani clan lords over the Kurds or Erdogan's clan lords over the Turks. In fact, wasn't this the exact same mistake the U.S. made in Lybia and Iraq - failing to recognize that some form of psychopathic clan warfare will seek to replace the ousted clan with a new dominant one? The leader and the -ism are not the problem to be solved, nor would a new leader and/or a new -ism be any kind of real solution.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 27 2016 4:17 utc | 37

So here is the text of an article describing the various movements Turkey is making towards Russia.

MOSCOW, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Senior Russian and Turkish government officials met on Tuesday in Moscow to discuss bilateral ties as the leaders of both countries are scheduled to meet in August.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich met on Tuesday with his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Simsek to discuss a number of projects hit by restrictions imposed by Moscow on Ankara after the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey.

Local media reported that the two sides discussed resuming the building of a stream pipeline for Russian natural gas to be sent to Turkey and construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

They also discussed issues related to resuming charter flights between the two countries, the lifting of visa restrictions and the ban on imports of Turkish agricultural products.

After consultations between the Turkish delegation and various Russian ministries, Dvorkovich said, "A solid basis for the planned meeting of the heads of states will be prepared."

Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev and Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also met on Tuesday to discuss measures to help Turkish companies return to the Russian market, and resume trade and investment cooperation programs.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg on Aug. 9.

"This will be the first meeting for quite a long time, the first after the two leaders have managed to turn the page, so there will be no shortage of topics for discussion," Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

Contact between the Russian and Turkish governments have already resumed with the aim to mend bilateral trade and economic relations, soured by Turkey's dawning of a Russian Su-24 bomber in November near the Syrian-Turkish border.

Russia agreed to restore ties with Turkey after Erdogan sent his apologies last month to Putin over the death of the Su-24 pilot.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 27 2016 4:49 utc | 38

@37 pw 'The leader and the -ism are not the problem to be solved, nor would a new leader and/or a new -ism be any kind of real solution.'

But isn't that the same everywhere? Isn't there an endless line of the greedy and ruthless winding away from power's backdoor in every society on earth today? Certainly we can see and hear them in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Isn't it the case, to paraphrase Ella Baker, that only strong people do not need strong leaders. But we cannot call out for a new supply of 'the people', so it seems we're just going to have to strengthen ourselves.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 5:05 utc | 39

if the US had really wanted a coup, I doubt very much that the coup would have failed. or would have been of such an apparently amateurish nature and failed so quickly. It has a lot of experience in such matters, and the US/NATO/cia ties with the Turkish military are some 64 years deep - that's a lot of contacts and accumulated debts

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jul 27 2016 5:16 utc | 40

jfl | Jul 27, 2016 1:05:07 AM | 39
Isn't it the case, to paraphrase Ella Baker, that only strong people do not need strong leaders. But we cannot call out for a new supply of 'the people', so it seems we're just going to have to strengthen ourselves.

Hasn't that always been the case? Instead of "strengthen", I prefer, "fix ourselves"; because we sure could use some fixing, en masse.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27 2016 5:19 utc | 41

@38 psycho

Yeah that's good. What they're doing is hammering out a text that Putin and Erdogan can sign after they meet on the 9th, no matter what happens.

The proof of the pudding will come in the months after August, when the two countries plus China, the Caucasus, and the stans will start turning to the same page - or not.

Right now it would be good if the two of them could straighten out Armenia ... and that would be no small feat for Erdogan. That would be a sign that a new day has dawned indeed.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 5:19 utc | 42

@40 mj, 'if the US had really wanted a coup, I doubt very much that the coup would have failed'

I don't know if that's true, but they certainly would have been better organized, as b has pointed out. So are we to believe that the US was uninvolved? Again, not as b points out at the top of this page. So what are we to believe?

That Obama is, has been, just a figurehead 'leader' these past eight years, that the power to create/support things like the failed coup in Turkey ... the Maidan in Kiev, the execution of Gaddafi in Libya, the endless destruction of Syria and Iraq ... has now devolved to more or less independent power centers in State/the CIA/the Pentagon?

Yep. That's what I believe. Look for lots more devolution when the next elephant/jackass is taken over.

That's why we need to turn in a vote for 'Other' that tops either one of theirs.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 5:31 utc | 43

@40-- here is latest on Turk coup:

The "Senior military" source of NBC's lie about Erdogan fleeing to Germany, that NBC broadcast early in the coup, has been identified as "likely" to be Retired US Army General John F. Campbell, a former head of NATO:

to wit--US involvement?

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 27 2016 5:34 utc | 44

@39, 41

The thing is, Syria, as you may know by consulting the history maps, was a patchwork of peoples and religious groups herded together by the French, who drew the borders together with the British once Ottoman Empire was no more. Check the facts: it was one long streak of civil wars and coups before Bashar's father, Hafez, came into power. He has managed to subdue the clans -- whether by force or promise of a unified, but not uniform, country for all of them if they play along and uphold the consensus. It's not about "strong leaders" and "strong people" at all. It's about a leader (and his clan) being accepted, willingly or begrudgingly, as a necessary mediator between various /traditional/ groups for the sake of nothing else but modernization.

Posted by: Manirai | Jul 27 2016 5:48 utc | 45

@43 jfl
Once in a lifetime chance to choose someone who most probably won't be just a figurehead 'leader'.

Nonsense from your memo:
"The last poll I saw had Clinton at -57%, that is that 57% of the voters had a negative opinion of her, and Trump at -59%, by the same measure. Well who believes polls, but where there’s smoke there’s fire. Either one of these two as POTUS will mean, at the very least, more of the same."

Posted by: From The Hague | Jul 27 2016 6:08 utc | 46

@46 fth

So you'll be voting for Clinton? or Trump?

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 8:40 utc | 47

I think you'll find that Israel-Turkey relations will only improve with the support of both Russia and Iran - look at the recent Gas Pipeline Deal. Russia is working overtime to build bridges through diplomatic means and bring peace and stability to the region. The divisions encouraged by skewed and biased western foreign policy must be relegated to the past.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jul 27 2016 8:57 utc | 48

@ From The Hague | Jul 27, 2016 2:08:23 AM | 46

Some ubiquitous commentators here seem to think something that has never happened before will magically happen in this election for the first, maybe only, time in eternity. Supporting this pleasurable pipe-dream fiction they demean others as Potemkin Village constructors - that village is to be found between that person's right and left ears and behind their eyes.

It might be pointed out that significant political contributors have a policy that funds are allocated only to those who will prevail in an election; why would using one's ballot be any different? Voting third party in a two party system is a guarantee that those votes will never count or even be effective in any significant manner. Sorry, it is just numbers (if you wish to frighten the innumerate, give them numbers).

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 27 2016 9:30 utc | 49

@45 yeah but in antiquity Damascus was the capital of the Caliphate which stretched to Spain. So, Syria has credentials as a hub, albeit cosmopolitan.

Posted by: Romulus | Jul 27 2016 9:41 utc | 50

insightful summary, thanks.
would only add that NATO is weakened. The Azerbaijan - Georgia EU + NATO expansions can not move ahead after i) Brexit ii) Erdogan's redirection and this is excellent news for the region.
At the same time Erodgan's expansionist plans have been neutered and whatever ambitions he has will remain within Turkish borders, also excellent news for the region.
Lastly, the affect on US influence in the region will reduce significantly which can only help allay certain threats posed by a Clinton or Trump win!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jul 27 2016 9:57 utc | 51

I agree that it is not as cut and dry as some would have it. While its fair to think that US would have succeeded at all costs, the same could be said of the Turkish military, had it been their coup.
I have found no satisfactory explanation for 'who is behind the coup' as yet, and there are a lot of theories!
One thing I am sure of, is that Turkish politicians were gearing up for the aftermath - the week prior Gulen was being demonised in ways we had not seen before, for the first time Police in combats and camouflage were deployed to the streets of Istanbul ... the mood was one of drastically increased tension. Also That much of the 'response' by the government was planned also implies that they knew something was afoot. From this I deduce that the government was tipped off at least. But to what extent is unknown.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jul 27 2016 10:10 utc | 52

re 45

The thing is, Syria, as you may know by consulting the history maps, was a patchwork of peoples and religious groups herded together by the French, who drew the borders together with the British once Ottoman Empire was no more.
Load of old nonsense. It was the other way round. The French and British broke up what had been a country with a more or less unitary identity into multiple fragments. Divide and conquer, and all that. Syria wasn't as centralised as Egypt, but everyone spoke the same language with not very different dialect.

I guess you're doing propaganda for the NeoCons who want to divide up Syria into even smaller fragments, much as the French tried.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 27 2016 10:15 utc | 53

PavewayIV says, twice:

Psychopaths will be psychopaths

indeed, but remember that the most enduring trait of the psychopath is delusion. and the venerated blatherings of psychotic shit stains like Zbigniew Brzezinski and his 'long view' are turning into so much deluded crud in history's sewer.

Psychopaths will be psychopaths

yes, but these psychopaths have names, haven't they? and we know their fucking names, don't we? we know perfectly well who the fucking scumbag war criminals are. General Wesley Clark and his, “We’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..” oh, remember when James R. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, lied through his fucking teeth to congress? under oath. and they mumbled some horseshit about "restoring trust" before forgetting all about it and moving on to their next betrayal. yeah, that's right, fucking Clapper still has the same job, still drawing a federal paycheck. (they're laughing at us. can't you fucking hear it?) or the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, is caught planning the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine and what? nothing. nada. oh no, not nothing, then they actually go ahead and overthrow it! with extreme violence. their favorite expediency. jesus fucking christ! and she still has her job, still drawing a federal paycheck! there was the commander of NATO, the scumbag Philip Breedlove, and his constant incitements to violence. the list of names just goes on and on. i see Madeleine Albright and Bill Clinton showed their mugs at the DNC, the skin barely clinging to their bones, their ghoulish, sunken eyes, two skeletons out of the closet. fucking hell! oh yeah, they're all going to the ball in their chauffered limosines and fine threads. they parade before us to nominate one of the most blatantly bloodsoaked psychotic war criminals we've seen in recent memory, Hillary Clinton, for president of the United States of America. which brings us to the man himself, Barrack Obama, war criminal-in-chief, who gets together with his droogs, what is it, every Tuesday morning, to draw up a list of human beings to be reduced to pink mist. that's right, excommunicated from life on earth! what kind of bloodsoaked, ritualistic bullshit is this?! who fucking condones this insanity?

these fuckers gotta be rounded up, stripped of all their assets, and shackled to a damp, cold, stone wall in some godforsaken dungeon for the remainder of their days.


the delusion persists, wobbling precariously...

Posted by: john | Jul 27 2016 10:23 utc | 54

john@55- amen

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 27 2016 10:34 utc | 55

it's so complicated that why turkey is now in this situation and why all these things happened there !
But I think one of the reasons is Erdogan! He has some wrong politics and just made turkey go back in the time. Turkey was becoming the member of European union but after all the attempts, it's again where it was years ago !

Posted by: طراحی سایت | Jul 27 2016 10:56 utc | 56

john | Jul 27, 2016 6:23:42 AM | 55
the delusion persists, wobbling precariously...

Oh, I don't think there's delusion; the stone cold reality is; the bastards are in charge and they have the guns, tanks, drones, armour, elections, and ultimately the power; the POWER!
Are you going into the streets, in full rebellion, your ass on the line?
I don't think so.
U.S. citizens gave up their constitutional rights decades ago; poof, gone, never to return.
You lost, you live with it...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27 2016 11:17 utc | 57

MK Bhadrakumar pretty much repeats my observations

Russian diplomacy aims to accelerate Syrian endgame

Bizarre as it may sound, ‘regime change’ agenda in Syria is now predicated on overthrow of Erdogan first. For Turkey, Russia’s goodwill is vital for preventing the emergence of a Kurdish enclave along its border, which is a core issue.
Thus, a strategic congruence between Turkey, Russia and Iran is struggling to surface. The protagonists may have specific interests in Syria, but the bottom line is that Turkey is under enormous pressure to abandon the disruptive role it played so far by supplying and equipping Syrian opposition groups.

Posted by: b | Jul 27 2016 11:56 utc | 58

The under reported role of the Mosques in the counter-coup in Turkey

On July 15, Diyanet sent a text message to the phones of 110,000 imams, who are government employees themselves, asking them to recite the sala prayer at 85,000 mosques.
Currently, the situation feels like lose-lose for secularists in Turkey.”
While secularists are scared, observant Muslims and Islamists find comfort and encouragement in knowing that Diyanet is now out of the closet.

Diyanet has been a growing force in Turkey on multiple fronts, but the July 15 coup attempt has made this fact official. Diyanet’s power has resisted that of the armed forces as never before in Turkish history. The next step will be to see how those in religious garb and soldiers in uniform play out their redefined power relations.

How Erdogan used the power of the mosques against coup attempt

Posted by: virgile | Jul 27 2016 12:43 utc | 59

b @59

See also MK Bhadrakumar’s more recent musings on his blog: Putin to receive Erdogan in hometown.

(and all this during the pre-coronation of Queen Killary the Magnificent, somewhere someplace in the US – I wonder how much the current memes about leaks are also designed to cover up what happens in Turkey / Syria ?)

Posted by: Philippe | Jul 27 2016 12:44 utc | 60

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27, 2016 7:17:01 AM | 58

Still carrying your American passport V? What's this 'you' stuff?

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 13:16 utc | 61

Report of Saudi involvement in the coup:

Posted by: L'Akratique | Jul 27 2016 13:29 utc | 62

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jul 27, 2016 6:10:59 AM | 53

The Qataris seem to be saying it was the Saudis and the Emirates ...

Qatari official accuses Saudi Arabia of plotting failed coup in Turkey

Qatari Minister of State for Defense, Khalid al-Attiyah, claimed to have obtained a confidential document which proves that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have supported the failed coup in Turkey in July 15th.

“This document reveals that a Saudi Emir and a top Emirati military official have been aware, in advance, of an imminent plot to topple the Turkish President through their participation in the Anatolian Eagle maneuvers held last May. However, they refrained from informing the Turkish authorities”, al-Attiyah posted on his official Twitter account.

... gee , Qatar is pretty close to KSA and the UAE. I guess they're relying on Erdogan's new base for protection? Can it have been built yet? But wait, haven't the Turkish armed forces just been decimated by the Sultan himself?

Actually, al-Attiyah doesn't actually charge the Saudis/UAE with the coup ... only with having known it was coming up and staying mum. Silent partners therein. Lots of NATO countries ... and Israel, too, took part in the Anattolian exercises.

Only one making the charge, so far. Maybe Qatar knew too? Trying to cop a plea? What a mess.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 13:32 utc | 63

If the Saudis were involved that would blow the supposed 'Kemalist' origins of the plot, wouldn't it? Not strictly, I suppose. Religion is just a tool, a weapon in fact, in the hands of the Wahabists. As it is with all religious fanatics. The Wahabists have as much to do with Islam as the Israelis have to do with Judaeism ... or the 'Prosperity fundies' in the US ... or Thailand ... have to do with Christianity ... or Buddhism. If it was Saudi involvement, we can be sure that it was the color of money that enlisted those it did for the coup in Turkey, just as it was the color of money that built IS.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 13:46 utc | 64

jfl | Jul 27, 2016 9:16:05 AM | 62

You'll have to be a bit more clear on your meaning of "you".
And what does my passport have to do with anything?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27 2016 13:48 utc | 65

@66, VA 'U.S. citizens gave up their constitutional rights decades ago; poof, gone, never to return. You lost, you live with it...'

Maybe you can help me out with 'you' ... you, V. Arnold, seem to feel that you have washed your hands of all things American, and that it is 'you others' 'who lost and have to live with it'.

Me, I'm an American living in Thailand. None of the Thais mistake me for one of them.

Or are there 'bad' Americans, living in America, and 'good' Americans, living in Thailand?

'Never to return' ... sounds like an essential characteristic of the loss, like hair color ... well mine's white now, maybe more like a racial characteristic? Like guilt? A distinguishing characteristic, collectively shared by the American 'race'?

Just curious V. You say a lot of things that bewilder me. In fact, before you mentioned that you were an American, I had you pegged as a Brit, or an Australian. That would account for the 'you' in 'you lost, you live with it.' But you seem to detest Americans so much, why would you only claim to be one? A self-hating American? Interesting. I imagine that if there is such a category, their numbers are increasing everyday.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 14:13 utc | 66

jfl | Jul 27, 2016 10:13:40 AM | 67

A self hating American? No, not by a long shot. I disavowed any responsibility for the actions of the U.S. government long ago.
And yes, I detest most Americans (a misnomer; we're U.S. citizens, not Americans. So, who I detest are North Americans, as in U.S. citizens. You and I would have to sit down to a very long conversation for you to understand my POV. I am certain I am far older than you and have well earned my chops for my POV.
I'm not an "expat" but rather a self exiled U.S. citizen. Can you fathom the difference? I doubt it.
You've had a hard-on for me since I tried to inform you of your potential lese majeste' comments and you had the absurd attitude I was trying to get you busted; that was totally nuts on your part. If you cannot see that factoid then you and I have no possibility of any form of communication.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27 2016 14:39 utc | 67

Addendum re: 68
I've noticed you've tempered your comment re: the Thai government and the Crown; I can only assume you finally "got it".

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27 2016 14:42 utc | 68

This board is getting more like Thaivisa every day. :)

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2016 14:49 utc | 69

dh | Jul 27, 2016 10:49:55 AM | 70

Oh, god forbid that...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 27 2016 15:03 utc | 70

The US/CA/UK/IS/EU/AU group will make every effort on behalf of the Multinational Oil Barons whom they serve to prevent RUTURKCHINA group from making viable pipelines. Their favorite excuses will be (always are lately) "terrorism" and R2P.

Anti-interventionism appeals to both intelligent, thoughtful people and idiots alike. That's the beauty of it.

Trump must continue to stay on that message. If he veers from it or has already veered from it, it's a politically fatal error.

Ron Paul had that down pretty good, but had other issues. Note that as soon as the son Rand abandoned it, he crashed on the rocks of Zionism.

People want jobs at home. They don't want the TPP and Oil Wars, Greater Israel Wars. They don't care about foreign countries and they don't want the New World Order aka exponentially increasing Globalism.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 27 2016 15:07 utc | 71

michaelj72 @40

"if the US had really wanted a coup, I doubt very much that the coup would have failed."

'fragging' deliberately kill (an unpopular senior officer), typically with a hand grenade.

There is also 'mission fragging' a situation where junior officers and senior NCOs are able to insure mission failure without being detected. Senior military are so busy playing politico that they are unfamiliar with actual day to day operations on the ground. So is it possible that the Turkey Putsch was mission fragged. The answer is YES!

Just my opinion

Posted by: ALberto | Jul 27 2016 15:38 utc | 72

@ Posted by: b | Jul 27, 2016 7:56:58 AM | 59

Key phrase from your quote of MK Bhadrakumar's post: "....the bottom line is that Turkey is under enormous pressure to abandon the disruptive role it played so far...."

This can be expanded in a far more widespread context that will astound and probably disappoint many. The changes that we are seeing can be summarized into the simple though totally unexpected understanding that:

When peace is the path to power, peace is the path that will be followed.

Isn't that the essence of Putin's message? Isn't that the way of authentic power, which is based upon spiritual values? We have been so conditioned to think that power only came from the dark forces of violence and deceitful manipulation that we forgot there is another way. Let me repeat this new paradigm.

When peace is the path to power, peace is the path that will be followed.

Notice that power is still doing what it always has....coming out on top. But the context has totally shifted. From a win/lose conflict to a win/win collaboration.

When peace is the path to power, peace is the path that will be followed.


Posted by: casitapark | Jul 27 2016 15:43 utc | 73

@74 casitapark - I do note that with every warlike activity the US engages in lately, it loses power rather than gains it.

I observe that Russia is a peacemaker rather than a warmonger. The two activities are quite different, and this difference frequently confuses people who classify a particular action by Russia as a tactical retreat, a weakness or an error. In fact it makes strategic sense for Russia to live in a world at peace. With such vast borders, global peace is its best security.

The concept I believe has long existed that cooperation rather than competition yields the more powerful result.

Is today the time when peace is the path to power? Perhaps so, when there are no more countries for colonialists to exploit. Asset-stripping now happens at a level of abstraction as wispy as financial derivatives. No need to invade in order to plunder. Certainly, Turkey has run out of places to draw into its envisioned empire. Now it struggles simply to remain in its current footprint.

Your equation seems most true to me, if we add the word "eventually" into its conclusion. Turkey has begun its learning. Fools such as the US need time to learn.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 27 2016 16:37 utc | 74

V. Arnold says:

Oh, I don't think there's delusion; the stone cold reality is; the bastards are in charge and they have the guns, tanks, drones, armour, elections, and ultimately the power; the POWER!

if you think garrisoning a people, or a country, or indeed, a world, isn't a deluded objective, well, i'd say all that 'old age' wisdom you allude to is kind of askew.

Posted by: john | Jul 27 2016 16:53 utc | 75


The Saudis hate Erdogan. He is a staunch supporter of the Moslem Brotherhood, a friend of Qatar, the enemy of Egypt, he is cracking down on the Wahhabis in Turkey, he has refused to invade Syria, he is friendly with Iran and Russia and more than that he wants to take the leadership of the Sunnis in the region. These are enough reasons to want to see him eliminated. Saudi much prefers a secular Turkey to a Sunni Turkey that will be a competition to them. So I wouldn't be surprised if they funded some elements of the rebellion even if they were Kemalists.
The USA is also fed up with Erdogan cozing up with Iran and Russia, blackmailing them and playing on the two sides. I guess the USA may have been aware of the Saudi involvement and did nothing to prevent it.
The Saudis will take the blame and Erdogan could say goodbye to the Egyptian market and the commercial relations with Arabs.

Posted by: virgile | Jul 27 2016 17:26 utc | 76

ISIS, Al Qaeda received USAID food ration kits with high salt content
Contract being terminated for fraud

Just like Purple Shovel 2.0, the Sterling, VA company that shipped obsolete weapons and grenades to the rebels.

Posted by: Les | Jul 27 2016 17:41 utc | 77

@48 jfl

I can't vote (as a dutchman).

I hope US citizens vote against invading, droning and bombing.
I hope US citizens vote for a good relationship with Russia.

Posted by: From The Hague | Jul 27 2016 17:47 utc | 78

virgile@77 - And don't forget that the U.S. and Saudis are agitating for a revolution in Iran spearheaded by Iranian Kurds. No, not an autonomous or independent Kurdistan from Iranian territory - they want a full-blown revolution to topple the government. I'll let you guess what other Middle Eastern country is also helping. Hint: Starts with an "I" and has been supporting/supplying MEK terrorists holed up at the U.S. Camp Liberty in Iraq for attacks on Iran for a decade.

The US-Saudi Plan to Prompt an Iranian Pullback from Syria
(h/t for reprint)
In the article above, author Andrew Korybko suggests the intent is to produce a crisis back in Iran big enough to cause the recall of Iranian troops from Syria. Which makes sense, but the absolutely most infuriating thing is that the traitorous U.S. sado-neocons have surreptitiously started their long sought after war with Iran. It won't be long before Hillary will be sending 'a few hundred' U.S. SF 'advisors' to Iran.

The U.S. wins either way in this covert war against Iran. Either the manufactured 'revolution' succeeds (unlikely), or Iraq and Iran are forced to attack Barzani's KDP Kurds for harboring Iranian Kurd insurgents - which will be used as an excuse by the U.S. to ease into a full-blown war with Iran. See why the neocons wanted an Iranian-friendly Erdogan thrown under the bus for a new Iranian-hating NATO stooge?

Remember the initials KDPI - the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran. That's the next chapter in the Team Chaos playbook and the plan will be followed.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 27 2016 21:28 utc | 79

@77 virgile, 'The USA is also fed up with Erdogan ... blackmailing them and playing on the two sides.'

You said a mouthful there, virg. That's another of the US' exclusive territories - with the Kurds for instance, and with Gaddafi - and they will stand no encroachment!

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 21:55 utc | 80

@70 dh

That's a sobering thought. It'll keep me from rising to the bait in the future. Thanks.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 22:10 utc | 81

@74 c, @75 g

I don't know that I can embrace anything that so openly alludes to power, but that's the trouble with all slogans that 'pack a punch', I guess. But I do hope we can embrace the other, cooperative thread in human 'nature'. Looks like our only chance to me. And it does happen everywhere, everyday ...

It's not just directions. Conversation is a domain particularly disposed to communism. Lies, insults, put-downs, and other sorts of verbal aggression are important - but they derive most of their power from the shared assumption that people do not ordinarily act this way: an insult does not sting unless one assumes that others will normally be considerate of one's feelings, and it's impossible to lie to someone who does not assume you would ordinarily tell the truth. When we genuinely wish to break off amicable relations with someone, we stop speaking to them entirely.

The same goes for small courtesies like asking for a light, or even for a cigarette. It seems more legitimate to ask a stranger for a cigarette than for an equivalent amount of cash, or even food; in fact, if one has been identified as a fellow smoker, it's rather difficult to refuse such a request. In such cases - a match, a piece of information, holding the elevator - one might say the “from each” element is so minimal that most of us comply without even thinking about it. Conversely, the same is true if another person's need - even a stranger's - is particularly spectacular or extreme: if he is drowning, for example. If a child has fallen onto the subway tracks, we assume that anyone who is capable of helping her up will do so.

98 DEBT (David Graeber)

I will call this “baseline communism”: the understanding that, unless people consider themselves enemies, if the need is considered great enough, or the cost considered reasonable enough, the principle of “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs” will be assumed to apply.

... the sociologists taking over economics seems promising. If in our desperation we can just push the warriors aside. All we need to do is to get serious. We are many they are few.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 27 2016 22:28 utc | 82

@83 jfl - beautiful quote from Graeber. I must read that book.

Also your comment, sociologists taking over economics - and after all, the dismal science of economics was supposed to be founded on rational human decisions, and shows only that there's no room for these at all in its formulas and errors.

I'm booked into a conference next spring with Charles Eisenstein as one of the speakers. I guess my thought, along with yours, is that a better system of economics, one based on true human behavior, would constitute a vast grass-roots domain. Like the roots of fungus, it could take over the subterranean world without being seen for a long time. Direct attack on the Father of Lies won't work. True action just might.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 28 2016 0:47 utc | 83

john | Jul 27, 2016 12:53:18 PM | 76

Then I'd suggest you do not understand the word deluded.
: to cause (someone) to believe something that is not true. Merriam-Webster
Apparently reality escapes you.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 28 2016 1:01 utc | 84

Delude- impose a misleading belief.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 28 2016 1:09 utc | 85

John accidentally added an extra d....V Arnold left his nutsack in the good old u s of a.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 28 2016 1:18 utc | 86

Sorry got that wrong, V Arnold added the d and never had a nut sack to begin with.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 28 2016 1:36 utc | 87

I was very skeptical to the possibility that Erdogan will stop supplying the rebels in Syria, but it seems that Aleppo rebel positions are collapsing, and there is a new wave of infighting among the rebels which in the past was a sign of struggle for limited weapon supplies.

Understanding the war is difficult, e.g. how rebels in so-called pocket keep fighting with apparently fresh missiles? But the most pitched fights were at Aleppo fronts and Latakia, where rebels enjoyed direct supplies from Turkey. It could well be that Turks were merely distracted of late, and in Aleppo the "loyalist side" amassed enough artillery and other material to grind down the resistance, so far it happened several times in spite of all the supplies Erdogan could deliver. Whatever cause and effect is, Erdogan has a history of abrupt policy changes, and if the rebels are loosing convincingly, he may as well cut the losses.

Some details: about 10 days ago SAA took over a hill overlooking the main route into Eastern (rebel) Aleppo, which gave it so-called "fire control". That was preceded by a major concentration of best troops etc. Rebels made a futile series of counter-attacks, and loyalist advanced further, if slowly, from both directions of the pincer. The supply route was not cutoff completely because of the tunnel network, but even that was in danger due to attack on the building to the west of the pincer. Presumably, these counter-attacks led to sparse manning of the positions facing YPG enclave in that zone, and in short succession YPG took over an extensive area of high rise apartment building, leading to "siege within siege" of Abu Zaid quarter. Next, the bulk of the rebels from Abu Zaid fled through the tunnels while they still could. Now Eastern Aleppo is separated from the major rebel area by more than a mile, perhaps two, and huge swaths of Western Aleppo are no longer exposed to mortars and missiles.

It is also worth to note that the rebels invested a lot in a somewhat successful offensive to the south of Aleppo, which had a potential of imposing the siege on "loyalist" Western Aleppo. So in the last month they were really energetic, and that cannot continue without hundreds of tons of supplies. Plus, the perspective of victorious strategy also became remote, whatever Erdogan deigns to do.

Compared with previous voltes in foreign policy, Erdogan does not need to do anything overly dramatic. It boils down to a pipeline deal which is opposed by USA but which benefits several EU countries (plus Gazprom and Turkey), and shutting the supplies to the rebels, going back to "zero problem" policy. That is also beneficial to several EU countries, ideally part of the refugee wave that causes genuine problems could be returned to Syria, voluntarily and not so. The largest drawback can be the irritation of the Kingdom, but this may be limited. Saudis can liquidate their investments and precipitate a crisis in Turkey, but not much of a crisis and on top of that, their finances are not as robust as in the past, so another bout of mutually assured economic destruction may be unappealing.

Thus, on one had the violent Jihad in Syria was a pet project for Erdogan, but on another, he is "we were always at peace of Eastasia (Oceania) type of person."

But history tells that such projections are mere possibilities. Unlike Western neocons, folks in the region prefer rather concrete negotiations where you spell out benefits, bribes and threats and settle on a deal: you do this and I do that, you refrain from this and I refrain from that. But there is also a tradition of brinksmanship and most cordial deals being replaced in the last moment with a bitter conflict. So do not praise the wedding until the blooded bedsheets are displayed.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 28 2016 1:45 utc | 88

away a couple of days and see hejiminy cricket continuing on like the foff of the past..

Posted by: james | Jul 28 2016 2:01 utc | 89

Yeah thanks James loser go back to SST and continue your pointless contributions Canadian milquetoast.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 28 2016 2:04 utc | 90

FYI James= self appointed Canadiens hall monitor= not missed

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 28 2016 2:28 utc | 91

b: article "seems to call for a new coup in Turkey"

Right on. The City of London Crown Corporation is calling for it not only through its proxies in the US, but also directly:

British special forces poised to rescue UK citizens if Turkey suffers 2nd coup attempt

...The SAS, as well as the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG), are reportedly ready to deploy from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus should the need arise.

The Daily Express reported Monday that the missions would focus on areas popular with tourists and that troops would be cleared to use lethal force if the rescue operations were interfered with.

An unnamed defense source told the Daily Star on Sunday that Turkey “is on the brink.”

“If there is another coup attempt then civil war will follow. If that happens there will be a major international crisis.

“Every country with nationals living in or on holiday in Turkey will be attempting to rescue them and we intend to be ahead of the game.”...

"if" = "we've been working on the second coup incessantly since the failure of first one"
"protecting tourists" = "supporting the plotters and insurgency"
"using lethal force" = "SOP of spreading mayhem and chaos, killing innocent civilians and loyalists, as deception for stealing nuclear weapons for Daesh and covering up the whole thing"

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 28 2016 8:19 utc | 92

@93 pp,

I think your translation is right on. I think they're running it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

I would imagine that the people behind Brexit, the ones who plan to clean up wheeling and dealing outside the US neo-con imposed financial suicide pact, will put the kibosh on it. The wealthy in England are different from the wealthy in the US, they want to want to live on and on and get richer and richer. This generation of American plutocrats seem to have lost control of the MIC and are resigned to Armageddon, or are just stupidly in denial, as are the merely well-to-do. That's my guess anyway. Who knows. They're all deaf, dumb, and blind.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 28 2016 15:17 utc | 93

"The wealthy in England are different from the wealthy in the US, they want to want to live on and on and get richer and richer. This generation of American plutocrats seem to have lost control of the MIC and are resigned to Armageddon..." jfl @94

I suspect that American plutocrats also want to "live on and get richer and richer". And the relationship with MIC is not all that different (devotion to Trident and "humanitarian interventions"). However, there seem to be considerable differences in details. USA is a continental country, and the outlook is much more inward. If neo-cons manage to control the narrative, it is because the plutocrats are either part of MIC or indifferent and defering to those among them that have strong opinions. So while Americans would gravitate to "we do not care what you think, we are number one", Britons pride themselves on being well informed. And sometimes they gently help Americans from avoiding excessively messy situations.

Blair enthusiastic support of Iraq war was a bit of outlier. There is a European phenomenon of left-of-center parties controlled by factions that are "fanatically moderate", busy setting markers of moderation that would prove that they are moderate unlike the "hard, deranged Left". Following the lead of USA to almost anywhere is such a marker. The Tory do not have that problem, instead their leadership has the concept of being a "nice party" (rather than hard, deranged Right).

One of the interesting differences is the attitude to healthcare. UK has perhaps the most statist, and most cost effective health care system in OECD, and any attempt to change it significantly would blow up the budget (which they do not like personally) and enrage a large sector of voters (which also matters). In USA, dollar for dollar, "medical industrial complex" has higher gross revenue, profits and lobbying budget that MIC. So in pound and pence sense, British plutocrats follow what is cost effective and they lack business sector that would undermine it. Similarly with climate change. Heavy taxes on fuels are nicely regressive and there is no reason that plutocrats should avoid them, but in USA the denial of global warming is a part of GOP consensus, domestically effective wedge issue. (Note that reducing CO2 emissions can be plutocratically rational, and opposition to that notion can be counter-productive in the short run, regardless if this make a difference in the actual global climate or not. Trump wants to restore coal as our primary fuel while pure economics of fracking made a huge decrease in the demand for coal, and any promises of coal jobs coming back on a large scale are pure demagoguery. Sanders wants a total ban on fracking, thus proposing energy policy that simply does not add up. Idiots in my home state cannot patch highways properly because they insist on freezing the gasoline tax. Energy issues in USA are a major, if not diagnosed, contributor to psychiatric disorders.)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 28 2016 18:08 utc | 94

@95 pb

I think the British plutes are well aware of the decline of the American Empire and, having survived and prospered in the face of the decline of their own, are 'smart' enough to avoid going down with the ship of any political empire.

They have uncoupled/are uncoupling their own imperial financial interests from America's and the EU's, or are doing their best to do so. There is a yawning chasm between the lines in the US' global financial war and the trenches dug in by Russia and the Chinese in response and the Brits find themselves being sucked into the vacuum, wily-nily. Mostly wily.

Having cut the US/EU loose via Brexit they are now looking to become the agent between the lines, ready to profit day-to-day via arbitrage and to pounce whenever the opportunity presents itself. I suppose its a risky strategy, but what other choices do they have? So, in for a penny in for a pound.

The plutes are strictly concerned only about their own welfare of course, the people whose backs they stand upon be damned. I guess that's so obvious from history that it hardly needs saying. I suppose the danger is being caught between the financial lines, rolled, ground, and crushed by the peoples that control the physical world when the financial fairy tales come to their end.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 28 2016 21:50 utc | 95

@96 Who are these 'plutes'? Seems to me the City of London, Cameron, the Bank of England, the BBC and most leading newspapers were dead against Brexit.

Posted by: dh | Jul 28 2016 22:29 utc | 96

Via al-mascara- SouthFront: Aleppo victory within sight as Syrian Army and YPG keep advancing

#Moscow & #Ankara to announce decision (August 9th) to jointly fight #Daesh & #JAN (JabhatFatehalSham

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Jul 28 2016 22:46 utc | 97

@jfl & pb Brexit vote expressed will of the commoners, who do not count.

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 29 2016 3:26 utc | 98

@hc 98 Great news, thanks!

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 29 2016 3:30 utc | 99

US/EU politicians are not going for vacation this year!

Posted by: Mina | Jul 29 2016 9:37 utc | 100

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