Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 20, 2019

WaPo Gives Campaign Space To Main Sponsor Of ISIS Who Also Jails More Journalists Than Anyone Else

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand to whip up support for local elections in Turkey:

It begins with dramatic music, edited in for effect.

Then stills of the manifesto posted by the gunman in New Zealand before his terror attack, highlighting and translating the sections targeting Turkey.

The video streamed live by the attacker comes next, shooting his way into a Christchurch mosque, before blurred images with the sound of automatic gunfire.

And then a cut to Turkey's opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, talking of "terrorism rooted in the Islamic world".

The crowd boos wildly, galvanised by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has now shown the footage during at least eight election rallies.

In a Washington Post op-ed published today Erdogan goes further.


Erdogan compares the Australian terrorist who killed 50 people in a mosque in Christchurch with the Islamic State:

The Christchurch massacre’s alleged perpetrator attempted to legitimize his twisted views by distorting world history and the Christian faith. He sought to plant seeds of hate among fellow humans.
In this regard, we must establish that there is absolutely no difference between the murderer who killed innocent people in New Zealand and those who have carried out terrorist acts in Turkey, France, Indonesia and elsewhere.

There is of course a big difference. While the murderer in New Zealand, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, visited fascist groups in many countries including Turkey,  he was not part of a larger organization or even a terrorist state. There is no evidence so far that he had any big sponsors.

The Islamic State and the ten-thousands of fanatics who established it had by contrast a large sponsor who enabled its killings.

His name is Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Researchers of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) recently interviewed an ISIS emir, Abu Mansour al Maghrebi, who essentially served as the ISIS ambassador to Turkey. Abu Mansour, an electric engineer from Morocco, was captured 1.5 years ago and is held in Iraq:

“My job in Raqqa was dealing with the international cases,” Abu Mansour al Maghrebi recalls of his three years serving ISIS. “My issue [duties] was our [Islamic State’s] relationship with Turkish intelligence. Actually, this started when I was working at the borders,” he explains, harking back to the first job he undertook for ISIS before becoming an ISIS emir and, seemingly, their ambassador to Turkey.
“[My job was] guarding the borders between Syria and Turkey and to receive the fighters,” Abu Mansour explains, smiling at being recognized as more powerful than he was originally conveying. “I oversaw reception at Tal Abyad, Aleppo, Idlib, all their borders,” he answers.

Some 40,000 foreign fighters came to Syria via Turkey. Most of them joined the Islamic State. It was also Turkey that cared for wounded ISIS fighters:

“There were some agreements and understandings between the Turkish intelligence and ISIS emni about the border gates, for the people who got injured,” Abu Mansour continues. “I had direct meeting with the MIT [the Turkish National Intelligence Organization], many meetings with them.”
When we ask who exactly in the Turkish government was meeting ISIS members, he states, “There were teams. Some represent the Turkish intel, some represent the Turkish Army. There were teams from 3-5 different groups. Most meetings were in Turkey in military posts or their offices. It depended on the issue. Sometimes we meet each week. It depends on what was going on. Most of the meetings were close to the borders, some in Ankara, some in Gaziantep.”

Turkish intelligence sent cars to the border to accompany the ISIS ambassador to the various meetings in Turkey. These meetings included high level people:

[A]s he continues, we learn that his “diplomatic” reach on behalf of ISIS extended even to the president of Turkey himself. “I was about to meet him but I did not. One of his intelligence officers said Erdogan wants to see you privately but it didn’t happen.”

For Turkey ISIS was useful to suppress the Kurds and to achieve Erdogan's bigger aim of annexing the north of Syria to Turkey.

There are many more details in the interview about Turkish support for ISIS. Some of them may be wrong but most are supported by a large volume of other reporting. Foreigners reached the Islamic State through Turkey. Its weapons and other supplies came from their. ISIS' main income source was oil that Turkey bought. There was direct coordination between Turkey and ISIS in several large operations against the Syrian state.

Without Turkish support the Islamic State in Syria could not have been formed or existed.

That Jeff Bezos' blog, the Washington Post, allows Erdogan to spew lies about Turkey's relations and his personal support for ISIS is bad.

That it does so shortly before the strongly contested elections in Turkey is even worse. Why is it promoting a Muslim Brotherhood fanatic opposed by a secular opposition?

Last year the Committee to Protect Journalists found that Turkey incarcerates more writers than any other state:

Even as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been the fiercest critic of Saudi Arabia for the murder of Khashoggi, his government continued to jail more journalists than any other on the planet. [...] For the third consecutive year, every journalist imprisoned in Turkey is facing anti-state charges.

The Washington Post's slogan, seen above Erdogan's op-ed, is "Democracy Dies in Darkness". The hypocrisy of publishing his screed stinks to high heaven.

Posted by b on March 20, 2019 at 17:03 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b.. it is beyond dispute erdogans role in the war on syria and his close affinity and support for the headchopping cult... erdogan is still trying to play russia and the usa for all he can.. the guy is a savvy megalomaniac..the people of turkey are easily duped, or they don't have any viable alternatives it would seem.. erdogan has made sure to get rid of any viable opposition too, mainly in his war on the media, judicial system and etc. etc.. the guy is very dangerous and he is hanging onto power just like a dictator.. if the people of turkey are okay with that - then it is their choice, although it doesn't look like an informed choice..

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2019 17:18 utc | 1

It wasn't all Turkey. Let's not let Jordan off the hook, particularly in Daraa.

Posted by: Blue | Mar 20 2019 17:20 utc | 2

Although it's not my intention to give Erdogan a bye, many would say Australia's a Terrorist State and be 100% correct in their judgement. Those knowing Australia's history know it's mired in Terror, Genocide, and Brutal Bigotry to this day. If the world were a Just place, Erdogan would be standing trial for his many crimes, along with the Bushes, Clintons, Obamas, Mays, and their ilk. Bezos too.

The paint job's incomplete unless all the picket's are painted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2019 17:24 utc | 3

Fuck B slow down. I cant keep up:) Thanks to all posters over the last month. shout out to Karlof1, Grieved, Jen, James, Pychohistorian, Ghostship, Jackrabbit thanks for keeping it real.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20 2019 17:34 utc | 4

I missed many thanks above sorry, Thanks all, and mucho thankies to B

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20 2019 17:35 utc | 5

There is no way to investigate the root of ISIS without having US special services showing up in the most prominent roles. Erdogan gets a pass because he would lead directly to the CIA and state department otherwise.

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 20 2019 17:48 utc | 6

You forgot to mention the rathole (I think there were two) used to smug Syrian oil under ISIS hands to Turkey in exchange for currency. Erdogan's son administered and profited those.

Posted by: vk | Mar 20 2019 17:51 utc | 7


What're the statistical odds that all the mentioned incidents are coincidences? IMO, Partisangirl and others on the thread make an excellent point.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2019 17:51 utc | 8

b, is that really you writing this or is something nefarious afoot here? Erdogan is clearly involved, but he's by no mean the primary sponsor of ISIS and everyone who visits this blog knows this. Considering this post in conjunction with the low-key dismissal of Ilhan Omar yesterday seems to be at odds with the normal editorial angle everything okay? And for what it's worth, the diction used in this post doesn't seem to ring true.

What's going on?

Posted by: SlapHappy | Mar 20 2019 18:00 utc | 9

Furthermore, Turkey was just a waypoint for the oil stolen by ISIS. It went directly to ISIS' true benefactor, Israel. All roads lead to the heart of darkness, and it sure ain't Turkey.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Mar 20 2019 18:05 utc | 10

karlof1 @8 Must be why the rush to scrub the internets of the video's(?) the 'shooter' streamed eh.

At Slaphappy, yes for sure. The king of Jordan isn't 'putting' himself out there like Ergodan tho. Hence the zero in on him by our host. No?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20 2019 18:12 utc | 11

What's odd is that Bezos is generally a CIA guy, what with his extensive CIA contracts. Formerly, the CIA was against Erdogan--perhaps this is a fence-mending operation between the CIA and Erdogan to try to get Erdogan fully back in the US camp since he's not going anywhere and the CIA has no way to get him out via coup at the moment.

Posted by: worldblee | Mar 20 2019 18:15 utc | 12

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20, 2019 2:12:54 PM | 11

Who gives a shit about the king of Jordan? ISIS isn't his army, either. Now I'm even more suspicious that b isn't the author of this piece.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Mar 20 2019 18:19 utc | 13

Slaphappy. Jordan had a role as well see above Blue @2 mentions it. We dont see the king of Jordan geting wapo opeds was my point hence not putting himself out there.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20 2019 18:25 utc | 14

This is a pretty complicated relationship. Without discussing decades of Turkish/US/Israeli relations this oped comes off as extremely shallow. Throw the Saudis, Iran, and Russia into the mix and it even gets murkier. Everybody is vying for power, control, and influence. I have little doubt the US would like to put the Turkish military back in power like Turkey was run for decades before Erdogan came into power. See Sisi's Egypt for the model the US would like to operate in Turkey. Whatever Erdogan's faults he did at least initially come to power with vast popular support. He used what could have been a CIA coup or even a false flag on his part to consolidate power and throw out the Gulen movement supporters. Gulen who resides in a mansion about 200 miles from Langley who supported Gulen's schools overseas. All that being said. The US and Turkey are still willing to work together on regime change operations, military purchases, basing rights in Turkey, etc as Turkey is always trying to increase its influence, control, and power in the region. Erdogan is a smart enough politician that even if the US tried to kill him in a coup he would use the event to establish room to make better relations with Russia, throw the Gulen supporters in jail, and get all he can from the USA and Europe for allowing them to keep a foot into Turkey and favorable access to the Black Sea. The US can't afford to lose Turkey and Turkey isn't strong enough to break free. It is a crazy dance that all sides play.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Mar 20 2019 18:31 utc | 15

>>>> karlof1 | Mar 20, 2019 1:51:55 PM | 8

It was regular police from outside Christchurch that arrested the shooter.

If it's a full-time specialist team, they're going to spend a lot of time doing exercises so it's the probability that they're conducting an exercise when something real happens is likely to be high.

It's just like the top British military nurse being in Salisbury when the alleged Skripal incident occurred - she was quartered just north of Salisbury in a small military town with not much more than a Tesco supermarket locally. On a Saturday, just like a lot of British people, she would go out with her family, for lunch and shopping in town which would be Salisbury for her. The main car park for the centre of Salisbury is just north of the Maltings shopping centre and the shortest, most pleasant route to the centre of Salisbury, goes through the Maltings. I have questions about why the top British military nurse is quartered near Salisbury when the most important site for her is in Birmingham, but maybe her job was more future planning rather than operational control. So, I don't have any reason to think it was anything other than a coincidence that she was there. Most of the rest of the Skripal narrative supplied the British government strikes me as being complete bullshit, but this part of the public narrative doesn't

From the available video of his arrest it clearly shows that the police pulled a hard stop and if he wasn't wearing a seat belt (he didn't belt up after leaving the first mosque), there would be a couple of minutes after the stop when shock and perhaps concussion would considerably facilitate his arrest. Also his long barreled weapons are difficult to use when sat in a car and nobody has shown yet that he wanted death-by-cop.

If it was some nefarious government-controlled black op, he wouldn't have been arrested, he would have been shot and killed so he couldn't talk just as all the protagonists in most conspiracy films are (e.g, The Paralax View). It makes the cover-up sooo much easier and these plots always fall apart with the cover-up.

So the Christchurch outrage is very unlikely to have originated within any government department anywhere or be a plot by some government operation but that doesn't mean the police response couldn't have been better. About ten minutes after the start of the shooting, you can hear a couple of police cars heading towards the first mosque in the video.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2019 18:41 utc | 16

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20, 2019 2:25:31 PM | 14

I could also care less what Blue said. We shouldn't be focusing on the junior partners in this circus when there are much bigger fish, namely the US, Saudi Arabia, and the head honcho - the Zionist menace. Any article that tries to blame ISIS on Turkey alone is suspect from the start.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Mar 20 2019 18:59 utc | 17

Anyone who's been awake for the past decade knows that these rednecks (Aussie, Brit, Euro, bqwatever) with a grudge against "the Caliphate" have been egged on by Zionist websites. In Australia I believe Algemeiner is/was the popular "MSM" news site, or at least it's what I remember most of these idiots deferring to, for years. These Aussie rednecks LOVE them some Israel. Stupid to the bone. And they are the targets of Pamela Geller and her ilk.

The MSM is not touching this angle, and never will. But all of these neo-Crusader rednecks are pro-Israel. Breivik was pro Israel too. The White Nationalist of 2019 is a Zionist, first. You will never see an Islamophobic "antisemite", because the debate is too fragile to be had. In fact one would think such a thing didn't exist, and maybe in a meaningful way, it doesn't.

And now the Zionistas want to censor the internet, the internet that grew them these, their very own golems with which to poke "the other" into a murderous, misdirected rage against Israel's "enemies"? They are shitting on their own chessboard! Can things be this far gone??

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 20 2019 19:10 utc | 18

I think b focuses on Erdogan simply because of Erdogan's WaPo Op-Ed.

We all know that it was a conspiracy that was planned for years. Seymour Hersh described the beginnings of the conspiracy in "The Redirection" (2007):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

. . .

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.

. . .

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

. . .

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Bush, Obama, Netanyahu, Erdogan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, were all in on it. And the Europeans were too - or looked the other way. When the Charlie Hebdo attacks occured in Paris, the Europeans KNEW that Turkey was facilitating ISIS but did nothing but narrative control and set up a photo op for Netanyahu with other world leaders (note: pro-Israel site).

Ex-DIA boss Michael Flynn: White House took "willful decision" to fund, train Syria Islamists ISIS

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 20 2019 19:27 utc | 19

slaphappy - ditto what jr says @20...

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2019 19:28 utc | 20

The volumes of work on this page suggest the opposite of what you are implying. Like I said
Ergodan put himself out there for B to critique, that hardly means B thinks Turkey and it's leader are the only ones culpable. Just because one doesn't rail on and on about the Ziocrime state and it's mostly nefarious influence around the world hardly means the integrity of B's blog is suspect. Oh and Turkey is hardly junior partner as B said "without Turkey ISIS in Syria could not have existed". IMO of course.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20 2019 19:30 utc | 21

ditto @ 22 tannenhouser comment as well!!

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2019 19:40 utc | 22

Ghost Ship @17--

Thanks for your well reasoned reply! We should perhaps recall the massive Terrorist Attack waged 16 years ago promoted, sold and celebrated as Shock&Awe, whose perpetrators and their locations are well known but they remain untouched by those charged with upholding the law. Suspecting more is occurring than mere coincidence appears warranted given the stupendous impunity of those guilty.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2019 19:54 utc | 23

SlapHappy @9,@10

Indeed. It is clear that the destruction of Syria was planned by 3rd parties who used Wahabbist extremists as their proxy force. It is also clear that Turkey and Jordan (with Lebanon to a lesser extent) would be key land routes for infiltrating these forces into Syria. The earliest actions by the proxies did indeed happen close the Turkish, Jordanian and Lebanese borders.

Jordan is well known as Israel's patsy and the US had established KASOTC in 2009(?) just in time to start training masses of fighters, so they would be in. Lebanon is known to be open, viz the Captagon smuggling etc.

So how would Turkey be brought in? On the one hand, there is the Gulenist/NATO connection and on the other Erdogan (anti-Gulenist). The former would be fully in. As for Erdogan, the obvious thing would be to offer him a cut on the oil smuggling (seen as a means of self-financing the ISIS operations). Also they would be the carrot of potentially deposing Assad. I can see how he would be more than willing to go along with that.

However, it is fairly self-evident that the destruction of Syria would empower the Kurds, a real potential existential threat to Turkey. My guess is that this outcome was deliberately downplayed otherwise Erdogan may have decided the risk was not worth it.

The destruction of Turkey via Kurdish expansion would also fit in with Israel. Not so long back, the Turks supported one of the Gaza flotilla events. The IDF specifically executed a young Turkish-American man, and the Israeli government humilated Turkish diplomats afterwards. It is clear that Turkey is on Israel's grudge list, whilst the Kurds are on Israel's useful idiot list. Thus there is an incentive for the regime change proponents to use Turkey as sole public fall guy.

Posted by: Yonatan | Mar 20 2019 20:00 utc | 24

All of this ends up in one place. Israel. Like a fine Swiss watch, ISIS just declared a vicious response. And that translates to an excuse for a response by the West on the rest of what is not considered the West, all provoked by Israel.

The likes off the new freshman congresswomen, regardless of their affiliations, should be praised for opening this pandora’s box Wide open.

Take a look at this piece by Pat Buchanan. A worthy read and new revelation in the literary realm.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Mar 20 2019 20:05 utc | 25

Erdogan has done good things and bad things but he is not alone in that. NATO remains his trump card and he is a much more mature and experienced politician now. Turkey is a very important country in the region with many neighboring countries sensibly vying for improved relations with Turkey. This article does rightly express derision at many of Turkey's varied past involvements with terrorism. But Turkey has learned and seems more inclined to extricate itself from its past grievous behavior, often on behalf of clients and sponsors who made use of its NATO territory to organize mass terrorism for infiltration across the region. And of course Turkey ignobly co-operated and did much of its own promotion and sponsorship of the same. These comprised shadowy intelligence agencies with military people, government officials and mercenary contractors supporting the armaments industries of some mythological western alliance?

Jordan was and is important as was and is Israel, both of that like Turkey became embedded and deeply involved in dishonorable aggressions abroad. The Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran together with The Russian Federation put up a stiff resistance and managed to turn the tide in Syria in support of the Syrian government and its armed forces. Turkey began to look out better for itself following the fright of the failed coup. It intervened in support of Qatar, refused to be bullied by the Saudi's and their allied Gulf monarchies, spoke out consistently against the behavior of Israel and most importantly balanced foreign policy more maturely by improving relations with The Russian Federation.

Erdogan is highly likely to be re-elected in Turkey and Turkish citizens are well aware of the dangers their country's involvement in foreign aggression have opened up. They are not to be regarded as somewhat politically illiterate. There are many different political opinions in Turkish society but the one outstanding feature of its well educated and hard working population, is their pride in Turkey and their willingness to defend their sovereignty whatever the cost. I wish them success and good fortune in their all too recent democratic process. Peace to all!

Posted by: Lbanu | Mar 20 2019 20:07 utc | 26

I think it is not only about ISIS. Turkey is directly related to other terrorist ("opposition") groups. For example, Jabhat al-Nusra. Thus, Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva, an acting Russian diplomat who is directly involved in the Syrian settlement (negotiations, humanitarian operations, work in the UN, etc.), in her new book "Syria: the difficult path from war to peace", indicates, in particular, that the repair of military equipment belonging to Jabhat al-Nusra was carried out in Turkey. Though, the main "pet", patronized by Turkey in Syria, is the Ahrar al-Sham group.

At the same time, chinese experts noted that it was Turkish President Erdogan who through kinship contributed to the organization of illegal transit of Syrian oil. Since 2011, NATO member countries have been using the port of Iskanderun (Hatay province, Turkey) for the secret transfer of weapons and military equipment from the plundered warehouses of the Libyan Armed Forces to belligerent Syria. Also, Chinese experts note that the training of Syrian anti-government units and regular units of the Turkish Armed Forces were conducted simultaneously, which ensures an adequate level of understanding between the field commanders in Syria and the Turkish military. In addition, official Ankara organized a training center in the area of ​​Adana (the military base "Adana" is also used to transfer weapons to Syria), which is located 130km. from the border with Syria, and in Istanbul there is a center for the distribution of illegal arms supplies, communications systems and other military equipment for ISIS militants. Chinese military observers note that aid to militants financed by EU countries is delivered through Turkey, and it is this country that plays a key role in the transit of weapons from KSA and the UAE.

Posted by: alaff | Mar 20 2019 20:27 utc | 27

So Turkey supports ISIS and so do the Kurds- who have given ISIS a consistent free pass every single time a 'to the death battle' is set to begin?

That's an inconsistency

-Ignoring completely that ISIS came to Syria from Iraq

Why might that be? Accessible PKK routes through the mountains is a big possibility

-And the roots of ISIS can be found in the ashes of the destroyed Iraq- This is undeniable.

-And that as the PKK/YPG in eastern Syria have been ethnically cleansing the ground of ISIS they've been shipping the ISIS fighters back to Iraq- Why might that be? So they can head back to PKK headquarters?

And that the journalist rhetoric is likely not credible.. cause most NGO's have biases- who pays the piper calls the tune

Ignoring completely that the entire destabilization campaign kicked off in that cozy corner of Syria- right up against Israel and Jordan.

Oddly enough B is channeling John Bolton and the US state department who is up in arms with Turkey for so many reasons..

S-400 purchase
Cooperating with Russia
Standing by Maduro- Close, close ties with Turkey
Not to mention trading with Iran- ignoring US sanctions

"Well you know they're still a NATO ally; we're trying to work with them, but they've got a very bad relationship with our close friends in Israel. That's something we need to look out on," Bolton said."

Thankfully there were some balanced comments-

Posted by: puffn'stuff | Mar 20 2019 21:16 utc | 28

Syria now, Venezuela tomorrow, Iraq yesterday, and numerous others over the years. After the lies come the facts.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2019 21:28 utc | 29

Thank you for the reporting name. an apt name for Turkey - "TurkISIS". Get it? Because Turkish, Turkey - ah forget it.

Posted by: David | Mar 20 2019 21:32 utc | 30

by coincidence!
'Daesh Issues Call for ‘Vengeance’ Following New Zealand Mosque Massacre'
the same DAESH tho wont avenge palestinian deaths

Posted by: brian | Mar 20 2019 21:38 utc | 31

Excellent article b, thank you. While people can try whitewash a bit what both Turkey and Jordan did to support ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria & Iraq, by saying those 2 countries were not alone, which is true there were with NATO,GCC and Israel all the way around, we can never disregard that Turkey was by far the nbr 1 sponsor of ISIS and al Qaeda that invaded both Syria and Iraq, thus making Erdogan a criminal which crimes can never be forgotten nor forgiven by anyone, and moreover Syrians and Iraqis.

The article b refers to is the one below:

Posted by: Canthama | Mar 20 2019 21:43 utc | 32

I should think the gist of B's post is that The Washington Post - one of the two main newspapers printed in the US together with The New York Times - has given space to the Turkish President to publish an opinion editorial. This comes not long after WaPo allowed Hatice Cengiz (who previously worked with a Turkish charity organisation with indirect ties to Islamic extremists and ISIS) an op-ed after the murder of her fiance Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. And of course Khashoggi had written (or contributed to) a regular column in WaPo itself.

So if WaPo gives space to Erdogan for an op-ed, what might that say about WaPo's attitude to ongoing US ties with Saudi Arabia? Perhaps either Jeff Bozo or WaPo flatters itself that the newspaper might have some influence over US foreign policy in the Middle East.

It's not so much about Erdogan and his family's connections to ISIS (numerous and deep though they are) that matter - it's about WaPo's willingness to overlook them to bolster support for one odious third party over another odious third party for perhaps no reason other than that the second odious third party did harm to a WaPo writer. That the writer himself supported the policies of the second odious third party and WaPo's partisan wading into Turkish-Saudi relations only tarnishes its own reputation further seem not to bother WaPo editors much at all ... they never had much moral compass to begin with, after all.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 20 2019 21:43 utc | 33

I would agree that Turkey was the major enabler for the revolt, followed by Qatar, earlier than Saudi Arabia. I doubt the US played a large role in 2011. It's not because there is some CIA involvement that they suddenly become the driving force. It is not because they want to get rid of Assad in general that they were responsible for the events at that moment. Israel has a policy option of splitting up the countries around it, but that option is not always 'live'.
ISIS came in later, and I'm not sure to what phase of its evolution it applies but I thought the composition of its leadership used to be 1/3 tribal, 1/3 Baathist and 1/3 jihadist. Meaning that to some extent it represented legitimate local interests. (I'm not the first to say that , I recall Robert Pape from CPOST said that). I suspect Erdogan decided he could live with such a neighbor. There is a whole spectrum between mortal enemies and enthousiastic friends. 'Live and let live' is enough in those circumstances to make Turkey an enabler of Isis.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 20 2019 21:55 utc | 34

>>>> karlof1 | Mar 20, 2019 3:54:53 PM | 24

Thanks for the reply - my feeling is that enough governments get up to enough shit that looking for shit with an event like the Christchurch shooting is a distraction from the real shit.

Syria has been and still is the victim of shit that we probably don't know about, the only consolation is that most Americans particularly those involved in the aforementioned shit can't keep their mouths shut over time so at some point in the future we will learn about most of the shit. Why does this happen? Many of these Americans are not stupid but know they will suffer no sanctions because the United States is so dominant.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2019 21:56 utc | 35

>>>>>: puffn'stuff | Mar 20, 2019 5:16:47 PM | 29

The SDF/YPG busing ISIS out after putting them under siege makes a lot of sense for the SDF/YPG. The SDF/YPG doesn't have beef with ISIS per se unless ISIS attacks SDF/YPG positions, it's only fighting ISIS to keep the United States happy so that they continue to support/protect the SDF/YPG The SDF/YPG's principal target is Turkey so why should the SDF/YPG waste valuable resources fighting ISIS when they can earn money by busing ISIS and its camp followers out of besieged areas particularly if it can deposit then in areas controlled by Turkey's proxies.

The Syrian government allowed ISIS in a pocket in Hama Governorate to be evacuated into the Idlib pocket and ISIS started sticking it to the various "moderate" jihadists groups there. Let the jihadists fight among themselves first before the SAA has to fight them.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2019 22:01 utc | 36

Trump is lying again with his claim that ISIS will be defeated tonight. According to this map the ISIS pocket between As Sukhnah and Al Maydin has been severely reduced and split into three small pockets.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2019 22:06 utc | 37

OTish, RT is reporting that the United States DoS has changed the terminology it uses for the Golan Heights from Israeli-occupied to Israeli-controlled which suggests that Trump is preparing to recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights.

It'll be interesting to see which countries go along with this and what Europe's response will be. Perhaps the Europeans should tell Trump that if he does this, they will accept that Crimea asked to join Russia after a democratic referendum and end all the sanctions they have in place against Russia. On the other hand, they'll most likely stick their noses further up Trump's bottom.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2019 22:07 utc | 38

'The Washington Post's slogan, seen above Erdogan's op-ed, is "Democracy Dies in Darkness".'

As Jimmy Dore perfectly put it, the WaPo's motto isn't a warning, but a mission statement.

Posted by: Constantine | Mar 20 2019 22:18 utc | 39

Venezuela's arresting journalists including one tied to the black out
soon NGOs will claim that Venezuela has the worst arrest record for arresting journalists- that's how meaningful those claims are

Bearing in mind that journalists often double as spies/agents for foreign intelligence operations

"Weddle is the latest in a string of foreign journalists to be detained in Venezuela"

And so it goes

Posted by: PuffnStuff | Mar 20 2019 22:21 utc | 40

MoA, I am grateful that you correctly state that the terroist who murdered the 50 people in Christchurch is an Austrlian who travelled to our shores to inact this genocide. New Zealanders are hugely embarrased that our country was used for this purpose, as this is not who we are. The shame is Australia's to share and their race relations are woeful compared to what happens here in New Zealand not that we are perfect by any means. Erdegons blast against New Zealand has its roots in the W.W.1 fiasco coordinated and 'led' by the British at Gallipoli in Turkey where thousands of ANZAC soldiers were mercisly cut to bits by Turkish machine guns and soldiers defending their territory that the British wanted taken. I say 'led' sarcastically as the British leaders were no where to be seen and sipped tea and ate sandwiches miles away from the action as New Zealanders and Australian were needlessly slaughtered

Posted by: Malcolm | Mar 20 2019 22:29 utc | 41

as someone has alluded to already:

erdogan's son-in-law (not son) was the nepotistictastic conduit for a lot of the oil smuggling. is there a turkish word for "kushner"?

i also agree with the comments regarding the CIA's odd and contradictory priorities but remember: they're a bunch of atomized psychos within a very large organization and while they seem to like gulen and some random kurdish groups they also love takfiris. after all, we can't have actual yanks fighting for yank causes, can we?

Posted by: the pair | Mar 20 2019 22:50 utc | 42

And wasn't Turkey supposed to disarm the militants in Idlib? Whatever happened to that?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Mar 20 2019 22:56 utc | 43

@42 Please see:

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 20 2019 23:12 utc | 44

In the context of the incesent war drums and "Assad is a dictator" echoing everywhere, a CIA rag like the Washington Post giving him a whitewash is disturbing. It always seems to mean more war.

There's an article at Consortium News by Ann Wright who was part of Code Pink's Peace Delegation to Iran. In an article about that trip, she twice states that Assad is a dictator. Actually, she might have a third time, but I quit reading. Quite a few of the comments addressed that but still, even a "peace activist" is echoing this crap.

Medea Benjamin is still awesome though. So are you b, thank you.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 20 2019 23:16 utc | 45

Ghost Ship @17, karlof1@8

From the video it looked like the shooter was pulled from the car already wearing cuffs as both hands are behind him when he is forced to the ground face first

He had shot his rifle while in the car in the earlier video. Maybe he was dazed or out of ammo. No real description has been given of his capture though which seems strange although maybe a gag order.

No picture of the guys face that was captured. Its all fogged over by judges order, .how can we verify who he is? Perhaps the real shooter has flown off to do another op. This guy had quite a travel history to places where his services are in demand. Professional killer IMO based on the live video. Not saying he isnt under arrest but like with the Khashoggi case it seems we must accept so much by faith now. We never really get to see evidence even after cases are already tried

Speaking of training exercises. The synagogue shooting had an active shooter training exercise that took place at the same Jewish center that got shot up only several months before the real shooting. As someone else pointed out both the NZ and Pittsburgh shhoting occured at or shortly after Israel attacks on Gaza that killed many people and deflected attention away. Certainly could be coincidental

Posted by: Pft | Mar 20 2019 23:16 utc | 46

Sadly this is nothing new. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times also let Erdogan breathe hate into their pages last year. In the case of the Wall Street Journal it was more egregious yet because Erdogan was holding one of their reporters on terrorism charges at the time.

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Mar 20 2019 23:44 utc | 47

Surprised b didn't provide a link to the op/ed. Now having read the item, it's hard to pick a point to begin the criticism that must be made for there are far too many distortions and outright falsifications. Erdogan begins reasonably enough, until we come to his first BigLie: "The Islamic State similarly vowed to destroy the Republic of Turkey — one of the reasons Turkish troops cracked down so hard on the terror group in Syria." [My Emphasis]

Given what we know about Erdogan's support for the terrorist invasion of Syria, what should we make of his next set of words: is it projection or something else:

"In this regard, we must establish that there is absolutely no difference between the murderer who killed innocent people in New Zealand and those who have carried out terrorist acts in Turkey, France, Indonesia and elsewhere."

I really don't want to characterize what Erdogan says next as being my "favorite"; perhaps noteworthy is a better term to describe this:

"Nor will we ever let deranged murderers talk us into targeting any religious community, nation or group."

Gee, then what group of "deranged murderers" talked you into supporting the terrorist invasion of Syria!? That would be Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of that bunch, or was it even earlier during GW Bush's reign of terror? So, not only do you lie because you were talked into doing exactly what you said you'd never do, you have the temerity to go after your countrymen who call you out for your lies and jail them and writers who dare to expose your crimes!

Then there's the final line of his conclusion:

"Finally, all Western leaders must learn from the courage, leadership and sincerity of New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to embrace Muslims living in their respective countries." [My Emphasis]

What about you, Erdogan; how about embracing your Kurdish population and Muslims within Turkey that don't agree with you!

That's enough time wasted on one of the world's most debauched people, one who's just as evil as the terrorist he condemns. Perhaps they'll all be grouped together in what will have to be a new tier within Hell seeing how they're more evil than Satan himself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2019 23:44 utc | 48

Also, it’s accurate to say that Assad is a dictator and one can admit this without saying it over and over and making chemical lies like the neocons and their pseudo-left stooges. He’s better than the alternatives but yes, he’s a dictator (admittedly, if I were Syrian I’d never accept western-style parliamentary democracy at this point).

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Mar 20 2019 23:47 utc | 49

Anne Jaclard @50--

By what criteria does Assad become a "dictator"? He was elected in 2000, 2007, and 2014.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2019 0:08 utc | 50

Posted by: Malcolm | Mar 20, 2019 6:29:03 PM | 42

New Zealanders are hugely embarrased that our country was used for this purpose, as this is not who we are.

Well, apparently in your country a civilian can legally buy and own many many military rifles. Even a non-citizen could do it, right? Why do you want to be so heavily armed on your peaceful, remote, idyllic island? You do not have big game to hunt, no bears, cougars, moose, elks, deer, what is the most dangerous animal there, a platypus? A feral dog? Moreover, you do not have hostile neighbors, well you do not have ANY neighbors, no proximity to an active conflict zone, so, again, what your rifle owner wants to shoot at over there?

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 21 2019 0:10 utc | 51

mourning dove @46

Those who cry "Assad is a dictator" are hypocrites and propagandists but it's not enough to say that because the brainwashed masses will only see YOU as "pro-Assad/pro-Russia". That is their us vs them programming.

IMO whether Assad is a dictator or not is irrelevant.

So, to counter the brainwashing one must make the following point:

1) The West tolerates many dictators.

2) The West itself is not democratic - it is run by, and for, wealthy elites.

3) The conspiracy to overthrow Assad was not meant to benefit the Syrian people, it was done to further the interests of the conspirator nations (USA, Israel, KSA, etc.) as Seymour Hersh described in "The Redirection".

This fact is made crystal clear by what they would have replaced Assad with: ruthless, bloodthirsty Jihadis that would impose a tyranny far worse than Assad. There never were any "moderate rebels" - that was a mythical narrative to hide the ghastly truth.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2019 0:16 utc | 52

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20, 2019 8:08:41 PM | 51

By what criteria does Assad become a "dictator"? He was elected in 2000, 2007, and 2014.

He is an elected dictator. Kinda like those presidents of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, France...

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 21 2019 0:20 utc | 53

Anne, karlof1

Assad's grip on power could be termed dictatorial but that was made irrelevant by the conspirators that choose to use a Jihadi proxy army to overthrow him (as I explain @53).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2019 0:24 utc | 54

@ Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Mar 20, 2019 7:47:33 PM | 50

Depend on what criteria you define "dictator".

Originally, a dictator was a magistrate nominated by the Senatus on a main political objective. Generally, this objective was to organize new elections (in this sense, he was more like the Venezuelan interim president), but not always: in the Second Punic War, a dictator (Quintus Fabius Maximus) was elected to regroup the Roman army (legions) in order to avoid total anihilation at the hands of the Carthaginians. After that, dictators would serve was the legal device to advance personal interests in the end of the Old Republic and in the New Republic (Gaius Julius Caesar being the last Republican dicatator).

What impressed about the dictator was his powers: he had no colleague, just a subordinate (the Magister Equitum), and walked with 24 lictors (the double of the consul, which there were only two at each time, thus representing his absolute power). His imperium didn't cease when he entered the Pomerium and not even the Senate could veto his decisions.

Except for the period that ended the Republic, the dictator, in practice, had limited powers. And for a simple reason: de facto power in Rome wasn't in the Law, but in the patronage system: the meetings of the Senatus and the Tribune of the Plebs were just, majorly, formalities to ratify what was already decided in "daily politics", i.e. exchange of favors and bribes. The dictator could be legally all-powerful, but he was still just a man: he was a senator, he had a family, he had debts, he had credits, he had land, he had a social life etc etc. In that sense, the nomination of a dictator in Rome was more of a moment of temporary "democratic centralism" than anything else.

That's a very different concept of dictator than the one used nowadays.

In my opinion, a dictator since the 20th Century must have these two characteristics:

1) he has to be backed by an alien power decisively, i.e. the dicator may or may not have significant popular support, but he may not have popular support large enough to not depend on a foreign superpower backing, in the form of direct and indirect lethal power;

2) he has to be blessed by the alien power backing him, i.e. the dictator must be, at the end of the day, a counterrevolutionary, an anti-popular leader overall, because he's implementing a foreign, necessarily unpopular, agenda (if it was popular, there would be no need for foreign funding for it; it would win the elections naturally). Long story short, he has to be a puppet of some alien superpower.

In that sense, a modern dictator is more akin to an Ancient puppet king than an Ancient dictator. I think Latin American generals chose the term "dictator" because it had a connotation of "restoring the order", but this is, of course, nonsense. I think that's why some modern pundits like to use the more broad term "satrap" to designate a puppet ruler in a Third World country -- it covers both the traditional military dictator and the neoliberal puppets who are elected through fraud and propaganda warfare.

Now, I don't think Bashar al-Assad fills any of those criteria.

First, you have to take into account that modern Syria is an artificial country, drawn up by the Sykes-Picot Treaty. The aim was to put together hostile tribes so as to keep those countries divided and thus easier to rule. The same tactic was used in Africa and we can see until now that it works wonderfully. Western style representative democracy is impossible in Syria. Even in this impossible scenario, Assad made the feat to congregate all the minorites to his side, making up to 30% of the total Syrian population. He also has some support from the Sunni majority, I suppose. So, he's actually more democratic than all the Western capitalist puppets piled up; what he's done is nothing short of a miracle, since Syria is a country that was designed to fail.

Second, he wouldn't depend on Russian support if Syria existed in a vacuum. What I mean by that is that Russian support was essential to block a counter-revolution, not a revolution, funded by another alien superpower: the USA. If you take out the USA from the equation, it's hard to imagine a democratic scenario in Syria where Bashar al-Assad would not be victorious.

Third, he's a nationalist. He's not advancing some kind of Russo-Chinese hidden agenda in Syria. He's only working with them up to where he needs to guarantee his people the prosperity they want, thus only up to the point where he needs to run from the USA. It's not like Syria was some kind of Norway before he took power and he ran down the country's economy just to please some kind of Russo-Chinese elite (as what happened in Latin America).

Posted by: vk | Mar 21 2019 0:42 utc | 55

Malcolm @ 52

The AR-15 is not a military rifle. neither are the two shotguns used. He was an Australian citizen and due to the special relationship between Australia and NZ has almost all the rights of a NZ citizen once he took up residency. (Unfortunately Australia does not reciprocate).

No big game to hunt? Are you totally ignorant? NZ is a hunter's paradise for various species of deer, especially the South Island. Platypus are only found in Australia. And feral dogs are a big problem for sheep farmers who cheerfully shoot them with the high-powered rifles that you find unnecessary. By the way, how do you expect farmers to put down animals that are dying or severely injured? Bludgeon them to death?

You are proof that ignorance is bliss!

Posted by: Cossack | Mar 21 2019 1:12 utc | 56

JR @53&55--

I agree that the epithet's part of the mind-control narrative, but Syria does have an elected Parliament that enacts laws for Assad to sign; so, he's no more a dictator than Trump, May or Macron.

vk's account @56 I very much agree with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2019 1:14 utc | 57

My apology Malcolm in 57 I meant to address it to hopehely

Posted by: Cossack | Mar 21 2019 1:14 utc | 58

vk @56--

Except for your final parenthetical phrase, you did an excellent job. Okay, perhaps you're using "Russo-Chinese elite" as a proxy for the Outlaw US Empire and South America's former colonial masters, for they are certainly the ones responsible for the region's economic and social woes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2019 1:23 utc | 59

Alpi57 @26

Great article - thx

Posted by: daffyDuct | Mar 21 2019 1:31 utc | 60

The training exercises are weirdly always there. I always think of the Port Arthur massacre of 1997 and the unfortunate patsy Martin Bryant, currently languishing in a prison. The managerial staff of the Port Arthur complex were on a training event that coincided with the massacre. There just happened to be an international conference of both surgeons and journalists in Tasmania at the very same time, both of which finished just before the massacre. And the two cops in the area were called to an alleged drug event miles away that turned out to be a hoax. The Tasmanian authorities had ordered a very large mortuary van shortly before the event which they later sold on ebay.

Whoever killed those people was an expert with a high kill to injured ratio – just as in Christchurch – and he shot from the waist. Martin Bryant had an IQ of 60 and had been given a disability pension. From all accounts he was an extremely sweet guy, just a bit challenged, who had 200 teddy bears in his living room. His father allegedly committed suicide and his guardian also died shortly after leaving him with a house and a lot of money. A girlfriend appeared rather fortuitously a few months before the event – she put an ad for a gardener through his letterbox.

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 21 2019 1:32 utc | 61

Anne Jaclard @ 50:

The current MSM meaning of a "dictator" is whatever major world leader the US and its allies take a dislike to, to the extent of wanting to overthrow that leader.

In the traditional sense of the term, a dictator concentrates all power and legal authority into his/her own hands. This person virtually rules as an absolute monarch.

Bashar al Assad, were he that kind of traditional dictator, could have dispensed with all pretences to parliamentary democracy and made himself King. But he brought in political reforms in 2012, after a national referendum that approved them, that limit his time as President (though he could still run for another term in 2021 under the 2012 Constitution, and then after 2028 he must retire), made the Ba'ath Party just another political party among others (albeit one with most popularity) and changed the form of government to a parliamentary democracy. Does all this sound like the actions of an autocrat?

True, Assad can issue decrees and does so, but is that power much different from the US President's ability to issue Executive Orders?

The Syrian Constitution (2012) has this to say about the President's ability to issue decrees:

Article 101

The President of the Republic shall pass decrees, decisions and orders in accordance with the laws.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2019 1:38 utc | 62

somebody please say, ..was the NZ thing really a false flag..?
I visited Vegas last year within days of the so called shootem at the concern ..
all of the hotel people and restaurant waiters said the people supposedly dead,
were eating in the Restaurant the next day or so. Everyone pointed to
organized crime that run the gambling there. Someone was angry at the
division of profits.

probably need to take flag out of false.. real people get killed and rise again..
fake people die the first time they are killed?

Posted by: snake | Mar 21 2019 1:47 utc | 63

You do not have big game to hunt, no bears, cougars, moose, elks, deer, what is the most dangerous animal there, a platypus? hopehelly

Dear hopehelly, platypus is a proud denizen of Australia, the home of another egg-laying mammal echidna. Kiwis are best known examples of native New Zealand fauna, and these willy critters fully justify military grade weapons. Don't be fooled by their cute appearance!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 21 2019 1:49 utc | 64

@42, @45

Commemorated in this song:

Posted by: farm ecologist | Mar 21 2019 1:54 utc | 65

vk, karlof1

To most people in the West, the fact that Assad and his family have ruled for so long is evidence enough that he is a dictator.

But whatever you think of Assad, the conflict with Jihadis has made him into something of a hero. It has solidified his position.

My understanding is that Assad had made some democratic reforms just before the start of the foreign-supported "uprising", and has made further reforms during the conflict. Assad detractors would say that those reforms are too little too late and only done to mask his power. But Assad is so well liked now that he is free to make such reforms.

Where my concerns lie is with the bigger picture. I argue is that the problem is not Assad or Putin, and never was. They are made into enemies by those who are the enemies of peace and the enemies of the people: the asshats that want to rule the world with absolute power.

At one time both Assad and Putin sought an accommodation with those absolutists. But accommodation is not enough for them. They must have absolute power. And they have constructed a paranoid DOOM LOOP that puts us all at risk. They will continue until the "rat" is cornered and then hope for the best.

Those that wants us to believe that Assad, Putin, Xi, Trump are evil or saintly are playing into the Western narrative (whether they realize it or not) and turning the focus away from the Western asshat control freaks that would crush us all if they ever get absolute power.

You will NEVER satisfy Western Kool-Aid drinkers by arguing that Assad is not a dictator. Even engaging in such a conversation is counter-productive. The focus should instead be on the illegal, immoral CONSPIRACY.

We see the same kind of conspiracy against Venezuela. Whose behind these conspiracies? How far will these people go? Who pays the price for this adventurism?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2019 1:54 utc | 66

To send him a message of hope Martin Bryant is at Riston Prison 672 E Derwent Hwy, Risdon Vale TAS 7016, Australia

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 21 2019 1:58 utc | 67

" the British leaders were no where to be seen and sipped tea and ate sandwiches miles away from the action as New Zealanders and Australian were needlessly slaughtered
ANZAC troops and British and Irish troops too. Not to mention lots of Turks, Syrians and others on the Ottoman side.
As to the British leaders: most of them were in London, wearing civilian clothing. And of course in Australia and New Zealand, sending their patriotic young men to slaughter to curry favour with the Boss.
Nothing has changed has it? Australia and New Zealand both rushed off to Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. New Boss same loyalty from the southern regional supervisors.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2019 2:03 utc | 68

@Karlof1 3
My initial visits to MoA have resulted in amazement at the wisdom of b and the wisdom of the regular commenters. After several years of coming here, the only amazement left is for b's writing. Karlof used to be right after b, but now after quoting this leftist mashed crap about Australia I lost respect. The problem I learned about the commenters I used to admire, such PeterAu1, Karlof1, is principally in verbosity - they do not know when to shut up. They keep typing both about the issues that they understand about issues they know almost nothing about.

To put this into context, I am probably the last person to defend Australia because I am in a huge disagreement with:
1) Australia's contemporary deep vassal policies towards US, even worse than to Britain before (which country banned Huawei first?),
2) severe and increasing crack downs on civic freedoms (data collection and spying), and
3) the most dehumanized childrens' vaccine imposition, the worst in the World (worse than even in US).

But the article Karlof quoted is a total pure leftist bull about Australia. Let me quote an example sentence in its utter cretinism: ".. [in 1950s], slavery of Aboriginal people was common in Australia, although there is no official recognition of this in our museums or libraries". It would be my educated guess that the author is an "ambulance chaser", a lawyer or para-legal, making business out of some groups overblown victimhood. What really happened to the Australian Aboriginals is a sad story of clash of civilizations.

Whenever something big bad happens there are opportunists who want to politically cash in. Here it is the murder of 50 innocent people of Muslim religion (equally as on millions of all other religions). The commenters such as Karlof who quote such "works" could be then compared to Erdogan who is also quoting and cashing in on the deaths of 50 people.

In summary, the only person worth respect here is b - he never writes about things he did not research well about.

Posted by: Kiza | Mar 21 2019 2:07 utc | 69

@ 68

You talk about democratic reforms which is neoliberal speak for fucking the ordinary folks. Well, yes, he did attempt to implement the full neoliberal agenda - cutting subsidies on energy, fuel and food, chucking people out of semi-legal squats. In 2009 he was Wall Streets fucking poster boy - the "Benign Dictator" as I recall.

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 21 2019 2:09 utc | 70

Jackrabbit @68--

Thanks for your reply!

I rail on that the US Empire is an Outlaw and that it actively--and openly--seeks full spectrum domination of the planet and its people, and have ever since I began commenting here. IOW, I know what's at stake.

As for The Narrative, that's the tool Chomsky and others highlighted, but few have listened. Now we have a fresh new voice in Caitlin Johnstone who's all about exposing The Narrative and a host of new allies that are connected thanks to technology that weren't active 16 years ago.

Thankfully, the "Unipolar Moment" is over and the Outlaw US Empire is on the wane, but as we both know, it remains extremely dangerous. Along with the wane there's finally a rising of political pushback within the Empire that's worthy of nurturing. And as usual, Time will tell.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2019 2:21 utc | 71

It looks like New Zealand is more than we think or know
There is this report from Veteranstoday
And also this deleted one, but not forgotten by the web, from 2014">">
or this one from 2011

Posted by: Bob | Mar 21 2019 2:26 utc | 72

Kiza @71--

I see you failed to do any research before lambasting my citing of an historically accurate essay, which I'd cited previously along with an excellent work about Australia's history for people to use as a benchmark for the essay. Do, please, have a good night!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2019 2:28 utc | 73

@73 karlofi 1

From Chomsky to Caitlin Johnstone. Wow. Now I really must check out Chomsky on 9/11 and Caitlin's latest on how humans are programmed to storytelling (thanks Caitlin I really didn't know that).

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 21 2019 2:33 utc | 74

Alpi #26

Thanks for the link to that Buchanon article. That reactionary asshole certainly had a good instinct in revealing the neo cons. It was about that time I began to realize that the left in the US was simply too weak to stop the expansion of US imperialism -- we would need allies on the right to succeed. Not sure that will help, but the resistance movements in the affected countries are playing a big role in convincing Americans that the whole imperial enterprise just might not be worth it.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 21 2019 2:40 utc | 75

Just to highlight my credentials about knowing Australian Aboriginals - I have lived smack in the middle of the biggest congregation of Aboriginals in Sydney since 2004. I see them every day and sometimes engage them. As a group, they have many good sides and some bad sides. Probably their worst side is the combination of intolerance to alcohol and the treatment of women. Never put a drunken aboriginal male near a female (punching bag)! When not drunk, they are exceptionally mild mannered people and very good friends. But, also, never expect them to do hard labor. Only some cretin who parasitizes off the exaggerated Aboriginal victimhood, who probably lives in a poshy neighborhood away from them, who never spent more time than a legal consultation time with an aboriginal, could claim that Aboriginal were somebody's slaves. The Australians probably had a better chance of making slaves out of platypuses (maybe platypi would be correct; an animal like a mix of duck and seal) than out of Aboriginals.

There was a time during initial settlement when the British cracked down hard on any Aboriginals resistance to taking their land, but probably slightly less than what they did to US aboriginals, where sometimes there was pure genocide (e.g. infected blankets). But due to their very mild nature, the Aboriginals were seldom warriors and seldom resisted the take-over. It is extremely sad that on some occasions, due to the lack of hunting game in Australia, the hunting tradition imbued British settlers went hunting some unfortunate Aboriginal male. After Australian Federation at the beginning of 20th century, to my awareness, all abuses completely stopped. Any such claims are either exaggerations or pure lies. The so called "Lost Generation" is one such overblown commercialized lie.

It is interesting that the parasitic business of victimhood was established in Australia around the same time as in US (excluding the original Jewish one of course). The so called, Mabo High Court Decision of 3 June 1992 was probably when both some justice to the Aboriginals was finally done, but also the business of exaggerated victimhood went mainstream. This is when the law brotherhood of Australia (only slowly becoming a sisterhood as well) realized the limitless profit potential of the issue. What an irony, never fair!!!

Posted by: Kiza | Mar 21 2019 3:15 utc | 76

Hopehely @ 52:

Male platypuses have poison spurs on their hind legs and the venom can kill small animals.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2019 3:45 utc | 77

@53 all correct... the US supports people far worse than Assad, and Syria has a long tradition of heroism against Israel and the like. In the 1970s it was the most radical Arab state (dictators way more radical than democrats or monarchs throughout Arab history) until it was upstaged by Gadaffi's Libya (a standard impossible to match to be honest). It's also notable, alas, that decisions made by Assad's father on the battlefield cost the Arab left it's last chance to stamp out Israel for good after the Dawson Fields Hijacking. You could argue that Bashar has made up for that by reviving pan-Arab cooperation as a result of him providing a linchpin for Iran, Hezbollah, etc.

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Mar 21 2019 4:30 utc | 78

Kiza @ 78

As Australian born and bred (now over 70 years) I agree with your posts.

Posted by: Davo | Mar 21 2019 4:39 utc | 79

Kiza "After Australian Federation at the beginning of 20th century, to my awareness, all abuses completely stopped"

You don't have much awareness then. Currently recorded massacres stopped sometime in the 20's. Unrecorded they continued until the late forties.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2019 4:49 utc | 80

Kiza "There was a time during initial settlement when the British cracked down hard on any Aboriginals resistance to taking their land, but probably slightly less than what they did to US aboriginals, where sometimes there was pure genocide"

Look up the history of Tasmania and the bounties.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2019 4:57 utc | 81

KIZA "Any such claims are either exaggerations or pure lies."

You live in a very insulated world.

I contacted the person who wrote the article and is working a little to the south of where I operated for a time. There was a block of land called the Wood River UCL which no aboriginal group claims. The people that lived in that catchment were mustered into a gorge and shot. Every man woman and child. That was around the late fourties.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2019 5:12 utc | 82

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 20, 2019 9:49:05 PM | 66

Dear hopehelly, platypus is a proud denizen of Australia, the home of another egg-laying mammal echidna. Kiwis are best known examples of native New Zealand fauna, and these willy critters fully justify military grade weapons. Don't be fooled by their cute appearance!

Yes, those cute Kiwis, armed to the teeth...
Well, Cossack @57 was kind enough to tell us what they need AR-15 for:
1. To hunt deer
2. To shoot feral dogs
3. To put down sick and wounded livestock

Since Kiwi is as Kiwi does, that is who they are. Gun loving, trigger happy hillbillies.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 21 2019 5:27 utc | 83

@PeterAu 84
Glad that I identified you before regarding your comment about the engineers and that you added to the Aboriginal issue. Unlike you, I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of memories and claims unless there is some hard proof for such.

My main point was about the outrageously parasitic claim of slavery in Australia in the 50s supported by Karlof. Australia was quite a wild place during the initial settlement because the nature of all settler rif-raf is always pretty wild, especially without civilisation to keep them in check. The things that were done during that time are far from civilised and nobody humane would condone. But once Australia became an organised country, which came with federation, the law started functioning as well. I did not claim that there were never crimes against the aboriginals after federation, only that it was not as out of control as before. I apologise to your leftist sensibility that I do not just accept testimonies as proof and maybe your implied claim that race crimes in Australia are not punished.

Some 10 or so years ago, I ended up in the middle of Aboriginal riots just here where I live and was saved by my Aboriginal acquintances and a few quick thinking police. The point of this is that the truth is usually in the middle and that sensible people do not subscribe to extremes. “Slavery in the 50s” I call the leftist myth inflation - typical left’s generatiion of more and more outrageous claims for shock effect and political profit. Much as we should all have been drowned long ago by the melted icecaps. When things do not turn out as claimed, just continue on making even more outrageous claims, Northern Hemisphere extreme cold is a proof of AGW, thus the name “inflation”. Rinse and repeat forever.

This is getting totally OT and I do not intend to continue on. I respected Karlof’s and your intellect because I thought that you had balance, but learned that you are looking at things through the glasses of your ideological prejudices. This is why you are quick to accept myths and mythomaniacs. Good night to you both as Karlof nicely put it.

Posted by: Kiza | Mar 21 2019 6:35 utc | 84

As of today the New Zealand government has banned automatic and semi automatic rifles for sale in New Zealand. For those wanting to ridicule New Zeland as a naive paradise there is clearly the probability that this killer associated with para military like minded people in New Zealand, we are not naive saints. And yes New Zelanders and Australian see themselves as similar in many ways, indeed we both freely live in each others land. However what you all will witness tommorow as the 1 week memorial ceremonies are observed is a massive solidarity with those who have lost loved ones, the country over. Millions of kiwis (and there is not that many) will observe a period fo silence for them.

Posted by: Malcolm | Mar 21 2019 6:57 utc | 85

Wow! The mere mention of WaPo and nerdoghan in one breath and the site turned into a flogging frenzy.Thanks b for exposing the ugly pair and may the many who received their lashes here today: heal well.

By the way Australia gave NZ the possums so yeh they definitely need high power auto rifles and killer ammo to save their nation. Swords into ploughshares please.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 21 2019 9:34 utc | 86

Makes you wonder if there is some corporate project somewhere for weaponizing ploughshares.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2019 9:46 utc | 87

Malcolm @ 42, Bevin @ 70:

The British forces that fought at Gallipoli during WW1 included soldiers from Australia, Canada (Newfoundland), New Zealand and the Indian subcontinent. About 5,000 Indian soldiers fought at Gallipoli.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2019 10:18 utc | 88


Sydney was one the first paces settled in Australia. Anything that happened there in frontier times is many generations past.
Not so in other parts. Kimberly region over the Leopold range was perhaps the last of these. For some of the older Aboriginal people there, the memories are what they remember, not myths passed down.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2019 11:01 utc | 89

>>>>> Pft | Mar 20, 2019 7:16:50 PM | 47

From the video it looked like the shooter was pulled from the car already wearing cuffs as both hands are behind him when he is forced to the ground face first

The "arrest" video doesn't show the actual arrest but events after the arrest. In British law which defined New Zealand law, an arrest takes place when a constable puts his hand on the perp, normally on the shoulder. That is why one British slang term for it is "feeling the collar". Also, he is the prisoner of the constable who arrested him which explains why it's the country constable who is manhandling him even after the heavy brigade has arrived.

He was most likely cuffed as soon as he left the vehicle and then dragged to the position where he was seen in the video, so him already being cuffed is nothing remarkable. As for why he was dragged away from his vehicle, there were viable rumours that there were bombs in the car, and no policeman wants to be blown up particularly for this type of scum.

He had shot his rifle while in the car in the earlier video. Maybe he was dazed or out of ammo.

He'd fired his gun through the passenger side window which means there was room for him to manipulate his weapon. Switching from that to shooting out of the driver's side window would be difficult. Getting a long weapon like an AR-15 clone or FN FAL out of any vehicle safely is not easy. It why the military typically issue vehicle crews with sub-machine guns, machine pistols or carbine versions of assault rifles and it's why the British army have a very health obsession with bullpup rifles.

No real description has been given of his capture though which seems strange although maybe a gag order.

Quite common in British law to respect the right to privacy of the perp. Particularly after the Cliff Richard incident.

Maybe he was dazed or out of ammo.

Poor guy, a "country" constable (a person he no doubt regarded as a natural ally) had just driven a police car into his car and the perp wasn't wearing a seat belt. There are decent non-racist police in the rest of the world.

No picture of the guys face that was captured. Its all fogged over by judges order, .how can we verify who he is? Perhaps the real shooter has flown off to do another op.

The police probably want to investigate further so releasing pictures of his face could compromise any identification evidence, so they probably applied to the judge for an order to stop pictures being published of him. There really is nothing to see here so moving on......

This guy had quite a travel history to places where his services are in demand.

Says who? Some wingnut blog? If he's made such claims on social media then he's very likely a fantasist

Professional killer IMO based on the live video.

The thing that frightened me about the main video was not the death as I seen a few corpses over the years and have little empathy with other people. No, it was the banality and ordinariness of it all. A man buys a semi-automatic rifle and a few hundred rounds of ammunition and with minimal training can walk into an unsecured building and kill fifty people without any problem because they're different to him. Anybody who's played realistic first-person shoot'em ups such as Call of Duty, Medal of Honor or similar games probably has a good idea of what they're capable of.

Generally, with any article about this incident that mentions automatic fire the author is talking out of his arse and should be ignored.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 21 2019 11:07 utc | 90

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 20, 2019 7:12:08 PM | 45

World War I and the British Empire: The Gallipoli Campaign, The Untold Story
‘The first casualty of war is truth’

The campaign was conceived in London as a grotesque, Machiavellian strategy to fool the Russians into believing that Britain was attempting to capture Constantinople for them. The paradox of its failure lay in its success. Gallipoli was purposefully designed to fail.

A secret cabal of immensely rich and powerful men – the Secret Elite – was formed in England in 1891 with the explicit aim of expanding the British Empire across the entire globe. They planned a European war to destroy Germany as an economic, industrial and imperial competitor and, to that end, drew France then Russia into an alliance termed the Entente Cordiale. Their massive land armies were needed to crush Germany. France would be rewarded with Alsace and Lorraine, while Russia was conned into believing she would get Constantinople.2 Thereafter, seizing the Ottoman capital became a “widespread obsession, bordering on panic” in St Petersburg.3

Had Britain encouraged the friendship of Turkey in 1914, the disaster of Gallipoli would never have happened.4 The Turks generally disliked the Germans and their growing influence,5 and made three separate attempts to ally with Britain. They were rebuffed on each occasion.6 They also pleaded in vain with the French to accept them as an ally,7 and protect them against their old enemy, Russia.8 Poor fools. The French and British alliance with Russia was at the expense of the Turks, not an alliance with the Turks to save them from Russia. Britain and France planned to carve up the oil rich Ottoman Empire. To that end, the Turks had to be pushed into the German camp and defeated.

The Cabal from C1ty of L0nd0n.
Owners of Br1tain, modern Gr3ek state, faction of Attaturk1sh Turk3y and modern state of 1sra3l. (In this order)
Ru5sia is being fooled again in believing M A G A would deliver them 'C0nstant1nople'.
Turk3y currently is very reactive, maybe rightly so since Tarrant seems like an 'asset' of programs run by C I A. Possibly at least 2 other had been activated in and around Gr3ece but with almost no casualties (but the assets themselves) possibly to corner local gov. 1 being right before 1sra3l PM visit at West Ba1kans, 1 at center of Ath3ns. Tarrant seems is connected with US stay-behind in the Ba1kans.

Posted by: road to ww3 | Mar 21 2019 11:25 utc | 91

I guess the gist is that the US, KSA, Zionists, Turkey and others have wanted to "use" Sunni extremists against Iranian power, but keep them under control, in the same way the German conservatives thought they could use Hitler and the Nazis against the left while keeping control of them. In the long run it's going to work just as well, too.

We already saw how the same plan worked in Afghanistan against the USSR.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 21 2019 12:19 utc | 92

A difference in hypocracy levels between Erdogan's Turkey and the US west. Erdogan does not regard the various jihadist groups as terrorists. his terrorists are the Kurds. The US and its groupies on the other hand publicly declare war on the jihadists groups whilst quietly enabling them for regime change or country destruction operations.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2019 12:33 utc | 93

The causes of the Syrian uprising are varied and contain obvious historical errors on both sides of the conflict. I understand all military conflicts to contain elements of moral certainty on both sides. All manner of atrocity can therefore become rationalised and defended by either side in any conflict for whatever political agenda.

Nothing or no one involved in the Syrian War suggests any form of leftism, with the possible exception of certain Kurdish elements (who are battling ISIS in self-defense rather than the Syrian government). The resulting impacts from the Syrian conflict bend towards a rightwing reaction back home (yes even including blogger reactions on MoA). The reaction is expressed in terms of xenophobia and nationalism rooted in racialist nostalgia.

Assad and Putin are neoliberal. Trump, Israel, Turkey, the US and EU are neoliberal. Iran is neoliberal. All participants are further connected by the global capitalist system which renders them strange bedfellows at certain times as well as rivals at other times depending on circumstances, business opportunities, treaties and other political and financial arrangements.

A grimly reductionist viewpoint regarding Syria is widely held by certain elements of the left. It is supported by a "narrative" which unfortunately forces those involved to whitewash history.

This viewpoint is similar to the left choosing Stalinism over liberal democracy in an earlier era. What did this support accomplish long run except the discrediting and defeat of leftism by neoliberalism?

I have no problem with anyone on the left opposing Western imperialism. I do have a problem with the tendency to turn that opposition into support for an equally reactionary imperialism of the political opposition.

Or to cop out by saying there is no longer an ideological struggle of right and left (as those labels historically apply). This view is cynical and nihilist. Essentially, it is a form of giving up the struggle.

On the one hand, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an understandable position to take when one doesn't possess the necessary strength in oneself to actively impose one's own viewpoint anywhere. However, the utility of that thinking is quite limited and eventually self-defeating.

Posted by: donkeytale | Mar 21 2019 12:45 utc | 94

Kiza 71

"What really happened to the Australian Aboriginals is a sad story of clash of civilizations."

So you're here to justify genocide. A sad clash, a misunderstanding, no one's to blame. Just like all other genocides, right?

Self-evidently there was no "clash of civilizations" since the Aborigines did not have civilization. On the contrary, what happened in Australia, as everywhere else that civilization exterminated traditional peoples, was extreme one-way aggression and is proof that genocide and general ecocide is inherent to civilization and that civilization depends completely on such overwhelming violence. There's never been an exception.

As for your comment 78 (that's some "research" on your part), that's nothing but kicking what's left of the victims after their subjugation. No doubt what you say is reductionist racist drivel, and at any rate what the residual Aboringines have been reduced to today tells nothing about what they inherently were and can be again. Meanwhile we see what's inherent to your civilized ecocidal parasites.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 21 2019 12:49 utc | 95

It is all about free discussion, stupid! The discussion begins with a sufficiently complete unchanged citation of the speech that is to be criticized. Yesterday there were some Erdogan trolls comments here, removed now. Even such small minds should be able to understand that. The guy is close to panic now as without established vote frauds he has no chance left, having lost the majority of pubic support since some time.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 21 2019 13:00 utc | 96

road to ww3 @93: Ru5sia is being fooled again in believing M A G A would deliver them 'C0nstant1nople'.

Great insight.

I've been suspicious of Erdogan's intentions and of the 2016 apparent coup attempt which IMO worked marvelously for both USA and Erdogan. This historical background supports that view. Wow.

Also, thanks to Lochearn @45 for the link.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2019 13:10 utc | 97

On the bright side, the Russians have invented a new way of resolving serious political debates:

Posted by: Kiza | Mar 21 2019 13:38 utc | 98

What happens if you mishear Fish Slapping Dance.

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2019 13:45 utc | 99

The Washington Post's slogan, seen above Erdogan's op-ed, is "Democracy Dies in Darkness".

I think it's more accurate to say that the Washington Post's mission statement is "Democracy Dies in Darkness".

Posted by: Peter VE | Mar 21 2019 14:11 utc | 100

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