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

« previous page
MOSSAD operation - -- OH HO! The fifth suspect of Christchurch shootings has defected to Israel
The fifth suspect of Christchurch shootings has defected to Israel

Posted by: william | Mar 21 2019 14:44 utc | 101

@vk, 56
"He also has some support from the Sunni majority, I suppose."

Syria could not have survived if the government was not supported by Syria's Sunni citizens. The Syrian Arab Army is around 70% Sunni.

Posted by: cirsium | Mar 21 2019 14:52 utc | 102

Erdogan is an interesting character.

Definitely, a bit unbalanced and prone to violence, but then that has been the case for many consequential figures in history.

He does make some pointed and welcome comments on some matters.

However, the next day he is sometimes perfectly capable of saying or doing something that seems absurd.

But he does have a powerful, often shrewd, intelligence.

Look how he is able to keep Washington totally off-balance on many matters.

Now he's getting his F-35s despite acquiring Russia's S-400 anti-craft missile system. Washington is concerned over S-400’s powerful radars and computers being able to store F-35 characteristics for future use. Washington threatened him time and again, and it is Washington who has backed down.

Ditto for Europe, which has paid him extortionate amounts of money to house enough refugees in camps to populate a large city.

The threat of their being sent packing in the direction of Europe has been a powerful tool, and he has used it to maximum benefit. And, of course, at one and the same time, he is legitimately claim to the Muslim world that he is a protector of millions of Muslims.

He is the only figure in NATO to directly criticize America's protected and immensely spoiled colony, Israel, and he manages to get away with it. There’s, of course, a lot to criticize there, starting with out-and-out atrocities and massive oppression, but for the US or France or Britain, such words simply cannot be uttered.

The leverage of Turkey's geographical position and its NATO membership gives him a powerful tool, and he uses it effectively. The United States would be horrified by Turkey’s leaving NATO.

I have little doubt that the United States was instrumental in the attempted coup in Turkey a few years back. They may have used the Gϋlen movement, Gϋlen himself being a refugee in the US, the kind of thing so often done by CIA, but Gϋlen just provides a fig leaf-decency covering.

Erdogan is only too happy to play along, having gained new leverage against the US. He keeps demanding the US extradite Gϋlen, but it won't. Well, if he was responsible for a coup in a key allied state, why not?

Remember, NATO keeps fifty nuclear bombs in a bunker at the big Turkish NATO base, Incirlik. It's a very strategic place.

Putin, the master statesman, seized on the blunder immediately. His people having caught chatter on intercepted radio signals during the coup, he warned and assisted Erdogan. In one swift blow, he restored decent relations with Turkey and helped America once again to make a fool of itself.

Readers may like:

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Mar 21 2019 15:09 utc | 103


attempted coup in Turkey
You mean the apparent attempted coup. How do we know that it was genuine? Erdogan called it a "gift from God".

The coup helped Erdogan to end Russia sanctions on Turkey and helped USA to cosy up to the Kurds (as protector). So nice how it all worked out for each of them, isn't it?

They may have used the Gϋlen movement
Gulen and Erdogan were friends for many years. They share a similar ideology and goals.

Putin ... warned and assisted Erdogan.
Really? What evidence do you have for this?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2019 15:26 utc | 104

Certainly the Erdogan regime is guilty of eagerly supporting fundamentalist groups in Syria, when it seemed convenient to do so. As did many other countries, including the US, so-called 'Great' Britain, France, and even the Germans. The Erdogan family made a great deal of profits from selling oil from ISIS.

Let's not forget that the Barzani mob in Kurdish Iraq was selling oil for Islamic State too.

Of course, none of these profiteers will be held to account for supporting terrorists. Only 'little people' suffer the consequences. Those that are not rich.

Such is the sick world we live in. Money, not morals, is all.

Posted by: Ant. | Mar 21 2019 15:45 utc | 105

For what it is worth, New Zealand has sent protests to Erdogan against the screening of the shooter's video, and it is a crime in New Zealand to display any portion of it. There is a healthy revision of attitudes towards all minority groups underway in discussion on NZnewspaper and blog threads that I have seen ever since the atrocity occurred, and indeed the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has not hesitated in calling it a terrorist act. A single person armed with many rapid fire weapons is indeed in my book a terrorist. I don't think it really matters whether he has others with him, except with respect to his or their arrests.

I do agree that Erdogan should not be politicizing and racheting up emotions using the incident in this manner. The New Zealand government has dispatched the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Cabinet Winston Peters to Turkey - he's been visiting other nations with citizens hurt or killed in Christchurch. It is interesting that he has himself spoken out against Asian and Muslim immigrants in the past, so New Zealanders are watching what he has to say now. And so far he has behaved commendably.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 21 2019 15:47 utc | 106

ToivoS | Mar 20, 2019 10:40:05 PM | 77

Say what you want about Buchanan but he is a true Libertarian. I am not a fan either but objective enough to give credit when it’s due.

It is beyond startling the amount of contempt that this cabal has for America and its citizens. And the fact that they would go to any length to further the cause of Zionistan in expense of the blood of our children and the future of this country.

The root cause of all of ME problems and all of the monsters it has created traces back to this group and Israel. Dual citizenship should be at the heart of debate of the next election. WE, the citizens, have to find a way to eradicate these people, AIPAC, the think-tanks and all, from our political scene and send them back to where they belong. OR, register them as agents of a foreign country.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Mar 21 2019 15:49 utc | 107

Also, as mentioned above, the first prohibition of automatic weapons has now been issued in New Zealand, with instructions on how to turn in such weapons and promise of a buy back program in future similar to the one that was passed in the '90's in Australia. Australia had a terrible incident of mass murder by a lone gunman that caused it to take this strong measure, and no such incidents have occurred there since. It is reasoned in some quarters that this is why the shooter established residency in New Zealand, as he would have been prevented from owning guns of this caliber in Australia. (Very sadly, the US hasn't had the gumption to follow Australia's example.) Guns do kill people, and rapid fire guns kill rapidly.

These two issues, terrorism and revision of gun laws, have been strongly emphasized by Prime Minister Ardern in each of her press conferences.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 21 2019 16:03 utc | 108

Key ingredient to overall discussion:

"The 'West' is invoked as the font of international legitimacy. But as East and South grow, 'West' starts to look more like a parochial racial construct."

Khamenei's view of above construct:

"Politics & power in Western states including U.S. & Europe are oppressive, bully, illogical & avaricious. They don't get any logic. From within, Western politicians are barbaric. Don't be surprised! They're well-dressed with suits, ties & perfumes, but they're barbaric."

His two preceding tweets are as follows:

"On #JCPOA, a 7-signatory agreement was achieved. One party i.e. U.S. withdrew. European partners had the responsibility to stand up to U.S. Not only they didn't do so, they practically withdrew from it & imposed new sanctions on Iran while they insisted we stay with JCPOA."

"It's been repeated recently that Europeans have created #instex financial channel. This is more like a joke, a bitter joke. What they're responsible to do is totally different from what they're doing. Once again, Europeans stabbed us in the back. We can't expect them anything."

I'd say Khamenei's take on the West is correct: Barbaric backstabbers who aren't to be trusted whatsoever. And I'd add that Erdogan likely shares that POV. The open theft of Venezuela's gold sends a message to the rest of the world that the above construct is 100% correct. Clearly, Resistance is rising as a result.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2019 16:14 utc | 109

Methinks Buchanan is considered paleoconservative, not libertarian.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2019 16:28 utc | 110

I've had a discussion about Erdogan with someone I consider to be an expert and he emphasized it was important to keep in mind that Turkish politics is a cutthroat culture. Erdogan fit right in but he doubted that Erdogan was worse than the others. He also thought the sympathy and tolerance in western Europe towards PKK and Gulen was highly misplaced and that the partisan european position in this conflict made it impossible to see legitimacy in Erdogans point of view and needlessly drove a wedge between Turkey and europe.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2019 16:57 utc | 111

Breaking: Trump will recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory at Aipac conference next week! See open thread for link.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 21 2019 17:52 utc | 112

Here's the Trump tweeting his intention, but all the news outlets are reporting it already and there's speculation it will be done at the AIPAC Conference where Congress is rollcalled to prostrate their unquestionable loyalty. Aye! What a giant f#ck Trump is!

Posted by: Circe | Mar 21 2019 18:01 utc | 113

Trump declaring Golan as part of Israel and Syria with the help of Iran et al, preparing to take it back. Stay tuned. Syrian conflict was just the appetizer. This arrogance and hubris has to be slapped back to oblivion.

We will be lucky to get out of this alive.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Mar 21 2019 18:58 utc | 114

Jackrabbit @99 you are welcome.

Props to Lochearn from me too for the very informative link.

Unfortunatelly history runs in circles.
If the original MAGA plan was conceived by or for Israel to be able to break deadlock in ME and manage to kickstart the Yinon plan then if Trump gets fried in the US it could mean the whole balancing act will colapse for a lot of big players and then Israel itself will be in a world of hurt.

Posted by: road to ww3 | Mar 21 2019 20:42 utc | 115

Repetition is one tool that propagandists use, along with many others. "Assad is a dictator" is being repeated as nauseum from a very wide range of sources. I didn't say that I think it's the primary issue, it's an echo of the war drums.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 22 2019 0:13 utc | 116

The Australians have no time machine.

No one should pretend they do and everyone should stop digging up skeletons to throw at people who weren't there. Applies to everything anywhere and also known as "stop being a retarded asshole wanking off on your own individual sense of glorified supremacy and holiness on whatever matter in question" :P

Outrage is often self-defeating and manipulative people know that and encourage it to drive people away from them. Don't let yourself be had like that. Ask yourself if that is what you want to achieve: to make more people dislike "the left" or remind every one of them of it.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 22 2019 1:05 utc | 117

I also remember Buchanan described as a paleo-conservative (ie. an old as the dinosaurs kind of conservative), or at least I think that was the case all the way back in time when he was on some awful C-SPAN shouty thing that claimed some kind of popularity.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 22 2019 1:18 utc | 118

I also remember Buchanan described as a paleo-conservative (ie. an old as the dinosaurs kind of conservative), or at least I think that was the case all the way back in time when he was on some awful C-SPAN shouty thing that claimed some kind of popularity.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 22 2019 1:18 utc | 119

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.