Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 06, 2019

Turkey's Continued Care For ISIS Will End Badly

Eight and a half years ago when the war on Syria began, Turkey played the most important role. Weapons were smuggled from Libya through Turkey to be delivered to 'Syrian rebels'. Over the years tens of thousands of foreign Jihadis traveled through Turkey to join the various groups fighting against the Syrian government. After the Islamic State came into existence even more followed.

When the U.S. changed course and started to fight ISIS it urged Turkey to clamp down on the stream of fresh fighters. Turkey did so to some extent after several ISIS bombings killed dozens within Turkey. But recent events show that Turkey still does not see ISIS as an adversary. Nor do ISIS leaders fear Turkish authorities.

On October 26 2019 President Donald Trump announced that U.S. special forces had killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi and two of his wives were found in a house in Barisha village in Idleb governorate in Syria. Barisha is just 5 kilometer (3 miles) from the Turkish border and the Turkish city Reyhanli. The Idleb region (darker green) is under Jihadi control but Turkey has several outposts within the area.


The Guardian reported that Baghdadi's entourage had reached Idleb from east Syria by traveling through Turkey:

Iraqi officials say that in mid-September they identified a Syrian man who had been used to smuggle the wives of two of Baghdadi’s brothers, Ahmad and Jumah, to Idlib province via Turkey. The same smuggler had earlier helped move Baghdadi’s children from Iraq. Iraqi intelligence officers say they were able to co-opt the man and a woman believed to be his wife, as well as one of Baghdadi’s nephews, into providing information about the route he used and the destination of the people travelling with him. It was a break like no other, and was soon passed to the CIA.

A day after Baghdadi's death U.S. forces killed ISIS spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in the village of Ayn al-Bayda, near Jarabulus. The Jarabulus area of Syria is under Turkish control (light green).

On October 28 2019 U.S. helicopters again landed in Jarablus and either captured someone or ex-filtrated an asset:

Within Syria @WithinSyriaBlog - 19:33 UTC · Oct 28, 2019

4-According to local sources, one of the coalition helicopters landed for around 10 minutes near the al-Shuiyukh bridge south of Jarabulus city.
5-Some activists are claiming that coalition helicopters arrested an ISIS member, who is originally from Aleppo, the terrorist's family was also evacuated by the coalition.
6-Coalition helicopters completed operation, no gun fire was heard \supposedly\. Helicopters went back to SDF-held areas on eastern bank of Euphrates.

Turkey has UAVs, signal intelligence and military outposts throughout those regions. It has lots of intelligence assets on the ground. None of them knew about those ISIS leaders living in those areas?

All three U.S. operations were launched from Iraq or from Kurdish controlled areas in northeast Syria even though the flight time from the U.S. base in Incirlik, Turkey, would have been much shorter. It seems that the U.S. did not trust its NATO ally to prematurely learn of such missions.

After being shamed over its willful negligence towards ISIS assets in areas it controls Turkey took some diversionary steps.

On November 1 it captured the Belgian Islamic State member Fatima Benmezian in Kilis, Turkey. Benmezian had escaped from a refugee camp in northeastern Syria a few weeks ago when it was bombed by Turkey.

On November 4 Turkish forces captured the sister of Baghdadi, Rasmiya Awad, alongside her husband and daughter-in-law. They were living in a container trailer near the town of Azaz in Aleppo province. Azaz is only a few kilometers south of Kilis and under Turkish control.

Today Turkey claimed that it had captured another wife of Baghdadi but it did not say where she was found.

None of those persons Turkey nabbed have any operational value. They are expendables.

But it is really remarkable that all these ISIS persons happened to live in Turkish controlled areas near Turkish border crossings. Are we to believe that they had chosen an area where no other ISIS members are around? It is quite more likely that there are many more ISIS members who are now living in those border areas of Syria which are more or less under Turkish control. 

Some of them even travel extensively through Turkey:

A brother of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi travelled several times to Istanbul, Europe’s largest city, from northern Syria in the months before the terror chief's death, acting as one of his most trusted messengers to deliver and retrieve information about the group’s operations in Syria, Iraq and Turkey, according to two Iraqi intelligence officials.
“We were watching somebody who was acting as a messenger to Al Baghdadi and he was travelling frequently to Turkey and back,” said a senior Iraqi intelligence official. “He was Al Baghdadi’s brother.”
An Iraqi intelligence agent who worked directly on the operation to track Juma said the terrorist leader's brother continued to reappear in the following months, until his last recorded visit to Istanbul in April. He is then believed to have returned to north-western Syria, months before the location of his brother’s safe house was revealed. It is unlikely he was smuggled across the border, the agent said, but rather moved across it freely.
“It is impossible for the Turkish intelligence that Turkey does not know of his presence five to seven kilometres away from the Turkish border,” a former high-ranking Turkish military officer said.

Turkey is evidently becoming another Pakistan. That country went from bad to worse when it supported an Islamist insurgency against a communist regime in its neighbor country. The war radicalized millions within its own border. Many of the fighters' families settled in Pakistan which further established extremist views. It led to at times civil war like insurgencies in several of Pakistan's provinces.

Turkey's President Erdogan seems to believe that his coddling of ISIS members and other radicals will not harm his country. Back in April ISIS published a video with Baghdadi:

At one point one of the three other people gives him a folder with some plans. The folder is marked Wilayat Turkey. (Wilayat means province of the Islamic State).


Then this:

Lindsey Snell @LindseySnell - 19:48 UTC · Nov 6, 2019
There are 5000 ISIS members from 28 countries at this SDF-run prison in Hasakah. We asked a Turkish ISIS member if he wanted to return to Turkey and he said “evet!” He says he knows of many ISIS members who returned to Turkey, were detained for a week or so, and then freed.

Erdogan thinks that he can keep the ISIS cells in his country under control. That is unlikely. I am afraid that during next few years Turkey will have a rather rude awakening.

Posted by b on November 6, 2019 at 18:14 UTC | Permalink


thanks b... as a few of us here at moa have harped on about for years - erdogan is playing a double game.. i can't see it working out for him in the long run, but he has been very politically savvy, when he is not just exercising dictatorial powers that he essentially gave himself a few years ago.. the people of turkey seem to like the 'strong man' image in a leader even if he is throwing anyone with a different viewpoint in jail and especially the media outlets that used to be in operation back before 2015.. i don't believe turkey is subject to the same money inflow from ksa-uae for the madrassas that they have been putting into pakistan since the 70's.. i don't think the turkish people are nearly as radicalized, but if they let erdogan stay in power forever, maybe this can change??

Posted by: james | Nov 6 2019 18:56 utc | 1

It is a very simple point. But one worth repeating: Turkey is and was a member, in good standing, of NATO when it set itself up as a base for ISIS/Daesh, most of whose members entered Syria through Turkey. Like (non-NATO ally) Israel which provided field hospitals and logistic support to ISIS-sharpening the Turkish forged swords with which they cut of heads- Turkey was acting in the interests of the US based Empire.
ISIS has been and remains a creation of the Empire, carrying out imperial policies and under the control of Washington, through the CIA.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 6 2019 18:56 utc | 2

Allthe local reports at the time had the helicopters coming in from Turkey. There also looked to have been three cruise missiles to demolish the building.
If Baghdadi had plans on Turkey (folder in video) then it is likely Erdogan traded him for the US drawback in the east.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 6 2019 19:01 utc | 3

The primary premise: Daesh is an Outlaw US Empire asset just as al-Ciada is, and both are similar in nature to the numerous Death Squads its formed in the past to carry out primarily Anti-Nationalist/Nationalism policy that was previously done under Cold War and now War OF Terror cover. Recent Outlaw US Empire "defense" projections name both Russia and China as existential threats due to their competitiveness. The Empire now has Daesh deployed in Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and possibly Colombia and Ukraine, all with the aim to destabilize efforts to unify Eurasia and Latin America, which the Outlaw US Empire deems inimical to its interests. The erosion of the Outlaw US Empire's "soft power" is now augmented by terror group auxiliaries and employment of all means of Hybrid Warfare. The Empire has already attempted to replace Erdogan and will try again as it cannot allow Turkey to fully develop as a key cog in the EAEU/BRI machine, which is also why it will remain in Afghanistan. And we're currently witnessing the ongoing battle to retain Latin America within the Imperial orbit.

Plenty of evidence exists to prove beyond doubt the guilt of the Outlaw US Empire in fomenting and perpetuating terrorist groups to the point where Gabbard in 2016 introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act in the US House of Representatives. One of BigLie Media's jobs is to silence all news tied to that reality and to smear those reporting. I very much doubt the use of such groups to promote imperialist policy goals will cease and predict they will only end once the Outlaw US Empire's reign comes to a close later this century.

Meanwhile, it remains illegal for citizens of the world to support terrorism and terrorists, where most monies are collected from taxpayers and dispensed via national governments. The upshot being citizens violate the law when paying their taxes. The action to take ought to be obvious.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 6 2019 19:26 utc | 4

Trying this for the third time now. Couple of genuine questions:

1. How does one "escape" from a refugee camp? Are people generally held against their will in those places?

2. Why am I having to use a proxy server to get my comments to not be disappeared immediately when I had no trouble posting here last week? Are whole blocks of legitimate IP addresses being banned at MoA for some reason?

Thanks. This time I copied to a word processor because the previous two comments were unceremoniously flushed into oblivion for no reasonable reason.

Posted by: Seth_Richer | Nov 6 2019 19:35 utc | 5

Seth_Richer @5--

Software issues likely related to the hosting service are plaguing numerous longtime users, myself included. Often, Passports and other ID are often taken making it very difficult to leave. Plus, refugees are often families, not individuals, often with very young children and/or elderly kin that greatly restrict mobility. And arguably, there's greater security at official UN refugee camps than elsewhere, which is another very big consideration. I recently linked to the UN Website for Syrian refugees within Turkey and estimated 100K+ births at such camps over the past 8 years--the quintessential example of a Stateless Person.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 6 2019 19:47 utc | 6

Thanks b, another fine expose` on the game being played by the empire and her "allies".

Begs the question, why doesn't Russia, China, or anyone, take this knowledge to the UN, and make such a splash, that MSM around the world cannot ignore it?

How such knowledge about support for genuine terrorists, stays a secret, boggles my mind...

Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 19:55 utc | 7

I am still waiting for a clear and concise description of factions/forces in Turkey, including the Turkish Deep State. Presumably there are two main sides fighting for control of Turkey's future.

What I know - Erdogan is a puppet. The Turk Nationalist Grey Wolves are a Death Cult. Turkish Nationalism is possibly the greatest Masonic/Intel tool ever created to set roughly 150 million Slavs against roughly 150 million Turks to a Eurasian Heartland War. In the 90's I recall reading a book by Ralph Peters, War 2020, which described a Central Asian war fought by Russia against Islamic insurgents curiously armed by Japan. Given Peters is the author of the map to remake the Middle East. I take his fictional predictions to be statements of a plan to destroy Russia, very much in line with the Pentagon plan to set the world on fire.

I am certain the Russian military understands this is the ultimate objective of Turk Nationalists/Islamists, notwithstanding maneuvers to temporarily back a Russian-Turk rapprochement.

So who are they? The factions? Are the NSA/Pentagon fighting with traditional intel MI6/CIA for ultimate control of everything?

I would very much appreciate a reasoned answer from some of the knowledgeable people who comment at MoA.

Posted by: Kaiser Sousse | Nov 6 2019 20:14 utc | 8

Thanks for the posting b

There was a techi & Sci-fi writer named Jerry Pournelle who passed in 2017 and who coined a term "Real Soon Now" that keeps coming to my mind as we watch the world circus in play. Kerry used the term in his tech writings to express skepticism about someone announcing a fix to a problem, a system upgrade, etc.

As we all wait for the other shoe to drop in our geo-political world and it keeps not happening but we continue to believe it is just around the next corner, I now think of the Real Sooooooon Now phrase.

Turkey is still part of NATO as bevin commented and I would add that Turkey still has empire nukes in its country but many think that it has sided with Russia as evidenced by the S-400 or whatever number it is they have purchased from Russia.

Syria still has not reclaimed all its land and oil production from this 8 1/2 year phase of the "war" let alone the parts of the Golan Heights that Occupied Palestine still holds from ????.

But that is all going to change Real Soon Now, right?

Empire is seemingly very effective at maintaining control of the Western world in spite of our belief that it will crash tomorrow. I keep waiting for it but am now thinking it will be Real Soon Now.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 6 2019 20:22 utc | 9

Damn.....Kerry = Jerry

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 6 2019 20:25 utc | 10

@4 Cont'd--

I left unmentioned further NATO involvement with terrorism/terrorists although it's very clear France, UK, Turkey, USA are all directly implicated; but what about Germany and the rest? Arms and munitions are provided to terrorists under a generic NATO label, so are all NATO nations implicated, meaning all of their citizens are guilty of breaking the law by paying their taxes? That does appear to be the case. So, we ought to continue to condemn the Outlaw US Empire for being up front as the #1 supporter and instigator of Terrorism and Terrorists while also condemning NATO for being its closest auxiliary followed by Occupied Palestine.

I got curious and decided to see if any of Yevgeny Primakov's books were translated into English, and was rewarded by discovering the one I was most interested in, Russia and the Arabs: Behind the Scenes in the Middle East from the Cold War to the Present is available for a fair price in used condition. And a preview's available here. As he says, the region cannot be understood today without having a good clear knowledge of what came before, and that's what he tries to provide from his very close and at times very intimate perspective.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 6 2019 20:37 utc | 11

KS @ 8 asked;"So who are they? The factions? Are the NSA/Pentagon fighting with traditional intel MI6/CIA for ultimate control of everything?"

Great question, IMO, the culprits are the usual suspects. Huge monopolistic corporations, who, have become wealthier and more powerful than any existing governments, and literally own or influence lawmakers around the globe to do their bidding.

Here's a guy that figured it out in the 1700's:

Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 20:45 utc | 12

Screwed the puppy on that link. Sorry...

Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 20:47 utc | 13

relevant press release today from the lying sack of shite - usa..

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The U.S. military has – and you should ask DOD what the specific language is, I’ve seen various variants of it – but it is basically to secure an area, and that area is to serve as a base for our continued D-ISIS operations, which is a legal basis for our military to be there in northeast Syria in the first place with our local SDF allies. Our local SDF allies are reliant upon the oil fields. We also have had – ever since we went in there, and in fact even before we were in most of that Syria, we were doing it from the air – the mission of denying the oil revenues to Daesh, because this was a major source of Daesh money.

So that’s always been a mission of ours; it continues to be a mission.

QUESTION: And the regime? Denying the regime also revenues ultimately?



Posted by: james | Nov 6 2019 20:58 utc | 14

journalists are supposed to roll over and play dead... don't ask tough questions, as they won't give you a press pass if you continue!

Posted by: james | Nov 6 2019 20:59 utc | 15

@ Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 19:55 utc | 7

> Begs the question, why doesn't Russia, China, or anyone,
> take this knowledge to the UN, and make such a splash,
> that MSM around the world cannot ignore it?

MSM had no trouble ignoring their presentation to the UN about the White Helmets, with zero apparent repercussions, so it's hard to see why it wouldn't be more of the same.

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 6 2019 21:27 utc | 16

The notion that the empire is about to collapse seems to be mostly wishful thinking.

Al Baghdadi is probably as dead as Epstein

Posted by: paul | Nov 6 2019 21:59 utc | 17

weapons being unloaded now very interesting Mr. Trump standing down..

Posted by: snake | Nov 6 2019 22:00 utc | 18

I agree with Bevin that terrorism is a creation and tool of the empire...

We saw this first with the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, then later the huge terrorist army deployed in the Russian Caucasus...then Libya, Syria and just about every single hotspot around the globe..

Putin has gone on record saying that their intel has solid proof that the CIA was deeply involved in the Chchnya terror war...

The headchoppers were even deployed to Bosnia during that western-engineered takedown of the country of Yugoslavia...

It beggars belief that huge terror armies can just hop around the globe, fully armed and even with heavy weapons without some kind of state support...that's just common sense 101...

As for Turkey and ISIS...reading this article makes clear that the supposed enmity between Nusra and ISIS is just propaganda...we have seen all kinds of terror groups changing hats all the times there is local infighting that has more to do with who gets what in the territories they control, but their real enemy has always been the Syrian state...

We also see that Erdogan is very protective of the Idlib militants...a year ago when the SAA was preparing to push in, Erdog quickly hopped to Sochi to get Putin to hold his fire...which he did, and the resulting so-called DMZ, which has been a farce...

Right now in the northeast, we see that Turkey is using mostly these same terrorists [rebranded again] to do the fighting against the Kurds...if you follow the news on Southfront we hear of daily violations of the Sochi deal by these Turkish-controlled militias that keep trying to push beyond the set boundaries...they are even attacking the SAA...

So it is quite clear that these terror armies are quite useful to Erdog...just as they were to the US in prosecuting their terror war against the socialist Afghanistan [remember that brief flowering of that benighted land?]...and their subsequent terror war against Russia's southern flank...

But the question is WHO is the target for Erdog's dogs...?

I think it has to be the Kurds...there is no question that the Kurds are an existential threat to the Turkish state...there are 15 million of them in Turkey...

Syria is not a natural enemy for Turkey...and I think initially Erdog jumped in full steam because he believed the US line that it would be a slam dunk...and the resulting carving up of Syria would end up with chunks going to Turkey...

But once the Russian intervened and turned the tide, the realist Erdog saw which way the wind was blowing and figured to cozy up to the winning side...Putin...

That doesn't mean that he is going to give up his ambitions...I think those areas directly controlled by Turkey are going to be a long time occupation, maybe like Cyprus...we recall too that Hatay was a Syrian province at one time...

I also think that he is still very attached to Idlib...because those are HIS terrorists and that territory is just as much Turkish-controlled as the others...

He is still going to fight Putin tooth and nail over Idlib...and in this cause he also has the support of Nato...

As soon as the SAA starts another Idlib liberation op, we will see all kinds of screaming from the imperial media...but I think the plan is going to be to keep nibbling away at little chunks in order to keep the noise to a minimum...

Now another thing to consider is this most recent Turkish incursion into Kurdish 'Rojava'...clearly Erdog could not have managed to bully the US if he was isolated...but in the last couple of years he has fostered a rapprochement with Russia and the Turkstream pipeline, plus the S400s are more than just symbolic...

Why is the acquisition of the Russian air defense system such a sore spot for the US...the stated reasons of incompatibility with US weapons, plus the supposed vulnerability of uncovering F35 weaknesses etc...sound unconvincing...

The fact is that the US and Nato would like to see Turkey vulnerable to a massive air operation...just in case...

That is how these operators think...they know very well that nothing is permanent, not least because they are rearranging the furniture all the time...a 'friend' today can turn into an undesirable that needs to be eliminated, or at least brought to heel...

The huge US occupation force in Germany has served just such a purpose for's never been about 'defending' against the Soviet Union...they knew very well that was never in the's been about keeping Germany in a vassal position...

So Erdog has strengthened his geopolitical position by moving closer to Russia...this is what made the invasion into SDF territory possible...the US had no choice but to withdraw...

Now...looking even deeper into these latest events...we see that the Sochi deal does not give Turkey everything it wanted in terms of fact only a third...the incursion zone that is already a fact on the ground...

Why would Erdog agree to stop at that...far short of his prize...?

The answer is that he now needs the Russians...he can't afford to be left on his own...behind Russia is also China's money and the BRI...this is a de facto bloc that Erdog needs long term...

It is actually quite remarkable that Putin managed to clip Erdogan almost completely in that Sochi agreement, as we see on this map...

So where does that leave the US and the Kurds...?

Well as Scott Ritter has observed the aborted US withdrawal is meant mainly to use the SDF as a spoiler...keeping them in the US orbit and preventing them from integrating into the SAA...

Of course, the US and the Kurds are now confined to a greatly reduced footprint...that entire stretch along the Turkish border is gone to the SDF forever...

And now we have reports and video of civilian Kurds throwing rocks at Russian and Turkish vehicles conducting a joint patrol in the Kobani area...

Clearly this can be traced back to the US, which is surely spreading the money around among its SDF sockpuppets...these are the SDF that are well south of that exclusion zone defined by the Sochi agreement, and where the SAA is in control [other than that Turkish zone in the middle]...

The SDF in that northern zone are busy fighting the Turkish-backed headchoppers, right alongside the SAA...

So we see already that the SDF has been splintered for all intents and purposes...those that remain in the US held area are going to continue to do the US bidding...but again, that US held speck of territory is not the Kurdish heartland, which is to the north and west...Kobani and Manbij...

I think it will be interesting to see what the Arab tribes in that US held area are going to do...some of those have been Syrian loyalists all along...some were ISIS and simply re-uniformed as SDF...but none of them care for the it is not exactly one big happy family down there...

Also of note in the northeast...the SAA continues sending thousands of troops and equipment into the area...and the Russians are reportedly going to set up a large air base near Qamishli, which has been held by the SAA throughout the war...

This has a very big runway of 3,700 m [12,000 ft] that can handle the biggest transport aircraft...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 6 2019 22:40 utc | 19

Yet another interesting development in northeast Syria...

Russia Reinforces Newly-Established Coordination Center In Northern Raqqa

This is the joint Russian-SDF operations center in Ayn Issa...funny that it happens to be on a recently evacuated US base...

“The arrival of 40 Russian trucks loaded with weaponry, ammunition and armored vehicles at the coordination and military operations center between SDF and Russian forces in Ain Issa,” NPA’s reporter in the region said.

So this clearly reinforces the idea that the SDF is already splintered...the northern part that is the Kurdish heartland, and which is now under Russian and Syrian protection is clearly going to work with the Russians...this may include military operations as needed...

Like I said already, the writing is on the wall...the US position in Syria is now so weak and ineffectual as to be meaningless...and it will only get more so, as the Russian-leaning SDF faction gets the upper hand...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 6 2019 22:56 utc | 20

Terrorism and terrorists arose in response to Empire, although the English term itself was coined during the French Revolution and terror used as a tool of the state. Adopting the concept of Total War that treated civilians as combatants during the two world wars significantly diminished the moral distance between terrorists and nation states. The actions of Allied sponsored resistance during WW2 led historian John Keegan to write [cited at above link]:

"We must recognise that our response to the scourge of terrorism is compromised by what we did through SOE. The justification ... That we had no other means of striking back at the enemy ... is exactly the argument used by the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhoff gang, the PFLP, the IRA and every other half-articulate terrorist organisation on Earth. Futile to argue that we were a democracy and Hitler a tyrant. Means besmirch ends. SOE besmirched Britain."

Omitted from the above article reviewing the history of terrorism are acts committed by the US Government against Native Americans, Mexicans, Hawaiians, Guamanians, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Cubans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Central Americans, and others in its wars of imperial expansion and quest for colonial domination which began after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth. Other sources I consulted before writing this comment are also very biased in what they admit and what they omit. For example, nothing's said about Sparta's terrorizing of the Helots it enslaved and used as human "game" for hunting and "sport." And then there's the massive escalation in what's called Economic Terrorism of illegal blockades, embargoes, blacklists, and sanctions that's been long recognized as siege warfare against civilian populations.

History and its Truth is there for people to discover if they're brave enough to be confronted with the fact that the Outlaw US Empire's the #1 practitioner of Terror in human history, so it ought to be of no surprise that it's linked to the creation of Daesh and al-Qaeda to employ them as tools of its imperial policy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 6 2019 23:39 utc | 21

karlof1 @ 22 said;

"History and its Truth is there for people to discover if they're brave enough to be confronted with the fact that the Outlaw US Empire's the #1 practitioner of Terror in human history, so it ought to be of no surprise that it's linked to the creation of Daesh and al-Qaeda to employ them as tools of its imperial policy."

That's a truth that needs to be repeated over and over round the world...

Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 23:48 utc | 22

" . . . . after several ISIS bombings killed dozens within Turkey . . . "

I'd always thought that those ISIS attacks within Turkey hadn't quite passed the smell test given the prevailing situation of Turkish support for Jihadists in general. I surmised then (and still believe) that they were most likely perpetrated by the "usual suspects" black ops or at least planed & overseen by them.

Posted by: KiwiKris | Nov 7 2019 0:13 utc | 23

karlof1 @ 22 said;

"History and its Truth is there for people to discover if they're brave enough to be confronted with the fact that the Outlaw US Empire's the #1 practitioner of Terror in human history, so it ought to be of no surprise that it's linked to the creation of Daesh and al-Qaeda to employ them as tools of its imperial policy."

Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 23:48 utc | 23

"That's a truth that needs to be repeated over and over round the world..."

I believe it is ben, likely thousands of times daily, however in the one cuntry that needs to hear it most it's rarely whispered.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Nov 7 2019 0:16 utc | 24

The Empire is a loose confederation of oligarchs who seized control of western governments and subverted them to serve their prime need to get richer. Iraq was invaded. Libya and Syria attacked and Ukraine seized. In all cases existing ethnic conflicts were exploited to spread chaos. The nation states of Iran, Russia and China fought back. The ethnic wars have heightened existing contradictions. Nationalist and Globalist Oligarch Families are now at each other’s throats. Sunni radicals who left the reservation to establish a Caliphate forced the West to bomb its own former proxy. When not needed anymore, Kurds were tossed aside. Turkey’s dream of an Ottoman Sunni Caliphate reborn.

The only way out is to reestablish national control over all of the tribes in the Levant, Balkans and Americas. Form a new Concert of Nations to stop the endless wars. End corruption.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Nov 7 2019 0:51 utc | 25

So what is up with reported Russian plans to lease the base at Qamishli for 49 years?


Appears to be a strategic expansion for Russian air power...

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 7 2019 1:26 utc | 26

"As we all wait for the other shoe to drop in our geo-political world and it keeps not happening but we continue to believe it is just around the next corner, I now think of the Real Sooooooon Now phrase."
Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 6 2019 20:22 utc | 9

I am a little surprised that you, psychohistorian, would put more stock in a sci-fi writer's coined phrase than the venerable old proverb, " a watched kettle never boils."
Those who forecast the collapse see the trajectory of events and where they appear to be headed. Nothing moves in a smooth line when multiple competing forces are at play. Predicting the tipping point is a guessing game. It will never arrive exactly as forecasted.
Let's just be comforted that Turkey appears to be "less" in NATO than they were and Syria is a little bit more liberated than before. War with Iran is no longer in the headlines and Israel no longer bombs Syria at will.
There are challenges, of course: the "popular" uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon and Trump's naked "Oil Gambit" come to mind (which may not be at all what it appears to be and could in fact be another positive development in disguise). But the tactics employed by the Deep State (or whatever is guiding the pillage in the Middle East) keep getting thwarted and eventually "the other shoe will drop."

Posted by: Activist Potato | Nov 7 2019 1:29 utc | 27

@ Activist Potato who wrote
But the tactics employed by the Deep State (or whatever is guiding the pillage in the Middle East) keep getting thwarted and eventually "the other shoe will drop."
Thanks, and I agree that there appears to be progress in the right directions but today I am impatient.......

On the Open Thread today I posted a Reuters story saying the the Houthi are on the offensive again to add to your list of things happening but today I am still impatient.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 7 2019 2:37 utc | 28

Muslim brothers have stupidity coded into their DNA.

Golbodeen Hikmatyar, a Muslim Brother and former Afgan PM, is the only PM in the world to have shelled his capital with rockets while in office.

Mohamed Mursi, Muslim Brother, and former Egyptian President was openly promoting jihad and advising the Egyptian youth to go to jihad in Syria...while in office.

Tayip Erdogan, Muslim Brother, and Turkish President, openly did/does business with the crazies including ISIS while in office.

Posted by: Someone | Nov 7 2019 3:21 utc | 29

Activist Potato @ 28:

Thank you for a very wise post! We are all so much yearning for a peaceful settlement to the world's conflicts and no one more than the beaten down American public who have seen sensible and honorable practice at home and abroad go out the window. We are so weary of it that now we would rejoice at any modicum of good news. None of us can predict the future and indeed we grab at the crumbs of good news that the Syrian conflict has offered in spite of the devastation of that poor country. This has been a national nightmare for those of us having to live in the US which is the main cause of most of the world's mayhem this century. (I only go back that far because for me that's when my eyes were opened, when I became a voter as the century began.) Since then those of us who want peace have been shouting ourselves hoarse in whatever manner of doing so we found legal, lawful, and yes, peaceful. And in Syria, the line was held by brave men, women and children. The line was held.

It's not over; it will not be over, very likely, before some of us are gone. But the world is moving ahead, with or without us. As it should. b's words at the beginning of this thread are very wise. Turkey should look at Russia's success, at China's success, and at Syria's success. That is the future, and it is a good one.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 7 2019 6:40 utc | 30

juliania | Nov 7 2019 6:40 utc | 33 et al

"It's not over; it will not be over, very likely, before some of us are gone."

Perhaps defining what is "it" will suggest a remedy to "Nothing ever seems gets Done! Finished! Over! Final!". "It" seems to persist ad finitim.

Maybe "It" is the OldWealthFamilies' power monopoly to control all lesser beings so that the OldWealthFamilies keep their status as the undisputed Top Dogs and Kings over all others. They don't want more wealth; they want their status to persist.

Who are they? There are some names that likely qualify; Rockefeller, Rothschild, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Morgan, Brown Bros.Harriman, Warburg,etc. There are others that you know of and still others could be added the rolls.

Recall: The Romanov line of Russian Czars was seemingly overthrown in 1917, but "it"/they was not Done-Finished-Over-Final until all likely heirs were killed. Only then "it" was Done-Finished-Over-Final! The Bolsheviks and others ,too, knew as long as a single heir lived, the dynasty would persist in one form or another. That is why, after months of mere imprisonment, all heirs were killed. As a critical afterthought, the new leadership knew about "it" and what must be done about "it". Things did indeed change after that action.

I must be making this all up.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 7 2019 8:41 utc | 31

KSA infiltration of social networks

Posted by: Mina | Nov 7 2019 8:56 utc | 32

The way I see it, Russia & China have nothing to gain from creating a media spectacle around Turkish or Western support of ISIS. Their internal reporting is already candid about that fact, while international media will continue to spin it to suit their dogmas in perpetuity.
Any formal recognition of state sponsorship of terrorism implies further breakdown in communication, and internal pressure for harsh penalties in diplomatic relations with those states, thus degrading RU/CN ability to negotiate and reach necessary agreements.
If communication between these blocks broke down completely, and information on ISIS could be used to exert some pressure, it would be a different matter. Until then, even overt cooperation with ISIS will be treated as an unfortunate accident which is in the interest of the involved parties to rectify.

As for Turkish support of ISIS specifically, I suspect it's limited to individuals directly under their own control.
ISIS, in my understanding of it, is an international coalition with a fairly loose organizational structure, in part consisting of Islamist groups or remnants of such groups which were involved in the Syrian regime change operation, some of which were directly under the control of the Turks or were otherwise loyal to Turkey or the idea of a resurgent Ottoman Empire.
The impression is that it's an easy structure to infiltrate and use as a foil in the pursuit of adjacent strategic goals, and although I'm fairly certain that its core creation can be attributed to the CIA in contradiction to Pentagon plans for the Syrian theater, I believe the aforementioned agency used it in exactly the capacity previously described. As did, presumably, Israel.
Part of its mission, I'm sure, involved preventing Turkish contra Iranian dominance in Syria and the ME, since a successful Islamist uprising there would presumably favor some culturally adjacent regional power and the Western coalition would naturally prefer it to be one of its client states like the Saudis. It seems only natural that, once Turkish proxies started losing their dominant position to ISIS and were subsequently gobbled up into the organization, they continued to serve their old suzerain within the confines of their new situation.

>Erdogan thinks that he can keep the ISIS cells in his country under control. That is unlikely.

That is always the risk with double-agents, unsanctioned militia and organizations that operate outside the law. I do not think ISIS brings anything new to the formula of employing pet radicals or professional criminals. It's certainly dangerous, but a common enough practice to seem trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Posted by: Skiffer | Nov 7 2019 9:19 utc | 33

I always had this idea that Turkey had its favorites in Syria to work with and ISIS was not amongst them, that ISIS was more 'live and let live'. Not an enemy but also not a group they pumped support in. Doing business with them, sure. There is always a spectrum of preferences and actions and people drift to extreme interpretations driven by distrust. For the US the spectrum was 'occasionally helpful enemy which would be tolerated when not too big' in Syria to 'enemy' in Iraq. The US actually helped IS in some offensives but that doesn't mean there was a secret cooperation either temporary or long term.
It's tempting to think that the US is always secretely controlling things (Al Qaeda is US creation/tool!)but with every intermediate actor comes decreasing control. Qatar and Saudi Arabia were funding those whom they were most comfortable with, and Turkey had control over logistics so they had their say as well. That doesn't make Al Qaeda a secret favorite of the US. The US had other favorites, the Kurds in the first place. There's differences between government and CIA as well.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 7 2019 9:23 utc | 34

Well, in fact, Turkey is not doing anything new or “unusual”. Actually, Turkey pursues the same policy as the United States (as well as EU) - the use of terrorists for their own purposes, while this is necessary/beneficial. While this is necessary and beneficial, you may not notice that these are terrorists. You can even call them "rebels" (as the US/EU did), and sometimes, when you really really need it, you can even award Oscar(!) to some accomplices of the terrorists.

It is also clear that the United States all this time knew perfectly where Al-Baghdadi is located. And if the information about the death of the leader of the Islamic State is correct (so far there is no evidence), then his liquidation has become only a convenient way for the United States to shift the focus in the information field to their advantage. The agreements between Putin and Erdogan to end the Turkish military operation against the Kurds became "too" sensational and important. Against the backdrop of betrayal by the United States of the Kurds, this looked completely “indecent”. The United States had to urgently show something and "pull a blanket over itself". This was done - Trump loudly announced the elimination of al-Baghdadi, which somewhat blurred the sensationalism of the agreements between Russia and Turkey in the information field. Note that Putin and Erdogan reached an agreement on October 22, and only a few days later, on October 26, the US “suddenly” liquidated Al-Baghdadi. Wow, what a "surprise".

Another example from the same opera is also wonderful - several years ago, when the operation to liberate Aleppo was in progress, the United States launched an air strikes on the Syrian army (near Deir-ez-Zor) and killed many Syrian soldiers. It happened on September 17, 2016. Thereby, in fact, assistance was given to the defeated terrorists. In order to hide his shame and turn the attention of the public, a few days later (on September 19, 2016!), “suddenly” (just a "coincidence", of course), an attack on the UN humanitarian convoy near the city of Urm-al-Kubra took place. Assad and Russia were instantly accused of the attack. The media immediately “forgot” about the US assassination of the Syrian military.

Of course, I condemn the actions of Turkey on the actual support of the ISIS (and other scumbags). There is no need to harbor any illusions - smiling and shaking hands with Putin, calling him "his dear friend," Erdogan plays his own game. I just want to say that the actions of Turkey are essentially no different from what the USA and the EU did (still doing) with regard to terrorists (aka "rebels").

Posted by: alaff | Nov 7 2019 9:32 utc | 35

juliania says:

It's not over; it will not be over, very likely, before some of us are gone

yeah, notwithstanding the savvy prognostications around here in regard to the viability of US occupation, i've feared the above foresight ever since Hunter Thompson cobbled together a similar prophecy the day after the towers went poof.

Here's Hunter on Sept. 12, 2001:

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now -- with somebody -- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. Osama bin Laden may be a primitive "figurehead" -- or even dead, for all we know -- but whoever put those All-American jet planes loaded with All-American fuel into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon did it with chilling precision and accuracy. The second one was a dead-on bullseye. Straight into the middle of the skyscraper.

Nothing -- even George Bush's $350 billion "Star Wars" missile defense system -- could have prevented Tuesday's attack, and it cost next to nothing to pull off. Fewer than 20 unarmed Suicide soldiers from some apparently primitive country somewhere on the other side of the world took out the World Trade Center and half the Pentagon with three quick and costless strikes on one day. The efficiency of it was terrifying.

We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.

This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now. He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won't hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force.

Good luck. He is in for a profoundly difficult job -- armed as he is with no credible Military Intelligence, no witnesses and only the ghost of Bin Laden to blame for the tragedy.

OK. It is 24 hours later now, and we are not getting much information about the Five Ws of this thing.

The numbers out of the Pentagon are baffling, as if Military Censorship has already been imposed on the media. It is ominous. The only news on TV comes from weeping victims and ignorant speculators.

The lid is on. Loose Lips Sink Ships. Don't say anything that might give aid to The Enemy

Posted by: john | Nov 7 2019 11:36 utc | 36

@Activist Potato #27
Pournelle is entertaining, but a lot of his early stuff was straight out libertarian fantasy.
Libertarianism is a largely American phenomenon - the idea that individuals can get all the benefits of modern living without government.
As for the ME: the dynamics have changed. The US had a powerful interest when a large percentage of imported oil came from there and lower oil prices were good.
Now, the US is producing lots of oil/net importing little or none - and high oil prices aren't bad.
There is still the petro-dollar link as well as arms sales, but at least half of the previous interests are now turned negative. China is now Saudi Arabia's largest customer, so the petro-dollar is going to get increasing pressure from the other side (Saudis).
The fine details are impossible to predict, but the larger picture is clearing up.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 7 2019 12:29 utc | 37

I am wondering why muslim fundamentalists in Turkey are expected to be a problem when Turkey has 20% of its population being Kurd (or more). The outsiders are extremely useful in keeping the minority oppressed, there won't ever be insufficient targets and the oppressors would be clearly not Turkish. There are many historical models where groups of outsiders are successfully used to do the dirty work in keeping minorities in line.
The other part of the equation is Saudi influence. It has never been clear to me whether the Saudis were ever permitted to set up Wahhabist infrastructure in Turkey as they have in so many other nations. If this has been done, then I can understand the danger more but I can't see Turkey being that dumb.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 7 2019 12:32 utc | 38

I trust Peter Ford on that it was Qatar which made the biggest splash financially.
And I would add, Turkey logistically, followed by the West who supported the Kurds, and handled the PR and sanctions. I don't know if KSA has been all that important. Beer coaster summary.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 7 2019 14:40 utc | 39

@ psychohistorian | Nov 7 2019 2:37 utc | 28

in response to Activist Potato "Those who forecast the collapse.." wrote to your list of things happening but today I am still impatient.......

the unfailing observation on going bankrupt:
How does one (including a country) go bankrupt?
Slowly, Sloooowly, then ALL at once.

In fact we are in the collapse: Negative interest rates on north of $18 trillion dollars of bonds. Bonds with maturities of 50-100 years!
Ray Dalio wrote on LinkedIn - “The World Has Gone Mad and the System is Broken”. Worth a read

Money is free for those who are creditworthy because the investors who are giving it to them are willing to get back less than they give. More specifically investors lending to those who are creditworthy will accept very low or negative interest rates and won’t require having their principal paid back for the foreseeable future. They are doing this because they have an enormous amount of money to invest that has been, and continues to be, pushed on them by central banks that are buying financial assets in their futile attempts to push economic activity and inflation up. The reason that this money that is being pushed on investors isn’t pushing growth and inflation much higher is that the investors who are getting it want to invest it rather than spend it. This dynamic is creating a “pushing on a string” dynamic that has happened many times before in history (though not in our lifetimes) and was thoroughly explained in my book Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises.

As a result of this dynamic, the prices of financial assets have gone way up and the future expected returns have gone way down while economic growth and inflation remain sluggish. Those big price rises and the resulting low expected returns are not just true for bonds; they are equally true for equities, private equity, and venture capital, though these assets’ low expected returns are not as apparent as they are for bond investments because these equity-like investments don’t have stated returns the way bonds do. As a result, their expected returns are left to investors’ imaginations. Because investors have so much money to invest and because of past success stories of stocks of revolutionary technology companies doing so well, more companies than at any time since the dot-com bubble don’t have to make profits or even have clear paths to making profits to sell their stock because they can instead sell their dreams to those investors who are flush with money and borrowing power.

There is now so much money wanting to buy these dreams that in some cases venture capital investors are pushing money onto startups that don’t want more money because they already have more than enough; but the investors are threatening to harm these companies by providing enormous support to their startup competitors if they don’t take the money. This pushing of money onto investors is understandable because these investment managers, especially venture capital and private equity investment managers, now have large piles of committed and uninvested cash that they need to invest in order to meet their promises to their clients and collect their fees.

Prosperity built on debt and printed fiat is not sustainable.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 7 2019 14:46 utc | 40

karlof1 | Nov 6 2019 23:39 utc | 21

Thinking about "terrorism" one might also include "state sponsored piracy" such as was waged against the Spanish Empire by England in the 16th C. Where the English Crown bought shares in piratical ventures against the ships bringing Spanish loot to Europe from South America. One can argue that the English were on the side of "Progress" as opposed to the reactionary, expansionist, threatening, Catholic, Spaniards (As the British do!) but from the Spanish pov it must have looked exactly like "terrorism" on the High seas.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 7 2019 14:55 utc | 41

VietnamVet | Nov 7 2019 0:51 utc | 25

The only way out is to reestablish national control over all of the tribes in the Levant, Balkans and Americas. Form a new Concert of Nations to stop the endless wars. End corruption.

End corruption. Aye, there's the rub!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 7 2019 15:01 utc | 42

After the 2016 Gulen failed coup attempt against Erdogan, Obama refused to turn over Fethullah Gulen (who resides in Pennsylvania). (The CIA always prefers a fundamentalist theocrat like Gulen over a secular 'socialist' like Erdogan.) Erdogan was rightly incensed. Turkey had always turned over those labeled as 'terrorists' by the US, "no questions asked". When Turkey demanded their one 'terrorist', he was basically insulted by Obama. This 'smack in the face' did more to unify Turkey under Erdogan than anything Erdogan could do. Erdogan basically now has carte blanche from his people to do as he pleases in his dealings with the US, and thus NATO.

Posted by: michael888 | Nov 7 2019 16:02 utc | 43

Answer to the US weapons delivery

Posted by: Mina | Nov 7 2019 16:03 utc | 44

@43 michael888... erdogan and gulen were the best of buds and partners politically for many years.. there is a lot more to it then you let on.. you bought erdogans sales pitch though..

Posted by: james | Nov 7 2019 16:22 utc | 45

Mina 32;The zionists have a new partner.The bbc has no truth to give us.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 7 2019 16:32 utc | 46

Sorry to have confused you, chu teh @ 31. I was speaking specifically to the US national nightmare that had begun with the start of this century. That in itself is so complex as to need considerable unravelling, which history in its good time will do. I will grant you there are plenty of nightmares, certainly. This is the one I was speaking about, and in terms of this post, still complicated by turkey's continued care for isis.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 7 2019 16:37 utc | 47

bevin at 2, yes. Reminded me, backstory…

Turkey and Syria had a rapprochement somewhat before (Adana accord, 1998, Syria promised to fight the PKK) and during the Damas Spring. (Bashar came to power in 2000.)

Syria would be opened up to foreign banks, relations with the World Bank were repared *Syria paid off some debts,* the EU investment bank poured quite a bit of money into Syria (infrastructure, etc.), and it became possible to invest in Syria from outside. Turkey was (and is) a member of NATO, WTO, (Syria was trying to join), GATT. Modernising and opening up Syria implied better relations with more ‘intl’ neighbors, Turkey in first place.

Assad and Erdogan and their wives became super good friends and vacationed together, etc.

9/11 and the invasion of Iraq put paid to all of that. Syria goes on the US blacklist, sanctions hit, etc. Turkey continues down a US-aligned path in some measure and supports/ … / etc. jihadists. in F - quick search no good eng. version

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 7 2019 16:38 utc | 48

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife was also terrorism. It was Russia and the Western powers that turned what was meant to be a punitive expedition against a terrorist state into a world war.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 7 2019 16:40 utc | 49

foolisholdman @41--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I'd include such piracy as a form of state sponsored terrorism as it constituted warfare without a declaration of war. The Spanish certainly saw it that way. Only via the providence of what after-the-fact was called The Protestant Wind that scuttled the Spanish Armada in 1588 was Elizabeth spared having her head on a Spanish pike and a vastly different settlement of North America and the spread of English Imperialism would have ensued. I could easily be typing this in Spanish if the results had gone the other way. In fact, I probably wouldn't be typing this at all as the entire trajectory of world history would've gone in a different direction. Yes, it's one of the biggest historical What Ifs?. And one that's least examined by those outside of England.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 16:46 utc | 50

How does one "escape" from a refugee camp? Are people generally held against their will in those places? Seth R. @ 5.

No, never, for those overseen by the UN, which is practically all. And not others afaik. Ppl stay because they have nowhere else to go, and in the camp can at least have shelter, some water, food, med aid for children, etc. Anybody can walk out at any time, and if masses did so, nobody at higher levels would complain / contest, etc.

Palestinians are an exception, in the sense that they have become 'refugees' for ever.. complicated...

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 7 2019 16:46 utc | 51

lysias @49--

I suggest you read Fischer's Germany's Aims in the First World War as he uncovered a great many things other historians missed completely, particularly the Kaiser's view that the coming war would be a Race War between the Teuton and the Slav for mastery of Europe, a view that was shared by his intimate advisors, which helps explain why he pushed the hapless Austro-Hungarians into a series of errors that led to the war. And thanks to the fantastic you can read it for free at the above link.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 16:58 utc | 52

For those who've never seen it, here's the famous photo of the three terrorists pointing their pistols at each other.

Short video of the "Festival of Weapons" supplied to terrorists within Syria by Outlaw US Empire.

Erdogan's again threatening Europe to let loose the refugees if he doesn't get "aid". He likely anticipates a massive rush for the Turkish border once the SAA resumes its Idlib offensive. Currently the SAA's working hard on the mountainous region of Eastern Lattakia so once taken it can speed down into the broad valley below to liberate the M-4 and thus initiate the next awaited pincer movement.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 17:20 utc | 53

I wonder, what will it take for the US empire to fall? No one has been able to answer this question for me? Will it be when the everything bubble via the Fed QT/QE cycles, bursting do it? The sooner this empire FALLS the better for the rest of the world.

Posted by: Annie | Nov 7 2019 17:21 utc | 54

karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 16:46 utc | 50
re 1588 Sp Armada getting shredded and enabling England's colonial future...

Without the name "Hakluyt". the real history of England's expansion cannot be uncovered.

The original Richard Hakluyts were 2, namely an uncle and nephew of the same name whose work was the focus of England's quest to survive.

In short, well prior to 1588 the shipping/trade merchants of England realized their future existence, and the Crown's, depended on global, blue-water sea trade and all its components, such as identifying workable sea routes, defense of those routes, construction of a huge Navy to enforce,etc. In fact, it was an existential matter that the world's valuable resources had to be first identified and then harvested. But how?

To wit: all the world now knew of the N and S American continents. The only apparent communication was by sea.

Problems: What in fact were the valuable resources? Where were they located? How to get there and back? Etc.

Thus what was necessary was survey of the whole world to accumulate the answers. The 2 Hakluyts were assigned the task of compiling the data as fast as it was received back in England from all possible sources.

Navigator logs, spies and more spies sent everywhere. All was coordinated with and had the blessing of the Crown. [Thus, the buccaneers were to acquire the gold to finance the naval fleet construction.] All was a Crown-merchant arrangement to promote England's very survival; no-holds-barred!

For example, derelict ships were already known to exist because crews ran out of potable water and died. How to replenish fresh water on long voyages? Where were the islands [water sources] and how to get in without foundering on the rocks? That's valuable to know! A compendium of all resources gad begun

About 1598, the Hakluyts published their first volumes of the survey, and it has been on-going since that time. Excerpts of early vols can still be found in libraries.

It is a mostly suppressed story. This may help explain the success of England's colonial Empire.

By the way, the present day Hakluyt Corp. in England is just a recent, re-use of that famous name [altho it may be involved in similar covert activity].

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 7 2019 17:50 utc | 55

For those into maps, here're two topographical maps of the Idlib/Lattakia region that depict the chain of mountains in the process of being breeched by SAA forces and the vast valley beyond.

Annie @54--

As a student of the Outlaw US Empire, the best I can predict is its gradual fading away from its overseas deployments as it runs out of monies to finance them due to international de-dollarization. Back in July, Dr. Hudson delivered a paper, "U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses" aimed at those parties seeking defense against the Empire's aggression, a main component being de-dollarization. Removal of the essential Keystone of unwitting international support, the Outlaw US Empire will go the way of previous empires as described in Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of Great Powers. Here's a key passage from Hudson's paper that's followed by further detail:

"The fact that Donald Trump’s economic policies are proving ineffective in restoring American manufacturing is creating rising nationalist pressure to exploit foreigners by arbitrary tariffs without regard for international law, and to impose trade sanctions and diplomatic meddling to disrupt regimes that pursue policies that U.S. diplomats do not like.

"There is a parallel here with Rome in the late 1st century BC. It stripped its provinces to pay for its military deficit, the grain dole and land redistribution at the expense of Italian cities and Asia Minor. This created foreign opposition to drive Rome out. The U.S. economy is similar to Rome’s: extractive rather than productive, based mainly on land rents and money-interest. As the domestic market is impoverished, U.S. politicians are seeking to take from abroad what no longer is being produced at home."

While the Empire slowly recedes, we're witnessing the growing hysteria of the Current Oligarchy through the D-Party faction they control as it splits amongst those supporting people versus those supporting Neoliberalism. The R-Party as yet has no similar split and remains staunchly Neoliberal. Do note that both parties contain Neocons, which were once perceived to only reside within the R-Party. IMO, the Empire will dissolve quicker with Trump as POTUS since it's highly unlikely that either Sanders or Gabbard will become POTUS due to DNC manipulation as discussed on the Biden thread and others previously.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 17:55 utc | 56

I am baffled by Erdogan's behavior - supporting ISIS against Syria.
Then I considered that perhaps he hoping to resumes his son's exports of Syrian oil.
Splitting the proceeds with ISIS and perhaps U.S. security services.
Operation Shag the Dog.

Posted by: jared | Nov 7 2019 18:14 utc | 57

Notwithstanding the eventual decline in its economic power and the lessening of its ability to coerce or influence abroad, the US possesses the world's most powerful military machine for which it will always be able to find funding -- in the absolute worst case scenario, the US will become a modern-day Sparta with the threat of nuclear annihilation to prevent its downfall.

Posted by: chet380 | Nov 7 2019 18:25 utc | 58

chu teh @55--

Ah yes, the Hakluyt's. I happened upon them during undergrad studies in the late 1990s with a bit of a prod by one of my profs. What alarmed them was the increasing lack of material to build warships to counter the Spanish, thus their interest in the vast forests of North America and the holistic whole of the matter as you described. Garrett Mattingly in The Armada points to an advantage in naval architecture the English enjoyed over the Spanish that was just as crucial as the tempest that later roiled the Channel. He also highlights a note Hakluyt made of an encounter that didn't occur because of what I'll term Spanish miscommunication thanks to their overconfidence in the situation that could have reversed the outcome. I highly recommend his book.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 18:28 utc | 59

Lengthy Ollie Richardson twitter thread with vids from last September where at point 16 he makes the following concluding judgement:

"I consider that the @BBC is a terrorist organisation, and should be recognised worldwide as such. What’s worse is that UK taxes are being used to fuel terrorism in Syria and massacre innocent civilians who refuse to bow down to Al Qaeda and its Western masters."

Every NATO nation's taxpayer is likely financing International Terrorism. The solution ought to be obvious to taxpayers: Stop breaking the law!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 18:46 utc | 60

The historical antecedents to our current crisis are endlessly fascinating - bravo to all posting those, and also the research on Erdogan's former alliance with Syria before Iraq was invaded.

Fools rush in... I am thusly tempted to add a small nugget from my other morning reading - take it for what you will, but it has struck me as pertinent to what we all are engaged in, the casting out of demons in whatever form they present themselves. (And yes, indeed, I am one such fool, in the presence of those wiser than I):

'Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb.
When the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke,
and the people marvelled.
But some of them said "He casts out demons by
Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons", while others,
to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste,
and house falls upon house. And if Satan also is
divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul.
And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom
do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be
your judges. But if it is by the finger of God
that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God
has come upon you..."[Luke 11; 14-20]

I would say to Erdogan: remember who are your friends and adopt consistency in this. Assad is your neighbor; do not aid and abet demons against him or you will lose. But I hope he already knows this.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 7 2019 19:04 utc | 61

I have read Fischer's books. The recent spate of books that appeared for the centennial of 1914, notably Christopher Clark's "The Sleepwalkers", make it clear that Fischer's view is outmoded, based as it is on a skewed sample of the documents. My own favorite book on the subject is "Hidden History" by Docherty and Macgregor, which assigns the lion's share of war guilt to Britain, or more precisely to a secret cabal in Britain.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 7 2019 19:57 utc | 62

juliania @61--

I found it of interest the description Assad gave of the Turks in his recent interview with Syrian media and his comparison of them with the Zionists. The Turks are a "fraternal" people deserving to reside in the region. Jews while people of the book are as Zionists mostly very recent arrivals who came to displace others having a very longstanding presence and are thus enemies to be resisted and expelled. IMO, the humanist is Assad, the psychopath Erdogan, with their behaviors charting their future paths.

The national interests of Syria and Turkey both lie with Eurasia, a fact Russia's long understood even as it warred with the Ottoman Empire. The Tsars reasoned that having satisfied their territorial acquisitional goal of a warm water port on the Black Sea that the Ottoman's could then be negotiated with and accommodated since Russia wasn't at all like Europe when it came to hatred/fear of Islam fueled by a long series of Spanish and Hapsburg Popes and their Reconquista attitude exemplified by the Crusades, which was also hostile to Russian Orthodox Christianity. The World Wars then Cold War interrupted the further development of that policy which Putin and Lavrov resurrected. Continuing enmity of Europe for Turkey and its Islam was the basis for continuing refusals to join EU such that the overtures by China and Russia to turn toward the natural direction of its national interests made it easy for Turkey to accept--and those interests go beyond the ability of Erdogan to screw up, which is why Putin went ahead with Turk Stream. In 50 years, Erdogan will be long gone and forgotten, but Turkey will be incorporated into the Eurasian Union which will be immensely more beneficial to its national wellbeing than being an EU member and Neoliberal victim.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 20:15 utc | 63

chet380 @58 said: "...the US possesses the world's most powerful military machine for which it will always be able to find funding."

How? At the moment the US finances its overblown military by printing dollars, which much of the rest of the world kindly buys and fills their central banks with thus keeping dollar inflation under control. As others, in particular karlof1 above, have pointed out, pressure for de-dollarization is mounting in the world. Right now only a few countries are pursuing it, but when China moves on de-dollarization it will be a stampede to see who can unload their dollar reserves first. When that happens America scraping together $10 billion in current dollars for a new aircraft carrier isn't going to be an option.

Look at it this way, the Ford class aircraft carriers are the last that the US will ever build. The F-35 is the last generation of high tech fighter aircraft that the US will ever build. The development costs for America's fifth generation aircraft cost much more than all four previous generations combined.

It is possible that the US might design a sixth generation fighter, but if the cost curve continues from the previous generations then it is unlikely that the US would be able to afford to build more than a single one of them.

That better be a damn good fighter!

On top of this the US military is failing to meet its recruitment goals for new personnel for a skilled and professional fighting force. Why? There are simply not enough applicants who are not stupid or obese. This isn't something that can be fixed by better marketing or sign-on bonuses or anything like that either because the problem is generalized across the entire military-aged population of the country.

In the 1980s the US wanted to build a 600 ship Navy. Now they are desperately hoping for an active 355 ship Navy by around 2035, but are not confident of being able to reach even that goal. The current count of America's deployable battle force ships is 291. China's is over 300 right now, and they have more in the production pipeline that the US does.

That drone the Iranians shot down? That was the very best that the US Navy had in its inventory! For what that drone cost the Chinese could almost build a destroyer.

Military costs are experiencing geometric growth in the US. At the same time the available pool for the military to draw qualified personnel from is dwindling. On top of this America's industrial capacity is in tatters and many months of trade war have not rejuvenated that capacity in the slightest. Finally, America's best domestic technical talent is aging and dying off up and its technological edge is vanishing. We're just not Apollo quality anymore.

No, America's military is bordering on exhaustion and massive failure. We are likely to see very big changes in the global balance of military power over the next decade.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 7 2019 20:36 utc | 64

karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 18:28 utc | 59 et al
Thanks your interest.. and ref to Mattingly. Oooh! You kmew of Hakluyt!

There is no limit to the effects of Hakluyts' compendium, even now 4 centuries later; I can't resist mention of English mastery of choke-points, from Singapore to Suez to monopolizing the entire flow of the Nile River's fresh water as "rightfully" Egypt's.

As for petroleum/oil, as soon as the 1st underground flow of crude was struck [in Canada 1858, abt a year before W. Pennsylvania 1859] which 1st demonstrated the huge volumes available for the taking, the resource surveys from the time of Hakluyt forward to 1858 were studied for remarks of slicks, oil oozing from rock, etc that immediately pointed to Baku/Caspian and other middle-east locations [forever-flaming spots in Iran, etc].

One of Crown's few failures to grab a major chokepoint was/is the Dardenelles passage.

As for on-going global survey [which went v covert by the 1800s], the English Admiralty even held the secret directly from L Szilard on nuclear chain-reaction explosion in 1933 or 1934!, and withheld issuing him secret patent acknowledgement until abt 1936.

[My "discovery" of the Hakluyts original data collection came from a novel by someone who used words especially carefully and who often invented clever/humorous/sarcastic names of his characters. When I saw "Hakluyt", it did not fit the above, so I dared to think there really was something to the name. Found it in a large dictionary [Oxford English?] and sure enuf, off I went to the library..about 1982. Read a fair amount of original Hakluyt excerpts. Difficult bec in 1600 there was no standard spelling in English, nor grammer. Never heard the name until abt 10 years ago when "Hakluyt Society" appeared in the news [murder in China of a H.S. member.]

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 7 2019 20:40 utc | 65

chu teh @65--

Thanks for your reply! Was told about Hakluyt in 1996 and read most of what was available on the internet via my WebTV. He was a big promoter of plantation--peopling the New World--which is where I mostly learned of his works. History books treat him as an esoteric character, hiding his historical importance.

chet380 @58 & William Gruff @64--

You may have seen my posting a link to the Heritage Foundation's annual assessment of US military readiness, but if not here it is again. Note the overall rating for all branches as "Marginal," not indicative of being described as "the world's most powerful military machine," and that appraisal was done prior to the drydocking of all Atlantic Ocean based aircraft carriers for years worth of repairs and upgrades--I'd term the US Navy as "Weak." I also posted an appraisal of the efficiency of Russia's MIC which compared it to the Outlaw US Empire's and found the former solidly sustainable for decades into the future while the latter's literally living on borrowed time and money. Using the differences between the English and Spanish navies prior to 1588 is a good analog with the former on the rise and latter encumbered by old technology and tactics.

As we should understand, any nation's military strength is completely related to the nation's economic strength and the natural resources it possesses. One of the reasons for the Current Oligarchy faction's backing of Trump was his willingness to resort to a Trade War to end dependence on foreign controlled supply chains required by the MIC. As Escobar reported in 2016:

"These self-described American patriots are adamant that, 'We should repatriate our industries that support the weapons for our military industrial complex and all other industries lost to currency rigging. This is doubly necessary as Russian and Chinese advanced submarines can disrupt the mainland production of our weaponry by blocking shipping from Asia of our components. The United States weapons production could, therefore, collapse in a war.'"

"Currency rigging" is a totally bogus euphemism for Neoliberal government and corporate policy to offshore industries in search of higher returns for the already wealthy. Thus, much like the UK, the Outlaw US Empire can be hurt badly by submarine interdiction of shipping. So, it's not just the massive corruption that renders the US MIC unsustainable in the long run; it's even more critically the inability of that MIC to supply crucial components for advanced weaponry. And the situation has actually worsened under Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 21:44 utc | 66

Chu teh @ 55, karlof1 @ 59:

If the valuable resources desired by England included lumber and fresh water, then England's relations with Russia in the late 1500s must have been crucial.

In the 1550s the Muscovy Company was founded in England as a trading company to carry out trade between England and Russia. Here is what the Wikipedia article on the Muscovy Company has to say about the company's trading activities in Russia during the 1570s-80s:

"... In 1571, the company's right to free trade and navigation down the Volga was revoked by Ivan IV [aka Ivan Groznyy aka Ivan the Terrible], who had been offended by English demands to close Russian trade to other European nations. [Muscovy Company representative Anthony Jenkinson] returned to Moscow in 1572 in an attempt to restore the company's privileges, a task at which he was largely successful. However, a cooling of Anglo-Russian relations was evident ... This unease between the Muscovy Company and Russia continued to the end of the sixteenth century, under the anti-English dominated courts of Fyodor Ivanovich and Boris Godunov ..."

One can see the beginnings of the enmity between England and Russia in this paragraph, and picture to oneself that had Russia allowed the English monopoly rights on trade with it, the Russians might have ended up on a similar path to impoverishment and colonial domination that the Indians took.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 7 2019 21:45 utc | 67

Oh dear, in my enthusiasm in banging out that comment @ 67, I forgot to include the Wikipedia article link.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 7 2019 21:47 utc | 68

KS @ 8

Neither Erdogan. nor the Turks, are that stupid and know the nuances of the region much better than the idiots in the US that run our world. Dont get so excited about the neverending end of times bullshit. I don't see Erdogan caring enough to back the DC Ziocons in a war against Russia. He is a Muslim Brotherhood which is a CIA/MI-6 concoction, but that does not mean he is stupid enough to trust his masters, particularly when they almost disposed of him in 2016. Russia is not low hanging fruit like Syrian or Kurdish territory.

Posted by: Turk 151 | Nov 7 2019 21:47 utc | 69

Apparently the Turks are getting annoyed that the Americans are slow-walking the removal of their Kurd-mercs from the border area.

"But Erdogan said this deal had also not been fulfilled, with YPG fighters still in the border strip, adding that he would hold talks with Putin soon on the issue."

This puts the Russians in a bit of a bind. After all, it isn't like they hate the Kurds or anything like that, but a deal is a deal. Will the Russians now join the Turks in military action against America's Kurd-mercs?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 8 2019 0:29 utc | 70

@71 william gruff... erdogan and trump are meeting on nov 13th in the usa... hopefully they can work it out by then.. i don't think russia is going to get played here...

meanwhile, turkey seems to be more interested in finding out who is living in turkey!
Turkey detains 17 foreign nationals over ISIL ties

plenty more in turkey then 17 of them...

Posted by: james | Nov 8 2019 1:17 utc | 71

karlof1 @56


Johan Galtung, Tore Heiestad, and Eric Ruge

First of all, it should be remembered that the expansion in territory is some function of the square of the distance from the centre; it is not a linear function of that distance. There is not only an external border to be defended against outer enemies; there is also an internal territory to be controlled against the inner foes of the regime. Even if there are no overt hostilities engaged in by outer or inner enemies, the control machinery stiìl has to be maintained, and it is costly.

A part of that control machinery is the central bureaucracy, whích can be maintained only if sufficient surplus is channeled upwards in society. There are two main models for obtaining this: taking away locaì assets through piracy and robbery (of minerals, money, pieces of art, cattle, people), sometimes under the formula of ”taxation,” and central control over some kinds of production and trade in such a way that major fruits accrue to the centre. It is assumed that all empires make use of these methods, but in very different proportions, and that the colour and tone of an empire very much depend on which method prevails. Thus, local taxation is compatible with maintenance of the locaI system of production; it may even become a contractual obligation under which something has to be paid in return for “protection." Centralized exploitation through expandíng economic and other cycles will tend to erode the local society, economically and also culturally. In either case there may be ”colonization,” in the sense that the military/political command is firmly in the hands of (envoys from) the centre; for that reason, they may look alike. But in the latter type there will be long-distance cycles not only for military and political decision-making but also for economic and cultural values. This will make for a much denser communicative network radiating from the centre to the periphery, and for much more social transformation, including acculturation.

Given the assumption from the introduction that western imperialism is characterized by a decision and a desire to convert, not only to dominate, the second type shouìd predominate in the evolution of western empires. The first type is too limited, too contractual. lt can be legitimated through the formula “l offer you protection against enemies and others who want to treat you like I do; you pay me for that in commodities and products, in cash, and/or in human capital (slaves, gladiators, raw material for human sacrifice.)” But western imperialism seems to have asked for more, in fact for others to see themselves as living in a society the center of which is in the west. There has been some kind of wish that others should not only be dominated and subjugated but see - and even want to see - themselves as dependent on a western centre for fresh supplies of superior goods and services, culture, etc. The legitimating formula might be something like this: “I’ll offer you protection not only against external enemies but also against dependency on nature with all its hazards and hostilities, in return for exchange reìations with me." In short, dependency on the centre rather than on [the] nature.

ObviousIy, in the case of the Roman Empire both methods were used. The provinces had to contribute taxes in order to maintain an ever increasing superstructure, a bureaucracy exercisìng political-military tasks. At the same time, exploitation cycìes were set up whereby net value accumulated in the centre. In the case of the Roman Empire the first method was by far the most important one. The right term is probably "plunder." The most important objects, it seems, were peopìe, who were conquered and sold to plantation owners, and foodstuffs, grain. The provinces had to contribute taxes in order to maintain an ever-increasíng superstructure, a bureaucracy and an army exercising political-military tasks. The net result, of course, was that the periphery, the provinces, were impoverished and the centre(s) enriched. But the mechanism was not, or onìy to a very littÌe extent, trade in our sense. The economic cycles were short; the oikos ("household”) was to a large extent self-sufficient; the city with its hinterland constituted a system of autarkia. Labour was unfree and at least in large periods abundant enough not to encourage any search for labour-extensive form of production. Long-distance trade was in luxuries and, importantìy, in grain for big cities, handled by the state, for the centre. By "center” then, is not necessarily meant Rome but also the many sub-centres. The major reason the system functioned for such a long time was probably that so many indíviduals were "romanized," having Latin as their language and Roman mores as their Weltanshauung, themselves being part, more and more, of the vast superstructure, a combination of the centre in the centre and the centre in the periphery, that had to be maintained by the system. Thus, when surplus had to be transmitted to the centre, this also includes local sub-centres: the centre was Rome.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 8 2019 3:20 utc | 72

pogohere @72--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, that's known as the Center/Periphery model of Imperialism. Unmentioned is the continual abasement of coin--the lessening of its gold or silver content--which contributed to the weakening of Rome's imperial structure. Yes, Human Capital was a very important resource. But overall the primary conflict within the Greco-Roman World was based on Class--landowners and creditors against everyone else and the corruption that fed. Rome fell yet China went though several cyclical series of imperial dynasties, the latest of which is on the rise, and it may prove to be the most successful of them all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 5:32 utc | 73

Below is my 2nd attempt of posting a short Xinhuanet article about Syria/Kurds cooperating agains Turkey

DAMASCUS, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army and the Kurdish forces cooperated on Thursday and retook a village from the Turkey-backed rebels in northern Syria, an incident that marked military cooperation between both forces against the Turkey-led offensive in northern Syria, according to a war monitor.

The Syrian army and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the village of Um Shaifeh in the countryside of Hasakah province following intense battles with the Turkish forces and the Turkey-backed rebels, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Turkey began its campaign against the SDF and its broader umbrella of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, known as YPG, on Oct. 9 as Ankara deems these groups as terrorists and separatists.

A few deals have taken place since Oct. 9 under the Russian mediation, which led to halting the fights in some areas and the entry of Syrian troops to Kurdish-held areas on the Syrian-Turkish border to strip Turkey of its pretext to continue the offensive.

However, Turkey has recently charged that the Kurdish militia didn't withdraw from certain areas near the Turkish border as planned, which explains the renewed fighting between the Kurdish militia and the Kurdish-backed rebels.

But Thursday's cooperation between the Syrian army and the Kurdish militia is a fresh development in the current course of action in northern Syria as both sides were not on the same page regarding the situation in Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria, with the Kurdish forces wanting an autonomy while the Syrian government rejecting any form of separatism.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 8 2019 6:36 utc | 74

karlof1 @ 56.  Great article by Hudson.  Few can match his thorough, no holds barred style.

The whole paper is very worthwhile, a few things I found interesting. Perhaps most poignant

""U.S. ideologues view their nation’s coercive military expansion, political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History. To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival.""

to wit

""the 2014 Ukrainian coup by neo-Nazi groups sponsored by the U.S. State Department and National Endowment for Democracy. Such control recalls the dictators that U.S. diplomacy established throughout Latin America in the 1950s. Today’s ethnic terrorism by U.S.-sponsored Wahabi-Saudi Islam recalls the behavior of Nazi Germany in the 1940s.""

""The United States is waging war for control of oil against Venezuela, where a military coup failed a few years ago, as did the 2018-19 stunt to recognize an unelected pro-American puppet regime. The Honduran coup under President Obama was more successful in overthrowing an elected president advocating land reform, continuing the tradition dating back to 1954 when the CIA overthrew Guatemala’s Arbenz regime.""

He lays out many ideas for reform, largely based on countries freeing themselves from dependency on the USD which is being used for economic warfare

""The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors.""

By 'impoverish' read bomb, starve and freeze to death.  This extreme predation has led to what is becoming a strong resistance marked by other countries developing strong military power as well as alternatives to the USD.

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 8 2019 12:02 utc | 75

financial matters @75--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, that was an excellent paper and set of recommendations which many nations are in differing stages of implementing. The biggest noticeable trend is the formation of continent-sized free trading blocs as I often note, particularly the merging of EAEU/BRI/ASEAN/RCEP/SCO/CSTO political, trading and defense blocs spanning Eurasia dwarfing NATO/EU. As I wrote @63 regarding the direction of Turkey's national interests, the same can be said of the EU for it will soon realize that it is indeed merely a small extension of the Eurasian Continent soon to be eclipsed economically and in geopolitical importance. IMO, it is the latter realization that prompted Macron to declare NATO "brain dead"--and which nation is NATO's purported brain? Every day the balance shifts a little, like the movement of tectonic plates, and is only perceptible over greater time spans, although far shorter than eons. Xi's announced Made in China, 2025 goal will arrive sooner than many expect. IMO, a revolution in slow motion is occurring for those with eyes to see.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8 2019 16:46 utc | 76

@ karlof1 | Nov 7 2019 17:20 utc | 53
" . . .here's the famous photo of the three terrorists pointing their pistols at each other."

Not exactly at each other, though -- the guy on the left is a goner for sure.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 8 2019 22:56 utc | 77

"Over the years tens of thousands of foreign Jihadis traveled through Turkey to join the various groups fighting against the Syrian government. After the Islamic State came into existence even more followed.

When the U.S. changed course and started to fight ISIS it urged Turkey to clamp down on the stream of fresh fighters. Turkey did so to some extent after several ISIS bombings killed dozens within Turkey."

I don't understand Turkey's motivations. Despite a wave of terrorism in Istanbul by ISIS, why does Turkey still support ISIS? And, even if Turkey supports ISIS, surely it has attempted to make some adjustments in its support after the ISIS terrorist attacks in Turkey?

Posted by: Wishywashy | Nov 11 2019 11:10 utc | 78

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