Saturday 15th of August 2020

nato discord...


French President Emmanuel Macron has denounced Ankara’s ‘dangerous game’ of meddling in Libya and said the illegal targeting of a French frigate by a Turkish ship proved correct his comments about ‘brain death’ of NATO.

“Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya and is violating all of its commitments made at the Berlin conference,” Macron said on Monday, referring to the January meeting co-sponsored by Ankara and Moscow.

Describing the situation in Libya as “intolerable,” Macron called for “an end to foreign interference and the unilateral acts of those who wish to gain new positions by favoring war.”

The French president’s comments came after his meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied in Paris, which presumably touched on the ongoing situation in Libya, among other topics. 

Over the past two weeks, Paris has accused Ankara of violating the international arms embargo against Libya. Turkey has funneled troops and equipment into the North African country to prop up the internationally recognized government in Tripoli, which is fighting a civil war against the Libyan National Army – a rival government in the east.  Ankara has accused Paris of backing the LNA, led by General Khalifa Haftar.

"In Libya, we are supporting the legitimate government and the French government is supporting an illegitimate warlord and jeopardizing NATO security, Mediterranean security, North African security, and Libya's political stability," Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Monday.


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Dear Emmanuel.

Should you wish to emulate General de Gaulle, leave NATO now. Simple and cathartic. (That's what Turkey is doing..., though it's staying in the group... Wicked, isn't it?)

article five?... you little idiot manu...

French president Emmanuel Macron has told The Economist that the alliance is experiencing its brain death, while warning European countries that they can no longer rely on America to defend its allies.

What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.

The US-led military bloc “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such,” the French leader noted:

“I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.” 

Macron said that Washington is “turning its back on us,” a move which was demonstrated by the pull-out of American troops from northeastern Syria and the abandonment of their Kurdish allies there.

The president was asked whether he believes in the effectiveness of the Article 5 of the NATO founding treaty, which says that if one member state gets attacked, others have to rush to its defense.“I don't know,” he said, “but what will Article Five mean tomorrow?”



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Manu! The Empire isn't "France"... It's the USA and "France is a pawn in the US war plans"... Get out of NATO. The general understood the trick... This is why your little mate Sarcozy was a traitor to the cause of France... Your little problems with Libya are due to Sarko and Obama, and that woman... 

the donald's love lost...

The memoir of former US national security advisor John Bolton has now seen the light of day despite attempts by the Trump administration to block its release arguing that it contains “classified information”. Readers throughout the world can now enjoy (or not really) Bolton’s recollections of his 18 months side-by-side with the US president.

US President Donald Trump’s “best personal relationship among world leaders” is with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, his “golf buddy” and colleague, John Bolton claims in his bombshell memoir “The Room Where It Happened”.

“Trump loved mentioning that Abe’s father had been a World War II kamikaze pilot. Trump used it to show how tough the Japanese were generally, and how tough Abe was in particular”, Bolton writes.

​According to the former national security advisor, who resigned from his post in September 2019, the US president also has quite a good opinion of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Donald Trump also has a “great respect” for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the book claims, despite the president’s irritation with his NATO ally for not meeting the 2 percent of GDP defence budget target.

“If countries were not rich, Trump acknowledged that he could understand it, but these are rich countries”, Bolton claimed, while extensively detailing Donald Trump’s skirmish over NATO funding in his book.

The president believed that it was then-president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who was responsible for setting the NATO budget, according to Bolton, and said Trump even referred to him as a “vicious man who hated the United States desperately”.

The US president is not a fan of either Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or French president Emmanuel Macron, the book claims.

“Trump didn’t really like either Trudeau or Macron, but he tolerated them, mockingly crossing swords with them in meetings, kidding on the straight”, Bolton writes. According to him, Trump’s dislike for the two is probably clear to them.

“I assume they understood what he was doing, and they responded in kind, playing along because it suited their larger interests not to be in a permanent tiff with the US President”, he argued.


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There is a small difference between the disdain for The Donald which is recent and the annoyance at the USA which started soon after WW2, in Europe, apart from the Poms who speak the same lingo. That's why they voted for clown BoJo... Read from top.

justifying his employment and his medal polishing...

In an exclusive interview with DW, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg touted the importance of German leadership in the alliance, following US President Donald Trump's controversial move to announce the withdrawal of 9,500 troops from Germany.

The move, which was criticized by German ministers including Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, would see the number of US troops in Germany reduced to 25,000.

Upon announcing the plan, Trump claimed that Germany had failed to meet NATO's defense spending target, and accused the country of being "delinquent."

In the interview, Stoltenberg expands upon why he believes cooperation between NATO members is essential to global peace and security, and Germany's relevance as Europe's largest economy.

DW: What are the biggest security threats to emerge in this pandemic?

Jens Stoltenberg: So what you've seen during the pandemic is that the security threats and challenges we had before the pandemic, they are still there, the terrorist threats, the consequences of the rise of China, a more assertive Russia with the aggressive actions against Ukraine or just the fact that we also see new cyber threats, all of these threats are still there.

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Please note "troops are not needed anymore on the ground to defend a country”… This is a bold statement from Gus that can be explained at length. Troops are cumbersome... Like the second World War was a different kettle of fish to the first one, the third one (or a major conflict) won’t be (would not be) fought by troops or their movements thereof.  

But the NATO chief has to justify his employment and his medal polishing. In a way the NATO thingy is quite Nazi in the background and fosters resentment from the populace... And we have to remember that NATO is ONLY DESIGNED TO SERVE THE USA… Macron is correct “NATO is brain dead”, meaning its existence is idiotic. NATO mismanaged Libya, unless it was the plan to destroy Libya ( was the plan of THAT woman and Obama obliged).

And Turkey isn't enamoured with NATO either...

And see this fait divers:

Six ambulances, five first-responder cars and two emergency vehicles attended the incident, while three different fire departments were also involved.

The 50-year-old Schweinfurt resident who had posted them home from Nuremberg was likely not expecting the spiky fruit to cause such a fuss.

The package, with its notably unpleasant smell, eventually found its way to the intended recipient.


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US to buy russian S400 from turkey???

US Republican Senator John Thune has proposed to purchase Russian S-400s from Turkey as evidenced by an amendment to the draft law on budgetary allocations for 2021. But the document did not indicate whether Ankara has either the desire or right to resell the weapons without Moscow's permission.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch has proposed an amendment that would impose sanctions against Turkey under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

In an interview with Sputnik, retired Turkish Air Force Lieutenant-General Erdogan Karakus commented on Washington’s proposal, expressing his opinion on how feasible such an amendment is with regard to Russian air defence systems.

According to Karakus, the US rhetoric on Turkey's use of S-400 systems is related to Washington's desire to push Turkey and Russia against each other.

“The US goal is to disrupt Turkey and Russia’s relationship. It is trying to push the two countries against each other in Syria, Libya and several other directions. Washington's proposal for S-400 should not be accepted because otherwise, it would harm Turkish-Russian relations. This is what the US side is actually pursuing”, Karakus said.

He stressed that the US constantly undertakes such initiatives. Therefore, their recent proposal did not surprise him at all.

“This is an absolutely unacceptable proposal for Ankara. Russia put its trust in us and decided to supply us with these systems. This position of Moscow, as well as the air defence systems, is valuable for us. Therefore, Turkey should by no means lose Russia's trust because of the US. Only those states that are trusted in the international political arena are respected. And the US proposal violates the sovereignty of the country and calls into question its reliability as a partner”, Karakus said.

The retired general pointed out that the supply of S-400 to Turkey should not be perceived in terms of “who pays the money gets the system”:

“The S-400 purchase is miles away from that approach. Not everyone willing to pay money can buy these systems”.

Karakus recalled that this situation is similar to what happened with the F-35, when the Turkish side, after paying the money, faced a US refusal to supply the aircraft.


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turkey in libya...

During his visit to Tripoli July 4th Turkey’s defense minister Hulusi Akar signed an agreement on military cooperation with the representatives of the Government of National Accord (GNA). The signature was held behind the closed doors, but the few details that were leaked to the media are enough to conclude that the GNA has effectively traded its ostensible sovereignty for the Turkish support in the stand-off against the Libyan National Army and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

The agreement between Turkey and Tripoli authorities stipulates that the GNA is a guarantor of Turkish interests in Libya. The real meaning behind that is that the government led by Fayez al-Sarraj officially put the Turkish interests before the national concerns of Libya. The GNA also gave Turkey official permission to establish military bases on the Libyan territory.

These concessions are no doubt important, but perhaps the most brazing innovation introduced in the agreement is that all Turkish servicemen are given diplomatic immunity. This effectively means that the representatives of the Turkish metropole walking the Libyan soil are automatically granted a number of important privileges, granting them a legal advantage over the indigenous population.

Furthermore, the diplomatic immunity unlocks new possibilities for the transfer of foreign militants and supplies of arms, including internationally banned munitions, in violation of the arms embargo.

Since the beginning of the year Turkey has flown over 15,000 Syrian mercenaries into Libya, including child soldiers, who were recruited in the Syrian province of Idlib and received military training under the supervision of the Turkish advisers there. In addition to that, it has been recently discovered that the Turkish campaign to recruit fighters is not limited to Syria, but also includes Yemen.

The new agreement further facilitates the transfer of foreign fighters into Libya. The GNA has officially given up its right to at least formally check Turkish ships and planes and allowed Ankara to create military bases that are out of Libyan jurisdiction.

Under these conditions, the Turks will be able to send in as many mercenaries, including former members of terror groups, as they see fit without any restrictions or knowledge of the outside world.

In truth, Turkey’s behavior in Libya is already that of a colonial power in the new incarnation of the Tripolitanian Wilayet, a former colony of the Ottoman Empire. Human rights watchdogs report that the next day after the agreement was signed a number of Turkish planes with members of radical groups on board landed in Tripoli.

By signing the new agreement Fayez al-Sarraj and his government pledged allegiance to Turkey and cast away any pretence of being a leader of Libya. Turkey, in turn, is reluctant to declare Tripoli its colony, but this thin varnish will not hide the ugly reality behind.


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fighting for cash....

Muhammad was 17 when the war started in his home country of Syria. He was getting ready to begin pursuing an engineering degree in the city of Homs. Adnan, meanwhile, was 30 years old at the time and was working in Homs as a carpenter. His third child had just been born.

Muhammad and Adnan fought on different sides in the civil war in Syria. Muhammad served in the military of dictator Bashar Assad and was eager for stability, while Adnan joined the rebels because of his faith in the revolution. Both dreamed of living in a peaceful, united country.

Now, nine years later, they are once again facing each other across the front lines - but not in Syria. The two are fighting some 2,000 kilometers away from home. In Libya.

In the North African country, Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj is battling the warlord Khalifa Haftar for power in the country. Sarraj is primarily supported by Turkey, while his opponent is backed by Russia. Adnan is making his money as a mercenary in Sarraj's militia network, while Muhammad has joined Haftar's Libyan National Army. And both are asking themselves the same question: How did it come to this?

The story of Muhammad and Adnan, two men from Homs who are now fighting against each other in the desert of North Africa, illustrates the tragic progression of the conflict in Syria. It is also a lesson in modern-day warfare.

Increasingly, governments that are involved in military conflicts are turning not to their own countrymen, but are instead relying on foreigners who they pay as mercenaries. Countries like Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Iran are ignoring other countries' borders and sovereignty, sending hired guns into foreign countries because they don't like the regime in charge, because they want access to natural resources – or because mercenaries belonging to their enemies are there. It is yet another example of countries seeking to occupy the vacuum left behind by the accelerating withdrawal of the United States.

Hiring mercenaries is a way of fighting a war on the cheap. Regional actors can go into battle with little risk and at relatively low cost. Leaders can engage in conflict without having to answer for the body count. The fighters themselves, meanwhile, have few protections because of their dependence on their paymasters. Mercenaries are fighting in numerous conflicts around the world, including in Syria, Yemen and Libya. People like Muhammad and Adnan have become the playthings of global politics.

An Attractive Offer

Adnan was convinced that Assad could be toppled when he joined the Hamza Division, a part of the Free Syrian Army, after the outbreak of the war. He also found personal success on the battlefield, rising to become a commander in the division. But the FSA continued to lose ground, and with help from Russia and Iran, the Assad regime pushed the rebels into the northwestern province of Idlib, where they were only able to survive with Turkish support.

In recent years, Adnan has hardly fought Assad at all, instead helping the Turkish army of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan drive out Kurdish militias from the border region. "We are dependent on Erdogan," Adnan said over the phone. "We have to fight wherever he wants."

It was no surprise to Adnan when a Turkish middleman handed him a new assignment last December. He was tasked with assembling as many men as he could for the war in Libya.

At the time, Adnan couldn't even find Libya on a map. And when it came to the conflict there, he only knew what the Turks told him: that an internationally recognized government was struggling to defend itself from a warlord – from a "putchist" and a "terrorist."

Still, the offer they made him sounded attractive: For every month that he fought on Sarraj's behalf in Libya, Adnan was to receive $2,000, far more than he was making in Syria. In early January, the Turks flew Adnan and 30 comrades with a Turkish Airlines plane from the border town of Gaziantep to Libya. It was the first time in his life that he had flown.

In Tripoli, the Sarraj regime was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the support. In the preceding months, the prime minister had lost almost all the area under his control, with the exception of the capital city, to the warlord Haftar. Erdogan's mercenaries, it was hoped, would turn the tide.

Adnan and his men were put up in apartment blocks in Tripoli and received weapons and training from the Turkish secret service agency MIT, Adnan says. Then, they were sent to the front.

With the help of around 7,000 Syrian mercenaries along with drone support, Turkey has been able to turn the tide in the Libyan civil war, making Erdogan the proxy ruler of the African country that is home to the continent's largest oil reserves. General Haftar has not only had to concede the loss of Tripoli in recent weeks, he has also been forced out of strategically important coastal cities like Sabratha.

Nevertheless, Adnan regrets his decision to come to Libya. DER SPIEGEL has spoken with him by phone several times in recent months, and his desperation has steadily risen during that period. The frontline battles are often more intense than they were in Syria, he says. "Every day, we send 100 injured fighters home and fly 300 new ones in," he says. In contrast to Syria, he adds, he doesn't see the point of the Libya operation. "I fought against the Syrian regime because I believed in a future for my children. Look where I have ended up."

"Keep Fighting"

Friends in Syria accuse him of having sold out the revolution to earn money in Libya. But even if he wanted to, Adnan complains, he couldn't simply quit. The Turks, he says, only allow the injured to go home, which is why some of his comrades have shot themselves in the leg. Others, he says, have boarded refugee boats in the hopes of making it to Europe. Adnan says that he would also try to get to Europe if he didn't have children in Turkey. "I have no other choice than to keep fighting," he says.

Adnan's compatriot Muhammad is on the other side of the front in Libya. But he, too, has the feeling that he no longer controls his own destiny and that he is under the control of foreign powers. His primary motivation for speaking to DER SPIEGEL was to highlight the experience of Syrians in Libya. Like Adnan, he has declined to provide his last name out of fear of repercussions.

Muhammad's life has been dominated by war. He was still a young man when he joined the Desert Falcons, a militia organization that fought alongside the Assad regime against the rebels. A few years ago, the Desert Falcons were disbanded as a result of internal power struggles, with remnants of the militia joining an army unit that was armed and controlled by Russia, Assad's most important ally. Since then, Muhammad has answered to Moscow.

In January, his commander asked him if he was interested in fighting on Russia's behalf in Libya. He was told he would be paid $1,000 a month for his services and would receive a month of paid vacation every quarter.

Russia is not an official party to the Libyan conflict, but with the help of a military subcontractor, the so-called Wagner Group, it controls part of the battlefield. The Wagner Group is a private Russian security firm with close ties to the Kremlin and an important Haftar supporter, along with the UAE and Egypt. Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Haftar as his man in North Africa, and it is sure to have made him nervous watching the warlord lose ground to the Erdogan-Sarraj alliance in recent months.

Muhammad says that middlemen operating on Russia's behalf set up recruitment offices in Syrian cities – called al-Sajjad, or "the hunter" – for the Libya operation. For every Syrian that brokers send to North Africa, they receive a commission of 200 euros. After years of civil war, large swaths of Syria have been destroyed and it is almost impossible for young men to find normal jobs. It didn't take Muhammad long to make his decision. In one of the recruitment offices, he signed a contract in Arabic and Russian, committing himself to fighting on Haftar's behalf for at least three months.

Afterwards, he said, he and 50 other men, most of whom were younger than 30, were transferred to the Russian military base Hmeimim, not far from the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, where they received two weeks of military training.

Feeling Drained

The Russians gave the mercenaries IDs labelled "Friend of Russia," to enable them to pass through Libyan checkpoints. Then they flew with the private Syrian airline Cham Wings from Damascus to the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Once in Libya, Muhammad and his comrades were dressed in the uniform of Haftar's army and placed under the command of Russian Wagner officers. He says they fought in several different places, like southern Tripoli, on the coast and, for the last several weeks, in the country's east.

According to the United Nations, around 2,000 Syrians were fighting for Haftar and the Wagner Group in the month of May. Muhammad, though, estimates the number to be closer to 5,000. Immediately after the losses suffered during the battle for Tripoli, the Russians called in large numbers of reinforcements, he says. The Assad regime, he continues, even released detainees from Syrian prisons to send them into battle in Libya.

Muhammad sleeps during the day and fights at night, and has begun feeling drained. "I ask myself what I am doing here," he says. Muhammad has heard that Turkey pays its mercenaries far better than the Russians and is thinking of switching sides. "In Syria, I fought for victory," he says. "Here, it's only about money."

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Thank you la Madam Clinton for having destroyed Libya... Thank you Sarkozy for having been on this hypocritical stint... Read from top.

libya was destroyed by NATO... full stop.

As warring Libyan factions seek aid from Turkey and Egypt, AFRICOM is blaming Russia for landmines that were found near Tripoli in yet another alarmist ‘intelligence assessment’ aimed at getting US troops sent back to Africa.

On Wednesday, AFRICOM posted four photos of booby-trapped debris found between Tripoli and Sirte last month, as the Libyan National Army (LNA) retreated before the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The landmines used to rig the explosives were “assessed to have been introduced into Libya by the Wagner Group,” a mercenary outfit AFRICOM insists is acting on behalf of the Russian government.

"Wagner Group’s reckless use of landmines and booby-traps are harming innocent civilians,” insisted AFRICOM’s intelligence director, Rear Admiral Heidi Berg. She claimed that “imagery and intelligence assessments” show Russia “continues to interfere in Libyan affairs.” 

To bolster the claim of Russian meddling, AFRICOM referred to its May allegations – that Russia sent 14 MiG-29 fighters into Libya – as proven fact, rather than a triple-qualified assessment as stated at the time. Moscow has dismissed the claim as “not corresponding to reality.”

AFRICOM’s claim that the landmines shown in the photos had to have come from Wagner is curious. They are standard Soviet Union designs, which Libya had been buying for decades. Almost all of the equipment and weapons used by both the LNA and the GNA comes from the stockpiles of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s government, which was overthrown in 2011 by NATO-backed militants. Gaddafi himself was brutally lynched after he was injured in a NATO airstrike near Sirte, the site of recent fighting.

Far from bringing peace and democracy, the rebellion plunged Libya into chaos as warlords and terrorists fought for land and control of oil fields. Yet General Bradford Gering, AFRICOM’s operations director, now laments the “total disregard for the safety and security of Libyans” supposedly shown by Wagner and Russia.

The Tripoli-based GNA was supposed to be the internationally recognized coalition that would end the conflict, but the Tobruk-based LNA soon split away, accusing the GNA of ties to Islamist militants. While the GNA was on the verge of losing Tripoli last year, its loyalists have managed to push the forces of General Khalifa Haftar back thanks in part to a massive sea-lift of troops and weapons from Turkey.



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the spoils of libya: oil...

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened reprisals if anyone attacks the ship surveying disputed waters in the Mediterranean for oil and gas, after two French jets flew nearby during an exercise with the Greek fleet.

“We said that if you attack our Oruc Reis you will pay a high price, and they got their first answer today,” Erdogan said on Thursday in a speech in Ankara, without offering any details as to what might have happened.

The vessel, named after a 16th-century Ottoman pirate, started survey work earlier this week near the island of Kastellorizo, which belongs to Greece but is located near the southern coast of Turkey’s Antalya province.


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And so started WW3 from within NATO...