Tuesday 16th of August 2022

bombing people in strict compliance with "the blinken rules-based world order"….

The recent Russophobic frenzy by Washington and its Western allies over Russia’s special operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine with more and more anti-Russian sanctions imposed each passing day, makes one involuntarily wonder: why then doesn’t the West react in the same way to another special operation – the one Turkey is conducting on Iraqi territory? And how, in fact, are the two special operations different in their international treatment?

As you know, Turkey launched another (sic!) military special operation in Northern Iraq on April 18, striking the hideouts, bunkers, caves and warehouses of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “We’re determined to save our noble nation from the scourge of terrorism,” said the country’s Minister of Defense Khulusi Akar, adding “Our struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized.”

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party is one of the major political forces of the Kurds, a people who live in several Middle Eastern countries: south-eastern Turkey, north-western Iran, northern Iraq and northern Syria. The PKK calls for creating a Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, for which the Turkish authorities have declared the organization “terrorist,” but this is only Ankara’s position. The Turkish-Kurdish struggle has been on-again, off-again, with another flare-up in 2015, when Turkish troops occupied northern Syria “in a special operation” under the banner of fighting Kurdish militias, which Ankara called terrorists. According to Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, more than 6,000 PKK members inside Turkey and 6,900 outside Turkey were killed at the time.

Another round of confrontation took place in 2020, when Turkey carried out a new special operation against the Kurds in Iraqi territory. However, Ankara has not declared war on Iraq (as it did on Syria previously), stating that it is only targeting Kurdish militias. The Turkish Armed Forces periodically target sites in Iraq where the organization has camps, hideouts, command posts and arms dumps. The military is sanctioned for such cross-border operations by the Turkish parliament, which has been renewing the mandate for a year in recent years.

Turkey’s actions were then condemned by the League of Arab States (LAS). They said the campaign violated Iraq’s sovereignty and reflected Ankara’s expansionist ambitions. Baghdad also condemned Ankara’s actions. However, given Washington’s “silence,” there was no realistic way for the Iraqi authorities to prevent Turkey’s strikes. Washington did not impose any sanctions regime on Turkey for the special operation.

After the start of another special operation on April 18 this year, the first footage of it emerged from the press office of the Turkish Ministry of Defense. The aircraft bombed Kurdistan Workers’ Party sites and targets in northern Iraq in the areas of Metina, Avaşin-Basyan and Zap. Earlier, special forces units of the Turkish ground troops had landed there. According to the website of the Ministry of Defense, Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock to prevent terrorist attacks in northern Iraq and ensure its security. On April 19, the Turkish Ministry of Defense commented on the first days of the military special operation in Iraq, indicating that the Turkish army had eliminated some 30 PKK fighters in less than a day: “The targets identified in the first phase have been captured. Our operation is continuing successfully as planned. Areas are combed for terrorists. All hideouts and so-called “headquarters” of the militants, as well as the caves where they have been hiding, will be destroyed… The terrorists must realize that they have nowhere to run and must surrender. We are determined to remove the threat of terrorism from Turkey’s agenda.” Four Turkish soldiers have been wounded during the operation.

The only official reaction to the Turkish special operation in Iraq so far has been that the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned Ali Riza Güney, Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad on April 19 in connection with the actions of Turkish troops in the Arab republic and was handed a note of protest calling for “an immediate end to provocative actions against Iraq.”

Besides, the Kiev regime has shown its grave concern about the declining interest of the Western public in the conflict in Ukraine because of Turkey’s special operation in Iraq. “Without the fueling of interest in the Ukrainian crisis, we will lose relevance, and in many countries the domestic agenda and the global economic crisis, plus food and resource shortages, will win out,” the Kiev-based online resource First concluded. And a poll conducted by Morning Consult, the largest US think tank, on reactions to Western economic pressure on Russia in a number of EU countries and Turkey over Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine, confirms this. It turns out that those “in favor of anti-Russian sanctions, even if they lead to higher prices” are fewer everywhere than those who think first and foremost of themselves. In this regard, the media and psychological operations centers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces began to work more closely on new “information messages” to “keep Europe and America in an anti-Russian tone of mind.”

It should be recalled that the history of Iraqi Kurdistan’s autonomy dates back to 1970, and since the 1990s it has been taken under the “wing” by the US, which then needed a land bridgehead for the “Gulf War.” In 2003, Iraqi peshmerga units helped Anglo-American forces overthrow the Ba’athist regime. However, even despite the “US protection” of the Kurds, Washington did not officially protest Ankara during Turkey’s previous special operations against the Kurds living in Iraq, nor after the new special operation started on April 18. Nor were there any sanctions, either by the US or the “united West.” Which is remarkable given that, by and large, Erdoğan’s reason for attacking Iraqi Kurdistan is somewhat similar to that of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine. At any rate, Ankara claims it wants to demilitarize Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants who have “crossed the red line.” Isn’t Moscow’s officially stated aim of the special operation in Ukraine to similarly demilitarize and denazify the Kiev regime, which has established blatant terror against the Russian-speaking population of the country and its eastern regions, posing a direct threat to Russia, among others?

Turkey regularly “demilitarizes” Kurds not only in Syria but also in northern Iraq, where the PKK has military bases and training camps. The area in question is Sinjar and the mountainous border with Turkey, where Ankara has already conducted its Claw-Eagle and Claw-Tiger special operations. However, no international sanctions regime has been imposed on Turkey by the West. Not in past years, not now.

Moreover, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, at a morning briefing on April 19, in his usual Russophobic manner, refuted journalists’ assumptions that the missile and bombing attacks by the Turkish air force on members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party located in Iraq were military aggression. According to Blinken, Turkey acts in strict compliance with the rules-based world order, so at the moment, the US sees no reason to impose sanctions against the Turkish government, nor to isolate Turkey in any way on the international stage. The Secretary of State noted that the Turkish Air Force only strikes military targets, avoiding the bombing of civilian cities. However, Blinken said that the US had no knowledge of whether the strikes had actually taken place or the information about it was a Russian propaganda stunt. If this version is confirmed, Russia could face tougher sanctions and complete isolation. How about that?

Thus, once again, the US officially confirmed its blatantly Russophobic policy by abandoning its Kurdish “allies” to their fate (for the umpteenth time, by the way!). And by demonstrating blatant double standards in assessing international events, they have actually tried once again to defend their “international rules,” according to which any aggression by NATO, or any NATO country (as, in particular, is happening today with Turkey’s special operation in Iraq), is a good thing and will continue to be so.

It would therefore not be surprising if, instead of sanctions against Turkey, Washington were to actively support the proposal by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to nominate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the Nobel Peace Prize, which has already been announced by Turkey’s Hürriyet. Indeed, is Erdoğan less deserving of this Peace Prize than American President Obama, who has the blood of civilians in many Muslim countries on his hands and who has already “received” such a prize?

Alas, the world has long since changed. As has the world’s attitude towards the US, which, together with its Easter-bunny-fearing president, has become an outright laughing stock and has lost all prestige.

 

Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

 

READ MORE:

https://journal-neo.org/2022/04/21/why-isn-t-the-west-sanctioning-turkey-for-its-special-operation-in-iraq/

 

 

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HYPOCRISY in washington…….

 

Marjorie Cohn delves into the U.S. double standard in using an international court to prosecute war crimes. 

 

 

Although the United States has tried mightily to undermine the International Criminal Court since it became operational in 2002, the U.S. government is now pushing for the ICC to prosecute Russian leaders for war crimes in Ukraine. Apparently, Washington thinks the ICC is reliable enough to try Russians but not to bring U.S. or Israeli officials to justice.

On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res 546, which “encourages member states to petition the ICC or other appropriate international tribunal to take any appropriate steps to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces.”

When he introduced the resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, “This is a proper exercise of jurisdiction. This is what the court was created for.” 

The United States has refused to join the ICC and consistently tries to undercut the court. Yet a unanimous U.S. Senate voted to utilize the ICC in the Ukraine conflict.

Since Feb. 24, when the Russian Federation launched an armed attack against Ukraine, horrific images of destruction have been ubiquitous. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented 3,455 civilian casualties, including 1,417 killed and 2,038 injured as of April 3.

Most of those casualties have been caused by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, which includes heavy artillery and multiple launch systems as well as air and missile strikes.

 

On Feb. 28, Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine. He said that his preliminary examination found a reasonable basis to believe that alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed in Ukraine. Khan’s formal investigation will “also encompass any new alleged crimes . . . that are committed by any party to the conflict on any part of the territory of Ukraine.”

As I explained in prior Truthout columns, in spite of U.S.-led NATO’s provocation of Russia over the past several years, the Russian invasion of Ukraine constitutes illegal aggression.

Nevertheless, the ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute Russian leaders for the crime of aggression.

Rome Statute Prohibits Aggression

In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the waging of aggressive war “essentially an evil thing,” adding that, “to initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal, called aggressive war “the greatest menace of our times.” Jackson said,

“If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.”

Aggression is prohibited by the ICC’s Rome Statute. Article 8bis defines the crime of aggression as “the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Adopting the central prohibition of the U.N. Charter against the use of aggressive force, Article 8bis defines an act of aggression as “the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.”

The charter only allows the use of military force in self-defense or with the consent of the Security Council, neither of which happened before Russia invaded Ukraine.

In order to secure a conviction for aggression, the prosecutor of the ICC must prove that a leader who exercised control over the military or political apparatus of a country ordered an armed attack against another country.

An armed attack can include bombing or attacking the armed forces of other country. The attack must be a “manifest” violation of the U.N. Charter in its character, scale and gravity, which includes only the most serious forms of the illegal use of force. For example, a single gunshot would not qualify but George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq would.

But the ICC’s jurisdictional scheme for the crime of aggression is much more restrictive than its regime for punishing the other crimes under the Rome Statute — genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

The original Rome Statute said that those three crimes could be prosecuted in the ICC if: (1) the defendant’s country was a party to the statute; (2) one or more elements of the crime was committed in the territory of a State Party; (3) the defendant’s country accepted ICC jurisdiction for the matter; or (4) upon referral by the U.N. Security Council. But the statute left the definition and jurisdictional scheme for prosecuting the crime of aggression to future negotiation.

In 2010, the final negotiations in Kampala, Uganda, added an amendment which is now Article 15bis(5) of the Rome Statute.

It is this article that prevents the ICC from taking jurisdiction over Russian leaders for the crime of aggression.

 

Most countries at the Kampala Review Conference thought they had agreed that States Parties were covered by the jurisdictional scheme unless they “opted out” under Article 15bis(4).

But in 2017, France, the U.K., and several other States reversed the presumption of Article 15bis(4). Under their new interpretation, States Parties were presumed to be “out” of the jurisdictional scheme unless they “opted in” by ratifying the amendment. In other words, the ICC would not have jurisdiction to prosecute nationals of States Parties that had not ratified the amendment.

If the crime of aggression was covered by the same jurisdictional regime as war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, the ICC could prosecute Russian officials for aggression. 

Although neither Russia nor Ukraine has ratified the Rome Statute, Ukraine accepted ICC jurisdiction under Article 12(3) of the statute. Russia would veto any Security Council referral of the matter to the ICC.

The prohibition on aggression is so basic that it is considered to be jus cogens, a preemptory norm of international law which can never be committed under any circumstances. There is no immunity defense or statute of limitations for a jus cogens norm.

The Security Council could convene a special tribunal to try the crime of aggression committed in Ukraine, but again, Russia would veto such a resolution.

Another option is for countries to prosecute Russian leaders for aggression in their domestic courts under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. Some crimes are so heinous, they are considered to be crimes against the entire world.

US Shuns Jurisdiction 

“Americans are rightfully horrified when they see civilians killed by Russian bombardment in Ukraine,” Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies wrote in the LA Progressive

“but they are generally not quite so horrified, and more likely to accept official justifications, when they hear that civilians are killed by U.S. forces or American weapons in Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Gaza.” Benjamin and Davies attribute this to the complicity of the corporate media “by showing us corpses in Ukraine and the wails of their loved ones, but shielding us from equally disturbing images of people killed by U.S. or allied forces.”

The United States maintains a double standard when it comes to the ICC. The U.S. is not a party to the Rome Statute. 

Although former President Bill Clinton signed the statute as he left office, he urged incoming President George W. Bush to refrain from sending it to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification. Whereas signing indicates an intent to ratify, a country becomes a State Party once it ratifies the treaty.

Bush went one step further and in an unprecedented move, his administration unsigned the Rome Statute.

 

Congress then passed the American Service-Members’ Protection Act (ASPA), which contains a clause called the “Hague Invasion Act.” It says that if a U.S. or allied national is detained by the ICC, the U.S. military can use armed force to extricate them.

But the Dodd Amendment, which is one provision of the ASPA, “specifically permits the United States to assist international efforts to bring to justice ‘foreign nationals’ who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity,” former Sen. Christopher Dodd and John Bellinger, former legal adviser for the National Security Council and State Department, wrote in The Washington Post.

Another provision says that the ASPA “would clearly allow the United States to share intelligence information about Russian offenses, to allow expert investigators and prosecutors to assist, and to provide law enforcement and diplomatic support to the Court,” Dodd and Bellinger added.

Although the U.S. is not a State Party to the Rome Statute, it participated in the negotiations on the crime of aggression. The United States has consistently tried to undermine the ICC. The Bush administration effectively blackmailed 100 countries that were States Parties by forcing them to sign bilateral immunity agreements in which they promised not to turn over U.S. persons to the ICC or the United States would withhold foreign aid from them.

In 2020, after the ICC launched an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by U.S. as well as Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on ICC officials but President Joe Biden reversed them.

 

When Khan became chief prosecutor of the ICC, he narrowed the scope of the investigation in Afghanistan by limiting suspects to Taliban and ISIS leaders. He cited “the limited resources available to my Office relative to the scale and nature of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are being or have been committed in various parts of the world.”

Khan stated, “I have therefore decided to focus my Office’s investigations in Afghanistan on crimes allegedly committed by the Taliban and the Islamic State — Khorasan Province (“IS-K”) and to deprioritise other aspects of this investigation.”

“This was clearly a political decision — there’s really no other way it can be interpreted,” human rights lawyer Jennifer Gibson told Al Jazeera.

 

Gibson’s human rights group Reprieve submitted representations for clients who alleged torture by the C.I.A. in the brutal Bagram prison, as well as relatives of civilians allegedly killed in U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan. “It gave the U.S. and their allies a get out of jail free card,” Gibson said.

The Biden administration continues to oppose the pending ICC investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza. It has expressed “serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”

Following a five-year preliminary examination, former ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda found a reasonable basis to mount an investigation of “the situation in Palestine.” She was “satisfied that (i) war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip . . . (ii) potential cases arising from the situation would be admissible; and (iii) there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.”

Bensouda initiated the preliminary examination six months after Israel’s 2014 “Operation Protective Edge,” when Israeli military forces killed 2,200 Palestinians, nearly one-quarter of them children and more than 80 percent civilians.

“So, the U.S. wants to help the International Criminal Court prosecute Russian war crimes while barring any possibility the ICC could probe U.S. (or Israeli) war crimes,” observed Reed Brody, a commissioner for the International Commission of Jurists, an international human rights nongovernmental organization.

U.S. hypocrisy is no more apparent than in the first “Whereas” clause of the Senate’s unanimous resolution condemning Russia. It says, “Whereas the United States of America is a beacon for the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights across the globe . . .”

One hundred members of the U.S. Senate affirmed that sentiment in spite of the U.S. wars of aggression in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the commission of U.S war crimes. If the senators truly believe that the ICC is dependable enough to prosecute Russian leaders, they should push Biden to send the Rome Statute to them for advice and consent to ratification. What’s good for the Russian goose should also be good for the U.S. gander.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and a member of the national advisory board of Veterans For Peace and the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her books include Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral and Geopolitical Issues. She is co-host of “Law and Disorder” radio.

 

This article is from Truthout.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

 

 

READ MORE:

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/21/us-trashes-icc-but-wants-it-to-charge-russians/

 

 

 

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understanding crooked US history ……..

From 2017.....

THE PENTAGON IS PREPARING A NEW WAR IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA

 

Political Islam against China

 

by Thierry Meyssan /  3 OCTOBER 2017

 

 

You are probably aware that you are incompletely informed about what is brewing in Myanmar, and you probably haven’t heard about the military coalition that is preparing to attack that country. And yet, as Thierry Meyssan reveals here, these current events have been in preparation by Riyadh and Washington since 2013. Don’t take sides before you read this article and digest the information.

 

 

Pursuing its Grand Strategy of extending the theatre of war [1], the Pentagon is at the same time preparing the instrumentation of the Kurds in the Greater Middle East, a civil war in Venezuela and a war of attrition in the Philippines. However, these conflicts will have to wait for the implementation of a fourth theatre of operations – namely Burma, China’s next-door neighbour.

 

During the meeting of the UN Security Council on 28 September, the US ambassador and several of her allies accused Myanmar’s coalition government of « genocide » [2]. This loaded word – which, in European law, designates the massacre of a great number of people, but in US law applies to a method of killing, even if the criminal kills only one person - is enough for Washington to justify a war, with or without the backing of the Security Council, as we saw in Yugoslavia [3]. The meeting of the Security Council was held at the request of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

 

In order to make the facts correspond to their narrative, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which had celebrated Aung San Suu Kyi and the Buddhist monks for their non-violent resistance to the dictatorship of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) during the « Saffron revolution » in 2007 [4], simply redefined the Burmese army, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi [5], and all the Buddhists in the country [6] as “the bad guys”.

Burma has not known civil peace since the days of foreign domination, first British and then Japanese [7]. It has become easier to destabilise since the SLORC junta agreed to share power with the National League for Democracy (NLD), and together are trying to resolve the country’s many conflicts in a peaceful way.

 

By a geographical coincidence, Burma allows the passage across its territory of the pipe-line linking Chinese Yunnan to the Bay of Bengal, and houses the Chinese electronic surveillance posts for the naval routes which near its coasts. Making war in Burma is therefore more important for the Pentagon than blocking the two « Silk Roads » in the Middle East and Ukraine.

An inheritance of British colonisation, there are also, among the distinct Burmese population, 1.1 million descendants of the workers that London had displaced from Bengal to Burma – the Rohingyas [8]. It happens that this national – not ethnic – minority is Muslim, although the great majority of Burmese people is Buddhist. Finally, during the Second World War, the Rohingyas collaborated with India against Burmese nationalists.

 

In 2013, when the Pentagon and the CIA had deployed the jihadist hordes in Syria and maintained a war of position, Saudi Arabia created yet another terrorist organisation in Mecca, the Faith Movement (Harakah al-Yaqin). This group, which declared that it was an assembly for the Rohingyas, is in reality commanded by the Pakistani Ata Ullah, who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan [9]. The Saudi regime housed the largest community of male Rohingyas, after Burma and before Bangladesh, with 300,000 male workers without their families.

According to a report by the Benagli intelligence services, before the current crisis, the Faith Movement had been working for a year with a spin-off group of the Bengali Jamat-ul-Mujahideen around the slogan « Bengali Jihad in Baghdad ». This tiny group pays allegiance to the Caliph of Daesh, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, and has gathered in the same coalition the Indian Mujahideen, Al-Jihad, Al-Ouma, the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Pakistani Harkat-ul Jihad-al Islami (HuJI). The group is financed by the foundation Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) in Kuwait. 

When, less than a year and a half ago, in March 2016, the SLORC accepted to share power with Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the United States attempted to use the Nobel Peace Prize-winner against Chinese interests. Knowing that it would be difficult to manipulate the daughter of the father of Burmese independence, the communist Aung San, they encouraged the Faith Movement - « …you never know … ».

 

In September 2016, Aung San Suu Kyi represented her country at the UN General Assembly [10]. Naïvely, she explained the problems faced by her people and the means she was setting up to resolve these difficulties progressively, beginning with the question of the Rohingyas. Once back home, she realised that her former US supporters were in reality the enemies of her country. The Faith Movement launched a series of terrorist attacks, including the attack on the Maungdaw border police station, where 400 terrorists plundered the arsenal, killing 13 customs officers and soldiers.

Resolute, Aung San Suu Kyi pursued the implementation of an advisory committee tasked with analysing the Rohingya question, and ending the discrimination under which they suffered. This committee was composed of six Burmans and three foreigners – Dutch ambassador Laetitia van den Assum, Lebanese ex-Minister Ghassan Salame (in reality representing France), and ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, acting as President of the committee.

 

The nine committee members began work of a rare quality, despite the Burmese obstacles. Political parties failed to have the committee dissolved by the National Assembly, but managed to force the adoption of a motion of no confidence against the committee by the local Assembly of Arakan (the state inhabited by the Rohingyas). Nevertheless, the committee members handed in their report on 25 August - it contained genuine recommendations which could actually be implemented with the true goal of improving the living conditions of all concerned [11].

The same day, the Saudi and US Secret Services gave the signal for the riposte - the Faith Movement, renamed by the British the « Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army » and divided into commandos, attacked army barracks and police stations, causing 71 deaths. For a week, Burmese troops waged an anti-terrorist operation against the jihadists. 400 members of their families fled to Bangladesh.

 

Three days later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began to telephone all the heads of state of the Muslim countries to alert them about the « genocide of the Rohingyas ». On 1 September, the day of the most important Muslim holiday, the Aïd al-Adha, acting as serving President of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, he gave a vibrant speech in Istanbul calling to save the Rohingyas and support their Salvation Army [12].

However, the jihadists have done nothing to defend the Rohingyas, but have systematically intervened to sabotage the attempts to improve their living conditions and end the discriminations under which they suffer.

 

On 5 September, the President of the Iranian Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezaei, proposed joining the forces of all Muslim states to create an Islamic army to save the « Rohingya brothers » [13]. A position which carries all the more weight since General Rezaei is an ex-Commander of the Revolutionary Guard.

While the Burmese army had ceased all activity against the terrorists, Rohingya villages were burned, and the Rakhine population of Arakan lynched Muslims, who in their eyes were all accomplices of the terrorists. According to the Rohingyas, it was the Burmese army who burned the villages, while according to the Burmese army, it was the jihadists. Progressively, all the Rohingyas from the North of Arakan took to the road seeking refuge in Bangladesh – but, curiously enough, not the Rohingyas from the South of the State.

 

On 6 September, an official Turkish delegation went to Bangladesh to distribute provisions to the refugees. It was led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and by the wife and the son of President Erdoğan, Bilal and Ermine.

 

In the Muslim countries, a vast campaign of disinformation claimed, with photo support, that the Buddhists were killing Muslims en masse. Of course, none of these photos had been taken in Burma, and the fake news reports were debunked one after the other. But in countries where the population is poorly educated, the photos were deemed authentic, while the denials were hardly mentioned. Only Bangladesh voiced reservations about the role of the jihadists, and assured Myanmar of its cooperation against the terrorists [14].

On 11 September, the serving President of the Islamic Conference Organisation (ICO), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, spoke before the Organisation’s scientific committee meeting at Astana (Kazakhstan) - which is not competent in the matter - « to save the Rohingyas ».

 

On the following day, 12 September, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took position. Very worried about General Rezaei’s proposition, he was careful to delegitimise the religious war which was being prepared - the « clash of civilisations » - even if it meant blaming the presence of a woman at the head of a State. He was therefore careful to close the door on a military engagement by the Revolutionary Guard. He declared - « It is quite possible that religious fanaticism may have played a part in these events, but this is a completely political question, because it’s the government of Myanmar which is responsible. And at the head of this government, there is a cruel woman, a Nobel Peace Prize-winner. In reality, these events have signed the death notice of the Nobel Peace Prize » [15].

In Teheran, President Sheikh Hassan Rohani immediately called on the regular army to participate in the conflict which was being prepared. On 17 September, the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian and Pakistani armies made contact in order to unite their forces in the crisis [16]. This is the first military initiative, but it concerns the Iranian army (which is already working with its Turkish and Pakistani counterparts to defend Qatar) and not the Revolutionary Guards (who are fighting alongside the Syrians against the jihadists). Iran is also providing massive aid to the refugees.

 

On 19 September, ignoring the explanations of Aung San Suu Kyi [17], and profiting from the UN General Assembly, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gathered the ICO contact group in order to request that all member States suspend all commerce with Myanmar, and to ask the UN Security Council to rule on the matter [18].

 

Finally appearing from the shadows, Saudi Arabia affirmed that they had been discreetly helping the Rohingyas for 70 years, and had already offered them 50 million dollars’ worth of aid during that time. King Salman also added a gift of 15 million dollars [19]. The Saudi ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Abdulaziz ben Mohammed Al-Wassil, mobilised the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Forgetting the wars they have been waging against one another - in Iraq, Syria and Yemen - Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, in other words the three main Muslim military powers, joined together by simple communitarian reflex [20] and took position alongside the Rohingyas. All three of them named their common enemy – the coalition government of the Burmese army and Aung San Suu Kyi.

This total about-face in the Middle East has already seen a precedent – namely the wars in Yugoslavia. In Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95) and in Kosovo (1998-99), the Muslim countries and NATO fought side by side against the Orthodox Christians linked with Russia.

 

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, President Alija Izetbegović worked with US representative Richard Perle, who advised him on the diplomatic level and directed the Bosnian delegation during the Dayton Agreements. He also benefited, on the media level, from the advice of French representative Bernard-Henri Levy, according to Levy himself – and this has never been denied. Finally, on the military level, he relied on the advice of Saudi representative Oussama Ben Laden, who organised the Arab League on his behalf and received a Bosnian diplomatic passport. During the conflict, supported in secret by NATO, Izetbegović publicly received the support of Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia [21].

The Kosovar conflict began with a terrorist campaign against Belgrade by the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK). The combatants were trained by German Special Forces on a NATO base in Turkey [22]. The current head of Turkish Secret Services, Hakan Fidan, was the liaison officer for the terrorists within the NATO military staff. He is today the head of MIT, the Turkish Secret Services, and the number 2 of the régime. At the beginning of the war, in the space of three days, 290,000 Kosovars fled Serbia to seek refuge in Macedonia. Western TV channels showed numerous clips of the long lines of refugees walking along railway tracks. However, according to several million Macedonians who welcomed them, there was no objective reason for this migration, which was carefully supervised by NATO. Nonetheless, this displacement of the population was used to accuse President Slobodan Milošević of disproportionally repressing the terrorist campaign affecting his country, and NATO declared war on him without the authorisation of the Security Council.

The dirty work currently in preparation will extend the theatre of operations towards the East. The Pentagon is unable to impose an alliance between Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, but in fact, does not need one. In Yugoslavia, these three states were coordinated by NATO when they were not in direct contact.

However, the fact of fighting side by side in Burma will force them to find arrangements in Iraq, Syria and Yemen – perhaps even in Libya. Considering the devastation of the Middle East, and the tenacious resistance of the populations there, the Pentagon can leave the region to lick its wounds for a decade without fear of seeing the emergence of the slightest opposition to its policies.

The day after the Security Council meeting which laid the foundations for the future war against Burma, the State Secretariat informed President Barzani that the United States would not support the independence of an Iraqi Kurdistan. Of course, the Pentagon can not mobilise Turkey and Iran in South-East Asia while betraying them at their frontier. Consequently Massoud Barzani, who had engaged himself unequivocally for the referendum on independence, will soon have to retire from political life. Particularly since the display of Israëli flags at Erbil, massively relayed by the Arab, Persian and Turkish TV channels, has alienated every one of his neighbours.

If the Pentagon’s scenario continues to play out as we may anticipate, the war against Syria should soon end due to the lack of combatants, who will have gone overseas to serve the « American Empire » in a new theatre of operations.

 

Thierry Meyssan

 

Translation 

Pete Kimberley

 

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We know why Russia is in Ukraine.... 

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the west's modern crusades, or what is yours is mine.....

 

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killing Kurds...

On April 23, during a tour of Latin America, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that his country was closing its airspace to Russian military and civilian flights bound for Syria. But he added that this decision did not mean that Turkey was joining in the anti-Russian sanctions – it was simply that the agreement on an air corridor concluded between Moscow and Ankara was only valid for three months. That term is expiring at the end of April, and Turkey does not plan to renew it, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently informed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two nations have agreed that Russia will not use Turkish airspace to transport its troops to Syria, Mr. Çavuşoğlu added.

Clearly, Ankara’s decision is related to a number of situations that have taken a more serious turn in recent months.

One of these is Turkey’s new military operation against the Kurds – not just the Kurdish armed groups in Iraq, but also those in Syria. Clearly Ankara does not wish Moscow to get in the way of its plays in some way.

It should be noted that this operation, Ankara’s third special operation against the Kurds, is clearly not being conducted at Washington’s behest, as it is, in part, directed against Kurdish formations loyal to the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Evidently, in an attempt to rein in Turkey’s military zeal, Washington has pressurized it into taking certain anti-Russian steps, and as a result Turkey has closed its airspace to Russian military and civilian aircraft.

The US itself is also concerned to limit Russia’s military operations in Syria, intending as it does to step up its aggressive operations there and, it seems, to open a “second front” in the confrontation with Russia. To this end, on April 23 the US sent a “convoy of 35 vehicles with trucks with munitions and technical supplies” as well as tankers for transporting oil from areas of Syria under Kurdish control. On April 25 another US military convoy arrived at the Kharab al-Jir aerodrome in the al-Malikiya area district of Al-Hasakah Governorate. According to a source from the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reporter it consisted of 36 vehicles loaded with boxes, cement panels and generators, supported by four US military armored vehicles.

In a bid to reinforce its position in its conflict with the Syrian state, Washington appears to have encouraged its ally Israel to launch military attacks on Syrian territory. In the morning of April 27 sites in the suburbs of Damascus were hit by Israeli rockets – the third such attack in less than a month.

Washington is also clearly concerned that Moscow may redeploy Russian forces and Syrian volunteers from its Khmeimim and Tartus bases to its special operation in Ukraine.

In short, it is clear that Turkey’s decision to close its airspace to Russia is entirely consistent with both its own and Washington’s interests.

In recent months Turkey, has been walking a tightrope in an attempt to avoid damaging its own interests by antagonizing either Washington or Moscow. It has made a point of showing Moscow that it is complying with the Montreux Convention, and doing all it can to prevent the clashes between NATO and Russian forces in the Black Sea. On April 26 it even initiated a new round of talks with Moscow on the purchase of a second Russian-made S-400 air defense system. The talks were led by Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries, who declared that “Ankara has no wish to discontinue its cooperation with Russia on arms supply issues because of the situation in Ukraine.”

It should also be noted that Ankara has urged all concerned to resolve the crisis in the Azovstal steel plant, and in particular to evacuate “the civilians and military personnel who are trapped there.” These initiatives are clearly not just spontaneous gestures or motivated by humanitarian considerations. After all, Turkey is continuing, along with other NATO members, to supply the Kiev regime with arms and other military equipment. These include Bayraktar TB2 drones, which have already been used in strikes on Russian territory.

Ankara’s concern is understandable, as it is now known that the fighters trapped in the Azovstal steelworks by Russian, PRD/PRL soldiers include hundreds of mercenaries from Turkey and Europe and high-ranking instructors from NATO countries, who are managing Kiev’s military operation in the Donbass. It would therefore clearly not be in the interests of the “collective West” for them to fall into Russia’s hands or for their presence to be made known to and judged by the international community, thus confirming what is already clear from the documentary evidence received by Moscow – namely the provocative role played by Washington and Brussels in inflaming the war in Ukraine. That is why in the last few days the West has allowed Ankara a much greater role in regulating the current situation.

As for Turkey’s closing of its airspace to Russian aircraft bound for Syria, that decision will certainly have an impact on the development of relations between Moscow and Ankara. Russia’s could potentially retaliate in any number of ways. It could, for example, restrict fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey, or limit the number of Russian tourists visiting the country. After all, 18% of Turkey’s national budget comes from Russian tourists, and given its current economic woes it can ill afford to lose this source of income. Or Moscow could take measures against the Turkish Stream project, promoted by Ankara in a bid to replace Ukraine as the leading gas hub in the region. Russia has many other sources of leverage over Turkey, including in Central Asia, and Ankara is well aware of this fact and has in recent years managed a fine balancing act to avoid losing Russia’s support.

It should also be remembered that Russia would have no problem finding alternative flight routes to Syria. Moscow could transport all the necessary supplies, including military equipment, via the Caspian Sea and Iran, which is happy to allow Russian military and civilian aircraft to use its airspace 24 hours a day for purposes related to the two countries’ joint military operations in Syria.

 

 

Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

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any way will do….

As we have stated far too often, the end game for the USA is the conquest of the HEARTLAND (Russia and China)... Any means will do, including hypocrisy, fascism and thus supporting Turkey's destruction of the Kurds. Despite having clamoured support for these people, the Western nations led by fascist USA, don't mind this though as they don't understand or see their own crooked values.

On one side, the US have been stealing the Syrian oil to "support the Kurds", and on the other side the USA support Turkey — a NATO member — killing the Kurds. If you do not find this perverse, you have lost your sense of history — something which is not hard to do, with the Western media being completely bent...

Meanwhile, the USA are defending the nazis in Ukraine who are trying to destroy the Russians in Ukraine.

The reality behind all these apparent contradictions is that on one hand the Turks are making inroads towards the HEARTLAND, by fighting the Kurds, while on the other side the Russians are pushing back against the incursion of NATO towards the HEARTLAND. This is ultimate DEVIOUS US geopolitics at work.

 

RUSSIA AND CHINA CONTROL THE HEARTLAND AND ONLY DEVIOUS HYPOCRITICAL MEANS FROM THE USA (WHO ARE secretly HELPING DESTROY THE KURDS WHILE APPEARING TO SUPPORT THEM) CAN HELP THE FINAL conquest OF THE HEARTLAND. 

On the other side of the planet, the USA are pushing against CHINA for the same reason. 

 

You need to understand the HEARTLAND end game, in order to see why the following article is important:

 

----------------

 

BY Vladimir Platov

On 18 April, Turkey announced the beginning of a new cross-border military special operation in Iraqi Kurdistan, Claw Lock (Pençe Kilit). Ankara initially focused all its attention on the Duhok Province of Iraq, where Special Forces of the Ministry of Defense of Turkey with the support of artillery, landed in the Metina, Zap and Avashin areas and launched an operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

On 19 April, Alsumaria television channel reported that the spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the Turkey’s military operation in northern Iraq as unacceptable and violating the sovereignty of the Arab Republic. “The Government of the Republic of Iraq categorically rejects and strongly condemns the military operations carried out by the Turkish military forces by bombarding Iraqi territories in the Matina, Zab, Avashin and Basyan areas in northern Iraq with the use of ATAK helicopters and drones,” the spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.

On April 25, Minister of Defense of Turkey Hulusi Akar together with the Chief of the General Staff Yashar Güler and the Commander of the Land Forces Musa Avsever, visited the tactical command post of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Turkish Army. On that occasion, Akar voiced the losses of Kurdish formations since July 24, 2015: “In northern Iraq and Syria, 34,259 terrorists have already been neutralized. Since the beginning of this year, the number of neutralized militants reached 991.” The head of the Ministry of National Defense of Turkey also pointed out that 56 terrorists had already been neutralized during the latest Pençe Kilit “special operation”; the operation is continuing as planned. He added that for Ankara there is no difference between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG (“People’s Self-Defense Units”). “The targets identified in the first phase of the special operation have been captured. Unlike previous operations, this special operation will be long-lasting, because Turkey will not stop until the last terrorist has been killed,” stressed the Minister of Defense of Turkey.

The analyst Emin Pazardzhi recently noted on the air of the Turkish television channel A Haber that Ankara is preparing to extend its “special operation” to Syria. “The operation is always on the agenda and always on the table. And Turkey is conducting this operation as needed. In this regard, this should not be neglected,” Pazardzhi said, stressing that “it is wrong to think that this will not happen.”

At the same time, in the middle of April the leader of the Turkish opposition Welfare Party, Temel Karamollaoğlu accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the air of the Turkish television channel Haberturk of having started war in Syria. He claimed that for that reason “Syria turned into a bloodbath.” Karamollaoğlu also reminded that the conflicts in Syria resulted in 30 million people fleeing to Turkey.

Since the 1980s, armed incursions by Turkish military forces on the territory of neighboring countries have become routine. After the start of the first cross-border military operation, Ankara with numerical and technological advantage in military terms continues to fight Kurdish separatism and its resource bases not only in Iraq but also in Syria. The current Claw Lock special operation is a continuation of a series of similar endeavors. So Claw-Eagle was launched in May 2019, followed by Claw-Tiger in June 2020. The third phase was a dual ground and air cross-border special operation, Claw Lightning and Claw Ball Thunderbolt, which was initiated in April 2021. In February 2022, the Turkish Air Force conducted a short-term air operation, Winter Eagle.

All Turkish special operations mainly focused on PKK positions in the Duhok Province of Iraq and aimed at preventing the movement of Kurdish militants between their bases, which spread from the Qandil Mountains on the Iraq-Iran border all the way to the Syrian border. But now it seems that Turkey decided to seriously take its “special operation” for the long haul. This is confirmed by the heavy shelling by Turkish army with more than 100 shells in the Tell Rifaat district, Aleppo province, in northern Syria on May 4, as reported by the Kurdish news agency Firat. The news agency reports the fire came from heavy guns. As a result of the attack, a number of settlements controlled by the Kurdish groups of the “People’s Self-Defense Units” were destroyed.

Ankara does not hide the main goals of the special operation: the destruction of all PKK encampments in the border regions, the build-up of Turkish military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan and the isolation of the Turkish-Iraqi border. Obviously, the Turkish command are eager to expand the buffer zone in northern Iraq with the possible capture of the Zap area, the last route for the PKK from Kurdistan to Turkey. As part of the Claw series of special operations, Ankara has already set up a permanent bridgehead in the region, with more than 40 military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan. Last year, Minister of the Interior Suleyman Soylu said that Turkey would establish a base in Metina to monitor the region and control routes into the mountains on the Iraq-Iran border, where the PKK’s main command center is based.

Turkey’s expansion and intensification of Claw operations draws attention to the lack of condemnation in the international community of this “special operation” by Ankara, and its constant military actions against the PKK are already regarded by a number of countries as a matter of course.

This is particularly striking against the backdrop of the sanctions and blatantly Russophobic campaign launched by Washington and its West allies against the Russian special operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukrainian terrorists, who have been carrying out outright genocide against the peaceful population of eastern Ukraine with the tacit response of the West.

Moscow and Ankara are trying to achieve similar goals in their special operations: security near their borders. However, the obvious decisive factors in the West’s reaction are the Russophobic sentiments encouraged by Washington and an overt support of any aggression by a NATO country.

 

 

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

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https://journal-neo.org/2022/05/09/the-west-approves-turkey-s-operation-against-the-kurds-but-condemns-russia-s-special-operation-in-ukraine/

 

 

 

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NATO invades northern syria……...

Turkey’s War Against the Kurds Exposes NATO’s Aggression
KEREM SCHAMBERGER
ADAM BALTNER

With all eyes on the war in Ukraine, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning a fresh invasion of northern Syria. For 70 years, Turkey has been a key NATO member — and NATO's backing for its aggression shows the alliance is no mere defense pact.

 

It’s happening again. Emboldened by NATO member states’ silence, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government could turn Turkish threats of war against the democratic administration in north Syrian Rojava into a full-fledged invasion. During a public appearance on Monday, May 23, at a military shipyard on the Sea of Marmara, Erdoğan announced his intention to occupy a thirty-kilometer-wide strip of land along northern Syrian border. According to Turkish sources, preparations for the invasion would be complete by the next day.

Elsewhere in Kurdistan, the war has been roiling for weeks — despite lack of public attention or outrage. On April 17, the Turkish army launched an invasion of the Zab region of southern Kurdistan. This was the first culmination of a series of interventions in northern Iraq violating international law. Since then, the mountains of Kurdistan — where numerous villages lie and civilians live — have seen heavy fighting, with soldiers and guerrilla fighters dying every day. In Rojava, too, a low-intensity war against the civilian population and its administration has been in progress for months. As the Rojava Information Center has documented, at least thirty-five Turkish drone strikes have killed more than thirteen people and injured thirty-four.

So far, Erdoğan has been able to pursue these war politics unhindered. Criticism of the NATO alliance, of which Turkey has been a member since 1952, has remained absent. Instead, the war in Ukraine has given even more destructive bargaining power and influence to Erdoğan, who is presenting himself as an ostensible mediator between Russia and Ukraine by hosting negotiations on Turkish soil.

Today Erdoğan is playing a further role by blocking Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO. From the AKP government’s perspective, these countries provide support for terrorism and harbor terrorists. These alleged “terrorist organizations” are aid projects in Rojava engaged in activities such as building water infrastructure and sheltering women who experienced violence at the hands of the terrorist militia ISIS — that is, they are humanitarian aid projects that Sweden helps finance. The “terrorists” targeted by Erdoğan are Kurds in Sweden and Finland who have been free to become politically organized in those countries without facing oppression.

Yet Turkey has also trained its crosshairs on politicians of Kurdish heritage, such as the independent left-wing Swedish MP Amineh Kakabaveh, who is originally from eastern Kurdistan. Recently, the Turkish ambassador in Stockholm even went so far as to demand her extradition (which it later played off as a “misunderstanding”). For her own part, Kakabeveh also opposes NATO membership for Sweden and has withdrawn her support for her country’s Social Democratic prime minister. She has remarked that the Kurds are once again at risk of being sacrificed on the altar of the superpowers — this time with Sweden’s support.

In the past, Erdoğan has exploited refugees for political gain. He has agreed to prevent them from entering the European Union (or conversely, threatened to send them over the border) in exchange for political concessions from EU governments. Now he is also trying to use the Kurds to achieve his dreams of making Turkey a regional imperial superpower. This makes it clear that the Kurdish question is a truly international problem.

Now that Turkey has temporarily stalled NATO expansion, it is finally coming under fire from critics who allege that its intransigence should disqualify it from the NATO community. Yet as Dilar Dirik has pointed out, this rhetoric is confused: Turkey has been an essential part of the military alliance for more than seventy years, and Turkish war politics are of a piece with NATO’s various wars of aggression in recent years that have broken international law. NATO may refer to itself as a “community of shared values,” just as its 1949 founding document may claim that its members are committed to the Charter of the United Nations and to “the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.” Yet this is ideology meant to obfuscate the bellicose character of the alliance. NATO’s invasions of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and former Yugoslavia tell a different story. So too does Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus, a violation of international law that has been ongoing since 1976, though it is hardly even mentioned anymore.

Last Monday, Cemil Bayik, the cochair of the Kurdistan Communities Union’s executive committee, emphasized NATO’s role in the war against Kurdistan: “It may seem like Turkey is waging the war in Zab and Avaşîn, but it’s actually NATO. . . . As a member state, Turkey receives extremely extensive support from NATO. Without this assistance, Turkey wouldn’t have been able keep fighting to today. It was NATO that decided to go to war, and Turkey is putting this decision into practice.”

For Turkey, an invasion of Rojava is also closely linked to domestic politics. With elections scheduled for 2023, all opinion polling suggests that the AKP will take a significant hit at the ballot box. The party might be trying to save its fortunes with yet another military conflict, for Turkey’s ever recurring invasions of Syria have always been accompanied by an increased approval rating for the AKP — from the occupation of a region in northern Syria between Azaz and the Euphrates in August 2016 to the invasion and occupation of Afrin in 2018 and of Serê Kaniyê and Girê Spî in 2019. War unifies parts of the population behind the government and its military while pushing issues such as unemployment and poverty into the background — if only temporarily.

In early May, Erdoğan announced plans to gradually send one million Syrian refugees in Turkey to live in “settlements” built for them in occupied northern Syria. The plan, it seems, is to gain control over a continuous geographical territory to be successively integrated into the territory of the Turkish. The payment of salaries in the Turkish Lira in the regions that have already been occupied, along with the opening of Turkish-speaking schools and the installment of Turkish governors, indicates that the goal is permanent colonization. The invasions have also strengthened jihadist militias, which have helped secure the occupation alongside Turkish soldiers. Many of their fighters are former members of ISIS, which continues to exist underground. ISIS is increasingly capable of carrying out attacks again, as was demonstrated back in January by its storming of the ISIS prison in al-Hasakah.

In an interview with the German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel, Khaled Davrisch, the Berlin representative of Rojava’s autonomous administration, explained that “bending the knee before Erdoğan would torpedo efforts for a peaceful solution in Syria.” In fact, it would do far more. A Turkish war of aggression with NATO’s blessing would make clear that the talk of shared values, freedom, and democracy only applies when it serves NATO’s own interests.

 

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https://jacobin.com/2022/05/turkeys-war-against-the-kurds-exposes-natos-aggression

 

 

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meanwhile in turkey….

 

By Vladimir Platov

 

After Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially announced his intention to run in the upcoming 2023 presidential elections in Turkey, the current White House administration gave a clear signal to its Western “allies” to intensify the campaign against the current Turkish leader and prepare measures to oust him.  Although there is no talk of a coup d’état in Turkey yet, the ouster of Erdoğan as a result of the elections has become quite clear.

Not only the Americans, but also Western Europe, especially Germany, are now being blamed for stoking the internal political fire in Turkey. Not without explicit US involvement, as part of a provocative propaganda campaign against Erdoğan organized by the pro-Western opposition, there have recentlybeen statements that the head of state is allegedly exporting millions of dollars to the US and preparing a plan to flee the country quickly. The ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) responded swiftly with a statement by party spokesman Ömer Çelik, accusing the opposition of blatant lies and seeking to inflame the situation.

The negative attitude of the current US president and the Democratic Party in general towards Erdoğan has its own history. Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate during the Biden vice presidency, when the US removed Patriot missile systems from Turkish territory and Erdoğan began looking to acquire such weapons elsewhere. In 2017, Ankara reached an agreement with Moscow and bought four S-400 air defense system divisions from Russia for around $2.5 billion, the largest Russian export contract with a NATO country and, at the same time, intensified criticism of Erdoğan in the US.

In 2016, as a US Vice President, Biden visited Istanbul, where during a press conference he sharply criticized Ankara and President Erdoğan for suppressing freedom of speech and failing to respect human rights. In December 2019, while still the Democratic candidate in the US presidential race, Joe Biden in an interview with The New York Times urged political opponents of the Turkish President to take more steps to win the election and in opposing Erdoğan. Biden called the Turkish leader an “autocrat,” criticized his policies towards the Kurds and advocated support for the Turkish opposition. “What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership,” Reuters then quoted Biden as saying of Erdoğan.

Now Turkey, thanks to Erdoğan, is stronger on the international stage than at any time in the last century. But things are not going well domestically. The economy has suffered quite badly during the Covid crisis, inflation is on the rise and social discontent is growing. This and a number of other internal problems in Turkey are now being exploited with a vengeance by the United States, which is not happy with “strong and independent” Erdoğan. Despite the US and the West needing Turkey amid the crisis in Ukraine, they have in fact already declared war on Erdoğan, so blatantly writing him off that it looks simply defiant. Western embassies, having received a clear message from Washington, have for some months now been paying openly increased attention to the Turkish opposition, and there is even a clear division as to which Western country supports which opposition party. For example, the US and British embassies are “friends” with the mayor of Istanbul. The US embassy is also friends with the leader of the Good Party. The German embassy is friends with the leader of the Republican People’s Party. The leader of the Democracy and Progress Party has in principle always been regarded as the voice of the West in Turkey, while former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (Future Party) has now become a direct US protégé. Western embassies, without any qualms about blatant interference in the domestic life of an independent state, which is also a very important element of NATO, directly discuss Turkey’s future policies with politicians already in opposition to Erdoğan, who are being tipped to take his place.

With explicit US support, the leaders of six opposition parties (Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the Republican People’s Party (RPP), Meral Akşener of the nationalist Good Party, Temel Karamollaoğlu of the conservative Happiness Party, Ahmet Davutoğlu of the Future Party, Gültekin Uysal of the Democratic Party and Ali Babacan of the Democracy and Progress Party) met in February this year to “devise a strategy for governing the state in the event that the current President Erdoğan is ousted.” They continue to coordinate their actions today to remove Erdoğan from power. As even Turkish experts point out, the six opposition parties have secured support not only from the United States, but also from Germany. Turkey’s Minister of Interior and Erdoğan himself have accused the opposition, united in a common National Alliance, of colluding with Western embassies.

The opposition is particularly betting on splitting Erdoğan’s alliance with Devlet Bahçeli’s Nationalist Movement Party (NMP), with which the ruling presidential Justice and Development Party (JDP), which long ago lost its monopoly on political power, was forced into an alliance earlier. And largely thanks to this alliance, the opposition parties failed to remove Erdoğan and the JDP from power in the 2019 elections, and Bahçeli, while keeping Erdoğan in power, took part in the formation of the then new government.

The new opposition coalition, led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s Republican People’s Party (RPP), which was openly established at the US Embassy, is strengthened with external support, in particular by the accession of the second most influential parliamentary opposition party, Mithat Sankar’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Today, the PDP has 56 seats in the Turkish parliament and joining the new alliance, which already has 175 seats in the 600-seat parliament, could pose a serious threat to Erdoğan, especially against the background of the recent fall in his approval ratings amid the country’s socio-economic crisis.

The choice by the current US political elite of this particular party to strengthen Erdoğan’s coalition of opposition is not difficult to understand, since the PDP’s program matches all the political sentiments of Biden and the Democratic Party: LGBT rights, feminism, ultra-democracy, “militant environmentalism” and even support for the Kurds. The PDP has even shown a willingness to discuss a single opposition candidate for president. However, the party may not survive before the elections because the Turkish Constitutional Court is considering a case to ban it and hundreds of its politicians face five years of political sanctions on charges of organizational links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkey.

The year 2023 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. Therefore, the authorities, as well as external and internal opposition forces, intend to make the most of the event, each to its own advantage. The West has clearly bet on the opposition. As Turkish leader Erdoğan has already stated, the 2023 vote will be “of vital importance for Turkey and its future role in world politics.” It is possible that a new constitution will also be adopted by 2023.

At the same time, many political forces in the West realize that if Erdoğan loses the 2023 presidential election, it will entail a monumental shift in Turkish domestic and foreign policy. However, the current problem is the lack of charismatic political leaders in Turkey. All the leaders of the current opposition are not independent figures and are perceived only as participants in various alliances with Western external forces.

Therefore, despite the country’s financial and economic problems, which the US and its Western “allies” are trying to exploit in removing Erdoğan from future political activity, these attempts will not achieve a significant result. And above all because Erdoğan has long been, for the majority of the population, the epitome of a political course that is independent of the West. And the nationalist factor has famously played and continues to play an important role in Turkey today.

 

 

 

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

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https://journal-neo.org/2022/06/25/us-prepares-to-oust-erdogan/

 

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NOTE: THERE ARE PLENTY OF TURKISH PEOPLE IN GERMANY......

 

 

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