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The West Is in No Position to Lecture Turkey on Democracy or Human Rights

Euro-elitist Guy Verhofstadt
By Martin Jay | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 10, 2019

April fool’s day passed a few weeks ago but when we see news from Turkey that President Erdogan is going to do a re-run of elections in Istanbul, some of us are left doing a double take. But then the jaw dropping moment which follows is not what’s going on in Turkey, a country that certainly has human rights issues, no question – but how the West lines up to chastise the country. The hypocrisy is quite amazing.

And which particular moron should stand first in line with the hilarious opprobrium other than the European Union’s own clown MEP, Guy Verhofstadt a euro-elite type who is hard ignore but well worth the effort. This former Belgian PM recently ejaculated in the European parliament his important thoughts on Turkey and Erdogan, in line with former MEPs who jump on this bandwagon when it suits their federalist interests – before retreating and allowing the circus of EU accession to rumble on in Brussels when it also suits. Right now, with only days before EU elections and record gains expected for populist parties, it was hardly surprising the odious Belgian liberal would take the stage and dutifully pour scorn on Turkey.

But there are times in the EU bubble when reality seems to have been taken over by The Truman Show. Is this for real?

The European Union, probably the most corrupt, anti-democratic, white supremacist, freemason, autocratic organization which has practically invented the handbook on fake news, corruption cover ups and how to bribe journalists and fund despots around the world, is actually holding Turkey to account on its democracy score?

“This outrageous decision highlights how Erdogan’s #Turkey is drifting towards a dictatorship” gushed the Belgian MEP in a tweet. “Under such leadership, accession talks are impossible. Full support to the Turkish people protesting for their democratic rights and for a free and open Turkey!”.

But wait. Is this the same European Union which, when questioned about Romania and Bulgaria’s colossal corruption problem in 2004 (whose judiciaries are run by mafia mobs) said “we’ll let them in and then reform them” only for journalists to be later gunned down in Bulgaria and for Romania to have so many anti-corruption organizations that hacks there joke about getting an EU grant to export it? Or, for that matter, the same EU which repeatedly calls for second elections itself when it doesn’t get the result that it requires, like in Ireland and more recently in the UK with Brexit?

This is the same European Union which signed the arrest warrant of German journalist Hans Martin-Tillack in 2003 – and handed it to Belgian police – so that the journalist’s house could be raided and his computer seized, only for him to be thrown into the back of a police van where a cop tells him “well, it’s not Burmah”?

Or the same EU, which, in the same period where it started a reform process actually just rounded up all its whistleblowers and hung them up on a meat hook as an example to deter others in the EU institutions?

The European Union has a shocking history of human rights abuses not only on its own turf but more poignantly around the world with the regimes it supports with aid. Most central African despots are supported by EU cash, which, in turn, leads to intensified human rights abuses on a grand scale – which then leads to an exodus of migrants who end up in Libya sold as slaves, raped and abused. In many country’s its own environmental programs are bogus so as to funnel slush funds to dictatorships it supports, like in Lebanon for example where its recycling and composting schemes are actually so bad that they are poisoning the country’s water and linked to increased numbers of cancer.

This is the reality of the EU’s human rights record and its own check on democracy. The list just goes on and on and befittingly it is curious that the EU’s own ‘third word country’ (Belgium) which has a shocking deficit on press freedom and is a country infamous for industrial scale pedophilia which historically was the financial basis (blackmail) to fund political parties, is the very country which produced Verhofstadt and accommodates his pathetic ramblings in the European parliament, the only assembly in the world which is so useless that MEPs can’t even initiate legislation in it.

Verhofstadt is a signed up member of the Wet Dream Society, or as it is formerly know the ‘Spinelli Group’ – a sort of freemason’s talk shop of those who believe the EU could one day be a super power and have a real foreign policy. And so it is normal for him to take the floor and deliver such stupendously boring and utterly ludicrous speeches which are delusional at best and simply an old man’s fantasy at worse. Rather like Verhofstadt’s dream in 2004 of being European Commission president – a bid blocked by Tony Blair.

But here’s the real cherry on top if you like your irony in triple doses. The European parliament operates a scheme where it subsidizes all media in their production expenses, running into hundreds of millions of euros. If it didn’t do that, most broadcasters wouldn’t report on the mind numbingly boring events there. Some might call this bribing the press as there is obviously a ‘pay back’ there in helping the EU promote itself. But Euronews, which reported in Verhofstadt’s speech and gave it great prominence, not only profits from the scheme but actually gets a massive subsidy from the Brussels annual budget itself to report on MEPs – a double whammy, so in fact, the Verhofstadt ramble is actually fake news itself. This is an institution – the European Parliament – which voted just recently to actually finance media operations to write propaganda about the EU.

You can’t actually make this stuff up.

But meanwhile, there is news from the other side of the Atlantic, a real super power, which suggests that CNN in Atlanta might send journalists to CNN Turk to train them in the art of journalism. Given that nearly all of its big named foreign reporters make up their stories when they travel the globe – Anderson Cooper, Christiana Ammanpour and Parisa Khosravi – as I was informed by Elise Labott, a ex CNN ‘reporter’ not handicapped herself by journalistic skills, then this could also be a parody, or fake news. CNN Turk is attacked by the West for being pro Erdogan, without any acknowledgement that CNN Atlanta is entirely partisan itself and regularly rigs the news in favour of Clinton or whoever will slip into her peep toes.

At least CNN will not send Labott to Istanbul, a reporter who made a career out of making stories up to such an extent that Atlanta finally had to let her go earlier in the year after at least three investigations into her fabulous lack of journalist ethics, broke all records.

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

The Same Guy Verhofstadt Who Wants a New Brexit Vote Decries a New Vote For Istanbul’s Mayoral Election

By Adam Garrie | Eurasia Future | 2019-05-07

The leader of the Liberal faction in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt has just decried a decision by Turkish officials to conduct a re-vote in the contentious Istanbul Mayoral race. During the initial vote on 31 March, it was proclaimed that CH Party candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu beat AK Party candidate Binali Yıldırım by a razor thin margin.

Since the initial tally, AK representatives have challenged the result alleging serious irregularities that could have influenced the vote in favour of İmamoğlu. Today, the Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK) annulled the result of the 31 March election for the Mayoralty in Istanbul and have scheduled a new election to take place on 23 June.

Although such re-run elections are never ideal, in circumstance when a preponderance of evidence indicates that there were enough irregularities present that could have changed the result, re-run elections become the least bad of no good options. This is what the YSK has decided upon in a manner consistent with the principles of mainstream 21st century democracy.

But while the re-run election will be conducted according to normal democratic principles, this has failed to satisfy the notoriously vocal Guy Verhofstadt. The EU Liberal big wig has taken to Twitter to say the following:

“This outrageous decision highlights how Erdogan’s Turkey is drifting towards a dictatorship. Under such leadership, accession talks are impossible. Full support to the Turkish people protesting for their democratic rights and for a free and open Turkey!”

First of all, it was not President Erdoğan who made the decision to hold a new election. It was the YSK’s decision, a body made up of members from multiple parties who then vote on a majoritarian basis in order to enact a decision. In this case, the democratic decision to hold a new election passed by a margin of seven against four.

Secondly, if Turkey’s long stalled quest to join the EU would portend future anti-democratic interference from the likes of Guy Verhofstadt, perhaps many in Turkey ought to be thankful that Brussels has recently leaned against full Turkish membership of the EU. Finally, it is not the “Turkish people” protesting. Those protesting are CH Party workers and supporters who are naturally upset by the electoral re-run. Likewise, supporters of the AK Party had peacefully protested in favour of a re-run. There is nothing unusual about this and of course the protests are occurring freely and without violence.

But the greatest absurdity of Guy Verhofstadt’s meddlesome comments is that while he decries a second vote in a local Turkish election, he has consistently agitated for Britain to hold a re-run vote in order to overturn the Brexit decision made by voters in 2016.

Unlike in the Istanbul election, the British government and opposition parties all accept that the 2016 election was without any worrisome irregularities. In other words, the Brexit referendum was a free and fair vote whilst Turkish authorities have decided that there were too many irregularities in the Istanbul vote for the initial result to be accepted as legitimate.

And yet, Verhofstadt is allying himself with forces that want to overturn a universally acknowledged legitimate vote whilst complaining that a vote in Turkey found to be illegitimate must be set in stone. Once again, double standards rule the day in Brussels.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

Different when we do it: Why re-voting is ‘dictatorship’ in Turkey & ‘unity’ in EU

EU Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt © Reuters / Eric Vidal
RT | May 7, 2019

The decision to rerun a local mayoral election in Istanbul has sparked scathing criticism in Brussels — ironically, from none other than the EU’s Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt.

Tweeting about the move, which was branded a “coup” by a Turkish opposition newspaper, Verhofstadt said it highlighted that Turkey was “drifting towards a dictatorship” and offered “full support to the Turkish people protesting for their democratic rights.” Along with the verbal slap on the wrist, he said that under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership, talks on Turkey joining the EU are “impossible.”

The irony in Verhofstadt’s outrage, is that the EU itself has a long history of either totally ignoring referendum votes — or just making people vote again until the ‘correct’ result is achieved. But that, of course, does not make the EU a dictatorship. It’s still a “bastion of hope, freedom, prosperity & stability” (as per another recent Verhofstadt tweet). Twitter users wasted no time in pointing out the “irony” and “hypocrisy.”

“How dare [Erdogan] use EU tactics,” one irritated Verhofstadt follower responded, with another saying that the UK itself was currently “battling for its democracy” — a reference to EU officials (including Verhofstadt) who have frequently voiced their personal opposition to Brexit and the ‘Remain’ factions in Britain who have been calling for a re-run of the 2016 referendum.

While there may be at least some merit to the idea of Brexit referendum re-run after two years of failed negotiations and with more accurate information now available to British voters, the idea of simply re-doing EU-related votes is hardly a one-off.

Maybe Verhofstadt should take a trip down memory lane.

France voted ‘no’ to accepting a proposed ‘EU Constitution’ by 54.9 percent in 2005, but the outcome was ignored. The same thing happened in the Netherlands, which rejected it by 61.5 percent. The ‘EU Constitution’ was later repackaged into the Lisbon Treaty and presented to the French parliament where it was adopted, without being put to the people this time (much easier!).

This new Lisbon Treaty was then rejected by Irish voters in 2008, once again sending Brussels into meltdown mode, as the pact needed to be ratified by all member states before taking effect. So, of course, they made some tweaks and asked people to vote again — and got the ‘right’ result the next time. It wasn’t the first time Ireland was asked to re-vote after giving the wrong answer, either. The country also rejected the Nice Treaty in 2001 and accepted it in a second vote a year later.

Greece voted overwhelmingly to reject severe austerity measures desired by the EU in 2015 in exchange for a multi-billion euro bailout. Not long after, under pressure from Brussels, the country’s government agreed to implement even harsher methods — totally ignoring the will of the Greek people.

But way before all that in 1992, Danes, displeased with plans for a single currency, common European defense policies and for joint rules on crime and immigration, rejected the Maastricht Treaty — and were asked to vote again.

Ironically, many European voters voted ‘no’ to these treaties because they were worried that the EU would be turned into some kind of undemocratic superstate where the wills of individual countries and people would be ignored. Being forced to vote until you give the ‘right’ answer doesn’t exactly put those worries to bed. It’s part of the reason why the British voted for Brexit in the first place.

Then there’s Catalonia, where pro-independence leaders were thrown in jail for their role in holding an independence referendum in 2017. One tweeter scolded Verhofstadt and other EU leaders for believing that they have some “moral authority” over Turkey while abuse of pro-independence forces in Catalonia is ignored. “Our leaders are still in prison because they let citizens vote,” they wrote.

With a history like that, maybe it’s a bit rich for Verhofstadt to be going around lamenting the lack of democracy in other countries.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

US, Israel to supply anti-aircraft missiles to Kurdish militants in Syria: Report

Press TV – May 1, 2019

The United States and Israel are reportedly set to supply anti-aircraft missiles to Kurdish militants in northern Syria amid tensions between Ankara and Washington over the latter’s support for the militants, which the Turkish government views as terrorists.

Citing local sources, Turkey’s Yeni Safak daily reported that the US is set to deliver shipments of Stinger Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) to militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK, it added, has designated the towns of Rmelan and Shaddadah in Syria’s Hasakah Province as well as the Jalabiyah and al-Omar regions as launching points for its American-supplied missiles.

Ankara is unhappy with Washington’s support for Kurdish militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it views as an extension of the PKK, and has repeatedly called on the US administration to stop providing them with arms.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy inside Turkey for decades and runs bases in neighboring Syria and Iraq as well.

The report further said the regime in Israel has also vowed to supply the Kurds with Spike anti-aircraft missiles in the Syrian provinces of Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah following high-level meetings between the militants and Tel Aviv.

Israel has long been backing the militants operating against the Syrian government. The regime has, on several occasions, criticized Turkey for its operations against the Kurdish militants.

The US-Kurdish alliance is closely coordinating the missiles’ deployment to Syria as part of a “special joint strategy,” according to the report.

It further said that a group of 30 PKK militants have already received training to handle the advanced anti-aircraft missiles.

Turkey has since 2016 launched two military operations inside Syria against the US-backed Kurdish militants and has threatened a third if they fail to leave the east of the Euphrates.

Like Turkey, the US has listed the PKK as a terrorist group, but views the YPG as an ally in its so-called fight against the Takfiri Daesh terror group.

Turkey has repeatedly questioned Washington’s deployment of heavy weapons in Syria despite the defeat of Daesh.

Last December, US officials said the Pentagon was considering recommending that Kurdish militants be allowed to keep American-supplied weapons after the withdrawal of troops from Syria.

In February, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Turkey’s NATO allies for supplying huge loads of weapons to Kurdish militants in northern Syria, while ignoring Ankara’s arms purchase requests.

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump, Erdogan seek reset of US-Turkey ties

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | April 21, 2019

Even as the countdown has begun before the first batch of Russian-made S-400 missiles will arrive in Turkey — expected in coming ten weeks from now — a crisis situation envelops the Turkish-American relationship. No doubt, this crisis, unless resolved in the coming days or weeks, could have profound consequences for the future of the western alliance system as a whole and the geopolitics of Eurasia and the Middle East.

What distinguishes the crisis from the run-of-the-mill spats that keep frequenting the Turkey-US relationship every now and then is that at issue here is Turkey’s vulnerability, if it proceeds with the S-400 deal, to US retribution under the 2017 law known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which is directed against Russian arms industry but becomes applicable to third parties that enter into arms deals with Moscow.

If CAATSA sanctions click in, Turkey, which is mired in recession due to the US pressure tactic on its economy, may descend into a free fall of its currency. Incipient signs are already available. Even minor US sanctions could trigger another sharp sell-off in the Turkish lira that deepens the recession. Last year, Turkish lira shed 30 percent of its value, and the currency is down another 10 percent recently, and markets remain on edge.

Simply put, Turkey is so much integrated into the western economies and banking system that any US sanctions would inevitably have a crippling effect. And if there is one message out of Turkey’s recent local elections, it is that the state of the domestic economy could directly impact President Recep Erdogan’s political standing. The point is, despite all the brave chatter about dethroning the dollar, the hard reality is that the US is in a position to “weaponise” the dollar for the foreseeable future and all the King’s men and all the King’s horses — in Moscow and Beijing or Tehran and Caracas or wherever — have to live with that reality.

Besides, in Turkey’s case, a life outside the Western system is simply unthinkable. The Turkish elite are acutely conscious of Ataturk’s legacy that the modernisation of the country demands integration with the West. True, Turkey under President Recep Erdogan is redefining its identity but reclaiming Ottoman legacies in the Muslim Middle East does not and will not mean turning the back on Europe. Paradoxically, Turkey’s strategic autonomy is best preserved by being part of the western alliance system, considering the country’s tough neighbourhood.

No doubt, the stakes are high for Turkey. Unsurprisingly, soon after the visit to Moscow on April 8, Erdogan decided to depute a high-powered team of officials to Washington. The indications are that Erdogan came away from Moscow not quite convinced of the Kremlin’s assiduous wooing of him with an alternative non-western road map for Turkey’s future. At any rate, a team of senior Turkish ministers visited Washington last week for talks aimed at easing the crisis, which included the powerful Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of Erdogan.

The hugely consequential mission of Turkish ministers (which also included Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Erdogan’s key advisor Ibrahim Kalin) culminated in an unexpected Oval Office meeting for Albayrak with President Donald Trump, with only son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin present.

Turkish officials have since exuded optimism that Trump has a “more positive attitude” to Turkey’s pleas than the US Congress where Turkey has almost no cheerleaders.

The catch, however, is that CAATSA, which was legislated in the backdrop of Trump’s alleged “Russia collusion”,  has been written precisely with the idea that Trump will have no loopholes to bypass it or dilute the sanctions legislation against Russian arms industry. In fact, for granting a waiver to Turkey in the present case, Trump by law would have to show that the S-400 purchase was not a “significant transaction”, and that it would not endanger the integrity of NATO or adversely affect US military operations.

Again, Trump would also need to show in a letter to congressional committees that the S-400 missile deal would not lead to a “significant negative impact” on US-Turkish cooperation, and that Turkey is taking, or will take, steps over a specific period to reduce its Russian-made defence equipment and weapons. It is a difficult proposition, but doable — provided there is political will.

Trump’s decision to receive Albayrak — it is absolutely unprecedented for POTUS to hold talks with a visiting finance minister — signals that the great dealmaker is on the prowl and would have some formula under his sleeve. Significantly, Trump has not weighed in on Turkey in recent weeks. A senior Turkish official told Reuters that the talks in Washington were “more positive than expected” and the Americans expressed “a softer tone” than they take in public. Another Turkish official added, “There might certainly be some steps to be taken but the search for common ground will continue.”

The Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Thursday: “We’re closer” to a final decision on the S-400s after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart. “It’s like: ‘OK, where are we stuck? How do we get unstuck?” he said of the talks, adding he was optimistic and hopeful of visiting Turkey for the formal transfer of F-35 stealth aircraft, which Turkey plans to buy and Washington is threatening to block if Turkey pressed ahead with the S-400 deal with Russia.

Of course, the Turkish-American relationship is littered with several other disputes too — military strategy in the Syrian conflict, Iran sanctions, Turkey’s extradition request to Washington in regard of the Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen (whom Ankara blames for a failed 2016 military coup) and so on. But the crisis over the S-400 missile deal is the mother of all disputes, since it is directly linked to the viability of the 7-decades old Turkish-American alliance, the Russian strategies in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, US-Russia tensions and the US’ capacity to influence the Middle East politics as a whole.

What is happening is that after a brinkmanship played out through months at different levels, the crisis over the S-400 affair is reaching a nail-biting finish, with Turkey and the US having reached the edge of the precipice, peering into the abyss and not liking what they see in the darkness and groping for a way to pull back somehow. If they succeed, it will have to be on a “win-win” basis. Read a commentary in the pro-government Turkish daily Sabah entitled This picture gives us hope

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Understanding Saudi Arabia’s Role in Post-Coup Sudan

By Adam Garrie | EurasiaFuture | April 18, 2019

In previous times, when Saudi Arabia sought to intervene in the affairs of foreign nations, it did so overtly. Whether funding foreign masjids to advance Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam or sponsoring militant groups with unambiguous links to Riyadh, it used to be that when Saudi Arabia wanted change in a foreign nation, there was no real attempt to hide such developments.

Under the de facto leadership of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, this has partly changed. While western media has struggled to form a cohesive narrative through which to portray military strongman and US citizen Khalifa Haftar’s ongoing attempt to take Tripoli, Haftar’s own movements make it clear just how much Saudi Arabia is backing the renegade military man who once fled Libya as a traitor in the late 1980s.

Haftar was in Riyadh where he met the Saudi monarch just days before he began his assault on Tripoli. It has further been reported that Haftar has received millions of dollars from Riyadh. Thus, it is clear that in spite of Riyadh’s US partner’s support of the fledgling and endlessly corrupt Tripoli regime, Saudi Arabia along with its Egyptian and Emirati allies are firmly behind Haftar.

Recent events in Sudan have served as a reminder to the world that whilst long serving and recently ousted President Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1989 with the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood, since then, Bashir had become something of a post-ideological/poly-ideological political survivor. At various times Bashir has been friendly with and had disputes with countries as diverse as Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Gaddafi’s Libya, Assad’s Syria, Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. In many ways, the only two nations with whom Bashir has had consistently good relations were China and Russia. In respect of just about every other country that seeks strategic relations with Khartoum, Bashir’s career was something of a geopolitical game of ping-pong.

Recent years however had seen Bashir’s Sudan greatly improve relations with Turkey and also Turkey’s closest Arab ally Qatar. To this end, Turkey has signed an agreement with Khartoum to construct a modern port at the location of a once prominent Ottoman Port at Suakin. Yet whilst this apparently win-win project did not immediately radiate political overtones, there were in fact many to be found. Suakin was a traditional Ottoman port of call for those on the Hajj to the Holy City of Mecca. From Suakin, pilgrims would take a short maritime journey to Jeddah before moving on to Mecca. For Saudi Arabia, this was seen as a Turkish attempt to influence what could once again become a major route for those on the Hajj. As Turkey and Saudi Arabia continue to compete for influence among the region’s millions of Sunni Muslims, Riyadh certainly took notice of the Turkey-Sudan port deal.

Although Sudan continues to provide mercenaries to the Saudi coalition in nearby Yemen, Bashir’s juggling act between Saudi Arabia on the one hand and the Turkey-Qatari partnership on the other, proved to be one that has self-evidently been a source of consternation in Riyadh.

To be sure, issues of poverty, corruption, genuine human rights concerns and a general political fatigue in the face of Bashir’s lengthy rule were in fact sources of the protests which led to the former President’s ouster. That being said, the rapidity with which Sudan’s new military rulers have moved against Bashir suggests that there is more to the situation than meets the eye.

Reports have now emerged that Bashir is under arrest whilst the country’s new self-proclaimed rulers issue frequent statements of extreme disapprobation against their former boss. This combined with the fact that Turkeys’ calls for calm and moderation are becoming increasingly vocal whilst Saudi state media is celebrating the fact that Sudan’s new regime has refused to receive Qatar’s foreign minister, makes it clear that the new forces in Khartoum are acting in a manner that leans heavily towards Riyadh and away from the Turkey-Qatar partnership that Bashir had been drawing ever closer to in his final years in power.

Although the situation in Khartoum remains fluid to the point of being chaotic, it is already becoming clear that while the origins of the coup where in many ways organic, the management of events since the ouster of Omar al-Bashir has been one that is incredibly favourable towards Saudi Arabia whilst being notably less so to Turkey and Qatar.

This likewise proves that in the age of Muhammad bin Salman, direct intervention into foreign nations via religious groups and militants has been replaced by using Riyadh’s economic influence to force rulers of poorer nations to do as Saudi Arabia wishes.

April 18, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Turkey Confirms Interest in Russian Su-35, Su-57 If US Denies It the F-35

By Andrei Martyanov | Reminiscence of the Future | April 10, 2019

It is really fascinating to observe the whole process but Turks seem to be in full reactive armor mode and refuse to yield to US pressure on the issue of F-35, which is, by default, the issue of S-400.

Turkey warned on Wednesday that it could buy jets and additional air defense systems from Russia if it cannot get Patriot missile shields and F-35 jets from Washington, raising the prospect of ever deeper defense ties between Moscow and a NATO member.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s existing plans to buy Russian S-400 missile defenses have already alarmed the United States, which says they are not compatible with NATO systems and would compromise the security of F-35 jets Turkey is due to receive.

Washington has offered Ankara both carrot and stick in response, proposing to sell it the Raytheon Co. Patriot systems instead of the S-400s, while at the same time warning of sanctions and a halt in the F-35 fighter jet sales if the Russian deal goes ahead.

Turkey has shown no sign of giving ground and Erdogan, who held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week, was quoted on Wednesday as saying the July date for delivery of the first S-400s could even be brought forward.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also reiterated Turkey’s stance that the S-400 purchase was a done deal and that it would meet its defense needs from elsewhere if necessary.

“If the United States is willing to sell, then we’ll buy Patriots. However, if the United States doesn’t want to sell, we may buy more S-400s or other systems,” Cavusoglu told Turkish broadcaster NTV.

“If the F-35s don’t work out, I will again have to procure the jets I need from elsewhere … There are (Russian) SU-34, SU-57 and others. I will absolutely meet my needs from somewhere until I can produce it myself,” he said.

My main question here is if Turkey knows that F-35 is a…. turkey? I am pretty sure Turks do. Of course, behind all this back-and-forth on S-400 are things much more substantial than even top-notch air defense for Turkey—namely massive economic developments in Eurasia.

It is also obvious that Turks are now in the bargain mode with Russia across the whole spectrum of issues — gas, nuclear power, military, tourism, agriculture, to name a few — and that could be indicative of a tectonic shift in Turkey’s geopolitical orientation but we cannot be sure 100% yet.

On F-35 issue, however, one should not discount the possibility of Turks getting off at the last opportunity from this program in order for a bigger, better thing. This thing are Su-35 of latest modifications and Su-57 which is hitting serial production in 2020 and China expressing interest in this aircraft while already operating full Russian versions of Su-35.

And so the drama is being played out in a front of our very own eyes (and ears). Turkey is getting S-400 (for warm-up), now what  will Greece do? Who knows, but implications are enormous for Turkey, NATO and, of course, the United States.

The US knows that this could be bad, very bad but with Trump being surrounded with neocons and Israel having very serious issues with Turkey, who said that the White House will not continue with self-defeating policies in general, and towards Turkey in particular because of Israel— you may see it for yourself.

Most likely Trump and his “court” of Israeli-firsters, aided by US Congress fully corrupted and bought by Israeli lobby, will continue to self-destruct to make Israeli masters feel better, and situation with Turkey is one such example.

So, here is the news of today and for now, at least, it seems the contract will go ahead but, again, knowing that in this region words mean very little we just have to wait to see how it will play out to the very end. Fascinating!

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

US Senate Provokes Turkey by Backing The New Hellenic-Israeli Alliance in The Eastern Mediterranean

By Adam Garrie | EurasiaFuture | 2019-04-10

If anyone doubted that the thriving partnership between Athens, Nicosia and Tel Aviv is not as much about gas as it is about military cooperation, an official statement from the US Senate has put such theories permanently to rest. Not only is Israel siding with countries that continue to have unsettled disputes with Turkey, but by partnering with Nicosia in order to build a gas pipeline to Europe, Israel is upping the stakes against Turkey at a time when relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv continue to decline. In doing so, Israel is actively taking Nicosia’s side in a maritime gas dispute with Ankara. As such, the nuclear armed power is dramatically increasing tensions in in the region.

Legislation introduced by US Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio seeks not only to offer US support to gas extraction and pipeline projects between Tel Aviv, Nicosia and Athens, but as part of this legislative package, the US would lift the long standing arms embargo against Nicosia. This cannot be viewed as anything other than a provocation against Turkey. The fact that this has been proposed days after the US ruled to cut Turkey off from the F-35 project that Ankara had been involved in from its early stages makes it all the more clear that the US, Israel, and the two Hellenic states of southern Europe are united against Turkey. When one adds Egypt and several other southern European nations to this mix, it becomes clear that multiple states are cooperating in order to attempt and harm Turkish interests. This not only poses a danger to the stability of the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, but it puts the efficacy of NATO at risk.

According to a Senatorial press release from Washington:

“The Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 would allow the US to fully support the trilateral partnership of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus through energy and defence cooperation initiatives – including by lifting the embargo on arms transfers to the Republic of Cyprus”.

At a time when Turkey is trying to improve declining ties with the US and reach a settlement to disputes with both Athens and Nicosia, other countries in this equation are taking active steps to provoke and alienate Turkey.

Within this broad context, it is important to remember that while the US claims its F-35 dispute with Turkey is a product of Turkey’s S-400 deal with Russia and whilst Israeli Primer Benjamin Netanyahu claims that Iran is his number one enemy, these rhetorical devices mask a deeper reality in which Turkey is now considered a foremost worry to both Israel and also to many in Washington (in spite of Turkey’s history as a loyal NATO member). All the while, Athens and Nicocia are being used as pawns in the dangerous game whose rules have been set by vastly more powerful nations.

Below is the full background of the multiple ways in which Israel has united with traditionally Turkophobic powers in southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.

Israel, America and The F-35

Throughout 2018, the US threatened to halt delivery of the F-35s to Turkey due to Ankara’s insistence that it will purchase the Russian made S-400 missile defence system. But while on the surface, the row between Turkey and the US appears to be one stemming from a reality in which Turkey has warm relations with Moscow whilst the US does not, there is an Israeli factor at hand that may be the overriding factor at play. The fact that Israel’s ally India has more or less received a green light from the US to purchase S-400s makes this reality all the more clear.

In May of last year, Russian media outlet Sputnik reporting the following:

“According to a top Israeli defence official, the Jewish state seeks to remain the only country in the region with F-35 jets to maintain its military’s qualitative edge. The discussions between Israel and the United States have also reportedly touched upon the jet’s performance-enhancing software; unnamed sources confirmed to Haaretz that the matter is ‘part of the negotiations,’ while Israel has denied having talks over the F-35 deal, under which Turkey is expected to obtain 100 stealth fighter jets”.

Whilst anti-Turkish forces do exist in the US owing to Turkey’s increasingly warm relations to countries as diverse as Russia, Iran and China, the fact that recent years and months have seen a dramatic decline in Turkey-Israel relations has clearly played a part in America’s move to effectively remove Turkey from the F-35 project that it had been a part of from the earliest stages of the jet’s development.

Although the Pentagon had previously expressed its willingness to follow through with its pledged delivery of US made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, Congressional opposition fuelled by a unique alliance of the US based Armenian, Hellenic and Jewish lobbies continues to oppose the US delivery of the jets to NATO member Turkey. This month, these anti-Turkish forces have achieved their desired result as the US has frozen the delivery of F-35s to Turkey.

What one is witnessing in the United States is a perfect storm of geopolitical brinkmanship which has allied with domestic ethno-religious agitation groups in a malaise of open Turkophobia. From the perspective of many in Congress from both major US parties, delivering the F-35s to Turkey would violate the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which allows for US sanctions on otherwise neutral or even allied countries who purchase weapons from nations being directly sanctioned by Washington. The directly sanctioned nations in question are Russia, Iran and the DPRK (North Korea).

Because of Turkey’s unflinching agreement to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile defence systems, Ankara is now being targeted by members of the US Congress keen to exert what amounts to a blackmail clause in CAATSA which would threaten any nation with sanctions for the “offence” of purchasing Russian weapons.

The reality of the US sanctioning a once valued NATO partner is now becoming an increasingly likely reality.

From healthy relations to the ultimate strain 

Turkey was the first Muslim majority nation to recognise Israel and prior to recent decades, Ankara and Tel Aviv have had a generally healthy relationship. This dramatically changed in 2010 when Israeli commandos illegally boarded the MV Mavi Marmara in international waters. The MV Mavi Marmara was a privately chartered Turkish flagged ship carrying mostly Turkish activists on their way to Gaza in order to deliver much needed humanitarian supplies to besieged Palestinians. The gruesome raid killed ten Turks and resulted in the lowest ebb in Ankara-Tel Aviv relations until now.

A new anti-Turkish alliance in the eastern Mediterranean and among US based pressure groups 

For much of the 20th and 21st centuries, the large American based Hellenic and Armenian lobbies have agitated for a less friendly US approach to Turkey. For the Armenian lobby, the main goal is to convince the US Federal government to recognise the tragic events of 1915 as “The Armenian Genocide” while the Hellenic lobby has sought to persuade Washington to pressure Ankara into acknowledging the early 20th century conflict in western Anatolia as the “Pontic Genocide”. Additionally, the US Hellenic lobby has for years attempted to persuade NATO to take a tougher line on the status of Northern Cyprus. Thus far, none of these lobbying attempts have met with the desired success of the respective lobbies at a Federal level.

While the US based Jewish lobby is traditionally more powerful than either the Hellenic or Armenian lobbies, the US Jewish lobby has generally had little negative to say about Turkey in-line with the fact that of all of the Muslim majority governments in the region Tel Aviv had its best relations with Ankara, as well as the overriding reality that Turkey never passed any antisemitic legislation as most of the powers of Europe did prior to the mid-20th century.

But with Turkish President Erdoğan openly calling for a wider pan-Islamic movement for Palestine, all the while calling Israel a terrorist state, the US Jewish lobby like Israeli politicians, have joined traditional foes of Turkey in openly agitating for a more anti-Turkish position form the US government.

This has expressed itself both domestically in the US and geopolitically in terms of Israel’s new regional partnerships. Against this background, it is perhaps not surprising that Gilad Erdan, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud faction has called for Tel Aviv to recognise the events of 1915 as an “Armenian Genocide”. If Israel were to officially do this, it would represent a clear break between Tel Aviv and Ankara and quite possibly a point of no return. The more Turkey stands up for Palestine, the more voices like those of Erdan will become amplified in arguing for a move that is less about Armenia (a traditionally anti-Zionist nation) than about sending a clear message to Turkey that the partnership has run its course.

Israel and The Craiova Group

Formed in 2015, the fledgling Craiova Group is a partnership between Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania aimed at fostering deeper cooperation between the four south-eastern European nations. While the group has generally been far less notable in terms of its aims and accomplishments vis-a-vis the Three Seas Initiative linking Baltic eastern and central Europe with the European nations of south-east, this month the Craiova Group came into its own as the official organisation which will carry out Israel’s attempt to isolate Turkey in the wider eastern Mediterranean region.

On the 2nd of November, 2018, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu took part in a Craiova Group summit in Varna, Bulgaria. There, Netanyahu said,

“I am here at the summit of four countries – Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania. This is the first time that they have invited a leader outside these four countries to participate in their summit. This is a great honor for Israel and reflects Israel’s rising status in the world.

Each one of the leaders has individually told me that they will try to improve their consideration of Israel in relevant votes both at the EU and the UN. They all want to promote the gas pipeline from Leviathan to Europe and the Balkans. They are also very interested in Israeli gas and Israeli technology, and they would very much like Israel’s friendship. This is a good sign”.

Netanyahu also discussed making the Craiova Group integral to Tel Aviv’s plans to construct the East Med Pipeline, a joint Israeli-Hellenic project that will see a gas pipeline travelling from disputed Israeli waters through to disputed Cypriot waters and finally into mainland Europe via The Hellenic Republic. But while Netanyahu’s speech talked about unity against the supposed threat of Islam which clearly played to the sentiments of many in Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania where the racist anti-Turkish/anti-Muslim hashtag “#nokebab” has become a cultural phenomenon, the pipeline alliance that Israel is trying to secure is clearly aimed at boxing Turkey into a corner in its own territorial waters.

At present, Ankara and Nicosia are in the midst of a heated row regarding rights to offshore gas fields in the waters off the island of Cyprus. At present, while there is no realistic plan for Nicosia to militarily enter the Turkish North of the divided island, Nicosia is opposed to Turkish plans to begin extracting gas in the waters off of the disputed territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (aka Northern Cyprus). To put it another way, in spite of rhetoric to the contrary, the government in Nicosia clearly cares about controlling the waters off of Cyprus more than it cares about controlling the island’s total landmass.

But far from being just a new chapter in the age old Hellenic-Turkish disputes of the region, this particular conflict is also being driven by Israel whose government is keen to see Tel Aviv, Nicosia and Athens work jointly on an East Med pipeline that excludes Turkey while at the same time impinging on offshore territory that Turkey claims it has an inalienable right to exploit. Now, Israel looks to bolster these plans which have already seen Egypt pivoting ever closer to Tel Aviv and Nicosia by also drawing Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania into the project.

When one remembers that during the ultimately brief Turkish-Israeli rapprochement of 2016, there were talks of a joint gas project between Tel Aviv and Ankara, the underpinnings of the present conflict become all the more clear.

To further understand the background of the severe downgrade in Turko-Israeli relations that has now become a rivalry for energy supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean, it is important to understand the following that was originally published in Eurasia Future in May of last year:

“The Turkish government has just announced the effective expulsion of Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s Ambassador to Ankara. According to the Daily Sabah,

‘Na’eh was asked to leave Turkey indefinitely by the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs following the Israeli bloodshed and his tweets’.

Pipeline politics no more

Against this background, erstwhile plans for a Turkey to Israel East Mediterranean pipeline have stalled. As a result, Tel Aviv has pivoted closer to Turkey’s regional rival Egypt (which has said next to nothing about Palestine in recent days), while most importantly there is now talk of an EU sponsored East Mediterranean pipeline between Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy.

According to a report from New Europe,

“The EastMed gas pipeline would circumvent Turkey, which has increased tensions with Cyprus, Greece and Israel recently, providing a way to transport newly discovered gas supplies from the East Mediterranean to Europe. The talks in Nicosia in May[2018] follow a memorandum of understanding regarding the EastMed pipeline, which was signed in December.

According to the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA), the EastMed will connect the recently discovered gas fields in the Levantine Basin, in the southeast Mediterranean, with mainland Greece and is projected to carry 8-14 billion cubic meters per year of natural gas to Greece and Europe.

According to DEPA, the approximately 1900 kilometer long pipeline (700 kilometers on-shore, 1200 off-shore) consists of the three following main sections, as well as compressor stations located in Cyprus and Crete: a pipeline from the fields to Cyprus, a pipeline connecting Cyprus to Crete, and a pipeline from Crete crossing mainland Greece up to the Ionian coast.

From there the EastMed can link up with the offshore Poseidon pipeline enabling the delivery of additional diversified sources from the Levantine to Italy and beyond. The EastMed pipeline is preliminarily designed to have exit points in Cyprus, Crete, and mainland Greece as well as the connection point with the Poseidon pipeline”.

The deal to create such a pipeline was sealed in December of 2017 while glowing reports from pro-EU media touted the deal as a means of allowing Europe to decrease its dependence on Russian gas while also offering Israel a chance to swap Turkey for EU partners. As Turkey’s long paralytic bid to join the EU is now de-facto over, both Europe and Israel’s cooperation over a new East Mediterranean gas pipeline has the effect of drawing Russia and Turkey into an even closer partnership than the one they are currently in.

At the moment the Turkstream pipeline designed to bring Russian gas into Europe via Turkey is a major joint project between Moscow and Ankara. Now, both the EU and Israel are looking to challenge this route with a pipeline of their own in a similar region. In reality, there is enough demand for gas in Europe and Israel to mean that both pipelines can coexist, but the geopolitical optics are clear enough. Tel Aviv has joined forces with the most anti-Ankara states in the EU in order to cut Turkey out of Israel’s future.

The importance of Turkey’s Soft Power in the Sunni Muslim world

President Erdoğan has already proved himself to be the ‘Sultan of Soft Power’ in the wider Sunni Muslim world. Without clear leadership from Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Qatar and with Saddam’s always controversial Iraqi government long out of power, Erdoğan has positioned himself as a champion for Palestine not only in Turkey and the Sunni Arab world but beyond. Because of this, one should never underestimate how far Turkey will take its support of Palestine vis-a-vis Tel Aviv, not least because the more Erdoğan voices his opinions in support of Palestine, the more he is respected and supported both in Turkey and far beyond.

Israel supporting Turkey’s main rivals 

Because Israel has taken clear moves away from Turkey and towards its hated Hellenic rivals, officials in Ankara who in the past may have been hesitant to sever ties with Tel Aviv because of economic considerations may now be much closer to doing so. Israel’s intensifying military cooperation with both Greece and Cyprus are a further sign that when it comes to Turkey, Tel Aviv is doing everything in its power to replace its once healthy Turkish partnership with that of countries with notoriously poor and always heated relations with Ankara.

Then there is the issue of Kurdish ethno-nationalism in both Syria and Iraq. Uniquely in the world, the United States and Israel are supporters of Kurdish separatism both in northern Syria and northern Iraq.  President Erdoğan has already made it clear that this is one of several red lines that Israel can cross in respect of maintaining even semi-normal relations. During the attempted illegal Kurdish succession from Iraq in the autumn of 2017, Erdoğan posed the following rhetorical statements to Kurdish secessionists in Iraq,

“Who will recognize your independence? Israel. The world is not about Israel?…

…“You should know that the waving of Israeli flags there will not save you!”

Conclusion 

In order to connect these dots, one must ask some vital questions:

1. Why is the US treating its longstanding NATO partner Turkey much worse than it is treating its new Indian partner over the purchase of the same Russian made S-400 defensive weapons?

2. With Turkey and Israel competing for regional soft power influence, regional influence in respect of gas pipelines and competing in respect of building new diplomatic alliances in the Eastern Mediterranean, could Israel be preparing options to lead military assaults on Turkish assets (perhaps in Cyprus) and as such fears Turkey’s ownership of F-35 as well as S-400s?

3. As Russia is both an Israel and Turkish ally, is Tel Aviv attempting to use the US to pressure Turkey to choose between its Russian and American partners knowing that Moscow will not do so?

4. As Israel owns F-35s but not S-400s, is Tel Aviv worried that if Turkey had both, it would be able to seriously counter possible Israeli aerial bombardments against Turkish assets in the wider region?

When one looks at the overall state of Turkey-Israel relations and what Israeli officials have themselves said about Turkey and the F-35s, it begins to become ever more apparent that the F-35/S-400 issue is as much if not more about Tel Aviv than it is about the neo-Cold War between Washington [and Russia].

Now that the US Senate is openly endorsing the Tel Aviv-Nicosia-Athens gas and security partnership, there can be little doubt that a new anti-Turkish alliance is being built in the eastern Mediterranean that is centred on Israel and supported by the United States.

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hypocrisy Inc: Washington’s Selective Sanctions

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 08.04.2019

On April 3 US Vice President Pence told Germany and Turkey to stop dealing with Russia. In a speech in Washington marking the 70th Anniversary of the US-NATO military alliance he declared that “If Germany persists in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as President Trump said, it could turn Germany’s economy into literally a captive of Russia,” while Turkey is being “reckless” and “must choose — does it want to remain a critical partner of the most successful military alliance in the history of the world, or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?”

(We’ll pass over the fact that “the most successful military alliance in the history of the world” bombed and rocketed Libya in a nine-month blitz in 2011 and claimed a “model intervention” in a country it reduced to anarchy, as reported on April 5.)

Radio Free Europe noted that Pence “voiced US opposition to Turkey’s purchase of a Russian air-defense system… which he said ‘poses great danger to NATO’.” He also threatened that “we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries”.

The weapons system to which Washington so violently objects is the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile which Army Technology describes as “capable of firing three types of missiles to create a layered defence [and] engaging all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400 km, at an altitude of up to 30 km. The system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.” In other words it’s a world-beater with a real punch, as is evidenced by the fact that so many other countries have either got it or want it.

The first sanctions Washington imposed against Turkey concern supply of the 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft ordered at a cost of 16 billion dollars. According to CNN a US spokesman said “Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey’s F-35 operational capability have been suspended.” This is harsh action against a longtime partner and military ally, but it doesn’t stop there, because Washington objects to Russia providing military equipment to other nations.

China is an example. In September 2018 sanctions were imposed on China by Washington because it had engaged in “significant transactions” with Russia’s Rosoboronexport by purchasing SU-35 combat aircraft and S-400 systems.

A US official told reporters “The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russia… [sanctions are] aimed at imposing costs upon Russia in response to its malign activities.” This is effected by US Public Law 115-44, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA) which is intended to “provide congressional review and to counter aggression by the Governments of Iran, the Russian Federation, and North Korea, and for other purposes.”

“Other purposes” is quite a large sphere of implied threat, but the ruling of US legislators in this case is clear, in that any country that acquires S-400 air defence missile systems (for example) from Russia is going to be penalised because Washington is determined to continue “imposing costs upon Russia” for providing such equipment. And it is inevitable that the imposed penalties will impact on the country that has dared to engage with Russia. The Diplomat summed it up by observing that the policy “decrees the imposition of mandatory economic sanctions on countries importing Russian military hardware.”

Except when it doesn’t.

It is apparent that the anti-Russia “Countering Adversaries” legislation directed by Congress is being selectively ignored by Washington, because India is being provided with the S-400 system, and no sanctions have been imposed by America. An agreement for supply of S-400s was signed on October 5, 2018 in Delhi during an India-Russia summit meeting attended by Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Putin. The Economic Times reported that India and Russia “have formally inked the $ 5.2 billion deal for S-400 system. The air defence system is expected to be delivered by the year 2020.”

Following the summit, Outlook India noted approvingly that “Other areas of collaboration, which figured prominently in the joint statement between the two sides, are nuclear reactors, investments by Indian diamond companies in Russian Far East, and ‘joint collaboration in precious metals, minerals, natural resources and forest produce, including timber, through joint investments, production processing and skilled labour’. The review of priority investment projects in the spheres of mining, metallurgy, power, oil, and gas, railways, pharmaceuticals, information technology, chemicals, infrastructure, automobiles, space, shipbuilding and manufacturing of different equipment reflects a focus on the desire for diversification. PM Modi has invited Russian companies to set up industrial parks in India for defence manufacturing.”

It might be thought that such bilateral collaboration in defence matters, especially in regard to provision of the S-400 system, would attract instant action by Washington, designed to penalise India for flagrant contravention of US directives.

But no.

In some fashion, India is different from Turkey and China when it comes to acquiring S-400 missile systems, and an explanation of sorts was offered by the Pentagon’s Assistant Defence Secretary Randall Schriver in testimony to the House of Representatives Armed Forces Committee on March 27. He declared that the US-India “Major Defence Partnership” was prospering by “moving toward deeper security cooperation by increasing operational cooperation and availing key maritime security capabilities.” But then there was mention of the purchase for over five billon dollars by India from Russia of a world-beating air defence system, and Mr Schriver wasn’t comfortable with that.

He was asked by Congressman Seth Moulton how India’s purchase of S-400 systems and the lease of Russian nuclear submarines would impact India-US relations and avoided any reply concerning the submarine lease while stating that purchase of S-400s has “not gone to contract or completed”, which, like so many official statements in Washington, was only half true. Certainly, delivery of the S-400s has not been completed; but for Mr Schriver to claim that the matter “has not gone to contract” is a downright lie.

The effects of Washington’s sanctions on its adversaries have been wide as well as selective. In the case of Turkey, what Pence calls the “reckless decision” to acquire S-400s has shown Ankara that America is not an ally and cannot be trusted, while encouraging it to further examine the dubious benefits of belonging to the US-NATO military alliance. China reacted by saying “We strongly urge the US side to immediately correct the mistake and rescind the so-called sanctions, otherwise the US side will necessarily bear responsibility for the consequences,” while reinforcing China-Russia cooperation and strengthening resistance to US policy of global dominance.

In the case of India, US sanctions’ policy was highlighted on April 2 when the Pentagon announced that India would be provided with 24 US Seahawk maritime attack helicopters for use against China and Pakistan, at a cost of 2.6 billion dollars. India is content that it can do whatever it wants, and New Delhi will continue to benefit from Washington’s total lack of principles and ethical consistency. Selective sanctions are the name of the game.

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Turkey Says US Failed to Report True Content of Pompeo Talk

Al-Manar | April 4, 2019

Turkey on Thursday accused the US State Department of making false claims after a meeting between top US and Turkish diplomats to discuss tense ties between the NATO allies.

Washington and Ankara are at odds over issues including US support for a Syrian Kurdish militia and Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile system over US objections.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks on Wednesday during the Turkish official’s visit to Washington as part of 70th anniversary celebrations of the NATO alliance.

The US State Department said Pompeo had warned Ankara of “devastating consequences” if Turkey launches an offensive in Syria and urged the “swift resolution” of legal cases involving US citizens and US mission employees under investigation in Turkey.

Pompeo also pressed Cavusoglu about Turkey’s plans to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, which Washington has warned could put Ankara at risk of US sanctions, the State Department said in a statement.

But Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Thursday that the readout “not only fails to reflect the content of the meeting, but also contains matters that were not even raised during said meeting”.

It was not clear what “matters” Aksoy was referring to in his statement and foreign ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Aksoy said similar problems had arisen after previous talks, and urged statements to be prepared with “greater care”.

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Venezuela FM takes Middle East tour, set to meet Nasrallah

Press TV – April 3, 2019

Venezuela’s foreign minister has embarked on a Middle East tour taking him through Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, amid US measures to prop up the Latin American country’s opposition figure and self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido against President Nicolas Maduro.

Jorge Arreaza arrived in Turkey on Monday and was assured by his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu of Ankara’s support for the Latin American nation in the face of US pressure. “It should not be in a way that ‘I am a big country and I can determine entire rules,’” Cavusoglu said, referring to Washington’s sanctions against Venezuela and its efforts to oust Maduro, Turkish paper Hurriyet reported.

On Tuesday, the top Venezuelan diplomat traveled to Lebanon on a two-day visit. Lebanese President Michel Aoun received him at the presidential Baabda Palace in Beirut. Arreaza, who conveyed a message from Maduro to Aoun, also met with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil.

He was also slated to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri, Lebanese news portal Naharnet reported. According to Lebanese daily al-Joumhouria, he will also be holding a meeting with the Hezbollah resistance movement’s Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Back in January, Hezbollah conveyed its support for Maduro amid mounting US pressure for him to resign and hand over power to Washington-backed Guaido. Hezbollah-associated lawmaker Mohammad Raad was cited by Lebanese TV channel Al Manar as saying at the time that “Nasrallah stands with the Venezuelan people and with its free leadership.”

The Venezuelan foreign minister, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with the visits to the countries in remarks to Prensa Latina. “They are two countries that respect international law and with which there are friendly and fraternal relations,” the Cuban news agency cited him as saying.

The visit to Lebanon “opens a new stage in bilateral ties with the possibility to expand economic cooperation, especially Venezuela’s advisory in the country’s energy sector,” the agency added, citing the top diplomat.

Also in January, the US took the lead in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s president after the head of the opposition-ruled Congress named himself the country’s interim chief executive. Washington has been pressuring other countries into following suit and has not ruled out using the military option to oust Maduro’s government.

Many countries, including Iran, Russia, China, and Cuba, however, back Maduro, spurning the subversive American efforts targeting Venezuela’s sovereignty.

Arreaza is next to travel to Syria, with which Caracas has similarly warm relations.

April 3, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

The US Idea the Russians Need Turkey to Figure Out How to Shoot Down a F-35 Is Beyond Silly

By Andrei Martyanov | Reminiscence of the Future | April 1, 2019

US halts deliveries of F-35 “equipment” to Turkey over S-400 contract. This is how F-35 soap saga is justified:

The United States and other NATO allies that own F-35s fear the radar on the Russian S-400 missile system will learn how to spot and track the jet, making it less able to evade Russian weapons in the future.

In an attempt to persuade Turkey to drop its plans to buy the S-400, the United States offered the pricier American-made Patriot anti-missile system in a discounted deal that expired at the end of March.

Turkey has shown interest in the Patriot system, but not at the expense of abandoning the S-400.

There is one problem, actually two, with this “justification”. I’ll start with a lesser one.

1. Patriot is not a peer to S-400. Nothing personal, but US air defense systems are not “quite there” despite massive propaganda campaigns extolling their combat virtues. Turkey knows this. Turks have a good idea about how its own Air Force was grounded after shooting down Russian Su-24 in November 2015, and who and what actually provided targeting to Syrian air defenses on April 13, 2018 against Trump’s “very smart missiles”. Plus, in general, Russian record in this field speaks for itself.

2. The most laughable in all that, however, is the fact that people still use this beaten to death argument about Turkey magically learning about how to shoot down allegedly super-pooper-duper invisible F-35 and then, of course, giving desperate Russians this information.

Well, I have some news for those people who still reside in this bubble–to shoot down F-35 one has to have two different bands radar, good sensor-fusion algorithms and decent signal processing protocols and voila’. S-300 PMU2 Favorit can do this, certainly S-400, and its inevitably coming iterations for which there is literally a line of customers, can.

In general, this whole BS about “stealth” should end at some point of time–it was a good propaganda while it lasted. Reality is, with modern processing power and radar design F-35 is not survivable against modern cutting edge air-defense and air-forces.

I can totally understand the irritation Washington feels about this whole situation, after all Turkey is a key NATO member with an actual army, and seeing a NATO member going for such a weapon systems from Washington’s prime time arch enemy–this is a no-no. But then comes this question: so, the United States will stop (will it?) F-35 and associated technology deliveries to Turkey, then what?

Do we really want to open this can of worms? Turks are not idiots, by far–they can calculate and while Erdogan might still do rapid 180 degrees maneuver, he also can not fail to consider the fact that instead of F-35 Turkey may get her hands on, say, some decent version of Su-35. Possible? Possible! How probable? I don’t know. But Obama should have thought twice when unleashing, or pretending that he didn’t know,  a coup against Erdogan in 2016. Or, for that matter, a bloody overthrow of government in Ukraine in 2014. But current American elites have no concept of own actions having consequences.

Meanwhile India also signed $5 billion contact for S-400, also against the background of Washington’s pressure not to buy things from those pesky Russians. But behind all those maneuvers one fact remains unchanged and I was writing about this for years–Russian weapons systems are created to kill and do that very effectively. Unlike American military-industrial complex Russian military-industrial complex is not jobs program or corporate welfare system, it never was.  Allow me to quote myself:

For a nation with such a military history as Russia’s the issue of military technology is an issue of survival. As such, weapons in Russia are sacralized because behind them are generations of Russians who shed blood to make those weapons what they are.

They have become a part of the culture to such a degree that commercial considerations take a very distant second place to a main purpose of these weapons—to actually defend the nation.

This is absolutely not the case in the United States, with some exception for its Navy, with Americans having no knowledge or recollection of what real war is and what instruments forfighting and winning it are needed. Those things cannot be paid for in money, they are paid for in blood.

I guess this should help explain why Russia is so successful on the international market with her weapons. They are simply good, in fact, the best and people know that.

April 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment