Could Ankara’s temper tantrum lead to escalation in Syria?

Andre Vltchek

So far Turkey, militarily the second mightiest NATO country, has been able to get away with virtually anything it has chosen to brew in the Middle East.

The reason why, is simple: to confront Turkey’s bullying and expansionism militarily would be like confronting the United States or Israel; thousands of innocent people would die as a result, or perhaps even millions.

Moscow is well aware of the situation. Its diplomacy is superb. And its desire to keep Syria as one entity has gained admiration and support in many parts of the world. But not in the West, not in Israel and not in Ankara.

Periodically, Russia and Turkey are able to find common ground, on many issues. The people of both countries like each other a lot; there are great cultural, economic and strategic ties. And to give credit where it is due, both governments are ready to compromise, on various essential issues.

But periodically, there comes a time when the Turkish administration begins to acts irrationally and unpredictably. During such moments, agreements begin to collapse, and people die. Russia gets caught between a rock and the deep blue sea. Russia wants to resolve things peacefully, but it is also determined to protect its most important ally in the Middle East – Syria.

The problem is that while the Russian government is extremely rational, the Turkish government is often not. And when logic and hysteria meet, the consequences can be very dangerous.

*

In Damascus, most of the people analyze the situation with a clear mind. My government contacts in Syria wrote for this essay:

Russia was invited to fight terrorism, by both Syrian government and by the Syrian people. Turkish forces are occupation forces. They were not invited by anybody. They cross into our territory, whenever they choose, and it is both immoral and illegal. Turkey supports terrorists here.”

My colleague, a leading Turkish intellectual, Erkin Oncan, and an expert on the Turkish-Russian relationship, commented for this essay from Istanbul:

Erdogan has been playing a ‘balance game’ between the U.S. and Russia, since the coup attempt in 2016. Erdogan’s government has developed good relations with Russia. On the other hand, Turkey never ceased sending messages to the U.S.: We are your real allies in the Middle East; we, not the Kurds.”

For years, Turkish, Russian and Syrian analysts knew: Erdogan has been playing it both ways. Too much depended on Turkey’s involvement, both negative and positive things; but mostly negative. Even the United States handles Ankara with ‘silk gloves’, compared to how it deals with other rebellious allies.

Mr. Oncan continues:

Turkey never raised level of tensions so high as now.

Despite everything, Russia was the best alternative for AKP’s ‘anti-American’ stand. Turkey developed serious economic and political relations with Moscow, and this ‘balance game’ was in favor of the alliance with Russia, at least for some time.

But, policy towards Syria has annulled Erdogan’s balance game. Because Erdogan’s ties with ‘the Syrian opposition’ became the essence of the AKP’s Syria strategy.

With the Sochi Agreement, it seemed that Erdogan was changing his approach towards Damascus. But since the accord was signed, it was obvious that AKP will be antagonistic to Sochi. Being against Assad, supporting the ‘Muslim opposition’, became domestic political issues, not just the foreign policy one.

Erdogan got suddenly stuck between his U.S.-Russia balance game and appetite for Syria. Then, an enormous problem re-emerged – jihadism.

It is a known fact that the AKP government has supported the jihadi terrorists for many years. And in the recent years, Turkey openly started to operate with the FSA. And the government kept forging closer and closer relations with increasingly radical cadres.

If Turkey complies with the Sochi agreement, it will have to leave the Syrian forces alone. And if it does that, it could be facing a big retaliation in both Syria (terrorist groups there) and Turkey itself. It is because Turkey has never hesitated to let the jihadists into the country.

If Turkey starts to formally negotiate with Syria, it will be viewed by many that its main pillar of the Middle East policy has collapsed.

In case that Turkey makes peace with its big brother – the U.S. – it would have to start negotiating with the YPG, the biggest enemy of Turkey and the biggest ally of the U.S. in Syria.

In this paradoxical and ambiguous situation, when both ‘Ottoman dreams’ and the ‘balance play’ are high on Erdogan’s agenda, Turkey seems to be levitating once again towards the U.S.A. If a compromise is reached with the U.S., Erdogan seems to consider speeding up his plans to invade Syria. Because Russia advocates the territorial integrity of Syria, the U.S.A. advocates the occupation.

*

The chain of events is progressing with dizzying speed. On 16 February 2020, Aleppo, the largest Syrian city, was finally liberated by the Syrian government forces. Or more precisely: Aleppo is now out of the firing range of the terrorist and so-called opposition groups, for the first time in years.

A friend of mine, a Syrian educator, Ms. Fida Bashour, explained for this essay:

The latest situation surrounding the Turkish occupation in our country is very serious. They have no right to occupy us, whatsoever. The mood in the country is one of victory and worry at the same time. It has been a very long, tough ten years since the war broke out. Nevertheless, we are winning. As our army has just secured the City of Aleppo fully today (on 16th February), we have faith in our capacity to prevail and recover fully.”

*

I met President Erdogan a long time ago, when he was still the mayor of Istanbul, and I was covering the Yugoslav War, visiting Turkey regularly, in order to understand the past of the Balkans. He was confusing then, as he is confusing now. As the mayor of one of the greatest cities on Earth, he had some good intentions and extremely impressive results.

His political goals have been, however, thoroughly confusing, overly ambitious, and often regressive.

Later, for years, I have worked in both Syria and Turkey, visiting the border region around Attakya and Gyazentep, on many occasions.

The Turkish involvement in Syria, its countless invasions and cross border operations, have destroyed entire villages and towns in both Syria and Turkey. In Syria, the destruction is both physical and economic. In Turkey, entire villages and towns have been de-populated, as they used to be fully dependent on trans-border trade, friendship and family ties.

Erdogan does not seem to care. It matters little to him that this area of conflict which he helped to ignite, is one of the cradles of human civilization.

Turkey, together with its Western allies both armed and trained, then injected some of the most brutal jihadi cadres into Syria. The most brutal of them are Uyghurs from the Northwest China, which the West trains in various battlegrounds, hoping that they will, one day, return to China and help to ruin the PRC.

The training has often been conducted, cynically, in so-called refugee camps. I covered this barbarity, both in my reports and in my film for the Latin American network TeleSur.

*

Patrick Henningsen is a leading global affairs analyst, co-founder and executive editor of 21 Century Wire, with an in-depth knowledge of Syria. He agreed to share his thoughts with me – about the recent developments in Syria, particularly the Turkish operations there:

Turkey’s apparent schizophrenic behavior in the region is a byproduct of the country’s legacy national security issues combined with the current ruling party’s sweeping domestic reformist agenda which also has a strong revanchist component to it.

Turkey’s primary security objective of crushing any and all Kurdish PKK/YPG enclaves in Syria cannot be divorced from the historic transition which is taking place domestically. The rightwing nationalist coalition of Erdogan’s AKP Party and the Party of Nationalist Movements (the Grey Wolves) are in the process of rolling back the secular Kemalist Republic – into a ‘New Turkey’ which is effectively an Islamist state.

This Neo-Ottoman revival would like to see Turkey regain its former position at the center of the Islamic world, which means it has to project influence and power regionally, and also globally. This includes both talking and acting tough in Syria. It is also intervening in Libya too. Erdogan’s dedicated support of the Muslim Brotherhood and co-opting of fundamentalist Islamist militants like Jabat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army should be viewed as a tool to project power by proxy without having to sacrifice actual Turkish soldiers.

The President’s pious nationalist base at home will support his calls conquest and regime change in Syria because they see Erdogan as a transformational populist leader who is returning Turkey to its rightful place in the world.

Currently, Turkey is attempting a complicated dance routine between Russia, the US and NATO, pandering to all parties as is necessary, but always with Turkish interests in mind. While he may often be bluffing with periodic threats made to Syria, Russia and America, know that he is always doing so with his base in mind. It’s about ‘Turkey First’ and “Make Turkey Great Again.’ All of this makes for a very complicated state of affairs for Turkey. Dare we say, Byzantine.

Nobody could have defined the situation better!

*

In 2019, at one point, when I was working with two Syrian commanders in Idlib province, we faced both the ISIS positions and Turkish observation posts.

I stood at one of the Syrian artillery locations. Russian soldiers were nearby, clearly visible. And so were the rural houses used as local ISIS headquarters.

It all felt grotesque.

The Russian forces could have wiped out these intruding Turkish installations in just a few seconds. The Syrian armed forces could have done the same. But they did not consider doing it. Why didn’t they?

“Why?” I asked.

A Syrian commander replied:

“If we do that, Turkey would attack Aleppo or Damascus, or at least Homs. They have one thing in common with the Americans and Israelis: they only care about their own lives, and their own losses. They believe that they are untouchable. They come here, occupy out land, and if we retaliate, they kill dozens of our people, or even hundreds.”

Tellingly, the Turkish positions in Idlib co-existed peacefully with ISIS.

The Turkish role in Syria, Iraq (Erbil area) and China (support for the Uyghur terrorists) is extremely destructive, and well documented.

Syria has to be fully liberated from the terrorist groups. It will happen, soon. In fact, it is happening right now. Turkey has zero legitimacy on the foreign, Syrian soil. It is strong, militarily. But it will not be allowed to brutalize the great Syrian nation for much longer, just because of its ruthless military might.

Originally published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook

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alaff
alaff
Feb 22, 2020 10:07 PM

Russia was invited to fight terrorism, by both Syrian government and by the Syrian people. Turkish forces are occupation forces. They were not invited by anybody. They cross into our territory, whenever they choose, and it is both immoral and illegal. Turkey supports terrorists here.

Ivan Starodubtsev, one of the best Russian experts in Turkey, recently participated in a radio broadcast, where he outlined the situation with the current Turkish/Syrian-Russian exacerbation in Idlib.

I translated some excerpts from his speech (it is important to understand the legitimacy of Turkey’s stay in Syria):

In 2018, Russia essentially legalized the stay of Turkey in Syria when it signed the Sochi agreement.

Turkey, as a participant in the Astana format for resolving the Syrian crisis, signed agreements and thereby assumed obligations in the Idlib de-escalation zone (demarcation of the “moderates” and terrorists, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the unblocking of the M4 and M5 routes, etc.). The Sochi agreement was signed in September 2018. The deadline was until the end of 2018. Nothing was done.

How did Turkey respond to statements by the Russian ambassador* and Russian political scientists that Turkey did not fulfill its obligations under the Sochi Agreement? The answer is brilliant – Turkey says that “all this is Kremlin propaganda”.

In 2018, the Turks became the official side of the Syrian crisis, they entered Idlib.
Russia essentially gave Turkey the opportunity to legitimize its previously illegal stay on Syrian territory.

Russia “reanimated” the 1998 Adana Agreement, where Turkey has the right to enter Syria “to fight terrorism”.
Turkey immediately seized on this, and began to respond to all critics of Turkey’s actions in Syria by saying that it “fights terrorism there”.

What was the idea/plan of Russia? If Turkey recognizes this (Adana) agreement, then it also recognizes those who are the legal successor of this agreement – i.e. the current leadership of Syria, the Assad authorities. I.e., Turkey recognizes Assad’s legitimacy.

But if you refuse to recognize official Damascus, its legitimacy, then what can we talk about? Go to hell then. Means, in fact, the Adana agreement does not work, and therefore, without recognizing it, you are illegally in Syria (= you are aggressor/criminal).

*Further, Ivan Starodubtsev talks about the interview of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, which he gave to the Turkish media and which caused such a flurry of indignation in the Turkish media (the Russian ambassador received life threats, which is essentially unacceptable, especially amid the fact that the previous Russian ambassador was killed in Turkey).

So what did the Russian ambassador say? He said the following:

1) Turkey does not comply with the terms of the Sochi agreement.

2) There are many bearded strangers in the Idlib who came from nowhere and are “teaching” the Syrians how to live.

3) The Syrians are fighting on their land, for their people, in their own right. They have the right to take back Idlib, if the situation already has it.

4) From Idlib, attacks are regularly carried out on the Syrian army and on Russian troops. I.e., terrorist activity since the signing of the Sochi agreement has not fallen at all, but is only growing.

5) It is completely incomprehensible what is the role of Turkish observation posts in Idlib, which were behind the front line. These posts now find themselves deep in the rear of the Syrian army. Why are they there, what are these checkpoints doing there? If these are observation posts, then what are they watching?

6) Turkey was allowed to participate in this process (settlement of the problem of the Idlib de-escalation zone). Turkey was invited to Idlib to fulfill perfectly understandable and contractual obligations that (see point 1) are not fulfilled.

This speech of the Russian ambassador was reprinted literally by all the Turkish media. And in fact the campaign began to harass the Russian diplomat.

The point is that the Turkish media tried to present everything as if the Russian ambassador was “mistaken”, that this was his “private opinion”, that V.Putin did not think so, that the ambassador “did not fully understand the situation” and was engaged in some kind of “amateur activity”.

Turkish media have targeted the Russian ambassador as their victim. The rhetoric that is heard in his address even in the official media and newspapers – it goes beyond the limits of what is permitted.
They attacked, including the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.
It seems that attacks directly against Russian President Vladimir Putin are a kind of taboo – at least for now.

The Turkish side for some reason (incitement from the United States is not ruled out) is arranging for Russia a very tough probing of the boundaries of what is permitted. They do not understand that this is not permissible.

Some final thoughts:

It seems that the Turkish authorities are guided by momentary desires and emotions, not by strategic calculation of several steps in front.
It seems that a considerable part of the motivation of the Turkish authorities is bloated conceit, naive self-confidence, and unhealthy ambitions (de facto, and later maybe de jure, appropriation of part of Syrian territory under the project of “neo-Ottomanism”).

Obviously, the Turkish authorities do not quite understand what they are doing and what their actions can lead to.
Obviously, the lesson with the downed Russian plane taught the Turks nothing.

For some reason, Turkey decided that it “has the right” to Idlib.
The inadequate position of the Turkish leadership threatens, among other things, a direct military clash with Russia and the official outbreak of the Turkish-Syrian war.

The end of February is approaching, and it may turn out that it will be easier for Erdogan to start a war with Syria than to “lose face” publicly, refusing his words (I recall that the Turkish leader set a deadline before the end of February and, in case of failure to comply with his demands, promised to start acting against the Syrian army by force).

One can only hope that the Turkish leadership will regain consciousness and will proceed from the realities of life, not from its bizarre ambitions and calculations.

paul
paul
Feb 22, 2020 12:20 AM

Turkish military fatalities in Syria now number over 200, plus a number of Turkish civilians.
This could rise substantially in the near future.

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Feb 21, 2020 4:48 PM

There is vigorous opposition in Turkey to Erdoğan and the AKP’s criminal policies – there is a massive prison building programme in the country just now as the current capacity has been filled to the brim with political prisoners – but somehow these voices go unheard on the outside, even in the alternative media. Perhaps the following will help to fill the gap, which is my own humble translation I made as part of my voluntary work for the embattled left-wing Evrensel newspaper of an interview with two Turkish academics who are fiercly critical of Erdoğan and the AKP’s latest moves in Idlib:

https://www.evrensel.net/daily/397873/ilhan-uzgel-and-kerim-hass-assessment-idlib-doggedness-full-of-risk

The following translated article by Evrensel columnist Yusuf Karataş provides another example:

https://www.evrensel.net/daily/397157/an-awareness-question-what-business-does-turkey-have-in-syria

paul
paul
Feb 20, 2020 5:55 PM

They’ve freighted out David Nott and Alex Crawford yet again to parrot the lies of their head chopping and throat slitting chums.
“Last hospital in Idlib”, “a million face extermination” (maybe it’ll soon be six million.)
The Russians seem to be making use of their Mark I Anti Hospital Bomb, which automatically seeks out any hospitals in the area.
Unlike the US Star Spangled Democracy Bombs, which explode on impact to spread peace, love, and universal happiness.

norman wisdom
norman wisdom
Feb 21, 2020 6:49 PM
Reply to  paul

i met David Nott and Alex Crawford rita katz and barbera lerner spector at a synagogue of satan charity event,
i tell you it was a talmoodick riot
sean penn,robert deniro,angelina jolly and gorge a child cloney and johnny not so deep gave out the rabbi funded awards.
a night of many kosher memes invoking of stories casting of spells and plenty of goy spirit cooking

super stoked that big dave nott child wrangler for epstein island is back in the game he could find you any child you wanted nothing was off the menu nutter nott

he was a friend of the actress that played joe cox that gaydar gets about
does he nott

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 5:58 PM

It is unlikely that Erdogan has the balls to back up his loud mouth with action.
He has a history of shooting his mouth off and then backing down, hoping to pressure other parties to give him what he wants.
He has always avoided any major involvement, using his head chopper jihadi proxies to provide the cannon fodder and do the actual fighting.
If his recently purged conscript army is actually committed to the fighting, things are unlikely to turn out well for him.
A steady flow of body bags back into Turkey would finally impose a richly deserved price for the havoc and misery he has caused in Syria.
Erdogan has bitten off more than he can chew, but he is now becoming involved in a second quagmire, in Libya, and is on the verge of a showdown with Greece/ Cyprus/ Israel over oil and gas drilling.
The fate of his Islamist terrorist proxies must weigh heavily on his mind. Some of them will no doubt materialise in Libya or China or elsewhere, but that still leaves plenty to ply their trade and wreak havoc on the home turf of their various sponsors.

Jihadi Colin
Jihadi Colin
Feb 19, 2020 2:47 PM

Erdo has no greatly complex thinking process, just self interest and a desperate need to divert popular anger from domestic mismanagement and economic collapse.

wardropper
wardropper
Feb 19, 2020 1:17 PM

Regrettably, I think this whole mess is a lot simpler than that. A couple of years back, when Erdogan called another election because he wasn’t satisfied that the previous one, only shortly before, had not given him the big majority he insisted upon (yes, INSISTED upon), it seemed to me quite clear that we had an utterly despotic character at work here, and you can’t deal with people like that. He’s a nutter, like most of today’s politicians.

wardropper
wardropper
Feb 19, 2020 1:22 PM
Reply to  wardropper

I should add a reminder that nutters provide very fertile ground for warmongers.

tresmegistus
tresmegistus
Feb 20, 2020 2:36 PM
Reply to  wardropper

and assisination…

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Feb 19, 2020 2:08 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Not only did he call another election in 2015, but in the meantime saw to it that chaos and bloodshed were made to reign in the country, with him posturing as the only person able to restore calm. This process included the DAESH bombing of a peace rally in front of Ankara railway station that claimed the lives of over 100 peaceful demonstrators. In other words, he was happy to see innocent people slaughtered just to stay in power.

wardropper
wardropper
Feb 19, 2020 3:59 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

Yep. He’s the one.

woodlark
woodlark
Feb 19, 2020 1:13 PM

Creating peace is extremely complicated and demanding in terms of diplomacy, patience & imagination.
Creating chaos is child’s play.
The aim of the US, Israel & Turkey is to prevent political and economic stability in Syria ( unless it is under a government / regime of their own choice. ) Hence they will always have the upper hand.

wardropper
wardropper
Feb 19, 2020 4:01 PM
Reply to  woodlark

I think our main problem is that people of goodwill don’t seek employment in high politics. So all we have to choose from when it comes to foreign relations is narcissistic psychopaths.

norman wisdom
norman wisdom
Feb 19, 2020 12:45 PM

god bless assad and the syrian people.
like libya raped by the money changers of the synagogue of satan
zionist scum

dog erdogan like the young turks long ago are all donmeh khazar filth
fake jewishers all
ashkanazim
red beards pirates all

no more pauses putin
syria must be reclaimed
all
takfiri beards of the oded yinon need to be atomized and ploughed into the soils
erdogan must have a rekoyning for this could not have happened without his logisticks.
many turks are proud of this dog it is true many turk are pirate.

no jews
long gone
just thieving magpie

is not real is ra hell heil nazi

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 2:26 PM
Reply to  norman wisdom

Well said.

Aydilgé
Aydilgé
Feb 21, 2020 6:46 AM
Reply to  norman wisdom

Half true half wrong argument. Not many Turks support that MK Ultra product. Never. There is a deep tide of enormous size against him, silent-for-the-time-being. He suppressed many civil opposition on street like mad dog, attempting to eliminate nearly the whole young genetation (do you remember 2013 Gezi Movement, which was never less massive and decisive than the “gilets jaune” movement in France and which was oppressed with incredible police brutality on streets? I bet you don’t).

Since then we, the real Turks are being the most cautious and trying to hide until our time comes. Cause one of his duties (endoctrinated by his masters) is to demolish Turkish etnicity.

That’ why I want to make clear one thing here: the force that unjustly occupies Syria is “Erdogan regime”, not Turkey.

Oh, anyway believe me there there are loads of pirates around the world, most of which are not Turkish. Do not believe all the lies about us emitted by the satanists who are a big enemy to Turks (for some reason?) And please do not try to label a whole nation depending your own subjective views; you’re being fooled by our mutual enemy.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 19, 2020 12:14 PM

The best answer is to celebrate.

The blowhard farts emanating from Erdogan and the western msm presstitutes who have reported not from Syria, but from safe Turkey and Lebanon and UAE and London, the propaganda corps of Syria PR campaign who recruited, trained, paid and encouraged a proxy army of head choppers and organised their jihadi brides and ‘caliphate’ and beheaded Syrian soldiers live while calling their parents and many such atrocities; including our very own Le Mesuriers White Helmets and fake chemical attacks with real deaths of civilians…

The best response today is that Allepo is finally free of these fuckers.

The first commercial flight went into that airport in 8 years, within days of liberation, people are celebrating, soldiers are being reunited with their parents. Idlib is going to be free soon too.

Wardogan promises to launch an attack to lay claim to Ottoman borders of over a hundred years ago! Mere words – it would annihalate the Turkish economy especially tourism.
The Turks forget when they were the Sick Man of Europe ripe for picking.

Turkey will become even sicker if he actually persues his threat – most of these jihadist ‘civilians’ all came through Turkey they will expect to go back there.

Right now the only humanitarian solution is for Turkey to cease , stop giving the Jihadists, convoys of crap which are simple sitting ducks for the Syrian and Russian airpower – they are just being blasted like the yanks have been doing for years with their drones.

Let the ‘civilian’ jihadists be catalogued and returned to where they came from – or resettled in the territories of the failed belligerents – Saudia Arabia / UAE / Turkey or FUKUS – heck apparently we need a few cabbage head choppers in Norfolk, now that brexit is happening…

Celebrate the highwater mark of the imperialists in the ME and celebrate the fast retreating nightmare which they imposed upon the Ottoman lands a century ago.

Erdogan and Turks should know that they have been tools of the imperialists and take the opportunity to realign WITH not AGAINST their ancient neighbours.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 19, 2020 4:51 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

On reading my comment written as usual on the fly I thought I may have become a bit too hyperbolic, however it seems that I may actually have been a bit restrained as bernard (and others) are catching up!

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/02/syria-turkeys-bluff-is-called-media-opposition-sources-run-by-british-intelligence.html

I suggest paying attention to the game of chicken and gunfight that Erdo is playing with the Russians – they are flying strategic bombers ready to launch multiple cruise missiles should he attempt a ‘blitzkrieg’ in the ‘middle of the night’ – it would mess up hundreds if not thousands of Turks who have INVADED a neighbouring country.

So who blinks first and makes it a Security Council issue?

My feeling is up-Pompeo has delivered his last farce. NuttyYahoo wont make it to his last election. MBS and UAE camel train slavers will be twitching as Iran and the resistance are poised with itchy trigger fingers, therefore every US base in the region and all ships in or out of ports are within an hour of being hit… only a new Yalta can sort this, with China & EU instead of UK.

This needs Putin, Xi, Merkel and Trump to sort out face to face.

Don’t be booking any ME hub transit flights for next week or so!

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Feb 19, 2020 7:10 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Not forgetting Serena Shim’s & Jacky Sutton’s tragic ‘fate’ . . .

“Don’t be booking any ME hub transit flights for next week or so!”

Especially if they know you already 😉 ‘Accidents’ do happen, or sudden suicide,
in ladies toilets @Ataturk int. Airport, after yer’ boss is blown up by a car bomb,
on yer’ way back, after the funeral, naturally, ladies choose Turkish airport toilets as a preferential suicide location,
to checkout once and, (deep breath) for all to see clearly, the ins & outs
were cameras working …
(sigh)

Maggie
Maggie
Feb 19, 2020 10:29 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Totally agree DunG……

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Feb 19, 2020 11:03 AM

At the time Erdoğan was mayor of Istanbul, he was a very shrewd and capable politician. Like all right-wing populist rabble rousers, especially as one who grew up in a tough working class neighbourhood of Istanbul, he was in tune with the culture, speech and aspirations of 0rdinary people. I think many observors fail to appreciate how much he has now changed. Drunk with power, now more obsessed with amassing wealth than furthering his Islamist and neo-Ottomanist agenda by reversing the huge and largely progressive reforms that founder of the nation Mustafa Kemal Atatürk introduced , and having ensconced himself in the vast and monstrously ugly palace he has had constructed for himself in violation of planning laws and a court order staying construction on the fringes of Ankara and having installed himself as executive president in an election of dubious validity following a referendum on the new constitution that vests virtually totalitarian powers in the president won through ballot box stuffing, he has become totally isolated from the ordinary people he used to resonate so well with as he lives out mirage-like illusions of grandeur of becoming Sultan of a revived Ottoman Empire. Levent Gültekin, who was once actively involved in political Islam in Turkey and was once a close associate of his, says that Erdoğan has lost his grip on reality. With the country’s economy collapsing and the country full of Syrian refugees as a direct consequence of his disastrous policy of intervention in Syria, this man who once courted great popularity and could win large majorities in genuine free elections has now lost support that he can longer even win rigged elections, as shown by opposition canidate Ekrem İmamoğlu’s recent spectacular victory against all the odds – including taking a far greater share of the vote in the repeat election held after Erdoğan and his ruling AKP party took a dislike to the result the firsst time round – to take the post that once served as Erdoğan’s springboard into national politics. I am not sure if Erdoğan’s behaviour is as erratic as it seems. He knows he is doomed and in a desperate attempt to cling on to power, he is doing everything to fan the flames of ultranationalism so that he can then portray himself as the only potential saviour of the nation, which includes stoking up conflict and war wherever he can. I see his days as numbered.

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Feb 19, 2020 11:29 AM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

I should note that the election Ekrem İmamoğlu won was for Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31
Feb 19, 2020 4:46 AM

The best way to deal with occupation forces is that locals make their life difficult.

At every turn, throw a bit of sand in the gearbox. It worked in East Germany with the Soviet occupiers and it will work in Syria with the Turks. Just keep your eyes and ears open what you can do to make their life difficult.

Jen
Jen
Feb 19, 2020 11:27 AM
Reply to  Wilmers31

The advice for the occupied to make colonisation hard for the occupiers will not work in all situations: there have been many occasions where making things difficult for occupiers result in the occupiers resorting to levels of brutality and viciousness far out of proportion to the incident that sparks such a backlash. In the 1940s, in Nazi-occupied areas of eastern Europe and the Balkans, small acts of defiance or the lynching of a German soldier or two could lead to entire villages being massacred in cold blood. The lynching deaths of Blackwater mercenaries in Fallujah in Iraq in 2004 led to that city being pounded at least twice by US bombardment. The recent history of the Palestinian territories, and Gaza in particular, follows the same dreary pattern over and over.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 8:47 PM
Reply to  Jen

When the occupiers regard the occupied as insects (eg Gaza or Fallujah) and just love to kill to prove their superiority, resistance is almost futile. The only way you win is through wading through rivers of your own people’s blood, as Hezbollah had to in south Lebanon.

paul
paul
Feb 22, 2020 12:27 AM

Hezbollah military casualties were not substantially higher than those of Zionist armed forces.
Of course many Lebanese civilians were deliberately targeted and murdered, while Hezbollah has always prioritised inflicting military casualties as more effective than Zionist style terror.

Tutisicecream
Tutisicecream
Feb 19, 2020 4:13 AM

An excellent summary of the geopolitics of Syria and the NATO/ Turkey/ Russia power play. The Sultan of Swing is back… now Turk stream has been completed. Turkey can now become the Ukraine of the Med wheeling and dealing while robbing their neighbours.

They control the gas out of Russia [for now] and the illegally stolen oil out of Syria. All facilitated by the US. The gangster politics of the US is now back in play with Erdogan swinging back to the Don and his bitch Pompeo. The current mobsters and their boys in NATO are the wrecking ball of global peace and politics.

Putin who had to rescue Russia from the same US promoted disaster politicking of the of the Yeltsin years now faces the great challenge of Turk-style bazaar politics and mobster megalomania. The Sultan seems to have a short memory, another coup may be brewing as he plays this hand…

paul
paul
Feb 22, 2020 12:31 AM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

Erdogan is currently biting off more than he can chew in Libya, and in the eastern Mediterranean oil/ gas dispute, without counting the quagmire in Syria. He may soon come badly unstuck.

Tutisicecream
Tutisicecream
Feb 19, 2020 4:03 AM

An excellent summary of the geopolitics of Syria and the NATO/ Turkey/ Russia power play. The Sultan of Swing is back… now Turk stream has been completed. Turkey can now become the Ukraine of the Med wheeling and dealing while robbing their neighbours.

They control the gas out of Russia [for now] and the illegally stolen oil out of Syria. All facilitated by the US. The gangster politics of the US is now back in play with Erdogan swinging back to the Don and his bitch Pompeo. The current mobsters and their boys in NATO are the wrecking ball of global peace and politics.

Putin who had to rescue Russia from the same US promoted disaster politicking of the of the Yeltsin years now faces the great challenge of Turk-style bazaar politics and mobster megalomania. The Sultan seems to have a short memory; another coup may be brewing as he plays this hand…

Antonym
Antonym
Feb 19, 2020 1:50 AM

Why is Turkey still part of NATO, Europeans?
The way Erdogan acts Israel, KSA or Pakistan etc. could be part of NATO too: nothing to do with the North Atlantic, purely a US MIC leftover for sucking up US hardware sales.

Igor
Igor
Feb 19, 2020 2:49 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Big reason is Incirlik Air Base. Base for a stockpile of US nuclear weapons and delivery systems to be deployed on Soviet\\\\\\Russia and Iran.
“North Atlantic” now covers from the Straits of Bosporus and the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea to Latin America near the Equator.

Jen
Jen
Feb 19, 2020 11:31 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Never thought I’d live to see the day when Antonym finally admits that Israel and the KSA stand on the same level of barbarity.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 8:48 PM
Reply to  Jen

They are ‘cousins’ after all.

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 2:32 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Why not? Colombia is a member of “NATO.”
Israel already has plenty of stooge goy muscle US soldiers stationed there, who are “happy to die for Israel”, at least that’s what their general says.

Emily Durron
Emily Durron
Feb 18, 2020 11:06 PM

It is not to be overlooked that Turkey has every interest in making sure that the jihadi monster it helped to create remains locked up in Idlib. As each Islamist-occupied territory fell, one by one, the jihadis were bussed to Idlib as part of the surrender agreements. It was easier than working out what to do with them. So there they all are, and a total collapse in Idlib caused by the easily superior SAA forces with their allies, including Russian air power, would send the whole lot scurrying like the rats they are back to Turkey, where they came from in the first place. Erdogan has every interest in stopping this from happening, at least until he can work out how to take them all to Libya.

Plus, importantly, yes, Erdogan has every reason to use Islam(ism) as a tool to promote Turkey’s rise or return (as the article says) to regional supremacy. That’s true. However, keep in mind at the same time that like (just about) all the Turks he holds deeply racist views about all the non-Turk Muslims, especially the Arabs. (But everyone does that in MENA. It is normal. Everyone has contempt for all the others). But the point is, that it is another major thorn in his side that Turkey has to be this giant refugee camp for all those inferior Muslim-but-non-Turk people, and so he will fight like a dog to maintain the current uneasy status quo in Idlib so that he doesn’t have to accept a whole new influx of them.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 19, 2020 3:04 AM
Reply to  Emily Durron

“…keep in mind at the same time that like (just about) all the Turks he [Erdoğan] holds deeply racist views about all the non-Turk Muslims, especially the Arabs. (But everyone does that in MENA. It is normal. Everyone has contempt for all the others).”

We share nothing beyond this hall…
— Mu’ammar AL Gathafi, Syria, 2008

https://youtu.be/-cpiPFkL0QY

Gall
Gall
Feb 18, 2020 10:55 PM

I see the Syrians and Russians are using discretion while Turkey is acting like a Turkey.

paul
paul
Feb 18, 2020 9:45 PM

If push comes to shove, the Turkish military may prove to be something of a paper tiger.
They even botched the coup against Erdogan, and were subsequently extensively purged.
In these circumstances, military competence tends to take a back seat to political reliability.
The Turks have been content to hide behind their jihadi head chopping proxies.
When the body bags of conscripts start coming home, it may be a different story.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31
Feb 19, 2020 4:55 AM
Reply to  paul

In the Soviet Union of 1982 it was not body bags of conscripts but welded zinc coffins which came back from Afghanistan. The mothers were distraught and it was clear then that it would only be a matter of time.

If the negative energy of Turks really is to be pruned then a Kurdistan would be of great help because a rump Turkey would do less damage. But that could only happen through Iran who might not want to do it. If they gave their Kurds an area and independence Turkey could be toast.

paul
paul
Feb 21, 2020 2:27 PM
Reply to  Wilmers31

The trouble is, the Kurds are just a Zionist/ Neocon catspaw. They have no independent agency, they are just a tool of the very worst outside interests.
The Kurds are Israel’s/ Washington’s bitch (just like Britain, to be honest.)

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Feb 19, 2020 11:15 AM
Reply to  paul

The truth about the 2016 coup attempt will probably not emerge until after the collapse of Erdoğan’s dismal would-be dictatorship, but many informed observors take official explanations with a pinch of salt. Many argue that this event was staged by Erdoğan himself to further his power grab. Following the “defeat” of the coup attempt, a strict state of emergency was introduced allowing Erdoğan to rule as de-facto dictator by decree and a huge programme was unfolded to crush all opposition to his rule – especially from the left and secularists even though the blame for the coup attempt was placed on the Islamist Gülen movement – that ranged from shutting down most of the opposition media to mass expulsions from public service. This state of emergency was continued until such time as Erdoğan could have a new constitution granting him virtually dictatorial powers introduced, allowing him a free hand without having to worry about the rule of law. Don’t forget that the Turkish military has a very successful record when it comes to staging coups!

Richard Steele
Richard Steele
Feb 19, 2020 3:49 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

I’m among those who believe that the “coup” was a managed event planned by Erdogan.

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Feb 19, 2020 4:25 PM
Reply to  Richard Steele

The only thing I am fairly certain about is that the Erdoğan regime’s official account of events is a fabrication. The false flag theory has plenty of merit. Another theory that I think fits the facts well is that another grouping within the Turkish armed forces (possibly secularist Kemalist nationalistshostile towards the Islamist Gülen sect) tricked the Gülenists into believing they would support them if they staged a coup, but then stabbed them in the back and went to Erdoğan after the coup had started and, negotiating from a position of extreme strength as the only people who could halt the coup, joined forces with him in return for some kind of deal. What could that deal have been? Well, Erdoğan shifted his position sharply towards the ultranationalists in the 2015 repeat elections and has virtually been in a coalition with the ultranationalist MHP ever since, and this position hardened even more following the failed coup. His rejection of any compromise or negotiations with Kurdish separatist forces following the 2015 June election amounted to a total U-turn from somebody who, to his great credit, was actively seeking a negotiated democratic solution to the Kurdish problem until then. It is all speculation until hard evidence emerges. Legendary investigative journalist Ahmet Şık (no stranger to the inside of Turkish jails and courtrooms) has done some interesting research into this event and he is notably careful to hedge his bets and say that it is not yet possible to reach firm conclusions.

A translated version of a serialised article that appeared in Cumhuriyet not long after the coup attempt appears here:

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/from-forced-marriage-to-forced-coup-643331

(The translation is in fact my humble effort from a time when I was doing voluntary translation work to help support Cumhuriyet, one of the main secular opposition newspapers still publishing at that time.)

BigB
BigB
Feb 18, 2020 9:36 PM

Excellent summary.

crispy
crispy
Feb 18, 2020 10:30 PM
Reply to  BigB

More bollocks by bitter ex Soviet idiot

Gall
Gall
Feb 18, 2020 10:54 PM
Reply to  BigB

I second that!

crispy
crispy
Feb 18, 2020 8:03 PM

More feel good propaganda by Assadist idiot from Russia

Why do people do this?

Why does Vitcheckkk write this crap?

Is he just another fecking whinging arsehole, former Soviet citizen who likes to bitch about the west?

Why doesn’t he bitch about putins Russia?

Is it because he grew up in an authoritarian dictatorship?

Does that explain it!

Can you actually publish this comment to stimulate some form of meaningful debate or will
Off Guardian moderation do to me what the official guardian news paper has done to so many who comment here?

In other words yet again down the old memory hole, which is frankly a bit rich when you allow so many, well not that many, to write fecking crap!

Can you actually keep blocking and deliberately stopping debate with those who disagree with your position, and at the same time pretend you’re better than others? ie The Guardian

Over to you Mods, I’m not holding my breath though

Lets get the debate going by the discussing the following

Assad and his family dictatorship have caused this crisis in Syria, they’re murderous scum

Putin jails and clamps down on journalists and other activists, are they simply the ‘ wrong’ kind of Russians?

The Iranian regime is a mad bunch of religious fanatics who spread intolerance around the region like Mike Pumpton says!

Why do people hate Israel? Is it really the most evil entity created? Which actually controls America

China is a joyless bunch of communists, hell bent on creating an Orwellian surveillance system therir belt and road thingy is just a form of infrastructure imperialism

Oh, and if you were to criticise the governments of the above mentioned, as you constantly criticise the uk government, you’d end up getting closed down and certainly in some of the above mentioned countries jailed and almost certainly tortured!

That being the case why do you endlessly blather about Assange who’d be dead if he’d pulled his little stunt in Iran or Syria?

Let the debate begin,or are you to fecking frit?

crispy
crispy
Feb 18, 2020 8:13 PM
Reply to  crispy

Oh i forgot to mention NEO is just another pro Putin/ Russia propaganda outlet regurgitating hysterical blather dressed up as ‘ analysis ‘

I expect this comment to also go down the old memory hole, over to you lot!

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 3:17 AM
Reply to  crispy

You don’t rate the Memory Hole.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Feb 19, 2020 6:11 AM
Reply to  crispy

Oh i forgot to mention NEO is just another pro Putin/ Russia propaganda outlet regurgitating hysterical blather dressed up as ‘ analysis ‘

Thanks for the warning. Now, who are you?

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 6:51 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

free lance truth seeker

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 8:23 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

Someone who’s got tired off endless negative Putin propaganda

JudyJ
JudyJ
Feb 19, 2020 3:10 PM
Reply to  crispy

I very much doubt that you intended to write this as it reads. I was tempted to give you a thumbs up for it but my cursor refused to up vote a ‘crispy comment’. 😀

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Feb 19, 2020 7:23 PM
Reply to  JudyJ

Lol, crispy ?? read ?

Crispy sure makes you wonder if he’s actually ever proof read or
considered his own comments,
let alone applied logic & critical thinking. . .

before clicking ‘Post’ 🙂 He’s never answered a single question,
from anybody, ever 🙂 A unique [email protected],
even a traitor to his own word & promises:
promising to leave, like stroppy child without any conviction,
poor lonely soul, just seeking attention.
Some mothers do ‘ave em, clearly . . .
And at least he’s tiring to the point of total incoherency 🙂

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 3:16 AM
Reply to  crispy

A troll is a troll, but a boring, self-righteous, troll is another thing entirely.

Loverat
Loverat
Feb 19, 2020 3:49 AM
Reply to  crispy

I don’t think your analysis of the world today is remotely near the truth. Andre has visited virtually all countries in the world- he talks to many people on his travels and quotes them.

My only occasional reservation is his views on certain countries are forthrightly positive or negative but perhaps that is the truer nature of the world. Good and evil and little in between.

But does he hold a view of the world preconceived by some prejudice against the West in favour of the East?. (perhaps political/economic ideology) Difficult to conclude though given he has extensively travelled and sees things for himself. And besides,whether or not he over-praises eg China and over-criticises others does not change the facts on this subject.

Turkey is wrong in practice and morally and double-faced on all foreign policy matters, aside perhaps from its vocal opposition to Israel apartheid. This all makes Turkey a huge destabilising force in the region only tempered by its cowardice and lack of fighting ability. A good analogy for me is Mussolini and Italy or Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, a racist re-writer of history. Both trying to revive a greatness long gone or never really there in the first place.

Emily Durron
Emily Durron
Feb 19, 2020 6:55 AM
Reply to  crispy

Obviously crispy was very drunk when s/he wrote this.

As I understand it, OffG never deletes comments, as the freedom that we have to comment is a central element of why this website exists.

As for having a “debate” with you about what you have written, one could no more do that than have a “debate” with somebody who said that the earth is flat or that the sun rises in the west every morning. What you have written is just flat out untrue, leaving aside the xenophobia that caused you to write it.

By the way though, who is Mike Pumpton?

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 7:43 AM
Reply to  Emily Durron

Well you understand wrong

Frankly I’m surprised they published this one

As for drunk not at all

Not xenophobia to call out authoritarian dictatorship like Iran or the murderous torturing regime of Assad, their behaviour is well documented, although i doubt you’ll except the evidence accumulated over decades about those two regimes

As for a debate, well since most of my comments go down the plug hole its actually rather difficult

What tends to happen is the Mods let one or two go then essentially deletes the rest so that Off guardian regulars can pile in with their usual ad hom vitriolic nonsense, such as
‘ you’re a CIA /mossad/ troll

Pretty pathetic really

Anyway we’ll see if this one gets by the mods?

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 8:52 PM
Reply to  crispy

You simply reek of hasbara raving hatred.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 19, 2020 7:30 AM
Reply to  crispy

I can see both your comments as clear as day Crispy duck.
Offguardian dosn’t censor commenters unless they’re extremely racist or threatening others.
You didn’t answer my questions from the other day tho.
I’ll ask 2 very simple questions for you now then:
How is Assange a traitor? Who did he betray?
And second question: What are your media sources that You regard as factual?
Look forward to being enlightened….

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 8:22 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Ok gezzah I’ll take myself off to the naughty step!

Yep I’ll buy into all that feel good ‘ win win’ multi polar BS peddled by a bunch of idiots who’d have us all live in totalitarian hell holes

But wait, haven’t we been here before?

Yes it was called the Soviet Union, well that worked out well didn’t it, but off course i forgot Chinese communism, with Chinese characteristics, is sooooo much better,not!

And the heir to the failed state formerly known as the Soviet Union, Putin, thinks he can make Russia ‘ great again ‘ by pump priming his propaganda information war machine

You know this is the one in which he, along with his murderous mate Assad, can basically kill and bomb a bunch of civilians because they are ‘ terrorists ‘ right ok I’ve got it

But hang on a mo, wasn’t Putin involved, allegedly, in some sort of plot, to blow up Moscow apartment blocks in 1999?

Maybe we can have a discussion about that,or is it only the Americans who deliberately murder their own citizens?

Maybe Vidchek can go do some big story about that, maybe he can do some big stories about journalists beaten and falsely criminalized in good old mother Russia?

Maybe????

Maybe he could go off and see how Russia is still playing the old Soviet psychiatric game plan to detain people the state doesn’t like in mental hostpitals?

Maybe he could do some stories with Syrian citizens who’ve been tortured by Assad?

Maybe he could do the same in Iran?

Maybe he’d never be invited back if he did, so he’ll probably not bother, because its easier to live his life like a number of bitter ex Soviet types who can blather away about how bad the west is and know he’s not gonna be arrested and tortured as he would be if he was honest about the Iranian or Syrian regimes!

Or we could just wrap ourselves in Putin, communist Chinese, Assad feel good sucky blankets?

Its all ‘ win win ‘ you see when you live in a totalitarian world!

But i know you’re not interested, so you’ll blather instead about biased MSM, who cares, frankly its always been biased, but the facts are difficult things and the historic events and evidence of the Assads,Putin, Soviet Russia,China and other totalitarian and authoritarian regimes simply can’t be got rid of, i know thats what you want, but you’re on the wrong side of history

Lots of maybes, maybe you won’t see this? Who knows!!!!

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 19, 2020 12:05 PM
Reply to  crispy

I asked you 2 very simple questions, which, as I note, you didn’t answer.
Were they too hard to answer?
But judging by this response, and other things you’ve written, I already know the answer to my 2nd question.
I’d say you get your ‘truth’ from Fox News or CNN. Correct?
I also asked you the other day – why do you keep coming here if you find this site so offensive?
You say you’re a ‘freelance truth seeker’.
Really? Are you sure about that?
Your views seem very set and rigid to me actually.
Why do you think Offguardian was started for? To spin lies and bullshit?
No. It doesn’t.
The fact that this site is regularly visited by trolls and is regularly under cyber attacks tells me it makes people in the Establishment very uncomfortable.
It speaks truth to power.
Who do you think has been behind ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and all the other jihadists in Syria? Who do you think has been funding, arming and training them? The tooth fairy?
Have you heard of General Wesley Clark, who admitted in an interview that the United States planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years. Its on YouTube.
This was ALL planned years before fighting broke out in Syria. Oh, and guess what one of the countries on that list was? Syria. It comes straight from the horses mouth.
Who was treating their wounded fighters in hospitals in the Golan Heights? Who failed to see their miles long oil convoys despite having satellite coverage over the entire region?
If you really seek the truth (which I doubt) scroll down to the heading for Syria, and pick any article by any author at random.
Or, go on Moon Of Alabama or The Grayzone or American Herald Tribune or Strategic Culture or The Saker or Worldwide Socialist Website or Elijah Magnier Facebook or SouthFront News or Craig Murray or Tim Anderson.
Are they ALL lying about Syria? Everyone?
Do you honestly believe the Western mainstream media is unbiased?
That’s my reply to you. Coz you think Assange is a ‘Traitor’ I’d lay money that you lap up Fox News like a cat laps up milk.

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 12:57 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I’ve been on all of them!

Like i said I’m tired of pro kremlin/ Putin BS propaganda

South Front though is interesting as the comments section has its fair share of Nazis, who basically hate Israel and openly declare they’d like to see it destroyed, although its nothing compared with Russia Insider, a true hot bed of Nazi hate, ironically they’ve published more than a few articles written by Off Guardian

My, my, what strange bedfellows you people keep!

Frankly yes they are all lying,lying by omission, thats the crafty way you do it or half truths or simple blind hate

As for Assange he’s basically an idiot, should have legged it to Russia, but yeah i do believe he’s a TRAITOR, a thick stupid one at that, as nobody cares about him so what exactly is it he’s achieved????

Simple answer, NOTHING!

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 19, 2020 9:44 PM
Reply to  crispy

So you’re in the UK then…. ‘blimey’ ‘legged it’. I was thinking you were in Alabama or Texas or similar.
In your way of thinking, Assange is a traitor because he exposed The Truth about Western imperialism and war crimes committed by so called Western democracies.
So that makes him a traitor then?
If so, then I’m very proud to inform you that I’m a traitor to such debauched evil.
A rogue collection of terrorist states – United States, UK, Israel, Australia, Turkey, Canada, France, New Zealand and their little helpers like the Wahhabist theocracy of Saudi Arabia.
Have you heard of Saudi Arabia Crisp?
How many countries has the United States bombed, invaded, interfered in, overthrown legitimate Govts in the last 100 years?
How many countries has Russia bombed, invaded or overthrown legitimate Govts? How many countries has China bombed, invaded, or overthrown Govts?
How many children died as a result of sanctions imposed on Iraq? 500000.
Obviously, you support such barbarity.
How about the depleted uranium in Fallujah? How many children are born with horrific birth defects?
Do you care?
Who has been supporting jihadist terrorists in Syria? Have you heard of the term ‘regime change’. Because that’s what Syria was all about.
The Empire wanted to install a puppet regime in Syria. Like it did in Ukraine. That’s what this whole horrendous carnage and destruction of Syria has been about.
You do know what imperialism is don’t you? Millions of human beings are dead because of it.
So, I’m really proud to be a traitor to such grotesque evil perpetrated by the Anglo Zionist Empire.
Oops, there’s that naughty term. Must mean I’m anti semitic as well.
You’re obviously not even willing to partly open your eyes, and You are complicit in war crimes and slaughter by YOUR support for all this.
Does that make you feel proud?

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 20, 2020 7:42 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

If you opposed Nazi Germany, they called you a ‘traitor’. The same with Assange and the Exceptional Nazis of today. The concept that a citizen of another country can be a ‘traitor’ to the USA illustrates the preposterous arrogance of the Washington psychopaths, who clearly think that they own the world. And the fact that Assange will not be given First Amendment Free Speech protection because he is NOT a US citizen just adds stupefying hypocrisy to it all.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 20, 2020 9:58 AM

Exactly. What’s Assange a traitor too? One of the most evil, debauched, depraved, blood drenched Empire’s in the history of the World.
Those cretinous stooges who have labelled Julian Assange a traitor, or as John Pilger says so eloquently in his latest essay – all those who have betrayed Assange by their complicit silence and abandoning him to the fascist wolves.
Pilger wrote that article and posted it on New Matilda couple days ago.
Just 4 comments on NM Facebook page and a mere 3 comments on the main page when I looked a few hours ago.
Yet have seen quite inconsequential stories posted on that site that get 40-50 comments Within a day.
There’s a protest in Melbourne on Sunday which I’ll be taking part in.
Too many people in this country have turned their back on Assange, and turned their back on the many many war crimes of the Anglo Zionist Empire, of which Syria is but one on a long list.
And idiots like a few I could name swallow the lies and bullshit without blinking.
It may be pissing in the wind Richard, but am not prepared to look the other way.

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 3:12 PM
Reply to  crispy

You could get a job with the BBC or stand in for Luke Harding when he’s on holiday.

lundiel
lundiel
Feb 19, 2020 9:00 AM
Reply to  crispy

Why doesn’t he bitch about putins Russia?

Because the article’s about Syria and the illegal foreign occupation and geopolitical connotations of a ten-year-old war that threatens to engulf the region and beyond.

Assad and his family dictatorship have caused this crisis in Syria, they’re murderous scum

Yawn. The ‘crisis’ was caused by economic problems stemming from a seemingly permanent drought that has forced poor rural farmers off their land, only to be stirred-up and financed by NATO/Sunni Arab assets (classic regime change strategy).
Even you, with your tabloid vision of the region, surely understand that American/Israeli/Saudi Arabian/Muslim Brotherhood, long-held, publicly accessible visions for the Middle East involve splitting Syria into cantons and destroying Iran….which is illegal under international law and breaches every human moral/ethical code. And to get back to the article, Turkey itself is under great threat, while it pays foreign terrorist mercenaries $200 a month to fight in Syria, Erdogan is in danger of splitting his own country into bits. There are many foreign actors more than ready to Balkanise Turkey if they can.

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 9:12 AM
Reply to  lundiel

Yup i just knew it’d have to be NATO fault

The drought was made infinitely worse by the stupid agricultural practices of the Assad regime

Apparently they were warned not to follow these types of practice but went ahead anyway

All of which was made worse by the corruption of the state and local officials

Apparently the Soviet Union gave them advice about how to improve productivity! says it all really, no wonder the place is a basket case

Its been a dictatorship of one sort or another since 1949, the Assads didn’t exactly come to power by anything which could remotely conform with ‘ international law’

Their decades old practice of arbitrary detention and torture are well established and recorded, again not the sort of stuff international law is made of!

So please don’t give me your sanctimonious speech on morals and ethical values

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Feb 19, 2020 12:21 PM
Reply to  crispy

The phrase ‘basket case’ is media code to describe sovereign nations earmarked for regime change or IMF-takeover. It could not be more clear whose propaganda you have absorbed

crispy
crispy
Feb 19, 2020 12:42 PM

Oh thats very interesting, as I’ve heard this expression for decades

Such as that’ house is a basket case’

Infact i used to work closely with estate agents who often referred to property in this way

Blimey i never knew this was code from IMF well silly me!

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 8:57 PM
Reply to  crispy

‘Estate agents’-code for slumlords, no doubt.

Jen
Jen
Feb 20, 2020 1:11 AM
Reply to  crispy

I don’t wonder that Crispy has heard the expression “Basket Case” for decades.

What I do wonder though is who or what target the expression was being applied to, aside from real estate or abstract entities.

lundiel
lundiel
Feb 19, 2020 1:25 PM
Reply to  crispy

“Apparently” you read a lot of propaganda. Syria is a presidential unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates with a multi-party democracy where everyone over 18 has a vote. And “apparently” you’re talking bollocks as this from that bastion of communist literature also known as Chatam House confirms:

As a pillar of Syria’s pre-war economy, agriculture constituted more than one fifth of the overall national GDP. The Syrian government invested heavily in this sector to become a self-sufficient producer of key staples and to avoid reliance on external assistance. The government had ‘strategic reserves’ of wheat, around 3.5 million tons, enough to sustain the entire country for one year. Prior to the uprisings, Syria was considered one of the leading exporters of cereals, fruits and vegetables to neighbouring countries and the Gulf.

The criticism levelled at Syria indicates they should have pushed for commercial private agri-corporations rather than buy off of sustenance farmers. Can you even imagine what disgruntled sustenance farmers would have done if forced off their land by state intervention? You’ve no idea what you’re talking about crispy and had they gone down that road they would still be facing the same drought problems.
I don’t think you’ve ever looked at both sides of any history that isn’t exclusively pro-Western.

Maggie
Maggie
Feb 19, 2020 11:15 PM
Reply to  lundiel

Hi Lundiel,
I think Crispy Duck has had enough attention for now, don’t you? He adds nothing what so ever to this discussion, for he is unable to read anything but MSM presstitute headlines.
I don’t think we should waste any more time on it?

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 3:17 PM
Reply to  crispy

Maybe all would have been well if they’d got Monsanto do all that GMO s**t for them.

Though in the torture stakes they come a very poor second to “We tortured some folks” Obomber.

Maggie
Maggie
Feb 19, 2020 11:09 PM
Reply to  lundiel

True Lundiel,

Syria’s Water Cut Off By Turkey Following McCain, Erdogan Meeting
Just a matter of days after John McCain’s “unusual” trip to Syria and Turkey, the Turkish government has cut off water supplies from the Euphrates River into northern Syria, violating international conventions on water rights.
https://www.mintpressnews.com/syrias-water-cut-off-by-turkey-following-mccain-erdogan-meeting/225483/

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 20, 2020 7:46 AM
Reply to  Maggie

Good news! John McCain is still dead!

clickkid
clickkid
Feb 19, 2020 9:50 AM
Reply to  crispy

Let’s get one thing clear. Power will always be abused, whether in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, or indeed Damascus. That, unfortunately, is the reality of human nature.

Since we cannot change that, it is in our interest to at least see power as dispersed as possible, to work against the concentration of power. Such power as does exist must be just, in that the basis of that power lies in productive work, a contribution to human welfare.

The years since 1991 have witnessed the attempt of one power centre, obviously Washington, to dictate terms to the whole planet. I see it as in the interest of the peoples of the world (including ordinary Americans) that that bid is not successful. The efforts of Russia, China and others to resist that and create a world based on multilateralism , are therefore to be lauded – dispersal of power.

Turning to the question of the basis of power in production, some contribution to human welfare. Russia’s power is fundamentally based on the work of millions of people extracting valuable natural resources from ist vast territories – the work of many millions of Russians. The power of China is based on the hard work of many, many millions of Chinese in applying their hard work and intelligence to the world, in order to create valuable products which make a contribution to human welfare, and for which others are prepared to pay.

America used also to be productive, earning its way in the world. Now the global power of the US rests on two pillars. The first is the massive military machine constructed over the lest 79 years, which now struts the world. The second is the power to issue the world’s reserve currency and buy up real wealth with it. These two pillars support each other and are both necessary. If one fails, then they both fail. The US Government can only pay for that enormous military because it can issue the world’s reserve currency. It can only control the the issue of the world’s reserve currency because it has the military to enforce that – so far.

So, not only should the Empire be opposed because it is attempting to institute a unipolar power structure, but also because the basis of that power is fundamentally destructive – the military, and parasitical – Wall Street and the Fed.

It is doomed to fail as all destructive and parasitical empires are doomed to fail, because it is fundamentally against the interests of the vast majority.

There are other aspects, but that was the short answer.

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 3:21 PM
Reply to  clickkid

America is the biggest parasite and scrounger in history, apart from Israel.
It scrounges and extorts 2,3,4 billion dollars a day from the rest of its planet.
Uncle Sam is the world’s biggest leech and panhandler (apart from Israel.)

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 19, 2020 8:59 PM
Reply to  clickkid

There is NO moral equivalence between the USA and its stooges, by very far the greatest force for Evil in all history, and any other current, or past, government, regime of other power.

clickkid
clickkid
Feb 19, 2020 10:10 AM
Reply to  crispy

There is one more aspect, which it would be amiss not to mention,

America is increasingly not a society in the correct sense of that term, but merely a collection of isolated individuals, each living his or her desperate life in a separate consumerist cubicle. It is a country increasingly devoid of any tradition, that is a connection to its own past, or of any conception of society as being more than just a collection of individuals, of any conception of social justice. This condition allows the corporations who rule America, not only to easily maintain their rule, but also to optimise their exploitation of the American ‘consumer’ over the whole life cycle.

If the US is successful (don’t worry it won’t be) in its attempt at unipolarity, then it would attempt to extend this model all over the world.

When I look at Xi,s China or Putin’s Russia – and others, then I see systems which recognize bothe the importance of a society’s rootedness in ist own past – its civilization, but also have a conception of social interconnections and social justice. It is an idea of society that is ultimately much more in tune with human fulfillment.

clickkid
clickkid
Feb 19, 2020 10:19 AM
Reply to  crispy

Hello Crispy, I wrote two replies to you below. The second should be read first.

Apologies for the confusion.

clickkid
clickkid
Feb 19, 2020 12:04 PM
Reply to  crispy

China opened up to the West from 1850 to 1949.

What happened?

Russia opened up to the West from 1991 to 2000.

What happened?

If Russia and China were not governed by determined and yes authoritarian leadership, then they would be strip-mined by the corporatists of Wall Street and the City of London until their people pissed blood.

paul
paul
Feb 19, 2020 3:06 PM
Reply to  crispy

Why does Vitchek write this crap?
Because he’s that endangered species, an honest journalist who values the truth.

Assad’s outstanding statesmanship and personal courage has saved his country and defeated the head choppers. If you don’t like political dynasties, go and talk to the Kennedys about it. Or the Clintons. Or the Bushes. Or the Gandhis. Let alone the Gulf dictatorships.

If you’re worried about journalists being “clamped down on” maybe you need to pay a visit to Belmarsh and see who they’ve got in solitary confinement there.

If you don’t like “religious fanatics” you would do well to steer clear of the US, in case you bump into Pence or Pompeo, patiently waiting for the Rapture and waiting for the Almighty to tell them which country to bomb next. Or their chums Bush and Blair, good Christians one and all. Let alone all the foaming at the mouth chosen folk.

Why do people hate Israel?
It’s the world’s only openly and officially racist state, like Nazi Germany on steroids, with a couple of skips and half a dozen dustbins full of UN Resolutions it casually ignores with impunity, which manages to trample on every imaginable human right on a daily basis, while inciting the stooge goy whores it has in its pocket in Washington to start war after war after war on its behalf, butchering, starving and immiserating millions. That’s a few reasons to be going on with. Of course there are others. Constantly meddling in the politics of other countries through lies, corruption and blackmail, and wrecking the careers of people like Corbyn with relentless smear campaigns. While acting as the world centre of financial corruption, espionage, drug trafficking, sex trafficking and organ trafficking. Hope that explains it.

If you’re worried about “Orwellian surveillance” I wouldn’t ask how many CCTV cameras there are in London. Probably about a dozen for every man, woman and child. And don’t make any phone calls, or send any e mails, or do any internet searches. Each and every one is recorded, monitored and stored in perpetuity.

I don’t know about the Chinese being joyless. Perhaps we could get them all to wear funny hats or tell jokes to keep you happy.

Maggie
Maggie
Feb 19, 2020 10:48 PM
Reply to  crispy

”Assad and his family dictatorship have caused this crisis in Syria, they’re murderous scum”
Clearly you know nothing and are unable to research,,

The only Assad who has caused trouble from the beginning is Rifaat Asaad The Butcher of Homs,, Now go and do some research instead of making yourself look like a cock.

Ooops, I don’t think you were supposed to show all your Hasbara cards at once?

crispy
crispy
Feb 20, 2020 2:46 PM
Reply to  Maggie

….it must run in the family,murder, absolutely no irony in your comment?

paul
paul
Feb 20, 2020 6:23 PM
Reply to  Maggie

The head choppers were stamped on in Homs to prevent the same kind of carnage we have seen since 2011.
Bashar should have done the same 9 years ago.

Maggie
Maggie
Feb 24, 2020 1:38 AM
Reply to  paul

Here’s a little historical background for you.

Carnage created by Butcher of Homms Rifaat al Asaad on the orders of the CIA/Mossad and Saudi who promised him the Presidency of Syria and funded him to overthrow his brother Hafez al Asaad who was a stubborn enemy of the Jewish state and also a persistent foe of American policy for nearly three decades.
https://www.fpri.org/article/2000/07/hafez-al-asad-the-man-who-waited-too-long/

Rifaat al Asaad had complete autonomous control of the Army and did not ever consult with his brother about what he was doing. He was thrown out of the country for instigating a coup against Hafiz and went into exile and became a millionaire??? Though where he got his money from is anyone’s guess.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8571164/Syrias-Butcher-of-Hama-living-in-10-million-Mayfair-townhouse.html

One of Rifaa al Asaad’;s wives is the sister of King Abdullahs wife…
Rifaat’s son Sumer is the head of a minor pan-Arab TV channel, the Arab NewsNetwork (ANN), which functions as his father’s political mouthpiece.
He also claims to run a political party, of uncertain fortunes??
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribal_al-Assad

Rifaat himself runs the United National Group (al-tajammu` al-qawmi al-muwahhid), which is another political party or alliance; it is known to have self-professed members among Rifaat’s fellow exiles from Syria. And still hopes to return to Syria as the President.

Go figure the rest??
.