All posts tagged: Turkey

The U.S. won’t say ‘genocide’ but cares about Armenian democracy?

by Max Parry “Did Armenia just dance its way to revolution?” Mass demonstrations that have shut down Armenia leading to the replacement of its prime minister have queued the obligatory western media push for regime change. Already dubbed a ‘Velvet Revolution’ after the 1989 protests that collapsed communist Czechoslovakia, there have been so many ‘color revolutions’ in former Soviet states that the colors are being recycled by the NGOs. The first crowds gathered in April in response to the Republican Party of Armenia’s decision to nominate outgoing leader Serzh Sargsyan as the sole candidate for Prime Minister after having already served as the country’s President since 2008. Despite its constitutional legality, this was perceived by many to be a consolidation of power as he would have retained the same authority since the country just transitioned to a prime ministerial system. Predictably, the western media commentary has framed the protests in the context of the new Cold War by emphasizing the ruling party’s links to ‘Kremlin oligarchs’ and Armenia’s presence within Russia’s sphere of influence. However, …

Do you want to travel around the Middle East? Think twice!

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek Do you think it is that simple to travel around the Middle East? Think twice! Ask Palestinians, about trying to get from a point A to a point B in their own nation. Some time ago, sitting in an old Ottoman hotel in Bethlehem, I asked a waiter what it takes to travel from there to Gaza, where he said, several of his relatives were living. He looked at me as if I had fallen from the Moon: “There is no way I could travel there. If my relatives get very sick or die, then, in theory, I could apply for an Israeli travel permit to go there, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they would approve, or that I could get to Gaza on time…” I tried to appear naïve: “And what if someone from an Arab country which does not recognize Israel, wants to come here, to Bethlehem? Like, a Lebanese pilgrim or just a tourist? Could he or she enter from Jordan?” The waiter weighed …

Syria and Chemical Weapons: Debating the Regime-Change War in Syria

by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, April 24, 2018  Like the rest of Canada’s corporate media, the state-run CBC is virulently anti-Russia and a constant voice favouring the regime-change war in Syria. So it was something of a surprise to hear its national radio news report on April 22 provide evidence that counters the claims of a chemical weapons attack against the town of Douma, Syria in the region east of Damascus on April 7. Photo provided to Western media by the Western-funded ‘White Helmets’ agency purporting to show victims of a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on April 7, 2018 The CBC reported some of the information first reported by Robert Fisk of the UK Independent on April 17. He spoke to medical personnel who treated what were later claimed by Western media to be victims of a chemical attack. They explained to Fisk that the victims treated that day were suffering from respiratory ailments caused by the dust, debris and concussion symptoms of explosions. The medical personnel were interviewed separately and …

Why is NATO moving its Airbase from Turkey to Jordan?

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek, previous published by New Eastern Outlook People in the Middle East are joking, cynically: “From Incirlik, Turkey to Al-Azraq, Jordan with love.”. That is, if they pay any attention to the movement of NATO troops in this part of the world. They should. At least one substantial part of an incredibly deadly and aggressive force has been gradually relocated, from an ‘uncertain’ and according to the West suddenly ‘unreliable’ country (Turkey), to the impoverished but obedient Kingdom of Jordan. It is now clear that NATO is not sure, metaphorically speaking, which direction is Turkey going to fly in, and where it may eventually land. It is panicking and searching, ‘just in case’, for an exit strategy; almost for an escape plan from the most important regional power. Is the West really losing Turkey? Nobody knows. Most likely, nobody in Ankara is sure, either, including Mr. Erdogan. But what if … What if Erdogan moves closer to Russia, even to China? What if Turkey’s relationship with Iran improves? What if …

The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar

The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

by Stephen Gowans, July 11, 2017 A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown [in our cover illustration], under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus.  The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified. Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms.  Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as moderates.  Now that the so-called moderates have been exposed as the very opposite, many Leftists cling to the hope that amid the Islamist opponents of Syria’s secular, Arab …

Documentary: Aleppo Renaissance

Screencap from the video below. Documentary about the theft and destruction of the industrial cities of Aleppo by Sinan Saeed and Tom Duggan with Fares Shehabi (MP for Aleppo).  

Issues at Stake in Syria’s Peace Talks

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Syria’s peace-talks are about settling a horrific six-year-long war, but this is more of an international war that’s being waged on the battlefields of Syria, than it is a civil war within Syria itself. This fact is often ignored by the press, but the peace-talks are really more between the foreign powers than between their proxies who are killing each other (and Syria’s civilians) within Syria. These peace-talks are international because the principals in this war are international. And, because the principals are international, the principles that are being fought over are, too — they are so basic that the end-result from these talks will be not only some sort of new peace, but some sort of new Constitution for Syria: really a new nation of Syria. The main issues which are being negotiated at the Syrian Peace Talks that resumed on February 23rd in Geneva, are constitutional in nature: whether Syria is to be governed under Sharia (or Quran-based) law, or whether instead it is to be a …

Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict

by John Leslie A new format of negotiations to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23 is set to take into account the interests of all actors of the Syrian conflict. At the same time, we should understand that it is impossible to save Syria in the way it was. The system is to be changed. Nevertheless, now it is difficult to say which of the negotiating sides can get more benefits. It can be seen by the results of the meeting. However, Syrian people are to win at any case. They are tired of poverty, misery and deaths. It is time to say stop and make real moves to save people’s lives. Negotiations in Astana is a first step to regulate military actions and to put an end to the clash between Syrian troops and Syrian opposition. Bashar Assad told he is open for any dialog with opposition that represents the interests of Syria and Syrian people, but not Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. On January 8, the Syrian government announced the …

Bait & Switch – Fake News, propornot, the Real Inform & Influence Operation

by GH Eliason A few days before the 2016 election I contacted several publishers and told them they were on a list to be dealt with/ taken down after what was supposed to be a Clinton victory. This effort was against news sites and websites that spoke or wrote against current US policies that Clinton supported. As I was writing this Glen Greenwald’s great article came out specifically about propornot. That plays a small part in this. Journalists that said or wrote anything damaging to the Clinton campaign or supported her opponents in any way were targeted. News sites and journalists that failed to criticize Vladimir Putin, or worse; they were sympathetic of this or that Russian or Syria policy at any time are on the lists. The implication isn’t that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with this. She didn’t, at least not directly. We’re going to take a clear look at this, who is behind it, and why. The political stakes and stakeholders go far beyond the presidency. It was about setting the …

The Revealed Cynicism of ‘Benevolent Hegemony’

Since the collapse of the USSR, and the inception of the unipolar world order with the United States at its center, the term ‘benevolent hegemony’ has entered the lexicon of international relations and geopolitics. The full fleshing out of this idea was revealed in the 1996 essay by American neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, ‘Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy’. Its essence is an excuse for the United States to pursue whichever diplomatic and military means are believed to forward the goals of an American Empire, on the basis that unlike past empires, this one is not based on the prestige of the American people, or indeed any given leader, but instead on a set of ‘universal values and principles’ which are supposedly positive for all who live under them. One need only look at the neoconservatives themselves and come to the conclusion that they certainly do not represent the interests of the American people, as their international operations rarely have any positive impact for working men and women, and in fact very often engender negative consequences for them. Nor could it be said that neoconservatives aid the prestige of a given leader, as their legacy of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan destroyed the presidential legacy of George W. Bush, and notably his British ally Tony Blair.

Military Blogger Alleges U.S. Now Aids ISIS to Oust Assad

by Eric Zuesse A highly informed anonymous military blogger, who goes by the name of “bernhard” and blogs at his widely followed “Moon of Alabama” website, is alleging, in a post October 12th (“The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”), that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who have been occupying the city of Mosul in Iraq. On September 17th, U.S. and UK jets had bombed the compound of Syrian government troops who were fighting to oust jihadists from that City, and 62 Syrian soldiers were killed, and over a hundred were injured, in that U.S.-led bombing attack. Subsequently, Syria brought more troops to that location and retook control there, but if and when the ISIS jihadists from Mosul take control there, the forces of Bashar al-Assad will be beaten not by U.S. …

Aleppo: How the US manipulates humanitarianism for imperialism

by Steven Chovanec The United States is manipulating humanitarian concern in an effort to protect its proxy militias and its imperial regime-change project in Syria.  The media and intellectual classes are dutifully falling in line, promoting a narrative of military aggression under the cover of “protecting civilians.”  These same “responsibility to protect” arguments led to the invasions of Iraq and Libya, exponentially increasing the massacres, chaos, and proliferation of violent extremism within those countries.  They are hypocritical, designed to further interests of conquest and domination, and will lead to more death and destruction in Syria as well. The United States has no stake in the wellbeing of Syrian civilians, despite their condemnations of Russia’s offensive in Aleppo.  This is clearly shown in the fact that the people they are supporting are guilty of the same crimes they accuse Russia and Syria of: indiscriminate attacks, targeting of civilians, destruction of schools, hospitals, etc.  Furthermore, the offensive in Aleppo is really no different from what the US did in Manbij, where they are said to have incorporated a “scorched earth …

Did the “failed” Turkish coup lay the groundwork for a NATO invasion of Syria?

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky This is the second of our twin articles offering different interpretations of the current political situation in Turkey and Syria. The first article, by Eric Zuesse, was published earlier today and can be found here. In mid-July, President Erdogan pointed his finger at the CIA, accusing US intelligence of having supported a failed coup directed against his government. Turkish officials pointed to a deterioration of US-Turkey relations following Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gülen, the alleged architect of the failed coup. Erdogan’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was categorical: If the US does not deliver [Gulen], they will sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of a terrorist” Public opinion was led to believe that relations with the US had not only deteriorated, but that Erdogan had vowed to restore “an axis of friendship” with Moscow, including “cooperation in the defence sector”. This was a hoax. Turkey’s Invasion of Syria The implementation of the Turkish invasion required routine consultations with the US and NATO, coordination of military logistics, intelligence, communications systems, coordination …

Turkey’s New Relationship with Russia…and Assad

by Eric Zuesse This is the first of our twin articles offering different interpretations of the current political situation in Turkey and Syria. The second article, by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, can be found here. Until the July 15th U.S.-backed (or so the Turkish government alleges) coup-attempt to overthrow Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, Erdogan was trying to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whom the U.S. regime likewise wants to overthrow. However, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin saved Erdogan’s Presidency, and probably Erdogan’s life, by contacting him hours prior to the pending coup and thus enabled him to plan and prepare so as to overcome the attempt, and crush the operation. Putin wouldn’t have known ahead-of-time about the coup-plan unless Russian intelligence had provided to him intelligence that it was coming. This intelligence might have included information about whom the source of it was. If Putin had intelligence regarding that matter, then he presumably shared it with Erdogan at that time — prior to the coup. Promptly on July 16th, Erdogan announced that the source of the coup …

Turkey crosses into Syria: unipolar conspiracy or multipolar coordination?

by Andrew Korybko at Katehon It’s very fashionable nowadays for people to criticize the Kremlin for incompetency, and its recent history of controversial decisions coupled with the suspected liberal fifth-and-six-column infiltration of key national institutions gives plenty of ground for this, but sometimes people jump the gun, such as when accusing Russia of being ‘duped’ by Turkey. It’s interesting that no such criticisms are publicly leveled against Iran despite Tehran bending over backwards to Ankara during and after the failed pro-US coup attempt against Erdogan, but double standards are the norm when people engage in diatribes, and it’s always been the case that Russia has caught much more flak than anyone else whenever multipolar commentators critique their own camp. This is the precisely the case with the news that Turkish forces have crossed into Syria, with the most common knee-jerk reaction being that President Putin was manipulated by Erdogan as part of some large-scale Machiavellian plot, though of course, without making any mention that this charge could more rightly be directed against the Ayatollah. Anyhow, …

NATO’s War on Russia: Someone Is Playing Us

by Christopher Black, via Defend Democracy For 17 months, since the Minsk Agreements were signed in February 2015 to try to bring peace to the eastern Ukraine the Kiev regime, and its neo-Nazi and NATO allies, have been preparing for a new offensive against the east Ukraine republics.  On July 22nd the Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin stated in a letter to the UN Security Council that “a relapse of large-scale military operations in eastern Ukraine may bury the process of peace settlement there.”  He then called on Kiev’s allies to pressure Kiev to back off its war preparations which include the continuous shelling of civilian areas by Ukraine heavy and medium artillery and constant probing attacks by Ukraine and foreign units over the past spring and summer months. The commander of the Donetsk Republic forces stated in a communiqué on July 22 that the region along the contact line between the two sides was shelled 3,566 times in one week alone ending on the date of the communiqué and confirmed the information set out in …

“Gulen-Gate” Islamic Terrorists at the Democratic National Convention

by GH Eliason Why are known terrorists at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia? Doesn’t the Secret Service vet people that are in the same building as the President of the United States anymore? What the hell is going on? Invited as a guest to the 2016 Democratic National Convention is none other than Kadri Veseli, the Speaker of the Kosovo Assembly. Veseli is a former Kosovar Albanian leader of the KLA and its spy organization SHIK. He’s being indicted along with the current president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci for small things like organ trafficking and crimes against humanity. A new investigation into the shadowy spy group, known as Shik, could also prove embarrassing for western intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and France’s DGSE, whose support for prime minister Hashim Thaçi, the PDK and Shik dates back to the 1998-9 Kosovo war. At the time, the Americans and French backed Thaçi as the most effective Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander fighting the Serbian military, which was conducting a brutal counter-insurgency and “ethnic-cleansing campaign”…The launch of the new enquiry, which will be conducted by Kosovan …

Making a Killing: The 1.2 Billion Euros Arms Pipeline to Middle East

by Lawrence Marzouk, Ivan Angelovski and Miranda Patrucic via Balkan Insight An unprecedented flow of weapons from Central and Eastern Europe is flooding the battlefields of the Middle East. As Belgrade slept on the night of November 28, 2015, the giant turbofan engines of a Belarusian Ruby Star Ilyushin II-76 cargo plane roared into life, its hull laden with arms destined for faraway conflicts. Rising from the tarmac of Nikola Tesla airport, the hulking aircraft pierced the Serbian mist to head towards Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was one of at least 68 flights that in just 13 months transported weapons and ammunition to Middle Eastern states and Turkey which, in turn, funnelled arms into brutal civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, has found. The flights form just a small part of €1.2 billion in arms deals between the countries since 2012, when parts of the Arab Spring turned into an armed conflict. Meanwhile, over the past two years, as thousands …

Post-failed-coup geopolitics of the Turkish situation

by George Ades After the “chilling” of relations between Russia and Turkey following the downing of the Russian jet over Syria, Turkey suffered the effects of an economic embargo justifiably imposed on her by Moscow, as a result of which millions of Russian tourists stayed away from that country with dire effects for the Turkish economy; furthermore, the trade ban between the two countries begun to show its negative effects on Turkey. That is the economic aspect of the situation. When the Russian jet was shot down, either with or without the prior knowledge of the Turkish government, Erdogan, fearing Russian reprisals, attempted to draw his NATO allies into the fray but aside from a generic statement of “Every country has a right to defend its own borders and airspace” from Washington, there was no actual support for this NATO ally who found himself alone facing the claws of the bear. At the same time there was no knee jerk reaction from Moscow as we have witnessed for the hostile incident by Turkey, but a …