President Barack Obama has signed the Pentagon funding bill giving $800 million in aid to both “moderate rebels” in Syria and the Kiev regime. Obama also vowed to work around provisions blocking the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015 on the eve of Thanksgiving, a four-day holiday for most Americans. He previously vetoed the $612 billion bill in a well-publicized ceremony in October, arguing that the lawmakers dodged the spending limits by shifting money into the warfighting slush fund.
Although Congress then trimmed the bill down to $607 billion, the cuts did not affect the $300 million aid to the Ukrainian government, or the “zombie” surveillance blimp program that has cost nearly $3 billion so far. It also left almost $500 million dedicated to arming and training “moderate rebels” in Syria – a program the Pentagon had already abandoned.
One of Turkish president Recep Erdogan's key contentions in the ongoing diplomatic spat with Russia is that everything that Russia has accused Turkey of doing, from funding the Islamic State's oil purchases, to providing weapons for Syrian "rebels" intent on eradicating the Assad regime, is unfounded slander without a shred of evidence.
Here is the problem: evidence does exist, as we showed two days ago, when we presented the role Erdogan's son Bilal has played in ISIS oil transit, and not only that but also proof that Turkey has been smuggling weapons to Syria as the editor and a reporter from Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper showed some time ago.
And in order to eradicate the evidence against him, yesterday Erdogan did what every dictator does when feeling threatened: he had the editor and his reported detained, jailed and accused of espionage precisely over the controversial story about an alleged arms shipment from Turkish intelligence to Syrian rebels.
The two Cumhuriyet journalists were accused of “political or military spying” by reporting “classified information” and “deliberately aiding a terrorist organization."
This article is about the Turkish nationalist organization.
The Grey Wolves (Turkish: Bozkurtlar), officially known as Ülkü Ocakları (Turkish: [ylky od͡ʒaklaɾɯ]; "Idealist Clubs" or "Idealist Hearths"),[B] is a Turkish nationalist organization. It is variously described as ultra-nationalist or neo-fascist. Formally a youth organization with close links to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), it has been described as MHP's "militant youth arm", "unofficial militant arm", and "paramilitary and terrorist wing". Established by Colonel Alparslan Türkeş in the 1960s, it was the main nationalist force during the political violence in 1976–80 in Turkey. During this period, the organization became a "death squad" engaged in "street killings and gunbattles". According to authorities, 220 of its members carried out 694 murders of left-wing and liberal activists and intellectuals. Attacks on university students were commonplace. They killed hundreds of Alevis in the Maraş massacre of 1978 and are alleged to have been behind the Taksim Square massacre of 1977. The masterminds behind the attempt on Pope John Paul II's life in 1981 by Grey Wolves member Mehmet Ali Ağca were not identified and the organization's role remains unclear.[C] Due to these attacks the Grey Wolves have been described by scholars and journalists as a terrorist organization.
A staunchly Pan-Turkist organization, in the early 1990s the Grey Wolves extended their area of operation into the post-Soviet states with Turkic and Muslim populations. Up to thousands of its members fought in the Nagorno-Karabakh War on the Azerbaijani side, and the First and Second Chechen Wars on the Chechen side. After an unsuccessful attempt to seize power in Azerbaijan in 1995, they were banned in that country. Kazakhstan in 2005 also banned the organization, classifying it as a terrorist organization.
Under Devlet Bahçeli, who assumed the leadership of MHP and Grey Wolves after Türkeş's death in 1997, the organization has been reformed. Despite this, its members have been involved in a number of violent attacks and incidents directed mostly against Kurds. The organization has also been active in the Turkish-controlled portion of Cyprus. It has affiliated branches in several Western European countries with significant Turkish populations, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. In Germany, they are the largest far-right organization with at least 10,000 members and are monitored by the authorities as an extremist organization. According to sociologist Doğu Ergil, the Grey Wolves are supported by 3.6 percent of the Turkish electorate as of 2014.
Russia’s and Turkey’s objectives in fighting the Islamic State group are diametrically opposed.
Enrique Ferro's insight:
The bottom line is that Turkey and Russia simply cannot be part of the same coalition fighting the Islamic State group because their objectives are diametrically opposed. Istanbul-based historian Cam Erimtan outlines the big picture: “Turkey’s new government took the reins on the same day the Russian jet was downed. And now the wily Prime Minister Davutoglu and the unwieldy President Erdogan are engaging in damage control and domestic mobilization, for the moment even dropping their favored rhetoric of Islamic solidarity and playing the nationalist card to the full. Even though the military action will no doubt lead to huge gains in domestic popularity, the economic consequences have already started to be felt, with Russia curbing the import of Turkish goods. This may indicate that the AKP-led government solely acted as NATO’s lackey, ignoring the realities on the ground and reveling in boisterous grandstanding.” This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Why-Turkey-Stabbed-Russia-in-the-Back--20151126-0029.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english
The weak point of Yuzhanina’s law is its complete denial of the international “friends” of Ukraine. They’re not needed in this. And therefore they are afraid of it. They need a totally subordinated, poor country with an embittered population who will search their entire lives for someone to blame for their misfortunes, and they can find this in the person of their neighbor.
Erdogan will face public anger. And he's advised to watch his back, his worst enemy is not Putin or the Russians, but his people and his military, which may end up realising that as custodian of the Kemalist revolution, the Erdogan family has gone too far in his islamization. Egypt provides an example, and the purge he made in the army may not save him.
The US-coalition provocations against the Syrian-Russian counter terrorism success have been successful in the high innocent body count category, but have put nothing but torpedoes into its own sinking international credibility. We had expected…
É absolutamente impossível compreendermos por que o governo turco abraça a estratégia suicidária de derrubar um SU-24 russo sobre território sírio – tecnicamente uma declaração de guerra da OTAN à Rússia –, sem a considerarmos no contexto real o jogo de poder de Erdogan no norte da Síria.
O presidente Vladmir Putin disse que a derrubada do jato russo havia sido uma "punhalada nas costas". Vejamos como os fatos em solo levaram àquela punhalada.
Ancara usa, financia e arma uma coleção de grupos extremistas em todo o norte da Síria, e precisa, a qualquer custo, manter abertas linhas de suprimentos para eles a partir do sul da Turquia; afinal, tudo de que aqueles grupos tem de fazer é conquistar Aleppo, o que abriria caminho para o Santo Graal de Ancara: a 'mudança de regime' em Damasco.
Ao mesmo tempo, Ancara teme mortalmente as YPG – Unidades de Proteção do Povo Curdo Sírio – organização irmã do PKK, partido curdo de esquerda. Esses todos têm de ser contidos a qualquer preço.
Análise cuidadosa das longas declarações russas nos últimos três dias sobre as tensões com a Turquia sugere que Moscou descartou (pode-se dizer, praticamente) a teoria conspiracional de que Ancara teria tomado a desgraçada decisão de derrubar o jato russo na 3ª-feira passada com tácito encorajamento dos EUA.
Dado o clima prevalecente nos laços russos com o ocidente, não deve ter sido surpresa para Moscou que o secretário-geral da OTAN Jen Stoltenberg tenha manifestado o apoio rotineiro à integridade territorial da Turquia, ou que o presidente Barack Obama tenha visto o incidente da 3ª-feira pelo prisma do jogo que se vai consumando na Síria. Importante, Moscou com certeza observou que ambos, a OTAN e Obama aconselharam a Turquia a 'des-escalar' com a Rússia e deixaram claro que se trata de assunto entre Ankara e Moscou. (Ver no meu blog, US, OTAN tell Turkey to ‘deescalate’ with Russia.)
Moscou logo depois invocou o recente memorando Rússia-EUA sobre garantir a segurança das aeronaves de combate que operam na Síria "pelo qual os EUA assumiram a responsabilidade de que todos os participantes da coalizão liderada pelos EUA observarão regulações relevantes".
Moscou concluiu, depois de consideração meticulosa das evidências circunstanciais do caso, que a Turquia cometeu ato premeditado. Há muitas explicações acessíveis do por que a Turquia ter agido como agiu, mas Moscou parece ter-se concentrado em duas delas principalmente: a) a Turquia tentou precipitar uma confrontação entre a Rússia e a aliança ocidental, que desnortearia as operações militares russas na Síria; b) a Turquia tentou fazer descarrilar a operação russa em curso em áreas altamente sensíveis de fronteira pelas quais passam as principais rotas de suprimento para os grupos extremistas (como para a Frente Nusra).
De fato, pela avaliação que os russos estão fazendo, as relações russo-turcas nunca mais serão as mesmas de antes. Há profundo senso de traição que teria sido cometida no nível da liderança turca. No mínimo, o Kremlin esperava que o presidente Recep Erdogan manifestasse alguma lástima ou arrependimento pelo incidente. (Moscou ainda deu bom tempo para o Sultão pedir desculpas se quisesse, adiando a decisão final sobre as medidas de retaliação contra a Turquia.)
Flawed approaches to cultural diversity in both France and Britain have given succour to Islamism
Enrique Ferro's insight:
Kouachi’s story is not that different from that of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7/7 bombings in London. They are of a milieu caught not between two cultures, as it is often claimed, but between no cultures. As a consequence, some of them have turned to Islamism and a few have expressed their rage through jihadi-style violence.
There are aspects of both the multiculturalist and assimilationist approaches that are valuable. The multicultural acceptance of diversity and the assimilationist resolve to treat everyone as citizens, not as bearers of specific racial or cultural histories, are both welcome. And there are aspects of both that are damaging – the multiculturalist tendency to place minorities into ethnic and cultural boxes, the assimilationist attempt to create a common identity by institutionalising the differences of groups deemed not to belong.
Militants in Syria dream of a big showdown with the US and Europe. There are other ways to defeat them
Enrique Ferro's insight:
Of course, Hollande has to react. But no one is stopping him from reacting with a bit of brains. As a head of state he should know that urban guerrillas cannot be defeated with bombs. He should know that Isis fighters only march in tight orderly lines or drive in convoys in their propaganda videos. Off camera, they avoid hanging around in large groups and spend their time among the local population, preferably in apartment blocks that house families. That’s the very first chapter in the dummies’ guide to terrorism.
While the deployment of the Russian SAM missiles was already known, the real message from today's presser, the one that will be the topic of a private and "serious talk with Russia's US partners", is that Putin indirectly blames Obama for what happened on Tuesday realizing that Erdogan was merely the "executor", one who is simply motivated to protect his (and his son's) Islamic State oil routes.
Zakharchenko is right, Donbass will never go to Ukraine, the Ukrainian Fascists have destroyed that possibility with their hatred and their crimes. But Russia is IMO contemplating a game more in depth: the Ukrainian regime will eventually attack, at the beginning of the spring, as it is working on the Krajina template. And it will be destroyed, by its own massive deadweight. Its own energy will be used against itself by Donbass. And then the whole picture and map will change. NATO is not expected to react, they will use it to isolate Russia, but they aren't ready to a war for the whole of Ukraine, as it is too expensive and useless. They will be happy to keep the West and perhaps the centre and establish some military base there, but Novorossia they cannot keep and they know it.
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