Beyond the Cusp

November 29, 2015

NATO and the Turkey Problem

 

We here at BTC have warned about the eventual problem that Turkey was going to pose for NATO any number of times over the years going back to our article The Turkey Problem for NATO, though we never envisioned it might mean war with Russia to be honest. We saw the problem coming between Turkey and Israel which only was heightened after the Mavi Marmara blockade running confrontation between Israeli Special Forces and the terrorists placed on the lead ship intentionally by IHH terrorist groups posing as a human rights group in our article Let’s Talk Turkey. The problem we saw forming between Turkey and NATO remained centered on their different Middle East views particularly when it came to Israel. This became heightened once again over Iraq and the Second Iraq War when once again the ever more so drifting from a secular state into an Islamic state when at the onset of the second Iraq War Turkey’s entrenched leader refused NATO ally the United States from launching the second pincer of the initial engagement from within Turkey, as originally planned, in the article Turkey Needs to Prove They Belong in NATO Now. Turkey has continued their slide into an Islamic state replete with a strongman with near dictatorial powers in Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was here in September of 2014 we continued to question the reason for continuing to have Turkey in NATO. The initial reason had been as a stalwart NATO member who could bottle up the bulk of the Russian Mediterranean fleet by refusing them access to the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, originally and often still referred to as the Strait of Constantinople, through which any ships docked in the Black Sea would necessarily have to pass to make their way from the Black Sea through the Mediterranean Sea and onto the Atlantic Ocean, the only passage once the northern route freezes every winter. It was partially due to having a docking and repair facility which was one of the factors in the Russian seizure of the Crimean and the docks at the port city of Sevastopol and the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards which is the resting and repair port for the Russian Atlantic Fleet during the winter months. One can see the tactical necessity the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles in the map below.

 

 

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards Across the Black Sea then Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards
Across the Black Sea then
Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles
to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

 

 

After the Cold War ended, or at least ended until the current outward weakened appearance of the United States under President Obama, this tactical necessity for containing the Russian Atlantic fleet became far less important. Since the increased strength of the Russian naval forces, particularly its Atlantic and Mediterranean fleet the passage through these Turkish chokepoints had appeared to have lessened. That was before the current madness which is Syria and the Russian presence with both boots in the war in support of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. Suddenly fleet access to Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards has once again become of importance, or at least would have except for the lead from behind, well behind, foreign policy, or lack thereof, once again could have blockaded the heavy vessels of the Russian fleet. As it stands currently, the Russian Navy has been sending one of their large cruisers and battleships through these waters in order to have them in the Mediterranean Sea just in case they may be required in Syria. This is also the reason that the Russians are so concerned about their and the Iranian’s puppet in Syria, Bashir al-Assad. The Russians have set up forces both land and sea around the most important area in Syria, the western strip from Damascus with its international airport to the dock city of Latakia as seen in the map below.

 

 

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting Access to Damascus International Airport and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

Area West of Demarcation Line is Minimal Area
for Russia to Control which Includes Most Military
and Dual Use Areas Including the All-Important
Area Around Damascus and Latakia Granting
Access to Damascus International Airport
and the Latakia Shipyards and Docks

 

 

As the fighting in Syria worsened, especially for Assad and the Russian interest back in February of this year and it began to appear that the Alevites who are the tribe, which the Assad Family belongs, supporting Bashir al-Assad and in turn the Russians we noted the necessity for any outside forces, primarily the United States and NATO, in our article Battle for Middle East and Beyond Are Now Choosing Sides. This article included the Iranian influence as well as the Kurdish forces the neighboring situation in Iraq, ISIS, now calling themselves the Islamic State, but had not included the Russians as their main concerns back then included areas around Latakia and its naval base which was Russian built and was not exactly intended for the Syrian Navy, like they have one. At that time Turkey was less concerned with Assad as they were the Kurdish forces which had actually begun to merge between the Syrian Kurdish fighters and areas with their considerably stronger Kurds in the northern third of Iraq. This was the set-up which leads us directly to the present situation.

 

The sides have been aligned and the battle lines drawn. Russia has ended any pretense of soft support of Bashir al-Assad and the Iranian influence and can be expected to only increase their footprint. Where such may end is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, the Islamic State appears to be mostly cementing their control over the large area they have carved out between Syria and central Iraq and cleaning house while trying to hold their own against the pressures from the Kurdish Militias, the Peshmerga Militias, who have retaken some of the major cities formerly under Kurdish control or belonged to the Yazidis. The areas liberated from Islamic State forces have revealed the true horrors which are the Islamic State including mass graves. The group presumably vetted and supported by the United States, the so-called Free Syrian Army has proven to be more embarrassment than force to be feared. These forces have been degraded to the point of virtual uselessness but these are still President Obama’s reason d’etre for being even minimally involved in the fight against the Islamic State. Whatever remnants of the Free Syrian Army can be fielded, are being attacked by Russia. This is important for another reason, these were the side backed by Turkey as well as the United States which have served as the conduit for United States aid monies and equipment has been placed into the battle. Much of what was sent presumably for the American trained forces but ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda. The ultimate joke of the entire tragedy which is the Syrian Civil War has been the training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army which had become all but useless as a force in Syria all while the United States invested millions upon millions of dollars and succeeded in training as few as five soldiers and definitely under a dozen. This is the force President Obama has supported and trained almost completely out of existence. These were also Turkey’s best hope for defeating al-Assad and the Turkish pipeline now feeds al-Qaeda forces and very likely is still allowing supplies to flow to the Islamic State just as Turkey has been selling their crude oil and mixing into the Turkish supplies which are piped to refineries and on to Europe. So, the lines have been drawn and the different sides defined even to include the double-dealing of Turkey at the orders from Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A state of status-quo has seemingly set in with the Russians now enforcing al-Assad which includes siding with Iran and fighting the presumably vetted fighters of the Free Syrian Army.

 

This is the force along with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood presumably supported through the United States efforts and also by Turkey’s efforts and which the Russians have invested their main efforts of their attacks. This has placed the United States technically allied with the Russians against the Islamic State while also supporting those selfsame groups which includes the remnants of the Free Syrian Army all of which being made insignificant due to the efforts by the Russian efforts to degrade their abilities to fight. These forces receive some weak-willed support from Turkey as well as the majority of the United States as these were the forces which were to bring free and open elections to the remnants of the Syrian people who remain. The interesting alignments come to the fore with the Kurds who are despised by Turkey, supported to some extent by Europe and the United States, though most of this aid goes to the Kurdish forces in Iraq; have neutral relations with the Russians and are despised for their success in resisting even some of the greatest efforts by the Islamic State which revolved around Kobane. It was this front of fighting which melded together the two separate Kurdish groups into one Kurdish nation, well, at least as much a nation as is the Islamic State or the remnants of what was Iraq which has had its central region taken by the Islamic State which is now closing in on Baghdad, the Iraqi Capital City. The support structure of the Syrian campaign which has been defined as intended to degrade and defeat the Islamic State, ISIL as President Obama refers to them as well as the Junior Varsity, is confusing to say the least.

 

But much of this all fell by the wayside in the last few days as this was the week that somebody took their stand as solidly as possible and then immediately reassured itself of the backing of the group to which they belong and had a pivotal role to play previously. We are referring to the shoot-down of the Russian fighter-bomber by Turkish anti-aircraft weapons. There were initial reports that one of the Russian pilots managed to parachute from the stricken jet after it was struck by Turkish fire and was captured and executed by Turkish forces but those reports have been found to be false. The pilot in question was rescued in a twelve-hour operation involving Special Forces according to Russia sources. This may help to deescalate the crisis which is Turkey at the moment. It has been suspected, actually a lot stronger than suspected all the way past known and into certitude, which Turkey has been key for Islamic State recruitment allowing them to set up interviewing sessions in hotels which were moved every few weeks to give the appearance of having to avoid being too overt. It is a shame that Turkey did not follow this charade up by having heavily armed police storm the room in the hotel which was used right after they had moved on. This covert on-the-sly support for Islamic State’s most important business, recruitment and their sale of oil, to be channeled through Turkey who makes out financially well due to these facts. Everyone knows that Russia, especially under Putin, does not let things lie unbalanced from their favor even if it takes decades for them to serve-up their cold dish of retribution, some might call it revenge or even vengeance. Turkey must expect some payback from Putin; the only debate is how serious the Russian vengeance will be. What was distressing was that within a few hours Istanbul (Constantinople) had placed a call to Brussels, Belgium in order to request that NATO forces and nations stand ready to support Turkey in the case of any overly overt acts by Russia such as an invasion to take control of Turkey’s greatest asset, the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles, the gateway which separates Europe from Asia. This has been the classic line between the two continents. Now it could become the initial battle in a much greater conflict should it become a reading of blows with each one made to be one measure harder than the previous measure. The main question NATO may need to answer is whether that old remnant from the first Cold War has any teeth or validity now in what is rapidly becoming the second cold War and may go hot at any moment as long as threats of escalation or simply this for that trade-offs to continue.

 

 

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

Various Stages of Russian Fighter/Bomber
During Turkey’s Provocation Over Claimed
Airspace Violation by the Russian Pilot

 

 

Where this will go nobody at this moment other than Russian leader Putin and potentially Turkey’s leader Erdogan can say. Both men are strong willed and willing to go to any lengths to maintain their power. Putin switched the job descriptions for the offices of President and Prime Minister in order to get around the term limit and switched everything back as he returned to his previous position. On the other hand, Erdogan used his party and influence to prevent any government from taking power in order to force new elections where through intimidation and other frauds was able to return his party to absolute power with a majority of the seats in the Turkish Parliament. These are the extents these two men have used to remain in power for most if not all of this young century. We can be assured that neither will back down nor will they let such assaults lie without some form of retribution. Meanwhile, there has already been ramification with Russian Foreign Minister cancelling his visit to Turkey which was scheduled for early next month. There have also been a number of trade deals backed out of and voided placing financial pressures on a nation which can ill afford any such disruptions. Truth be told, both nations are financially vulnerable at the moment and this could have further ramification on a world financial situation where very few nations are sitting particularly safe from fallout if a trade war ensues between Turkey and Russia as this would mean potentially Russia refusing to use the oil pipelines which cut through Turkey which would be a major blow to the Turkish economy. One can bet that for as long as this is a contentious issue that Russians will not be vacationing on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, another financial hit on Turkey. Relations and actions will be measured and may quiet as long there are no future provocations between Turkey and Russia though I expect that Russian aircraft may avail themselves of taking bombing routes dangerously close and likely over the Syrian Turkey border rendering that border being crossed by Russian aircraft making raids on Syria acceptable and this be Putin’s revenge because it is the also on the face with the gauntlet followed by throwing at the feet of Erdogan just daring him to take another shot at one of the Russian aircraft ignoring the border at their leisure. This could get intense and seriously large real fast, especially if these two leaders start to play the international form of the game of chicken as neither one of these leaders will even flinch, let alone swerve away at the last moment; this situation would produce a clash of massive proportions which Turkey would be well-advised to avoid because against Putin, Erdogan would lose and Turkey be irrevocably damaged, perhaps destroyed would be more appropriate a term.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 12, 2015

Examination of Turkish Prime Minister’s Response to Paris Events

Filed under: Act of War,Administration,Ahmet Davutoglu,al-Qaeda,Allah,Amalekites,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Arab Appeasement,Arab World,Arabist,Assyrian Christian Community,Bahá'í Faith,Blood Libel,Calaphate,Catholic Church,Catholics,Charlie Hebdo,Christians,Civilization,Coptic Christians,Druze,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Europe,European Council,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,France,Francois Hollande,Free Speech,Freedom of Religion,Freedom of the Press,Freedom of Thought,Gaza,Gaza Blockade,Government,Hamas Headquarters in Turkey,Hate,History,IHH,Imam,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Intifada,Iran,Iranian Pressure,ISIS,Islam,Islam,Islamic Pressure,Islamist,Israel,Israeli Interests,Jewish,Jihad,Koran,Kosher,Leftist Pressures,Legal Blockade,Mainstream Media,Mecca Koran,Medina Koran,Murder Israelis,Muslim,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,NATO,Neglection of Duty,Paris,PLO,Politicized Findings,Politics,President,Prime Minister,Prisoners,Prophet,Protestant,Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Religion,Response,Response to Terrorism,Russian Pressure,Saudi Arabian Pressure,Secular Interests,Secularist,Taqiyya,Terror,Turkey,United Nations Presures,United States Pressure,Victims,World Opinion,World Pressures,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:44 AM
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Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made some interesting comments in reference to the Paris Rally to memorialize the freedoms of thought and expressions and the liberties and freedoms which form much of the basis for Western establishments and for which Islamic radical terrorists assaulted and murdered the staff of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which a dozen people paid for such freedoms and liberties with their lives. So, let us first give some of the relative quotes from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made on the rally and its themes where he stated, “It is a message to the whole world that everyone must confront the threat of terror.” So far, so good. He continued, “We would expect the same sensitivities to be shown to attacks on mosque or Islamophobia.” We can agree completely on the expectations that should a similar assault be perpetrated on a Mosque that this would be an act of terrorism and equally contemptible and demand the same reaction as against the attackers of the magazine Charlie Hebdo’s offices. As far as the “Islamophobia” we would require a definition but probably would depend on the form of such “Islamophobia” took, if it were nonviolent then things start to come under the reasons the Charlie Hebdo’s offices were attacked. Moving on he was quoted, “Turkey’s stance is principled and we will keep up this attitude. Turkey has the same values around the world as far as terror is concerned. There can be no double standards.” Yes, this might be agreeable depending on your definition of terror which is coming next I would expect. The Prime Minister obliged when he pointed to “state terrorism” against the Palestinians and in Syria. One can only assume that Prime Minister Davutoglu was referring to the recent comments made by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments which slammed Europeans criticizing of Turkish assaults on media outlets which signaled deteriorating press freedoms which in a Reuters report having indicated his saying they should instead try to find a solution for the increasing Islamophobia in Europe. President Erdogan has been quoted stating, “We are not Europe’s scapegoat. We are definitely not a country that Europe can point its finger at and scold. Instead of criticizing us, Europe should find a solution to increasing racism and Islamophobia.” As an example of such horrific crimes which were obvious Islamophobic in their origin he cited the German city of Dormagen, where ultra-nationalists drew Nazi signs on the walls of a mosque which was under construction.

 

The common theme here is the reference to “Islamophobia” and its being of racist origins which perhaps should be further investigated and include in that the reference to “state terrorism” against the Palestinians and in Syria. The easiest target is that Islamophobia is racist. What race is Islamophobia targeting? It cannot be Arabs as there are Arab Druze, Arab Jews, Arab Christians, Arab Hindus, Arab Buddhists, Arab Zaidi, Arab Zoroastrianians and undoubtedly other religions, so Islamophobia is not against Arabs due to Arabs practicing only Islam. If we look at Islam itself there are many differing peoples who practice Islam including people of Turkish backgrounds which are separate from Arabs thus Islamophobia cannot be considered racism accurately, but for argument’s sake we will equate it with racism. Granted, the example given by President Erdogan of painted Nazi symbols on the sides of a Mosque under construction is contemptible and those who perpetrated such a crime, and that would be a crime in the West, should be found and arrested for trial. The crime would be defacing private property and the case would revolve around personal ownership and the defacing their property and not as Islamophobic. So we agree such an act is a crime just not a crime because it was a Mosque but because it was private property. We would treat such crimes equally had they painted the symbols on a church, synagogue or a bookstore or tailors’ shop. So we agree on the act being of criminal intent but we differ on the crime itself, we see it as defacing property and they see it as a crime against Islam and that being the ultimate offense.

 

Finally, the reference to “state terrorism” against the “Palestinians and in Syria” is the manner of condemning Israel when utilized by Turkish officials as well as their allies in Iran and Hezballah. Turkey is the nation which claims that the attempt by IHH to use a flotilla around the Mavi Marmara to break the legally recognized Gaza blockade and the subsequent confrontation with Israeli troops as an Israeli aggression on the world and particularly an offense against Turkey gives a reference to the lack of objectivity on all items concerning Israel. Where does Israel fit in the reference to “state terrorism” against the “Palestinians and in Syria” come in? Turkey has claimed numerous times that Israel is backing Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad with intelligence information and other tactical intelligence as well as interventions by Israeli fighter aircraft. That is where Turkey pretends that Israel is involved while Turkey has always claimed that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians Arabs and is an Apartheid State despite every piece of evidence countering such accusations. I do not blame Turkey alone for many of these accusations as they are made by numerous peoples from all points on the planet, which does not necessarily make the accusations valid. These references are simply Turkish politicians and spokespeople’s way of bringing Israel into the discussion as to them doing so simply makes their claims valid and beyond reproach. Unfortunately for the all it does is reinforce the fact that their claims may lie in their foremost delusions which taint virtually every action they take both diplomatically around the world and domestically within their borders. My bet is if one were to give the Turkish government proof that Charlie Hebdo magazine had also been satirical about other religions and gave them examples of Charlie Hebdo cartoons spoofing and criticizing Christianity and Judaism that they would use the cartoons on Judaism and Israel in their own publications, that is the length of their hypocrisy and depravity when it comes to everything Israel. What makes this even more ludicrous is when considering that Turkey is a member of NATO (why is beyond our wildest imaginations) and are technically supporting the West against ISIS (pronounced is-is as in the Bill Clinton famous quote, it all depends on what the meaning of is is) while simultaneously allowing weapons, terrorists, troops and other support to cross into Syria in support of ISIS, duplicity is thy name Turkey.

 

From both men’s statements I can only gather that they believe that Islam deserves, or demands, a special treatment against any and all negative references or comments and this preference should be applied solely to Islam and not to other religions. This brings us to the main point of contention, namely that Islam is a special religion which must be protected as more sacred than any other religion and that Islam must be protected from all negative references while those practicing Islam must receive special considerations, especially if their actions were against infidels or protecting the name of Islam against the unbelievers. Well, if one believes in freedom of religion or even to have no religion, then not exactly my Turkish friends, I may call you friends or does my being an infidel make such impossible. When President Erdogan references that Turkey would apply the same rules the world over he is not professing equality as what he is applying is Islamic supremacy the world over and Islamic law the world over and not equality of any manner. President Erdogan would be applying the same applications the world over much in the same way that the Communists desired to apply the same rules and were consistent the world over or the way the Mongols attempted to apply the same rules the world over or the Romans or Greeks before them. Conquering the world for Allah is not spreading freedom in any way shape or form. Unfortunately we cannot honestly agree that Islamophobia is a crime provided that one simply objects to Islam in a nonviolent and nondestructive manner and their objections to Islam are carried out without breaking the law or another person’s right to practice Islam in a peaceable manner. Islam should be accorded the exact same protection as is any other religion or philosophy. Plainly put, Islam is not above any or all other religions, it must be equal in how it is treated to the treatment of all other religions, period.

 

Then there was one additional comment which quoted French President Francois Hollande’s statement that “these fanatics (Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi, Hamyd Mourad, and Amedy Coulibaly) have nothing to do with Muslim religion” and according to Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that is of “utmost importance”. I must report to the honorable Prime Minister of Turkey as well as to all those other Imams, rulers of Islamic countries and other misguided Western leaders including those making such statements from my own country that the fact that these miscreants acted violently in the name of Islam is of the “utmost importance” and no amount of denials can alter that fact. Their claims of having “avenged the Prophet” referencing their Prophet Mohammad; and their cries of “Allahu Akbar” were references to Allah as the greatest of gods were most definitely directly related to how these individuals interpreted and understood Islam and is exactly how they were taught Islam is supposed to act to such offenses as were committed by the writers and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo. To claim that these criminals were not committing their crimes in the name of Islam and that Islam never condones acts of violence would be to claim that the professing and statements of Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi are not of Islam when he calls for the killing or eradication of Jews and the bringing of the whole world under Islam by persuasion or by the sword are not professing the tenets of Islam. J’accuse, I accuse you, Prime Minister Davutoglu and President Erdogan, of practicing Taqiyya, practicing dissimulation, lying, deceiving, vexing and confounding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling, pre-emptively blocking or fending off and neutralizing any criticism of Islam or Muslims.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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