The developments in Turkey are taking a dramatic turn. All Indications are that the Turkish government is in possession of definite information that the attempted military coup was orchestrated by the United States. (Anadolu )
The Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag made an open allegation in a television interview,
- The US knows that Fethullah Gülen (the cleric who lives in Pennsylvania) carried out this coup. Mr. Obama knows this just as well as he knows his own name. I am convinced that American intelligence knows it too.
Bozdag is known to be one of the closest and trusted political associates of President Recep Erdogan. The well-informed Turkish political commentator Semih Idiz wrote that “This belief (Bozdag’s allegation) goes all the way to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It implies that Washington knew what was coming and did nothing to warn Ankara. The pro-government Islamist media has even claimed that the U.S. tried to kill Erdoğan with this coup attempt.”
The government has taken into confidence Turkey’s two main opposition parties – the Kemalist party CHP (Republican Party) and the nationalist party MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). The ruling AKP (Justice & Development Party) and the CHP and MHP have set aside their political differences and have voiced support for Ankara’s demand to Washington for the extradition of the Islamist cleric Fetullah Gulen. No doubt, this grand reconciliation could have implications in the downstream for the fractured Turkish political landscape. (VOA)
The MHP leader Davlut Bahceli has spoken publicly about a possible deep-rooted US conspiracy to trigger civil war conditions in Turkey. Bahceli also hinted that the coup plot was likely masterminded from the Incirlik air base used by the US forces, under the supervision of the US commander in Afghanistan. Two Turkish generals serving in Afghanistan have been detained by the Turkish intelligence at Dubai airport.
Bahceli has tabled a motion in the parliament seeking clarification on “rumours” that the CIA was behind the coup plot. A falshpoint arises if the government makes the details available. The Turkish media reported that Ankara has warned the authorities in Pakistan regarding the elite schools run by Gulen’s organization in that country. (See the Deutsche Welle report Secular Pakistanis resist Turkey’s ‘authoritarian demands.)
The Obama administration is unlikely to extradite Gulen, given his key role in US intelligence operations in the Central Asian region, while Turkey has made this the litmus test of US’ goodwill and sincerity as ally. Significantly, the New York Times featured an article over the weekend authored by Gulen where he urged Washington not to extradite him. Gulen wrote,
- His (Erdogan’s) goal: To ensure my extradition, despite a lack of credible evidence and virtually no prospect for a fair trial. The temptation to give Mr. Erdogan whatever he wants is understandable. But the United States must resist it.
Washington probably anticipates that a showdown with Ankara may become unavoidable in a very near future over the Gulen issue. The US State Department has advised dependents and families of US diplomatic personnel posted in Turkey to leave the country. Another travel advisory on Monday counselled US nationals to “reconsider travel to Turkey at this time”. (here)
It becomes extremely significant that amidst all this, President Erdogan will be traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia, to meet President Vladimir Putin on August 9. This will be Erdogan’s first trip abroad after the coup and he is signalling that restoring friendly ties with Russia is his topmost priority. Of course, Erdogan will be keenly interested in close cooperation between the intelligence agencies of Turkey and Russia. The prominent Turkish columnist Murat Yetkin wrote today,
- The question lingers in the air about whether Russia, whose intelligence services have been accused by the Democratic Party in the U.S. of intercepting their electronic communications, would provide any material to Erdoğan linking Gülen to the coup plotters. It certainly seems there is a lot of exchange of information going on nowadays, as was revealed by Çavuşoğlu, who said that Turkey has warned a number of countries, including the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, about a possible coup plot by Gülenists who infiltrated the state apparatus there through their school network. Moscow has already closed Gülen’s school network in Russia, accusing it of cooperating with the CIA.
The meeting between Putin and Erdogan promises to be a defining moment in Russia’s relations with the West in the post-cold war era. If a major NATO country such as Turkey crosses the ‘red line’ by forging ties with Russia at the present juncture that will be in strategic defiance of the US’ containment strategy against Russia. It can turn out to be a far bigger setback to the US regional strategies than the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, because it weakens the entire western alliance system.
Europe, in particular, will be holding its breath over the fate of its moribund ‘one in, one out’ deal with Turkey over the refugee flow. Erdogan said on German TV on Tuesday that Europe is not a ‘sincere’ interlocutor. The issue is hugely controversial in Europe, given the lengthening shadows of terrorism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces growing public demand to quit. (BBC, AFP )
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 Churkin’s letter and reports of the Organisation For Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that the Kiev regime had transferred more heavy artillery, mortars, tanks, multiple rocket launchers to the front.
The shelling has destroyed civilian housing, a water treatment plant and other infrastructure with the clear objective of forcing out the residents and to prepare the ground for a large scale offensive. Ambassador Churkin added that not only were regular Kiev forces massing in the east but they had also deployed the new-Nazi Azov and Donbas “volunteer” battalions, and that Kiev has begun a wide ranging seizure of land in the neutral zone and the towns located there.
Of course the blame for all these criminal actions by NATO and its marionettes in Kiev is placed on Russia as we have seen set out in both the Atlantic Council Report earlier this year and in the NATO Warsaw Communiqué on July 9th in which NATO put the ultimatum to Russia, “do what we say or you will see what we will do”. The day before Ambassador Churkin sent his letter to the Security Council, the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in a speech at the Centre of Strategic and International Studies stated that the “sanctions”, that is, the economic war being carried out against Russia by the NATO countries, would only stop if Russia did what it was told.
The Germans have also made noises about being prepared to halt this economic warfare against Russia, about how much they regret it and how they desire only peace and harmony, but, again, only if Russia adheres to their demands.
The attacks on the Donbas republic civilian areas are of course war crimes and crimes against humanity to which the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court responds with her practiced silence despite the fact she has accepted two letters from the Kiev regime providing the ICC with jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes committed there. But, of course, neither Kiev, nor their NATO bosses that control the prosecutor of the ICC have any intention of laying war crimes charges against themselves.
The Russian fear of a renewed offensive against the Donbas republics is a real one since the Warsaw Communiqué issued by NATO on July 9th stated emphatically that NATO does not recognise the republics, that Ukraine needs to be reunited by force if necessary, and that Crimea must be returned to Ukraine. The increased military activity in eastern Ukraine is taking place at the same time that there is increased activity in the Baltic centred on the Russian base at Kaliningrad, a strategic objective for NATO in order to control the Baltic sea lanes and air space and the approaches to St. Petersburg. Crimea is an objective because of the Russian naval base at Sevastopol, the seizure of which was one of the primary objectives of the NATO coup that overthrew the government of President Yanukovich. It is the main objective in the on going NATO “Sea Breeze” naval exercise in the Black Sea.
The situation has become increasingly dangerous as the war against Russia is conducted without limits, that is, across all sectors of life from the military and economic to sports. The International Olympic Committee has now banned the core of the Russian Olympic track and field team from competing at the Games, plus any others who have faced doping allegations in the past, an act of collective punishment that is totally unjustified since it is based on the dubious statements of a wanted man in Russia, Grigory Rodchenkov, who is singing for his supper in the United States, and will sing any song they want him to. The whole scandal is motivated not by problems with doping, but by an attempt to further isolate Russia from the world and slander its leadership and people. The result is that the Olympic Games will be a farce both as a sports event and as a symbol of peace in the world and should be cancelled or boycotted.
On top of all this, compelling evidence is daily coming out that the attempted coup against the government of Turkey was instigated by the Americans and its partners in other NATO countries in order to stop President Erdogan from a rapprochement with Russia. The timing alone of the coup indicates that; for it took place just a few days after Erdogan apologised to President Putin regarding the shoot down of the Russian plane, and just after rumours circulated that he would kick the US out of their base at Incirlik and give it to Russia.
The Turkish government has accused the US of being involved at least indirectly by supporting Turkish Islamist émigré elements led by the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, an arch enemy of President Erdogan, who resides in the US and appears, to Erdogan, to be linked to the coup. Stories have also appeared in the Turkish press of the arrest of the two pilots that shot down the Russian plane over Syria, who happen to be, according to the accusations, the same two pilots that attempted to shoot down Erdogan’s plane the night of the coup. It is stated, though not confirmed, in the Turkish press that these two men worked for the CIA.
On Monday July 25th, it was reported in the Turkish press that American General John Campbell, former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan was central to the planning of the coup and that it was financed with CIA money through meetings at the US base at Incirlik. If these accusations are correct then the attempted coup constitutes act of aggression by the United States and its allies against Turkey, an attack by NATO on a NATO member.
The British on the same day floated a story in the Daily Express that their special forces, the SAS, are ready to go into to Turkey to “rescue UK citizens” in the event of a second coup attempt and predicted civil war in Turkey of there is a second coup attempt. They stated,
“With fears rebels could be about to try to overthrow the government for a second time, which is likely to result in a Turkish civil war, troops have moved into neighbouring Cyprus and are preparing a rescue mission to save stranded Britons.
Defence chiefs have drawn up emergency plans and fully armed soldiers, together with members of the Special Forces Support Group, are ready to fly into areas popular with tourists and help families get home safely.
Hundreds of jets, helicopters and other aircraft will be drafted in to help the estimated 50,000 Brits flee the danger.”
This means that Britain as well as the US are prepared to help a second coup attempt against Erdogan and further confirms their involvement in the first coup attempt, as does the reported refusal of the Germans to allow Erdogan’s plane to enter German air space to seek refuge when it appeared he had been overthrown. That decision turned out to be a mistake as he quickly recovered his wits, returned to Turkey and broke the coup.
However this turns out, the principal target remains Russia. Erdogan’s rapprochement with Russia and falling out with NATO weakens NATO in its war against Russia and provides Russia with another card to play, even if it may be the Joker.
Meanwhile in the United States the war against Russia has become a dangerous internal political issue as the Clinton camp accuses Donald Trump of being a Russian agent and his campaign financed by Russian money, essentially accusing Trump of treason. Trump laughs all this off but the fact that these absurdities can even get the attention of the news media shows how desperate things are. New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal wrote a column on the 25th of July with the title “Is Donald Trump Putin’s Puppet” then proceeded to state that he was Putin’s pet poodle at the least.
But things get even more curious as the FBI states it is investigating whether emails “leaked” by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organisation, were provided to him by Russia after Russia hacked into the email system of the Democratic National Convention. The Russians deny this absurd charge but so far I have not seen Julian Assange deny that they are his source and we must wonder what his true motivations are if the effect of his “leak” is to have Russia accused of hacking into US government and political party email systems thereby supporting the NATO propaganda against Russia.
It also begs the question as to why Assange would get involved in American party politics at all by publishing emails that would supposedly damage the Clinton campaign for the benefit of the Trump campaign. Is he working for Trump? Is he working for Clinton trying to make it look like Trump works for Russia, or, as is more likely, is he working for those who want to bring down both Trump and Russia? Andrew Rosenthal for the Times, quipped, “it’s eerie, at best, that Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks chose this moment to release the stolen emails…”
But it is not so “eerie” if the exercise is meant to smear Russia and a candidate for President who is willing to at least talk with the Russians. Perhaps his supporters can ask him and report back what his answer is because his actions raise serious questions as to his motivations, his intentions, and his connections. Someone is playing us. It’s about time we found out who.
“Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him?” – St. Stephen.
The terrorist attack today on a church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray where a Catholic priest was murdered and several hostages taken and killed, is part of the ‘Islamic State’s (Da’esh) attempt to spread their war on ‘Western civilisation’ from the metropolis to the provincial town. This now generalises the heightened fear experienced by the French public in the wake of the Nice attack.
Reports indicate that the attackers have been ‘neutralised’. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has taken the opportunity to show his political prowess. “Legal quibbles and precautions and pretexts for incomplete actions are now not admissible”, he said. French President Francois Hollande said, “Da’esh has declared war on us”. The rule of law will soon be suspended and people will be imprisoned or worse without trial, this is what the statements of Sarkozy and Hollande mean. Once again, we see that the terrorists have been shot dead before they could be interrogated. It seems taser-guns and highly sophisticated non-lethal weapons are of no use when it comes to Da’esh. Adel Kermiche, one of the terrorists shot dead, was known to police and he had reportedly attempted to join Da’esh in Syria twice. He had been released from prison in March 2016 and wore an electronic surveillance bracelet. Father Jacques Hamel, was known among the local community for his efforts at inter-religious dialogue.
Da’esh is an army of mercenaries which was formed in US prison Camp Bucca in 2006 under the supervision of the US military. The group has been used as a proxy force against the reconstituted Iraqi state allied to Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic, also a close ally of Russia. Troops for the Islamic State are recruited in Europe with the approval of Brussels, according to Israeli intelligence sources. The public are being told that the Islamic State is the enemy of the West. The facts show, however, that the Islamic State is a fake enemy created to destroy countries resisting subservience to global financial, corporate and military agencies of imperial power or, in short, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
As terrorist attacks now become a daily occurrence in Europe with the Nice and Munich atrocities followed by minor assaults such as the machete attack in Germany a few days ago, the descent into civilisational suicide is accelerating. The attack on a Catholic church may be significant. The attack occurred in the church of Saint Stephen. One of the proto-martyrs of the church, Saint Stephen, is famous for his damning critique of the Jews in the Acts of the Apostles. The Jewish Sanhedrin court sentenced him to death by lapidation (stoning). St. Stephen is considered ‘anti-Semitic’ by some scholars. The Sanhedrin Courts were re-established in Israel. In 2015, the Sandedrin Court in Jerusalem declared it would put Pope Francis on trial for the Vatican’s decision to recognise a Palestinian state. He has also been criticised by the self-declared Jewish court of being too friendly with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein.
Although the Catholic church is currently more subordinate to Judaism than at any point in its history, the Vatican’s decision to recognise a Palestinian state is a thorn in the side of hard-line Zionists. We have shown before that the Islamic State is a proxy army of Israel, which is being used to pave the way for a Greater Middle East or, in other words, a Greater Israel. Tel Aviv has not disguised its support for the Islamic State in Syria. Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has said that he would prefer Da’esh in Syria, to Assad.
The same terrorists who attacked today have been beheading and torturing priests and nuns in Syria for years, yet the Vatican has been obmutescent. The Vatican is a key actor in the Western/Zionist empire but it has not yet been completely taken over. Christendom, or what is left of it, is another target of the Zionist New World Order. The creation of a right-wing Christian Zionist movement in France would drive religious and ethnic divisions further, thus sabotaging efforts to awaken working-class consciousness and solidarity – the only hope we have of winning the war on terror, which is, and always has been, both a class war and a spiritual war.
If Donald Trump is elected US president it will spell the end of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. At least, that’s how a phalanx of US foreign policy pundits and establishment figures see it. Trump once again caused uproar recently with comments that were viewed as undermining a «cornerstone» of US foreign policy since the Second World War.
Ahead of accepting official nomination as the Republican party presidential candidate, the billionaire property magnate told the New York Times in an interview that, if elected, he would not automatically deploy American military forces to defend another member of NATO if it were attacked.
As the NYT noted Trump’s conditionality regarding NATO was the first time any senior American politician has uttered such a radical change in policy. It overturns «American cornerstone policy of the past 70 years».
Trump was asked whether he would defend Eastern European countries if they were attacked by Russia.
(Hypothetical, propagandistic nonsense, but let’s bear with the argument for the underlying logic that it exposes.)
Trump did not give the customary automatic, unconditional «yes» response. Rather, he said he would have to first review whether these countries had fulfilled their «obligations to us». If they had, then, he said, US forces would defend. If they hadn’t lived up to past financial commitments to NATO, then the inference was that a would-be President Trump would not order troops to defend.
The reaction to Trump’s comments was explosive. NATO’s civilian chief, Jens Stoltenberg, was evidently perplexed by Trump’s equivocal attitude. «Solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO», said the former Norwegian prime minister. «This is good for European security and good for US security. We defend one another».
Stoltenberg was just one of the many pro-NATO figures on both sides of the Atlantic who stampeded to slam Trump for his comments.
The rightwing American Enterprise Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, and senior foreign policy makers within the Republican and Democrat parties all unanimously berated Trump over his views on NATO. Estonian and Latvian political leaders also expressed deep anxiety on what they saw as a withdrawal by the US from Europe’s security.
Reuters reported a joint letter from a US bi-partisan group of «national security» experts who condemned Trump’s «inflammatory remarks» for not representing the «core interests» of the United States.
«The strength of our alliances is at the core of those interests», said the group. «The United States must uphold the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s commitments to all of our allies, including Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania».
Reuters also quoted a former US ambassador to the alliance as saying that Trump’s policy means: «It’s the end of NATO».
Robert Hunter, who was NATO envoy under President Bill Clinton, added: «The essence of NATO, more than any other single factor, is the commitment of the United States of America to the security of the other 27 members».
The Los Angeles Times quoted former NATO supreme commander, US General Wesley Clark, as saying that Trump’s stance «undercuts NATO’s deterrence in Europe». Clark said that the comments showed that Trump has a fundamental misunderstanding of how the alliance works. «It will mean the end of the European Union and the collapse of the US’s largest trading partner».
The former NATO military chief also made the snide comment that Russian leader Vladimir Putin would be «happy» with Trump’s shift in defense policy. As did Hillary Clinton’s senior policy advisor, Jake Sullivan, who made the inane assertion that «Putin would be rooting for Trump» to win the November presidential election.
It is not the first time that Donald Trump has shown an irreverent disregard for NATO and other military partnerships which have been the hallmark of US foreign policy since World War Two. Previously, during the Republican primaries in March, the presidential contender told the Washington Post he would withdraw US troops from Japan, South Korea and the Middle East if regional allies did not shoulder more of the defense burden in terms of boosting financial contributions.
Trump says that his view of drawing down overseas American military forces is part of his «America First» policy. He told the New York Times this policy means: «We are going to take care of this country first before we worry about everyone else in the world».
In a certain sense, Trump’s worldview is laudable. Given the immense challenges for fixing the US economy, impoverished communities, post-industrial unemployment and crumbling infrastructure, of course it does not make sense for the US to maintain over 1,000 military bases overseas in over 100 countries.
And, as Trump has pointed out, it is the US that pays the lion’s share of the budget for its military partnerships. In the 28-member NATO alliance, the US pays 70-75 per cent of the entire budget.
But here is where Trump gets it fundamentally wrong. His premise of the United States functioning as a benevolent protector is misplaced. If that were the case then, yes, Trump’s point about the arrangement being «unfair» would be valid.
However, NATO and the US’s other military umbrellas in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, are not motivated primarily about maintaining security and peace. These military pacts are all about providing the US with a political, legal and moral rationale for intervening its forces in key geopolitical regions. The massive expenditure by the US on military alliances is really all about maintaining Washington’s hegemony over allies and perceived enemies alike. The reality is that America’s «defense» pacts are more a source of relentless tensions and conflicts. Europe and the South China Sea are testimony to that if we disabuse the notional pretensions otherwise.
In all the heated reaction to Trump’s latest comments on NATO the over-riding assumption is that the United States is a force for good, law and order and peace.
Under the headline «Trump NATO plan would be sharp break with decades-long US policy», this Reuters reportage belies the false indoctrination of what US and NATO’s purpose is actually about. It reports: «Republican foreign policy veterans and outside experts warned that the suggestion by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that he might abandon NATO’s pledge to automatically defend all alliance members could destroy an organization that has helped keep the peace for 66 years and could invite Russian aggression».
Really? Maintaining peace for 66 years? Not if you live in former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Ukraine and Syria where NATO powers have been covertly orchestrating and sponsoring conflicts.
Also note the unquestioned insinuation by Reuters that without NATO that would «invite Russian aggression».
If we return to the original question posed by the New York Times, which sparked the flurry of pro-NATO reaction, the newspaper put it to Trump like this:
«Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations have fulfilled their obligations to us».
The NY Times, like so many NATO advocates who went apoplectic over Trump, is constructing its argument on an entirely false and illusory premise of «Russia’s threatening activities».
Unfortunately, it seems, Trump bought into this false premise by answering the question, even though his conditional answer has set off a firestorm among NATO and Western foreign policy establishments. Can you imagine the reaction if he had, instead, rebutted the false assertion about there even being Russian aggression?
But this fabrication of «Russian threat» is an essential part of the wider fabrication about what the US-led NATO alliance is really functioning for. It is not about defending «the free world» from Russian or Soviet «aggression», or, for that matter, from Iranian, Chinese, North Korean, or Islamic terrorist threats. In short, NATO and US military «protection» has got nothing to do with defense and peace. It is about protecting American corporate profits and hegemony.
Ever since its inception in 1949 by the US under President Truman, NATO is a construct that serves to project American presence and power around the world, as well as propping up its taxpayer-subsidized military-industrial complex. The most geopolitically vital theatre is Europe, where the European nations must be kept divided from any form of normal political and economic relations with Russia. If that were to happen, American hegemonic power, as we know it, is over. That’s what the alarmism among the NATO advocates over Trump is really about.
Trump’s declared aim of withdrawing US forces from overseas and of cutting down NATO is admirable, even if his reasoning is faulty and imbued with false notions of American benevolence.
If he were to implement such policies, then indeed the American facade of NATO might well collapse. Which would be an immeasurably good thing for restoring peaceful international relations, especially with regard to Europe and Russia, despite what the reactionary, rightwing Russophobic European states might say.
But here’s the thing. Trump does not seem to understand how deeply important NATO or US militarism elsewhere around the globe are to American hegemony under its corporate capitalist system. If and when he does actually try to implement his policy, he will encounter formidable forces that he probably isn’t aware of yet.
Without a massive popular mobilization, Trump will not be allowed to implement such a challenge to the foundational premise of modern American power. The US military-industrial-intelligence complex will see to that.
The last American president who tried to rein in the corporate power of US militarism was John F Kennedy. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in broad daylight by the CIA-Pentagon and their contract killers. And for 53 years, the entire American media and law enforcement establishments have brazenly covered up that shocking truth in the fashion of a «ministry of truth».
Potentially, Trump’s stance on NATO is damaging to the military alliance, and could even precipitate a terminal decline. That is why the reaction to his comments has been so fierce, and is also why he won’t be allowed to get away with such a policy if he is elected.
This is not meant, however, to sound defeatist. Of course, US militarism and its war-mongering imperialist foreign policy could be overturned. American hegemony is not divinely ordained. But such a radical, fundamental change in direction will require a massive popular movement among ordinary Americans. It will not be achieved on the basis of one fiery politician’s words.
The policy of one-sided military dominance exercised by the US and its NATO allies could cause a major standoff similar to the Cuban missile crisis of the early 1960s, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee has warned.
Though the world is not currently facing the threat of a new nuclear crisis, Russia’s opponents could make such a situation a reality, senator Konstantin Kosachev said in a major interview with popular daily Izvestia.
Kosachev noted that global security has passed through three stages and is currently at the beginning of a fourth period. The first stage took place in the 1950s and 1960s, when the national security of a state or group of states was secured by pure military dominance. Very soon this approach became universal and all major nations became involved in the arms race, perfecting their weapons systems and creating military blocs.
The second stage lasted throughout 1970s and 1980s, when nations understood the futility of their efforts to become the strongest and instead started to limit each other’s military might through international treaties. This was the period of agreements securing the global balance of forces.
The third period started with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. In the Paris Charter of the 1990s, world powers agreed to maintain the logic of the second stage and build a common security system through avoiding standoffs and mutual threats, acting like equal partners.
However, instead of following the principles of the Paris Charter, the United States and its NATO allies have returned to the first stage and are now attempting to secure their safety through ultimate military dominance, Kosachev stated. NATO is expanding, and its members are continuously increasing their military budgets and developing new types of weapons.
The Russian official noted that this approach has de-facto introduced several classes of security for different nations that could be compared to classes of seats in a passenger jet.
“First class is for NATO and their allies, for those who support the monopolar model. Economy class is for everyone else – they are telling the world that those who do not want to join their model will have to deal with their problems independently. But the problem is that a bomb is ticking in the luggage hold and it is an equal threat to everyone,” Kosachev said. “They cannot divide security by classes and think that they remain safe once they secure exceptional safety for themselves only.”
“Western leaders constantly claim that their nations are threatened and they have to defend themselves. But it is not them who is threatened, they simply perceive Russia’s non-compliance with the imposed model of divided security and privileges to their countries as a threat,” the Russian senator told reporters.
He went on to explain that the fact that Russia does not accept the suggested model does not mean that it was threatening the United States or United Kingdom. The main threat to common security lies in NATO’s claims for global dominance together with the developing model of an exceptional place for certain nations.
“This approach prevents us from disarming the bomb in the luggage hold – to get rid of the real threats that all nations are facing and that are much more real.”
Kosachev drew attention to the fact that while the new British Prime Minister Theresa May was speaking of the threat of Russian nuclear weapons, European cities such as Nice and Munich were hit by deadly terrorist attacks. Over the past years US leaders have placed Russia alongside the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group in the list of global threats. “We totally share their concerns about IS, but why at all did they put Russia on this list?” he asked.
It was NATO that clearly realized its concept of establishing its security outside its members’ borders, the senator stated. He also said that it was NATO that claimed there was not a place in the world that had no importance to it, that destabilizing the situation in any country potentially threatened NATO’s interests.
“Russia is not interfering with NATO’s affairs and we also are categorically against NATO interfering in our affairs, the world belongs to us all with all its problems. The monopolar model does not suit us and we actively disagree with it. Unfortunately, our Western partners describe this disagreement as a threat. Yes, this is a threat to their single-sided interests, but not a threat to their security and not an excuse to reject the numerous Russian proposals concerning collective global safety,” Kosachev said.
“The realization of our proposal could be a good basis for the fourth stage in post-WWII history,” he concluded.
Donald Trump is erratic. We all know that. It is insulting to assert, in the words of Britain’s new Foreign Secretary, the erratic Boris Johnson, that he is «frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States», but he’s certainly unpredictable and says some things that are, to put it mildly, intriguing. The fact remains that he could be next president of the United States, which makes it important to look at what he might do if that comes about, especially in the light of America’s military catastrophes so far this century.
Obama followed his predecessors in expanding America’s iron fist as self-appointed global policeman. He vastly increased the US military presence around the world and intensified the Pentagon’s aggressive confrontations with China and Russia.
In China’s case this was effected by sending US Naval E-P3 electronic surveillance aircraft on missions close to the mainland, deploying EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, ordering B-52 nuclear bombers to overfly the South China Sea where the US Navy also carried out extended manoeuvres by massive strike groups of nuclear-armed aircraft carriers and guided missile cruisers. All this in a region where the US has not the slightest territorial interest or claim. China’s Sea is 12,000 kilometres, 7,000 miles, from the American mainland, yet Washington considers it the sacred right and duty of the United States to act as a global gendarme and give orders to China about its posture in its own back yard, where there has not been one instance of interference with commercial shipping passing through that region.
As to confrontation with Russia, the US has ensured that its Brussels sub-office, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, will go on playing its toy-soldier games right up to Russia’s borders. The official statement after NATO’s war drum-thumping conclave in Warsaw on July 8-9 is indicative of its determination to continue its attempts to menace Russia, which has not made the slightest move to threaten a single NATO member. It is absurd to claim that «the security situation has deteriorated» in the Black Sea and the Baltic because of Russian action.
These regions would be perfectly calm if it were not for constant provocations by US-NATO warships and combat and electronic warfare aircraft which deliberately trail their coasts in attempts to incite reaction by Russian forces. NATO’s Warsaw Declaration is a farrago of contrived accusations compiled to justify the existence of the farcical grouping that destroyed Libya and proved incapable of overcoming a few thousand raggy baggy insurgents in Afghanistan. So the military alliance is spending vast sums to deploy soldiers, aircraft, ships and missiles right up to Russia’s borders in deliberate confrontation. As Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained «Russia is not looking [for an enemy] but it actually sees it happening. When NATO soldiers march along our border and NATO jets fly by, it’s not us who are moving closer to NATO’s borders».
There’s no answer to that, but the Obama-Pentagon administration is not going to relax its anti-China and anti-Russia attitude, and if Hillary Clinton becomes president – she of the infamous «We came; We saw; He died» giggling interview in which she rejoiced in the savage murder of President Gaddafi of Libya – there will be more of the same. In fact, probably a lot more of the same, only harder, faster and of more financial benefit to US manufacturers of weapons systems. She described President Putin as «someone that you have to continuously stand up to because, like many bullies, he is somebody who will take as much as he possibly can unless you do. And we need to get the Europeans to be more willing to stand up».
So might The Donald be different?
He’s arrogant and impulsive, but although the official Republican stance on China is predictably belligerent, it isn’t likely that The Donald will support confrontation by the nuclear-armed armadas that at the moment plough so aggressively around China’s shores. And he isn’t likely to endorse the Pentagon’s happy fandangos concerning Russia, either.
His comments about the US-contrived shambles in Ukraine are illuminating, in that he says «we’re the ones always fighting [figuratively] on the Ukraine. I never hear any other countries even mentioned and we’re fighting constantly. We’re talking about Ukraine, get out, do this, do that. And I mean Ukraine is very far away from us. How come the countries near the Ukraine, surrounding the Ukraine, how come they’re not opening up and they’re not at least protesting? I never hear anything from anybody except the United States».
They’re not protesting because they have to bow the knee to the Pentagon and its palatial branch office in Brussels (recently built at a cost of over a billion euros) – but The Donald made a good point: Why on earth does the US meddle in Ukraine? Has it benefited economically, politically, socially or culturally from its blatant interference?
Not only that, but The Donald says that the United States has to «fix our own mess» before «lecturing» other nations on how to behave.
No matter how extreme he may be in some of his statements, that one strikes a truly sensible note. Why does America consider that it has the right to hector and lecture China and Russia and so many other countries? It is, of course, because, as Obama announced, America considers itself the «one indispensable nation in world affairs».
What crass conceit. And Obama laboured the point in declaring that «I see an American century because no other nation seeks the role that we play in global affairs, and no other nation can play the role that we play in global affairs». This comes from the president of the country that destroyed Iraq and Libya, and is now itself in chaos caused by deliberate killing of black people by police and a surge in black protests against such slaughter.
Certainly The Donald shouts that he wants to «Make America Great Again» and such xenophobic nonsense – but that’s for the sake of vote-catching. As he rightly said, «When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger».
Then The Donald went further in common sense and suggested that as president he might close some of the hundreds of US military bases abroad because «if we decide we have to defend the United States, we can always deploy» from American soil, which would be «a lot less expensive». How very sensible.
Hillary came back with the predictable rejoinder that the president of the United States «is supposed to be the leader of the Free World. Donald Trump apparently doesn’t even believe in the Free World». This is straight out of the Cold War vocabulary of divisive confrontation – and if she becomes president, there will be even more pugnacious patronising baloney about «leadership of the Free World» and «the one indispensable nation». As The Donald said, «How are we going to lecture when you see the riots and the horror going on in our own country».
So there might be hope for the future if The Donald drops his more outlandish ideas about Muslims and Mexicans and institutes a policy of rapprochement and live-and-let-live with China and Russia. He’s a better bet on that score than confrontational Hillary.
It just might be that The Donald would be good for rapprochement and peace.
Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the US authorities of instigating the civil war in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, and called on senior politicians in these states to set aside their differences and unite in the face of what he sees as a common enemy.
“During the 37 years of the war in Afghanistan peace has not become closer, not even by a single step. The United States used the excuse of fighting their own Bin Laden to unleash a decades-long civil war there. America and NATO could have solved the Afghan problem in just two years, but they need this eternal bloody cauldron in Afghanistan that takes the lives of many thousands of young Muslims,” the acting head of the Chechen Republic stated in comments on the latest terrorist attack in Kabul.
Kadyrov expressed his position in a post on Instagram – a medium he normally uses for communication with the public.
In the message, he emphasized that the United States and its NATO allies have artificially created the instability in the region. “Step by step they start wars in Muslim countries. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen are now facing the threat of losing their sovereignty,” Kadyrov wrote.
The Chechen leader also called on all Afghanistan’s leaders to set aside personal ambitions and ethnic and religious differences to unite in the face of the common threat. “Once Pashtu, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Sunnis, Shia all join their ranks, no one would ever be able to impose some external will on you,” he wrote.
At least 80 people were killed and 231 injured as a result of a bomb blast at a mass rally in Afghanistan capital Kabul on July 23. The Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kadyrov has repeatedly accused the United States and other Western nations of deliberate policies aimed at destroying Muslim countries and the Muslim faith. In February last year he said IS had been “spawned” by the West to incite hatred towards Muslims all over the world. Kadyrov also suggested the West was backing the terrorist group in order to distract public attention from numerous problems in the Middle East, in the hope of destroying Islamic nations from within. In November he accused the Turkish authorities of aiding Western nations’ plot to weaken and destroy Islam by assisting Islamic State and its allies in Syria.
Kadyrov also previously claimed that he possessed information that the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been personally recruited to work for the US by General David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. At that time, Kadyrov claimed IS “was acting on orders from the West and Europe.”
By Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post | July 22, 2016
While the United States attempts to back away from its association with terrorist group Nour al-Din al-Zinki, the “moderate” terrorist organization whose members recently videotaped themselves beheading a young boy and discussing whether or not to boil his body afterwards, previous reports coming the from the mainstream media reveal that Obama, Kerry, Clinton and crew will not be able to cover their tracks so easily this time around. That is, if they even care to.
This is because reports coming from Business Insider in 2015 reveal that the United States had indeed supported and armed Nour al-Din al-Zinki in the lead up to the heinous act. What’s even more damning, however, is the fact that the group was considered one of the U.S. “vetted” organizations, a designation that was touted as a sure way to avoid arming “extremist” terrorists like ISIS or al-Qaeda.
The lie of vetting and “moderation” is now thoroughly debunked if, for no other reason, than the public beheading of a child.
But there is more! Not only has the United States “vetted,” endorsed, and armed Nour al-Din al-Zinki, it has armed them with TOW missiles, a type of guided missile that is capable of piercing and damaging tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other forms of vehicles found on the battlefield. These missiles are especially dangerous for a number of reasons including the fact that they can be used from a considerable distance.
As Jeremy Bender wrote for Business Insider in his article, “These CIA-Vetted Syrian Rebel Groups Fighting Assad Are Russia’s Primary Targets,”
Since 2013, the CIA has been training and equipping various moderate rebel elements in the Syrian civil war in an effort to undermine the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and force him to the negotiating table.
Among the range of munitions and supplies that the CIA has funneled to the various brigades of the Free Syrian Army and other moderate groups through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey are TOW anti-tank missiles.
. . . . . .
These weapons have helped decimate Syrian armour and pushed a recent regime offensive against rebel-held territory to a standstill in reported “tank massacres.”
For instance, on October 8, a Syrian armoured offensive suffered massive casualties as, rebels armed “with US-made TOW missiles … [and] other guided rockets … caused the destruction … of over 15 armoured cars, vehicles, and tanks,” according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.
What is striking is just how many CIA-vetted groups now exist throughout Syria receiving TOWs.
According to Syrian observer Hasan Mustafas, no fewer than 42 vetted groups now receive TOWs from a Saudi supply originally provided by the US. These weapons are funneled into Syria through Military Operations Command (MOC) posts in Turkey and Jordan that are co-operated by Western and local intelligence agencies.
The various groups are well documented due to the nature of TOW provisions. Saudi Arabia can not deliver the US-supplied TOWs without prior CIA approval. Additionally, Mustafas notes, the various vetted groups must apply to receive the TOWs. They are then provided with small batches of arms.
Bender provides a list of the groups who received the TOW missiles but, among them, is the name of Nour al-Din al-Zinki, the child beheading and carcass boiling “moderate” rebels that allegedly representing freedom and democracy.
Still, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner is only stating that the beheading of the boy might only cause the United States to “pause” and reflect upon its relationship with the group, meaning arming and supporting it.
At the end of the day, the horrific atrocity that was committed by Nour al-Din al-Zinki was really nothing more than several more pints in a massive ocean of blood created by the United States, Israel, the GCC, and NATO. Still, it stands as yet another example of why this treacherous and immoral war against Syria must be ended immediately.
The list of terrorist organizations “vetted” and provided with TOW missiles as reported by Business Insider is as follows:
13th Division (Forqat 13)
101st Division Infantry (Forqat 101 Masha’a)
Knights of Justice Brigade (Liwa’ Fursan al-Haqq)
Falcons of the Mountain Brigade (Liwa’ Suqour al-Jabal)
Grouping of the Falcons of Al-Ghab (Tajamuu Suqour al-Ghab)
1st Coastal Division (Forqat Awwal al-Sahli)
Gathering of Dignity (Tajammu al-Izza’)
Central Division (Al-Forqat al-Wasti)
46th Division (Forqat 46)
Sultan Murad Brigade (Liwa’ Sultan Murad)
Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, (Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki)
Mujahideen Army/Army of Holy Warriors (Jaish al-Mujahideen)
Revolutionaries of al-Sham Brigades (Kata’eb Thuwar al-Sham)
1st Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal)
Ahmed al-Abdo Martyrs’ Force (Quwwat al-Shaheed Ahmad al-Abdo)
Al-Rahman Legion (Faylaq al-Rahman)
Martyrs of Islam Brigade (Liwa’ Shuhadah al-Islam)
Yarmouk Army (Jaish al-Yarmouk)
Lions of Sunnah Division (Forqat Usood al-Sunnah)
the 18th March Division (Forqat 18 Adhar)
Southern Tawhid Brigade (Liwa’ Tawhid al-Junoub)
Hamza Division (Forqat al-Hamza)
1st Artillery Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal Madfa’a)
Syria Revolutionaries Front — Southern Sector (Jabhat Thuwar Souriya)
The First Corps (Faylaq al-Awwal)
The Dawn of Unity Division (Forqat Fajr al-Tawhid)
Salah al-Din Division (Forqat Salah al-Din)
Omari Brigades (Tajammu Alwiyat al-Omari)
Unity Battalions of Horan Brigade (Liwa’ Tawhid Kata’eb Horan)
Youth of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa’ Shabbab al-Sunnah)
Moataz Billah Brigade (Liwa’ Moataz Billah)
Sword of al-Sham Brigades (Alwiyat Saif al-Sham)
Dawn of Islam Division (Forqat Fajr al-Islam)
Supporters of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa’ Ansar al-Sunnah)
Horan Column Division (Forqat Amoud Horan)
Emigrants and Supporters Brigade (Liwa’ Muhajireen wal Ansar)
Military Council in Quneitra and the Golan
United Sham Front (Jabhat al-Sham Muwahidda)
69th Special Forces Division (Forqat 69 Quwwat al-Khassa)
11th Special Forces Division (Forqat 11 Quwwat al-Khassa)
Partisans of Islam Front (Jabhat Ansar al-Islam)
Al-Furqan Brigades (Alwiyat al-Furqan)
The failed coup in Turkey last week was a political and geopolitical earthquake as it has the potential to fundamentally alter the Middle East, NATO, and potentially the balance of power globally. But while the implications of the recent developments are clear, what actually took place on the night/morning of July 15 – July 16 is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. But why is that? Why are the connections for the most part not being made by Western pundits and journalists alike?
Here again we run into the controlled corporate media apparatus, one which is dominated by the very same interests that dominate the governments of the US and EU, and its incredible power to misinform. As the great Michael Parenti famously wrote, “[The media’s] job is not to inform but disinform, not to advance democratic discourse but to dilute and mute it. Their task is to give every appearance of being conscientiously concerned about events of the day, saying so much while meaning so little, offering so many calories with so few nutrients.”
Nowhere is Parenti’s contention more true than with the coup in Turkey. For while the media has certainly reported the allegations from President Erdogan and his government of the hidden hand of US-based billionaire Fetullah Gulen, almost none of the major media outlets have done the necessary investigation to uncover the real significance of Gulen and his movement. Specifically, and almost as if by magic, there is virtually no mention of Gulen’s longstanding ties to the CIA, his penetration of the various institutions of the Turkish state, nor is there any serious investigation into the financial networks and connections leading from Gulen to nearly every corner of the Islamic (and non-Islamic) world.
And while Gulen, along with many neocons in the US, have been propagating the narrative that President Erdogan and his forces themselves staged the coup in order to justify the ongoing crackdown on political rivals, secularists, and other anti-Erdogan forces, the media by and large has not connected the events in Turkey to their larger geopolitical significance, one which should shed some light on what may have happened. And, in a further dereliction of duty, the media has also mostly ignored the absolutely critical likelihood of the involvement of US-NATO intelligence.
History as a Guide
From Iran in 1953 to Chile in 1973 and countless other countries, the CIA and its intelligence agency cousins in NATO have been involved in myriad coups similar to the one that took place in Turkey last week. However, one would be remiss in not noting the striking similarities between the 2016 coup in Turkey and the one that took place on September 12, 1980.
Throughout the mid to late 1970s Turkey saw a major upsurge of terrorism and violence, much of which was attributed to fascist formations such as the Grey Wolves, along with other groups. However, what is now known is that much of the violence took the form of provocations which many experts allege were orchestrated by CIA-affiliated individuals and networks.
Perhaps the most significant of these was Paul Henze, a man who spent decades as an intelligence coordinator in Ethiopia, Turkey, and elsewhere throughout the Cold War. As Daniele Ganser noted in his book NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe, “A right wing extremist on trial later plausibly argued that the massacres and terrors of the 1970s had been a strategy to bring [coup leader General] Evren and the military right to power: ‘The massacres were a provocation by the [Turkish intelligence agency] MIT. With the provocations by the MIT and the CIA the ground was prepared for the September 12 coup.’” (p. 239)
But of course, these actions did not take place in a vacuum; there were intelligence operators in place who facilitated the events that took place. As renowned author and media critic Edward Herman and co-author Frank Brodhead wrote in their 1986 book The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection :
“Paul Henze began his long CIA career under Defense Department cover as a “foreign affairs adviser” in 1950. Two years later, he began a six-year hitch as a policy adviser to Radio Free Europe (RFE) in Munich, West Germany. By 1969, Henze was CIA chief of station in Ethiopia, and he served as station chief in Turkey from 1974 through 1977. When Zbigniew Brzezinski assembled his National Security Council team for President Jimmy Carter, Henze was hired as the CIA’s representative to the NSC office in the White House.”
Considering the intimate connection between Henze and Brzezinski, it is not hard to see that Henze was essentially involved in the same global operation as Brzezinski, namely the weaponization of terrorism for strategic gain against the Soviet Union. And while Brzezinski famously masterminded the creation of the mujahideen in Afghanistan, Henze already had achieved similar results in Turkey, organizing right wing forces for the purposes of destabilization. In his book, Gansler cites counter-terrorism scholar and expert on GLADIO operations Selhattin Celik, who wrote in 1999 that:
“[When US President Jimmy Carter] heard about [the 1980 coup in Turkey] he called Paul Henze, former Chief of the CIA station in Turkey who had left Ankara shortly before the coup to become a security adviser to President Carter in Washington on the Turkey desk of the CIA… Carter told Henze what the latter already knew: ‘Your people have just made a coup!’ The President was right. Paul Henze, the day after the coup, had triumphantly declared to his CIA colleagues in Washington: ‘Our boys have done it!”
Celik bluntly referred to Henze as “the chief architect of the September 12, 1980 coup.” It’s not hard to see why. From having been on the ground in the early to mid-1970s, to then becoming a coordinator in Washington while being the point person on Turkey for the National Security Council under Brzezinski, Henze was clearly instrumental. As Gansler notes, according to Celik, “Brzezinski supported the position of Henze. During a discussion in the National Security Council of the situation in Iran where in 1979 Khomeiny [sic] had seized power Brzezinski expressed his view that ‘for Turkey as for Brazil a military government would be the best solution.’”
While none of this should come as a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with how US intelligence operated in the Cold War, perhaps the depth of the connections between US intelligence, its NATO cousins, and the Turkish military and deep state represent something of an epiphany. As Turkish politician and social activist Ertugrul Kurkcu wrote in Covert Action Quarterly in 1997:
The close ties between the Turkish, US military, and intelligence circles, along with US concerns over Turkey’s military cooperation, have been major obstacles in Turkey’s path to broader democracy. [Turkish politician and journalist Fikri] Saglar charges that US interest in Turkish affairs is not confined to official NATO relations and trade ties. He points to the notorious message by the CIA’s then-Turkey Station Chief Paul Henze in Ankara to his colleagues in Washington the day after the 1980 coup “Our boys have done it!” Henze crowed. Saglar concludes that foreign intelligence organizations including the CIA, have coopted collaborators from among the extreme-right and exploited them for their particular interests.
In effect, what the 1980 coup demonstrates more than anything is that the Turkish military, as well as the far right fascist terror gangs such as the Grey Wolves, are in various ways assets of the US, and under the thumb of US intelligence. To be sure, one could quibble about the degree to which they are entirely assets, proxies, or simply longtime collaborators, but this distinction is of minor importance. What matters is that the historical record clearly indicates collusion between the Turkish military and deep state and the CIA.
But this is all ancient history, right? Surely these networks and connections have eroded over time, and what happened in 1980 is of only secondary significance to the internal politics of Turkey and the ongoing struggles for power. Well, yes… but on second thought, maybe not.
Who’s Who on the Turkish Chessboard?
In trying to provide analysis of what just took place in Turkey, one must have some understanding of the political factions vying for power in Turkey. They can roughly be broken down into three camps, though there is often overlap between the groups.
The first faction is that of President Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Erdogan and the AKP come from the “moderate Islamist” milieu of the Muslim Brotherhood, having spent years fighting against the militantly secular Turkish military and state order. As Dr. Essam al-Erian, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, explained in 2007, “the Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic group that has a close relationship with all moderate Islamists, the most prominent of which is the Justice and Development Party.”
This point is of critical importance because it connects Erdogan and his political machine to a much broader international network active throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It further provides an explanation as to Erdogan’s seeming fanaticism over the war in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad whose father crushed the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in 1982, as well as his unwavering support for former Egyptian President Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader deposed by current President Sisi.
The second faction is that of the Kemalists, with its power generally residing in the military and elements of the deep state. They see themselves as the custodians of the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. The Kemalists are deeply connected to major capitalist interests in the country, and have a long history of collaboration with the US and NATO. As noted above, the Turkish military has long-standing ties to the CIA and NATO intelligence, and has long been understood as one of the most reliable US-NATO partners.
The third political faction of note is that of Turkish billionaire Fetullah Gulen whose global network of schools has made him into one of the single most powerful individuals in the region, though he runs his network from the comfort of his Pennsylvania estate. Not only has the Gulen network made significant inroads penetrating nearly every state institution in Turkey, it is also hugely influential in the US, both in terms of long-standing ties to US intelligence, and perhaps equally important, its massive lobbying and influence-peddling apparatus. Indeed, in 2010 six major Turkish-American federations with ties to the Gulen movement joined together to create the Assembly of Turkic American Federations (ATAF), a non-profit organization that has become one of the more prominent lobbying groups in Washington dealing with Turkish and Turkic peoples issues.
It is essential to remember that although it is known that last week’s coup was carried out by elements of the military, it is unclear exactly which faction they were representing, or if it was a combination of two. But here it is useful to examine the recent history of the Gulen network (known as Hizmet) and its penetration of state institutions in order to assess what potential role it may have played in the coup.
Connecting the Dots: Fetullah Gulen and CIA Fingerprints on Turkey Coup?
While it is easy to point the finger at the CIA and US-NATO intelligence for anything that happens anywhere in the world – the Empire’s reach is truly global – one must be cautious not to simply assert US culpability without properly drawing out the tangible connections. And in this case, that is doubly true. However, it is here that Gulen’s significance really comes into play, for it is his far-reaching network of contacts, surrogates, and proxies that have penetrated nearly every significant state institution.
Long before last week’s failed coup, analysts had been making the connection between Gulen, infiltration of the Turkish state, and the CIA. As political analyst Osman Softic wrote in 2014:
“Given that the Hizmet sympathizers skilfully [sic] infiltrated some of the most sensitive structures of the state such as the police, intelligence, judiciary and public prosecution, it is quite plausible that this movement may have served as a convenient mechanism for destabilization and even overthrow of the Erdoğan government, by much more powerful and sinister international actors… Gülen himself may have become a convenient pawn in their attempt to destabilize Turkey.”
The allegation that Gulen agents have penetrated all throughout the Turkish state is nothing new. In fact, such assertions have dogged Gulen and the Hizmet movement for at least the last two decades. But it is the connection to US intelligence and the elite circles of US foreign policy that truly completes the picture.
Enter Graham Fuller, former Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, whose links to Gulen’s movement run deep. Fuller has gone so far as to defend Gulen on Huffington Post in recent days in an article entitled The Gulen Movement Is Not a Cult — It’s One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today in which he admits – he had no choice as it is well documented – that he wrote a letter in support of Gulen’s green card application to the US in 2006. Although his rhetoric attempts to distort the nature of, and reason behind, his support for Gulen, Fuller does imply that Hizmet represents a social movement aligned with, and amenable to, US interests, one which could be used as a potent weapon in a critical NATO ally.
Fuller fails to note that he doesn’t simply have a passing connection with the Gulen movement, but that he has attended numerous Gulenist functions including large events, such as those organized by the Turquoise Council for Americans and Eurasians, a reputed Gulenist umbrella organization run by Kemal Oksuz (a.k.a. Kevin Oksuz), a prominent member of the Gulen network.
In addition to Fuller, infamous former CIA operative and US Ambassador to Turkey, Morton Abramowitz, also wrote a letter backing Gulen as he sought sanctuary in the US. Interestingly, Abramowitz was also the co-author, along with fellow neocons Eric Edelman and Blaise Misztal, of a fiery January 2014 op-ed in the Washington Post that all but demanded that the US topple Erdogan’s government. Yes, chin-scratchingly interesting.
So, let’s see if we got it all down. Gulen leads a multi-billion dollar business empire and charter/private school network with global reach. He is directly connected to two of the most notorious CIA operatives in the recent history of US-Turkish relations. He has a political lobbying network whose tentacles stretch from Washington to Central Asia. Oh, and by the way, according to former Turkish intelligence chief Osman Nuri Gundes, Gulen’s network of schools in the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan provided the cover for at least 130 CIA agents in the mid to late 90s.
Now let’s add to that equation the fact that the RAND corporation, one of the most influential think tanks within US policy circles, suggested in a detailed 2004 report entitled Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies that US policy should:
“Support the modernists first, enhancing their vision of Islam over that of the traditionalists by providing them with a broad platform to articulate and disseminate their views. They, not the traditionalists, should be cultivated and publicly presented as the face of contemporary Islam… Support the secularists on a case-by-case basis.”
It would seem that, more than a decade ago, and at a time when Gulen and Erdogan were still friendly, their organizations still allied, that US policy was to push Gulen and the moderate Islamist elements that he and Erdogan represented. It seems quite likely that the falling out between Erdogan and Gulen had less to do with personal issues and egos (though that undoubtedly played a part) than it did with policy and loyalty.
The Geopolitics and Strategy of the Failed Coup
Despite his commendable service to US imperialism in Syria, including hosting both terrorist and Syrian expatriate proxies of the US, Erdogan has clearly upset the apple cart with Washington. Perhaps his most egregious crime came just recently when he issued an apology for the November 2015 downing of a Russian jet. But, of course, it wasn’t the apology itself that set off official Washington, it was the reorientation of Turkish foreign policy away from the US, NATO, and Europe, and towards Russia, China, and the emerging non-western power bloc. This was his grave sin. And it wasn’t the first time, though undoubtedly Washington wanted to make sure it would be his last.
One must recall that Erdogan has a nasty habit of making deals with US adversaries, including the signing of the massive Turk Stream pipeline deal, the decision to purchase missile systems from China (which Erdogan later reneged on), the signing of a lucrative nuclear energy deal with Russia, and many others. In short, for Washington, Erdogan proved to be an unreliable ally at best, and a dangerous political manipulator at worst. So, as with so many leaders who came to be seen that way by the US political elites, he had to go. And Gulen’s network would come in handy.
Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the events of the failed coup was the use of the NATO base at Incirlik. As the Los Angeles Times noted:
“Turkish officials said the organizers of the uprising were given crucial aid from officers at Incirlik Air Base, a facility that hosts most of the 2,500 U.S. military personnel stationed in Turkey and is a key base for the U.S.-led coalition’s ongoing air campaign to defeat the Islamic State militant group in neighboring Iraq and Syria… official media reported the arrest of the top Turkish military official at Incirlik, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van. Van was among 10 soldiers arrested at the base, part of an operation Turkish officials say provided air-to-air refueling for F-16 fighter jets… [which] were a crucial part of the coup attempt, used to intimidate government supporters in the streets.”
The implications of this information should not be understated. While it is entirely possible that the story was concocted by Erdogan’s people in order to carry out a purge of top military officials perhaps seen as disloyal to Erdogan or much too loyal to secular Kemalists, it is also plausible that the Turkish government’s narrative is correct.
Were that to be the case, then the obvious implication would be that Incirlik was a base of operations for the coup, the locus of Turkish military power behind the coup, and US intelligence and military behind them. Considering the centrality of Incirlik to NATO operations in the Middle East, it is not unreasonable to assume that aside from just military personnel, Incirlik is a node in the global CIA network. In fact, considering that the base is home to both US drones conducting operations in the Syria-Iraq theater, as well as a hub of the US “extraordinary rendition” program, it almost goes without saying that Incirlik houses significant CIA assets.
Seen from this perspective then, Incirlik was obviously pivotal to the failed coup plot, and has since become essential to Erdogan’s purging of his rivals from the ranks of the military. Moreover, it was long a bone of contention between Ankara and Washington, with Erdogan’s government wanting to assert more control over the base than Washington was prepared to allow. In many ways, Incirlik became the nexus of a tectonic shift in Turkish politics, and in the geopolitics of the region.
Ultimately, the failed 2016 coup in Turkey will have lasting ramifications that will impact the years and decades ahead. With Turkey now clearly breaking with the US-NATO-EU axis, it is rather predictable that it will seek to not only mend fences with both Russia and China, but to place itself into the non-western camp typified by BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China’s One Belt One Road strategy, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, etc.
The failure of the coup is clearly a failure for the US and its allies who see in Erdogan an adversary, not a partner. For his part, Erdogan has much criminal behavior to answer for. From his illegal fomenting of war in Syria, to the purges and arbitrary detentions ongoing in Turkey today, to the attacks on secular institutions and human rights, Erdogan has a rap sheet a mile long. But of course sharing a bed with criminal regimes has never been a problem for Washington.
No, the problem has been, and will continue to be, that Erdogan doesn’t play by the rules; rules set forth by the US. And with this US-backed coup, he will only get stronger. Surely, many sleepless nights lay ahead for the strategic planners in Washington.
What emerges on the sixth day of the failed coup attempt in Turkey is that three inflection points could be in play in the Turkish-American relations in the coming days and weeks. They are:
- The functioning of the Incirlik Air Base on the Syrian border;
- Extradition of Islamist cleric Fetullah Gulen from the US; and,
- The massive purge of ‘Gulenists’ that is under way in Turkey.
Each of them is going to be trickier to negotiate than the other two and, yet, all three are also inter-related.
The power supply for Incirlik has been suspended since Friday and a back-up generator is barely enabling the US facilities there to support flight operations and around 2700 stationed in that NATO base. It’s an untenable situation. The US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter telephoned his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik on Tuesday evening to stress the importance of operations at the Incirlik to the counter-ISIS campaign.
But on his part, Isik regretted his inability to attend the counter-ISIS defence ministerial that Carter was hosting in Washington on Wednesday. Turkey was represented only at ambassadorial level at Wednesday’s conference which was attended by the defence ministers of some 30 countries, NATO, and top Pentagon officials to discuss “the next plays in the campaign that will culminate in the collapse of ISIL’s control over Mosul and Raqqa”. (Pentagon)
The detention of the commander at Incirlik Gen. Bekir Ercan Van and his subordinates underscores the sensitivities involved here. Gen. Van resisted arrest and had apparently sought political asylum in the US before being led away by the Turkish security.
Interestingly, in an interview with Al Jazeera on Wednesday, President Recep Erdogan said some of those who have been detained have started confessing and that there might have been foreign involvement. Erdogan warned that it would be a “big mistake” if the US decided not to extradite Gulen.
The official Turkish position will be that there is no linkage between continued access of US forces to Incirlik and Gulen’s extradition, but, clearly, that is not the state of play here. The Turks know that Incirlik provides the most efficient base for conducting the US operations in Syria.
However, Washington is not likely to extradite Gulen to Turkey, while Erdogan has staked his prestige on that issue. It seems as of now no wriggle room really exists here – unless some face-saving formula can be found such as the US revoking Gulen’s ‘green card’ and/or persuading him to leave for a third country.
The point is, Gulen has been a ‘strategic asset’ of the US intelligence for two or three decades and if Turkish security agencies interrogate him, that may cause even more damage to the Turkish-American relationship and even, perhaps, complicate the US’ relations with third countries where Gulen’s extensive network might have functioned or are still functioning as the CIA’s front organizations. (Sputnik )
Meanwhile, what role, if any, that Israel might have played in the coup attempt also remains a mystery. Israel is keeping pin-drop silence, but would certainly know that Gen. Akin Ozturk, former chief of air force, who has confessed his leadership role in the attempted coup, used to be the Turkish military attaché in Tel Aviv at one time. (Algemeiner )
By the way, these are the exact words Erdogan used in the interview on Wednesday with Al Jazeera:
- Other states could be behind this coup attempt. Gulenists have a ‘supreme intelligence,’ which could have plotted all this. The time will come for all these links to be revealed.
Erdogan explicitly hinted at the involvement of more than one country in the coup attempt.
Israel is mighty upset with Erdogan over his close ties with Hamas. Equally, Israel favors the creation of a Kurdistan state that could provide a base for its intelligence in a highly strategic region neighboring Iran. There is congruence on this issue between Israel and the US. The Turks have long suspected the US intentions in Iraq and Syria. (Read a fascinating interview with a retired Turkish admiral titled Goal Reached? Military Coup Attempt Disempowers Turkish Armed Forces.)
The plot really thickens if the opinion piece in the Saudi establishment daily Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday is read keeping in view the recent establishment of a Saudi consulate in Erbil in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (The daily, incidentally, is owned by Prince Faisal, son of King Salman.) The article all but warns Erdogan that he may be overthrown if he pushes for Gulen’s extradition from the US, and that he risks the West’s wrath if he proceeds with the crackdown on ‘Gulenists’. (Asharq al-Sharq )
Now, on whose side are the Saudis playing in this great game? For a quick answer, read a stunning statement by a top Israeli national security expert, here, recently.
Make no mistake, the US and its European allies are certain to pile pressure on Erdogan to fall in line. The standoff can become a showdown as time passes — and even take an ugly turn. The stakes are very very high for the western alliance system and the US’ regional strategies. This is where Erdogan’s crackdown on ‘Gulenists’ will be grabbed by the West as an alibi to isolate him.
Simply put, the US cannot let go of Turkey. Sans Turkey, NATO gets badly weakened in the entire southern tier – Balkans, Black Sea, Caucasus, Caspian, Southern Russia and Central Asia, Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean – and the US’ containment strategy against Russia will be doomed.
Beyond that, from the limited perspective of the Syrian conflict also, whatever chance the US and its allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc) still would have to put in motion a viable ‘Plan B’ to counter the Russian-Iranian axis would critically depend on Turkey remaining a partner and willing to pursue an interventionist role.
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | July 21, 2016
Events in Turkey just become stranger with each passing day.
We now have Middle Eastern and Persian sources, cited by Russian and German papers, that Russia’s security agencies overheard helicopter radio transmissions by the coup participants, and President Putin warned Erdogan about what was happening, likely saving his skin.
If true, this would help explain the apparent ineptness of the coup forces. My first hypothesis explaining this ineptness plus other peculiarities of the coup was that the plotters were unwittingly working in a dark operation run by Turkish security forces, intended to make them fail while flushing them out and giving Erdogan a free hand.
This possibility of Russian advance warning put together with Erdogan’s own belief that the coup originated in America should yield some serious geopolitical shifts in the region.
We could have an even stronger rapprochement between Turkey and Russia than was already underway, a rapprochement, by the way, which could well have helped tip the United States into giving a wink and a nod (and of course, as always, some cash) to Turkish rebel forces.
But that would not be the only reason for America’s supporting a coup. The truth is, from the American point of view, Erdogan’s erratic behavior – shooting down a Russian war plane, firing artillery into Syria at American Kurdish allies, blackmailing Europe over large numbers of refugees resident in Turkish camps, and still other matters – over the last few years has added uncertainty and potential instability to a strategically important region.
Even if the United States were not involved in the coup, although right now Turkey’s government appears to believe firmly that it was, Putin’s warning would add a powerful positive element to Russian-Turkish relations.
Just as America’s failure to warn Erdogan adds a new negative element to Turkish-American relations. After all, no one is better equipped for international communication interception than the NSA. If the United States were not involved, why didn’t it warn Erdogan? Either way, the outcome is negative for Turkish-American relations.
One of the strongest suggestions for American involvement is the fact that Turkish jets, for bombing and fuel supplies, took off from the İncirlik Airbase during the coup. This airbase is Turkish, but has many Americans resident, including some high-level ones since there is not only a sizable air force stationed there but an estimated fifty thermonuclear bombs. The Turkish commander, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, was in daily contact with the Americans and sought asylum in the United States before he was arrested by Turkey.
If it is true that Putin warned Erdogan, this would also be the second time Putin has blunted the success of a major American-inspired coup, as he very much did in Ukraine.
Seems as though poor old America, for all its grossly swollen and over-paid security services, just cannot run a good coup anymore.
Putin is disliked by Washington’s establishment precisely because he successfully blunted a huge and costly operation in Ukraine, so disliked that NATO has been pushed dangerously into something resembling the terrifying preparations for Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa in Eastern Europe, 1941.
And, of course, Putin also has thwarted the American effort to overthrow President Assad with paid and supplied proxy forces of mercenaries and religious maniacs. Interestingly, Erdogan has been a key player there. French intelligence has just estimated that even now about a hundred thugs cross the border from Turkey into Syria each week.
If Putin has now also stopped a Turkish adventure, the hissing in Washington will likely become much louder.
A new relationship between Turkey and Russia offers a lot of possibilities, none of them favorable from America’s point of view, the restart of the Turkish Stream natural gas project being just one.
And if Europe speaks up or acts too strongly against Erdogan’s counter-coup measures, there’s always the possibility of a new release of refugees from Turkish camps, something which could genuinely destabilize the EU after so many other recent woes. And smooth control of the EU has been one of America’s chief policy objectives for years.
Of course, we should remember that Churchill’s famous quote originally applied to Russia in the days of Stalin. It does not apply to contemporary Russia, and Putin’s deft moves have made some of America’s clumsy efforts at re-ordering the world rather make it resemble Stalin in international affairs.
Iraq war criminals deserve to be prosecuted. Britain’s Chilcot report is only the most recent example of a worthy cause needing to be addressed. But in 1979, long before false intelligence was used to justify the Iraq war, a heinous war crime was committed against Afghanistan by President’s Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
It’s not just Brzezinski who is culpable. It was the Washington bureaucracy that enabled Brzezinski to activate his Machiavellian plot of intentionally drawing the Soviets into his “Afghan Trap.”
How the Washington bureaucracy enabled Brzezinski’s scheme and why it’s still important today
Once the Soviets took Brzezinski’s bait and crossed the border into Afghanistan on December 27, 1979 the fates of both countries were doomed. As if in a trance, a complacent bureaucracy turned a blind eye to the lack of proof of the American claims that the Soviet invasion was a step towards world domination. Within days the beltway became a cheering squad, enabling Brzezinski to fulfill his imperial dream of giving the Soviets their own “Vietnam.” The bureaucracy’s motivation was simple. Brzezinski was winning the only game in town, the Cold War against the “Evil Empire.” The fact that Brzezinski’s deceitful plot could lead to the death of Afghanistan as a sovereign state did not concern Washington’s elites, either from the right or the left. Predictably, Afghans’ lives have been turned into an endless nightmare that festers to this day. Not only is Brzezinski’s scheme continuing to undermine Afghanistan’s sovereignty, his Russophobia also drives NATO’s unjustified aggression towards Russia today!
How Brzezinski activated his Russophobic Imperial Dream that now dominates Washington
In 1977 when Brzezinski stepped into the Oval office as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, his Russophobia was a well-known fact from Washington to Moscow. It was no surprise that he was not content with the American moderates’ pragmatic Cold War acceptance of coexistence with the Soviet state. The Polish born Brzezinski represented the ascendency of a radical new breed of compulsive xenophobic Eastern European intellectual bent on holding Soviet/American policy hostage to their pre-World War II world view. According to Brzezinski biographer Patrick Vaughan, Brzezinski rejected the very legitimacy of the Soviet Union itself, calling it “a cauldron of conquered nationalities brutally consolidated over centuries of Russian expansion.”
Racism is not a basis for a rational foreign policy
A phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear. Therefore it is reasonable to define a Russophobe as one who has an irrational fear of Russians. Simply put, a Russophobe hates Russians for being Russian! That’s called racism, pure and simple, not the basis of creating rational foreign policy. The Beltway should have demanded that a well-known Russophobe like Brzezinski back his claims with proof that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the first step to taking over the world. Instead, the Washington Bureaucracy dined out on his fantasy and we have been living with the consequences ever since.
The Bureaucracy knows Brzezinski has always been a Russophobe
Paul Warnke, President Carter’s SALT II negotiator put Brzezinski’s racial bias this way in an interview we conducted with him in 1993. “It was almost an ethnic thing with Zbig, basically that inbred Polish attitude toward the Russians. And that of course that was what frustrated the Carter Administration. [Secretary of State] Vance felt very much the way that I did. Brzezinski felt the opposite. And Carter couldn’t decide which one of them he was going to follow. So it adds up to a recipe for indecision.” Warnke went on to say that he believed the Soviets would never have invaded Afghanistan in the first place if Carter had not fallen victim to Brzezinski’s irrational attitude toward détente and his undermining of SALT II. In our own research into the causes of the Soviet invasion we did prove Warnke’s assumption that there would have been no invasion without Brzezinski’s willful use of entrapment.
At a conference conducted by the Nobel Institute in 1995, a high-level group of former US and Soviet officials faced off over the question: Why did the Soviets invade Afghanistan? Former National Security Council staff member Dr. Gary Sick established that the US had assigned Afghanistan to the Soviet sphere of influence years before the invasion. So why did the US choose an ideologically-biased position when there were any number of verifiable fact-based explanations for why the Soviets invaded? To former CIA Director Stansfield Turner, responsibility could only be located in the personality of one specific individual. “Brzezinski’s name comes up here every five minutes; but nobody has as yet mentioned that he is a Pole.” Turner said. “[T]he fact that Brzezinski is a Pole, it seems to me was terribly important.” What Turner was suggesting in 1995 was that Brzezinski’s well-known Russophobia led him to take unjustifiable advantage of a Soviet miscalculation.
The conference revealed that “self-fulfilling prophecies,” “a dubious deductive apparatus,” and “decisions that provoked as often as they deterred” provided the operating system for more than a decade of Cold War policy under Presidents Carter and Reagan. Numerous scholars pondered Brzezinski’s decision-making process before, during and after the Soviet invasion. Dr. Carol Saivetz of Harvard University testified, “Whether or not Zbig was from Poland or from someplace else, he had a world view, and he tended to interpret events as they unfolded in light of it. To some extent, his fears became self-fulfilling prophecies… Nobody looked at Afghanistan and what was happening there all by itself.”
But it wasn’t until the 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview that Brzezinski boasted that he had provoked the invasion, by getting Carter to authorize a presidential finding to intentionally suck the Soviets in, six months before Moscow considered invading. Yet, despite Brzezinski’s admission, Washington’s entire political spectrum continued to embrace his original false narrative, that the Soviets were embarked on world conquest.
Brzezinski’s Russophobia is still the basis of U.S. foreign policy towards Russia
For Brzezinski, getting the Soviets to invade Afghanistan was an opportunity to shift Washington toward an unrelenting hard line against the Soviet Union. By using deceit combined with covert action, he created the conditions needed to provoke a Soviet defensive response, which he then used as evidence of Soviet expansion. However, after Brzezinski’s exaggerations and outright lies about Soviet intentions became accepted, they found a home in America’s imagination and never left. US foreign policy, since that time, has operated in a delusion of triumphalism, provoking international incidents and then capitalizing on the chaos.
Brzezinski’s current status as the almost mystical “wise elder” of American foreign policy should be viewed with extreme caution given the means by which he achieved it. Today, the legacy of Brzezinski’s Russophobic ideological agenda continues through many acolytes including his two sons, as they carry on the Brzezinski lineage by aggressively pushing beltway polices towards dangerous confrontations with Russia. Tragically, Brzezinski’s legacy also lives on in the failed state of Afghanistan as the hated Taliban are poised to take over again. While all this horror is happening to the Afghan people, NATO forces are using Brzezinski’s homeland of Poland to push provocatively against Russia’s border.
The role that Brzezinski played, as well as those officials who enabled him to cause the death of Afghanistan while intentionally triggering the rise of Islamic extremism, must be examined. Building to a trial, even in absentia, will begin the desperately needed process of breaking the trance-like hold Brzezinski’s Russophobia still has on Washington’s foreign policy that is denying its core role in creating Islamic extremism and driving America to the brink of nuclear war with Russia.
No matter whom the next president is, if we are to save America, this forty year old crime against Afghanistan must first be made right.