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Monday, February 29, 2016

The IDF Goes Nazi?

[Ariadna: That the IDF should obligate its soldiers to shave their beards is shocking. Only the Nazis made the religious Jews part with their beards. What next? Obligatory showers using s-p?! Many of these brave soldiers must have heard horror tales told by someone who knew someone who was a Survivor of the death camps, where the Nazis forced the Jews into the showers (before gassing them, which came post-shower but before the oven) and made them scrub themselevs with s-p, and how the victims could lose a lot of weight, as much as a pound per shower, after such a torture. That is how the notion that the dreaded s-p was made of Jewish fat came into being. But remember: just because it did not happen does not mean it is not true.
The JP article says shaving with a razor is utterly prohibited by religious law, but using an electric shaver is OK. Maybe one can get away with that because the buzzing distracts Yahweh. Anyway, compulsive cleaning is a Nazi thing.]
Controversy over beard permit beards seen as another blow to the authority of the IDF Rabbinate

Large numbers of religious IDF soldiers have had requests to have a beard while serving denied in recent weeks, ahead of a new directive from the IDF Manpower directorate which will make it more difficult to obtain permission to grow a beard.
The development led to Bayit Yehudi MKs Moti Yogev and Betzalel Smotrich to call for the new directive to be scrapped.
In general, it is prohibited to have a beard while serving as an IDF soldier or officer but until now exemptions could be granted by the IDF Rabbinate.
Jewish law prohibits shaving with a razor blade, although shaving with an electric shaver is permitted. Many religious people are stringent not to shave at all however.
In December, a new directive was issued by the IDF Manpower Directorate which will require not only approval from the IDF Rabbinate but also from the soldier’s unit commander and from the IDF Adjutant Corps, a branch of the Manpower directorate.
The new requirements are set to go into effect on Tuesday and requires anyone who has had a beard until now to re-apply for the exemption.
The prominent national-religious figure Rabbi Shlomo Aviner compared the new IDF beard rules to the Nazis who humiliated Jews often publicly by cutting off their beards.

Iran: Conservatives Win Parliament Majority, Reformists Take Tehran Seats

The first results of Iran Parliamentary elections were released on Monday, showing that the Conservatives have won the most seats in the Friday  elections, while the reformists-moderates coalition has garnered a strong support in the capital.
According to Interior Ministry results, the Conservatives have won 50 percent of the seats, the reformists have garnered 44 percent of the votes and independent candidates have earned 6 percent of the 290-seat parliament.Iran Palriament
The reformist camp which allied with President, Sheikh Hasan Rouhani, in the elections staged a comeback, especially in the capital where preliminary results Sunday showed them taking all 30 seats at the expense of conservatives.
Campaigning under its “List of Hope”, a slate of reformist candidates supporting the president and his government after its recent nuclear deal with world powers secured strong backing and will regain significant power in parliament.
According to partial results from 274 out of parliament’s 290 seats, the main conservative list will have 100 MPs, reformists and moderates from the List of Hope 94, and Independents 11.
There were also four conservative-leaning independent MPs elected and five minorities of no political affiliation.
However 60 constituencies had no clear winner, meaning a second round run-off will be needed in a field that has more conservatives than reformists and moderates.
The Parliamentary and the Experts Assembly elections were held across Iran on Friday, Feb 26, 2016, with over 33 million eligible voters taking part.
According to the latest report by the Interior Ministry, the turnout of eligible voters’ participation in the polls exceeded 60 percent.
Source: Agencies

29-02-2016 – 15:11 Last updated 29-02-2016 – 15:11
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Imam Khamenei Hails Nation over Proving Religious Democracy to World
Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei hailed the Iranian nation on Sunday over its massive turnout in the February 26 elections and demonstrating to the world the achievements of religious democracy.
In a message issued on the occasion of Parliament [Majlis] and Assembly of Experts elections, he said, “The next Majlis will shoulder heavy duties and it is hoped that the public will witness in it the standard of being responsible before God and people.”
“The Islamic Iran is proud of its people” because of the strength of rules that have provided such opportunities for upholding the nation’s dignity, the Leader added.
Imam Khamenei advised the elected candidates as well as the holders of positions in executive and judiciary branches to render their duties to the people through living a simple and honest life, preferring national interests, and standing against aliens’ interference.
“The current ultra-sensitive era requires the sensitivity, prudence, and firm determination of all people especially the officials,” read the message.
“Development is the country’s principle objective. Nominal development without independence or national dignity is not accepted,” he stressed, adding that development does not mean being digested in the global arrogance system.
Imam Khamenei also expressed his appreciation to those working for elections including its executives, supervisors, security agents, and the national media.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] also commended the Iranian nation for its participation in the country’s recent twin elections.
The IRGC’s Public Relations Office released a statement on Sunday, describing the participation as “large-scale, passionate, and devastating for [the country’s] enemies.”
“This stalwart nation… should be praised for its diligence and will in letting down the frontline comprising the sworn enemies of Islam and the Islamic Revolution, who are being led by the United States.”
Results so far show that, while candidates from the Principlist camp have gained a majority when the entire country is taken into account, rival reformists have scored better results in Tehran, which is allotted the highest number of seats in both the Parliament and the Assembly of Experts, taking almost all seats for the capital. Over all, reformists have also been able to send more candidates into the parliament and the Assembly of Experts compared to previous elections for the two institutions.
“There is no doubt that those chosen by the nation will subjugate the global hegemony and arrogance to their perceptiveness and alertness,” the IRGC statement read.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
29-02-2016 | 10:31

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Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal "In any Palestinian-israeli war, Saudi Arabia supports israel"


Saudi prince: In any Palestinian-Israeli war, Saudi Arabia supports Israel

Kuwait City — According to Kuwaiti Al Qabas daily, the flamboyant Saudi Prince and entrepreneur, al-Waleed bin Talal posited that his country must reconsider its regional commitments and devise a new strategy to combat Iran’s increasing influence in Gulf States by forging a Defense pact with Tel Aviv to deter any possible Iranian moves in the light of unfolding developments in the Syria and Moscow’s military intervention.

“The whole Middle-East dispute is tantamount to matter of life and death for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from my vantage point ,and I know that Iranians seek to unseat the Saudi regime by playing the Palestinian card , hence to foil their plots Saudi Arabia and Israel must bolster their relations and form a united front to stymie Tehran’s ambitious agenda,” Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) quoted Prince al-Waleed as saying on Tuesday , adding, Riyadh and Tel Aviv must achieve a modus vivendi , for Saudi policy in regard to Arab-Israeli crisis is no longer tenable.

Iran seeks to buttress its presence in the Mediterranean by supporting Assad regime in Syria, added Prince al-Waleed, but to the chagrin of Riyadh and its sister Gulf sheikhdoms , Putin’s Russia has become a real co-belligerent force in Syrian 4-year-old civil war by attacking CIA-trained Islamist rebels. Here surfaces the paramount importance of Saudi-Israeli nexus to frustrate Russia-Iran-Hezbollah axis.

“I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian Intifada( uprising) and i shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv , because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment,” Al Qabas cited the Saudi media tycoon as he is in a regional tour, visiting the other Gulf Arab littoral states–Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman–to muster support for Saudi-backed Islamist rebels in Syria.

No longer able to justify its illegal military presence in Bahrain – a tiny Arabian Gulf Kingdom, occupied by Saudi forces to stifle the 2011 pro-deaconry movement–, some high-profile Saudi officials, namely Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, voiced their willingness to annex Bahrain. These flagrant statements drew wide condemnation from nearly every quarter of the Arab world.

“…you know the union with Bahrain doesn’t explicitly mean to annex our dear neighbors, but in fact we are wary about the future of Bahrain, its people security and well-being. 
Bahrain is the home to U.S. fifth fleet which its presence is of vital interest for Saudi Arabia, thus we can not permit Iran to wreak havoc in our back yard,” said the Saudi Prince, vindicating his previous brash comments regarding the annexation of Bahrain.

Source: AWDNews

Israeli-US Military Drills Declare New War on Gaza

Zionist drills in occupied PalestineZionist military outlets reported on Sunday that Gaza unit of the occupation army has started a new large-scale military drill in the Asqalan area and its environs simulating the war on Gaza Strip in Occupied Palestine.
The5-day  joint drill between US and Zionist armies will also simulate different scenarios, including the tunnels threat, attacks against Zionist front, and implementation of the lessons learned from previous exercises, such as the limitations appeared during confrontation with the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group in Egypt’s Sinai.
Zionist army spokesman said in a statement that the maneuver was planned in advance and is part of the annual training program for 2016.
It will take place in the industrial area of Asqalan, which implies active military aviation in the place due carrying out raids in the southern region, he added.
According to Walah website, the forces involved in the maneuver will navigate in an area similar to Gaza Strip, and will work to collect real time information and how to counter the threat of tunnels.
It will also include the plan implemented by local authorities in the settlements adjacent to the fence, and how military forces take decisions on the evacuation of settlements from the front line.

Source: Al-Manar Website
28-02-2016 – 17:16 Last updated 28-02-2016 – 17:16
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Refugee Crisis: EU Cites Missing Libyan Navy It Destroyed in 2011

February 29, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – News agencies are reporting on a Wikileaks report detailing the EU’s “Operation Sophia,” an allegedly covert military operation aimed at stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.
The International Business Times in their report, “WikiLeaks leak ‘classified report’ indicating EU Operation could move into Libyan territory,” would report that:
WikiLeaks has released a “classified report” about the first six months of Operation Sophia, the EU military intervention against refugee boats in Libya and Mediterranean. 

The leaked report is dated 29 January 2016 and written by the operation commander, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino of the Italian Navy. It allegedly provides statistics on refugee flows and outlines the phases of Operation Sophia, including future strategies of the operation. The report has been published for the European Union Military Committee and the Political and Security Committee of the EU.
Perhaps the most ironic aspect of “Operation Sophia” is the EU’s ultimate exit strategy, creating a functioning Libyan navy capable of policing its own shores. The Times would report:
The report published by WikiLeaks notes that their “exit strategy” involves ensuring that a “well-resourced Libyan Coastguard can protect their own borders and prevent irregular migration taking place from their shores”. It also mentions an “EU comprehensive approach to help secure their invitation to operate inside [Libyan] territory”.
It is particularly ironic that the EU now sorely needs a Libyan navy to police its own coasts because until 2011, it already had one. Some may wonder what happened to that navy. Within the answer lies the irony.
US-EU Destroyed the Navy in 2011 it now Needs to Restore Order Back to the Med 
In broad daylight in the middle of May, 2011, NATO laid waste to three separate locations in the North African nation of Libya. The targets, more specifically, were ports used by the nation’s navy. Several warships would be sunk, among many more that would be destroyed during the conflict. In addition to ships, the facilities supporting them were also utterly destroyed.
Even before the first NATO bomb dropped on Libya in 2011, geopolitical analysts had warned of the refugee crisis that would be triggered along with a variety of other humanitarian and security concerns that would evolve with the destruction of not only the Libyan navy, but the stabilizing effects of the Libyan government itself.
Indeed, many migrants and refugees from across Africa came to Libya to live and work. They were supported by and supporters of the Libyan government, but reviled by US-backed terrorists based in eastern Libya’s Cyrenaica region. During the conflict, the Western media disingenuously depicted these Libyans as “African mercenaries” to account for the subsequent racist genocide carried out by NATO-backed terrorists.
When the terrorists of Benghazi, Derna, and Tobruk finally overran the country with NATO backing, entire cities of Libya’s black population were emptied out either through genocide, into concentration camps, or driven out of the country into neighboring Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria.
Refugees eventually following those who destroyed and plundered their nation back to the den in which their nation’s future was stolen to, was all but inevitable. NATO’s own terrorist proxies were also expected to leverage the lawlessness of America and Europe’s “new” Libya, turning it into a base for Mediterranean piracy and human trafficking. The US State Department itself, in post-regime change Libya, would go as far as constructing terrorist networks through which weapons and fighters were forwarded to Turkey and onward to Syria and Iraq.
The Destruction of Libya “Uncorked” a Volatile Brew  
If the continent of Africa and the many countries within it subjected to both over and covert Western meddling, exploitation, and subversion was a bottle, Libya was the cork. It provided a means of preventing the pressure building up from various conflicts from exploding into Europe – one of the primacy culprits driving these conflicts. France alone – one of the most vocal nations decrying the “migrant crisis,” currently has troops stationed in African nations including the Central African Republic (2,000), Chad (950), Ivory Coast (450), Djibouti (2,470), Gabon (1,000), Mali (2,000), and Senegal (430).
These nations either constitute, or are bordering those nations producing the most refugees flooding in to Europe with the exception of Syria, which France, along with several other European nations and the United States are bombing and arming terrorists on the ground in, and Afghanistan, occupied by NATO since 2001.
With Europe’s very intentional transformation of Libya from a bastion of stability to a divided and destroyed wasteland, the bottle was uncorked, and the poisonous brew the US and Europe had been developing, exploded like a volcano.
Europe plays the victim of a region-wide conflagration it itself not only intentionally lit, but continuously poured gasoline upon ever since. The missing Libyan navy it itself helped send to the bottom of the Mediterranean being cited as a contributing factor to the severity of the current “migrant crisis” is an indictment of the “international order” the EU and its Transatlantic partners both claim to uphold, and predicated the destruction of Libya and the incremental occupation of the African continent upon. 
For other nations around the world, including Eastern Europe, Russia, and beyond, who played no role in the West’s various wars – or even openly opposed Western military aggression – they have no obligation to take responsibility for refugees created by these wars, thus attempting to wade into the refugee debate in Europe is both unnecessary and unbecoming.
Regardless of how the US and Europe attempt to wield “international law,” it is clear that they are directly responsible for the instability driving millions of people from their homes, and they have intentionally elected to continue destabilizing these regions of the world.
They cannot elect, therefore to avoid the consequences of their meddling, nor demand others to share the burden of these consequences. That the EU desperately seeks the help of a fleet it itself sent to the bottom of the sea illustrates perfectly the self-inflicted nature of this crisis.
Compounding and Exploiting Crisis 
Finally, it should be noted, that the Wikileaks report also indicates that not only does the EU seek to replace a fleet it itself sank in 2011 which led to the crisis in the first place, it is also seeking to expand EU military jurisdiction far beyond EU territory, predicated on a disaster of its own making.
The report states specifically that: 
 It also mentions an “EU comprehensive approach to help secure their invitation to operate inside [Libyan] territory
For Europeans – many of whom were complacent as their respective governments went to war against Libya in 2011 – they must understand that the chaos unfolding in their streets has not only been intentionally created, but is being cynically used to expand the control of special interests both at home and abroad. With the EU’s naval operations extending into Libyan territory, it will be all that much easier to secure and exploit Libya’s coastal oil assets, while keeping the rest of the country divided against themselves and collectively too weak to protect and use their own resources for their own nation’s future.
Unfair hands are being dealt all around. Instead of fighting over who has the worst hand, the world must expose and deal with those who have rigged the deck.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.   

NYT Reinvented History of War on Libya


2-29-16

The Times operates as a quasi-official ministry of state propaganda, featuring misinformation and Big Lies on major issues mattering most – systematically suppressing what readers need to know.
Its two-part misreporting on US-led NATO’s war on Libya was called “Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall” (Part I) and “A New Libya, With ‘Very Little Time Left’ “ (Part II) – a shameless perversion of truth, an utter disregard for the raping and pillaging of a sovereign independent state, the immiseration of its people.
North Africa’s most developed nation was transformed into a cauldron of endless violence, instability, turmoil, deep poverty, mass unemployment and appalling human misery.
Hillary Clinton’s contemptible October 2011 remark after hearing of Muammar Gaddafi’s death, saying “(w)e came, we saw, he died” will long define her pure evil. A shocking graphic video showed US-supported terrorists sodomized him to death with a knife.
Clinton was directly involved in orchestrating US-led NATO terror-bombing, wanting Libya’s sovereign independence destroyed, its oil wealth pillaged, its people exploited – its popular government providing social services most Americans can’t imagine replaced by US-installed puppets serving its interests.
Claiming Washington’s aim was establishing a democratic Libya was pure subterfuge. Clinton is a notorious war criminal, supporting all US naked aggression during her roles as first lady, US senator and secretary of state.
The Times claiming she “belie(ved) in America’s power to do good in the world” was pure rubbish. Longstanding US imperial policy tolerates no sovereign independent states, wanting them all eliminated by coups or brute force.
Clinton supports US interventionist policy, flagrantly breaching core international law. She declined to be interviewed for The Times report.
Ludicrously in public she said it’s “too soon to tell” how things will turn out in Libya. It’s a failed state, raped and destroyed by US imperial viciousness, human misery afflicting its people, no end of violence and turmoil in sight.
US, UK and French policymakers knew attacking Libya would create the out-of-control conditions affecting the country today.
Endless wars, turbulence and chaos serve US imperial interests. Peace and stability defeat it. Wherever America shows up, dystopian harshness follows.
Conditions following Washington’s intervention in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Somalia, Libya and elsewhere reflect pure US imperial evil.
The Times claiming Clinton helped orchestrate humanitarian intervention in Libya mocks its US-led rape and destruction.
Times editorial policy endorses all US imperial wars and others planned, ignoring their objectives, mindless of the horrors they inflict.
Protests in Libya preceding US-led NATO aggression were orchestrated in Washington, war planned months in advance. Obama, Clinton and likeminded administration policymakers wanted Gaddafi removed for multiple reasons.
He supported pan-Africanism, a United States of Africa free from imperial domination. He wanted Libyans sharing in the country’s oil wealth, a notion foreign to America and other Western powers.
Under his 1999 Decision No. 111, all Libyans got free healthcare, education, electricity, water, training, rehabilitation, housing assistance, disability and old-age benefits, interest-free state loans, as well as generous subsidies to study abroad, buy a new car, help couples when they marry, practically free gasoline, and more.
Literacy under Gaddafi rose from 20 – 80%. Libya’s hospitals and private clinics were some of the region’s best. Now they’re in shambles.
Vital public services he provided no longer exist. Pre-war, Libyans had African’s highest standard of living. Homelessness was nonexistent.
Gaddafi believed all Libyans had a right to a home or rent-free apartment, notions unheard of in the West.
He rejected farcical Western-style money-controlled so-called democracy, deplored crony capitalism and neoliberal harshness.
During his tenure, women had the right to vote, participate politically, as well as own and sell property independently of their husbands.
Clause 5 of Libya’s 1969 Constitution granted them equal status with men, notably for education and employment.
In January 2011, weeks before US-led NATO naked aggression, the UN Human Rights Council praised Gaddafi’s instituted political, economic, education, social and cultural rights.
It lauded his treatment of religious minorities. He had nothing to do with downing Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, nor did falsely accused Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi.
He called his Great Man-Made River (GMMR) development of an ocean-sized aquifer beneath Libya’s sands the “Eighth Wonder of the World” – wanting all Libyans sharing in its benefits.
Washington and rogue Western partners wanted it privatized for exclusive corporate gain.
Under Gaddafi, the Central Bank of Libya was state-owned, the interest-free Libyan dinar used for productive economic growth, not speculation, profits and bonuses for predatory bankers.
Gaddafi funded Africa’s only communications satellite, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for low-cost incoming and outgoing calls.
He provided two-thirds of the $42 billion needed to launch a public African Central Bank, Monetary Fund and Investment Bank.
He advocated a new gold standard, replacing dollars with gold dinars, aiming to provide real monetary wealth and value, free from predatory Western  lending agencies.
Washington wants dollar hegemony as the world’s reserve currency maintained, an agenda challenged by Russia, China and other nations increasingly trading bilaterally in their own currencies.
In 1977, Gaddafi transformed the Libyan Republic into the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – a “state of the masses.”
In 1979, he established direct participatory democracy, devolving power to tribal leaders. In 1986, Libya became the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Gaddafi was no dictator. He was a visionary, a revolutionary leader, wanting Libyan society based on equity, justice and fair distribution of national wealth.
He enjoyed strong popular support. He was a marked man. Washington wanted him eliminated, his progressive anti-Western policies replaced by predatory capitalist rapaciousness.
The deplorable Times report reinvented Clinton’s war on Libya, ignored Gaddafi’s vibrant model social state.
It played a leading role in endorsing US-led naked aggression, misportrayed as humanitarian intervention.
It supports Hillary Clinton, backs her presidential aspirations – instead of exposing her war crimes, denouncing her pure evil, and demanding she be held fully accountable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
– See more


Truce, what truce? israel doesn't understand the meaning of the word


Sunday February 28, 2016 - 15:39
Israeli military boats and border forces early Sunday morning opened machine gunfire on Palestinian fishermen and farmers offshore of the northern Gaza Strip and to the south of the Strip, respectively, according to WAFA correspondence. Full Story


Monday February 29, 2016 - 10:18
Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, on Monday at dawn, at least eight Palestinians, in different parts of the West Bank, and took them to a number of interrogation facilities and military bases. The army also demolished residential structures east of Tubas. Full Story

Soldiers Attack And Detain A Child Near Ramallah

Monday February 29, 2016 - 09:50
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, the town of Silwad, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, detained a child for several hours and repeatedly struck and beat him, causing various injuries. Full Story
Soldiers Attack And Kidnap A Palestinian Teen After Shooting Him In Jerusalem

Monday February 29, 2016 - 08:29
Israeli soldiers shot, on Sunday, a Palestinian teen in the al-‘Eesawiyya town, in occupied Jerusalem, and kidnapped him. The army also kidnapped another Palestinian and invaded several neighborhoods leading to clashes. Full Story
Soldiers Kidnap A Palestinian In Hebron, Injure Another In Gaza

Monday February 29, 2016 - 08:00
Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, on Sunday evening, a Palestinian teen from Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank district of Hebron. The soldiers also shot and injured a Palestinian
Israeli troops invade village near Bethlehem, critically wounding two Palestinians

Sunday February 28, 2016 - 23:13
On Sunday, Israeli forces invaded the village of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, and began firing live ammunition randomly throughout the village, according to local sources. Two Palestinians were critically wounded: a middle-aged dentist and a 16-year old boy. Full Story
Settlers Raid Salfit Village, Escorted by Army

Sunday February 28, 2016 - 15:28
A group of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli military forces, raided the village of Yasuf, in the northern West Bank district of Salfit ,on Saturday. Full Story
MEANWHILE
US to Increase Israeli Military Support

Sunday February 28, 2016 - 14:55
US officials have agreed to an Israeli request to increase annual military aid, according to Israeli public radio. Full Story
Thanks to  http://www.imemc.org/index.php

Erdogan, Genocide, and ISIS – The Sultan is Doomed

February 27, 2016

By Michael Collins



Turkish President Recep Teyyip Erdogan’s attempts to demonize the Syrian Kurd’s YPG army and threaten and bully the United States are having the net effect of creating a powerful movement for his removal based on a rationale that will encourage the public in the United States and Europe to forget the real culprits in the tragic attack on Syria and focus on charges of genocide leveled against ISIS. The genocide charge will be tied to Erdogan as a result of his documented support for ISIS and ultimately doom his increasingly dictatorial rule of Turkey. Rather than divert the attention of Turks from his crimes and massive negligence as a means to preserve his power, Erdogan’s castigation of the Kurds and, more significantly, his public blackmail of the U.S. will spell his doom in the near future.
Erdogan is lashing out in all directions as he experiences the collapse of his allout support for Syrian rebels, including ISIS. The president’s anger at the United States is both surprising and dangerous. For weeks, Erdogan has objected to U.S. support of the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish army that controls nearly the entire Syrian border region with Turkey.
The spark that lit Erdogan’s fuse occurred about ten days before the start of the U.S. – Russia sponsored Munich peace conference on the Syrian conflict. The YPG and the Syrian Arab Army are the only major land forces fighting ISIS. While YPG should have been invited to the Munich conference, the U.S. accommodated Erdogan by leaving them off list of invited parties.
About the same time that YPG was removed from the Munich conference, the White House sent Brett McGurk, “President Barack Obama’s envoy to an international coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq” to visit Syrian Kurdish forces in Kobani, Syria. French and British officials made the trip with McGurk. The envoy made clear U.S. admiration and support for the YPG’s efforts. Unlike Erdogan and his foreign minister, the Kurds welcomed the delegation with open arms and muted their concerns about being left out of the Munich affair.
Instead of accepting a partial victory, Erdogan and his foreign minister threatened the U.S. with a harsh choice. The U.S. must show that it is either for Turkey by labeling the YPG as terrorists or against Turkey by continuing to support YPG and its efforts against ISIS.
Bitterness toward the U.S. continued, including implied threats of a Turkish-Saudi land attack on Syria.
The Turks then took direct action by shelling YPG forces that were closing in on the critical Syrian border town of Azas.
Despite the provocation, Washington tried to be even handed. State Department spokesman Mark Toner suggested that the YPG stop its advance on Azaz and, at the same time, asked the Turks to end their daily barrage of YPG and other anti-ISIS forces in Syria. The Turkish army continued the barrage.
After days of threats to the U.S. and rash actions against its Kurdish allies, on February 20 The Sakernoted the abject folly of Erdogan’s statements and actions: “If Erdogan and his advisors seriously believe that they can publicly blackmail a superpower like the USA then their days are numbered.“
Unfortunately, for Erdogan, he didn’t get The Saker’s memo. On February 24, the Turkish leader said: “If Daesh (IS/ISIS) and Al-Nusra are kept outside the ceasefire, then the PYD-YPG must similarly be excluded from the ceasefire for it is a terrorist group just as they are,” Erdogan told local officials in Ankara.”
Why is the current Turkish government obsessed with the YPG? There are several reasons, none of them related to terrorism and all of them about the survival of the amazingly corrupt and repellant Erdogan, his family, and cronies in the AKP party.
What do Erdogan and company have to fear?
Jail.
Erdogan and his cronies were caught engaged in the following on publicly released audiotapes:instructing his son on how and where to hide huge sums of cash that neither party wanted found; telling judges how to decide critical cases in his interests; planning a false flag operation in which Turkish troops would fire weapons at the Turkish border from within Syria and assign the blame to Syria; ordering government takeovers of private corporations, media outlets in particular, that simply opposed his government; ordering the release of weapons bound for Syrian rebels held up by local authorities at the Syrian border; and enabling the transit and sale of ISIS oil traveling over the Turkish landmass and shipped from Turkish ports.
These criminal acts are well known in Turkey. Should any government other than one controlled by Erdogan come to power, then Erdogan, his family members, and his cronies will go to trial and likely be sentenced to serious jail time.
What does Erdogan have to fear more than jail?
Barack Obama.
You might ask why I didn’t say Vladimir Putin. That’s simple. Putin is indeed Erdogan’s enemy, one he should greatly fear. However, Erdogan doesn’t work for Putin, he works for Obama. Putin can make life very difficult for Erdogan, but only Obama can fire him. Turkey is part of NATO, which is up to its neck in supporting Islamic extremists fighting to topple the government of Syria. More specifically, Erdogan has been a willing servant of the White House through Turkey’s key role in training, supplying, and transferring foreign fighters into Syria and supporting homegrown rebels.
Erdogan’s wholehearted support of the Syrian rebels didn’t happen as a result of any long-held Shia-Sunni antipathy or due to his steadfast opposition to Bashar Al-Assad, Syria’s elected president. As late as 2010, Erdogan was engaged in personal diplomacy with Al-Assad for closer trade and security relations. But when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said ‘Assad must go,’ Erdogan fell in line immediately. This path was sweetened by inducements by Saudi Arabia but there was no question that the maestro was (and is): President Barack Obama.
Over recent weeks, as it became obvious that the U.S. ‘Assad must go’ policy was a failure, it was time for Erdoğan to back down and follow the leader. This was necessary for two compelling reasons. First, Erdogan isn’t the leader. Obama is. Turkey is not the world’s dominant superpower. The United States is.
The second reason to follow Obama’s lead is subtler.
Everything Turkey has done to stoke the flames of Islamist extremism, including support for the rise of ISIS, was done with the full knowledge and, in many cases, involvement of the White House and its subordinates in London, Paris, and Berlin. Turkey was the frontline state. But Obama and his supporting cast of NATO leaders were providing instructions and pitching in.
Had Turkey cooperated and allowed what will happen inevitably to happen quietly, i.e., peace in Syria with a government chosen by Syrians, then the White House and company could have taken a victory lap with the knowledge than no one will be inclined to take a serious look at what they all did to destroy a society.
By failing to cooperate and making a spectacle of defying Obama, Turkey raises the risk of a more detailed examination of this entire sordid affair – the real cause of the loss of 250,000 lives in Syria; the real cause of the refugee crisis (there was none prior to the attack on Syria); the strong support, direct or indirect, by all parties of jihadist extremists who gloried in the killing of Christians, Druze, and other minorities in Syria.
Erdogan’s attempt to create an ever expanding set of dramas to divert public attention finally provoked what appears to be a rationale for his removal.
Here’s the emerging basis for end pseudo Sultan’s demise.
Foundations for the end of Erdogan – backing ISIS genocide
The White House is facing pressure to label as genocide the actions of ISIS.. The pressure comes from American Catholics, the Vatican, Republicans, and some Democrats including Hillary Clinton, and an assortment of academics.
Secretary of State John Kerry was pressured to apply the label at a recent congressional hearing. At that hearing of the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (February 24), Representative Jeff Fortenberry, Republican of Nebraska, asked Secretary of State John Kerry to “use the authority and power of your office to call this [ISIS attacks on Christians and other minorities] genocide.” Kerry responded by saying “… obviously none of us have ever seen anything like this in our lifetimes though obviously to go back to the holocaust the world has seen it.”
press by Rep. Fortenberry’s office just after the hearing demonstrated the bipartisan nature of the effort to declare ISIS anathema.
“A growing coalition is urging the world to recognize that ISIL is committing genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities. While Secretary of State John Kerry has not yet reached that conclusion [to label ISIS acts as genocide], I was grateful for his willingness to openly engage in a thoughtful dialogue on this gravely important matter. I hope the State Department makes a comprehensive and inclusive genocide designation soon.”
This is not at all typical behavior by House Republicans toward the secretary of state and it is no accident.   The words “grateful and willingness to engage” along with “thoughtful dialog” are a clear sign of bipartisan coalescence against ISIS. Those in Congress and the White House who supported the cause of Syrian rebels and who enabled Turkey’s supply of material and funds by their failure to object are now standing together to characterize ISIS actions in the harshest terms, genocide.
This accomplishes two purposes. It provides a major diversion from any serious examination of the history of U.S. policy in the conflict, including the start of the attack by demands that ‘Assad must go.’
The genocide label is also a pretext to correctly label President Erdogan and his cronies as both supporters of ISIS and the acts of genocide. The accusation is the opening act for the end of the Erdogan government. When the State Department does what Kerry indicated it will do by mid March, label ISIS actions as genocide, the sentence will be served and the survival of Erdogan’s government will become an affront to the world, the European Union, and NATO. How on earth can we have a nation, an international partner, that supports a group committing genocide will be the question asked again and again.
U.S., British, and French supporters of the attack on Syria will be able to hide their complicity in this abomination of a policy behind the more sensational demands that something be done to end the genocide. Since Turkey is the hands-on culprit as ISIS enabler and ally, there will be no possibility of distancing from the charge. At that point, Erdogan’s opponents in the AKP, who are already hinting of a party break up, and the three main opposition parties will unite to demand Erdogan’s removal. AKP founders Bulent Arinc and Abdullah Gul are two well known, highly regarded figures to watch. Arinc has already openly criticized the president about his policy towards Turkey’s Kurds.  A direct attack on Erdoğan by Gul for the ISIS scheme may well provide the coup de grace.
How that removal happens depends on the power centers of Turkish society. Erdogan will be hard pressed to find many supporters willing to risk EU trade relationships and NATO membership simply to preserve the power of the would-be Sultan. The president will struggle to find any business leaders or merchants to champion his cause if the Russian sanctions are joined or expanded by European nations. Erdogan will be a dictator unable to issue dictates, a bully who finds himself smaller that those he has consistently bullied, and, worst of all, an embarrassing and damaging inconvenience and impediment.
Erdogan is already doomed. He just doesn’t know it