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20 October 2015


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A small correction to the valuable piece: "While ISIS was hammering the Kurds in Kobane, the Kurds had stood by idly, ..." The second "the Kurds" should be "the Turks".


I stand corrected, thanks.


I think that Erdogan and Davutoglu are still trying to peddle their no-fly zone. They turned up their nose at the EU's money and visa bribe, and poured salt in old wounds by saying that Turkey won't be a "concentration camp." It's possible that they are holding out for more concessions on EU membership negotiations, but that's obviously a no-go and everybody knows it. I think Erdogan and Davutoglu are clowns enough to think that their no-fly zone is still possible, though. Or know that the ship has sailed and will spite the Euros for not acting on the no-fly zone while it was still possible. Either way, these clowns need to go, and soon.

Babak Makkinejad


France just concluded a $ 10 billion deal with Saudi Arabia.

Last year UK also concluded a major deal with them and UAE.

The air operations room in UAE flags of France and UK and Canada are hung together with those of the Arabs.

This is an alliance that encompasses NATO Alliance.

I mean, France can quit the Persian Gulf, where she has been waiting to attack Iran, and go home.

But she won't now, will she?

And what are those Dutch boats doing in the Gulfo de Persicos; defending Freedom of Navigation?


"The ... U.S. invasion and destruction of Iraq’s power and independence from Iran ensured that there was no way to sustain a stable balance of power in the Gulf that did not require the continuation of a huge, expensive, and locally burdensome American military presence there...

An unspoken objective of the neocons, to create such a mess to be able to insist that the US must permanently garrison the region. Of course, being neocons another unspoken objective is that they believe this will benefit Israel in the long run. It won't.

A good and very useful piece, CP. You have tied up everything nicely.

Babak Makkinejad


UK & Saudi Arabia


Germany & Saudi Arabia



Well, thank you for the kind words, but the credit for the quote has to go to Chas Freeman.

Linda Lau

I very much appreciate your bringing all this together. I, also, have been trying to make sense of Turkey's actions.


lets not give credit where none is due,

the neo cons believed their own bs, invading iraq was not meant to just result in pure chaos but was meant to install a client state.

they failed totally, and plan b happens to be in their favor as well, but this is not their intent.

Ishmael Zechariah

First and foremost, Turks living in Turkey are responsible for the (sorry) state of their state. However, understanding the last 15 years in Turkey requires separating Turkey from the various flocks of turkeys running around the place and understanding who feeds these gobbler packs.
1-You might remember that tayyip and AKP had significant support, materiel and propaganda, from the West in the beginning. It was actually an EU ideal to "reduce the influence of the Turkish Army" on the "civil" government. Their high commissioner to Turkey was actually recorded on tape discussing this. Why?
2-Fethullah and Co. which used lies, innuendo and blackmail to attack the secular state have their HQ in Pennsylvania, of all places. Why?
3-Separatist Kurds have had significant logistic and material help from the intelligence services of various governments. This costs a lot of money. Why?

It seems that the Turkish Republic built by Ataturk is a sore point for lots of nations. One recent example is the ethnicity question directed to the Turkish Nobel Laureate of this year by a BBC hack.
I have been trying to tease out the threads of this tapestry for a while. If I get any unique insights I will try to post here.
Ishmael Zechariah

Seamus Padraig

Erdogan is out of control. He's so far managed to alienate both the Russians and the Americans, and now, for good measure, he's working on the Europeans too. His little gambit in neighboring Syria is failing miserably, so what does he do? He rolls out a whole new war against the Kurds! Tell me: at this point, how many friends does Turkey have left? Qatar and Saudi Arabia? I don't care what anybody thinks about the hejav or drinking alcohol. This has gone far beyond the usual culture-war issues that color people's opinions of the AKP. This is now about the very survival of modern Turkey in some recognizable form.

If I were an enterprising young Kemalist general, I would be plotting a coup right now.


the ghosts of Qaddafi or abdul Nasser would say a Col. would work just fine.


It probably started when they insisted on hanging a president that had been in office for ten or so years. This was despite a personal appeal by European heads of state. They could have just as easily put him on a boat like the Egyptian's put King Farouk.



Thanks for helping to clarify Turkey’s role. It is muddled on purpose in corporate media.

I still am very much afraid that if the supply line is cut in Northern Syria; Turkey’s armed forces will intervene to save fellow Sunnis from “Iranian Aggression” and to solve the “Kurd Problem”. Then every state from Turkey to Yemen will be active participants in the Sunni Shiite Jihad. World War III is one mistake away.

Like airplane accidents, this catastrophe has been caused by a chain of events starting when the USA went to war with Iraq in 1990. Some of these events aren’t mentioned in corporate media. There may well be a tacit agreement between Russia and the West. The closest American Carrier is in the Indian Ocean. Safe from attack but unable to provide air support for a no fly zone over Syria demanded by six Presidential candidates including Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton which would start a war with Russia. The refugee crisis is also caused by austerity forced by the Eurozone on Greece which stopped enforcing its borders allowing the refugees to stream to the Balkan states and on to Germany. The USA is now in the schizophrenic position of supporting the same people it is bombing. The 10,000 or so U.S. troops and contractors on the ground in the Levant are in an untenable position of relying on the kindness of Kurds and Shiite Iraq while Shiite militias from Iraq are dying from TOW weapons supplied by the USA to Sunnis. Kurds are being bombed by Turkey a NATO member state and American ally.

Henry Kissinger says that the USA must join with Russia in the coalition to defeat the Caliphate and end the non-state Islamic threat. The basic flaw is that Western rulers are intent on lowering taxes, deregulation, weakening borders, fighting wars for profit, and transferring power from sovereign states to corporate controlled transnational institutions. These are what caused of the Sunni Shiite Holy War and the refugee crisis in the first place. The only way mankind is to survive is to return to the geopolitics of sovereign states, strong borders and regulated capitalism.

different clue


I have heard the Erdogists are also demanding visa-free travel for Turkish citizens throughout the European Union area. Including Turkish citizen members of IS, one supposes.

different clue

Seamus Padraig,

Didn't the Erdogists purge an awful lot of enterprising young Kemalist generals and colonels and others out of the Turkish Army with the so-called "Ergenekon" trials?


All of this makes sense but there's one thing that I don't understand. Who was able to orchestrate the PR blitz? I don't think Turkey could pull that off.


Last week it was Robert Gates calling for the NFZ under a milder sounding name "safe haven" and this week it's Hillary with McCain at her side. The usual warmongering neocons though I was surprised to hear it from Gates.

Who are they most influenced by? Saudis? Israelis?

NFZ is crazy talk at this point, in my view. It was always a terrible idea but now it's a trigger point and from what I've been reading from the experts here, it's not even realistic from a technical standpoint because of the systems the Russians have set up. Are they just flapping (knowing about the systems set up by the Russians) or do they really want to attempt to implement a NFZ?


Concerning Ghouta:

What about the following theory/speculation concerning Ghouta:

IS did Ghouta, and was agnostic about what would happen after it, because both US inaction and US strikes against Assad would have hugely benefited them.

Let me lay out while I think they had the means:
Precursors to the IS existed from around 2007, considerable parts of them were disgruntled Baathist officers, with no future in Iraq. They engaged in a pretty sophisticated campaign of confidence shattering, social engineering etc. which eventually included in the open rise of the IS. These groupings generally regarded the Iraqi-Syrian border as a strategic asset, since both Baghdad and Damascus were very keen on "passing the buck" to the other side of the border.
As a part of these efforts, they had conducted a considerable degree of infiltration of various grouping in Syria. This I think is pretty much undeniable. Secondly, Iraqi Baath officers orginally deployed in Saddams pre US Golf War 1 chemical weapons programm likely sought ways to maintain a chemical and/or biological weapon capability in the inter-gulf-war period, with or without actually crossing the boundary. The methods to maintain chemical weapon capability in sanctioned Iraq are very applicable to the operational problem of manufactoring some dozens litres of Sarin.
If such weapons existed, they were not used in 2003 because chemical weapons are political weapons, and the political and diplomatic damage from "no WMDs in Iraq" was far greater then the damage some minor Sarin or VX hits could have delivered to the American military.
Suffice to say that Iraqi chemical weapons specialists were nearly definitly Baath members, had nearly definitly no future in Shia Iraq, and would thus present high value members for Isis.

Cui Bono:
Concerning the motive, let us consider the 2 main possible outcomes of a Gas attack:

1: The USA intervenes, and either destroys Assad outright or greatly reduces his military capabilities. Since Assad is the strongest obstacle to Jihadi rule, this is a good outcome. Secondly, "non Jihadi opposition" is to a considerable degree united only by hatred of Assad/Alewites. With those unifying enemies gone, and non IS opposition would splinter even, and individual splinters would be easy pickings for the Islamic state.
Lastly, American will to intervene is not an infinite resource, if the Americans intervene once, and the result is complete anarchy with a growing Jihadist statelet, there may well be a sentiment that keeps them from intervening again.

2: The US does not intervene. In this case, any remaining "pro western opposition" would be weakened and devalued, something that suits the IS well. Secondly, the Assad goverment will conclude that the only way to ensure its survival is focus on utterly crushing or keeping tiny any possible group the USA could back, even if these groups are not even remotely military threatening on their own.

Let me expand on this a bit more: If the Americans, mistakenly, believe that "pro western groups" are militarily credible and go in to crush Assad, well, Assad will end up dead (and the Americans will end up with a desert), however, incredible post Assad troubles for the USA will be of scant consolation to either Assad or the Alawites. The Syrian goverment thus has a very very big incentive to comprehensively crush any potential pro western groups so completely that not even Washington could possibly deem them credible.
From the pov. of Isis, this distracts SAA resources from fighting them, and greatly minimizes the odds of a potential reconcilliation between the loyalist factions and their patrons (Russia, China, Iran) and the opposition groups and their backers. Again, this is a very beneficial effect for Isis.

One may also add that, if this speculative theory actually holds water, both the "opposition" and the "regime" will assume an enemy "false flag" since they would know that it wasnt them, which once more has the effect of lessening trust between different enemies of ISIS.

An interesting thing about this "theory" is that it is, as far as I know, not ruled out by any currently existing credible evidence, and that it offers the maximum number of fig leaves for the maximum number of actors involved in the Syrian tragedy.

Personally, I believe that any "reapproachment" between western and Russian factions (not neccessarily the USA) would need to start with mutually agreeable things, and I kind of hope that this theory is one such thing.

I am not making any claim about this being true, it could however prove to be usefull.


"It's possible that they are holding out for more concessions on EU membership negotiations, but that's obviously a no-go and everybody knows it."

It is stupid to start EU membership negotiations with a blackmail, the negotiations will take many years and require 28 yes votes. As Turk president I would have avoided the coupling of EU membership and Syria at all price.


http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001371 "The terrorist groups in Syria have received Sarin gas from Ankara," member of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Barish Arkadash said on Tuesday." I did not find any other confirmations nor can I read Turkish and verify the original source.


"It is stupid to start EU membership negotiations with a blackmail"

True, and I concede that I certainly do bear a grudge for what they have done.

Although, if Erdogan sees the entry negotiations as a process for the sake of process (because the EU is psycholgically and politically incapable of saying no) after which the Turks aren't going to be admitted, what's the loss?


I take it you suggest that the Saudi business is about buying political favours from Germany? The Saudis may think so, and in reality there indeed is a considerable degree of incluence money can buy. It works in the US (read Robert Baer and weep) and probably works in Germany, too.

Still, what IMO dominates the political side, I'd wager is by and large opportunistic, seeing these deals as opportuinities to keep jobs in Germany's export driven economy, as long as the buyers aren't too odious.

But at the end of the day the Gulfies are still mostly just a bunch of obnoxious pricks with a lot of money to spend whom nobody likes (which they probably suspect). That, and their nutty desire to Wahhabise the Middle East, are what gives them power.

What German business are trying to do is get their money while the getting is good. That's what businesses do. IMO, if they could choose freely, they'd do the same in Iran, again.


Well, somebody managed to orchestrate the Ghouta PR blitz just fine, don't you think?


I read that too; couldn't find it elsewhere either.

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