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20 October 2015

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confusedponderer

That appears to be so.

"The Ergenekon case rests on the argument that the generals had created a huge dirty-tricks department to discredit AK. Their alleged plans, which included blowing up mosques and murdering Christians, sound credible when set against their record of sponsoring squad killings of dissident Kurds and of serially torturing and jailing thousands of other purported enemies of the state. Defanging the generals remains Mr Erdogan’s biggest achievement so far. And there is no denying that this week’s convictions send a clear message about the fate that awaits those who plot such mischief in future.

However, the trial, which took place in a purpose-built courtroom outside Istanbul, has been plagued by controversy from the start. "

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21583312-harsh-verdicts-are-handed-down-ergenekon-trial-justice-or-revenge

The article, coming from the Economist, a staunchly neo-liberal outlet, also underlines Ishmael Zechariah point that in Europe, and neo-libral circles in general, 'defanging the generals' was seen as a positive achievement, unde the assumption that democracy is always good, no matter who's running.

They were in that regard as dumb as the Americans who cheered on Mursi just because he had won an election, irrespective of the fact that he was, too, an Islamist.

The article also underlines emerging doubt about Erdoğan, his methods, and ultimately his goals.

confusedponderer

afterthought:
"An unspoken objective of the neocons, to create such a mess to be able to insist that the US must permanently garrison the region"

I think paub is right when he said that "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."

While interesting, in several ways, 'A Clean Break' and that other paper (which's title atm eludes me) penned by the neocons gloss over that, even in the Bush administration, the neocons were never enjoying full support for their whackier ideas.

The Bushmen wanted to build the New Iraq of their fevered dreams, that would be democratic, free market, low tax, pro-Israel, pro-American and pay for its rebuilding with its own oil.

They just were so dumb to assume it would create itself from the ashes after they destroyed the very organisations that held it together, apparently adhering to the ideas of economists who believe that spontaneous order will emerge from chaos and that it is beautiful.

I find no better halfway reasonable explanation for Lord Bremer sitting on his hands while presiding over the dissolution of Iraq. The reconstruction was an aferthought.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_order

This also raises the question who's the more dangerous and destructive ideologue - a neocon or a neoliberal economist?

To wreck the region to make it safe for Greater Israel was at best fallback plan for nuttier fireheads like Wurmser and Ledeen to boast with at dinner and cocktail parties and to show off to the Israeli tough guys.

It was not US policy.

US policy had to FAIL to produce the results lik the ones Wurmser wanted to see and that we now see.

The accomodation of Iran, which I think both overdue and sensible, is also just an outgrowth of this original failure in Iraq. The US would have been able to isolate Iran in perpetuity if Iraq had turned out the reliable vassal state they had in mind.

Well, oops.

LeaNder

Ishmael, Babak not too long ago alluded to the confrontation between Erdogan and Peres during the WEF in Davos in 2009. I only noticed it in passing. I have to admit that considering the context, I found the way he challenged Peres not least since Cast Lead wasn't far behind refreshing. That was one year before the Gaza Flottilla Raid with its own propaganda aftermath. ...

In other words guilty as charged by Babak, assuming it was an attempt to taint the left leaning members of the commentariat.

Concerning 1, could be that there was hope that the Turkish model would work elsewhere, in other words some type of laicist Islamism, if that is at all possible ... Some moderate type of Islamism.

Besides Erdogan's foreign relations with Syria only deteriorated from 2009 on. The year after the Gaza war, before Obama took who visited Erdogan in Dec.

cp, may well allude to Erdogan's politics in Germany, they make more news lately. Mainly I guess as a result of Merkel's visit.

Can you tell me more about 2? Fethullah and Co?

I would appreciate your perspective IZ. Besides, while I am usually not a fan of military coups, Ataturk may well be the exception to the rule. ... A coup by the American military stopping the Iraq war would have saved us from much troubles. I wasn't even sure, never mind my dislike of the Taliban, if 911 was a good case to attack a country. To be quite honest. ;)

Kunuri

If Turkey under Erdogan is even admitted into EU, that will be it's end, because the central pillar of that union is democracy and human rights, and Erdogan is not, and has never been even close to a democrat. He fooled the Turkish public into believing that an Islam based government could also be democratic, and add that the neocons who enabled him with their grand Middle East dreams. He is in the process of suckering EU into the same sham, and there are still those in EU who are naïve enough to believe whatever Erdogan is selling.

On the other hand, and this is something I have been waiting to note here on this site, a healthy 60% of Turkey is made of enlightened, hard working and democratic people who still adhere to the ideals of Ataturk, which got Turkey where it is today despite all. The State of Turkey, currently, is a high jacked State, so when talking about Erdogan and Davutoglu, we are talking about an anti-democratic minority which is wielding way more influence and power than their numbers and abilities would indicate. Personally, I think that the marginalized majority I mentioned above meets EU standards for membership, even if not presently, given parliamentary power, will be able to conclude all negotiations in lightening speed.

And I still can not believe Merkel of Germany is negotiating anything with Erdogan, elevating him to the status of a statesman. He is the president of the country and has no legislative power according to the constitution, he can not negotiate international agreements and can not set policy. Davutoglu is the prime minister, but is not given a vote of confidence in the parliament, therefore lacks any kind of popular public legitimacy. Davutoglu is only the appointed head of a symbolic election caretaker government.

So antytime Erdogan and Davutoglu is mentioned, to be noted please, they are not legitimate and they do not represent the will and political choice of a 60% majority of the Turkish people.

LeaNder

CHP election propaganda?

Kunuri

Amir, that would be Barış Yarkadaş, prominent investigative reporter and newly elected MP from CHP. Note I said elected, just like any US House member, he canvassed and drove from one election rally to another in all districts of Istanbul. Traditionally, MP candidates in Turkish politics are appointed by heads of their party. AKP is 100% appointed, as well as nationalist MHP.

Barış has a wealth of sources within Turkish body politic, and is worth a listen. I did not read him say that Turkey provided the Sarin gas to the rebel groups in Syria, but if he did say it, it would be worth looking into it.

OK, I just did, he did indeed claim that the Sarin gas has been manufactured in Turkey and given to the radical groups. He says that he will provide documentation next week as proof. The interview takes place only in Radical newspaper in MSM and about half dozen opposition news sites.

Ishmael Zechariah

CP,
The Ergenekon and similar convictions have been overturned, the prosecutors of these cases have escaped to Europa (Germany?) through Armenia and the whole sordid mess has been exposed. This was the work of the fethullah crowd aided and abetted by the tayyiban. At this point I have no love for the nations/groups/people that cheered this travesty on; at best they were fools, and at worst co-conspirators.

http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2015/10/the-chronicle-of-higher-education-does-sledgehammer.html

https://www.sss.ias.edu/files/pdfs/Rodrik/Commentary/Plot-Against-the-Generals.pdf

No matter, as Kunuri says so well in a previous post, we shall overcome.

Ishmael Zechariah

P.s: I like your term "freedomize". Bunch of folks are trying to bugger Turkey as well and they find willing collaborators therein.


Babak Makkinejad

US just concluded another $ 11 billion deal to modernize their "Eastern Fleet".

They are allies - fair and square.

Germany could sanction Saudi Arabia - after all, she is invading and a peaceful neighbor, murdering civilians from the air, and breaking all kinds of international legal norms.


David Habakkuk

CP,

The 'other paper' is 'Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant', produced – or perhaps I should say 'perpetrated' – by David Wurmser in 1996.

(See http://tinyurl.com/np6q45g .)

Regrettably, I have yet to read it properly, but I think the account given in two recent pieces by Dan Sanchez is essentially accurate. These are his 30 June paper 'Clean Break to Dirty Wars' and his 30 October paper 'Seize the Chaos'.

(See https://medium.com/dan-sanchez/clean-break-to-dirty-wars-d5ebc5fda9f9#.u5y2pi8gv ; https://medium.com/dan-sanchez/seize-the-chaos-d065f507f0cc#.y0urjp8re .)

As to the neocons: both Perle and Wolfowitz were recommended by Albert Wohlstetter to Senator Henry 'Scoop' Jackson. Their essential role was as PR men for an interpretation of Soviet strategy – in particular nuclear strategy – which dates back to the key NSC 68 paper of April 1950, and was actually plain wrong. Both Wohlstetter and Jackson were key disseminators of this interpretation, and also instrumental in its 'marriage' with Zionism.

(On the interpretation of Soviet strategy, a post by 'Fabius Maximus provides links to a crucial BDM Corporation study done for the Pentagon in 1995, and declassified in 2009, and a discussion of its implications by the former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman. See

http://fabiusmaximus.com/2009/10/13/soviet/ .)

The genuine expertise Perle and Wolfowitz developed was in manipulating the American political system. This involved, among other things, the common rhetorical ploy of taking a 'devil and the deep blue sea' situation, and painting the dangers of the course of action one wants to avoid in the most apocalyptic colours, while minimising those of one's preferred course. This is commonly a politically highly effective approach, but does not make for good intelligence analysis – or flexibility in policy.

Another expertise the neocons developed was in manipulating the rhetorics of American nationalism. As these are almost as poor a guide to understanding the real world as Marxism-Leninism, once again they do not make either for good intelligence analysis or flexibility in policy. They are also intoxicating – people come to believe their own propaganda.

In the late Eighties and Nineties, partly because of their propagandist skills, and partly for other reasons, the neocons managed decisively to shape the political debate in the United States – and also the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

The scale of the disasters their success produced has been progressively become more and more apparent. Among them is the blind alley into which they have helped lead Israel. The sophomoric analysis of papers like the 'Clean Break' and 'Coping with Crumbling States', premised upon unreal views of the likely alternatives to the 'devil we know' of Arab nationalist regimes, has now left us all with a 'devil and the deep blue sea' choice: one cannot fight both the 'Shia Crescent' and the jihadists at the same time.

If the current Israeli leadership – as remarks by Michael Oren among others suggests – is convinced that the 'devil' of the 'Shia Crescent' is really worse than the 'deep blue sea' of the jihadists, they are going in precisely the opposite direction not simply to Russia, but to a very large body of opinion – certainly in the U.K. but also I think elsewhere in the West. The longer-term implications of this are unpredictable, but are going to be interesting.

If I was Oren, I would be cautious about making the kind of statements he produced in a conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg in June last year before an English audience.

(See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgBsTT0h_SA .)

Babak Makkinejad

Iran, I surmise, is fighting in Syria for keeps. They do not support any "Transition" except from one Resistance-friendly government to another Resistance-friendly government.

ISIS will be left alone, I think.

As Col. Lang has stated, ISIS is a threat to Saudis, Turks, and Jordanians - now why would Iran and Syria and Russia take on the burden of removing this threat to allies of NATO?

In my opinion, we will not see a unitary Iraq or Syria in our lifetimes.

Babak Makkinejad

The "Shia Crescent" is the only "Thinking" part of Islam with which Western Diocletians can engage in substantive dialogue.

For the rest of Islam - by and large - you would be spending countless hours of chatting and drinking oceans of tea and attending numerous "Prayer Breakfasts" (the kitsch here in US) and it would make zero difference to the outlook or outcome of any given issue you care to raise with them.

Babak Makkinejad

You wrote: "...Erdogan is not, and has never been even close to a democrat..."

I think the issue is much deeper, much broader than a single man (or three) and a single country.

There has not been a substantive discussion of the idea of Freedom among Muslim Thinkers until very recently and only haphazardly. That is to be contrasted with the body of work among the Western Diocletian thinkers over the last - say - 500 years.

Every single Muslim country that you care to mention is afflicted with this Freedom & Democracy deficit.

Seamus Padraig

Exactly. And Erdogan has been pretty open about his beliefs on the subject of democracy. He once told a reporter: "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off." For him, democracy is just a means to an undemocratic end: a new quasi-sultanate.

confusedponderer

Seamus Padraig,
"For him, democracy is just a means to an undemocratic end: a new quasi-sultanate."

Turkey is an exemplary case. As they say about Islamists and democracy: One man, one vote, one time. I'd wager that is what all democratic Islamists are about.

Egypt's Morsi probably would not have been any different.

Kunuri

Yes, BM, you are absolutely correct. However,what makes Turkey distinguished among all other Muslim countries is that that discussion started in Turkey 100 years ago in earnest, and maybe a 100 years back beyond that with results to prove. A Turkish scientist has received recently Nobel prize for Chemistry, a total product of Ataturk reforms, regardless of the fact that he has been doing his research in US universities, and is a proud Turkish-American.

"There has not been a substantive discussion of the idea of Freedom among Muslim Thinkers until very recently and only haphazardly."

11th century thinkers, Averreos, (İbn Rüşd)and Avicenna,(İbn-i Sina)had started a sparkle of the discussion, before they and their ideas have been stunted by the radical absolutists.

Kunuri

Turkey is too big and a beautiful country, with beautiful people to be left to jackals of all stripes. If there is any "freedomizing" to be done, it will be done by the sane, wise and idealistic people of this country, as it has been indisputably done before.

Kunuri

He actually said "train", not a streetcar, and station, not a "stop", but, sorry, I do translation work, here the meaning gets through, but I can't but help being tedious about this translation business.

Kunuri

LeaNder, coups are like violent men beating up their wives, because they have no more arguments, they have to resort to brute force to make their point. In a coup, everyone suffers, even in a popular coup, even as a last resort. Any nation that has to resort to a coup to even the keel, is the first in line for a Pyrrhic victory, the ultimate manifestation of weakness, as it would be in the case of a wife-beater. So, let's not throw the coup option around cavalierly, and as I am sure any military man in Turkish Army who had an education in a staff school would agree.

A coup in Turkey will be disastrous, the population is divided and armed, the Armed Forces are confused, emasculated and perhaps divided within, this is not the 60's or even the 80's. The security forces, almost as well armed as the Army itself is fiercely loyal to AKP and Erdogan, mostly staffed by their lackeys. The Army, regardless of the heavy weapons they field, is not capable of intricate operations within the cities-they can level them off, but can not even, as we speak, cordon off a minor city in the south east.

And what Erdogan did in Davos, on a visceral level, was pure anti-semitism, a manifestation of his ilk's bottled up hostility towards the Jews, and not just the Israelis. I have not seen any indication from them that they are even remotely capable of distinguishing a Zionist, a Liberal Jew, an Orthodox Jew, or even a socialist Israeli citizen from each other.


Kunuri

They did, but I am sure new ranks have taken the posts of their fallen/marginalized comrades. As it would be in a defending British square in Waterloo. Acceptable losses.

LeaNder

Ok, I thought I should have added that I may well be a closest anti-Semite, would it be a surprise considering my origin?

May have been the result of the limited focus on my second web habitation at the time. In spite of the fact that I didn't like the echo chamber or the respective opposing fronts.

Thanks for the feedback, anyway. ;)

gemini33

Yes, I completely agree someone pulled it off big time and agree that the refugee PR blitz was just like it.

I just never realized that Turkey had that kind of power. Though Sibel Edmonds, despite being gagged, has reported a lot on a Turkish-American council and the ways they have bribed Congress and officials. It just seems like a piece is missing. I had thought the people with the most control over our media were: neocons, CIA, Saudis (thru ownership) and the White House. Looks like I was missing one.

David Habakkuk

LeaNder,

As to 'military coups', it is all a question of circumstances.

Among the great 'what ifs' which preoccupy a few of us still remaining thinking dodos in Britain is what might have happened had we responded to those in Germany – concentrated in military intelligence and the Foreign Office – who were trying to get us to encourage a 'military coup' at the time of Munich.

To digress: Hans Oster, like Maxim Litvinov, is one of those people whose display of sheer guts fills me with awe; with Franz Halder, I think of the difficulties of the choices he faced, and reflect – thank God I never had to face them.

As to the British end of the story: By late 1942 the unit in MI6 which was in charge of collating and interpreting the Bletchley Park material relating to the 'Abwehr' had grasped the depth of antagonism between traditionalist conservatives, such as were commonly found in that organisation, and the millenarian and nihilistic fanatics of the 'Sicherheitsdienst'.

The unit was, ironically, staffed by very academic historians and philosophers – the head being Hugh Trevor-Roper, later Lord Dacre, who was, to put it bluntly, extremely interesting and seriously weird.

Whatever his flaws (and these were many) Trevor-Roper displayed both acute analytical ability and reckless courage in first grasping the scale of the underlying tensions in Germany, and then in bringing these to Churchill's attention – through Lindemann, aka Lord Cherwell, a British half-German Germanophobe, like Eyre Crowe.

Whether an attempt at a 'butcher's cleaver' manoeuvre, aimed at exploiting these tensions to collapse Germany from within, would have produced a better outcome than that with which we ended up is an unanswerable but endlessly fascinating question. (My allusion to Colonel Lang's Civil War novels is not accidental – the situations involved have important parallels.)

This was a classic case where the – necessary – distinction between the proper role of intelligence in producing accurate analysis, and the role of policymakers in producing prescriptions, inevitably becomes blurred.

An irony is that Trevor-Roper himself displayed very great courage in his attempt to bring the overtures from Admiral Canaris to Churchill's attention. Ironically, his essay on Canaris is hostile, and indeed deeply unsympathetic. But then, the conservative English liberal found it hard to forgive German conservatives who found a route out of their common dilemmas in embracing a populist – 'Caesarist' – nationalism.

Thomas

cp,

I suppose a term for Spontaneous Order would be Borgasm.

Thomas

You are correct and as David mentions above there will be a sea change coming in western society to this view.

Thomas

VV,

"World War III is one mistake away."

It could be argued that we are in year fifteen of Neo-World War.

As for a radioactive conclusion, I have a modicum of faith in the remaining Professionals present in the US government.

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