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29 November 2015

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no one

Wow. I have an army of over a million and will invade you unless you pay the baksheesh. Brilliant.

If anyone needs to "go" it's Erdogan; not Assad.

alba etie

All
Turkey also is pushing for visa waivers - how will this affect the USG 's. ability to screen EU passports to CONUS regarding potential Daesh sympathizers ?

Cpfeiffer

Shooting down a Russian warplane rather than escorting it out of Turkish airspace suggests another part of the quid pro quo on accelerated EU accession.

OIFVet

Blackmail and extortion sure do pay handsomely. Europe is impotent and clueless, the Balkans weakened by the US, the Troika, and local collaborators, and there for the taking by the new Ottoman Empire. 100 years ago the Balkan nations were on the verge of driving the Ottoman dinosaur out of Europe altogether, before good old Balkan backstabbing devolved into an inter-allied war just as the Ottomans were reeling. Now the sultan Erdogan is on the verge of retaking the Balkans and then some, helped again by the local collaborators, the US, and the idiotic EU bureaucracy...

OIFVet

Erdogan, and his entire party apparatus needs to be purged as well. As a native Bulgarian, an Erdogan Turkey is an inherently hostile power that needs to be checked before it's too late.

bell

all those refugees are from 'regime change' ideology as practiced by the west in afganistan, iraq, libya and syria... the west and in particular europe had it coming.. not sure when the usa/canada gets its comeuppance..

David Habakkuk

All,

'IMO Sultan Tayyip has won this round in his contest on behalf of Islam and against the West.'

Absolutely. But there is a price to be paid – whether it counts or not, I cannot yet even hazard a guess.

My best 'sighting shot' comes through Tolkien.

In the Shire, a body of opinion among the hobbits has changed very rapidly.

Some time ago, a suspicion began to grow that perhaps 'Grima Wormtongue' had returned to Minas Tirith.

However, it did not seem conceivable that he and his family could actually have that much influence, still less be in control there – and for the most part the hobbits in the Shire, the most loyal of the satellite kingdoms, found suggestions that his relatives had taken them over simply ludicrous.

One consequence was that, when a new Prince arose in what had once been known as Mordor, only a small minority of hobbits doubted the official narrative that this was 'Son of Sauron'.

But then, convoys of orcs were seen moving through the valleys, in a distant province. Above in the hills was Aragorn, and it was said that he was dealing with them. But nothing happened. The convoys continued.

It was from Mordor that the attack came. In Minas Tirith, the spokesmen or women said, 'they are Nazgûl, as they always were.' And it was explained that they were not really targeting the orcs – or at least, that those they were targeting were 'white orcs', friendly beings who were really on our side (even if they smelt a bit rank.)

Then the pictures appeared, of some Nazgûl, killed by the 'white orcs'.

And Sam Gamgee looked at the pictures, and said: 'hold on a moment.' If it looks like an orc, and, even more, seems to talk orcish – probably has that old familiar very strong orcish smell – then 'what can it be?' (Certainly not an elf):

(See http://tinyurl.com/nw57edr – both the story and the comments.)

Of course, Sam is not what he was. And at the moment, he is still somewhat confused.

But I can tell you, if Maria Zakharova does not quite look like Galadriel, she would far better in the part than Jen Psaki or Marie Harf.

(See http://russia-insider.com/en/maria-zakharova .)

DC

We might consider giving the EU the benefit of the doubt on this one: Turkey will never really be granted EU accession unless it cleans up its human rights record, allows free and open expression of civil rights in a non-police state, and becomes stronger economically. I don't think the EU leaders are complete morons (though they could be). Rather, I think they are offering Tayyip a "carrot" while France, Russia, and hopefully the U.S. will threaten with sticks. The moderate forces inside Turkey will also be angered if Tayyip does not play along. It's a long game...

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Ayatollah Khamenei's second letter to Western Youth:

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/2681/Today-terrorism-is-our-common-worry

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

In regards to the police state bit, was it different under Kemalists?

turcopolier

Babak

As pervasive but not devoted to the welfare of the sultan. IMO police state fits well with the national character. pl

turcopolier

DC

No. I think Tayyip is way ahead of them. If they don't deliver he opens the refugee flood gate, and what exactly is the leverage that France and the US have with him? pl

DC

Sir -- I hope, for example, that France and US will consider leading the way to kick Turkey out of NATO if Tayyip does not cooperate; eradicate any favorable trade relations he has with the EU; make it very hard for Turkish citizens to cross borders; actively and openly support moderate political forces within his country; support the Kurds and their desire for an independent state; that sort of thing.

It may be too much to hope that we cooperate with Russia and strengthen Assad's government, but give it time...

Babak Makkinejad

There is a church in Italy to which public access is no longer available. The reason is a mural that depicts the Prophet Mohammad in Hell and which was attacked by a Muslim in order to destroy that depiction.

Turkey in EU would mean many more such protections all over the European Union.

In my opinion, Turkey does not belong in EU since she is a Muslim country with sensibilities that are not commensurate with European ones.

OIFVet

All the US has done is to try to make Europe more dependent upon US and to prevent a closer relationship with Russia, and for this purpose the sultan has played rather helpful part. Why should the US throw away such a nice leverage, then?!

Amir

There is one BIG difference: Suleiman did it himself while Erdogan is supported by Langley. The latter kills attempts to kill multiple birds with one stone, by playing one against the other, creating chaos, enmundating the continent with migrants and subverting their European social model, driving a wedge between Russia and E.U. while at the same type keeping the M.E. burning on behalf of Israel. That now Russia can be harassed to the South of Crimea and the chief industry (no it is not consumer goods production) of it's financiers can go into massive production, the Arabs will remain subservient and not lurk to East-Asian benign model of Chinese capitalism; is all an added bonus.

The Gambler

I have been reading details about Russian strikes and what gets me is that the modern modus operandi of air strikes seems to target military assets and not the wholesale slaughter of enemy population. Why not give the WWII bombing approach a chance? Or even the Vietnam approach? Scorched earth. Carpet bombing. Daisy cutters. Incendiary bombs. Am I missing something? I thought for sure we'd see this against the Turkman jihadis who turned the Russian pilot to Swiss cheese as he was parachuting down. Put me in charge of Russian MoD, I'd be playing some serious Blackjack elimination.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

The refugee crisis is the EU’s own making. Sitting on the pirate’s shoulder, squawking, as he pillages and plunders, spreading the dead zone from Libya to Afghanistan.

Actually, 3 billion dollars is cheap if Sultan Erdogan does not contest the Russian’s no fly zone over Syria and doesn’t order his massed tanks to charge across the border to save his fellow Turkmen. The Thirteenth Turkish Russian war would cost a hell of lot more.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Russo-Turkish_wars

The Syrian civil war continues, ISIS fights on; but, Syrian Kurds get a respite from Turkish bombing.

This shows the West’s corruption. The oligarchs are unwilling to write down 3 billion Euros of Greece’s bad debt to secure EU’s peripheral border but gives it as protection money to Turkey. The cost of doing business.

Destabilizing Russia remains the highest priority. Rather than finding a political settlement to end the wars that have spread from Africa through the Middle East to the Balkans, refugees continue to flood the Eurozone.

annamaria

here is a solid and clear explanation of the rationale for downing the Russian jet:
http://thesaker.is/a-hybrid-war-to-break-the-balkans-by-andrew-korybko/
One of the commenters made a strong point
Larchmonter445 (an excerpt:)
"Though it is hard for us to see Turkey turn back to Russia and make amends, the Turkish economy and the non-political stakeholders in Turkey and in the Balkans, as well as the Southern European stakeholders in Italy and Greece are desperate for the gas project. Jobs for their massive youth unemployed, trade and commercial inertia, new wealth opportunities are powerful catalysts to “persuade” solution to the impasse.
Though the US can keep stirring trouble, and surely will try, its own greedy Elites will want a piece of the pie being baked by China for Europe (its biggest trading partner) and this Corridor as you so well described.
Russia is establishing itself as a Policeman for the ME, calling out the tyrants and chaos-makers, and will next exert some move over the Balkans. How? I have no idea. But Russia will not allow the Black Sea region to be cemented against Russian transactions, nor allow NATO any more elbow room. Russia has the shield behind which China will operate. The exact methods and modes will unfold in the next year. Though it seems military will be a component to whatever occurs, diplomacy is the actual instrument of action both Russia and China will employ, and the tantalization of Chinese wealth and investment along with the dazzling Russian military prowess now on show in Syria, will surely entice the hungry stakeholders-to-be to choose progress and prosperity.
Unlike the Islamic terror option, Eurasian Development offers a choice. The real reason ISIS and AQ have succeeded is the Kingdoms + the Hegemon offered the young men of Islamic nations no choice. The fact that the Takfiri zeal is powered by methamphetamines indicates the ideological hold is not as strong as one might estimate."

Bandolero

turcopolier

Though I'm not asked, if you allow, let me share some of my thoughts about this.

I do think that the EU, and especially Germany, would have a lot of economic leverage on Turkey, if the German and EU politicians were willing to use it.

Just, temporarily, closing direct air traffic between Germany and Turkey for charter flights, for example using a pretext of terrorism-related security concerns, would crash the Turkish tourism industry, likely 10% of the Turkish economy. Stopping Turkish agrar exports to the EU, say as an emergency in response to Russian agrar sanctions against the EU, would crash an even larger part of the Turkish economy. And then, stopping capital exports from the EU to Turkey, let's say due to concerns that Turkeys banking system may finance terrorists, would likely crush the Turkish economy completely, because Turkey is depending on huge capital imports to equalize large structural balance of trade deficits. For Germany and the EU such measures would not only not pose many economical problems, but they even could help Greece and Spain by replacing for example Turkish tourism with Greece or Spanish tourism and agrar products.

For Germany, where most of Turkish origin people in the EU live, using such leverage against Turkey would also not be impossible regarding the inner political situation. While there is about a million German-Turkish voters which would likely be unhappy about such a German policy, they split almost evenly between the largest German parties, so the net effect would likely be close to zero. And, in large parts of the German population, using such measures against Turkey would be truely popular.

But the German and EU politicians obviously don't want to use leverage against Turkey, even to the price that they are blackmailed by Erdogan, and ridiculed by many of their own voters. So, what I find the interesting question is, why do the German and the EU politicians don't use their leverage on Turkey? To me it looks like an American or Borgist hand behind that, and the Borgist reason seems to me to be that they fear Erdogan will leave NATO if the EU uses pressuring leverage against Turkey.

Israel surely wouldn't be happy with a Turkey out of NATO.

Herodotus

Col, how does this play against the Russian sanctions?

J

Colonel,

The Russians have said that as long as one Russian plane remains in the Syrian skies, Hmeymim Спецназ teams are standing at the ready for SAR and insertions when necessary, if/when Russian aircraft's seat beacons send their emergency signals.

bth

I think it is important that we do not do damage to Turkey that we can avoid. The refugee problem isn't going to go away anytime soon and the shakedown that EU will experience/is experiencing will happen again. That said it is probably best if they can stay in Turkey and EU is going to have to pay for part of that. Things may seem bad with Turkey but the fact is they can always get worse. It is not in our interest to cause unnecessary harm to a NATO ally such as it is.

robt willmann

Little by little, the issue of how the oil from ISIS-controlled areas is getting to market and who is making money from it is starting to get discussed. Here is an article with the idea that ISIS oil is getting mixed in with oil from the Kurdish area of Iraq, it goes to Turkey, then to Israel, and then elsewhere. It also looks at the involvement of Tayyip Erdogan's family--

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-28/isis-oil-trade-full-frontal-raqqas-rockefellers-bilal-erdogan-krg-crude-and-israel-c

The European "Union" is indeed pathetic, agreeing to pay 3 billion "euros" for nothing. So far Donald Trump has not commented on that "deal". The EU has been and is a failure, except for those who promoted it from the beginning as another step toward world commonwealth government.

Chris Chuba

Turkey only has so many Syrian refugees (originally 2M) and it looks like their method of flushing them is to turn a blind eye and simply allow those who are motivated enough to leave to go. I would think that some fraction of the 2M are either unwilling or unable to leave.

So basically, Turkey's total leverage is gone once they use up all of the refugees who are inclined to leave. The statistics are hard to pin down as some of the numbers presented on the page look contradictory but it looks like it is safe to say that 500,000 refugees have arrived from Turkey in 2015.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_migrant_crisis#Statistics

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