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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

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 ?


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.


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...


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.


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


'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 .)


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


Ayatollah Khamenei's second letter to Western Youth:


Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

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



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



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


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.


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?!


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.



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.

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.


here is a solid and clear explanation of the rationale for downing the Russian jet:
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."



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.


Col, how does this play against the Russian sanctions?



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.


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--


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.

different clue

alba etie,

Surely the EU has the power to refuse this request. Why would the EU be afraid to use this power? Afraid that responding seriously enough to Erdogan to stop this blackmail and extortion would break up their comfortable NATO universe and force them to think about forming their own North East Atlantic Treaty Organization (NEATO) all on their own?

different clue


The EU political bizlords are using Greece as a test bed for the poverty they intend to spread across all of Europe, one country at a time. If they make Greece so Moldovan-poor that they never get the money back, they won't mind that . . . as long as they prove their poverty-engineering concepts to their satisfaction in Test Bed Greece.


The Gambler,

Those civilians living there are victims of ISIS. If Russia follows that suggestion those people would not be liberated but any real hope of defeating ISIS would certainly be dead.

Babak Makkinejad

You are forgetting that this is all about containment of Iran and not Turkey.



Contsing Iran is a, or the, major reason why the Borg want Turkey be in Nato, whatever it does, and even if the AKP would officially declare to be the Turkish chapter of Al Qaeda.

Howeber, besides Iran, there is more to that Borgist calculus: the Borgs also need Turkey to check Syria, Iraq, Russia, China, central Asia, Yugoslavia and some more places.

Babak Makkinejad

"Poverty Engineering" is a potent phrase; the way that man, Igor Gaidar, May He Burn in Hell, implemented it in the Russian Federation.

I guess now the shoe is in the other foot and soon we will be greeted with the sight of pensioners in Greece, Spain, Italy and elsewhere trying to sell their meager personal belongings on the streets.

I suppose one man's "Poverty Engineering" is another man's "Verdant Entrepreneurship".

EU has no "grandeur" - unlike what France and England had in centuries past - it only has armies of mean-spirited and petty bean-counters, serving a nascent form of the "Gilded Age" of US.


You give the Iran issue a too high priority. For Germany it is IMHO indeed a question of damage control, Bandoleros NATO aspect is spot on. Therefore, pay a few billions, gain some time, use this time to make a few points clear within the EU - check where the bribes will financed with - and (hopefully :-)) get her revenge in a few years.


Yep. The EU estimates that around 3 million refugees will enter the EU in the years 2015/16. I think roughly 2/3 of them will end their journey in Germany.


Maybe that is why Putin is commanding respect and you wish you could follow in his footsteps: "noblesse s'oblige".

Babak Makkinejad

Then you have not been paying attention.

Babak Makkinejad

Syria was due to Iran; "Destroy Syria to wound Iran."

Then proceed to Hezbollah....

What the NATO states have caused is a sufficiently serious security threat to the Russian Federation that she elected to intervene militarily in Syria.

Yes, I know, some idiot among in NATO will be thinking that they could bleed the Russian Federation there etc.

That is not clear.

Nor is it clear if JCOPA will survive for much longer if threats to Iran does not diminish in the coming weeks and months.

This is a very serious situation - in my opinion - over Syria.

Babak Makkinejad

I think you are missing the more obvious fact that Turkey remains a poor country, a beggar as it is, at the door of the European Union - cunningly extracting money from her betters.

With a population ten times that of Israel, her GDP is only 3 times higher.

Put another way, with a population very close to that of Germany, her GDP is 1/4 of that of Germany.

I do not take any pleasure in seeing that the most advanced Sunni Muslim state in the world playing these humiliating games to extract a few peanut shells from her ostensible allies.

"It is unbecoming" as my grandmother used to say, to statesman, a head of government, and a sovereign.

William R. Cumming

Does anyone know of a map depicting religions and ethnic status of populations west of the Bospherous [sic] in Turkey and East of the Bospherous in Turkey?

William R. Cumming

What is open source of Turkish military deployments east and west of the Bosporus? NATO?

William R. Cumming

Does anyone have available a good virtual seismic map of Turkey? IMO the Armenian Earthquake helped open the can of worms ending the Soviet Union! May yet happen in Turkey.


Does Turkey have an in-effect blockade on the Bosphorus for Russian ships?


Just read this post, busy schedule, I am posting now without even reading all the other comments.

How many times have I written here that the refugee crisis to EU could be avoided from within Turkey if Tayyip wanted it. And that Turkish Western coast, as well as the southern border, is porous only because it is allowed, and willed to be. From personal experience, not only from reading through the media, social or otherwise. And that the borders could be sealed if a king's ransom is paid, such as EU is doing right now. Does anyone think even the one tenth of that money will actually go to the refugees? Dream on. That the Syrian border can be made impassable, such as the DDR borders during the cold war? That 30.000 extra troops are needed to accomplish it? Fantasy. It can be made impassable now, there are only so many points for crossing, all are known to the Army and the locals, and the Jandarma, and the smugglers who are largely infiltrated by the local police, 900 km of border with Syria is a ruse. Also a fantasy, that border is not a wiggly line on a map, it is rugged, it is naked, it is mined, it has no roads, or even paths for the large part. Some towns are divided across the Syrian border, and the local authorities know exactly who comes and goes, no need for security cameras there.

How many times have I written here that he is fooling and conning the Western democracies, NATO and US every step of the way. How many times have I written here that the Western allies are enabling him every time they accord him righteous statesman status? Remember the shame of G20 summit, it was a "billion dollars worth of propaganda" as one of his ministers put it.

How many times have I written here that nothing happens in Turkey without the knowledge of the huge Tayyip security apparatus? And I have written many, many times that he will do what is good for him, for cash, and the well being of his cronies and kinsman? And not for the Republic of Turkey. And ultimately to avoid being dragged into any court, Turkish or otherwise, that he will do anything, sacrifice anyone, use anyone, cause any mayhem that will keep him in power?

I am glad that truth is seeping out slowly, sinking in, being digested as it should be, and slowly transforming into righteous advocacy, at least in some circles. Because there is nothing left here for the good people of Turkey to do without being hammered down, thrown into slammer, or shot like a rabid dog in he middle of the street full of policemen with guns blazing of a Kurdish civil rights activist, and the head of Diyarbakir Lawyers Association. And don't anyone forget his little Pinocchio, Davutoglu, the Neo Enver Pasha, the ultimate fall guy, the paravan prime minister, and his crimes of omission in partner.

I am going back to reading "The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich" by William L. Shirer to get insight into how this story ends.


Nothing worth considering ethnic Mr. Cumming, they are mostly Balkan Turks with no aspirations for a non Turkish ethnic recognition. However, in any film set I work on, my first choice of laborers and menial job work positions are those of Thracian, Trakya Turks, because of their strong European acquired work ethic and distinct honesty and straightforwardness. As for East of Phosphorous, which is heavily industrialized and mixed Anatolian, and rather wealthy middle class, ethnicity priority and assertion is not needed. Therefore, ethnicity around the Bosphorous region is a non issue, to my personal knowledge.


BK, Turkey is a very rich, and vast, diverse country. The shameless rug merchants who represent her at the moment are an anomaly. They are there, because someone wanted them there, you go figure who and why, because if I tried, I would be drown in my own cynicism juices.

Ah, please do not confuse wealth with quality of life, a cheap fish, meze and Raki dinner along the coast maybe worth what you will get in a mundo expensive French Restaurant where you live.


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

BM, you know this is preposterous, religion should not be a criteria to belong to EU, only continental belonging, which Turkey meets, and fulfilling EU requirements to become a member, which Turkey is halfway there. Besides, disregarding the damage RTE has done, Turkey has been well ahead of many other new members in terms of wealth generation, growth potential and a brilliant new generation who actually does not shrink hard work and competition. Come to Turkey and observe personally, and leave behind your particular prejudices and dust covered scrolls.


Ah, a little bit of Joseph Campbell, to explain it all-works for me, what else is left to understand it all with in a deluge of data and information and double speak. Kudos.


And who will do it my graybeard friend? The man is omnipotent, if he can't get his way, he will definitely stop you from getting your way, until he tires you down, comes from all angles and out cons you in every step of the way, that you eventually give in. From my and many other's personal experience. Ask Merkel.

Babak Makkinejad

There was a story by Aziz Naseen (sic?) about such a fellow. I do not recall the title but it was about this man who could trick everyone - even experienced people; "something in his voice"...if I recall the line correctly after so many decades.

The Beaver


There goes the Sultan again:

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 30 said he would be ready to quit office if allegations by Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Turkey traded oil with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were proven."

Since it is all in the family now, he knows quite well that the authorities will find some scapegoats to take the fall like the last corruption case.


A view from Turkey:


Now, the reason why I started discussing the incidents surrounding the Obama-Erdoğan meeting is that I believe all of them point to the same problem: It is because Turkey is not ruled by a governing mentality based on rule of law and separation of powers where priority is given to freedoms and the safety of people’s lives. As a consequence of this, no policies are generated which contribute to regional stability. On the other hand, the only international actor which truly has leverage over Turkey, the U.S. administration, is avoiding discussing the problems of democracy and press freedom in Turkey. Instead of that, it is trying to take advantage of these distortions in Turkey for the sake of its self-interests; for instance, as they did in July in finalizing the İncirlik deal.

Well, while Turkey was shifting, democracy was eroding and press freedom was declining, were the U.S.’ interests positively affected? This is exactly the point where the Obama administration handles the thorny issue of Iran, for example, impeccably but somehow incomprehensibly fails when it is Turkey in question. On the contrary, their vital national security threats have further soared because of their “strategic” Turkey policies, the ones that ignore democracy.

Daily Cumhuriyet was punished because they reported trucks loaded with weapons were on their way to Syria. Because of uncontrolled arms delivery, the civil war in Syria grew, leaving the region to radical components. While hundreds of thousands of people died, millions had to leave their homes creating a refugee crisis threatening Europe.

When Europe was desperate and the Americans did not want to get engaged, then it was Russia’s turn to step in. Russia, which was squeezed under sanctions imposed because of Ukraine, thought it would turn this into an opportunity. They jumped in the region to find jihadists groups fattened with logistical support from Turkey.


I don't know komshu, you paint a rather depressing picture.

Babak Makkinejad

You live in a fantasy land, unfortunately created by the post-Enlightenment propagandists - if you think religion does not matter and specifically it does not matter in the formation of EU.

And I have been to Turkey, it does not belong to EU, there is no doubt in my mind.


The blackmail and the sudden amnesia re the 9/11 and freedom fries are the consequence of one and only one thing: the lack of courage. The parasitoids- whether the banksters or arm dealers or zealots of "promised land"- have been feasting on the body of the US and beyond because of the complete impotence of the so called political elites. They are no elites. They are kept women and men in service of the above mentioned banksters, arm dealers, and zealots of the "promised land." The psychopaths have been leading the world to an assured catastrophe, while the puppets (the supposed "representatives of the people") have been obediently following any and all orders from the completely unaccountable psychopaths.
"Obama knows what has to happen for this terrorist threat to be truly addressed. The Saudis and Turks have to be told, in no uncertain terms, to stop supporting the jihadists. But that would require extraordinary courage and huge political – perhaps even physical – risk. There is no sign that President Obama dares bite that bullet.
... the banks and corporations involved in arms manufacture and sales enjoy immense power – ...unarguably more than Obama. The moneyed interests – including Congress – are calling the shots. The old adage “money makes the world go round” is also apparent in Washington’s velvet-gloves treatment of the Saudis and is nowhere better illustrated than in the continued suppression of 28 pages of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry on 9/11. Those pages deal with the Saudi role in financing and supporting some of the 9/11 hijackers, but both the Bush and Obama administrations have kept those pages hidden for 13 years.
One reason is that the Saudis are the primary recipients of the U.S. trade in weapons, for which they pay cash. American manufacturers are selling the Saudis arms worth $100 billion under the current five-year agreement. Oddly, acts of terrorism sweeten the pot. Three days after the attacks in Paris, Washington and Riyadh announced a deal for $1.3 billion more."

And there are those that still believe that the "silent consent" to the state-sanctioned crimes was possible only among the Germans under nazism and Soviets under totalitarian regime.
We do live in the interesting times.


"And I have been to Turkey, it does not belong to EU, there is no doubt in my mind."

Ahh, BM, you are often wrong but never uncertain. And you base your opinion on a single visit, your powers of perception then must be unmatched. Try to gather up some data and consider objective criteria for Turkey becoming a EU member, sans religion. All of it, contribution to common EU security, potential for growth, natural recourses, human potential, and cultural diversity which can affect the rest of the far away Islamic world in a positive way. Then please think again, but not overburden yourself. I respect you, I have been reading you here since 2007, but I still have to work out your biases. Seems like you are always advocating a world where faith and religion always have to be the centerpiece in any human endeavor. That without it, nothing can move forward, therefore it is futile to proceed without religion. I just don't understand why you always put down any point of view that suggests to move forward without being burdened by issues of faith and religion.


Col. it is feasible that Russia could cut off IS from Turkey by bombing all bridges across the Euphrates in Northern Syria from about a line due east of Aleppo where the Syrian Army has advanced north to the border? I know this sounds a bit odd but it might be easier and IS probably doesn't have bridge building capability under fire and their trucks don't swim.


Aziz Nesin, master humorist, Woody Allen and Art Buschwald rolled in one.

Babak Makkinejad

Setting aside my powers of perception, I think our fundamental difference is in the idea of centrality of religion to the identity of countries.

I think, for example, there is a thing called "Deep France" which is Christian and an analogous thing called "Deep Turkey" that is similarly very deeply Muslim.

And I think those two, while having areas of overlap, on the whole, have incommensurable historical and cultural sensibilities and orientations.

In response to your last point:

Both in Europe (and her overseas offshoots) and in the Near East (and her offshoots) we are facing two sister civilizations who base the Worth and Meaning of any Human Life - however humble - on Man's relationship to God.

The accretion of centuries of anti-papal struggles in Europe and their secular government structures does not obscure to me the essential dependence of European's loftiest ideas on Christianity and the 3-year long Ministry of Jesus, the Blessed Son of Mary.

Europeans might be claiming that they have created the first atheistic civilization, forgetting Rome as well as Imperial China. That is yet another play-thing by Lost Children.

A world can be made - as Rome and Imperial China have demonstrated - which is devoid of God but then, in such a civilization, there has never been a basis for protection of human life as such.

If you do not believe me, ask those who are familiar with the contemporary scene in China, Japan, or Korea.

Or in India, among Hindus, where the very notion of charity came from Islam.

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