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21 July 2016

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Cee

Bill,

I agree with him.

For those who still aren’t convinced that Russia has some serious grounds for concern as the US-led war machine grinds ever closer, let’s put the situation into its proper perspective. Let’s imagine that the geopolitical chessboard were suddenly flipped and it is Russia that is now busy hatching a 28-member military alliance near America’s border, for example, in Latin America (and after Moscow had pledged not to increase the membership of the military bloc following the collapse of the Soviet Union

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/06/06/enormous-seriously-destabilizing-nato-war-games-begin-poland

The same goes to the nuclear power in the ME that is a yoke on our necks.

Fred

PeteM,

"the French have been under similar restrictions..."

President Hollande arrested 9,000 members of the military and arrested hundreds of judges and fired tens of thousands of teachers, etc? Pray tell how he kept all that secret?

Sam Peralta

Bill

The interview of Trump on foreign affairs by the Pravda on the Hudson, should make it very clear that he is no "clown" as the corporate media like to portray. For anyone who believes foreign affairs is an important yardstick to make a decision on which candidate to support in November, then this interview should make it clear that Trump is a significantly better candidate than Hillary who has a track record of being wrong in all the interventions she has supported.

BTW, Pence made a lot of sense as the VP pick. Someone that balances Trump's charismatic, off-the-cuff personality by being bland. He also helps shore up the evangelicals that after Cruz's slithering performance last night will be squarely for Trump if they are as "christian" as they claim to be. Lyin Ted lived up to his moniker as the slithering snake that he is.

Bill Herschel

Colonel Lang, is it your opinion that Erdogan is moving closer to or farther away from ISIS? I genuinely don't understand the theory that he is moving *toward* Russia and hence toward Assad. To me, that makes no sense at all. Isn't he trying to create Saudi Arabia North?

Bill Herschel

If Erdogan is pivoting away from the U.S. and toward Russia, Iran, Syria, as described in this article, then that is earthshaking news. I remain very confused. I happen to think (hope?) that the safest place for the nuclear weapons at Incirlik is, in fact, in the hands of the Russians, but that is only my personal opinion. Russia will be the last nation on earth to start a nuclear war.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/20/the-coup-in-turkey-has-thrown-a-wrench-in-uncle-sams-pivot-plan/

There's apparently still no outside juice at Incirlik.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/turkey-military-coup/incirlik-air-base-post-coup-power-cut-remains-u-s-n613086

This could turn out to be a very interesting moment in human history. However much there remains of it.

HankP

Well, at least we know Trump fully supports Erdogan - http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/trump-praises-erdogan-for-coup-crackdown/news-story/52a1786d7b1a69a108a3f9a082351c4e

steveg

Who will take the place of these general officers
if a full scale war breaks out. Is he patterning
these purges after Uncle Joe S? Or are his services
festooned with too many flags not unlike USA.
We know what it cost the Soviet Union if the
creme is skimmed.

Croesus

Tangent-to Slightly off topic: Trump and Sanger discussed cyber security and cyber warfare.

Marco Roscini, a scholar of international law, recently published
Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law
A Symposium discussed the book last June --
https://armscontrollaw.com/2016/06/14/symposium-on-my-book-on-cyber-operations/

Jackrabbit

I not sure how to read your reply. I'll be more specific.

>>>>> Was Gulen/CIA behind the coup ...
Erdogan says it was Gulen. Many believe that Gulen is a CIA asset. If Gulen is involved, they reason, the CIA would have known or be involved also. Some claim that US/NATO/CIA was unhappy with re-normalization of relations between Turkey and Russia and that now that the "coup" has been foiled, Erdogan will turn to Russia.

>>>>> ... or just foil/excuse?
I see no reason why US/NATO/CIA/Mossad/etc would want to overthrow Erdogan. Erdogan has done what they wanted him to do. If anything, it is Erdogan that is unhappy with US/NATO for tying his hands and cozying up to the Kurds.

Turkey is very important to the 'Assad must go!' effort so over-throwing Erdogan would only impede that effort. Plus, from the POV of 'Assad must go!' the next stage of conflict might benefit from a more independent Turkey that is not constrained by US/NATO concern of open conflict with Russia.

In this scenario, Erdogan and the Islamist hardliners are deliberately strengthened by a faux/ff coup which blamed on Gulen and 'mad dog' Erdogan slips his leash.

=

Your "Obozo loved him" comment argues for the later. In which case, the notion that Erdogan was 'tipped off' about a coup rings false. Instead, it would be more likely that Erdogan/MIT/CIA worked to set up the coup so that Erdogan strengthened his position in Turkey.

The US-originated rumor (as the coup was failing) that Erdogan was seeking asylum in Germany would have worked in Erdogan's favor by causing some careful individuals to make themselves known.

turcopolier

jackrabbit

Why are you asking me the same question again? "If Gulen is involved, they reason, the CIA would have known or be involved also" Ah, no Recruited assets come in all levels of devotion to the recruiter or the supposed recruiting group. they often deceive or omit things. Part of the craft of the case officer is to perceive when they are doing that. pl

oofda

Regarding the New York Times article on Trump's comments on foreign policy and NATO- I found it the opposite-- totally impossible to support him for those remarks. These ill-informed, off-the-top-of-his-head remarks are very harmful to U.S. interests. There has been a firestorm of criticism about them from home (Rs and Ds both) and abroad. Even the SecGen of NATO, who is normally very loath to interfere in U.S. domestic politics, decried the remarks. Examples of responses are below

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d6b35740-4f01-11e6-8172-e39ecd3b86fc.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/21/politics/trump-foreign-policy-interview/index.html

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/donald-trump-nato

turcopolier

Bill Herschel

Saudi Arabia? SA has no religious significance at all. A state built by usurpers clinging to the edge of the Wahhabi sect. The status of "king" like that of "sultan" are essentially irreligious inventions of humans that are really nor sanctioned in almost any form of Islam (except among the Ibadhis in Oman). the sultan of the Ottomans assumed the title of caliph because he needed to be seen as having legitimacy, not just power. The kings of Morocco and Jordan are thought legitimate by many because they are "shariif," i.e., of the blood of the prophet. IS is a rival for the status, that in my opinion, Erdogan wants. He helped them for a time IMO in the hope that they would prepare the ground for him but then they turned against him. Now they are enemies. Might he help help Russia against the non-IS jihadis? He might but it would only be because they have become inconvenient to his ambition. He always be an enemy to the multi-confessional government of Syria. He regards the Israelis as dhimmi People of the Book who can be used for a time. All of you people continue to plow the barren ground of poly sci for answers. pl

-bwg

In light of the disruption that a counter putsch of this magnitude will cause to the Turkish economy, I wonder whether Erdogan has received assurances from any Gulf potentates to cover his losses.

SmoothieX12

Is he patterning these purges after Uncle Joe S?

What is "patterning" purges after Stalin? You mean "troika" commissions? Or you mean show case trials?

We know what it cost the Soviet Union if the creme is skimmed.

No, you don't, unless you read some propaganda. While army's purges in 1937 and up to 1941 did have some inevitable adverse effect on overall performance of the Red Army early months of Great Patriotic War these were not purges which predetermined Red Army's early defeats in 1941. If you don't believe me, read assessments of pre-war and First Period Of War by David Glantz and Johnathan House in 2015 re-issue of their seminal "When Titans Clashed: How The Red Army Stopped Hitler". Issues of the fighting doctrine and institutional transition during the onset of Barbarossa were by far most decisive factors in what turned out to be a very bloody Summer of 1941 for the Red Army.

turcopolier

Seamus Padraig

"a real coup attempt sponsored by Washington," what part of the Obama Administration LOVED Erdogan did you miss?

Bandolero

Pat

"Does anyone wish to argue that Tayyip Sultan is not attempting to create a totalitarian state?"

I do. As I understand it, Erdogan just cleans important Turkish state institutions from people whom he suspects of having dual loyalties to certain foreign countries or people residing in certain foreign countries.

As many people in the private education sector are suspected to have dual loyalties to a person residing in such a foreign country, Erdogan revoked the licenses of their institutions so that they can't use their positions in the education industry to built more of a network of people with dual loyalties.

I don't think that's designed to build a totalitarian state. I think it's more likely designed to make a Turkish state where the loyalties of state employees are with the Turkish state, and only the Turkish state, instead of having loyalties to a certain foreign state not deemed to be a friend anymore by Turkey, too.

turcopolier

bandolero

It is surprising how many of you Germans are deeply hostile to the US. Do you yearn to see Germany purged of American influences? pl

SmoothieX12

The only commodity in politics is power. Anyone who begins to pontificate with all those "democracy" and "human rights" gospels, unless we are talking about something truly atrocious on genocidal scale, should remember that the power is the only commodity which matters--it is the hard currency. It always was like this, is like this and will remain like this for a foreseeable future, unless we kill ourselves in nuclear Armageddon (hopefully, not). People from the "elites" sell their souls for power (HRC or Bill, anyone?), they lust it, they are ready to go to almost any length to get it. Erdogan maybe (in fact he is) is a Son Of A Bitch but, unless it is proven that he staged the coup--and I lean more towards that he didn't (I could be wrong, of course)--no matter how we like him or not, he is for now a legitimate President, he acted within his capacity against C-O-U-P and as such he defended the Constitution of his nation. Again, is he SOB? Absolutely! He is Islamic dictator but he used his powers generally prudently. How he begins to behave after--it is totally different matter but he behaves more or less as any powerful man would if his legitimate power was assaulted. Donald understands that and those who still think that US "democracy" (in reality oligarchic Republic) is stuffed with liberty-loving altruistic servants--they better wake up, with some minor exceptions of true civil servants, most are into this for a single thing--power, which later easily translates into money and pursuit of happiness (strictly on individual bases). Donald supports not necessarily SOB Erdogan, he supports the institute of a legitimate political power. In this sense, Donald is correct.

steveg

SmoothieX12

Okay professor, if your past is
prologue how do you envision
this playing out? My intention as
a question.

Thomas

The only Washington DC involvement with Gulen and the Clueless Coup would come from one of the many private Security Consultant firms or associated think tanks. There are a few psychopathic Billionaires throwing around money for pet causes and to fulfill their fantasy foreign affairs pleasures that would invest in a peace council coup, especially if they felt it would help their ultimate pet cause's interests.


SmoothieX12

1. I am not a professor. I only express my opinions on subjects which I know on level required for more or less correct generalizations.

2. How I envision it playing out in what sense:
a) Internally (I am not a scholar on Turkey, my guess is as good as anyone's);
b) Geo-politically--it is a serious matter and I can only speculate in some fairly limited framework--namely Turkey's emerging relations with Eurasian Economic Union. This speculation requires a fairly large elaboration for which at this very moment I don't have time. Maybe tomorrow. I may need to talk to my friends in Baku--their perspective may help to understand things better.

HankP

SmoothieX12 -

Trump has a history of admiring strongmen no matter how they gained power, and no matter what heinous actions they've taken. Appealing to realpolitik doesn't make it sound any better.

Jack

PeteM, Bandolero, et al

In the fullness of time, all of you CIA did it conspiracy theorists, will come to realize that the Sultan is the Turkish state. No dissent to his autocratic rule will be tolerated. When he holds Merkel and the EU mandarins hostage watch them take it like champs.

As Col. Lang has noted before once Islamists take power they will ditch the democracy part and rule by force. Sooner rather than later as folks catch on the flight into Europe will accelerate. And that will only benefit Le Pen and other more reactionary elements who have a much different view of multi-culture PCness. Good luck!

sam

This is reminiscent of the cultural revolution in China. He is purging all the technocrats and educated people.. Turkey is going down the tube

Bill Herschel

I am ignorant in my own right. I have never taken political science which from the outside looks like an oxymoron. Your response is what I wanted. Thanks.

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