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29 November 2016

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Tyler

Onwards to Constantinople!

r whitman

What is important is what the Trump's Administration attitude or response will be. My take is that they will do nothing and just ignore it.

Will

Turkey is NATO and NATO IS Turkey.... NATO and Israel are up to their necks throughout the Takfiri Jihadi theaters... Hiding the forest with a tree won't help

TV

Isn't he Obama's buddy?

Lemur

General Flynn has extensive contacts with Turkey, and he bizarrely believes the sultan is threatened by militant Islam (instead of channeling it). On the other hand he also seems to accept Russia's POV on Syria. Let's hope his desire to knock out terrorists is greater than his desire to give Turkey carte blanche

Lemur

Seems Turkey's diminishing military and diplomatic power is in inverse proportion to the boastfulness of various Turkish trolls I run into elsewhere.

Their current claim is Turkey has developed and deployed advanced cruise missiles and radar jamming equipment that could stimey Russian efforts in Syria if necessary. Does anybody with technical knowledge have an objective assessment of these new Turk weapons systems?

David Habakkuk

All,

I am far too ignorant of the Middle East to venture a confident judgement.

But my suspicion has long been that very many people in the West, without realising it, encouraged him to go crazy.

The ‘end of history’ nonsense made it compulsory to believe in ‘moderate Islamists’ – people who, supposedly, would pioneer a reconciliation between Islam and ‘modernity’ (whatever precisely that means.)

As the Sultan appeared to fit the bill, people fooled themselves, so they did not grasp that what he wanted to be was just that – a Sultan.

In a somewhat different but related way, people have made the same mistake with Netanyahu.

So all the ‘liberal Zionists’ have refused to face the fact that he is in the end only very partly a product of Jewish history and culture, and in large measure a product of the kind of ethnonationalism that emerged in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Eastern Europe at something close to its worst.

There some fleeting signs that it has even began to occur to Jeffrey Goldberg – who cannot be accused of having much in the way of grey matter, as we say in England – that tying Jewish identity to the ‘revisionist Zionist’ project as exemplified by the Netanyahus is liable to be a recipe for a catastrophe.

But – I am not raising my hopes.

elev8

And he is quite successful in his attempt to ruin the Turkish economy.

Anna

"Media Silent as Lame-Duck Congress Passes Resolution for Syrian No-Fly Zone — Provoking War with Russia"
https://off-guardian.org/2016/11/28/media-silent-as-lame-duck-congress-passes-resolution-for-syrian-no-fly-zone-provoking-war-with-russia/

Sponsor: Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16] (Introduced 07/12/2016)
Committees: House - Foreign Affairs; Judiciary; Financial Services | Senate - Foreign Relations

Peter in Toronto

This latest announcement - to depose Assad - with a Syrian army on the precipice of victory in Aleppo, and no likely support from Washington, strikes me as particularly bizarre and irrational.

I can't fathom what is going on. Has Turkey gone entirely rogue from Washington after the coup attempt?

What could they possibly gain by having an armed showdown with Russia, especially now?

charly

3. Any Nato country that claims to have an army is a credible military partner in the NATO alliance.

4. EU leadership isn't weak but acts weak. That is something completely different. And those 6 billion were not for Syrian refugees but to make it political possible to say no (in stead of wait) to Turkeys EU membership. If you don't want Turkeys membership i would say that it is cheap (or more to the fact a trivial amount of money)

5. So? Problem is easily solved with having an internal border 100 KM from the Turkish boarder and sending the refugees back to Syria. It also allows us to get a peace treaty with Syria without loosing face.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang;
re: "Anything else?"

tayyip and his cronies have sponsored ISIS, enabled the passage of jihadis to Iraq and Syria, provided them with logistics, materiel and staging support, transported and sold ISIS oil, provided funds laundering, intelligence...all with the knowledge of the Borg.
I remind the pilgrims that this SOB was the darling of the Borg, and other assorted useful cretins, a decade or so ago. For all I know he is still a Borg operative fighting for his life.
Ishmael Zechariah
P.s: Tyler, It is Istanbul, get used to it.

Laura

I think that Trump will approve of the "Sultan's" moves as being "very strong." He likes strong. He also doesn't like NATO and will be quite thrilled that it is weakened. We are in for a hell of a ride with our national interest playing second fiddle to Trump's ego and need to be told how strong he is. "Strong men" leaders will say anything to stay strong. I think Trump will not ignore...he will approve and promote and emulate.

Fred

R whitman,

He's only President Elect and his command authority extends no further than his Twitter account. January 20th is a long way off.

Thomas

Madman and an effin' moron, because the next time Recep's head is selected for the spinal-cranial slicer no one is going send his cellphone a text tip to duck.

Interesting times indeed.

eakens

That is difficult to do if your forces are still in the region/country. I think you throw them to the wolves and see what Israel does.

Liza

Col. Lang:

Erdogan has just announced that Turkish forces have entered Syria to "remove the tyrant Assad." Hurriyet reported that Erdogan declared that Turkey has no territorial claims on Syria but is seeking "justice."

What's the method behind the Sultan's madness ? The answer may lie with this op-ed by Michael Flynn, the incoming National Security adviser, published on election day in "The Hill."

Flynn characterizes Fethullah Gulen as a "shady character" and "Islamic radical." Flynn writes that the US should not provide safe haven for Gulen.

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/305021-our-ally-turkey-is-in-crisis-and-needs-our-support

Flynn compares Gulen to the Aytollah Khomeini. He accuses "the brutal Quds Force" of slaughtering "innocent Syrian civilians."

Will the Trump administration cooperate with Russia in ending the conflict in Syria ? Flynn's op-ed certainly raises doubts.

Has Erdogan thought this through ? Turkey is almost entirely dependent on Russia and Iran for oil and natural gas. They could simply turn out his lights.

I have a question for you, Col Lang. Could Gulen actually be turned over to Gulen without causing severe damage to our intelligence services? Would any intelligence assets have confidence that the US government under Trump's leadership could be trusted ?

turcopolier

IZ

Am I right in thinking that Istanbul is a Turkish version of Constantinople? BTW, my favorite Turkish dish is anything that comes out of the sea and then grilled simply in a small seaside restaurant. Of course, there is also good Doner Kebab. pl

Haralambos

My reads today regarding Turkey and our US wars: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/11/25/turkey-threatens-to-flood-europe-with-refugees/

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/11/29/turkish-president-disputes-flag-of-cyprus/

Prof. Emeritus and Col. Andrew Bacevich's thoughts: http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176215/

I would be interested in thoughts on Bacevich's asessment of Trump and our wars. A British friend who has lived and worked in the Gulf for the past 30 years (the last 20 in Saudi Arabia) sent this:

With Trump as C-in-C we can look forward to Operation Incoherent Resolve. The greater Middle East is a cesspit of overpopulation, unemployment, inequality, repression and a place where Islam is at war with itself. I think we have to pull out, do our best to contain it, and wait till the combatants come up with their own version of the Treaty of Westphalia.

Best wishes all.

NotTimothyGeithner

Did they ever change the name from Constantinople? It might just be a nickname. "Istanbul" simply means "to the city." What city? Constantinople.

Haralambos

Col.,
My Greek friends tell me the Greeks referred to Constantinople as Η Πόλη. Those going there said they were going to meet friends and kin στην Πόλη. I have always had a healthy skepticism regarding folk etymology.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang,
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia: "The modern Turkish name İstanbul (pronounced [isˈtanbuɫ]) (Ottoman Turkish: استانبول‎) is attested (in a range of variants) since the 10th century, at first in Armenian and Arabic (without the initial İ-) and then in Turkish sources. It derives from the Greek phrase "στην Πόλη" " [stimˈboli], meaning "in the city" or "to the city", reinterpreted as a single word;[11][12] a similar case is Stimboli, Crete.[13] It is thus based on the common Greek usage of referring to Constantinople simply as The City ..." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamboul )

Here is an excellent song from when I was younger:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcze7EGorOk

Ishmael Zechariah

Tyler

IZ,

We'll see, won't we?

Thirdeye

"So all the ‘liberal Zionists’ have refused to face the fact that he is.... in large measure a product of the kind of ethnonationalism that emerged in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Eastern Europe at something close to its worst."

True for the Zionist movement in general and for National Socialism (via Russia and Austria-Hungary).

Henshaw

On a related matter, we now have the (heavily redacted) report on the Coalition's 'erroneous' airstrike at Deir Ezzor.
http://www.centcom.mil/Portals/6/media/REDACTED_FINAL_XSUM_Memorandum__29_Nov_16___CLEAR.pdf

Most of the report concerns deficiencies in procedure; the mis-identification that led to the strike gets only a single paragraph. I'm still puzzled – if the quality of your vision feed is high enough to enable you to identify clothing details, wouldn't you be able to pick up other distinguishing information, like which areas the 'defensive fighting positions' were covering?

Is Brigadier General Coe's arse adequately covered?

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