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24 January 2018


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Clear post. Many thanks.


No it wasn't.Answer your own question.



In your response to GeneO, you forgot to mention: What is wrong with sending the FSA and HTS as shock troops? Make excellent sense militarily to me.

I think the whole purpose of the Olive Branch is to get the US to blink (and bugger out). Without real US support (as opposed to promises and a few weapons), the Kurds will settle for a lousy deal with the Syrian gov't rather than the decent deal they could have had last week with the Syrian govt, before they decided to place their trust in the U.S. and its trivial number of advisors.

An inability to learn from (recent) history is the Kurdish tragedy (in the Greek tragedy sense). The US has a long history of abandoning Kurds (and other minorities, and allies) when they are no longer convenient or useful or become bothersome.

Sorry to the world, the US has interests not friends. And so do all other countries. Sadly, US interests are developed by multiple entities that neither talk nor listen to each other, and in many cases, believe they create reality.... This has been described aptly as not-agreement-capable.


.like Assad seems to have done reasonably well with Syrian Kurds

Walter, if you look closer into the Turkish-Syrian context, ignore for a while that the Kurds in Iraq already had their autonomy ..., you'll stumble across an older history related to the Kurds between Turkey and Syria. Turkey has the highest percentage of Kurds of any of these states. And Kurdish fighters often used Syria as retreat in early times.

IZ has a Turkish army background.

You could of course also go back and check the history of Kurdish failed attempts to get their own state post WWI. This always concerns several states now, and several States or mandated areas then.


Erdogan has been walking a bit of tightrope. Is he a "Nationalist" or an "Islamist" so far he is been able to convince both sides that he is their man" The time is coming where he has to decide which one he is!

OT - I think its becoming clear that if Trump tweets support for anything the Western MsM will immediately drop it as a story or take the opposite view.

The recent events in Iran have reflected it. Trump supports the demonstrators against the Iranian Govt and the Media either dropped the story or in fact made out the protesters were small in number or dominated by hardliners/conservatives. I even heard one CNN journalist talk about the restraint shown by the Iranian Govt. Now that's a first.

Maybe Trump should shower the White Helmets with praise and invite them to the WH. I suspect that cause of action would see those boys consigned to the dustbin of history very quickly.


2) Most deaths on Turkish side are Takfiri mercs, for not actually truly risking Turkish lives.

I noticed that. News images? Thanks, the curious 66+ international coalition seemed a strange attempt at disinformation from early on. Libya? Arab partners? Multilateral US action vs unilateral? Would be interesting to either look at the censored documents or read what scholars write in 100 years from now.

Account Deleted

Welcome to SST @SteLe

Re "The old and proven tactic, of uniting a country behind a politician by war."

The FT agrees and suspect Erdogan will use the wave of nationalist fervor to try and win an early election


Ishmael Zechariah

re:"When the Turkish Republic was established on the remains of Ottoman territory following WWI it was a repudiation of the multi-ethnic/multi-religious empire in favor of a strictly ethno-sectarian homogeneous Hanafi Sunni Muslim population. This is the cornerstone of nationalism"
Three questions:
1-Who "established" the Turkish Republic?
2-Can you explain how nationalism can be based on "religion"?
3-If it was based on "religion", then why do the islamists hate Ataturk and his Republic?

re:After early uprisings that were brutally repressed, use of their language was banned in public and all symbols of their culture, music, literature, etc. were suppressed
Two questions:
1-Can you give examples of the past of this rich culture? Their alphabet, the nations they formed, etc?
2-The Turkish Republic had very limited resources after the long wars which established it. Could it pay attention to all the "multi-cultural" nonsense which hastened the demise of the Ottoman Empire?
BTW, do you know how many kurdish "cultures" there were? Do you know how they get along?

re:The very progressive pro-Kurdish HD Party which brought into the parliament the most diverse set of MPs in the history of the Republic, including more women than ever, Ezidis, Christians, and a Mhalmi, religious and secular alike and representing the LGBT community.
Two questions, a few points:
1-How many "yezidis" live in the Turkish Republic?
2-Did the HDP parliamentarians take part in attacks on security forces?

i-tayyip was using these "progressives" as useful idiots in consolidating his rule, as they were using him. Both sides were against the secular nationalists. At the end, tayyip came on top and eliminated them. Good riddance.
ii-The majority of Turks do not care a tinker's dam about homosexuals, pseudo-liberals, progressives or others of that ilk. We will be happy to send them all to you; might be they will all join ANTIFA, vote for Hillary and put her over the top. Aquarius will reign.

AKP and tayyip were a color revolution, in keeping with the Yinon Plan and PNAC. the kurds are a part of the izzie plan to keep ME fractionated. Any "analysis" which does not take these documented facts into consideration is incomplete.

Please suit up and come on down. Plenty of western volunteers in the PKK ranks. It is fun to walk the walk along w/ talking the talk.

Ishmael Zechariah


Not your mistake, Babak. I think, Syria stopped to protect him at one point. Thus you basically are correct. ...

Babak Makkinejad

This is a fine summary but whitewashes Kurdish parties of their own responsibility in all of this.

For example, HD was undermined by the resumption of the war - not a conflict, war - by PKK. Did DH leaders wink and nod to PKK leaders? I wonder.

Again, AKP was the party that established the primacy of Civilian control over the Military in the Turkish Republic.

AKP and Erdogan moved Turkey forward; if the West cared about Turkey, Christians and others, it would have helped foster and build upon "No Problems with Neighbor's" policy - but that was not to be. It was more important to wreck Syria to contain Iran - Christians and Yazidis be damned.

Erdogan acted like a good man servant to his betters in NATO, until he did not. You cannot hide the responsibility of the Olympians in all of this.


2-Can you explain how nationalism can be based on "religion"?

allow me to jump in if i may.

the treaty of Westphalia, the starting point of modern nationalism was not a separation of church and state, but its complete linking.

we have come to take the term secularism as the absence of religion, but it really meant what we mean when we talk about secular dictators in the middle east, that is "anti-clericalism"

the french revolution as well was a deeply religious conflict,

and coming to a much closer case, greece, during the partition of Greece and turkey, the exchange of peoples between the two new states was based on only religion. so people who were greek in language were not included in the greek nationalism,

there are many other examples but the homogeneity in many European countries leads to obscure the deep religious rouots to all modern nationalism

p.s. sorry for the scattershot response, this thread is why i love Sic Senper Tyrannis, and now i used up my whole break reading and following up info, so maybe tonight ill find some source to my arguments.


in hindsight, as German ;), I would like to amend this:

see LeaNder @60, gotta get out of here: note to myself.

vs unilateral?

unilateral "cum" willing partners?

David Habakkuk

blue peacock,

I went down with a ‘lergy’ at New Year so I am getting up to speed on this, but a lot of leads are being opened up by Simpson’s testimony.

For some time I have thought that the first memo at least was as you say. Although one has to be cautious about making confident assertions, the contents look to me like pure fabrication, a panicky response designed to legitimise a FISA application or applications in a hurry, in the hope/expectation that they would make it possible to obtain usable compromising material.

The designation format it used, with the heading ‘Company Intelligence Report 2016/080’, does not look to me what one would expect from a well-run private security company submitting material to a client.

It looks much more like what one would expect, if indeed a collaboration between Fusion and FBI/DOJ people resulted in an hastily drafted document, and they wanted to make it look as though it was supplied by an outside consultant. The question of whether that should be Fusion or someone else could possibly left open at the outset, but the fact that it was necessary to claim sources in Moscow pointed to Steele, a long-term ‘partner in crime’ of the whole group.

The obvious implausibility of the numbering of the documents got those who had produced the dossier into trouble later. The gaps would only make sense if the sequence included memoranda sent to other clients about other matters. But, again, a well-run private security company would not mix up work for different clients in this way.

The second memorandum also seems to me likely to have come out of a Fusion/FBI collaboration. However, I am not persuaded it is simply fiction, not least because it directly contradicts the accounts then being provided by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘Crowdstrike’ and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait of how the documents from the DNC got to ‘WikiLeaks.’

It may be relevant that the FSB’s Center for Information Security is the point of contact for the FBI for cyber-security matters. I have yet to be persuaded that the arrests for treason of two probably key personnel at the Center, Colonel Sergei Mikhailov and Major Dmitri Dokuchaev, are to be taken at face value.

This is all the more so as the lawyer for another possible dossier source who was accused along with the pair, the head of the department of the investigation of computer incidents at Kaspersky Lab, Ruslan Stoyanov, turned out to be Alexander Gusak – who played a key role in the Litvinenko mystery and was one of the targets of the Berezovsky ‘StratCom’ machine.

The memorandum reads to me like what might emerge, if people Mikhailov, Dokuchaev and Stoyanov were feeding their FBI contacts a deliberate mixture of accurate information and garbage, which was then fed to people like Strzok.

This might account for the apparently suicidal way in which whoever published the dossier failed to redact the name of Aleksej Gubarev and his company in the final memorandum – an omission which I find really puzzling.

A trap could have been set, into which the targets fell hook, line and sinker, with whoever was responsible for the decision to publish taking it for granted that there was enough truth in the claims to inhibit Gubarev from legal action.

The sources are said to have explained that ‘FSB often uses coercion and blackmail to recruit most capable cyber operatives in Russia into its state-sponsored programmes.’ In general, coercion and blackmail have some limitations as means of recruiting people to do top secret work, as for obvious reasons their discretion cannot be taken for granted.

However, the case of Dokuchaev – who started out stealing credit card numbers and was then recruited by the FSB – looks to me the kind of circumstances in which it might make very good sense to recruit someone with a criminal past, and in which you might have no reason to distrust them: ‘We could send you to prison, but you could have a lot of fun serving the Motherland.’

Precisely the kind of criminal I think the FSB would be unlikely to recruit would be the figure linked in the final memorandum with Gubarev – Sevastyan Kaptsugovich, who had apparently been sentenced in 2013 to 18 years in a penal colony for operating a network of child porn websites.

Linking him and Gubarev looks to me like the kind of joke which might be concocted by people who thought they were dealing with pompous asses (as they were), and calculated that these could be played for suckers, so some of them would have to end up having to defend preposterous accusations in court.

(I imagine the prospect of Steele having to face a court he might not be able to rig would give Alexander Gusak a source of great amusement.)

The fact that Dokuchaev’s background has been exploited to accuse him of being instrumental in the theft of data from half a billion Yahoo users reinforces my suspicions. This looks to me like what would be liable to happen, if people had been tricked and were livid about it.

(Likewise, some of the animus behind the ludicrous accusations against Andrei Lugovoi of pioneering nuclear terrorism may have reflected anger at his real offence: being used by the Russian security services in what was I think was a successful operation to split away Berezovsky’s long-standing partner Patarkatsishvili.)

As to the putting of Mogilevich and the ‘Solntsevskaya Bratva’ centre stage by Simpson and others, I would recommend as a good source the relevant entries on the ‘Violent Non-State Actors Database’ kept by the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, although they need to be supplemented with other material.

(See http://research.ridgway.pitt.edu/topics/gang-intro/violent-non-state-actors-database/ )

Briefly, that individual and that organisation have been a staple resource for a whole range of people in ‘StratCom’ activities, going back a long way. These include accusations against Putin and the FSB of attempting to equip Al Qaeda with a ‘mini nuclear bomb.’

One of the reasons why the victors in the ‘Orange Revolution’ lost power was that Yanukovych was not the only one against whom the Mogilevich card could be used – Tymoshenko and Yushchenko played it against each other.

In addition, such accusations featured in the ‘StratCom’ used against Khodorkovsky and his close associate Alexander Khonankyin, and were also deployed by the former FBI agent Robert Levinson in preventing the INS, in collaboration with the Russians, securing the latter’s extradition.

The likelihood is that the operation to launder looted assets out of Russia in which Konanykhin played a central role was done with the connivance of elements in the CIA. The certainty is that Levinson’s disappearance on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007 resulted from his involvement in an operation run by elements in the CIA – one Anne Jablonski looks to have been a crucial figure.

If one puts this together with the evidence about his involvement with the ‘StratCom’ group centred around Berezovsky, in particular Litvinenko and Yuri Shvets, and knows something about what they were up to, two things appear quite probable.

The likely goal of Levinson’s mission was to make credible claims about the supply from Russia of nuclear materials and components to Iran, so as to incriminate the leaderships of both countries, and in particular provide a possible ‘casus belli’ against the latter.

This would have been a natural priority for people like him and Jablonski, in the period which ended up with the destruction of the case for immediate war on Iran when the November 2007 NIE painted a very much more sanguine view of that country’s nuclear programme than the May 2005 Intelligence Community Estimate.

What I think likely is that the dual role of elements in the FBI, in which involvement in quite proper investigations of criminal organisations and activities is mixed with using material so gained for ‘StratCom’ in support of very questionable foreign policy agendas, goes back a long way.

A crucial question now is in making sense of the way that the ‘Mogilevich/Solntsevskaya’ card has been played by Simpson both against Trump and to demolish the ‘StratCom’ of Bill Browder against Putin.

This is all the more so if one thinks as I do, that Russian claims that MI6 and the CIA used Browder to recruit Alexei Navalny as an agent for ‘régime change’, and in bogus ‘StratCom’ designed to create a pretext for sanctions, may contain quite a lot of truth.

It is of interest that an American Russianist called Ed Baumgartner, who runs with his partners a company called ‘Edward Austin’ in London, was involved in both investigations. His ‘tweets’ are worth a look – the man is pretty bonkers, as well as nasty. I think a lot of these people may be. What his ‘tweets’ also suggest to me is that they may be running scared.

I devoutly hope so.

(See https://twitter.com/ebaumgar73?lang=en&lang=en .)

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Sorry mate, but this is the same lame argumentation Romania/Spain etc uses to refrain from giving at least some autonomy to their minorities.

Make ur country a place where all people feel better than anywhere else.

As simple as that. The people would feel better there. Like the azeris in Iran.


Erdo cannot afford to abandon one of the two pillars of his constituency. He got his referendum [barely] through an alliance between the his AK Party and the ultra-nationalist MHP, which is not inhospitable to Islamists. There is no real contradiction between them unless you mean by nationalists, the CH Party, who are the loyalists to the Ataturkist ideology, which is nationalist, but also statist and strictly secular.

He Sultan's potential competition for the elections next year is growing. Now there is the new "Good Party" led by a former female minister of the interior from pre-AKP days which is a break away from the geriatric leadership of the ultra-nationalist MHP. If she stands for election, the CH Party, the Ataturkists, have promised to back her because they don't have anyone that could compete.

Meanwhile, a ghost from the past, one of the original AKP founders and their first president, one of the many old guard, pre-autocracy, is rumored that Abdullah Gul may enter the race as well. He offers hope to the people who were originally attracted to the principles of he AKP but have been put off by all the corruption and other dubious things to do with Erdo and group nowadays see him as the original, along with all the technocrats that were his followers.

For Erdo it is all more than assuming legally all the extra dictatorial powers he granted the president through the referendum that he is already using. If he loses, he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison for all the corrupt and illegal things he has done. Remember his family were Zarrab's partners and that is just a part of all the scandals revealed in 2013 and for which he purged the police, prosecutors and judges, paving the way for full-on autocracy.

Babak Makkinejad

Azeris created Modern Iran, of course they feel good there.

Babak Makkinejad

You keep on trying to make this about Erdogan, that is no longer the case. Even anti-Erdogan and anti-AKP Turks are now supporting the destruction of any Kurdish Military formations in Northern Syria. The West has lost Turks.


The West has lost Turks.

I wouldn't rush to such a conclusion. Erdogan is in many respects a lose cannon and initial enthusiasm for war is a hard thing to sustain. I don't know Turkey really that well at all but it is still not-Western country to start with and Turkey's value for Europe and US was her NATO membership and Erdogan is not intent on leaving this organization even despite some dramatic gestures.


Azeris created Modern Iran, of course they feel good there.

Yet, Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia is also very significant. In fact, it is largest apart from Iran's native Azeri population. Most talented and educated of them still prefer Russia for obvious reasons. Merchants too. There is even an anecdote about it in Russia about last island of resistance in Moscow against Chinese invasion being Azeris defending their last bazaar to the last drop of blood.


No body said it’s not the same argument, you asked why is it an existential threat and I explained that was the argument obviously or what you want hear. Nevertheless it may to the way you want and start the process of Salami slicing and it may not. My heat is it’s not good going to happen this not Romania or Spain.


Exactly and the other guy asks why is it an existential threat to Turkey and when explained why, he changes the question with his own desired readout. If you already know the answers why do you need ask?


I had never heard of Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, evidently a woman with a masters degree from USC. She writes here about the 1981 Algiers Accords between USA and Iran, and says USA has consistently violated them ever since.
This week marks the 37th anniversary of a pledge made by the United States in 1981: “The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”

This week also marks 37 continuous years of the United States failing to uphold its pledge: the 1981 Algiers Accords.



the french revolution as well was a deeply religious conflict,

Explain. Would you please, paul? Why do you call it "deeply religious".

You don't have slightly delayed equal rights in mind? Enlightenment vs religion? The Fifth Estate? Church possessions?

I ask since it reminds of a book by "a friend" I had to, admittedly, read on Microfiche. Which I find very strenuous, thus I may not have paid the enough attention.... Religion, Nation, State.

I didn't know about religion in the Turkish-Greece inhabitants exchange. Or was it only one way? That's true.


Long time lurker, first time commenting.

The Izzies supported Barzani's father Mustafa against the Iraqi government for decades. Menachim Begin admitted that long ago. And probably they have also supported the son against Sadaam. I have no doubt they are or were also supporting Kurdish militant groups in Iran, if so it was most likely the KDP-I.

The PKK though is a different story. Israel always tried to maintain good relations with Turkey, because back in 1949 Turkey was the first Muslim majority country to formally recognize Israel as a State. There are statues and memorials to Ataturk in Beersheba and Yehud. The Turkish Air Force uses Israeeli made Heron UAVs. Israeli operators used ground surveillance systems, both infrared and visible-light, on the Herons to find PKK mountain bases for the Turkish Army and trained TAF operators in their use. In the 1990s Mossad and MIT started cooperating on strategic intelligence. Turkey helped Mossad to spy on Iran. And it was Mossad in 1999 that tracked Ocalan to Kenya so that the MIT could capture him.

There is hostility in Israel against the PKK. There are several reasons. The PKK supported the Palestinians during the Izzie invasion of Lebanon in 1982, eleven PKK fighters were KIA by the IDF. You have to wonder how many of the 600 plus Israeli dead and 3000 plus wounded were due to the PKK. The Syrian Army and the PLO got the credit but they were not alone. Another reason is the good relationship that the PKK had with Hafez Assad, and also with the Iranians. A third reason is the 1999 attack on the Israeli consulate in Berlin by PKK supporters with iron bars where they took an Israeli staff member hostage - plus the hundreds of protests by Kurds around the world against other Israeli consulates and embassies - all in protest against Mossad involvement in taking down Ocalan.


You say
" it was Mossad in 1999 that tracked Ocalan to Kenya so that the MIT could capture him."
Yesterday's nyt says not, says it was usa, and quotes usa officials bragging about it, did you read it?

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