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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Changing Times in Turkey



As time goes by: Turkey’s role in Syria’s unfolding crisis
Dr. Can Erimtan is an independent scholar residing in İstanbul, with a wide interest in the politics, history and culture of the Balkans and the Greater Middle East. He tweets at @theerimtanangle
Published time: December 26, 2013 14:08

Under Erdogan Turkey became directly involved in the Syrian crisis as his support for the Muslim Brotherhood brought an ideological context to Turkey’s hostile stance against Assad’s government.
At the beginning of 2011, continuing protests against Assad finally led to the end of the 48-year state of emergency in Syria and an amnesty for political prisoners, not without US and EU pressure. But several months later a well-known US whistleblower Sibel Edmonds claimed that the US and Turkey have been giving logistic aid and military training to the Syrian armed opposition since “April-May 2011”. Edmonds even declared that the US Air Force base in İncirlik (Turkey) was used as a training facility for the so-called Free Syrian Army and other opponents of the Damascus regime – in her own words, “the dissident base in Syria.”
In June 2011, the Assad government declared that 120 members of its security forces were killed by “armed gangs” in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour, located about 16 kilometers from Turkey’s Hatay region. Assad’s troops laid siege to the town and more than 10,000 people subsequently fled to Turkey.
Since then reports have surfaced that Libyan fighters from Misrata went to Syria in an effort to support attempts to overthrow Assad. In addition, rumors equally abounded about Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s mobilization of jihadist fighters to undermine the Baath regime in Syria. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been vocal in his condemnation of Bashar al-Assad, ever since the outbreak of hostilities in Syria.
In spite of the Turkish government’s current belligerent stance on the Damascus regime – be it in the form of a “covert” war or as providing mere “logistic aid and military training” – in the early years of its AKP government, “Turkey proved instrumental in breaking Syria’s international isolation, which paved the way for Assad’s visit to France in 2005. In 2007, a free trade agreement between Turkey and Syria boosted the bilateral trade volume from $796 million in 2006 to $2.5 billion in 2010. In 2008, Turkey even brokered peace talks between Syria and Israel. While the following year, Ankara and Damascus abolished the visa regime, thus far hampering the free movement of people and products between both countries.”
As a result, one can but wonder about the reasons behind Erdoğan’s sudden change of heart. These political interactions took place against the backdrop of Turkey’s growing economic clout. Turkey was quite successful on the international front, promulgating Foreign Minister Davutoğlu’s principle of "strategic depth" and his much-vaunted “zero problems policy”. In 2010, I described this pragmatic policy of Turkey as “pseudo-Ottoman”, as a political means of maximizing its economic clout in the region and beyond. In this context of Turkey’s increased economic stature, Turkey’s forays into Pipelineistan, by means of the projected Nabucco Pipeline, appeared under threat from a venture by Iran, Iraq and significantly Syria. Syria’s civil war then seemed like a fortunate obstruction, ensuring the success of Turkey’s designs to thwart Russia’s energy hold on the EU. Since then, however, the Nabucco project has been sidestepped by the operators of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea (BP, Total, Statoil and SOCAR). This economic plot might provide a practical reason for the Turkish Prime Minister’s sudden change of heart.
Beyond such purely pragmatic grounds, Syria’s beleaguered president has suggested a distinctly ideological motive for Tayyip Erdoğan’s unexpected enmity. In an interview given by Bashar al-Assad last October, conducted by the Turkish journalist, Ece Zereycan, and broadcast on the Turkish television channel, Halk TV, he described his earlier cordial relations with the Turkish prime minister, concluding that the latter’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood caused the Turkish state to become an enemy of Syria, while maintaining that the Syrian people are still very fond of Turkey and its people. Bashar al-Assad believes that the Turkish PM, as a Sunni Muslim, who is arguably pursuing a policy of sunnification domestically, has become allied with his Sunni opponents.

The French intellectual, Thierry Meyssan, for his part, is even more outspoken on this topic. Meyssan calls the “Muslim Brotherhood, a secret organization that Erdogan and his team have always been affiliated to, despite their denials”. And in effect, as a pious believer and self-proclaimed Muslim Democrat, Tayyip Erdoğan has been more than outspoken in his support for the Brotherhood, particularly praising the fifth president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, and strongly condemning his removal from office on 3 July 2013 by the “coup that is not a coup” led by General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
Edmonds’ [US whistleblower] claims that Turkey under Erdoğan is directly involved in the Syria crisis were apparently confirmed in 2012 when Eric Schmitt published his scoop in the New York Times. In his piece, Schmitt wrote that a “small number of CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government”. Elaborating on his claim, Schmitt added that these “weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” [unnamed American] officials said. In addition to the counties listed, Germany’s involvement was also made public last year. According to the German tabloid newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, (and confirmed by the reputable die Zeit), Angela Merkel’s government dispatched the 84-metre long naval service ship, Oker, to Syria’s coast. The Oker, which usually patrols the eastern Mediterranean for NATO, has the capacity to collect information from locations as deep as 600 kilometers inland: arguably intelligence about Syrian troop movements, in this case information it can then forward to Syrian opposition fighters. At the time, US and British spy agencies also seem to have provided vital information for anti-Assad forces to be forwarded by the German navy ship.

In fact, Turkey’s greater direct involvement in Syria was then also confirmed by the news agency, Reuters. From Dubai, Reuters’ Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr reported that “Turkey has set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border,” citing some Gulf sources. News of the clandestine Middle East-run ‘nerve center’ working to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlines the extent to which Western powers – who played a key role in unseating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – have avoided military involvement so far in Syria. In this instance, it seems that Reuters apparently forgot that Turkey is part and parcel of the Western alliance as a NATO member and close friend of the US. Or is it that only Israel, as an imported nation state in the Middle East, can be publicly termed a member of the Western powers? Nevertheless, Doherty and Bakr’s story clearly shows that Turkey was stepping out of the shadows and publicly assumed a leading role in the mission to topple the Syrian Baath regime.
On the verge of military invasion
Turkey has been close to intervening militarily on a number of occasions, in response to provocations that could arguably be described as false-flag operations.
In late 2012, a civilian home in the Turkish border town of Akçakale was apparently attacked by the Syrian army. And rumors of Turkish troops entering the fray immediately started flying about, but in the end, Turkey settled for firing a number of mortar rounds into Syrian territory. After it transpired that the attack did not constitute a sufficient casus belli [grounds for war] for Turkey, the German media station ZDF (Heute in Europa or ‘Today in Europe’) even reported that Syrian “rebels” attacked a Turkish border town. The Turkish government took revenge for the attack and simply shot back, a retaliation which, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, resulted in the death of three Syrian soldiers.
Earlier this year, another provocation occurred in the small border town of Reyhanlı, also known as “little Syria” locally. Two deadly bomb blasts rocked the town, killing at least 51 people and injuring 140. The Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan immediately seized the opportunity to issue war-like threats and conjure up an atmosphere of imminent hostilities, similar to the situation in 1999 when Turkey had also threatened Syria with war on account of Damascus harboring the PKK’s leader, Abdullah Öçalan. In response to the Reyhanlı attack, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç even stated that Syria’s Mukhabarat [intelligence agency] and armed organizations are the usual suspects in planning and carrying out such devilish plans”, clearly laying the blame at Assad’s doorstep.
Still, it seems puzzling why the Syrian regime would perpetrate such a heinous act. And then, Turkey’s Interior Minister Muammer Güler held a press conference, declaring that “For the time being there is no evidence suggesting that Al-Qaida was involved.” Still, Erdoğan held firm: “These attacks betray the intention of a country on fire which is trying to drag Turkey into the same fire. These attacks, to put it bluntly, are the bloody Baath regime’s attempt to provide an opportunity to its collaborators... These attacks aim to provoke those who live together in peace, in serenity, in fraternity, particularly in Hatay. Most importantly, these attacks target Turkey which has resolved its terror issue, reinforced fraternity, put an end to mothers’ tears,” adding that “This incident is definitely connected to the [Syrian] regime. The [Syrian] regime is behind this incident. That is evident.”
At the time Turkey was prepared to go to war, but first, Tayyip Erdoğan met with US President Barrack Obama, and, as I then wrote “prior to boarding his States-bound flight he announced to the nation that, upon his return, things would be very different”. Erdoğan seemed particularly keen to impose a “no-fly-zone”, similar to that in Libya, as he reiterated during his NBC interview with Ann Curry. During the PM’s talk with the US president, “Obama emphasized that the US ‘reserves the right’ to attack Syria militarily, in spite of a deal previously agreed upon with Russia to pursue a negotiated settlement at a peace conference in Geneva to be held [in June, and now in January 2014]. Still, Obama insisted that the US would not attack Syria unilaterally, arguably willing to relegate the main responsibility to an actor like Turkey as part of a ‘broader alliance’. Being the consummate statesman that he is, President Obama said that the US has ‘no magic formula for dealing with an extraordinary violent and difficult situation like Syria’s’.” And so, war was once more averted and Turkey did not send its troops into Syria.
Turkey has nevertheless been active in the pursuit of its Syria policy, apparently spending more than TL694 million ($386 million) from the Prime Ministry’s discretionary funds to this end in 2012. These discretionary funds can be used by the Prime Minister to finance ‘secret intelligence gathering’ and ‘covert operations’ in the pursuit of ‘national security’ and other ‘high benefits’ of the state, as worded by Article 24 of the Law regarding Management and Control of Public Finances. The quoted figure was published by the Turkish daily Vatan, indicating that over the past ten years the fund has paid out TL2.866 billion. The fact that last year’s discretionary spending was nearly double the amount of 2011 (TL 391 million) has led some to argue that these funds must have been used in furthering Turkey’s goals in Syria. According to Cem Ertür, affiliated with the independent research and media organization Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) based in Montreal, “This fund is financing Turkey’s covert war on Syria.”
Turkey’s unsuccessful attempts to initiate direct foreign intervention in Syria have since been made irrelevant by the use of “chemical weapons” in Syria. The world remembered President Obama’s reference to a “red line” first uttered at a press conference in the White House on 20 August 2012. The fact that the Assad regime possessed stockpiles of these agents became a convenient ploy, particularly following the Ghouta chemical attack on 21 August 2013. Even though US Secretary of State John Kerry was immediately convinced of Assad’s guilt, others have convincingly suggested that the “rebels” backed by Saudi Arabia’s Director of National Intelligence, Bandar bin Sultan, bore responsibility for the attack. The ensuing course of international reaction to the events appears like a movie script, with CBS correspondent Margaret Brennan and John Kerry saying that “[Assad] could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week” – a phrase which led to the formulation of a cunning plan by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov. Now Assad’s chemical weapons are in the process of being destroyed and a Geneva-2 peace conference is scheduled for 22 January 2014.
Turkey’s thwarted attempts to play a major role in Syria appear to have led to its current demotion on the world stage. In another context, the Turkologist, Andranik Ispiryan, even broadly spoke of the failure of what I have termed Turkey’s pseudo-Ottoman ambitions, paraphrasing Davutoğlu’s well-known dictum as “zero neighbors, multiple problems”. Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war at home constitute one of these problems. According to data provided by the UN, Turkey now hosts more than 600,000 Syrians (from the humble 10,000 two years ago), compared to approximately 50,000 Syrian asylum applicants for the whole of the EU. The Turkish government takes its responsibility towards these refugees very seriously. In a joint effort by the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association (Türk Eczacıları Birliği) and the Disaster & Emergency Management Presidency (Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı or AFAD), the Syrian refugees have been incorporated into Turkey’s centralized healthcare system, enabling them to obtain free medication from any pharmacy in the country. Turkey’s Ministry of Health (Sağlık Bakanlığı), led by Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, has also applied a unified system for treating Syrian refugees residing in Turkey’s bigger provinces: in the first instance, these refugees will be able to receive free treatment at family health centers. Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek declared that TL400 million has been allocated to the care of Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey. The government’s care for the Syrian refugees in the country has led to many concerned voices in Turkey speaking out – particularly, those opposed to the AKP government and individuals critical of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. As such, a conspiracy theory even surfaced, claiming that these refugees were to be given the right to vote in Turkey’s elections, which would arguably constitute another boost for Erdoğan and his party. But the Minister of the Interior Muammer Güler issued a statement in response, indicating that no such plans were afoot and that, according to the Turkish Citizenship Law, such rapid transfer of citizenship, which would offer the right to vote, was not possible.

In the end, one cannot but state that Turkey’s Syria policy has not led to any happy conclusions and that, in contrast, Turkey’s standing at home as well as abroad has suffered tremendously. In view of next year’s scheduled elections, one cannot but wonder whether the opposition will be able to oust the AKP from its lofty position, or if the grassroots support enjoyed by Erdoğan and his cohorts will be sufficient to continue the status quo and even turn Turkey’s Prime Minister into the country’s President. Only time will tell.

64 comments:

  1. However, supporters of Erdogan have identified Fetullah Gülen, the head of a religiously conservative civil society movement that enjoys broad-based societal support and is alleged to have sympathisers in the ranks of the Turkish National Police and judiciary, as the primary culprit. Gülen, who has lived in the US since the late 1990s, was a long-time ally and supporter of the PM's Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    ...

    The corruption scandal and the conflict with the Gülen movement are likely to aggravate the growing instability and turbulence in the country. The government is already planning a major cabinet revision in the hope that this might help save the image of the AKP as "clean", while continuing to purge Gülenists from the party ranks and state apparatus.

    This week, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler resigned after their sons were charged. The PM is also hoping to rally his supporters and electoral base by presenting the scandal as a conspiracy against the successes of Erdogan-led Turkey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder if anyone is worried about the nukes. Turkey had the Muslim Bomb (via NATO) before Pock E Ston ever managed to pull it off.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As the "Geneva II" peace conference draws close, the overwhelming majority of the prospective participants of the international meeting is deadset against the Syrian regime.

    ...

    The participants of the conference, which is due on January 22, 2013, include five permenant members of UN Security Council (USA, UK, China, Russia, France), the Arab League, the EU, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Algeria, Brasil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonasia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Omman, Qatar, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    ...

    Turkey, an outspoken critique of the Syrian regime, supports the opposition in the neighboring country. Turkey insists that all options must stay on the table including military ones to bring back peace to Syria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most powerful military and most industrialized country in the region is missing from the roster. Why?

      Delete
    2. Next time the Muslims want to pontificate, Israel can say, "Hey, I was not invited to your party, now, you are not invited to mine. Ditto to the enablers of this discrimination.

      Delete

    3. This year, the rabbis cited
      “the extreme seriousness involved in killing fetuses, which is like actual murder.”




      bob

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  4. On this day in 1982, the personal computer was selected as TIME’s Person of the Year, marking the first time a non-human had been given the award.

    ReplyDelete
  5. HOUSTON (AP) — A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.

    Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, made a brief appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy, who scheduled a detention hearing for the Katy man on Friday.

    According to prosecutors, the attack happened Nov. 24 in Katy, but it wasn't until 12 days later that authorities connected the attack to the cellphone video of it.

    Authorities learned of the case because Barrett allegedly showed the video on the night of the attack to an off-duty arson investigator he had just met at a restaurant in nearby Folshear. According to the criminal complaint, Barrett asked the off-duty investigator and the woman with the investigator if they knew about the knockout game. He told them he played earlier that day, then showed them the video, prosecutors allege.

    The investigator then flagged down a uniformed officer across the street and led him to Barrett.

    The attack video doesn't show Barrett's face, but investigators matched his voice to the voice in the video and the couple at the restaurant told investigators that Barrett was wearing the same shorts and shoes at the person who shot the video.

    According to prosecutors, the video shows Barrett approach the victim and ask, "How's it going, man?" A "loud smack" is then heard, the victim falls to the ground, Barrett laughs and says, "Knockout." The assailant then flees in his vehicle.

    The victim lost three teeth and needed surgery to repair his jaw, which had been broken in two places. He was hospitalized for more than four days, authorities said.

    Investigators retrieved other videos from Barrett's phone, including some in which he uses racial epithets and talks about trying to work up the courage to play the knockout game, the complaint states. In one, Barrett says: "That plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?"

    U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said Thursday that such crimes won't be tolerated.


    bob

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  6. There is nothing like a little gunfire to mobilize the base prior to an election.

    What does Turkey get with al-Assad gone? Not much if the Islamists survive as a cohesive military and proselytizing force in northern Syria and southern Turkey. They must be put to work somewhere, but where?

    Hezbollah must be destroyed as al-Assad is destroyed. This creation of Iran cannot be allowed a foothold within Sunni territory or Christian territory. Hamas said today it wants a battle like the Horns of Hattan. As Hezbollah is forced to withdraw the opportunity for such a double envelopment will come. The outcome will not be to the liking of Hamas.

    As a country, Syria has seized to exist. Unlike the German survivors of WWII, the Syrians lack the wherewithal to reconstruct a country from rubble. Who will make up the civil service? It seems to me that the powers in the region are going to have to administer Syria for years to come. How will administrative zones be determined and who will act as the civil authority in each?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bunk and propaganda

      The Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern would like you to believe that Syria has 'ceased to exist', but that is an out right lie.

      If it were not a lie, the Israeli would not be conducting air strikes against the Assad regime, which they have been doing for the past nine months or so.

      Wishful thinking on the part of the Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern does not make it a reality.


      bob

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    2. “But wishes are only granted in fairy tales.”

      ― Simone Elkeles

      Delete

    3. “We often confuse what we wish for with what is.”

      ― Neil Gaiman

      Delete

    4. “To wish a healthy man to die is the wish from a mind of sickness.
      To wish an ailing man to die is the wish of the ambitious.”

      ― Roman Payne

      Delete
  7. From 1942 to 1944 the Soviets begged the Allies to open a Second Front, but nothing doing. We did send them a lot of rations. The soldiers called them Second Fronts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And at the Battle of Kursk, the Russians put the Germans into unbroken retreat. This was nearly a year before D-Day. To be fair, the Russians would not have had a chance without the American supply line.

      Delete
    2. The Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern dismisses the effects of strategic bombing of the NAZI
      One wonder why he discounts the US and UK in the defeat of Germany.

      On 9 September 1940 RAF crews were instructed that due to the "indiscriminate" nature of German bombing, if they failed to find their assigned targets they were to attack targets of opportunity rather than bring their bombs home.

      On the 15/16 December the RAF carried out its first area bombing attack (destroying 45% of the city of Mannheim), in response to the raid on Coventry.

      In 1942, the goals of the British attacks were defined: the primary goal was the so-called "morale bombing", to weaken the will of the civil population to resist.

      Following this directive intensive bombing of highly populated city centers and working class quarters started. On 30 May 1942, the RAF Bomber Command launched the first "1,000 bomber raid" when 1,046 aircraft bombed Cologne in Operation Millennium, dropping over 2,000 tons of high explosive and incendiaries on the medieval town and burning it from end to end.

      411 civilians and 85 soldiers were killed, more than 130,000 had to leave the city.

      Two further 1,000 bomber raids were executed over Essen and Bremen, but to less effect than the destruction at Cologne. The effects of the massive raids using a combination of blockbuster bombs and incendiaries created firestorms in some cites.

      The most extreme examples were caused by the bombing of Hamburg in
      Operation Gomorrah (45,000 dead),
      and the bombings of Kassel (10,000 dead),
      Darmstadt (12,500 dead),
      Pforzheim (21,200 dead),
      Swinemuende (23,000 dead),
      and Dresden (25,000 dead)


      The Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern pays undue respect to Stalin, less to Churchill, none to FDR.

      Why does the Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern continue to disparage the United States?
      What is his agenda?


      bob


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    3. Actually, John Kenneth Galbraith, PhD wrote the report calling strategic bombing a failure. Look it up.
      German war production peaked in 1944, unphased by bombing.

      Delete
    4. But since you raised the issue of who doesn't know jack, try this on for size.

      For our resident expert on all things, who superciliously took Bob to task for his ignorance of the definition of fascism, I give you the following.

      "We secured peace for our country for one and a half years, as well as an opportunity of preparing our forces for defense if fascist Germany risked attacking our country in defiance of the pact. This was a definite gain to our country and a loss for fascist Germany."
      Josef Stalin - 3rd July 1941 - (Speaking of the 1939 non-aggression pact between the USSR and Germany)

      "This war is not an ordinary war. It is the war of the entire Russian people. Not only to eliminate the danger hanging over our heads, but to aid all people groaning under the yoke of Fascism"
      Josef Stalin - 22nd June 1941

      "Oh merciful lord… crown our effort with victory… and give us faith in the inevitable power of light over darkness, of justice over evil and brutal force… Of the cross of Christ over the Fascist swastika… so be it, amen."
      Sergei - Archbishop of Moscow - 27th November 1941

      The scale and grandeur of the Russian effort mark it as the greatest military achievement in all history. - General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander of South-West Pacific

      Delete

    5. "‘When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

      ‘The question is,' said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things."

      ‘The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that's all.'"



      bob

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    6. You were just wrong, Sport; but there is nothing new about that.

      Delete

    7. People have a responsibility to say what they mean, and mean what they say.

      To accomplish this, words cannot be allowed to change their meaning midstream.
      When words are intentionally manipulated to have a new meaning, it is an attempt to create a new reality.

      A lie can become the new 'reality' if it is unchallenged by society,
      resulting in new unjust acts that become even more difficult to challenge in the future.


      When precision bombing includes using cluster bombs;
      when liberating Iraq means securing the oil fields and occupying the country;
      when insurgents include innocent children sitting around their dining room table;
      when pacifying a town means to attack with an overwhelming and indiscriminate force and not something you do with a baby; something has to change.

      We must take back our language, our words, and our civility.


      Words have meaning, and it is the public that must act as a caretaker for those words.
      If you want peace and justice,
      commit yourself to voting for candidates that have publicly stated this war is a mistake.

      And that is a start.



      Delete

    8. It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

      Delete
    9. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says, ‘What’s in a name?’

      I think the answer to that is everything.

      ‘Words have meaning and names have power.’

      Delete
    10. Re: casualties


      At the Battle of Kursk, the Russians counted 1.6 million troops as killed, wounded, or missing. They also lost nearly 4,000 tanks.

      I would never diminish the contribution made by America on the Western Front, but the fact is that Russia bled the Germans white, as any reasonable well-read person would know.

      So unsure was Eisenhower about the success of the D-Day landing that he wrote a letter to be released in the event of defeat, taking full responsibility for the failure. He knew how well the Germans could and would fight. Not only that, but the German veterans were a killing machine, having five years’ practice.

      Delete

    11. “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

      ― George Orwell, 1984

      Delete

    12. “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”

      ― Socrates

      Delete
  8. Robert G. IngersollThu Dec 26, 10:47:00 PM EST


    “If the Pentateuch be true, religious persecution is a duty.
    The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples,
    and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music in the ear of God.

    If the Pentateuch was inspired, every heretic should be destroyed;
    and every man who advocates a fact inconsistent with the sacred book, should be consumed by sword and flame.


    In the Old Testament no one is told to reason with a heretic,
    and not one word is said about relying upon argument,
    upon education, nor upon intellectual development—nothing except simple brute force.

    Is there to-day a christian who will say that four thousand years ago,
    it was the duty of a husband to kill his wife if she differed with him upon the subject of religion?

    Is there one who will now say that, under such circumstances, the wife ought to have been killed?

    Why should God be so jealous of the wooden idols of the heathen?
    Could he not compete with Baal?
    Was he envious of the success of the Egyptian magicians?

    Was it not possible for him to make such a convincing display of his power as to silence forever the voice of unbelief?
    Did this God have to resort to force to make converts?
    Was he so ignorant of the structure of the human mind as to believe all honest doubt a crime?

    If he wished to do away with the idolatry of the Canaanites, why did he not appear to them?
    Why did he not give them the tables of the law?
    Why did he only make known his will to a few wandering savages in the desert of Sinai?

    Will some theologian have the kindness to answer these questions?
    Will some minister, who now believes in religious liberty,
    and eloquently denounces the intolerance of Catholicism, explain these things;
    will he tell us why he worships an intolerant God?

    Is a god who will burn a soul forever in another world,
    better than a christian who burns the body for a few hours in this?

    Is there no intellectual liberty in heaven?
    Do the angels all discuss questions on the same side?
    Are all the investigators in perdition?
    Will the penitent thief, winged and crowned, laugh at the honest folks in hell?
    Will the agony of the damned increase or decrease the happiness of God?
    Will there be, in the universe, an eternal auto da fe?”


    ― Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

    ReplyDelete


  9. on 28 March 1945 the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, sent a memo by telegram to General Ismay for the British Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff in which he started with the sentence

    "It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed...."



    bob

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    Replies
    1. Re: Dresden debate

      Dresden was not bombed as a lesson to the Germans. It was bombed as a lesson to the Russian army a few miles away. The Russians took the lesson to heart.

      Delete

    2. And your reference for that is ....

      Nonexistent.



      bob

      Delete

    3. As to the claim that there is a 'debate' with regards Dresden ...

      Rubbish!



      bob

      Delete
  10. HOUSTON -- A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.

    Doesn't work the other way around, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Why?

      That is as absurd a thing as you have ever written.
      And you write a lot of absurd shit.



      bob


      Delete
  11. However horrifically and for however long the fight, with Muslims waging war against one another, Israel will grow in strength, both materially and in the mind of the public.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Vered Lee Mon Dec 16, 11:34:00 AM EST

      Age of child prostitutes in Israel dropping, report finds

      Knesset study cites cases of 11-year-olds used for commercial sex that are among the several thousands of teenagers involved in prostitution.
      By Vered Lee

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.542420

      "Spengler's Laws": "When a nation is reduced to selling its women, it's lost."
      hat tip: allen

      http://2164th.blogspot.com/2013/12/in-mid-december-of-1967-i-was-living-at.html?showComment=1387211676383#c46469654080564651



      bob

      Delete

  12. Africa / African News

    Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood may radicalise after terror listing
    by Samer Al-Atrush

    CAIRO — The military-installed government’s listing of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group signals its determination to uproot the organisation’s vast grassroots network, possibly radicalising the Islamists as they go underground, analysts said.

    Security forces had already decimated the group following Islamist president Mohamed Mursi’s overthrow in July, with more than 1,000 people killed and thousands more imprisoned, including the Brotherhood’s top leadership.

    The last major crackdown on the Brotherhood, by president Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s, led several members to break off and form more radical groups that are now seen as precursors to al-Qaeda.

    Now analysts fear a similar process could unfold, with a new generation of activists breaking from the Brotherhood’s more cautious leadership, most of whom are imprisoned with little communication to the outside world.

    "It is impossible to dismiss the idea that at least a fringe group of the repression’s victims will choose counter-violence and join the jihadists," said Francois Burgat, a Beirut-based expert on Islamist movements.

    The decision to list the Brotherhood as a terrorist group came after the deadly bombing of a police station on Tuesday that killed 15 people and was claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an al-Qaeda-inspired group spearheading attacks in the Sinai peninsula that have killed scores of police and soldiers since Mr Mursi’s overthrow.

    The group has no known link to the Brotherhood, and jihadist groups have long criticised the Brotherhood’s refusal to take up arms and its embrace of elections, seen by radicals as un-Islamic.

    But the government blamed the Brotherhood for the bombing
    , and Mr Mursi and other top Islamists already face trial for allegedly colluding with militants to carry out attacks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. http://www.bdlive.co.za/africa/africannews/2013/12/27/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-may-radicalise-after-terror-listing

      Delete
  13. So far on this thread I count three posters who make sense, Allen, Sam and Miss T.

    Alas, the majority of the posts are not by them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. “The kind of soil in your area determines the type of crop you will plant to harvest;
      The kind of potentials in you will decide the type of success you will celebrate.”

      ― Israelmore Ayivor

      Delete
    2. Farmer BobFri Dec 27, 12:44:00 AM EST
      So far on this thread I count three posters who make sense, Allen, Sam and Miss T.

      Alas, the majority of the posts are not by them.

      I read ever post. Identify the ones that you don’t understand or make no sense.


      Do you read them? I read all of them. Which do not make sense to you? Which don’t you understand?

      Delete
  14. Changing times in USA -

    General calls for March on Washington -

    Likes 'the Egyptian model'.....

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/u-s-general-calls-for-massive-march-on-congress-white-house/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely
      retired twenty years ago, so he is no longer a General, he is a civilian.

      The first fallacy in the report. There is no need to go further, the headline is a lie.


      bob

      Delete
    2. AnonymousFri Dec 27, 01:19:00 AM EST

      Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely
      retired twenty years ago, so he is no longer a General, he is a civilian.


      A general officer never retires. He is always subject to recall by the President.

      Delete

    3. He is a civilian, unless recalled.

      He is not about to be.


      bob

      Delete

    4. Seems that the

      Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely
      Deputy Commanding General
      Mobilization and Reserve Affairs
      U.S. Army, Pacific (USARPAC)

      Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely

      Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely is a 1961 West Point graduate who retired as Deputy Commanding General for the US Army Pacific in 1991.

      This information, about General Vallely being RETIRED is from the US Army.
      The U.S. Army, Pacific (USARPAC) official website.

      http://www.usarpac.army.mil/history2/dcgVallely.asp

      But what would the Army know about Army Generals and retirement.

      Perhaps they are just as sloppy in their use of the English language as was General Douglas MacArthur.


      bob

      Delete
    5. 10 U.S. Code § 689: Officers are ordered to active duty in their retired grade, with some exceptions. O9s and O10s serve in the highest permanent grade held while serving on active duty.

      Delete
  15. Oh, forgot, crapper rat is full of shit.

    I remember how he was telling us Hemingway was a commie cause he wrote a book about a man who fought for the Republic........

    rat crapper simply doesn't know how stupid his comment was......a real laugher......

    In the book, if you actually read it carefully, he describes the insane violence on all sides.......

    But this is beyond our mentally unstable rat crapper.......

    Whose main contribution to life these days is fucking up what could be a decent blog, if he's only go get some counseling.......and perhaps some serious meds too........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. We know that both the Israeli and the NAZI embrace the concept of Lebensraum ("living space") as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races …



      bob

      Delete

    2. What we actually do know, you jackass, is the moslems think they are the superior race, and are out to kill, convert or basically enslave anyone who doesn't agree with them.

      You should be all right though, as you will simply join them, and an added benefit to you is you can mistreat the women, and hump little eleven years olds, as you obviously wish to do.

      g'nite

      Delete


    3. “Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are.

      Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them.
      But should you offend their honor and their pride,
      they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger.

      If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.”

      ― Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

      Delete

    4. Resolve:
      - decide firmly on a course of action.
      "Farmer Bob resolved to not feed the asshole!"
      synonyms:
      determine, decide, make up one's mind, make a decision
      "Farmer Bob resolved not to feed the asshole"

      Don't Feed the Asshole!


      heh, heh, heh!

      bob

      Delete

    5. Farmer Bob sees reports children sold into prostitution in Israel,
      and blames the reporters for the sexual perversions of the Israeli.

      heh, heh, heh!


      bob

      Delete
    6. hat tip: allen

      "Spengler's Laws": "When a nation is reduced to selling its women, it's lost."



      bob

      Delete
    7. "Spengler's Laws": "When a nation is reduced to selling its women, it's lost."


      Unlike many countries, prostitution in Israel is legal.

      To many people it is shocking to learn that in the "Holy Land" prostitution is allowed.
      Prostitution is legal, but what is not legal, is running a brothel or living off the earnings of a prostitute, in other words being a pimp.

      Prostitution in Israel is not kept on the down low.
      Everyone knows about it and where to go to find a prostitute.
      It is a choice whether they decide to pay for sex or not.
      Prostitutes are known to be discrete.
      They do not go around talking about the men they have sex with.
      Some of the places where prostitution is more popular is in cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa.
      That could be because the population is more secular and not as religious.
      Prostitutes can be found on the streets, strip clubs and "massage parlors."
      Politicians, businessmen and even police officers are known to visit the upscale "massage parlors" and high price strip clubs.

      Regular citizens are more likely to just look for a prostitute on the streets.

      When Arab Israelis or Orthodox Jews, whether married or not, want to have sex with a prostitute, they go somewhere far from their homes.
      The reason for them going far is so they will not be recognized by anyone.

      One negative effect of the rising popularity of prostitution is that venereal diseases have
      rapidly increased over the years.

      http://adsocceriloveran.blogspot.com/2013/05/prostitution.html

      "Spengler's Laws": "When a nation is reduced to selling its women, it's lost."

      hat tip: allen



      bob

      Delete

  16. “Now let's take up the minorities in our civilisation, shall we?

    Bigger the population, the more minorities.

    Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers,
    the cat-lovers,
    doctors,
    lawyers,
    merchants,
    chiefs,
    Mormons,
    Baptists,
    Unitarians,
    second-generation Chinese,
    Swedes,
    Italians,
    Germans,
    Texans,
    Brooklynites,
    Irishmen,
    people from Oregon or Mexico.

    The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters,
    cartographers, mechanics anywhere.

    The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!”

    ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

    but he died, so never mind ...


    bob

    ReplyDelete

  17. “Words provide a voice to our deepest feelings.
    I tell you, words have started and stopped wars.
    Words have built and lost fortunes.
    Words have saved and taken lives.
    Words have won and lost great kingdoms.

    Even Buddha said,
    'Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care,
    for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”


    ― Camron Wright, The Rent Collector

    ReplyDelete

  18. “A man with a scant vocabulary will almost certainly be a weak thinker.

    The richer and more copious one's vocabulary and the greater one's awareness of fine distinctions and subtle nuances of meaning, the more fertile and precise is likely to be one's thinking.

    Knowledge of things and knowledge of the words for them grow together.

    If you do not know the words, you can hardly know the thing.”

    ― Henry Hazlitt, Thinking as a Science

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. What is "Occupation" - Sun Dec 22, 10:49:00 AM EST

      I wonder how long til the Palestinians get lucky and murder a few dozen Israeli kids…


      http://2164th.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-ducking-dynasty-of-us-culture.html?showComment=1387737764585#c3552581149787224786

      Delete
    2. Ralph Waldo EmersonFri Dec 27, 02:47:00 AM EST


      “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance.
      Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

      ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Delete
  19. What a fucked up place.

    ReplyDelete

  20. Video: Shi'ites in Atlanta whip themselves bloody for Arbaeen, December 23, 2013





    We are forced to believe, on pain of "Islamophobia" charges, that the aspects of Islam that are at variance with Constitutional freedoms, and others like zanjeer zani (self-flagellation) that strike many non-Muslims as ghastly and destructive, will never, ever come to the United States. This video of Shi'ite Muslims at Dar e Abbas, a Shi'ite mosque in Atlanta, Georgia, indicates otherwise. Arbaeen follows forty days after Ashoura; both are outpourings of mourning for Husayn bin Ali, the son of the founding figure of Shi'ite Islam, Imam Ali. Husayn was killed by Sunnis at the Battle of Karbala in the year 680; Shi'ites flagellate themselves as punishment for not having been there to save Husayn.

    Video thanks to Mahdi mominati.

    Posted by Robert Spencer on December 26, 2013 10:57 AM | 15 Comments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's the video -

      http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/12/video-shiites-in-atlanta-whip-themselves-bloody-for-arbaeen-december-23-2013.html

      Rufus said he wasn't going to worry until they got to Mississippis.

      Atlanta, Georgia really isn't that far away.

      Delete