Monday, August 22, 2016

Erdogan Rejects U.S. Proposal

Related: Erdogan's Choice 

Made the wrong one:

"Bombing at wedding in Turkey kills 51" by Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsu New York Times  August 21, 2016

ISTANBUL — The attack was the deadliest in a string of terrorist bombings that have struck Turkey this year, as it grapples with the spiraling chaos of spillover from the war in Syria. Bombings this year that Turkish officials have blamed the Islamic State for have struck Istanbul’s old city, near the Blue Mosque; its most famous shopping boulevard, Istiklal Avenue; and, in June, Istanbul’s main airport, among the busiest in Europe.

That last one was dropped rather quickly.

For years, critics have said that Turkey contributed to the chaos — allowing extremist rebels to cross its territory on their way to fight in Syria — to advance its goal of toppling the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad. At the outset of the war in 2011, Erdogan was confident that Assad would quickly fall, as the dictators of Egypt and Tunisia had. But as the war ground on, Turkey increasingly found itself drawn in, with millions of refugees fleeing across the border and, over the last year, a spate of attacks within Turkey.

At the same time, Kurdish militants in the southeast resumed a stalled war against the Turkish government, emboldened by the success of their brethren in Syria, where Kurds have carved out a region of autonomy in the country’s east.

Now, Turkey finds itself with three enemies in the Syrian civil war — Assad, the Islamic State, and Kurdish rebels — and escalating chaos within its own borders. The attack on Saturday in Gaziantep demonstrated how those conflicts sometimes overlap.

Turkey is also reeling from a failed military coup last month that aimed to topple the government of Erdogan and left at least 240 people dead.

In normal times, Gaziantep is famous for its cuisine, especially baklava, the sweet pastry made with pistachios grown nearby. Before war broke out, busloads of Syrians crossed the border almost daily to shop in Gaziantep, as Erdogan pushed stronger economic ties with Syria.

Yet in recent years the city became a hub for lives upended — and preoccupied — by the civil war in Syria. Spies, foreign fighters, diplomats, journalists, relief workers, and refugees passed through the city, sometimes all gathering at the same Starbucks.

Gaziantep became more sinister and violent. The police found an Islamic State bomb-making facility in the city, which they said was used in an attack in Ankara last year that killed more than 100 people. The bomber who struck Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue came from there, officials said. The Islamic State also carried out murders of Syrian journalists in the city.

On Saturday, the city’s place as not just a remote transit hub for the war but a battleground itself came into focus again.

That the perpetrator of the attack and so many of its victims were so young was a potent illustration of the degradation of the Syrian war as it has inflamed the region. Children have suffered immensely — one devastating image of a Syrian boy injured in an airstrike in Aleppo last week appeared on the front of newspapers around the world, a jarring reminder of the human cost of the war. 

The Zionist War Pre$$ waved him at me, and he soon died.

The Islamic State, meanwhile, recruits boys as suicide bombers across Iraq and Syria. In Kirkuk, Iraq, security officials pulled a suicide vest off a boy, according to Reuters.

The bride and groom on Saturday survived without serious injuries. After being released from the hospital, the bride said, “They turned our wedding into a blood bath,” according to the state-run Anadolu News Agency....


The terrorism come hand-in-hand with controlled opposition protests.

Also seeIron Veil of Germany

The Globe lifted it on Italy today:

"Italy seeks to relaunch EU ideal with symbolic summit" Associated Press  August 22, 2016

ROME — Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has invited his German and French counterparts to pay their respects at the tomb of one of the founding fathers of European unity in a symbolic bid to relaunch the European project after Britain’s clamorous decision to leave the European Union.

The location for Monday’s summit carries particular resonance as Europe confronts Islamic extremist violence, slow economic growth, and continued anxiety over the implications of the vote by Great Britain. Italy has a lot to gain from a reinvigorated European Union as it copes with flat GDP, the migrant crisis, and political uncertainties over a constitutional referendum this fall.

The island of Ventotene off Naples was where detained anti-fascist Altiero Spinelli in 1941 began co-writing the ‘‘Ventotene Manifesto,’’ which called for a federation of European states to counter the nationalism that had led Europe to war. The document is considered the inspiration of European federalism.

In an interview this weekend with La Repubblica, Renata Colorni, whose father helped spread the ‘‘Ventotene Manifesto’’ through Italy’s resistance movement and whose mother married Spinelli, said she had little hope that today’s Europe could ever meet the Ventotene founders’ original ideals.

‘‘Honestly, today I don’t see first-rate politicians, I only see statesmen who move through the European scene worried about losing the next national elections,’’ she was quoted as saying. ‘‘What’s missing is the will to risk it all for an ideal.’’



"Italy, Germany, France tackle post-Brexit EU concerns" Associated Press  August 22, 2016

VENTOTENE, Italy — The leaders of Italy, France, and Germany vowed Monday to improve Europe’s defense and economic prospects as they paid tribute to one of the founding fathers of European unity in a symbolic bid to relaunch the European Union after Britain’s vote to leave.

Standing silently together, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and President Francois Holland of France placed three bouquets of blue and yellow flowers — the colors of the European Union — on the white marble tombstone of Altiero Spinelli on the island of Ventotene.

Spinelli, along with another intellectual confined to Ventotene in the 1940s by Italy’s fascist rulers, co-wrote the ‘‘Ventotene Manifesto’’ calling for a federation of European states to counter the nationalism that had led Europe to war.

The document is considered the inspiration for European federalism.

Renzi invited his French and German counterparts to the sun-soaked island off Naples to remind Europe of its founding ideals as the European Union forges ahead amid a spate of challenges, from slow economic growth to Islamic extremist violence, after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.

‘‘Many people thought that after Brexit, that Europe was finished. It’s not like that,’’ Renzi said after the hour-long summit. ‘‘We respect the choice of Britain’s citizens, but we want to write a page for the future.’’

RelatedSarkozy to run for French presidency next year

Hollande's future in doubt, as is the rest of the project:

"From the destruction of Greece to democracy in Europe" by James K. Galbraith   August 22, 2016

Last year’s third bailout of Greece, imposed by Europe and the International Monetrary Fund, does to Greece what Versailles did to Germany: It strips assets to satisfy debts. Germany lost its merchant marine, its rolling stock, its colonies, and its coal; Greece has lost its seaports, its airports — the profitable ones — and is set to sell off its beaches, the public asset that is a uniquely Greek glory. Private businesses are being forced into bankruptcy to make way for European chains; private citizens are being forced into foreclosure on their homes. It’s a land grab. 

Welcome to the New World Order.

And for what? To satisfy old public debts, incurred for tanks, submarines, the Olympics, big construction projects outsourced to German firms, and to hide deficits in health care, with creditor connivance — a quagmire of graft to support an illusion, that Greece could “compete” as part of the euro. Already in 2010 the IMF knew it was breaking its own rules by pretending that Greece could recover quickly, sustain a huge primary surplus, and repay its debts. Why? To help save French and German banks, which the IMF’s sainted managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, wanted to do, because he wanted to be president of France.

Europe crushed the Greek resistance in 2015. Not because Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, thought his economic plan would work; he candidly told the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, that “as a patriot” he would not sign it himself. But Germany wants to impose its order on Italy and on France, where civil society continues to fight back. And Chancellor Angela Merkel could not admit to her voters, or to fellow Europeans from Slovakia to Portugal, that back in 2010 she’d saved Germany’s banks by saddling them with Greek debts that could never be paid.

Greece was given collective punishment as a lesson. It was done to show that “there is no alternative.” It was done to stop any other attempt to develop, articulate, and defend a more rational policy. It was done to protect the power of the European Central Bank, the German government in Europe, and the policy-making authority, in face of a long record of failure, of the IMF.

Greece is now a colony — the polite say “protectorate.”

Kind of like Hebron, huh?

Elsewhere in Europe the left — Podemos in Spain, the Left Bloc in Portugal, Die Linke in Germany — has stalled out, for now. In France the Socialists are destroying themselves. Italy alone is interesting: It is in the midst of a banking crisis whose only solution is stronger growth; this requires the government to defy Eurozone doctrine or it may lose power to the radical Five Star movement soon. But, apart from that one case, progressive Europe is blocked.

Next up will be the far right, especially the National Front in France, which if it came to power would blow the European Union apart. Similar pressures are building in Poland and Hungary, which have governments already outside of European democratic norms. In Britain, right-wing Tories and the UK Independence Party have combined to vote the UK out of the European Union — although with surprisingly moderate political results so far.

That is why Europe needs the Democracy in Europe Movement. It is just getting underway, and it may go nowhere. But it presents a last, slim hope of holding the European Union together.

Sure is at odds with the above brief.

Democracy would come by small steps at first. Transparency and accountability for Europe’s opaque governing institutions would come first. After that, an economic policy focused on jobs, investment, and sustainability. Ultimately there would have to be big changes, as revolutionary as the 2015 Athens Spring. The old oligarchies, the Brussels cabals, the self-serving technocrats, and the economic ideologues who now dominate European economic policy would have to yield.

Bring it on....

Yikes! That's the kind of thing that will get bad things happening to you!


The latest exhibit of such:

"Turkey vows to vanquish ISIS from its borders" by Suzan Fraser Associated Press  August 22, 2016

ANKARA, Turkey — Officials vowed Monday to fight Islamic State militants at home and to cleanse the group from Turkey’s borders after a weekend suicide bombing at a Kurdish wedding, an attack that occurred amid recent gains by Syrian Kurdish militia forces against the extremists in neighboring Syria.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but officials said it appeared to be the work of the Islamic State. The attack came after the Syria Democratic Forces, a coalition led by the main Kurdish militia groups in Syria, captured the former ISIS stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria under the cover of airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

‘‘It appears to be an act to punish” the Democratic Union Party, said Nihat Ali Ozcan a security and terrorism expert at the Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, referring to a Syrian Kurdish group whose militia is fighting ISIS. ‘‘It’s the cross-border settlement of scores by two actors fighting in Syria.’’

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters Monday that Turkey would press ahead with its fight against the Islamic State inside Turkey and support efforts to remove ISIS fighters from its borders. Cavusoglu said Turkey had become a main ISIS target because of measures it has implemented to stop recruits from crossing into Syria to join the fighting, as well as hundreds of arrests of ISIS suspects in Turkey.

That's part of it, as is the pivot towards Russia.

‘‘Turkey has always been Daesh’s primary target, because Turkey has dried out the source of Daesh’s supply of foreign fighters. . . . It has stopped them from crossing into Syria,’’ he said.

The deadly attack also came amid ongoing struggles between the government and Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, and as the country was still reeling from the aftermath of last month’s failed coup attempt, which the government has blamed on a US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, and his followers.

This is where it all gets complicated. Kurds are with U.S., as is ISIS. Then there are always the remnants of Operation Gladio.

The bombing follows a suspected ISIS attack in June on Istanbul’s main airport that killed 44 people, and a double suicide bombing blamed on ISIS at a peace rally in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, in October killed 103 people.

Ozcan, the security expert, said Saturday’s attack was likely carried out by a local ISIS cell whose members would have known the wedding was a Kurdish one and targeted the wedding party for the shock value.

The bride and groom, who survived the bombing, urged authorities to act to prevent future bloodshed.

‘‘They turned our best day to hell. We have no relatives left. They all died,’’ said the groom, Nurettin Akdogan....


I think I missed the call from France.