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Erdogan’s Purge is a Sign of Panic

The purge is not a power bid by a calculating President. It is an act of desperation by a government in conflict with the country’s institutions taken shortly after it came close to being violently overthrown.

Alexander Mercouris

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Andrew Korybko has grasped the single most important point about the effect of the attempted Turkish coup on international relations.  This is that for the time being at least Turkey is in no position to pursue an ambitious foreign policy.

There continues to be a debate underway about whether the coup was a genuine coup attempt or was a false flag operation organised by Erdogan himself in order to consolidate his control of Turkey. 

The correct and obvious answer is that it was most definitely not a false flag operation but was very much a genuine coup.  All the information pouring out of Turkey both during and after the coup confirms that.  This was a fully genuine coup against Erdogan’s democratically elected government carried out by Turkey’s “Deep State” and involving all parts of it, and one which moreover came within a whisker of success.   It only failed because news of the coup leaked out just in time, enabling the government and the Muslim clergy to mobilise popular resistance to it.

This explains the purge currently underway.  This is being misinterpreted as a sinister power-bid by Erdogan to tighten his grip on Turkey.  Frankly it doesn’t look like that to me at all.  On the contrary it looks to me to bear all the hallmarks of something else: blind panic.

Let us first look at the facts of the coup.  It is simply not true – as many still say – that only a small number of junior officers were involved.  On the contrary senior generals were involved both in Istanbul and Ankara, with the senior commanders of the troops located near both cities ordering their troops onto their streets.

Let me repeat here another point which I have made before: apart from one report of an F16 fighter shooting down a rebel helicopter, there is no evidence that any part of the Turkish military rallied to the government’s support or that a single military unit came to the government’s defence during the coup.  The coup was not actively opposed or suppressed by the military.  All the military units caught on film during the coup – including the tanks in the streets, the air forces jets flying over Istanbul and Ankara, the troops blocking the Bosphorus bridges and occupying Takshim Square, and the helicopter gunships which attacked the parliament building – supported the coup.  The coup failed because confronted by angry crowds of civilians, the troops in many of the units involved in the coup eventually refused to obey the orders of the coup plotters and abandoned the coup.

Since the collapse of the coup it has become clear that sections of the navy also supported the coup, with possibly reliable reports of risings on some naval ships.  Indeed it seems that some military units and bases in remote parts of the country continued to resist the government for several days after the collapse of the coup, a fact which shows how widely and deeply supported the coup in fact was.

It is clear moreover that a serious attempt was made during the coup to arrest the senior members of the government – including of course Erdogan himself – and that the coup plotters were willing to use extreme force to achieve their goals.  Film has now surfaced of troops firing at civilians in Istanbul.  In addition government buildings in Ankara – including the Presidential palace and the parliament building – were bombed from the air and fired on by tanks, and there are even scattered reports of some loyalist officials being murdered.  There are also credible reports that the hotel where Erdogan was staying was bombed, and that rebel F16 jets searched for – but apparently failed to find – the private jet in which he fled.

Last but not least – and just to confirm how wide support for the coup within Turkey’s establishment was – there are credible reports that some senior officials within the Turkish judiciary sent out instructions whilst the coup was underway ordering the courts to treat orders from the institutions being created by the coup plotters as legally binding.

In light of all this the suggestion Erdogan stage-managed the coup himself is a fantastic one.  On the contrary all the facts show that he and the other members of his government were utterly shocked by it, and were seriously frightened for their lives during it.

That explains the massive purge now underway.  Erdogan and his supporters are acting in the classic manner of frightened people: lashing out in all directions as they see – and not without cause – enemies everywhere.  In this sort of atmosphere anyone who comes under the slightest suspicion risks being arrested or sacked, with the latest reports suggesting that the total number of people so far caught up in the purge already runs to 60,000.  Calls for the restoration of the death penalty are no more than what one would expect in this kind of atmosphere.

Much of the speculation of Erdogan being behind the coup turns on the misconception that the coup was too amateur to be genuine.  On the contrary all the known facts point to the coup being very carefully planned and professional.  One should not be misled by the fact the coup failed.  Most coups fail if they encounter resistance from the legitimate authorities and the civilian population in their first hours.  In Moscow in August 1991 an attempted coup collapsed almost immediately when it ran into civilian opposition despite the coup plotters having arrested the country’s President and despite the coup having been ordered by the ministers of the interior, state security and defence.

Far too much is also being made of the fact that the coup plotters carried out the coup on the basis of a pre-existing plan for a military exercise, and that many soldiers gave up during the coup as soon as they were confronted by angry civilians.  Neither fact is at all surprising.  It is usual for coups to follow the outlines of already pre-prepared exercises, which makes preparing the coup simpler and easier to conceal.  As for the fact that many soldiers quickly gave up when confronted by civilians, it is notoriously difficult to get young soldiers – of whom many in the Turkish army are conscripts – to shoot at civilians who are their own people, just as it is notoriously difficult to get junior officers to order their soldiers to do so, especially when they doubt that the orders to shoot are coming from the country’s legitimate authorities.  In the circumstances it is completely unsurprising that as the coup unravelled many soldiers – unsure what to do and uncertain about the legality of the orders they were being given – in end put up no resistance and simply gave themselves up.

One should not expect the soldiers of today’s Turkish army to behave with the discipline and ruthlessness of the Janissaries of Selim the Grim.  What is most remarkable about the Turkish coup is not that many soldiers quickly gave themselves up, but that some military units persisted with the coup – and were prepared to go on shooting at their own people – for hours and in some cases even days after the coup had visibly begun to fail.

The central fact about the Turkish coup is that Erdogan and his supporters can no longer trust any part of Turkey’s Deep State.  On the contrary they must now feel themselves locked in a life or death struggle with it.  Their fear and panic – which is driving the purge – in the circumstances is completely unsurprising.  It is not paranoia.  That would suggest their fears are unfounded. On the contrary the facts show they are only too well founded.

The result is exactly what Andrew Korybko says: with the Turkish government and much of Turkey’s civil society now locked in conflict with the key institutions of the Turkish state – of which the Turkish military has traditionally been the most important – there is simply no scope for Turkey to conduct an aggressive foreign policy whether in Syria or anywhere else.  Turkey’s priority for the moment is its own massive internal crisis.   There is no time or will for anything else.

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

The Duran

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

RT

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Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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