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Turkey to Serbia’s rescue? A strange new reality in a strange new time

Turkey’s pivot is becoming increasingly wide ranging. The Turkish President’s visit to Belgrade is a further sign of this.

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Serbia, like most Orthodox Christian states of southern Europe, has a long history of animosity towards Turkey. It was Ottoman Turkey which initially crushed the sovereignty of Orthodox Europe, leading to a centuries long occupation that only started to end in 1804, when Serbia declared its independence, an independence that was ultimately fully achieved in 1878, after Serbia’s traditional ally and Turkey’s traditional foe, Russia, fought and won a war with the Ottoman Empire.

Because of this long and acrimonious history, many have found it surprising that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been enjoying a productive visit to Belgrade. Among other economic cooperation proposals discussed was a Turkish proposal to extend the so-called Turk Stream Pipeline to Serbia.

Erdogan hopes to extend Turk Stream gas pipeline to Serbia

Can Turks and Serbs ever be friends? 

While conventional wisdom would answer this question with a firm “no”, geo-political real ties across the globe are challenging long held conceptions of which states are traditional allies and enemies. First there was Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia which is quickly blossoming into a very real economic partnership. This was followed by a perhaps even more meaningful warming of relations between Turkey and Iran.

In a further challenge to the convention wisdom on traditional geo-political friends and foes, Saudi Arabia’s King has just visited Moscow for a meeting that could be the first small step in a long term Saudi pivot to Eurasia.

Old adversaries versus current threats 

And thus one must turn not to Serbia’s old enemy of Turkey, but to the state which most directly threatens the sovereignty and security of Serbia: Albania.

Ethnic Albanians who are well known to have a direct line to the regime in Tirana, are currently occupying the Serbian Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 2008, when Turkey joined its NATO colleagues in recognising the Albanian/NATO occupation of Kosovo and Metohija as a “state”, the world was very different for Turkey.  At that time, Ankara wanted to join the EU and the idea of Turkey as a partner with Russia, Iran and others in Eurasia was considered inconsequential. Even 2013, when Erdogan made an embarrassingly anti-Serb speech in Kosovo and Metohija, seems like the distant past in terms of Turkey’s geo-political position then versus its positions now.

Times have changed in this respect and while Turkey can scarcely undo the recent, let alone centuries old past, present conditions could mandate a pivot in policy.

Unlike in Bosnia where Erdogan is seen as the leader of a kind of pseudo-political cult of personality, the other majority Sunni Muslim country of the Balkans, Albania, is currently experiencing an ebb in relations with Ankara.

Gulenists in Albania versus Erdogan 

Albania is known to shelter members of the hated Fethullah Gulen terrorist organisation. Erdogan recently slammed Albania for sheltering members of the group, although his plea fell on notably deaf ears in Tirana.  Erdogan friendly media outlets in Turkey were quick to latch onto Albania’s apparently perfidious behaviour.

Erdogan says NO to Greater Albania

Furthermore, in addition to housing Gulenists, Albania is also the de-facto global base for the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, a terrorist group widely proscribed by Turkey’s partners in Tehran.

Furthermore, while Serbia remains stable and safe from terrorism, Albania is being destabilised by a heavy presence of ISIS fighters, drug lords and arms dealers, including those who have sold weapons to Kurdish groups in the Middle East in the past.

At present, Turkey’s economic foot firmly is in the door of Russia and China. Russia for its part is happy to see Turkey facilitate the safe movement of Russian gas to the Balkans and likewise, China has its eye on the Balkans as an important transport corridor of the One Belt–One Road initiative.

Because of this, the great powers of the wider so-called global east need a safe space in the western Balkans to do commerce. That place is increasingly Serbia.

Additionally, with Turkey now coming out fully in favour of the territorial unity of Syria and Iraq due to the fear of radial Kurdish movements, Turkey’s sympathies may naturally evolve, making Ankara side with a state like Serbia, whose territorial unity has been threatened by a NATO alliance that Turkey is fast becoming a stranger in.

Turkey has already come out in opposition to the Greater Albania project and this was before Turkey’s row with Israel whose own Yinon Plan (aka Greater Israel Project) formally linked up with Kurds in Iraq, so far as Ankara is concerned.

100 years later, the west has authored a new Balfour Declaration for the Balkans

Serbia’s objective attraction to Eurasia and beyond

As a non-EU member, Serbia is well placed to skirt the sanctions of Brussels and as a non-NATO country that is far more stable and secure than Albania, it makes increasingly good economic sense to invest in Serbia. Furthermore, unlike Greece, Serbia does not have any territorial disputes with Turkey, nor does the issue of Cyprus factor into matters with Serbia the way they inevitably would with Greece. Even if Serbia does eventually join the EU, much of this attraction remains. If as some have suggested, Serbia instead opts for a partnership with the EU as well as one with the Eurasian Economic Union, things would become even more enticing for the powers of Eurasian, including Turkey.

While some in Ankara might still want to play up Albania’s Sunni heritage as a common denominator in relations, the fact is that Albania’s corrupt political culture means that it has and will almost certainly continue to shelter any terrorist group which is willing to either pay up or make an ‘offer’ that Tirana cannot or is not willing to refuse. In this sense, contemporary Albania is something like post-1996 Afghanistan in respect of al-Qaeda, only with money alone, as opposed to money plus ideology being a guiding factor in various decision making processes. This is not to say that the political culture of Albania is similar to 1990s Afghanistan, but its relationship to international terrorism is becoming eerily similar.

NATO guides Albania into anti-democratic oblivion

The Gulenist factor however, may be a decisive point in a Turkey pivot to Serbia. In this sense, just as Russia lured Turkey with the genuine promise of economic enrichment, at the same time that the US and EU pushed Turkey away, so too could Serbia’s stability and business like attitude stand out in the Balkans, all the while Serbia’s primary adversary pushes Turkey away.

CONCLUSION

It is clear that Turkey is not willing to placate any power with ties to Gulen’s terrorist organisation and this increasingly includes the United States. If Turkey will not stand for Gulenism among American state bodies, there is little realistic prospect that Albania will stand a chance in Turkey’s overall calculations on the matter.

While it is early days yet and while Turkey is a particular case study which proves that a zero sum mentality to geo-politics can never accurately apply, Serbia may be on the verge of developing an unlikely partnership with Anakara, one almost as unlikely as that which has developed between Ankara and Moscow as well as Ankara and Tehran.

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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Deep State poster boy Peter Strzok gives bizarre testimony that goes viral (Video)

The face of the Deep State.

Alex Christoforou

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If you were not convinced that the Deep State exists, then look no further than Peter Strzok’s bizarre, yet revealing, congressional testimony, showcasing the arrogance and smugness of a powerful FBI agent who worked diligently to push a fake Trump-Russia narrative onto the American public.

Via Zerohedge

While Peter Strzok’s marathon Congressional testimony was full of bickering, chaos and drama – mostly between members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees – a clip of the disgraced FBI agent’s seemingly giddy reaction after answering a question is creeping people out.

Some have suggested that Strzok’s reaction was “Duper’s delight” – a hidden smirk that slips out at an inappropriate moment when a liar celebrates a successful manipulation.

Watching Peter Strzok, its hard, if not impossible to believe that this man is not a psychopath, who hated Trump so much that he was willing to forward a collusion story that has cost American taxpayers millions, and torn American society apart.

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The video clip even had Donald Trump Jr retweeting it, as he labeled Strzok “the creepiest person in America.”

Via RT

One particular moment from Peter Strzok’s raucous congressional hearing left Twitter users confounded and disturbed, even prompting Donald Trump Jr to label the FBI agent “the creepiest person in America.”

Strzok faced the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Thursday to answer questions about his conduct during the 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The lengthy hearing quickly descended into a partisan shouting match, as Republicans and Democrats interrupted each other’s questions, heckling or applauding Strzok.

Strzok’s peculiar reaction to one question caught the eye of viewers and many took to Twitter to confirm that their eyes weren’t deceiving them.

Strzok’s facial expressions were also noticed by the congressmen in the room and prompted one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused Strzok of outright lying.

“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk; how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Gohmert told Strzok, referring to the agent’s extramarital affair with his former colleague Lisa Page, with whom he exchanged anti-Trump text messages. Gohmert’s comment sparked vociferous objections from Democrats.

The hearing evoked a significant reaction, with many describing it as a farce. Former New York mayor and current attorney to US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, labelled it a “disgrace” and said it “taints the entire Mueller witch hunt.”

“President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him. All the results of the investigation are ‘fruit of the poison tree’ and should be dismissed,” he added.

Democrats seemed to agree with that sentiment, as California Congressman Ted Lieu said it was “a stupid and ridiculous hearing.”

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