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CONFIRMED: Turkey to end support for anti-government terrorists in Syria

The move is a diplomatic victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a big snub to the United States.

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In a seismic shift in the alignment in the Syria conflict, Turkey has confirmed it is ending support to anti-government forces in Syria. Additionally, the umbrella political group National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is to have its recognition from Ankara withdrawn.

This represents Turkey’s position on Syria going full circle since Ankara entered the conflict in the year 2012.

Prior to 2012, Turkey and Syria enjoyed normal relations. As part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pivot to the Arab world, a policy some had called neo-Ottomanism, Ankara increasingly saw itself as a key king-maker in Arab affairs, in spite of the fact that few Arab countries sought Turkey’s alliance with the exception of Qatar. In this sense, Turkey’s move to support anti-government forces in Syria was more about opportunism than ideology. Although Erdogan had since his early political career advocated for what many call a Muslim Brotherhood style of Islamist politics, this had never previously prohibited him from having normal relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prior to 2011.

Put another way, Turkey wanted to join the winning side and until Russia’s intervention in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, many speculated that various anti-government forces which were heavily backed by Barack Obama’s government, would win.

Russia’s intervention combined with the incredible endurance and steadfast patriotism of the Syrian Arab Army has changed this and now both conventional wisdom and battlefield intelligence would point to a victory for the legitimate forces in Syria.

In this sense, Turkey’s exit from its political and apparently military support for anti-government forces in Syria is motivated by pragmatism just as sure as Turkey’s initial entrance into the conflict was motivated by opportunism.

Beyond this however, there are several other motivating factors.

Ever since Donald Trump took office, the United States began gradually pulling its support away from jihadist fighters in Syria while throwing the weight of US military and political power behind the Kurds who have also historically been supported by Israel.

This development his infuriated Erdogan as it would have done with any Turkish leader whether Kemalist or Islamist. While Turkey has expressed its frustrations at the US over the Kudish issue, the US seems to be complete ignoring Turkey and doing precisely the opposite of that which would make its NATO ‘ally’ contented. Turkey has stated that it will not tolerate a Kurdish state on its borders and the US has done precious little to assure Ankara that such a state will not foment.

With the possibility of increased Kurdish autonomy in Syria now increasingly probable and with the prospect of a Kurdish state in either Syria or Iraq more likely than at any time since the end of the Second World War, Turkey has reason to fear that an incredibly hostile force which has been heavily armed by the United States may spring up on its doorstep and more importantly, the doorstep of Turkey’s Kurdish regions which are a hotbed of the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party), a group Turkey labels as a terrorist group.

Secondly, in ending support for anti-government forces in Syria, Turkey is also easing latent tensions in the last remaining Middle Eastern conflict Ankara has had with Moscow. While Russia and Turkey have cooperated economically in spite of being on different sides of the Syrian conflict and while Turkey continues to participate in the Astana Peace Process with Syria’s partners Russia and Iran, Turkey was always viewed with suspicion by many throughout the process because of Ankara’s position in respect of anti-government forces.

It would appear that this is no longer the case as Turkey is now, at least from a legal and technical point of view, de-facto recognising the Syrian government as the only legitimate political force in Syria.

In the longer term, this will help Turkey in its pivot away from the US and EU and towards Russia and Russia’s regional partner Iran. President Erdogan has in recent months been cultivating increasingly good relations with Iran and as Iran is, like Turkey, on China’s economically crucial One Belt–One Road. In this sense, Turkey would need to have cooperated with Iran sooner or later and for the sake of good will in the service of pragmatism, Turkey has decided to do it sooner.

The message to Russia and Iran also sends a strong message to the United States. Turkey now has increasingly little in common with America in spite of maintaining the second largest army in NATO. Turkey is conducing commerce with Russia more vigorously than with any western state, Turkey is buying missile defence systems from Russia and not NATO and Turkey has strongly condemned the latest round of anti-Russian sanctions from the west in a statement filled with words designed to show solidarity with Moscow’s position. Turkey’s position on the Qatar-crisis further puts Ankara in a position which is slightly closer to Iran and much further from that of the United States as President Trump has openly taken the Saudi position in spite of official US neutrality on the matter.

Turkey has in this sense, turned 180 degrees since 2015 when Turkish forces shot down a Russian jet over the Syria-Turkey border. The situation may well have led to a 21st century Russo-Turkish war, but due to President Vladimir Putin’s supreme patience, Turkey and Russia reconciled their relations which continue to grow. Some may point to the 2015 shooting down of the Russian fighter jet and the political fallout resulting from the event as a sign of Turkey’s unreliability as a Russian partner. There may be some truth to this. However, what seems more important is that while Turkey’s aggressive stance towards Russia in 2015 was born out of ambition and supreme arrogance, today’s revised Turkish position is born out of not only pragmatism but the long, some would say very long term needs of the Turkish state.

Finally, some are speculating that Turkey’s move to withdraw support for Syria’s anti-government forces is designed to pave the way for eventual reconciliation with the Syrian government. The Syrian government and moreover many Syrian civilians will not be quick to forgive Turkey for a role in the Syrian conflict viewed as destructive. Because it is now a certainty that the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party will remain in power in Damascus, Turkey will likely eventually have to engage in a thaw with the Syrian government simply because Syria is a neighbour to Turkey, but this road may be long.

In this respect, a lot depends on the Kurds. Once the last vestiges of terrorist fighters are defeated in Syria, whether the Kurds take a cooperative political approach or a hostile approach to the Syrian government will be a key factor in determining Syria-Turkish relations. Should the Kurds grow increasingly hostile to the Syrian government, Damascus may forge some sort of unspoken pact with Turkey to contain what would be a mutual enemy.

Overall though, the move from Turkey is more geo-strategic than it is regionally motivated. The clear winner in this is President Putin. His style of diplomacy which has been patient with Turkey’s frivolity in Syria for years seems to have finally paid off. Turkey is now closer to leaving NATO than one could have ever imagined. In many ways, Turkey has already left NATO in all but name. Russia’s historic nemesis is no longer a problem for Russia, but it may become a big problem for the United States.

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Harry
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Harry

They’re actually terminating the petrodollar-jihadi contracts. Without NATO aid, there wouldn’t be any anti-government terrorism in Syria.

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

ISIS is already moving by Saudi largess to Malaysia and the Philippines.

Simon
Guest
Simon

In Nov/Dec 2012 the Arab League, Turkey and the main NATO aggressors all recognised this Syrian National Coalition as the “sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people”. They still do. Though Macron has also been mulling the idea of reopening the French Embassy in Damascus. So when they claimed repeatedly that “Assad has lost legitimacy” – they were sort of right, purely from their own States’ official point of view. It was another fig leaf for their illegal interventions. However this must mean that Turkey now recognises the Assad Government of the SAR once again as the sole legitimate representative… Read more »

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

It is called “realpolitik”. Turkey concluded that their alliance with US/NATO/Saudi axis for regime change in Syria had failed, and whistles the end of the match. US can go back home, but Syria remains Turkey’s neighbor. Besides, the two countries have a common interest, against Syria partition, wanted by Washington.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

I would say that EVERYONE has a common interest against the Anglo-Zionist empire.

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

Yes, we’re going to die by the billions because of the manipulations of the ruling vampires of the Anglo-Zionist empire that have locked massive climatic and geological changes.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Before reading the article I posted it on, and said “Turkey has ‘de facto’ left NATO.
Then Adam Garrie confirmed my conclusion.
A am rather chuffed.
A very good day for the multi-polar project.

Shahna
Guest

It’s not in Turkey’s interests to leave NATO.
As a member of NATO – other NATO nations can’t attack or invade them… how would NATO members both attack AND defend a member nation at the same time?
….That would force the break-up of NATO and NATO exists to defend the USA.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

NATO already is in the process of breaking up.

Shahna
Guest

But until it does Chapter V is still there.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

It’s very much part of their breaking up. Europeans do not allow their troops to be used in American war crimes around the globe, which is what NATO has become. Chapter V is a crock that no one buys.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Never say “can’t.” All that is changing as the Anglo-Zionist Empire enters its death-throes.

Shahna
Guest

Not even the USA can have its cake and eat it.
NATO can’t attack and defend a member state at the same time.

GeorgeG
Guest
GeorgeG

As with all tips of icebergs, what is below the tip is not what everyone initialy focussed on, but when the tip comes into sight, it means that the mass of the iceberg beneath has been growing and has reached a new degree of maturity. This is therefore a good indication of the momentum and maturity of the OBOR initiative. It is no longer a “long-erm prospect.” My guess would be that Erdogan is not only calculating that his “opposition” against the Syrian government wil not succeed, but that OBOR is unstoppable. He has to count on concrete results, and… Read more »

Shahna
Guest

Excellent comment, thank you….
May I suggest you hit Edit and press Enter here and there to paragraph it?
It makes it infinitely more readable and, I think, more will read it – ‘cos such a large mass of words is kinda ….. off-putting and it’s well worth the read…..

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

“seeding Israel with massive hydraulic projects to reroute water into the Dead Sea where massive desalination plants will be built, providing water to both Israel and Palestine, with gigantic power plants in the package.” That sounds like dreaming to me. Route water into the Dead Sea already shrunken and more brackish than ever? How will the neighbors of the Zionist state ever be agreeable? Do you expect the Zionist apartheid state to share any water with the Palestinians? So far, all they’ve done is stolen it. Also, severe desertification all around the Middle East is already locked in by climate… Read more »

Shahna
Guest

I was wondering about both those points too… Perhaps sufficient water in the Dead Sea would clean out much of the brack – dunno – but this is China and not the US creating a project that ultimately will only rob Peter to pay Paul (or rob Ahmed to pay Uncle Sam in their case.) Re your second point: US influence in the ME is declining – when it goes the way of it’s paymaster (“just print more”) British and French influence will go with it. Israel will then HAVE to come to terms with both its neighbours AND its… Read more »

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

My concern is that none of them will be able to survive. Imagine the Negev expanding to cover the whole region.

Shahna
Guest

I hear you – but this is CHINA – not some Western/American/European bunch of megacorps only out to squeeze as much money from investors as they can and drop everything after 20 years of cost increases.

If Libya can build the Great Man-Made River project – then China can bring water to the Dead Sea.

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

You could research how China is handling its own rapidly decreasing water resources.

Libya was a special case, and aquifers don’t last forever. Saudi Arabia has almost exhausted theirs growing wheat. Wells are going dry. Eventually, the oligarchs will flee, and the common people will die horribly.

Shahna
Guest

Nothing lasts forever – even the earth will dry to dust one day.

But if it works – good –
if it lasts for 20 years – that’s 20 years people get water
And if it doesn’t – China’s problem.

I’m not sure what your gripe is?

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

So now I have to have a gripe? Why? Am I required to dodge reality?

Shahna
Guest

And Libya was only a “special case” because it was that crazy guy from Africa-FFS who lived in a tent and wore funny clothes!

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

Sorry, I thought it was obvious that I was talking geologically.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

Desalination of water from the Dead Sea is extremely unlikely…..
Brackish water has more salinity than fresh water but not as much as sea water.
So how the Dead Sea with a much higher salt content than normal sea water could have become brackish is not possible.
You may be confused with the diversion of the Jordan River.

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

You need to re-read my comment and the one I was replying to. It’s not my confusion. It’s my guess that the Dead Sea is already more brackish than the waste water generated by the osmosis process on normal sea water.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

You do not understand the meaning of brackish

⁣Sent from BlueMail ​

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

Okay, I misused brackish. But that’s the only point you’ve made.

https://www.livescience.com/56047-why-is-dead-sea-so-salty.html

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

The rerouting of the Jordan River is what has caused the Dead Sea to recede….and is causing a disaster which seems to be affecting all groundwater in the area…George is blowing smoke when he believes that desalination plants will be built THERE for the purpose of presumably producing water for irrigation or personal use in both Israel and Palestine. .
So you are right in that respect. But water that has 6 times the amount of salt than seawater is not likely to be desalinized for any public use. Desalination of seawater is very common….

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

Thank you for agreeing with me.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

You’re welcome :-))

kemerd
Guest
kemerd

This is wishfull thinking. US holds Erdogan from the balls and significantly turkish elites of every kind are pro US. when the US needs Turkey and asks something erdogan is more than willing to say how high

Simon
Guest
Simon

Surely that’s why he had his purges? 10,000s of ‘elites’ arrested or sacked. And the fear of God (or rather, the Sultan) put in many many more.
Turkey could well be the first country to break from NATO for real.

Shahna
Guest

I’m not sure there are many Turkish elites who support the ‘wrong’ side left – the way that guy has been running around purging places…… exhausting just watching him.

lickeyleaks
Guest
lickeyleaks

I was hoping to see this on Al Jazerra english news like they shew the 7 white helmets dead last night,but they were on about Virginia riots ect and nazism and now its been knocked offline!!

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

“A problem for the United States” … no. A problem for the ‘war party’ sure. You keep conflating what is best for Lockheed Martin with what is best for the American people. That is hardly true. The US has no enemies, and no need for an empire, or military alliances. Although it is often pointed out that oil is a primary reason for empire, uranium can eliminate the need for oil if there is a will to do it. Would take 20 or 30 years, but that is all. The United States is a continent-sized country that has everything it… Read more »

tjoes
Guest
tjoes

The middle east de-stabilization has been according to the Oded Yinon plan…forcing Jewish refugees to flee to Israel. In 2015 there were 50,000 more Jewish refugee applications to go to Israel than the year before, so it’s clearly worked (is working).

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

What color are they? Bibi’s regime only wants white ones. If they are Russian, they don’t have to be Jewish. They can learn while serving in the army.

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

I agree, stevek9, that it is not the American people per se.
Here’s a video of ex-Congresswoman, Ms. Cynthia McKinney “This video explains how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) continued mandatory demands that all U.S. Congressional
Representatives pledge:

that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, to Israel’s military superiority and that they vote for funding of Israel.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhYaioyGAYk

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

I hope she makes the ZioCon thugs pay for financing her out of office.

Shahna
Guest

WHEN the American people PROTEST the endless wars, destruction of nations and daily mass murder their nation deals out daily and has dealt out daily for years now …. THEN… I will distinguish between the American people and the cünts THEY ELECT to office.

samo war
Guest
samo war

games devills guns loby ?

JDo
Guest
JDo

Oooops …..White House says Russia increasingly isolated over Syria

https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-house-says-russia-increasingly-isolated-over-syria-185224406.html

Shahna
Guest

…I can’t think of a better reward for the nation that orchestrated that ‘Gulen’ coup in Turkey.

gbardizbanian
Guest
gbardizbanian

My message to Putin and Trump will be short: never trust Turkey.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

The honesty of Turkey’s alleged shift will be tested when the inevitable offensive against the jihadist enclave in Idlib starts. If Turkey has truly decided to stop aiding the jihadists, that must be shown through a swift deterioration of their capacities due to lack of supplies, since all of them come from Erdogan’s turf.

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Fake news media FREAK OUT over Trump and NATO (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 172.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the media meltdown over remarks that U.S. President Trump may have made with regard to NATO, and how neo-liberal war hawks championing the alliance as some sort of foreign policy projection of peace and democracy, are really just supporting aggression, war, and the eventual weakening of the United States.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO, Authored by David Swanson:


The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.

1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

2. NATO is not a defensive institution. According to the New York Times, NATO has “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is an article of faith, based on the unsubstantiated belief that Soviet and Russian aggression toward NATO members has existed for 70 years and that NATO has deterred it rather than provoked it. In violation of a promise made, NATO has expanded eastward, right up to the border of Russia, and installed missiles there. Russia has not done the reverse. The Soviet Union has, of course, ended. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic, bombing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. No NATO member has been attacked or credibly threatened with attack, apart from small-scale non-state blowback from NATO’s wars of aggression.

3. Trump is not trying to destroy NATO. Donald Trump, as a candidate and as U.S. President, has wondered aloud and even promised all kinds of things and, in many cases, the exact opposite as well. When it comes to actions, Trump has not taken any actions to limit or end or withdraw from NATO. He has demanded that NATO members buy more weapons, which is of course a horrible idea. Even in the realm of rhetoric, when European officials have discussed creating a European military, independent of the United States, Trump has replied by demanding that they instead support NATO.

4. If Trump were trying to destroy NATO, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Trump has claimed to want to destroy lots of things, good and bad. Should I support NAFTA or corporate media or the Cold War or the F35 or anything at all, simply because some negative comment about it escapes Trump’s mouth? Should I cheer for every abuse ever committed by the CIA or the FBI because they investigate Trump? Should I long for hostility between nuclear-armed governments because Democrats claim Trump is a Russian agent? When Trump defies Russia to expand NATO, or to withdraw from a disarmament treaty or from an agreement with Iran, or to ship weapons to Ukraine, or to try to block Russian energy deals in Europe, or to oppose Russian initiatives on banning cyber-war or weapons in space, should I cheer for such consistent defiance of Trump’s Russian master, and do so simply because Russia is, so implausibly, his so-inept master? Or should I form my own opinion of things, including of NATO?

5. Trump is not working for, and was not elected by, Russia.According to the New York Times, “Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said.” But are anonymous “American officials” really needed to acquire Russia’s openly expressed opinion that NATO is a threatening military alliance that has moved weapons and troops to states on Russia’s border? And has anyone produced the slightest documentation of the Russian government’s aims in an activity it has never admitted to, namely “meddling in American elections,” — an activity the United States has of course openly admitted to in regard to Russian elections? We have yet to see any evidence that Russia stole or otherwise acquired any of the Democratic Party emails that documented that party’s rigging of its primary elections in favor of Clinton over Sanders, or even any claim that the tiny amount of weird Facebook ads purchased by Russians could possibly have influenced the outcome of anything. Supposedly Trump is even serving Russia by demanding that Turkey not attack Kurds. But is using non-military means to discourage Turkish war-making necessarily the worst thing? Would it be if your favorite party or politician did it? If Trump encouraged a Turkish war, would that also be a bad thing because Trump did it, or would it be a bad thing for substantive reasons?

6. If Trump were elected by and working for Russia, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Imagine if Boris Yeltsin were indebted to the United States and ended the Soviet Union. Would that tell us whether ending the Soviet Union was a good thing, or whether the Soviet Union was obsolete for serious reasons? If Trump were a Russian pawn and began reversing all of his policies on Russia to match that status, including restoring his support for the INF Treaty and engaging in major disarmament negotiations, and we ended up with a world of dramatically reduced military spending and nuclear armaments, with the possibility of all dying in a nuclear apocalypse significantly lowered, would that too simply be a bad thing because Trump?

7. Russia is not a military threat to the world. That Russia would cheer NATO’s demise tells us nothing about whether we should cheer too. Numerous individuals and entities who indisputably helped to put Trump in the White House would dramatically oppose and others support NATO’s demise. We can’t go by their opinions either, since they don’t all agree. We really are obliged to think for ourselves. Russia is a heavily armed militarized nation that commits the crime of war not infrequently. Russia is a top weapons supplier to the world. All of that should be denounced for what it is, not because of who Russia is or who Trump is. But Russia spends a tiny fraction of what the United States does on militarism. Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has bombed nine nations in the past year, Russia one. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3. Gallup and Pew find populations around the world viewing the United States, not Russia, as the top threat to peace in the world. Russia has asked to join NATO and the EU and been rejected, NATO members placing more value on Russia as an enemy. Anonymous U.S. military officials describe the current cold war as driven by weapons profits. Those profits are massive, and NATO now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe.

8. Crimea has not been seized. According to the New York Times, “American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.” Again we have an anonymous claim as to a goal of a government in committing an action that never occurred. We can be fairly certain such things are simply made up. The vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia is commonly called the Seizure of Crimea. This infamous seizure is hard to grasp. It involved a grand total of zero casualties. The vote itself has never been re-done. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single believer in the Seizure of Crimea has ever advocated for re-doing the vote. Coincidentally, polling has repeatedly found the people of Crimea to be happy with their vote. I’ve not seen any written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence in Crimea. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 4 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result. Of course, a U.S.-backed coup had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea — just like a Honduran immigrant — was voting to secede from a coup government, by no means an action consistently frowned upon by the United States.

9. NATO is not an engaged alternative to isolationism. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world. A nonviolent, cooperative, treaty-joining, law-enforcing alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them. The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite of bombing people is embracing them. By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations Switzerland must be the most isolationist land because it doesn’t join in bombing anyone. The fact that it supports the rule of law and global cooperation, and hosts gatherings of nations seeking to work together is simply not relevant.

10. April 4 belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr., not militarism. War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. A growing coalition is calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70thanniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Turkey prepared to take Syria’s Manbij, won’t let it turn into ‘swamp’ like N. Iraq

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well.

RT

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Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about the protection of its borders are not kept, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Turkey still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed with a military option and will not “wait forever,” Erdogan said. He was referring to Ankara’s plans for the northern Syrian territories east of the Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone”free of any Kurdish militias.

“We are on our border with our forces and following developments closely. If promises made to us are kept and the process goes on, that’s fine. Otherwise, we inform that we have almost completed our preparations and will take steps in line with our own strategy,” the president said, addressing a group of businessmen in Ankara on Monday.

He did not elaborate on the promises made. However, they are apparently linked to the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia from the Manbij area and the regions along the border with Turkey. “We will never allow a safe zone to turn into a new swamp,” Erdogan said, referring to the northern Syrian territories and comparing them to the northern Iraq, where the militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an organization that Ankara considers a terrorist group – have been entrenched for decades.

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well. “Our proposal for a security zone under Turkey’s control aims to keep terror organizations away from our borders,” the Turkish president said.

He went on to explain that Ankara does not seek any territorial gains in its military campaigns in Syria but merely seeks to restore order in the war-ravaged country. “We will provide security for Manbij and then we will hand over the city to its real owners,” Erdogan said. “Syria belongs to Syrians.”

Turkey also seeks to establish a “security zone 20 miles [32 kilometers] deep” into Syria, Erdogan said, adding that he already discussed this issue with the US President Donald Trump. “Those who insistently want to keep us away from these regions are seeking to strengthen terror organizations,” he added.

Ankara has been long planning to push YPG units out of the area east of the Euphrates River. Its operation was delayed by the US withdrawal from Syria. However, Erdogan repeatedly hinted that his patience is wearing thin and he is not ready to wait much longer. He warned Trump against backtracking on his pledge to withdraw some 2,000 US forces out of Syria following a suicide attack in Manbij that killed four Americans. If the US president halted the withdrawal, it would mean that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) had won, Erdogan argued.

He has also reiterated that Turkey is ready to take over Manbij “without delay.” The US military is currently working on security arrangements with the Turkish forces to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters. The Kurds, meanwhile, invited the Syrian government to take over the city and have reportedly begun to leave the area. Turkey has dismissed the reports saying its a “psyop”.

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Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50

The invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored Tom Luongo via Strategic Culture Foundation:


Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May went through an extraordinary twenty-four hours. First, seeing her truly horrific Brexit deal go down in historic defeat and then, somehow, surviving a ‘No-Confidence’ vote which left her in a stronger position than before it.

It looks like May rightly calculated that the twenty or so Tory Remainers would put party before the European Union as their personal political positions would be terminally weakened if they voted her out of office.

While there is little stomach in the British Parliament for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there is less for allowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. And that is the crux of why the incessant calls to delay Brexit, call for a ‘people’s vote’ or, in Corbyn’s case, “take a no-deal Brexit off the table,’ ultimately lead to a whole lot of political knife-fighting and very little substantive action.

The day-to-day headline spam is designed to wear down people’s resistance and make it feel like Brexit getting betrayed is inevitable. That has been the British Deep State’s and EU’s game plan all along and they hoped they could arm-twist enough people in parliament to succeed.

But the problem for them now, since the clock has nearly run out, is the invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

And I don’t see anyone on the Remainer side working towards that end. That should be your clue as to what happens next.

Why? Because they know they don’t have the time to get that act past Parliament. So, the rest of this is simply a PR campaign to push public opinion far enough to allow for an illegal canceling or postponing of Brexit.

But it’s not working.

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respectedLeave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

And, I think Theresa May now realizes this. It is why she invited the no-confidence vote against her. She knew she had the votes and it would give her the ammunition to ignore Corbyn’s hysterical ranting about taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.

Whether she realizes that the only negotiating tool she has with the EU is the threat of a No-Deal Brexit, exactly like Nigel Farage and those committed to Brexit have been telling her for two years is still, however, up in the air.

It looks like she’s finally starting to get it.

The net result is we are seeing a similar outing of the nefarious, behind-the-scenes, power brokers in the public eye similar to what’s been happening in the US with Donald Trump and Russiagate.

May has been singularly unimpressive in her handling of Brexit. I’ve been convinced from the beginning that betraying Brexit was always her goal. Negotiating a deal unacceptable to anyone was meant to exhaust everyone into the position to just throwing up their hands and canceling the whole thing.

The EU has been in the driver’s seat the entire time because most of the British establishment has been on their side and it was only the people who needed to be disrespected.

So, after all of these shananigans we are back to where we were last week. May has cut off all avenues of discussion. She won’t commit to taking ‘no-deal’ off the table to tweak Corbyn. She won’t substantively move on any other issue. This is likely to push her deal through as a last-minute panic move.

Corbyn is still hoping to get new elections to take power, and the majority of MP’s who don’t want to leave the EU keep fighting among themselves to cock up the entire works.

All they are doing is expending pound after pound of political capital beating themselves against their own act of Parliament which goes into effect on March 29th.

By the time that date comes around the frustration, shame and humiliation of how Parliament has mishandled Brexit will make it difficult for a lot of Remainers to hold together their majority as public opinion has decidedly turned against them.

In the past the EU has had that façade of democratic support undermining any change at the political level. With Brexit (and with budget talks in Italy) that is not the case. The people are angry.

The peak moment for Remainers to stage a bipartisan political coup against May should have been the most recent no-confidence vote.

With May surviving that it implies that Remainers are not willing to die politically for their cause.

This should begin to see defectors over the next couple of weeks as they realize they don’t have a hand to play either.

And by May refusing to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit it has finally brought the EU around to throw a bone towards the British. Their admitting they would extend Article 50 is just that. But they know that’s a non-starter as that is the one thing May has been steadfast in holding to.

On March 29th with or without a deal the U.K. is out of the EU. Because despite the European Court of Justice’s decision, Britain’s parliament can only cancel Article 50 at this point by acting illegally.

Not that I would put that past these people, but then that opens up a can of worms that most British MP’s will not go along with. The personal stakes are simply too high.

When dealing with politicians, never bet against their vanity or their pocketbook. In May’s case she may finally have realized she could have the legacy of getting Britain out of the EU just before it collapses.

And all she has to do between now and the end of March is, precisely, nothing.

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