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Has Erdogan gone fully rogue?

Remarks on Crimea by the Turkish Foreign Ministry are a slap in the face to the only major power who still takes Erdogan somewhat seriously

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Over the last 20+ years, America hsa applied the nebulous term ‘rogue state’ with a bit of impunity.

Syria was called a rogue state for having the audacity to pursue an independent foreign and economic policy in the Arab world.

Yugoslavia was called a rogue state by the US for trying to defend the borders of what until the foreign meddling of the 1990s, was the most successful multi-cultural state in late modern Europe and possibly the world.

So when discussing what makes a rogue state, it is better to construct a new, more neutral definition than rely on the American application of the word to any state which doesn’t dance to the NATO/US tune.

Let us define a rogue sate as: a state whose government pursues unilateral aggressive policies which result in the country’s sudden or gradual isolation from regional neighbours, former allies and those beyond.

This is distinct from a failed state which is a state whose semblance of a government is at best incompetent and totally ineffective, or at its most failed, a government that for all intents and purposes is both fully incapable, corrupt, dis unified and scandalous.

Somalia is often categorised as a failed state in spite of efforts to fix persisting problems. Post-Gaddafi Libya can also be described as a failed state because it lacks a single, mutually agreed upon central government, and in any case both the Tripoli and Benghazi governments are up against tribal groups who answer only too themselves, other piratical elements and violent terrorist organisations, including branches of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Finally, one comes to Ukraine under the fascist junta regime. This state is by all means a failed state, no matter how hard its supporters try to convince the world otherwise.

It cannot pay its bills, police its streets against competing neo-Nazi elements,  it resorts to the use of terrorists to fight its wars of aggression against the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics (see Azov Battalion), the state’s borders are highly disputed and political corruption and instability is rampant. If America and various EU states give up on Kiev, Ukraine will be both a failed state and a rogue state.

But what about Turkey? Turkey is a great state, a powerful state, and a regionally important state with an economy to be reckoned with, in spite of recent downturns.

But Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is increasingly going rogue.

He has alienated much of the secular Arab world though his illegal invasions and occupations of Iraq and Syria. His bellicose rhetoric against Greece and personal intransigence over the peace process to end decades of illegal Turkish occupation of Cyrus, have opened up both old and fresh wounds with the Hellenic world.

His back and forth relationships with Israel and Palestine has made both sides suspicious of Turkish designs on the area. He is persona-non-grata in much of the EU and the EU leaders seem to be content about that.

Iran is deeply unhappy with Turkey’s moves in the Middle East. And the only thing Barack Obama and Donald Trump seem to have in common is an unwillingness to work directly with Turkey on any meaningful regional issues, in spite of its NATO membership.

Of course this leaves out Russia, who after 2015 virtually broke off all public relations with Turkey over the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet. Turkey claimed that the jet had breached Turkish airspace, others maintain it was in Syrian airspace at the behest of the Syrian government. The logistical likelihood is that the jet never breached Turkish air space and that the shooting down of the jet was either a blunder which masked a crime or a crime which masked a blunder.

While this would have led some countries to war, Russia and Turkey engaged in rapprochement in 2016 and just last week, Erdogan was in Moscow affirming his willingness to expand trade relations and technology exchange with Russia.

Turkey and Russia were enemies throughout the Tsarist period of Russian history. After the deaths of Lenin and Ataturk who had a good relationship with one another, the two countries once again became distant to the point of being quietly hostile, to put it mildly.

Under President Putin, relations have undoubtedly improved, but not because of any humility shown by Erdogan. President Putin has shown a kind of patience with Erdogan’s perpetual hysterics, that almost no other world leader has been able to achieve.

Putin understands that a post-Erdogan Turkey (whenever that happens) will be an important regional player and therefore an important potential partner to a Russian Federation that is no longer content to allow the Middle East, or Eurasia more widely, to be a playground for western liberal imperialists, Salifist regimes and terrorist proxies, nor unbridled Israeli ambitions and bellicosity.

But under Erdogan, Turkey is doing all it can to not return the favour of Putin’s patience. In spite of Putin being the only major world leader to still have any patience at all for Erdogan, Turkey continues to back the blood soaked jihadist group Free Syrian Army and continues to illegally occupy Syrian territory. In doing so, Turkey has become a stumbling block to the very peace process that it signed up to along with Iran and Russia; the Astana talks.

But now, adding insult to injury, the Turkish Foreign Ministry have said that they do not recognise Crimea as part of Russia. So much for partnership…

Nothing Turkey nor anyone else says will change Russia’s borders. Crimea is now, as it has been through most of modern history, Russian. The 2014 re-unification was democratic and peaceful which is more than can be said of how the fascist regime in Kiev governs territories under its control.

What’s more is that Turkey knows full well that Russia presents Ankara with fantastic economic opportunities and Ukraine presents the world, including Turkey, nothing but a headache.

Therefore, Turkeys’ inflammatory statement on Crimea should be seen not in the context of Turkey’s fondness for  the fascists in Kiev, but as part of Erdogan’s quest for neo-Ottoman glory.

Prior to becoming part of the Russian Empire, there was an Ottoman vassal state called the Crimean Khanate and even today some Crimean Tatars, a Turkic people, constitute a minority of Crimean residents. Although they have the full rights of any other Russian citizen and indeed live peacefully in Russia, a far more democratic and free country than Erdogan’s Turkey, Erdogan still would prefer to view himself as the ‘liberator’ of a Turkic/post-Ottoman people.

The only irony here is that even though no one has a legitimate claim to modern Crimea other than Russia, Turkey would actually have a stronger claim than Ukraine, as at least the Turkish state has both a historical basis for existence as well as history in Crimea.

But all history aside, the practical reality is that Turkey has slapped Russia in the face. Russia is too mature a power to feel the sting, but it goes to show that Turkey is ultimately an unreliable partner to everyone, including its own short and medium term interests.

That being said, I do believe that whenever a post-Erdogan era arrives, Russia’s respect for the Turkish state and its patience with a leader that many Turks find as exasperating as foreigners do, will pay off. Turkey will see that Russia remained calm and respectful against all odds, when others lambasted Turkey from a position of hypocrisy and blind ideological dogma.

In spite of Turkey’s importance as a nation and its military might, Erdogan has allowed his country to go rogue. The only hope is that the words of Ataturk remain true, “They go as they come”.

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Trump Weighs In On The Single Worst Mistake In American History

Trump hits Bush: Invading Iraq ‘the single worst decision ever made’.

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Via Zerohedge


In a wide ranging interview with The Hill on Tuesday conducted in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked to give his take on the biggest mistake in American history.

Considering just how open-ended a question that is, it’s perhaps surprising that he merely went back less than a couple decades into the Bush presidency, though Trump’s base will certainly welcome it as it hearkens back to his “America First” foreign policy vision of the campaign trail.

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” the president during his interview with Hill.TV.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country,” he said.

Trump explained the reasoning behind this choice, and why it wasn’t something like the civil war or another defining and devastating event reaching far into American History.

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, ‘oh gee, let’s not do it. Seven trillion, and millions of lives — you know, ‘cause I like to count both sides. Millions of lives,” the president explained.

Some scholars and humanitarian groups estimate that over one million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. A 2008 Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll, for example, found that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war.

“To me it’s the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, civil war. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”

Various estimates on the Iraq war’s cost have put the total taxpayer bill as low as near $2 trillion, but none dispute that it is in the multiple trillions, and estimates will vary widely depending on if veteran care is factored into it.

The comments echo things Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. For example during one of his first major foreign policy speeches then candidate Trump said, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.” And referencing the famous quote of John Quincy Adams, he said during the same speech, “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”

He had previously shocked pundits for being the first Republican nominee for president to trash George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and has more recently likened it to “throwing a big fat brick into a hornet’s nest”.

All of this is a hopeful sign considering the extremely heightened and dangerous tensions over Syria this week, and given Trump seems to have vacillated between “bringing the troops home” and getting more involved. On Monday Trump hinted that a decision on the U.S. role in Syria is coming soon.

Commenting on the over 2,000 troops now in Syria ostensibly as part of the “anti-ISIL” coalition campaign, Trump indicated this mission could end soon: “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said. He followed with: “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.”

We consider it a hopeful and a good sign that Trump is possibly revisiting his “America First” foreign policy pledges by identifying the Iraq War as the worst mistake in US history.

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Brett Kavanaugh eleventh hour smear begins to fall apart (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Trump is urging the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh to testify and be heard.

Trump said he wants to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, noting that it would be “unfortunate” if she does not testify before a Senate committee. Trump told reporters Wednesday as he left the White House to view hurricane damage in North Carolina…

“If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that would be very interesting.”

From Trump’s lips to God’s ear…Blasey Ford came out to issue a statement essentially saying that she will not testify to Congress, either in an open or closed door session.

Furthermore it appears that Ford will not even allow Senate investigators to fly to California and obtain her statement from the comfort of her own home (as Senator Grassley has offered to do).

Ford is demanding an FBI investigation into an allegation with no date, time or place attached to it. 

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the dangerous game of identity politics being played by the establishment, Democrat left, and their mainstream media minions.

The premise that a four decades old accusation is all that is needed to destroy a person’s entire life, threatens to tear down the most basic foundational values adhered to from within the US Constitution, and propel the United States of America towards a fascist state where censorship, citizen surveillance, and evidence free accusations are used to keep the establishment left in power and the American population cowered in fear.

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According to Zerohedge, Democrats’ Hail Mary play to stymie the confirmation of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh is beginning to fizzle out. As angry Dems demanded that a Monday hearing on the allegations against Kavanaugh be delayed until the FBI has a chance to investigate, turncoat Republicans (on whom the Dems had been depending for votes) instead withdrew their support and fell in line after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley declared that he would not honor Democrats’ request. Grassley revealed his intention to stand firm late Tuesday after lawyers for Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey, who is claiming that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her 35 years ago when the two were 17-year-old high school students, said their client wouldn’t be wiling to appear at Monday’s hearing.

According to the HillGrassley said Tuesday that there was “no reason” to delay the hearing now that Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly. However, while Ford’s attorneys have insisted that their client has taken a polygraph test and “deserves to be heard”, Ford has bizarrely insisted that the FBI should have an opportunity to investigate her claims before she appears before the committee in order to spare her the “trauma” of confronting her alleged assailant.

Ford’s lawyers conveyed her request in the form of a letter sent to the committee, a copy of which was obtained by CNN.

Senator Grassley said he would refuse this request as several Republicans who had appeared to be on the cusp of defecting said they wouldn’t support further delays should Ford prove unwilling to testify.

Via the Hill…

“Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who was one of the first Republicans to call for the Judiciary Committee to hit pause on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Sunday.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) told reporters earlier Tuesday that Ford’s lack of response to the committee about testifying was “puzzling.”

And GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who had threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if Ford wasn’t given the chance to be heard, told CNN that he expected the committee to move on if she doesn’t appear.

“I think we’ll have to move to the markup,” he told CNN. “I hope she does (appear). I think she needs to be heard.”

Via Zerohedge…

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations and insisted he didn’t attend the party where the physical assault allegedly took place. Patrick Smyth, a fellow former Georgetown Prep student whom Ford alleges was also in attendance during the party issued a statement via his lawyer standing up for Kavanaugh. And in a separate letter to Grassley and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, not only does Smyth repudiate Ford’s allegations, but he adds that he doesn’t remember this party even taking place.

Of course, Feinstein – who admitted last night that she couldn’t say for certain that Ford’s story is entirely truthful – sat on Ford’s allegations for three months before referring them to the FBI and sharing them with other lawmakers (who purportedly “leaked” it to the press). President Trump on Tuesday said that he “feels sorry” for Kavanaugh, adding that he doesn’t want to “play into [Democrats] hands”, presumably by giving them more time to drag out the confirmation process.

“They should have done this a long time ago, three months ago, not now. But they did it now. So I don’t want to play into their hands,” Trump said.

Without the support of their Republican allies, Democrats will lack the votes on the committee to hold up the nomination past Monday. Though bizarrely, Kavanaugh himself hasn’t said yet whether he would or wouldn’t testify, which begs the question: If neither Kavanaugh nor Ford appear at the hearing, what exactly will lawmakers discuss?

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‘Hell on Earth’: MSF doctor tells RT of rape, violence, inhumane conditions in Lesbos refugee camp

One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

Alex Christoforou

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Via RT


One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

The overcrowded camp on the island of Lesbos, built to accommodate 3,100, houses around 9,000 people. “It’s a kind of hell on Earth in Europe,” Dr. Alessandro Barberio, an MSF clinical psychiatrist, said, adding that people in the camp suffer from lack of water and medical care. “It is impossible to stay there,” he said.

According to Barberio, asylum seekers are subjected to violence “during night and day.””There is also sexual violence”which leads to “mental health issues,” he said, adding that all categories of people at the camp may be subjected to it. “There is rape against men, women and children,” and the victims of sexual violence in the camp often have nightmares and hallucinations, Barberio told RT.

Asylum seekers in Moria “are in constant fear of violence,” and these fears are not groundless, the psychiatrist said. “Such cases [of violence] take place every week.”

There is “one toilet for 72 people, one shower for 84 people. The sanitation is bad. People are suffering from bad conditions,” Michael Raeber, an aid worker at the camp, told RT. They suffer from mental health problems because they are kept for a long time in the camp, according to Raeber.

“There is no perspective, they don’t know how their case will go on, when they will ever be able to leave the island.” The camp is a “place where there is no rule of law,” with rampant violence and drug addiction among the inhabitants, Raeber said.

In its latest report, MSF, which has been working near Moria since late 2017, criticized the unprecedented health crisis in the camp – one of the biggest in Greece. About a third of the camp population consists of children, and many of them have harmed themselves, and have thought about or attempted suicide, according to the group.

Barberio was behind an MSF open letter on the state of emergency in Moria, released on Monday, in which he writes that he has never “witnessed such overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions.”

Calling the camp an “island prison,” he insisted that many of his patients in the camp are unable to perform basic everyday functions, “such as sleeping, eating well, maintaining personal hygiene, and communicating.”

A number of human rights groups have strongly criticized the conditions at the camp and Greece’s “containment policy”regarding asylum seekers.

Christina Kalogirou, the regional governor of the North Aegean, which includes Lesbos, has repeatedly threatened to shut down the facility unless the government improves the conditions. On Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that Greece will move 2,000 asylum seekers out of the severely overcrowded camp and send them to the mainland by the end of September.

Greece, like other EU states, is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since WWII. According to International Organization for Migration estimates, 22,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Greece since the start of this year alone.

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