Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Palestine can be a decisive factor in finalising a rapprochement between Turkey and Syria

Turkey and Syria see eye to eye on many issues, except that of normalising relations with one another. However, today’s announcement from Turkey brings normalisation one step closer, while a united anti-sectarian front over Palestine could help seal the deal.

Published

on

2,450 Views

One of the biggest hurdles in solidifying the unity of the Northern bloc of Middle East nations (which includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey) is the ongoing schism between two de-fato members of the bloc–Turkey and Syria.

In the first post-ISIS battle between the North and South of the Middle East: The North has won

In spite of Syria and Turkey’s mutual position on issues as wide ranging as good relations with Russia, Iraq and Iran, fervent support for Palestine, anti-Americanism and strained relations with Riyadh–Syria and Turkey are still at odds with each other.

This is not to say that the mutual positions of the Northern bloc have all been achieved for the same reasons among each constituent country–but all such blocs of nations have their own particular reasons for taking the stances they do and each have varying degrees of commitment to their stated positions.

In this sense, there is nothing unusual about Turkey’s position on Palestine as a former Israeli ‘partner’, now being largely in line with that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for whom the existence of an occupier entity in the Middle East was always ideologically and practically unacceptable.

However, Turkey’s position on Syria has made it so that too countries united for all of the aforementioned reasons, with the added benefit of being generally united in a position against Kurdish terrorism and militarism, has not yet amounted to a full rapprochement. The reasons for this are obvious enough. For much of the Syrian conflict, Turkey represented one of the primary threats to Syria’s sovereignty, as Ankara enthusiastically led the charge for ‘regime change’ while cultivating a gang of Sunni supremacists in the process.

Over the last year however, primarily due to Turkey’s accepting of the reality that President Bashar al-ASsad’s government will remain stable and the more important (for Turkey) reality that Russia and Iran are now vital economic and security partners, Turkey quietly dropped its official support for the so-called Syrian opposition and today has come out in a very vocal manner, saying that the government in Damascus is no longer a threat. This is Turkey’s way of extended a much anticipated olive branch to Syria–something which incidentally is also supported by Turkey’s Kemalist opposition.

Erdogan hints at normalisation with Syria – says Ankara and Damascus have common enemy

Beyond the Syria conflict though, there are other factors quietly pushing Damascus and Ankara towards a slow and steady normalisation of relations. Of all the Arab governments today, Syria’s has been the most historically consistent when it comes to steadfast support of Palestine. Syria has participated in just about every regional conflict against Israel, up to and including important phases of the Lebanese Civil War which was exacerbated by two illegal Israeli invasions, one in 1978 and a larger one in 1982, which saw the presence of occupying Israeli troops in Lebanon until 2006.

By contrast, during much of this period, Turkey remained agnostic when it came to Arab affairs, while at the same time, relations with Israel remained healthy. Turkey was after all, the first Muslim majority nation to establish diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.

Today however, the broader dynamics of the region have changed. Egypt and Jordan have relations with Israel and have all but forgotten the Palestinian cause (until very recently). Likewise, while Saudi Arabia helped spearhead the 1973 oil embargo to punish countries that sided with Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, today Saudi Arabian flags are burnt in Palestine, due to the perception that Saudi Arabia cares more about its undeclared business ties to Israel and a mutual hatred of Iran, than Riyadh cares about Palestine. All this being said, while the oil embargo was motivated  by self-interest on the part of Riyadh, so too could a shift to the Petroyuan in the name of Palestine, be much the same.

Lebanon urges Arab states to sanction USA: The Petroyuan beckons

Add to the equation, that non-Arab Iran is now one of the region’s most consistently pro-Palestine states and that Turkey under Erdogan has rapidly become a close second and one sees that the Northern bloc/Southern bloc divide over Palestine is all too obvious to anyone not viewing the region through the prism of long past decades.

This is not to say that Palestine is the cause of the formation of the Northern bloc, but it is one of the most important effects. The effectiveness of this reality will very likely soon be realised when the nations of the region finalise their response to the current crisis over Jerusalem/al-Quds, in which the entire world has united against Donald Trump’s unilateral decision.

As part of the Ankara-Damascus rapprochement, the issue of Palestine could easily become an area which helps the two countries, who remain deeply suspicious of one another, to see eye to eye. This could work in tandem with a mutual friendship with Iran and Russia that would also act as a convincing factor in convincing both countries to make amends.

While the Southern bloc of the Middle East (with the exception of Israel) has also condemned Trump’s declaration, it is widely believed, including among Palestinians, that the true friends of Palestine are in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran–not in Egypt, Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

If the Northern bloc is to match its rhetoric with a concrete plan of diplomatic and security action over the Palestine issue, as they claim they seek to do, it would help if Syria and Turkey, two important members of the bloc restore ties.

In this sense, it also behoves the members of the Northern bloc to bring what remains of the Syria conflict to an end, as soon as possible. This includes using Turkish influence over extremist Sunni militants in Syria, to demonstrate that unity over Palestine is more important than internal Muslim sectarian divides.

If Turkey and Syria can reach an understanding based on these principles, the Northern bloc itself would be one step closer to peace and one step closer to a truly united front on Palestine.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

Published

on

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending