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Turkey’s proxies in Idlib are increasingly reticent to fight Ankara’s Kurdish enemy

Turkey’s problems in Idlib are far more serious than those facing Syria.

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The Turkish led “Battle for Idlib” continues to spiral out of control for reasons that are largely predictable. Idlib is unique among north-western Syrian Governorates, insofar as it still has a large al-Qaeda/al-Nusra presence as well as an ISIS presence. That being said the ISIS presence is often interchangeable with that al-Qaeda flag as the same Takfiri militants often fight under different flags on different occasions.

Even prior to Turkey’s most recent intervention in Idlib, al-Qaeda/al-Nusra factions have been fighting with FSA terrorists, Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, in addition to internal fighting within the ranks of each aforementioned organisation.

Now, FSA terrorists who are aligned with Turkey are reportedly fighting among one another. At this point it is important to clarify that of all the endlessly fluid names of terrorist groups in Syria, the most fluid is FSA. The name has become so confusing that at one point the US tried to remain their former ‘FSA’ styled proxies to ‘NSA’ (New Syrian Army), although the name has not stuck in any meaningful way.

The latest civil war in Idlib is between Turkish proxies/mercenaries who fly under the FSA flag. The fighting’s proximate cause is due to competition over Turkish injections of cash and favour, with an underlying tension wherein some Turkish proxies are happy to fight Kurdish forces on behalf of Ankara, where others would rather effectively pretend to fight al-Qaeda factions who essentially share their same Takrifi ideology. Turkish FSA mercenaries generally ‘fight’ al-Qaeda, by bribing them to vacate a certain parcel of territory. After doing so, the Turkish backed FSA factions will generally raise their flag after not a moment of fighting and claim a ‘victory’ over al-Qaeda. Sometimes this happens within hours of allowing al-Qaeda forces to safely vacate such places, after a bribe or other favourable agreement is reached.

Now however, that Turkey has plainly admitted that much of its new role in Idlib is largely to contain PKK aligned YGP Kurdish militias (who themselves are largely aligned with the United States as part of the so-called SDF), many Turkish FSA mercenaries/proxies, simply feel that the risk is not worth the money.

Whereas al-Qaeda/al-Nusra forces have run out of land and Gulfi money in Syria, Kurdish militants are fighting for territory and consequently, they have more fight left in them vis-a-vis the demoralised al-Qaeda forces.

This poses more of a problem for Turkey than for Syria. Syria responded to Erdgoan’s typically militant rhetoric about having his “own game-plan” in Idlib with a legally correct statement, saying that Turkey has no legal right to act unilaterally in Syria and must leave Syria at once, rather than execute such a unilateral plan. While the Syrian admonition of Turkey is legally in order, it crucially indicates that Syria believes Turkey is exceeding its mandate according to the Astana agreement wherein Turkey, Russia and Iran, with Syria’s approval, consented to the establishment and operational guidelines of a Turkish de-escalation zone in Idlib.

While Syria’s argument with Turkey is at this stage, an argument about whether Turkey is exceeding its Astana mandate, in reality, Turkey is facing far bigger existential problems in Idlib than Syria is facing.

Turkey is clearly gearing up for a containment operation against Kurdish militants and if the Kurds fight against this containment, Turkey is equally ready for a fight with Kurds on Syrian soil, something which the Turkish establishment sees as preferable to fighting the YPG allied PKK on Turkish soil. The problem for Turkey is that it is becoming increasingly apparent that its proxies in Syria may not be up to the task of fighting Kurdish militants. This would mean that the Turkish army would have to do much of the fighting of its own accord, something which remains controversial as the Turkish army is made up of many conscripted young men.

That being said, fighting Kurds remains more popular among all parties in Turkey, while fighting for Muslim Brotherhood style terrorists was only ever popular amongst Erdogan’s hardcore ideological base. The new reality however, is that the events in Idlib will force Turkey to take military matters fully into its own hands, seeing as a great number of Turkey’s proxies are increasingly not willing to abide by Erdogan’s new ‘game plan’. To accomplish this, Erdogan may need to rally popular support for sending more Turkish troops into Idlib to make up for the inadequacy of FSA proxy mercenaries. In order to achieve such popular support for sending Turkish conscript soldiers further into Syria, Erdogan will have to clarify that the operation is primarily against Kurdish militants who are near universally detested in Turkey, whereas beyond the AKP’s most ardent ideologues, a war involving a Muslim Brotherhood style ideology remains either unpopular or otherwise viewed as unnecessary for Turkey.

In this sense, unlike Turkey’s initial illegal incursion into Syria in the form of the pro-jihadist Operation Euphrates Shield, today’s operation is largely focused on Kurds, while talk of fighting al-Qaeda (according to Turkey) or fighting with al-Qaeda (according to Syria), is more or less a moot point in terms of the meaningful medium term developments in Syria where over 85% of all Syrian territory is now safely in the hands of the government.

Using the legal shield of the Astana agreement, Turkey will be able to conduct operations against Kurds with the tacit consent of Russia and Iran, something which will almost certainly help to reassure a Damascus government which remains highly sceptical of Erdogan’s designs on the region, based on his recent record of aggression against Syria. While Russia will aid Turkey in line with the Astana agreement, by clearing out parts of Idlib with Aerospace Forces, when it comes to the fight on the ground versus the US aligned Kurds, Turkey does not have any major power to rely on.

Thus, Erdogan may have his game plan, but he is increasingly alone in executing it. Erdogan has found out the hard way, that while mercenaries will help Turkey to fight for the Muslim Brotherhood, the jihadist proxies will not be so universally forthcoming in helping Turkey to fight a traditional Turkish enemy: the Kurdish YPG.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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Why Joe May be Courting Stacey

Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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