Tue Nov 6, 2012, 06:02 AM
dipsydoodle (42,239 posts)
Turkish court tries Israelis in Gaza flotilla case
Source: Associated Press
ISTANBUL (AP) -- A Turkish court on Tuesday opened a trial in absentia of four former Israeli military commanders in the killing of nine people aboard a Turkish aid ship that tried to break a Gaza blockade.
Prosecutors have demanded life in prison for several officers in command at the time of the 2010 Israeli raid, but it appears unlikely that any sentence could be carried out.
The case symbolizes the rupture between Turkey and Israel, former allies whose diplomatic ties are effectively frozen. Israel has rebuffed Turkish demands to apologize for the raid on the ship and to compensate those killed as a precondition for normalizing relations.
Hundreds of people gathered outside an Istanbul criminal court that planned to hear testimony from passengers who were on the Gaza-bound ship at the time of the Israeli raid, as well as relatives of those who were killed. Nine pro-Palestinian activists - eight Turks and a Turkish-American - were killed aboard the vessel Mavi Marmara, part of an international flotilla trying to break the blockade, which Israel says it imposed in 2007 to keep Palestinian militants from bringing weapons into Gaza.
Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_TURKEY_ISRAEL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-11-06-04-39-16
11 replies, 2627 views
Turkish court tries Israelis in Gaza flotilla case (Original post)
|question everything||Nov 2012||#6|
Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)
Tue Nov 6, 2012, 11:33 AM
happyslug (14,772 posts)
2. Why is this occurring???
First some background.
The middle east has always been a balance between the three local "Super powers". Egypt, Iran and Asia Minor. It is rare for any of these three powers to be under the control of one of the other two, and rarer for all three to be under one ruler (Cyrus the Great seems to be the first, but Iran shortly afterward lost Egypt and most of Asia Minor), Alexander the Great was the Second, but his empire then divided up roughly along those lines (Iran has retaken Egypt just before but did NOT take Asia Minor). Under Rome, Rome held Asia Minor and Egypt but constantly failed to take Iran till the time of Heraclitus about 600 AD (and that was temporary, replacing an Iranian invasion that had taken Egypt from Rome just a decade before). In 620s the Arabs under Mohammad's successors took both Egypt from the Romans, and Iran from the Iranians (But failed to take ALL of Asia Minor). After 750 AD the Arab Empire broke up, with Egypt and Iran going they own way and Asia Minor being split between the successor states to the Arab Empire AND the Byzantine Empire. The Turks appeared as allies of the Rulers of Iran about 900 and slowly took over the Islamic States but then lost Iran to Iranians, and never had any real control over Egypt. The Turks then moved into Asia Minor and slowly took it from the local Islamic States and the Byzantine Empire. The Ottoman Empire of the Turks started when a Turk allied himself with a Byzantine noble and started the Ottoman Empire by taking over both Islamic and Byzantine territories in Asia Minor and replaced Byzantine as the power in Asia Minor (This occurred at the same time that the Fourth Crusade took Constantinople, the Slavs in the Balkans revolted, then the Mongols took Russia, a one two three punch to the Byzantine Empire that it never recovered from). The Ottoman slowly replaced the Byzantine Empire and then for brief periods ruled Iran and Egypt, but then lost both almost as quickly as they took them (less then Rome had ruled Iran under Heraclitus). Egypt would stay technically under the Ottoman rule 1517-1768, but for all practical purposes be independent for those same years under the Mumluks who ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1811 or all practical purposes.
Side-note: Before the Turkish rule of Egypt, during the Turkish Siege of Constantinople, Egypt a Moslem Country would send aid to the Byzantine rulers of Constantinople in they attempt to hold the city from the Turkish attack.
More on Iranian History:
Map of Iran Empire in 1512 (and roughly what it was again by 1622):
More on Turkish History:
Map of Ottoman Empire at its height in 1519:
History of Egypt since the Arab Conquest to the Crusades:
History of Egypt from the Crusade till Napoleon:
History of Egypt since 1800:
I went into the above to show that these three powers and the powers that decides what happens to the Middle East long term. Someone can occasional come from Arabia or other place but its hold is temporary. As is any power from outside the area. Basra and the lower ends of the Euphanties and Tigris Rivers were independent till the Persian Conquest by Cyrus the Great in 540 BC, but since that date (and appears to be the fact even before that date) that part if Iraq has had strong ties with Iran.
More on Cyrus the Great:
The upper part of Euphanties and Tigris Rivers is the start of Asia Minor, for in those headwaters you have passes from Iraq to the Mediterranean sea and thus control of the trade between those two areas.
Response to happyslug (Reply #2)
Tue Nov 6, 2012, 01:27 PM
azurnoir (45,850 posts)
3. You left out the part about Turkey being the first Muslim country to recognize Israel why?
Israeli–Turkish relations refers to bilateral ties between Israel and Turkey. Israel–Turkey relations were formalized in March 1949. Turkey was the first Muslim majority country to recognize the State of Israel.
Cooperation between Turkey and Israel were accorded high priority by both countries, which shared concerns with respect to the regional instabilities in the Middle East. According to a New York Times report in 1999, the strategic partnership between the two countries had the potential to alter Middle East politics: Trade and tourism were booming, the Israel Air Force practiced maneuvers in Turkish airspace and Israeli technicians were modernizing Turkish combat jets. There were also plans for high-tech cooperation and water sharing. Relations deteriorated after the 2008–09 Gaza War and the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid.
This page was last modified on 6 November 2012 at 16:41.
just to give some perspective on the current situation, rather than the Ottoman Empire did you forget about resurrecting the 'Caliphate' ?
Response to azurnoir (Reply #3)
Tue Nov 6, 2012, 09:23 PM
happyslug (14,772 posts)
10. Becasue my Computer internet connection died on me.
I was jsut getting to the post WWII era, the above was to show where the major Armies come from when you discuss the Middle East and sooner or later it comes down to who has the largest number of boots on the ground.
The rest of what I was going to say was as follows:
Egypt under Nasser wanted to be the leader of the Arab World, and that meant opposing Israel. This seems to be more formal then real. Nasser wanted to LOOK like he was opposing Israel, but really did NOT want to actually attack Israel for that would mean he had to spend money. In 1956 Nasser took over the Suez Canal, Israel, France and Britain attacked. The US said the attack was uncalled for and backed Nasser. Thus Nasser suffered a Military defeat, but a political Victory for he ended up with the Canal.
Nasser's movement of Troops into the Sinai in 1967, was a move he had done before, it was the movement of one division, NOT enough to be an actual threat to Israel, but large enough to show the ARAB WORLD he opposed Israel. Some commentators claim that Israel knew this, for Nasser made clear to Israeli spies what he was doing. Israel has seen this move before and never had attacked from 1956 to 1967. In June 1967, Nasser demand that the UN peace keepers leave and his movement of that Division to the Israeli Border (two things he HAD done before and in those other times he had, under pressure from the US and the USSR, had pulled back the division and left the UN peace keepers back in).
It appears to be an internal game, that Israel knew about (for Nasser told their spies, to make sure everyone was on the same page). The problem was Israel had had plans to take the Sinai, the Golan heights and Jerusalem since the 1956 Suez Crisis. The Israeli Government then took this movement of Egyptian troops as an excuse to use those plans. The Israelis attack Egypt from the Air, by flying their plans around Egypt and attacking Egypt from Libya (This so threw off the Egyptians that they thought the US Sixth Fleet had launched the attack). Israel at the same time attacked the Golan heights with a helicopter assault. Syria was NOT prepared for such an attack. Two days into the attack, Jordan decided to mobilize its army, more to show support for Syria and Egypt then any attack on Israel, and then Israel main attack occurred, destroying the Jordanian Army and taking all of the West Bank.
While Israel has always claims the 1967 war was a DEFENSIVE action, even a quick review shows NOT attacks by Syria or Egypt and the call up of troops by Jordan was clearly NOT a call up for an attack, but was destroyed before it could even be deployed. The Six Day War was a war of aggression, it was Israel's great effort to gain all of biblical Israel, and give itself a huge safety net from its most powerful potential enemy Egypt.
Nasser lost the six day war and died shortly afterward, but the Egyptian ruling Generals wanted revenge to show they could fight if given half a chance. The off again on again petty wars in the post 1967 era was part of this plan. What the Egyptian Military decided to do was for a JOINT attack in Israel along with Syria. Jordan was not asked for everyone knew it was in Washington's pocket and if they told Jordan, Jordan would tell Washington, who would tell Israel. Thus Jordan was NOT part of the plan. The Soviet Union advised against an attack, pointing out the problem, including that Israel had the best Air Force in the Middle East.
Sadat was Nasser's successor, but he was of the same group, he wanted to attack Israel, but also wanted to be allied with the US. He viewed the Soviet Union, like Nasser, something to be used to strengthen the side of Egypt when it was talking to the US, but never as a full blown ally. Syria wanted the Golan height back, and Egypt agreed to that to keep Syria engaged. Thus the Yom Kipper war of 1973 was launched. Egypt and Syria was to protect its ground forces with Soviet Long Range Missiles, which forced Israeli Air Planes to fly low, which meant they came in range of Soviet supplied AA gun systems. Egypt and Syria did a very good job for about a week, then the flaws in their plans were made clear. Egypt had left a section of the Suez canal weakly defended, this permitted the Israeli Ground forces to surround the Egyptian Army (But only after they had left the cover of their AA missiles, a move drive by the need to draw forces from the Syrian Front).
On the Syrian Front, Syria had done excellent night tank movements, but the tank commanders then became to cautious and left the Israelis time to regroup. Unlike 1967, Israel was NOT in the driver seat in the 1973 war, instead was on the defensive and had to shift forces from Syria to Egypt as needed. Israel first handled Syria by putting all of its available forces against Syria. Once Syria was pushed back, the forces were sent south to launched the attack that surrounded the Egyptian army in the Sinai. Once the Egyptian was surrounded, the Israelis claimed victory, but others question that call. Israel did NOT have the personnel to crush the Egyptian Army it had surrounded, nor did it have the troops to take let alone hold Damascus or Cairo as I have heard claim Israel claim it could have done. In simple terms the best the Israeli could get out of the 1973 war was a Stalemate and the US and the USSR imposed that on both sides within two weeks.
Thus by the end of 1973, it was clear Israel could NOT withstand another war with Egypt. Egypt had the population to fight a war of attrition, Israel did not. The Suez Canal was NOT a barrier to an Egyptian attack, neither was the Sinai. As long as the people of the Sinai supported Egypt over Isreal, it would be hard for Israel to hold onto the Sinai.
Now, one side effect of the 1973 Yom Kipper War, was that the subsequent oil embargo affected the US. No one expected that. In 1956 and 1967 oil embargos had been carried out, Europe was affected but NOT the US, for the US had been a net oil EXPORTER as late as 1969. Come 1973 the US was importing 10% of its oil and thus the oil embargo directly hit the US. The strengthened the Shah of Iran and the House of Saud, the two biggest exporter of oil at that time (The Shah had NOT participated in the oil embargo, but did participate in the subsequent increase in the price of oil).
The US looked at a map and notice how close the Soviet Union was from the Persian Gulf and realized any War with the Soviet Union would include a Soviet attack on the Persian gulf via either Turkey or Iran. Thus US forces in the Gulf had to be strengthened. Israel was demanding the latest US equipment, including night vision equipment that the US had available, but had been restricted to Vietnam (US Forces in Europe did not yet have them) AND TOW anti tank missiles, which again were just coming on line and had been used in Vietnam but only then going into the field in US Forces assigned to NATO. The Syrian forces had all used Soviet Night Vision Goggles and was the main reason they did so well the first few days of the War. Furthermore the Tanks the Syrian and Eyptian used had extensive chemical warfare defensives, which meant one thing, the Soviet Union was prepared to fight a Chemical war.
These four things,
1. the ability of the Egyptian army to operate without air Superiority as long as they stayed under cover of Soviet AA defenses,
2. The extensive use of night vision equipment by Soviet Forces as seen by their extensive use by Egypt and Syria
3. the extensive protection for use in a Chemical Warfare environment and
4, the extensive use of first generation Anti-tank missiles,
meant that the US had to respond to these improvement in Soviet ground fighting capability. At the same time, Israel wanted these same objects for the same reason, since the Syrian and Egyptians had the equipment. Worse, due to the need to protect Middle East Oil, other more basic supplies had to be stockpiled during the resulting recession. It soon became clear something had to give, first the US Scarped almost all if its remaining Essex Class Aircraft Carriers from WWII (and other WWII built ships) and a decision was made to cut off supplies to Vietnam, the US decided those supplies should go elsewhere (i.e. Israel, thus the comment, the US lost Vietnam on the banks of the Suez canal).
Anyway, South Vietnam, fell in 1975, leaving Israel as the main recipient of US Foreign aid. The House of Saud came tipsy, but grew scared when the Shah of Iran fell. Most of the Persian Gulf States are Sunni Dictatorships over majority Shiite populations. This is also true of the main oil producing area of Saudi Arabia. Thus the Shiites were in the position to control oil prices if these Sunni Dictators ever left go of power. Worse, they fellow Shiites in Iran were willing to support them. This has become the main fight in the Middle East since the fall of the Shah, between Iran and its Shiite leadership and the House of Saud and its radical Wahhabi Sunni Islam religion.
Now what we now call Saudi Arabia was a back water for centuries. The only part of the Arabia Peninsula of any great concern were the parts along the coast, they at least had fresh water AND the Caravan route from Yemen to Mecca to Medina and to Jerusalem (There is NOT a decent harbor on that side of the Arabia Peninsula). The House of Saud has been tied in with Wahhabi sect since 1800, and it is the least tolerate of any Sunni sect as to the Shiites. King Saud I, united Arabia into one country by the 1930s, this included various marriages and military conquests. As the house of Saud expanded, so did Wahhabi. With the increase cash from oil after 1973, the house of Saud put even more money into spreading Wahhabi.
At the same time the house of Saud is coming to the end of its Second Generation since its foundation and the third generation is coming into power. You have to understand how generations dynasties go. In the first generation you have the founder, he sets up the system, expands the empire. When he dies, his children (NOT his eldest son, but his children as a group) rule in his place. A nominal “King” was may named, but he (and sometimes she) is the first among equals not the king his or her father had been. Now, infighting among the siblings occur, but being siblings these are restrained, most brothers and sisters do not want to kill his own brothers and sisters (and those that are willing are known to their siblings and never put into a position where such murders can occur). When the third generation comes into power, that is when things start to fall apart. The cousins all start to fight each other to be the primary leadership group. Some of this starts at the end of the Second Generation, but most occur right after the Second generation takes over. This is where the House of Saud is at present, King Saud I died in 1952, the Kings of Arabia are his youngest sons (the eldest sons started to die out in the 1960s). As a Arab, the leader of their Tribe is elected by the members of that Tribe with a strong preference for brothers to succeed brothers NOT son to succeed fathers.
The problem is the Brother to Brother rule is coming to an end. The third generations is waiting in the wings, held back by the few remaining Second Generations brothers. Thus the infighting between the cousins are already starting, and could NOT happen at the worse time. The Iranians are in full control of their country, it is semi-democratic (not rule by a family or a dictator, but rule by a group who are elected by the people to rule). Iran has been seen as how to mix Democracy and Islam. It is in its Second Generation (Khomeini had been the first generation) but Khomeini had set up a way to select his successor as “Supreme Leader” and a President by a group subject to elections themselves. Thus a generational change can occur with minimum stresses for it is a on going event, not something that happens one day that no one had really plan for.
Side note: The most recent example of the onset of the third generations was the Soviet Union. Stalin had wiped out his fellow revolutionaries by the 1930s, so while he did NOT found the Soviet Union, it became his creation after he had obtain full power. The Second Generation where those people he picked he help him rule starting in the late 1930s till his death in 1953. These Second Generation “Communists” kept things together for their had survived Stalin. There were closer then brothers due to how often Stalin Killed off his lieutenants. Thus till the last of them started to die off in the early 1980s, they kept the Soviet Union together. The decision to go with Gorbachev was a decision that the second generation was done, it was time for the third generation to take over. The problem was the third generation did NOT have the same unity as the second generation, they had NOT been subject to the terror of living under Stalin, they were born long after Stalin was dead. This lead to a division within the ruling elite on how to rule, the various third generation groups all wanted to go their own way and when the drop in income occurred as the price of oil dropped in the 1980s, the Soviet Union collapsed. To many people going in to many directions, all at the same time for the country to stay united.
I mention the Soviet Union for a similar situation is facing the House of Saud. The House of Saud is under internal stress, due to its age and the upcoming generational change in its leadership. Iran is fairly stable, even while under attack from outside forces. This is known in Washington, Israel, Egypt, Russia etc. The question is NOT if the House of Saud will fall, but how and when.
At the same time, the various people who make up the House of Saud see their main enemy as Iran and had been counting on using the Egyptian Army if the Shiites in the Gulf became to rebellious. Egypt had the population to provide the men to put down an internal rebellion in the Gulf that require the use of legs on the grounds not just mercenaries shooting unarmed protesters. Thus the collapse of the Egyptian Government and its reproachment with Iran is disliked by the House of Saud. In many ways the massive sending of aid to the rebels in Libya was to offset the lost of Egypt and the support for the rebels in Syria is to reduce Iranian influence.
Remember, Egypt right now is out of the picture for the Middle East, it is to strong for any other Arab nation to invade, but its Generals are still of the Nasser-Sadat school, allies of the US while saying they are for Arab freedom. The Generals do NOT have the support from their own enlisted ranks to overthrow the elected President, but the elected President is not yet ready to strip those generals of the power and riches they have grabbed since the 1950s.
With Egypt out, Iran in opposition, that leaves Turkey as the only available Middle East Country with the population to support a large standing army. Thus the House of Saud, appears to be trying to buy good favor with Turkey to replace Egypt. The ruling party of Turkey, wants to help fellow Moslems so it can make the Turkish generals true generals of the Army of Turkey, not the real power in Turkey.
In simple terms, the fall of Egypt caused everyone to shift in the Middle East. Israel now has to consider not only an Iranian lead attack, but one joined in by Egypt. Turkey had always had good relations with Israel, but that had more to do with the Rule of the Turkish Generals instead of Rule by the Turkish people. The Turkish people are very sympatric to their fellow Moslems in the Gaza Strip. Thus as long as Egypt was “Allied” (NOT in actual alliance, but an understanding) with Israel, the Turkish Government could support the people in the Gaza Strip. At the same time maintain an understanding with Israel as to joint military operations. The Turkish generals received their support from Washington and were happy, and the Turkish Government could get support from the Turkish people by supporting the people in Gaza. Both sides of the internal fight in Turkey were happy.
With Egypt out of the picture due to its own internal problems (the Egyptian people vs the Egyptian Generals) Turkey could no longer afford to appear to support both sides. It has to pick, and it picked to support the House of Saud (This was helped by the problems in Greece, which removed the most dangerous threat to Turkey). The House of Saud knows it may need a lot of troops soon, and it can NOT be American Troops, for that will strengthen the support that Al Queda has in Saudi Arabia. Al Queda is tied in big time with the Wahhabi cult. Thus to ask for US Troops would be a death call for whoever asks for US Troops in any Arabian civil war. Egypt was suppose to provide those soldiers if an when the time came when they would be needed, but Egypt is now out of the picture due to its own internal problems. Iran is the source of the internal conflict within Arabia, for it shows Islam does NOT need to be ruled by a Dictator to survive.
The fear is, both in Washington and in the House of Saud, that sooner or later (and the big fear is soon), someone is going to have to send in troops into Saudi Arabia to secure the oil supplies, I suspect plans have existed for decades on how the US was going to transport the Egyptian army to Arabia (I read one report in the 1980s saying that such a plan had been made and the author though it would be soon implemented sometimes in the 1990s).
Thus the need for troops may overcome any other problem in the Middle East, and the choices are the just three, Iran, Egypt and Turkey. Iran is the opposition so it is out as an option for troops, it appears Egypt was the Second Choice and had been for at least 30 years, but it is no longer viable, thus that leaves Turkey.
Remember we are talking about the Persian Gulf and Southeast Iraq more than the rest of Saudi Arabia. Other nearby sources all have problems. Ethiopia is tied up in Somalia (and that Ethiopia is Christian does not help). Pakistan is tied up with its own internal problems and the war in Afghanistan. India may want oil, but no one wants Hindu Troops in Arabia, that may be worse than sending in US Troops. The US does NOT want Russian troops in Arabia, thus all the nearby powers are out of the picture.
Remember, in a Guerilla Civil War, you need boots on the ground if you want to defeat such a popular uprising. This is why the US lost Iraq to Iran, the US did NOT want to put enough troops into Iraq for that would have required the Draft. Yes, the US suffered no Military defeat in Iraq, but that was NOT the POLITICAL AIM of the war, the POLITCAL aim was to secure the oil for US use, and in that regard the US lost for the leadership of Iraq, while not allied with Iran, have close connections with Iran.
The same for the upcoming Persian Gulf Civil War, the Shiites will win, unless the US somehow manage to get enough boots on the ground to put the rebellion down. As the House of Saud breaks up, the Shiites will unite and rebel. Quick strikes will NOT prevent that for the unity is the unity of people not centers of powers, thus we will need to secure the oil fields and the oil field workers. In that fight Iran and the Shiites will fight us, and sooner or later it comes down to boots on the grounds for we will have to defend against the same people we need to operate the oil fields. This is the upcoming fight and both Iran and the House of Saud knows it (as does the US). The American people will NOT accept the losses such a war will incur, thus the US and the House of Saud will have to look elsewhere. For decades that has been Egypt, now it looks like Turkey,
Response to happyslug (Reply #2)
Tue Nov 6, 2012, 01:41 PM
JackRiddler (24,693 posts)
4. There is a simpler answer that requires a lot less history...
It is happening because in 2010, Israeli forces fired on the Turkish-owned ship, the Mavi Marmara, while it was in international waters. Heavily armed Israeli commandos thereupon rappelled down from helicopters and conducted a lightning night-time assault on the ship's passengers, allegedly murdering nine people, including Turkish citizens.
See? The Persian empire of 1512 need not be invoked.
Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)
Tue Nov 6, 2012, 03:10 PM
question everything (29,037 posts)
6. What better way to divert attention from Turks shooting Kurds?
Has anyone expressed any concerns, asked any questions?
No, of course not.
Response to question everything (Reply #6)
Tue Nov 6, 2012, 05:46 PM
JackRiddler (24,693 posts)
7. Sounds like you're diverting attention from Israelis shooting civilians.
What better way to investigate the killings on the Mavi Marmara.
You can point to other crimes of the world all you like. They won't justify the alleged murder of nine people on the Mavi Marmara, committed by the Israeli armed forces against the passengers of a civilian ship in international waters.