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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

Iraqi Shi'ite militias pledge to fight U.S. forces if deployed

Source: MSN News

BAGHDAD, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Powerful Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim armed groups on Tuesday rejected and pledged to fight any deployment of U.S. forces to the country after the United States said it was sending an elite special operations unit to combat Islamic State.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter offered few details on the new "expeditionary" group, but said it would be larger than the roughly 50 U.S. special operations troops being sent to Syria to fight the ultra-hardline Sunni militants there. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new force will be based in Iraq.

"We will chase and fight any American force deployed in Iraq," said Jafaar Hussaini, a spokesman for one of the groups, Kata'ib Hezbollah. "Any such American force will become a primary target for our group. We fought them before and we are ready to resume fighting."

Spokesmen for the Iranian-backed Badr Organisation and Asaib Ahl al-Haq made similar statements to Reuters, expressing their distrust of American forces after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and the subsequent occupation. The militias, grouped with volunteer fighters under a government-run umbrella, are seen as a bulwark in Iraq's battle against Islamic State, the biggest security threat to the oil-exporting country since Saddam's fall.


Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/iraqi-shiite-militias-pledge-to-fight-us-forces-if-deployed/ar-AAfTNvM?li=BBnb7Kz

Just reinforces the lesson some have so much difficulty learning: We have no chance of being the nation which can help Iraq regain peace and stability. We have got to accept it that we will always do more harm than good with our military in Iraq.
Posted by another_liberal | Tue Dec 1, 2015, 04:59 PM (2 replies)

Is Turkish President Erdogan having second thoughts yet?

The Turkish President's dramatic offer to resign if Russian can prove his country is functioning as an illegal transit hub for Syrian and Iraqi oil seized by the Islamic State may have been a self-satisfying statement to issue, however, as the following clearly demonstrates, one should be careful about giving in to the urge to make such sweeping promises.

President Erdogan at the World Climate Summit in Paris, Nov. 30, 2015 (Reuters)

Are You Sure About That? Why Erdogan Shouldn't Have Asked for Proof

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dramatically vowed to leave office if any proof is provided that Ankara has been buying oil from the terrorist group Daesh (ISIL/IS). But does the Turkish leader really believe that President Putin is going to make a statement unsupported by evidence? Here’s at least some of the evidence Erdogan has hastily asked for.

Satellite images and aerial photos showing the true scale of the Daesh (ISIL) oil trade: “I’ve shown photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products,” Vladimir Putin told reporters in November on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Antalya, “Car convoys stretching for dozens of kilometers, going beyond the horizon when seen from a height of four-five thousand meters," added the Russian president. The real thing is that President Putin actually got up in front of the world's largest economic powers and told them, right to their faces, that Russia knows exactly where the oil is going.


In a follow up of the President Putin’s remarks on the issue, the newspaper (The Guardian) has published another article with the reference to a “long list of evidence of Turkish support for Daesh (ISIL) in Syria, compiled by The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University.

Based on the evidence of a variety of international sources including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, as well as Turkish sources, CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal among others, the document confirmed that: “Turkey Provides Military Equipment to ISIS (ISIL Daesh), Turkey Provided Transport and Logistical Assistance to ISIS Fighters, Turkey Provided Training to ISIS Fighters, Turkey Offers Medical Care to ISIS Fighters, Turkey Supports ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil, Turkish Forces Are Fighting Alongside ISIS.”


Read more (there is a great deal more) at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151201/1031041612/erdogan-turkey-oil-proof.html

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Dec 1, 2015, 09:24 AM (10 replies)

Turkish President Erdogan promises to resign.

In response to Russian President Putin's claim that he has "evidence" proving Turkey shot down a Russian plane to protect its illicit oil trade with the Islamic State, Turkish President Erdogan has promised to resign his office if the Russian President's charge can be proven.

Russian President Putin

Putin: Russia Has Evidence Su-24 Shot Down to Protect Daesh Oil Deliveries

Discussing the matter with world leaders during the Paris climate talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow has evidence that the Su-24 was shot down by Turkey to protect oil deliveries of the ISIL terrorist group, also known as Daesh, and that oil from IS-controlled fields is being exported to Turkey on an industrial scale.

"We have every reason to believe that the decision to shoot down our aircraft was dictated by the desire to ensure the safety of supply routes of oil to Turkey, to the ports where they are shipped in tankers," Putin said.


In response, Erdogan denied that his country buys oil from Daesh, and called Putin's comments "slander."

"We buy from Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Qatar, and Nigeria. We won't accept such slanders," he told reporters in Paris. He also added that he will resign from office if the allegations can be proven. "The accusation that Turkey allegedly buys crude oil from the Islamic State is unacceptable, and to say it is amoral. You can't just say things, you need to present evidence," he said. "If documents exist — let's see them. If this fact is proven, I will not stay in my position."


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20151130/1031011936/putin-wide-su-24-agreement.html



Posted by another_liberal | Mon Nov 30, 2015, 06:23 PM (27 replies)

How deep is NATO support for Turkey?

There has been a statement of support for Turkey's defense of its "Territorial integrity" by the hawkish, overall head of NATO, however there are also plenty of signs that a number of the alliance's members are privately less than enthusiastic, to say the least.

NATO headquarters. (AP)

No From NATO? Alliance Has ‘No Reason to Back Up Turkey’

The mere hope that NATO membership could give Turkey carte blanche to do anything it wants is profoundly wrong; even though the alliance has publicly supported Erdogan’s version of how the downing of the Russian bomber happened, its rhetoric in private could be the polar opposite, according to Czech geopolitical reporter Jakub Mareš. “If Erdogan hoped that NATO membership is a carte blanche, which allows him to do anything, it is profoundly wrong,” reads Jakub Mareš’s post on the geopolitical website Blog.Respect.

After the attacks in Paris, he adds, the policy of France and NATO towards Russia and its anti-ISIL campaign in Syria has changed. Now they understand that they need Russia to solve the Syrian crisis. On the other hand, the reporter says Turkey's policy in Syria under Erdogan is “quite a thorn in the heel”; partly because of its brisk trade with the Islamic State.

However, for NATO, Turkey is an absolutely indispensable member state because of its control of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, but Turkey's regional policy directly conflicts with that of the other members. One can only assume that regardless of its public support for Erdogan’s account of the shooting down of the Russian Su-24, its comments in private may be the polar opposite.

Diplomatically, the Turkish move did not delight anyone, the blogger adds, noting that the alliance does not have any specific reasons to vehemently back up Ankara.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/world/20151130/1030976020/nato-turkey-russia-defense.html

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Nov 30, 2015, 09:14 AM (14 replies)

EU Summits Cause Merkel to Question European Unity

Source: Sputnik News

The German chancellor has expressed doubts that a meeting in Brussels between the EU and Turkey and another between the eight countries most affected by the migrant crisis represent the beginnings of a more united Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has for the first time publicly expressed doubts that the EU will survive in its current form, after a meeting between the eight countries most affected by the migrant crisis, and a summit between the EU and Turkey. Merkel was asked whether the meeting of eight countries, led by Germany and backed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, represented a step towards a more united EU.

"At the moment, I don't think so," replied the German chancellor, the German press reported on Monday, interpreting the reply as a guarded departure from the usual response, that the EU is able to find a solution to any problem.

"This response is quite severely doubtful, in diplomatic German. As a rule, political and strategic questions are not answered in a way that can leave open the possibility of fundamental failure," wrote Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten [DWN].


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20151130/1030980509/eu-unity-merkel-doubts.html

Not at all surprising. The EU has acted anything but firmly united in regard to the Greek debt crisis, the response to Ukraine's civil war and, especially, the on-going Syrian refugee crisis. The Chancellor's popularity has taken quite a hit at home over her signature "Open Doors" policy, with many in her own ruling coalition suggesting it might be time to look for new leadership.

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Nov 30, 2015, 07:43 AM (8 replies)

Syrian Arab Army on the verge of liberating Raqqa Province!

The continued advance of Syrian and allied forces is now ready to enter Raqqa Province, where the so-called Islamic State Caliphate has its capital, in Raqqa city. Despite negative attitudes of some Western leaders and military commanders to these rapid successes, Syrian government forces (assisted by Iranian and Hezbollah units and Russian air power) are winning important victories not just in the country's Northeast, but also in the Northwest, in central Syria near Palmyra and in the Eastern suburbs of Damascus further South. No matter what one might think of President Assad for other reasons, he should be given credit where credit is due for such success in smashing the Islamic State and driving it from more and more of his country's territory. In that, if in nothing else, he, his army and his allies do deserve our thanks.

Syrian Arab Army tanks near Kweyris military base in Aleppo Province, Nov. 2015.

Syrian Army Gains Upper Hand in Fight Against ISIL in Aleppo

The Syrian government forces have gained the upper hand in their fight against Islamic State (ISIL) terrorists in the eastern part of Aleppo province and have advanced near Deir Hafer region, FARS news agency reported.

If Deir Hafer is captured by the Syrian Army’s elite special operation unit known as the Tiger Forces the Syrian troops will be in position to re-enter Raqqa province after being expelled by ISIL in August 2014.

Currently, the Tiger Forces are within 5 kilometers from the Western district of Deir Hafer, having left the militants in a vulnerable position with very little resources to counter the offensive, a military source told FARS News.

Earlier this month, ISIL lost the Kuweires military airport. Since then, the terrorists’ defenses have been falling apart all over the eastern part of Aleppo. This has opened the way for the Tiger Forces and their allies to advance to areas previously considered inaccessible.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151129/1030957068/syrian-army-advances-raqqa.html
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Nov 29, 2015, 03:12 PM (9 replies)

Turkey receives Islamic State oil at twenty dollars a barrel?

An long-time Iraqi insider, former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, has provided some fascinating details concerning the illegal transport and sale of Iraqi and Syrian oil seized by the Islamic State.

Iraqi Politician Claims Turkey Lets ISIL Sell Oil for Meager $20 a Barrel

Turkey allows the Islamic State terrorist group to sell Iraqi and Syrian oil for just $20 a barrel, Iraq's former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote on Saturday.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page al-Rubaie, who is also a leader of the Law-Governed State parliamentary coalition, outlined Ankara’s four-pronged support for the Islamic militants, with the illegal oil trade topping the list.

“First and foremost, the Turks help the militants sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil for $20 a barrel, which is half the market price,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote.

Turkey in general, and Istanbul in particular, is also a place where ISIL commanders recruit local migrants and take them to Mosul in Iraq or Raqqa in Syria, he noted. “Each month hundreds of radicals cross the Turkish border, while the local law enforcers pretend they just don’t see,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote, adding that many wounded ISIL fighters were apparently undergoing treatment in Turkish hospitals.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151128/1030913013/turkey-isil-oil.html

Posted by another_liberal | Sat Nov 28, 2015, 09:22 AM (5 replies)

The man who killed the Russian pilot.

It has now been revealed that the supposed "Syrian Turkmen" rebel leader who boasted about killing that Russian pilot after he ejected from his downed plane is not even a Syrian; in fact, he is a Turkish citizen and the son of a Turkish governmental official!

For more details, see: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151128/1030907091/alparslan-celik-syria-turkey-turkmen-su24-pilot.html

Posted by another_liberal | Sat Nov 28, 2015, 07:34 AM (6 replies)

Why did Turkey shoot down that Russian plane?

As evidence mounts that the Russian jet destroyed yesterday had not actually entered Turkish airspace, the question arises as to why the Turks attacked it at all? Former NATO commander, General Wesley Clark, offers what may be to some a quite surprising explanation.

The Islamic State flag flies over a compound in the Turkish city of Tal Abyad in June, 2015

Foul Play: Turkey May Have Always Been Supporting ISIL

Turkey is interested in preserving the Islamic State, former NATO commander in Europe Ret. General Wesley Clark told CNN.

"Let’s be very clear: ISIS [ISIL] is not just a terrorist organization, it is a Sunni terrorist organization. It means it blocks and targets Shia, and that means it’s serving the interests of Turkey and Saudi Arabia even as it poses a threat to them," Clark said.

He also hinted that Turkey could be dealing in oil illegally produced and traded by the Islamic State forces.

"All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way… Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS [ISIL] is selling, it’s going through somewhere. It looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey, but the Turks have never acknowledged it," Clark said.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151125/1030724153/turkey-isil-support.html


It appears that at least some in the German press agree whole-heartedly with General Clark's assessment of the situation.

NATO's defense of Turkey, after it shot down a Russian jet which was fighting terrorism, is testament to the fear in the alliance that Moscow's involvement in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria will lead to the discovery of Turkey's links to the terrorist organization, the German press wrote on Wednesday.

The NATO alliance sees the Russian campaign to defeat terrorism in Syria as an unwelcome development because it reveals the extent of its collaboration with the terrorists, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) wrote on Wednesday.

"NATO is extremely nervous, because it has realized that in the event of a Russian victory in Syria, the truth about the relationship between NATO member Turkey and the Islamic State will come to light," wrote DWN.

Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter jet over Syrian airspace on Tuesday, where its pilots were carrying out antiterrorism operations against the Islamic State. One pilot died as a result of the attack, and the second surviving pilot is currently at an air base in Syria.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/world/20151125/1030724044/nato-turkey-syria-islamic-state.html

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 07:33 AM (84 replies)

"A complex of measures directed to respond to such incidents."

The following was just released by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. There can be little doubt what exactly is meant by the reference to a complex of measures. It seems they intend to shoot back next time.

Defence Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Russia was urgently summoned to the Russian Ministry of Defence where he was presented an official protest concerning the actions of the Turkish Air Force containing following statements:

“Today at 9:30 the Russian aircraft, which performed combat counterterrorist missions was shot down by an aircraft of the Turkish Air Force. The Russian aircraft did not cross the Turkish border and acted only against objects on the territory of Syria.

Combat actions of the Russian aviation were conducted against illegal terrorist formations, which consist of a large number of militants from the Russian North Caucasus.

Efforts of the Russian Defence Ministry specialists to organize cooperation with the Turkish party by emergency communication link were not successful. The Defence Ministry considers actions of the Turkish Air Force as an unfriendly act. At present, the Russian Defence Ministry is designing a complex of measures directed to respond such incidents.

Combat missions against terrorists in Syria will be continued.”


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151124/1030677024/russia-syria-downing-su24-defense-ministry.html

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Nov 24, 2015, 01:58 PM (0 replies)
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