Tag Archives: PKK

View from a balcony

On one side I feel like I am missing out on certain matters. On the other side there is the view that is not comprehended by me in light of certain revelations. Now, this is not a new feeling, I have always had certain issues with certain dilemma’s. Mostly they do not make common sense, so I write about them and let you decide. In a western world we get to see the illuminated part and as such we give light to the BS matters that politicians and media cling to. Yet, it is not always that simple. I would like to state that this is always the case in every matter, but that is stretching several levels of truth.

Now, I get shown a Reuters story on CNBC that gives equal doubt. Not on CNBC or Reuters mind you. The setting that is given to us is somewhat of an issue and it needs to be exposed.

With ‘Saudi Arabia, Arab allies in Cairo talks on Iran, Hezbollah’ (at https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/19/saudi-arabia-arab-allies-in-cairo-talks-on-iran-hezbollah.html), we might consider certain matters, but it is the quote “Discussions will focus on confronting Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite ally Hezbollah, who the Arab allies say are interfering in their internal affairs” that sets the matter. The second quote makes sense and is equally important the quote “Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir told Reuters last week the kingdom’s actions in the Middle East were only a response to what he called the “aggression” of Iran“. We can agree that Iran might be an issue, yet when looking at the first part. How does Hezbollah have the pull to get any decent level of interference up and running in places like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait? Iran yes, there is no denying that part. But in all this Hezbollah seems to be a facilitating annoyance at best, with their power-base remaining North of Israel. Now, some might wonder why it matters, why we need to look into this. You see, it does matter, if we cannot properly categorise and analyse the actions of Iran and the more extreme parts of the Iranian military, clergy and VAJA, we cannot paint the opponents in the right colour and classes they need to be in. Do you think for one moment that the youthful Gadi Eisenkot is unaware of not merely who the actual players are, and to what degree they are active? Now, we can argue that we do not need to know (and that might be very valid), but as others are painting the image differently, we are being misled. Not misled in the way that we are sold the wrong package, but misled that we are not told just how dangerous the situation is. As I forgot where I saw the original image, lets take the example. There is a 40×60 portrait that shows an estate by the fields, the actual image is 60×60 and shows that the ocean on the right side was cut off for ‘aesthetic’ reasons, but the tragedy is that this shows that the person living there has no escape, if the fields catch fire, he is literally with his back to the water, he might live but the water will not safe his house, there will be no aid coming from there.

Iran is painted in the same way now. Iran is shown to be moderate and that view cannot be dis-proven by the views the media gives on President Rouhani. You see, there is a slowly growing hill of evidence implying that Rouhani has less power than we think he has and behind the curtains the less moderate generals in Iran are beefing Hezbollah and other elements up to be more and more aggressive against the state of Israel as well as the Arabian Nations that are not willing to sing the song of extremism that they want to hear. This is becoming more and more an issue. And as Iran is willing to use the PKK as cannon Fodder they are getting more and more support from Turkey, which now makes Iranian extremism a European issue as well. We might now ‘suddenly’ decide to hide behind the UK Telegraph ‘truths’ (at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/19/irans-growing-military-threat-blind-spot-british-politicians/), yet that is equally simplifying an image that has been pushed and tweaked for the longest of times by all kinds of parties (and the UK intelligence branch is not innocent in that part either, most notably GCHQ and MI6). You see they might come out with guns blazing stating: “British MPs have a “blind spot” when analysing Iran’s growing military powers and destabilising influence through it support for terrorism in the Middle East, a senior Conservative politician has warned“, but that is short sighted as some layers of filtering will always be there, some for essential security reasons, some for other reasons and only the second one should bear scrutiny and the media themselves have been part of the second layering for the longest of times, so there!

Yet the issue remains, the painting we see and the one that is a viewing of framed reality are exceedingly different. As we tend to expect something like a ‘Edouard Cortès Pont Au Change Au Crepscule‘ to give a certain view of reality of what we see, it becomes more of a worry when the image shown is something resembling the works of Albert Gleizes and that is what we are starting to face more and more. As Hezbollah is shown as a lot more than a facilitator because Iran played it that way and we are not shown the evidence as such, we tend to get pushed into a mindset that is starting to question a few more items than we should and that is how I saw myself trying to see the light in the Reuters article. Now, the article is not wrong and not inaccurate. Yet the view pushed by the parties in these Cairo talks are making a similar mistake by not colouring the opposing parties in the right light, at the right size representing them as the annoyance they actually are. It is almost like there is a play where Iran is the bogeyman and as soon as the facilitators have been taken care of, we can focus on the real evil, yet there is the issue! As the players have been shown as less evil, too many other players who want to try and sit at the grown up table will suddenly come with political options that will only make things worse. Even as we are wiling to see Iran as not evil, we need to acknowledge that the moderates have a vacuum where others dictate strategies and tactics, and there is the danger. The danger for Saudi Arabia, the danger to a much larger extent to the state of Israel and as the European players are unwilling to face up to the dangers we see, they end up facilitating for Iran through Turkey sooner rather than later which will be disastrous for a few more reasons than most are willing to face the reality of and that is a much larger danger. It is a much larger danger not just to the PKK (regardless of their validity and political play wherever they are). The danger is seen in the Sunday Times with ‘President Erdogan: Let Turkey join to save EU’s reputation‘, so when we see: “President Erdogan has told the EU that allowing Turkey to become a member could save its reputation in the Muslim world“, so is that the story, or should they have stated “Europe ready to embrace the Iranian tool into the EEC for Europe“. The Times of all places might report one side, but the dangers that we are not seeing printed at present are still up for debate, because as I see it, at present, if we need to see a decent approach towards Turkey, we might best call the Butterball hotline, you know, as Thanksgiving is an upcoming event after all.

In all this we still see the same old polarisation. As newspapers report on the Arab nations uniting calling Hezbollah a threat and a terrorist organisation, we see the same response we expected. With “Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reports that terror group Hezbollah has raised its alert level in all of Lebanon for fear that Israel will start a war” we see the sad reality of what is happening in the Middle East, players like Hezbollah can always blame the state of Israel, that whilst we have it on good authority that this youthful young chief of the Israeli Defense Forces (read: Gadi Eizenkot) has not even flexed his muscles at present. How easily and ill prepared can Hezbollah get? in that I will avoid going deep in on the the Dahiya Doctrine that shows how to deal with terrorist organisations in an asymmetrical war. What is important is that there is a conflict between Gadi Eizenkot and Richard A. Falk, the American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. I take Gadi’s side when we see Professor Falk’s side of “the civilian infrastructure of adversaries such as Hamas or Hezbollah are treated as permissible military targets“, which he opposes, yet the truth is that a terrorist organisation has no ‘civilian infrastructure‘, it is a plain occupied target that can be destroyed if need be, collaborators and all. In this by colouring ‘parts’ of any terrorist organisation as out of bounds is just not on. If an organisation can indiscriminately fire hundreds of missiles on civilian targets, all bets are off and as such whatever infrastructure they have becomes part of the terrorist organisation and a valid option for targeted killing and/or demolition.

So as we are looking at the view from whatever balcony we think we are on, we need to consider what we think we see, what we are told to see and what the actual size of the frame is supposed to be, three elements, all of them in flux through media, our own perception of what we think we see and the mirror image of what we comprehend we are shown. It is a biased view and we are all (me inclusive) part of what we perceive to see. That is often more troubling than we realise, but as long as we are aware that we cannot see the whole picture, we would be able to set our minds to consider what an actual represented danger is, which is a good first step.

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The additional price of War

War has a price, this has always been a given, but have people realised that the currency involved is not always the currency we are expected to pay? When Bernie Sanders states that a New NATO was required, one that includes Russia, I was not that surprised. What was surprising is that this reverberated in many Russian outlets, but only there. Nothing in Reuters, is that not weird too?

So what should we trust? No matter how we felt, as per today the game has changed. Turkey, a NATO ally decided to shoot a Russian Sukhoi Su-24. Let’s take a look at the facts for as far as they are known. The BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34907983) reported the following two sides: “Turkish military officials said Turkish F-16s had shot down the plane after repeatedly warning its pilots they were violating Turkish airspace” and “The Russian defence ministry confirmed on Tuesday morning that a Russian Su-24 had “crashed on Syrian territory, having been hit from the ground” while it was flying at an altitude of 6,000m (19,685ft)“. So now we have an issue. We cannot yet decide whether the Russian plane did or did not transgress on Turkish ground. Let’s be clear that this part of Turkey is the middle of freakin’ nowhere. It is also interesting how Turkey has shown more than once to be void of honour and reliability. Let me explain that reasoning.

On February 2003, whilst the Americans were dealing with their Iraqi front, Turkey demanded, as price for aiding a NATO ally, some $10 billion in grants and up to $20 billion in long-term loans. 30 billion for aiding an ally. So why would we want to have anything to do with an ally that makes such demands?

In addition there is news from Al-Jazeera, which I was unable to verify. The news is “Human Rights Watch says Syrian refugees trying to enter Turkey are being pushed back as they try to cross the border. In a report released on Monday, the New York-based rights group said Turkey has now closed all its borders to Syrian refugees and is pushing them back to Syria“, the news comes across reliable enough, but in fair defence towards Turkey, they are already dealing with well over 2.2 million refugees. The more that are getting through, the bigger the danger that members of ISIS are amongst them, an issue that cannot efficiently be dealt with at present.

Now, whilst the war in Syria goes on, one Russian jet might have passed over the smallest part of Turkey, now, there is no doubt that Turkey is entitled to defend its borders. Yet what happens when they knowingly and willingly shoot down a jet that is not active in hostilities against Turkey, what then?

In this my impression of Turkey is like a teenage boy that got ‘laid’ for the first time. Suddenly he thinks he is a man, no, he remains merely a boy who is able to have an erection, now that he shot his load into a Russian fighter jet the game changes, because like the little weasel he is, he cries that it was just merely a prostitute, she had no value, so why pay? But in this world not all women are prostitutes and not all boys will become man. The question becomes: what will Russia do next and more important, how will the other NATO members react to something that might be regarded as massively irresponsible. Recep Tayyip Erdogan might not have too many options here, it is not unlikely that he will have to make massive concessions in the very near future.

The question remains, were the actions of Turkey wrong? To be honest there are a few sides involved where I remain clueless on how the law falls, so that part I need to skip for now. Yet, when we see the IB Times (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/syria-turkey-shoots-down-warplane-violating-air-space-1530203), where we see the quote “Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has ordered the foreign ministry to hold consultations with NATO, the UN, and related countries on Syrian border developments“, which sounds nice, but would it not have been a great idea to do that months, if not years ago? Let’s not forget that the war in Syria started on March 15th 2011, so this is not a new development. The additional quote: “Turkey had warned Russia that it must stop bombing “civilian Turkmen villages” in Syria close to the Turkish border“, which is another development. You see, where was Turkey in all that? Turkey made no effort to invade Syria and annex those ‘Turkmen’ villages (for reasons of protection of course), did they? When the Turkmen population of Syria got involved in military actions against Syrian government forces, where was Turkey? Oh yes, they decided to bomb the Kurds, with the main reason of fear that the Kurds would one day request (or demand) independence. So how sanctimonious can a Turk get?

When we consider in addition, the report from Metin Gurcan that there had been reports of Islamic State massacres in Syrian Turkmen villages since August 2014 that went unreported by the international media (at http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/turkey-isis-syrian-turkmen-forgotten-ally.html), how many Turkish troops went into Syria?

In all this, whilst the war in Syria goes on, there is the regrettable danger that borders could be crossed, any pilot flying close to Mach 1 can make that mistake, consider that this is a speed of close to 300 meters a second, so that distance could be crossed within 30 seconds, so , if the plane was in debatable space for some time, how come we see the statement “The planes in question have been warned 10 times during a period of five minutes via ‘emergency’ channels and asked to change their headings south immediately“, the added information “violated Turkish airspace to a depth of 1.36 miles and 1.15 miles for 17 seconds” (source: the Guardian), so how supportive must we be for a trigger happy Turk, whilst we all know that Turkey was never for a moment in any danger of getting attacked, whilst the Jet was possibly flying in and out of border area of Turkey? In that regard the news that follows with the two parts “U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on the need to de-escalate tensions and prevent further incidents” as well as “The statement also reiterated U.S. support for Turkey’s right to defend its airspace“. My question becomes ‘Why?’ Turkey wanted to play the big virile man, so running to the US, whilst they wanted close to 30 billion for an airstrip in 2003. My question becomes: ‘What is this protection worth to you Erdogan?

So as we see France act against ISIS, as we see Russia possibly against ISIS, we see that Turkey remains at the sidelines hoping for some settlement and America is almost nowhere to be seen (consequence of being close to bankrupt). That financial status gives more questions regarding the NY Times title ‘U.S. Steps Up Its Attacks on ISIS-Controlled Oil Fields in Syria‘, which comes with the quote “For months, the United States has been frustrated by the Islamic State’s ability to keep producing and exporting oil — what Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter recently called “a critical pillar of the financial infrastructure” of the group — which generates about $40 million a month, or nearly $500 million a year, according to Treasury Department estimates“. Which gives me the food for thought, why not actually attack and bomb ISIS strongholds? You see, revenue that cannot be collected by a cadaver is money that becomes useless to that dead person (the age old you can’t take it with you where you’re going to go premise).  Leave it to a democrat to fear civilian casualties. President Obama should ask France how that feels, they have a first-hand experience with that. Oh, wait, they did decide to attack Syrian Islamic State positions, so how flaccid do the Americans need to become before we realise that they are no longer a superpower? You see, the tough guy on the corner will only remain tough when he does something, not while he continues posing!

I think it is not impossible that I could be trained to be a Tiger pilot and active in Syria before America gets its act together and I don’t even have a pilot’s license (how sad is that), so am I posing or are some of the NATO allies? That is the question!

You see, we all have a point of view, mine is based upon facts, yet how reliable are these facts? As I illustrated, we see different claims, we see certain sides making certain claims, yet can we rely on them? I have questioned certain facts for a long time, should I suddenly believe any news that seems to strengthen my view? That should be equally debatable, which is why I check for more than one source. Yet in this there is also my side of speculation, which even though is founded on facts remains speculation. There we have additional issues. What was the true reasoning for Turkey to shoot down a Russian Jet over an alleged area of transgression that encompasses less than 50Km2, which, considering the total area of Turkey which is 783,560 Km2 to be 0.000638% of Turkey, with no tactical foundations and whilst there was no danger towards Turkey or its citizens. The act has now placed Turkey in possible reprisal dangers whilst if that happens NATO might not have any valid reason to get involved, so how brilliant was that move? Can we state that Syrian Turkmen villages are not in danger? No, there is not enough evidence to do that, yet when Turkey got involved, the first thing they did was to attack not Syria, Islamic State or the forces of Assad, no they attacked the Syrian Kurds, so there is plenty of blame and none of the players have any foundation of true innocence.

So who is actually attacking Islamic State?

You can be sure that France is, but are the others?

Well according to ABC (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-21/syrian-civil-war-dozens-killed-in-heavy-bombardment-by-russia/6961296) about 4 days ago Russia clearly was. They are both motivated as they both have skin in the game, yet when we consider two sources regarding the actions by America we see: “US air strike ‘hits 238 IS oil trucks’ in Syria” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34906011), with the additional by-line “It was proceeded with a leaflet drop to warn drivers out of their trucks as well as a show of force“, yes that is always a good way to instil fear! In addition we see “The oil lorry strikes are part of Operation Tidal Wave II, a change in tactics on the part of the coalition. Previously, petrol supplies were largely avoided because of the impact on civilian populations“, which sounds nice in theory, yet there is the premise that the innocent population of Syria are refugees with over 2 million in Jordan, hundreds of thousands all on the roads between Syria and London and another 2.2 million of them in Turkey. So what is left in Syria to be regarded as innocent civilians? Anyone still around there is either involved or knows to steer clear of Islamic state. By the way, the second bit of news regarding US actions came from the Washington Examiner and is so funny I will have to tell you twice! That news was: “U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks“. What? Yes, the news “U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks” (at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/u.s.-ran-out-of-ammo-in-attack-on-isis-trucks/article/2576958) gives us that the US ran out of ammunition with the following quote “Frankly, the aircraft expended 24 500-pound bombs, and all of their ammunition,” Warren answered. “So they — they shot everything they had and then they had to go home“, this just doesn’t get to be any funnier. Basically, this implies that I could have achieved more in a fully loaded Airbus Helicopters Tiger, than their air wing with 24 500-pound bombs? In addition there is this jewel, which actually sounds valid. That is “If American forces won’t hit any target if there is any fear that any non-ISIS person might be harmed, might that not prolong the time it takes to destroy the Islamic State, which is killing civilians right and left?“, which sounds fair on one side, on the other side, ask a Parisian regarding the need to show consideration, I wonder how much support the USA gets. By now people, all people realise that standing close to an ISIS member is massively hazardous to one’s health.

This now reflects back to the Turkish situation, because I am not convinced on the issues behind those events. You see, several sources reported that Turkey’s involvement is not against ISIS, but against the PKK as Erdogan is losing support, if there is enough supporting evidence that Erdogan is in it for regaining power, than the voiced support by the high command of NATO is a massive tactical failure. when we consider the events in Suruc, where the BBC reported “it was reported to have carried out numerous attacks on Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Party, HDP, during the run-up to the Turkish parliamentary elections, but IS never said it was responsible“, in addition to several claims that Turkey is using the Syrian war to deal blows to the Kurdish population gives another consideration regarding the Russian downed Jet, which gives food for the upcoming article how the western world failed twice through stupidity and I’ll let you, the reader ponder on that one.

 

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