Tag Archives: Syrian Kurds

Time Magazine as a comedian

There are days when things go pear shaped, we all have them. Some go pear shaped in the best of ways, others less so. Now, I am not a big fan of Time magazine. I have nothing against them and the pictures tend to be pretty awesome. Yet, until today I had no idea that they had an interesting sense of humour. So, let’s take a look at ‘This Is What the U.S. Can Do to Help End It‘ in regards to the Syrian war (at http://time.com/5195442/eastern-ghouta-syria-civil-war-anniversary/).

It starts with “as it stands today, the U.S. is essentially a bystander. The Trump Administration has on cruise control the same ISIS-centric policies of the Obama Administration. The small contingent of U.S. troops present in eastern Syria only marginally stabilize territory liberated from the Islamic State while preventing Iranian and Syrian government forces from seizing the region. The Trump Administration has ended the CIA’s arm-and-equip program for the Syrian moderate opposition, a program which was created under President Obama, which was never sustainable or substantial“, which is true, there is nothing in opposition of that and in that regard we remain serious. That is, until we see: “Find a way to deliver aid. The U.S. must work with the international community to find an effective means of getting resources to the region. The stream of videos coming out of Ghouta shows a population subjected to the worst conditions imaginable. We should take the lead in enforcing United Nations demands for a real cease-fire to alleviate this brutal suffering. We can save lives now.” Is that so? Perhaps some can remember the ceasefire that was unanimously set in motion at the UN around the 1st of March. So, how did that pan out? Knowing that Russia and Syria hold the US in even less regard than the UN, the chances of the first part becoming reality is not that much of a reality to begin with and re-iterating that point 12 days later is a little bit of a joke at the very least. In eastern Ghouta, according to SBS, the death toll has passed the ‘thousand mark’, implying that the Ghouta region gets depopulated by close to one hundred cadavers every day. One could argue that until the culling stops, it will be too late for humanitarian aid. If the players had only acted 6 years ago, instead of waiting, sitting on ones hands and hoping for diplomatic resolution, or accept the reality that Syrian lives have no counterbalance in oil and let them pass away (it is not humane, but the reality we see here will never ever be near humane). Wasn’t it Friedrich Nietzsche who said: ‘To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering‘? So how much meaning can we find in Syria at present?

But that was merely their opening act. Getting to the main event we get “Repair relations with Turkey. In the end, U.S. policy in Syria rests on the U.S. and Turkey working together. Turkey is currently engaged in Operation Olive Branch against Syrian Kurds in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, to stabilize its own southern border and to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state“. So, how delusional is that? Turkey only cares about Turkey, which in itself is nothing they can be blamed for, that stance is fair enough. So, how will the US continue in regards to the Armenian genocide? Let’s not forget that we might soon have the situation that Turkey could be blamed for two genocides, at that instance Turkey would in theory surpass Nazi Germany. The entire PKK issue is one that hangs around the necks of both the US and NATO. The headline ‘Kurds threatened with beheading by Turkey’s allies if they don’t convert to extremism‘, which we see in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-assad-regime-turkey-afrin-kurds-eastern-ghouta-us-allies-militia-a8252456.html) also shows “Mr Abdulrahman, who is the leading human rights monitor in Syria with a network of informants throughout the country, says he is worried that international attention is entirely focused on the Syrian army assault on Eastern Ghouta and “nobody is talking about” the potential slaughter of the Kurds and other minorities in Afrin“, with in addition: “as many as one million Kurds may be threatened and adds that it is becoming extremely difficult for them to escape from Afrin because Syrian government checkpoints on the only road leading south to Aleppo “are demanding bribes of up to $4,000 per family to let people through.” Mr Abdulrahman points to growing evidence drawn from videos taken by themselves of militiamen claiming to be members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that the units advancing ahead of regular Turkish troops are extreme jihadis“, the reasoning there is “Isis recruits had been instructed by Turkish trainers not to use their traditional tactics, such as the of extensive use of car bombs, because this would identify them as terrorists. He suspected that Isis fighters would be used as cannon fodder in Turkey’s war against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and then discarded“.

Perhaps we should also remember the part that Time Magazine did not give us. “The Turkish military responded with a ferocious counterinsurgency campaign that led to the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, most of them Turkish Kurdish civilians, and the displacement of more than three million Kurds from south eastern Turkey“, which is seen in The Middle East by Ellen Lust. My knowledge of the PKK goes back to the days when we saw Öcalan pleading for an independent Kurdistan. I am not stating that the PKK was innocent, there are questions on both sides, yet as the Americans are so actively ignoring the Armenian issues as well as trying to please Turkey, a nation that has never proven to be a true ally, will the US and NATO remain in denial in regards to the 40,000 dead Kurdish civilians? That would be wrong on a whole new level. In that regard there is one additional part. The claim that ‘the PKK had been accusing Turkey of supporting ISIS at the time when the PKK was part of several offensives against ISIS in Iraq and Syria‘, an issue reported by Al Jazeera in 2015. Was that ever proven or disproven? You see, allowing an ISIS supporter in our midst is one part that should offend everyone, yet that too does not make it to the radar of Time magazine.

And it does not end there, the comedy gets to be better with “Only Turkey has the credibility, resources and geopolitical heft to steward U.S. interests in Northern Syria“, it is Saturday Night Life (SNL) in magazine form. Turkey has not had any credibility for close to a decade; perhaps some Americans remember how Turkey wanted all their debts wiped to allow US planes over Turkey. This happened shortly after 9/11, so when you remember that part, how dicey is their allegiance? And the only resources it clearly has are the ones they have and others pay for. That is seen with “Turkey’s continued membership in NATO means that American taxpayers subsidize the Turkish state in the form of guarantees of military defense in case of military conflict with non-NATO nations”, which implies that at least in part, the US is paying for the conflicts that Turkey is currently in. When was that going to be exposed and in that light, what resources does Turkey actually have, bought and paid for with non US supported funds? I do not know, I am merely asking.

So after the main event we get a small collection of one-liners like “Threaten additional, immediate sanctions of Russia. Putin is directly responsible for the Syrian government’s actions. Options at the U.N. have been exhausted. Accountability mechanisms are non-existent — even investigative mechanisms like the U.N. probe into chemical attacks in Syria have been undermined and curtailed by Russian veto“, sanctions have never worked (so far), Syria will never listen to Russia but will knock on their door for aid (linked to clear profitable agreements that is) and the UN options were never exhausted, in fact none were actually used in the end as none had any chance of working.

It is like me stating that my sex life with Scarlett Johansson is exhausted! That part is absolutely true, yet I never have been with her in the first place and as I never have had any Dangerous Liaisons with the youthful young lady (read: 33 years, 3 months and 21 days at present) and I am merely looking at optional non-existing future endeavours, so for that part I am completely honest (and equally unrealistic), just like the United Nations.

So as the article ends with the truth in the shape of “There will be no winners in the Syrian Civil War, and the reconstruction costs of returning the country to even a minimal level of functioning will be enormous. Neither Russia nor Iran alone can afford to support it, and the Syrians will bear the costs of this debacle for decades to come“, we all agree that this will be the case. So as the EU and US are preparing to make some good will gesture in the shape of 3-4 billion, I wonder how much of that will in the end make it to the people. I personally see it as a path that will invigorate corruption and self-indulgence of the administrations that receive such funds. UN oversight will be close to pointless and in the end a fair bit of that will go towards paying the Russian constructions firms like LLC Priceline, who had the connections to end the war by culling the opposition of President Bashar al-Assad. So in the end it is like watching the UN feeling better about themselves because they added some relief funds. When we set the entire spectre of events into a classical frame, we could be watching the reality of the Divine Comedy. When you consider that in the end well over 500,000 soul ended in eternal torment, the setting of reality is worse than the one Dante Alighieri envisioned, but then the Syrian war was no Time Magazine Comedy, or a classic Italian Poem, which is at present 700 years old. Syria will end up being the damnation of us all, we will end up being damned through our inaction to get anything done because in the end none of us got anything positive done towards the Syrians, not those in Syria and not the millions of refugees, we ended up disappointing them all close to completely.

Yet with the end of the Divine Comedy we got ‘My guide and I did enter, to return To the fair world‘ making it a fairy tale compared to the Syrian reality, the reality of the world we helped create, merely the darkness of caves and the evil we harbour in our midst. I feel certain that is how the refugees feel for generations to come, the eternal curse of inaction and those watching those remain absent of action towards their survival.



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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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