ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Obama Now Erdogan’s “Bitch” Over ISIS/KURD Deception

“A Turkish officer entered the allied headquarters in the air war against ISIS and announced that the strike would begin in 10 minutes and he needed all allied jets flying above Iraq to move south of Mosul immediately,” the source said. “We were outraged.”

Senior US military official: Turkey ‘needed a hook’ and tricked us on ISIS

business insider

turkey pkkREUTERS/Umit BektasA woman after having her nails painted with the colors of the flag of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), during a gathering celebrating Newroz, which marks the arrival of spring and the new year, in the border town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, on March 17.

A senior US official has accused Turkey of pulling a bait-and-switch by using a recent anti-Islamic State agreement with the US as a “hook” to attack the Kurdish PKK in northern Iraq, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“It’s clear that ISIL was a hook,” the senior military official told The Journal, referring to the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh).

“Turkey wanted to move against the PKK, but it needed a hook.”

On Tuesday, an American military source told Fox News that US military leaders were “outraged” when Turkey began its bombing campaign, giving US special forces stationed in northern Iraq virtually no warning before Turkish jets started striking the mountains.

“A Turkish officer entered the allied headquarters in the air war against ISIS and announced that the strike would begin in 10 minutes and he needed all allied jets flying above Iraq to move south of Mosul immediately,” the source said. “We were outraged.”

The confrontation highlights the tension growing between the US and Turkey, which became a reluctant ally in the fight against ISIS after years of turning a blind eye to the militants’ illicit activity on its southern border during the Syrian civil war.

Ankara officially joined the coalition fight against ISIS on July 24, striking ISIS (and the PKK) on the same day. It also recently began allowing the US to use the Incirlik airbase in Turkey to carry out strikes against ISIS.

But Turkey has conducted 300 strikes against the PKK and three against ISIS since July 24, according to data compiled by IRIN news. All three ISIS strikes occurred on the first day of the campaign.

Nearly 400 Kurdish militants have been killed, IRIN reports, compared with nine ISIS militants.

When asked about Turkey’s commitment to fighting ISIS, a senior defense official said “there are still question marks out there. Our folks are very eager to put it to the test.”

And if Turkey keeps going after the PKK while trying not to provoke ISIS, “it will leave the US without a Syria strategy,” geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer told Business Insider by email.

“Access to Incirlik airbase matters, but the additional bombing it enables will only help contain ISIS, not roll it back,” Bremmer added. “And it will leave Washington without the improved relations with Ankara that the Obama administration is hoping for.”

ISIS map as of July 27 2015Reuters

The ongoing bombing campaign against PKK strongholds in northern Iraq came as a surprise, but it probably shouldn’t have: Turkey has long seen the PKK — a designated terrorist organization that waged a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey — as more of an existential threat than ISIS, which refrained from launching attacks inside Turkey even as its militants lived and operated along the border.

“The PKK is a bigger threat to us, as it is active within the country,” a Turkish official told The Wall Street Journal. “They stage attacks on our security forces on a daily basis, in many cities. ISIS is more active in Syria, and is therefore less urgent now.”

kurds kurdish populationREUTERS

Moreover, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bombing campaign — capitalizing on the nationalist, anti-Kurd sentiment that has been steadily growing inside Turkey — could help him regain his AKP party’s absolute majority in parliament now that coalition talks have failed and snap elections are likely.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, also a member of the AKP, said on Thursday he would prefer an election to be held “as soon as possible”, Reuters reported.

“The AKP needed the Kurdish angle to sell the war to ultranationalists inside Turkey,” whose main priority is to curb Kurdish territorial gains along its southern border, Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider last month.

But Erdogan’s gamble has come at a price: Nearly 40 Turkish police officers and military officials have been attacked and killed by PKK militants since the war began, and that number is increasing every day.

turkeyREUTERS

Erdogan has also complicated his party’s relationship with Washington further: While the White House was relieved when Turkey announced it would allow the US to launch airstrikes against ISIS from Incirlik airbase in its southeast, the PKK is a politically contentious target.

The militia was working with US-backed Kurdish fighters to repel ISIS from northern Iraq and is also closely linked to the Kurdish YPG militia, which, backed by US airstrikes, has proved to be the most effective force fighting ISIS on the ground in northern Syria.

Now the US is reportedly embracing an all-out partnership with the YPG to make up for the failures of its $500 million Syrian train-and-equip program — a move that is sure to anger Ankara and inflame tensions even further.

“To fully embrace a Kurdish force would complicate an already fragile strategy, two [US] defense officials concluded,” Nancy Youseff of The Daily Beast reports.

“The Turks … would not welcome an emboldened Kurdish force on its southern border. Neither would many of America’s Arab allies, who are also threatened by Kurdish sovereignty movements.”

Preparing for the Final War—Bringing Our Worst Fears To Life

Preparing for the Worst: Are Russian and NATO Military Exercises Making War in Europe more Likely?

EUROPEAN LEADERSHIP NET

Ian Kearns

By Ian Kearns

Director, ELN

Łukasz Kulesa

By Łukasz Kulesa

Research Director, ELN

Thomas Frear

By Thomas Frear

Research Fellow, ELN

Over the last 18 months, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated considerably. One aspect of the confrontation, as previously documented by the ELN, has been a game of Russian-instigated dangerous brinkmanship which has resulted in many serious close military encounters between the forces of Russia and NATO and its partners over the last 15 months.  Another aspect, however has been the increased scope and size of the military exercises conducted by both Russia and by NATO and its partners in the Euro-Atlantic area since the Ukraine crisis began.
To assist the public and wider policy community in understanding the realities of this new and dangerous security environment in Europe, the ELN has prepared a short policy brief and two interactive maps presenting in detail the anatomy of two recent, large scale military exercises.
The two exercises profiled are:
  • A Russian ‘snap exercise’ conducted in March 2015, which brought together 80,000 military personnel.
  • The NATO ‘Allied Shield’ exercise conducted in June 2015, which brought under one framework four distinct exercises taking place along the Eastern flank of the Alliance, totalling 15,000 personnel from 19 Members states and three partner states.

 

Both exercises show that each side is training with the other side’s capabilities and most likely war plans in mind. Whilst spokespeople may maintain that these operations are targeted against hypothetical opponents, the nature and scale of them indicate otherwise: Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia. 
We do not suggest that the leadership of either side has made a decision to go to war or that a military conflict between the two is inevitable, but that the changed profile of exercises is a fact and it does play a role in sustaining the current climate of tensions in Europe. These tensions are further aggravated and elevated into a sense of unpredictability when the exercises are not pre-notified or publicly announced beforehand, as is apparently the case with a number of Russian exercises.
In our view, the implementation of the following four recommendations could help to defuse or at least minimize the tensions connected with the increased frequency and scale of the military exercises now taking place:
  • It is vitally important to increase NATO – Russia communication with regards to the schedule of exercises;
  • Both sides should utilize OSCE channels as much as possible, along with the existing catalogue of Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs) included i.a. in the Vienna Document  to increase military predictability;
  • The politicians on both sides should examine the benefits and dangers of intensified exercising in the border areas. If Russia or NATO decides at some point that they want to reduce tensions, showing restraint in terms of size or scenarios used in exercises might be a good place to start;
  • Conceptual work on a new treaty introducing reciprocal territorial limitations on deployment of specific categories of weapons, backed by robust inspections, should commence as soon as possible.

 

No matter what Erdogan Says…NO TURKISH STREAM, NO ISIS FIGHT

Turkey has no intention to challenge Islamic State terrorists within Syria or within Turkey itself.  Obama and Ergodan participated in formulating a big lie to misinform the world about their insincere intentions to combat ISIL terrorism in northern Syria, when, in reality the real plan has always been to continue steering ISIL into troubled states, in order to bully them into thinking our way.  In hindsight it is easy to see that they have fed the world pure “bullshit,” in their insincere proclamation to jointly “fight terrorism” in northern Syria, made evident by their unified dissembling from that point, ever since.  Obama can continue to pretend to be fighting ISIS in Syria and “defending Kurds” (without actually threatening Assad) and Erdogan can pretend to be fighting ISIS (while killing selective Kurds).  Both Obama and Ergodan can safely hide behind their big lie as they work together to kill the opposition to ISIS in Syria.

 

US Sends Fighter Jets to Turkey and Lets Ankara Off the Hook in Islamic State Fight

Nusra Front Withdraws From Frontline Against ISIS in Syria

Al Nusra claims attack on U.S.-trained rebels in Syria

The Anatomy of A Psywar

The Anatomy of A Psywar

Intra-Taliban Warfare Hits the Streets of Kabul

afghan bomb [SEE: Huge Truck Bomb Blast Strikes Kabul ]

The latest series of bomb blasts in and near Kabul has exposed large holes in the official reporting on the war, including the mission itself.  Nothing is as it seems in Afghanistan.  If anything, the bombings have exposed the two official lies in the previous statement—that the bombings are by the actual “Taliban”— and that Mullah Mansour is the successor to Mullah Omar.  The bombings are evidence of the authors of the Kabul bombs and proof that Akhtar Mansour is NOT the legitimate, elected successor to Mullah Omar.

Mansour made his public debut in 2010, posing as “Mullah Omar’s second in command,” allegedly conducting “reconciliation” negotiations with the US.  He entered peace talks with American negotiators, under his real name, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.  The charade continued until the counterfeit Mullah had served his purpose, at which time, another person was brought in to claim that Mansour was an imposter.  At which time, Mullah Omar released the following statement:
“The cunning enemy which has occupied our country, is trying, on the one hand, to expand its military operations on the basis of its double-standard policy and, on the other hand, wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation.”
Mullah Omar announced, once again, that there would be no peace negotiations with any occupying power…period.  Any talk of peace with the Taliban, while remaining in Afghanistan, have been one-sided productions, offering various former Taliban as “negotiators,” to advance some new shift in the strategy, in order to reinforce the false image of a “peace-seeking” American, while making it possible for the war to drag on.  Prolonging the current war, until it can be transmuted into a completely new war.
Within 24 hrs, Friday, three major suicide-attacks strike in or near Kabul.  Western media sources are already crediting their man Mansour
Mansoor
with these massive, deadly blasts, but there has as yet been no evidence offered to substantiate these claims.  But the evidence that is offered, which is incontrovertible, is that all of these bomb blasts were directed at American or Afghan targets.  This means that America’s Mullah Mansour, is definitely NOT behind them.
The first massive truck-bomb (retro-fitted water tanker) hit a Special Forces base in Pul-i-Alam, Logar Province, on Friday night.

outside a police compound in Puli Alam, capital of Logar province. The Taliban said its targets were military and paramilitary units in Puli Alam

The next bombing that night was a massive Taliban suicide assault by at least one terrorist wearing a suicide-belt against the Logar police compound of the Afghan quick reaction force.
“Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on the Police Academy but made no mention of the other two attacks on Friday…killed more than 100 security personnel”
“Taliban spokesman” Zabihullah Mujahid has apparently worked for Afghans/CIA since they arrested him in 2011.  He has served as the conduit for the dead Taliban leader and for his CIA replacement, Mullah Mansour.
Last attack, occurring within 24 hrs, CIA/NDS Afghan Intelligence base, SPECIAL FORCES Camp Integrity,  KABUL.   All of the targets were Western, either intelligence or special forces, or both.  That rules-out every CIA puppet, like Mansour.  These attacks were intended to physically hurt the occupation forces and to embarrass Mansour’s pretend Taliban leadership, by demonstrating their inability to control their organization or their turf.  Someone brought these huge bombs into Kabul from somewhere, but as far as we know, the source of the bombs is already solved in the latest version of “evil personified,” Akhtar Mansour.
These are the known facts in the Kabul bombing investigations…,yet none of this will appear on any nightly news.  The news is too busy weaving the new story line, that the bombings were inter-Taliban warfare over peace negotiations.  Nobody will dwell upon the source of the bombs, which had to be state-supported, since all possible suspect governments are also parties to the pretend peace negotiations.  “Negotiating peace” with the Taliban does nothing for peace, while buying time for the Americans to push their terror war across new borders.

A successful psy-op would leave its targets confused and uncertain about the real war.  For those living under such a weaponized media, it would be impossible to know whether news reportage was factual, or even if there was a war at all.  We know that people die in Afghanistan everyday…beyond than we don’t really know anything.  All of our reported conflicts are thousands of miles away, buried deep inside undeveloped countries, too secluded and too treacherous for any but the most foolhardy reporters.  This means that all news comes through military censors, who relay information to the outside world, or through biased Imperial sources dispatched by Britain or America.  If the war being reported is being waged against the local government (AfPak), either directly or through proxies, then the military middle-men, who relay war news to the international community are hostile sources, who will twist the news to suit their current psywar strategy.  This makes ALL NEWS about Afghanistan or Pakistan, or news coming from the region, completely unreliable, even dangerous to the person reading it, in that it is corrosive to the truth.

This is the news environment prevailing over ALL Imperial wars.  We cannot believe ANY reporting we receive in its entirety, making it necessary for us to dissect all news into its component parts, so that we might identify obvious truths which have been buried under half-true or false information.
We have entered a new phase in the war against the Taliban, characterized primarily by major escalations in the propaganda war.  The American intelligence war has abandoned the real Afghan battlefield, in favor of the battlefield of the mind.   Thus begins a new, more intense form of psychological war, waged by CIA psy-warriors, using their inhuman, weaponized psychology, to twist the minds of the Taliban, the Afghans, the Pakistani and American peoples.  Deceptions, greed and betrayal have been combined, to form a new type of offensive weapon, calculated to overcome all resistance to America’s real plans for Afghanistan…the ones involving pipelines, vast fields of hydrocarbons and transport corridors stretching deep into Central Asia, from the Arabian Sea.
The Afghan war has been basically running on cruise-control, since the Iraq invasion, until now.  The sudden revelation on the death of Mullah Omar and the potential death of Jalaluddin Haqqani have exposed the man behind the curtains, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who has been issuing orders under the dead leader’s name since 2013.  Mullah Mansour has been leading the anti Omar Taliban for a long time, working secretly for The Empire, taking credit for terrorist attacks (SEE: Karzai reportedly suspects US hand in recent Afghanistan attacksJan 28, 2014), promoting fake Taliban initiatives and fake “peace talks,” with “former Taliban” agents who were really representing no one.
By issuing orders under the name of the dead leader Omar, Mansour has managed to maneuver himself into the Taliban driver’s seat, were it not for the opposition of Omar’s family and the Taliban faithful.  Mullah Omar’s son is now leading the anti-Mansour opposition.  According to one group of the most faithful Taliban, who calls itself, Afghanistan Islamic Movement Fidai Mahaz, Mansour and his minions murdered the Emir of the Taliban, by getting counterfeit medicine for him from Dubai.
The Fidai Mahaz are the remnants of the original followers of Mullah Dadullah, before he moved to Pakistan to jump-start the Tehreek i-Taliban (SEE:  The Dadullah Front And The Assassination of Arsala Rahmani May 14, 2012 ).  According to them, news about Omar’s death in 2013 was released by the Mansour gang, because the emir of the Fidai Mahaz revealed the results of their research into his death, which led directly to Mansour’s inner circle.  Mansour’s CIA masters hoped to hide the matter of the poisoning beneath the false counter-claim that Omar, like bin Laden, had died under the watchful eyes of the Pak. military.

Fake Taliban negotiations began with a Western initiative, despite Mullah Omar’s clear rejection of negotiations as long as Afghanistan was an occupied country.  Afghan Taliban sabotaged the US initiative by killing the High Peace Council representatives.  Later on, Pakistan helped sabotage the talks when Mullah Baradar and friends were arrested for making side deals with the CIA.  Baradar’s arrest cut-off the American liasons.  After that, the US and collaborators established the fake Taliban office in Doha, in order to carry-on the charade elsewhere.  The real Mullah Omar spoke-up and condemned the fake negotiations.  Shortly after that, he was dead.

 It was then, that Pakistan and China got into the peacemaking mood, by starting their own fake Afghanistan/Taliban negotiations in Pakistan.
The Fidai Mahaz are leading the opposition to Pakistan and the new fake peace talks.
therearenosunglasses@hotmail.com

Does Saudi Immunity For 911 Somehow Transfer Guilt To Iran?

[SEE:  Saudi Royals Request Removal From 911 Lawsuit ]

Michael D. Goldhaber, The Am Law Daily

Photo by Sander Lamme via Wikimedia Commons

Victims of September 11, who seek to hold funders of the 2001 terror attacks accountable in court, came to Manhattan federal court in Foley Square on Thursday with serious evidence that Saudi Arabia supported the al Qaeda bombers. U.S. District Judge George Daniels promised to decide within 90 days whether to put the Kingdom on trial.

Saudi Arabia chided the 9/11 families that this hearing was “not a political seminar.” It was, however, a seminar on history and epistemology. After 12 years of halting progress against Saudi charities, the 9/11 plaintiffs have revived a powerful claim against the Kingdom. But the quest for historical truth threatens to founder on the judge’s futile desire for direct knowledge of espionage.

Much of the day turned on what exactly we know about a February 2000 chat between alleged Saudi spies Omar al Bayoumi and Fahad al Thumairy. Judge Daniels had no time for Saudi’s contention that it didn’t “technically” employ Bayoumi when it paid his salary for a no-show cover job. But at the heart of the Saudi spy plot posited by the 9/11 families, the judge seemed to struggle with the obvious.

“You don’t have any evidence as to what conversations [Thumairy] had with Bayoumi,” said Daniels. “What’s the factual basis for you to allege that when he met with Bayoumi he said, ‘Give lodging to the hijackers, assist them and give financial support to the hijackers so that they can carry out the 9/11 attacks?’”

What one spy said to the other can be inferred from the full circumstantial evidence, replied 9/11 attorney Sean Carter of Cozen O’Connor—and must be. Consider the timing and sequence of these events, as laid out by the plaintiffs.

Osama bin Laden sent the 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar to Los Angeles in mid-January 2000 knowing that they didn’t speak a word of English and would be helpless on their own. Two weeks later, the Saudi spy Bayoumi met with the Islamist diplomat-imam Thumairy at the Saudi consul’s Islamic Affairs section, which the FBI knew to serve as Saudi Arabia’s radical Islamist fifth column.

Bayoumi drove straight from this not-so-mysterious chat to meet the two hijackers at Thumairy’s mosque. Three days later, Bayoumi moved the two hijackers into his own family apartment in San Diego. Bayoumi proceeded to open bank accounts and rent new apartments for the hijackers with his own money. Bayoumi connected the hijackers with another alleged Saudi agent who procured them fake IDs and admission to language and flight school. Bayoumi’s wife allegedly channeled $150,000 in support payments from a Saudi princess to the hijackers. In early 2000 Bayoumi received a promotion at his no-show cover job, and a significant raise in the salary and stipend covered by the Kingdom. Over the same three months, he talked repeatedly by phone with Saudi diplomats in L.A. and D.C., not to mention the hijackers’ San Diego imam Anwar Aulaqi, who went on to become a senior al Qaeda leader.

When questioned by the 9/11 Commission under the watchful eye of the Saudi secret police, Thumairy clumsily denied knowing Bayoumi, and Bayoumi pretended to be surprised that Thumairy worked at the consulate.

Add it all up, and the two spies in L.A. were not chatting about the traffic on the Santa Monica Freeway. The judge must understand that historical intelligence doesn’t get any stronger. We go to war with Iraq over yellowcake, and we won’t go to a jury with two bad guys twirling their mustaches at Wahhabi central?

According to the complaint, a top FBI official has stated that “We [the FBI] firmly believed that he [Bayoumi] had knowledge [of the 9/11 plot], and that his meeting with them [Hazmi and Mihdhar] that day was more than coincidence.” It’s “implausible,” adds 9/11 commissioner John Lehman, “that the broad spectrum of evidence developed by the 9/11 Commission concerning the relationships among Omar al Bayoumi, Fahad al Thumairy, the Islamic Affairs Department of Saudi diplomatic missions, and 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar can be explained away as merely coincidental.”

To 9/11 victims like Matthew T. Sellito, who flew in for the hearing from Florida, the evidence is clear. Sellitto, whose 23 year-old son Matthew C. of Cantor Fitzgerald was the youngest victim of the twin towers, said it pained him that the U.S. held the wrong country accountable in the Iraq War.

What about the 9/11 Commission itself? According to Carter, the staffers who studied the evidence concluded that Saudi Arabia was implicated—but that conclusion was removed from the 9/11 Report at the eleventh hour because senior staff wanted 100 percent certainty for such politically explosive allegations.

Michael Kellogg of Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel, arguing for the defense, prefers the final draft of the 9/11 Report. Even after 12 years, he says the 9/11 families can’t meet the high standard of evidence required by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. He also argued that the case against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Comission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina must be dismissed because they do not satisfy the “whole tort” exception, the “discretionary functions” clause, or the causation requirement of the FSIA. Those legal arguments are likely to be resolved at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—unless Congress steps in to resolve them first. But this case ain’t going to trial against Saudi unless Judge Daniels is willing to connect the dots.

The irony is that Judge Daniels already entered a $6 billion default judgment against Iran on far weaker evidence. The allegations that Iran helped Hezbollah to cooperate with al-Qaeda, and let al-Qaeda terrorists pass through Iran, would seem to fail the test that the whole tort occurred on U.S. soil.

Yet after 3 hours of agonizing over the Saudi spy evidence, the judge treated the contention that Iran is liable for another $150 billion as an afterthought.

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, James Kreindler of Kreindler & Kreindler announced that the 857 members of his 9/11 plaintiff group, headlined by the Ashton family, had a claim against Iran. And therefore, they were entitled to the same default judgment received in 2011 by the 47 members of the plaintiff group headlined by the Havlish family. Kreindler said that the $6 billion awarded in Havlish implied damages of $150 billion for the Ashton plaintiffs . But for fear of disrupting diplomacy, Kreindler said he was only seeking a finding of liability—to stake a claim in the political settlement likely to resolve Iranian terror claims. The judge said he’d hold a Jan. 14 conference and “see where we are.”

In the meantime here’s free advice from The Global Lawyer. Iran should show up in court before a mega-judgment jeopardizes its historic deal. And Judge Daniels should let a jury see the evidence against the nation that actually bears blame for 9/11. We owe it to Matthew T. and Matthew C. Sellitto.

Turkey Feigns Fight Against ISIS, Just As We Pretend To Fight “Al-Qaeda”

“Nobody ever knew what really happened. How many fighters or civilians killed to what effect…nobody knew any facts. In other words, it all seemed like theater for public consumption.”

[Is the quotation above about Turkish airstrikes or American drone strikes?  How do we know that any “legitimate media” war report is true?]

Instead Of Fighting ISIS, Erdogan Pushes Turkey Toward Chaos And Despotism
forbes


Untitled Melik Kaylan

I cover conflicts, frontiers and upheavals mired in history.

In Turkey, an ISIS suicide bomb kills 30 and wounds many more in the Kurdish area town of Suruc. The Kurdish insurgent terrorists, the PKK, then start killing Turkish policemen and soldiers while ISIS attacks a Turkish military border post. Peace demonstrations ensue in some cities which police put down with the, by now, familiar methods of severity against civilians. Ankara and Washington reach an agreement allowing the US to use its bases inside Turkey against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Erdogan’s spokesmen announce that Turkey’s air force has conducted raids against both PKK and ISIS targets across the border. Turkish authorities arrest some 900 people nationwide, mostly Kurds, for allegedly belonging to terror networks. Turkish tanks shell Kurdish villages in Syrian borderlands near Kobani. Meanwhile, news leaks that the US has solid evidence of Turkish collusion with ISIS in months past. Let us pause here and dispel some of the fog.

First, let us remember that Turkey conducted a national election on June 7 and still hasn’t formed a government. All these decisions in a time of crisis are being taken by somebody. Someone’s running the country. We’ll get to the full implications later but initiatives are being taken, orders given. The air raids for instance. Worth a little scrutiny. For example, you have to wonder, since the Turkish air force knew of PKK targets in Iraq, so quickly and easily neutralized, why didn’t it act before? And why attack Syrian Kurds near Kobani who, after all, are busy fighting off ISIS? Especially if you’ve declared ISIS the enemy because it has killed 30 people in a suicide bomb inside Turkey.

On the ISIS front, it’s worth viewing the video put out by Ankara of the air strikes against several sites by F-16s using laser-guided munitions. All the targets seem to have one thing in common: they’re each at a safe distance from residential complexes in ISIS territory. They’re set apart in open fields. They betray no marks of military activity. Now, humanitarian though this might seem – which itself begs the question – you still have to wonder. Does ISIS keep strategic targets clear of population centers? And, if so, why were such targets still so manifestly available. The US has waged its air war against ISIS since last September. They left a few for the Turks? The skeptic might ask if these were meaningful targets at all.

I remember during the Iraq war that Ankara would announce with fanfare various bombing sorties to hit PKK camps nestled in the Zagros mountains in retaliation against one or other PKK atrocity inside Turkey. Nobody ever knew what really happened. How many fighters or civilians killed to what effect? The PKK never slowed down. Barzani grumbled about territorial integrity. The White House mumbled about Turkey’s right to self-defense. I queried Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan, from both Suleymaniah and Erbil, during those years about any publicly mooted information about those recurrent air strikes. While they expressed outrage at territorial violation by Turks, nobody knew any facts. In other words, it all seemed like theater for public consumption in Turkey.

Let’s keep firmly in mind the overarching attribute of Turkey’s AKP leaders throughout the last decade: they’re invariably long on demagogy and short on solutions. The goal always is to stay in power, mute criticism, corrupt all necessary institutions, suppress dissent, play the populist card. And play it so unscrupulously that the country polarizes step by step. Protestors are terrorists. Critical journalists are atheists. Gulenists serve a foreign power. Kurdish politicians are fronting for the PKK. The mayor of Ankara, a top Erdoganista, sued a journalist for accusing him of – wait for it – being Armenian!

Much of the time nobody knows what’s really going on after any eruption of internal conflict first gets reported – they only get exposed to propaganda and polemics. The media gets muzzled and social media suspended. It happened after two gas cylinder bombs exploded at a HDP Kurdish party rally ahead of the elections killing two and wounding over 100.

It has happened after the Suruc horror by ISIS. Erdogan’s main objective, to befog with theater when he can’t hide the reality, hasn’t wavered. Hence the display of signing the Incirlik Airbase deal with the White House. Hence the bombing runs against ISIS. These add up to a manifest U-turn as he and his party have publicly abetted ISIS in myriad snide ways, even giving cover to its foremost vociferous advocate in Turkey, the noisy and sinister Halis Bayancuk whom they’ve just re-arrested. Previously arrested in 2014, he was released by the authorities while the prosecutor and judge who had moved against him were demoted. The government then defended him publicly as a victim of the ‘deep state’ conspiracy, one of Erdogan’s favorite polemical bogeys.

Meanwhile, as many domestic commentators now say, Turkey is hovering on the brink. Similarly, others are pointing out that the country now faces total crisis not accidentally but in line with Erdogan’s plan to monopolize power, become the indispensible figure amid chaos. In the old days, when fractured elections led to paralysis and conflict, the military would step in and tidy up the mess, acting as last-chance custodians of the Republic. These days their role resides, democratically, with the President. Alas, the ‘honest-broker’ is also a dishonest protagonist in the fray, namely Erdogan himself. The office of the Presidency requires him to stand above politics. He hasn’t – even though the country voted away his party’s parliamentary majority for that reason, as a rebuttal of his ambition to make the Presidency paramount. He planned to re-enact the Putin/Medvedev tango, Turkish-style, moving between the position of PM and President to avoid term limits.

As I wrote here after the election produced no winner six weeks ago, Turkey has never fared well with coalitions. In this case, the coalition didn’t even materialize. While the various parties continue to negotiate on forming a government, they’ve left Erdogan in charge by default. What I warned then, is coming to pass (even quicker than expected) when I said, “and here’s the most scary part: as things deteriorate it will be up to the President to impose order by one means or another” and “a fundamental player in the equation (Erdogan) has no interest but to let things get very bad indeed”.

And so here we are. For Erdogan it’s even better that there’s no government. He rules by diktat. To do so, he needs crises. He’s busy creating them. Stoking the Kurdish conflict simply polarizes the country further, catalyzes civil war Assad-style. He will call a sudden election when things are bad enough. There’s some chance he might have miscued though. After all, he has no coalition to blame. Instead of seeing him as the indispensable strongman, the country might hold him responsible for all the chaos. If there is still a country by then.

UN Capitulation To Saudi Demands Equals Partnership In Ethnic-Cleansing of Middle East

“the U.N. de facto institutionalized aid segregation by allowing humanitarian relief to be conditional to certain criteria: political affiliation and religious orientation.

With Yemen set as a precedent, who’s to say that a similar setup will not be replicated in other countries in the region — mainly, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Libya?”

source

[This is the standard by which Middle Eastern human beings will be granted the right to eat by the Royal Saudi Caliphate.  Anyone who can’t see the real “Sunni Caliphate” by now has not been paying attention to Saudi aggression in the region.  War-mongering king Salman has been arrogantly open about his intentions to cleanse the Middle East of Shiites and other religious apostates (this would include Christians, obviously). even whike he pretends to be fighting against the Caliphate of ISIS.  The Saudi royals and their Gulf subordinates have been creating a Saudi Caliphate, right before our eyes.  The fact that the world’s only hope for humanitarianism, the United Nations, would allow a tribal Arab king to enforce Draconian standards on simple aid intended to keep civilians alive (amidst a hot, desert war), is proof that human compassion is just another commodity that can be bought and sold like anything else. 

Such is the human condition, when laid bare before us. 
Where is God in this equation?]

Saudi Arabia opened its checkbook in response to a U.N. appeal for funds to cover the most urgent humanitarian aid to Yemen. But that aid would come at a steep price and with more than a few strings attached.

A Yemeni man looks at a World Food Program ship at the port of Aden, Yemen, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The WFP ship carrying badly needed aid arrived in Yemen's war-torn southern city of Aden on Tuesday, the first vessel chartered by the U.N. agency to berth there since Saudi-led airstrikes on Shiite rebels in the country began in March. (AP Photo/Ahmed Sameer)

SANAA, Yemen — Five months have passed since Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen, and for all its might, political resolve and military arsenal, the kingdom has yet to bring the poorest nation on the Arabian Peninsula to heel.

Its institutions in tatters, its military apparatus reduced to rubbles, and with no economy to speak of, Yemen’s imminent collapse has been foretold time and time again by experts and state officials. Yet these predictions have not quite come to fruition.

In its match against Goliath, David is resisting. In rallies, demonstrations and even an open letter signed by 18 Yemen scholars and experts living in the United States and Britain, tens of thousands of Yemenis and others around the world have decried Riyadh’s actions, calling for an end to all violence.

Yet this dedication to opposing Riyadh’s actions doesn’t mean Yemenis aren’t suffering. The World Health Organization issued a statement in June, warning that a “major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen, where hospitals have been destroyed, health workers killed and critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel are causing large-scale suffering.”

In early July, the United Nations declared the situation in Yemen to be the highest level of humanitarian emergency. According to a U.N. report published July 7, over 1,500 civilians have been killed, 3,600 have been injured, and over a million have been displaced in the ongoing conflict.

A “major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen, where hospitals have been destroyed, health workers killed and critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel are causing large-scale suffering.”

-World Health Organization

By U.N. estimates, about 80 percent of all Yemenis — more than 20 million people — are in need of humanitarian aid.

In late March, Amnesty International confirmed the deaths of at least six children under the age of 10 during a Saudi-led air raid that killed 25 people. The report read: “The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport.”

Already the poorest and most vulnerable population in the Peninsula and arguably the Greater Middle East, Yemenis have seen their livelihoods and freedom of movement disintegrate under Saudi Arabia’s war momentum. In late April, Saudi Arabia bombed Sanaa International Airport, effectively trapping civilians within Yemen’s borders.

Despite mounting evidence of abuses and war crimes, it would take the international rights community several months to stand up to the oil giant. On July 27, Human Rights Watch unequivocally slammed Saudi Arabia for a litany of human rights violations. The report reads:

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members.”

With fierce battles raging across Yemen, and as warplanes continue to rain lead onto heavily populated areas, Saudi Arabia has been looking for innovative ways to exert pressure onto the resistance movement. It is now withholding humanitarian aid to Yemen’s civilians to tame the growing insurrection movement against its rule and thus secure victory in the face of international law — all under the guise of the United Nations.

The kingdom is holding hostage not just Yemen but to some extent the international community, using the United Nations’ humanitarian institutions to wage war. It’s using institutions meant to offer relief as a means of weaponizing aid.

Hassan Jayache, a senior leader of the Houthi movement, which took control of Yemen earlier this year, told MintPress News that local NGOs have found themselves caught in a political web, forced to surrender their neutrality to secure not just funding but access to areas where aid is needed.

“The Saudis have exerted political pressures onto local NGOs and international aid organizations, demanding that aid be restricted to pre-approved segments of the population, based on political affiliations and according to religious criteria,” Jayache said.

“In other words, Al Saud has decided to starve the Shias of Yemen, hoping to break the Houthis’ momentum.”

Turning aid agencies into weapons of war

Mohammed Al-Emad, a Yemen-based journalist and political commentator, says Saudi Arabia called on several media organizations in the Middle East, the United States and Europe, demanding that “coverage on Yemen be sanitized and in keeping with Riyadh’s chosen political narrative.”

Wikileaks Comic While Al-Emad’s claims could be considered bias, WikiLeaks published a series of confidential cables pointing to systematic media/PR manipulation on the part of the Saudis.

But if the international community had been standing silent before Saudi Arabia’s war crimes, exploiting what Al-Emad describes as a convenient media blackout to avoid addressing some sticky legal points, Riyadh’s move against the U.N. might prove one indiscretion too many for anyone to ignore.

The work of King Salman and his allies to sabotage U.N.-organized aid to Yemen started on April 17 in the wake of a U.N. emergency flash appeal for $274 million to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs over the following three months.

Speaking on Yemenis’ hardship, Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw stressed:

“The devastating conflict in Yemen takes place against the backdrop of an existing humanitarian crisis that was already one of the largest and most complex in the world … Thousands of families have now fled their homes as a result of the fighting and airstrikes. Ordinary families are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel – basic requirements for their survival.”

Saudi Arabia immediately volunteered the exact amount requested. But the aid would come with strings attached.

Vice News reported in June that Saudi officials leaned on U.N. officials to sabotage aid deliveries, threatening to close the kingdom’s checkbook should U.N. agencies deny Riyadh’s requests.

Based on a U.N. memo obtained by Vice, the media outlet reported that the Saudi government imposed unprecedented conditions on aid agencies, demanding that assistance be limited to Saudi-approved areas and confined to strictly Sunni civilian populations.

A Yemeni volunteer carries bags of rice to displaced people

“If such despicable logic can somehow be expected from a power which has wielded sectarianism to sow discord and from chaos rise a tyrant, what of the UN, an institution which claims itself impartial and fair?” Hasan Sufyani, a leading political analyst at the Sana’a Institute for Arabic Studies, asked MintPress.

He added:

If humanitarian organizations are to be subjected to the rules of realpolitik then truly the world has reached a dark chapter in its history and reverted back to organized barbarism.

Still, no well-thinking Western powers has thought to challenge Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen. In a world system where capitalism reigns king, the rich and haughty stand above the pettiness of the rule of law.”

As a rule of thumb, and to avoid political entanglements, humanitarian organizations tend to shy away from donations which come with strings attached, especially when they fall under the umbrella of the OCHA.

Meant as a supranational institution, OCHA was never intended to be manipulated as an instrument of pressure, legal absolution or, in the case of Yemen, a weapon of war.

$244M, split nine ways

Playing aid as both a military tactic and a PR exercise to redeem its atrocious human rights record and whitewash its war crimes in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has held the U.N. hostage to its policies.

Such shadowing and lobbying on the part of Saudi Arabia had Yemeni officials waving the political red flag.

Ali al-Bukhaiti, a prominent member of the Houthis’ political arm, told MintPress his office has vehemently denounced Riyadh’s attempts to “buy the U.N. out to better corner Sana’a government and foil the resistance movement.”

Yet it appears the train was already far too out of the station for anyone to hit the brakes.

By late June, amid reports of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the Saudi government finally announced that out of its initial pledge of $274 million, $244 million would be divided among nine U.N. agencies.

On the heels of this announcement Stephen O’Brien, the U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, sent a letter to the Interagency Standing Committee, a global humanitarian coordinating body, which includes both U.N. humanitarian agencies and outside NGOs.

Vice News confirmed the letter was attached to a Saudi press release announcing the nine-way cut, explaining how the funds would go through the recently created King Salman Center for Relief Humanitarian Works (KSC).

“Having agreed to the overall envelopes, however, the KSC would like to negotiate individual Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with each recipient agency,” O’Brien told Vice, openly admitting to Riyadh’s lobby.

Boys carry relief supplies to their families who fled fighting in the southern city of Aden, during a food distribution effort by Yemeni volunteers, in Taiz, Yemen.

“Interestingly few media outlets picked up on this Orwellian development! After unilaterally and, let’s be frank, after illegally declaring war on Yemen, the Saudi government wants also to dictate how humanitarian relief is distributed in the very country it is attacking,” Sheikh al-Matari, the head of Yemen’s Rasoul Akram Foundation, an aid organization, told MintPress.

Vice News quoted a U.N. aid official in Yemen as saying: “The UN has punted and handed off the problems to these agencies. I’ve never seen that before.”

The official continued:

“The charitable way of saying it is this is a compromise — the less charitable way of saying it is that they folded. It’s really unusual for a single donor to have any substantive role once they contribute funds, let alone negotiate individual MoU’s with agencies.”

When asked about this very public U.N. capitulation before Al Saud’s millions, O’Brien attempted to rationalize the situation by arguing a massive deficit funding gap.

O’Brien wrote: “With regard to NGOs, I am aware that there are sensitivities in receiving funding directly from the KSC and we therefore must work actively to mobilize additional funds to be allocated directly, or via the Pooled Fund, to our front-line partners.”

Yet, as al-Matari noted:

“That’s only half of the story. What O’Brien is not telling is that by accepting Saudi Arabia’s conditions on aid distribution and aid funding in relation to Yemen, the U.N. de facto institutionalized aid segregation by allowing humanitarian relief to be conditional to certain criteria: political affiliation and religious orientation.

With Yemen set as a precedent, who’s to say that a similar setup will not be replicated in other countries in the region — mainly, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Libya?”

‘Institutionalizing war crimes’

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, left, meets with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, right

“From the onset of this conflict King Salman has walked outside international law. There is nothing remotely legal about attacking a sovereign nation. The argument Saudi Arabia aimed to preemptively strike Yemen in order to stop the so-called ‘Shia crescent’ from further strengthening its hold on the region is both legally erroneous and redundant. What is troubling is the speed at which the kingdom is institutionalizing war crimes,” Al-Emad, the journalist and political commentator based in Yemen, told MintPress.

Al-Emad added: “It is one thing to declare war against a country and another to select a segment of population for annihilation. How long before Saudi Arabia’s ill intentions against all Zaidis and Shias in Yemen are understood for what they are? Genocidal.”

Although no legal action has been taken against Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s humanitarian and human rights violations in Yemen have come to define the very nature of its war on the tiny, impoverished nation.

Even the sectarian aspect of Riyadh‘s wrath has transpired in official reports, giving weight to Yemenis’ mounting accusations of ethnic cleansing. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights raised concerns in this area, as well, as a U.N. report issued in July notes: “The UN rights office is also acutely worried about increasing attacks against places of worship, pointing to the targeting of five Zaydi mosques with car bombs over the past few weeks as an alarming trend to create sectarian divisions.”

Additionally, Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the OHCHR, confirmed mounting abuses against civilians when she explained: “Since 17 June, there has been further destruction of civilian infrastructure, with at least 36 buildings, including hospitals, schools, court houses, power generation facilities and communications institutions partially or totally damaged in the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Al-Jawf, Al-Mahwit, and Hajjah.”

The Saudis have not been alone in violating international law, though. The Houthis have also committed their share of war crimes. In May, for example, Human Rights Watch accused pro-Houthi forces of killing civilians and holding aid workers hostage in the southern seaport of Aden. But it is the sectarian intent and systematicity behind Riyadh’s military campaign which has rights activists ringing the alarm.

Speaking to MintPress, Hussain Abu Salem, a human rights activist based in Saada, a northern province of Yemen, located south of Saudi Arabia, who personally documented Saudi air raids against identified Zaidi-targets in northern Yemen, compared Riyadh’s actions against Yemen’s Zaidi community to Israel’s attacks against Palestinians:

“Saudi Arabia knowingly and willingly targets Zaidi villages and Zaidi monuments. It seeks the destruction of Yemen Zaidi heritage. It wants to surgically remove all Zaidi Yemenis from political, religious, economic and social life. The kingdom is following in the footsteps of Israel in all impunity. It is exactly the same logic, the same methods and of course the same justifications.”

“This is the thing about right violations,” he added, “when the world does nothing to impose the law, when the powerful can oppress the weak, then injustice becomes the rule of law.”

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