sábado, 23 de julio de 2016

Carta desde Alemania


Astroboy tiene la impresión de que las cosas en Alemania se van a poner ingobernables de un momento a otro. El clima social viene caldeándose desde hace ya nos cuantos años; lo que falta es el estallido. Un kristallnacht en toda la línea, digamos. De ahí al voto a la ultraderecha hay dos pasitos más. A partir de allí, todo puede suceder. Entiéndase: a diferencia de Francia, un pueblo mucho más multicultural y multirracial, los alemanes venían manteniendo una cierta homogeneidad. Claro, están los dos millones de turcos emigrados hacia los '70 y '80. Se los ve de a muchedumbres en barrios como Kreutzberg, en Berlín, y en varios centros urbanos más. Pero pará de contar. Lo que está pasando ahora es nuevo. Y, sospechamos, cuidadosamente provocado. ¿Por quién? 

Astroboy se pregunta cuántos chicos del ISIS entraron en Alemania con la última ola de refugiados- 500? 1000? 2000? Cada uno, una célula dormida que espera su momento para entrar en acción. ¿Quién los activará? ¿Con qué propósito?

La nota que sigue fue escrita por el poeta y novelista Linh Dinh, residente en el corazón del Imperio y ator del blog Postcards From the End of America, un sitio altamente recomendable. Fue escrita antes de los sucesos de Munich de ayer: 


Título: A Letter from Germany

Texto: It is sheer madness what is happening here… The noose is tightening and yet—it is still only the beginning… What took place in some dull regional express close to Würzburg, a town in Franconia in the middle of Germany, was—in some respect—like a watershed event—just like the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

The mantra from above is still “Islam belongs to Germany” or “We will make it (in regards to the Refugee Crisis)” but there are fewer and fewer people buying it—which does NOT mean that more people are getting it—but I will come to this later.

We now know that in Cologne alone (!) there were about 1,200 women (in one night) sexually harassed, abused and, in some cases, raped.

At the moment there is no weekend when there aren’t news about some refugees sexually harassing women or girls at a festival (it is festival season).

Also, you can find news about refugees harassing women and children (and sometimes raping them) in public swimming pools on a weekly or even daily basis.

Sales of pepper sprays and guns are booming everywhere. If there were only these things, the rage might be controllable, but Würzburg was of a different quality. For the first time, a refugee didn’t kill another refugee (when this happened before, Neo-Nazis were blamed, then—just as was the case with most of the “burning refugee centers”—the police later found that a refugee was responsible).

When children were robbed by refugees, Germans were told to send their children to school by a different route.

Germans were told to stop swimming nude in a lake—because a refugee center was erected nearby.

Last year, Germans were told the refugees would contribute so mightily and extraordinarily to the German economy—so what have been the news recently?

Well—the big German corporations, the 30 members of the DAX (the stock market index), that so proudly announced last year they would hire lots of refugees—they have indeed hired refugees. Fifty-four, to be exact (50 of them went to the Deutsche Post, as mailmen. Ah—if Charles Bukowski only knew…). :-)

Only recently, a branch of the German Arbeitsagentur (the office for the unemployed) in Dortmund had another success story:

This branch was created last year and staffed with 36 employees (all paid with tax money) with the sole purpose of bringing 2,200 refugees in Dortmund, those who were able to work, into the workforce.

And the news was: After nine months of intensive work the Arbeitsagentur has succeeded to get … ten (!) refugees working! Hurrah! Well, they had the decency to add that it’s only a start—but an encouraging one.

The list is endless…. but to come back to the incident in Würzburg:

A refugee, supposedly from Afghanistan and 17-years-old, decided to start his own jihad and tried to take out a few infidels. Oddly enough, he started with a family from Hong Kong on the train, whom he attacked with the brave shout “Allah akbar” and a knife and an axe. After severely wounding two of them, he jumped off the train.

(I wonder if this will boost tourism from Hong Kong).

Then he met some old ladies who were walking their little dogs and with the shout “I will kill you, sluts!” he also wounded one (perhaps fatally) before being shot by the police.

Now—as I said, THIS is a new quality.

I can almost feel the anger and rage in Germany getting stronger.

The rage in some refugees is also rising, which is logical.

There are no jobs for them.

There are no houses for them.

There are no women for them.

So—jihad is an option, if you are bored and all these kuffar give you nothing but €352 a month, or less, and you have to sleep with six others in a tightly packed room—and there is just nothing to do!

And you wander around and there are all those women in shorts, etc.—but they are not for you.

No wonder, some get frustrated.

Slowly, silently, the German police admits there might be a teensy-weensy bit of a problem here—mind you, we still don’t know the whereabouts of between 150 to 500 thousand refugees who just disappeared…

Nobody knows how many jihadists are here. Nobody. Could be a few dozen. Or hundreds. Or thousands.

This young man on the Würzburg train came last July. He was granted asylum this March. The last two months, he lived with a family. He had a job (or was in training, rather) at a bakery. There were no signs of radicalization. Soooo…….

The media is busy telling us: Well… he radicalized himself only days before the attack. I wonder if they realize this message is not quite reassuring…

So the gap is rising ever more. Everybody has some story to tell:

My brother lives in Munich. Last year, his wife was very pro-refugee. In a neighboring suburb a few weeks ago, a woman heard the doorbell at 10PM. Assuming it was a friend (this is Bavarian bourgeoisie, so they’ve always felt safe, at least until recently…), she opened the door—and was greeted (and then raped) by two refugees. That made my brother’s wife rethink (they have two small children).

My sister in Münster has armed herself with pepper spray.

Colleagues don’t let their children go alone to school anymore, because there are refugees nearby.

A guy in East Germany tells me people are secretly arming themselves.

Hate grows, as does mistrust and anxiety. Some weeks ago in Hanover, a young Muslim girl (15-years-old) rammed a knife into the throat of a female policeman (who was just standing there—the attack came out of nowhere).

Then people hear about public swimming pools, about festivals—they hear about the same things in Sweden—then what happened in France—Nice, or the policeman and his wife who were stabbed to death in Magnanville (while their 3-year-old-son was watching).

The latest incident was a woman in France who got stabbed by a guy from Morocco—they had quarreled because the Moroccan guy thought the woman’s daughters were not properly dressed—so he stabbed her and her three daughters, the youngest only eight-years-old. And so on, and so on…

Now—of course, there also Germans doing nasty things—murdering, raping etc. But these things have a new quality to them.

For many year the statistics of the German police had shown that migrants are waaaay overrepresented in crime—rapes, robberies, burglaries, violence etc. The rates for migrants were everywhere double or triple those for the general population (and the funny thing is, the gap would have been even wider if Germans with a migrant background—Turks who have German passports, etc.—were included. Of course, this was not done (it would be racist, you know).

And the blame was and is still on the Germans—that they didn’t provide enough opportunities for integration towards the poor Muslim migrants (funnily enough, we don’t have these problems with Vietnamese or Hindu migrants… but again, these are racist thoughts…).

So the migrants were and are told that it is the Germans’ fault if they don’t get a job. Some of them believe it. Also, some or even many seem to believe that Germans are a bunch of racist swine.

I once met a Greek woman who complained loudly to me that Germans were so racist. I asked her what her experiences were—and she said that a friend of her had been approached by a German on a train and that he (hacked her to death? No, not quite) had said to her: there are too many of you in Germany.

Wasn’t that racism?

I asked if her children were ever harassed by Turkish children in school (Turks and Greeks don’t get along too well)—yes, of course—Turkish children had harassed and even beaten up her boys.

Now Linh—the really funny thing was, it didn’t occur to her that this was more racist (that her boys were beaten up by Turks just because they were Greeks) than the incident on the train.

Racism was something only Germans showed.

I heard similar things from others.

So all in all—a perfect example of mind manipulation.

AND this also shows now so brilliantly—because—as I said, the mood gets worse (just on the eve of the next financial crisis—perfect timing)—even in the German leftist newspaper Die Zeit (absolutely pro-refugee) you now find commentaries from people who say that they have just had enough of this lousy leftist whining…

Because again, we are told from German politicians about the incident in Würzburg that

-This had nothing to do with Islam or the refugee crisis
-That the police shouldn’t have killed the poor axe-wielding boy (German police officers are rather reluctant to use their guns, but if someone runs towards them with an axe, I think it is understandable that they shoot)
-That the young man radicalized himself just recently—and therefore that
-It was no sign of a strengthening of ISIS in Germany etc.

My father remembers the 70s (I don’t—too young) when 40 members of the Rote Armee Fraktion RAF (the left terror group of Baader Meinhof and the likes) were able to hold German society in fear and sometimes in a state close to hysteria. Now—with… 100? 1000? ISIS members—you can imagine how the mood will change when ISIS does its first crucifixion here…).

All the more, since some gruesome details from the Paris attacks are now leaking out—that the terrorists at the Paris discotheque in November 2015 not only killed the young folks there… but they tore off limbs, cut off genitals, stuffed them in the mouths of the men, cut out eyes etc… Ah—a holy war excuses everything—even becoming a monster, it seems.

But to come to the point: As I said, Germans are getting more and more fed up with the official litany—BUT: They don’t see the real picture. They still believe that the ones who created this situation will be the ones who will deliver the solution! That is the sad part of it.

All these things will be used as an excuse to install the perfect police state (and it will be perfect). We need to protect you from terrorists—so give us your freedom, open your bank account, let us abolish money and install a digital currency, accept new taxes (and ghettos in your cities). Work harder and for less money, consume and be a good citizen—and most importantly: Have fear! Always have fear!

Now—I don’t want to leave with the impression that all refugees are just no-goods—criminals, murderers etc. They are not. The vast majority are normal people who just want to lead a normal life—and not one that is forced upon them while their countries are demolished, raped and plundered by the West (that is, the US of A).

BUT—they are just tools in a game. Pawns. Just as we are.

And this leads to no good if the circumstances here resemble Iraq’s. Or just Kenya. And that is the direction we are headed. People with totally different cultural and ideological roots from ours will cling with force to what they know. If they are encouraged to do so (and they are). Assimilation is a crime against humanity, as a Turkish politician once said (who recently had a tough time because some of his generals wanted to get rid of him). So they stay with their own folks. No integration. No assimilation. But ghettos—their mindset becomes even more rigid—some of them will start to despise the majority, whom they don’t understand and don’t want to understand—and sometimes they will commit violence against the hated or despised kuffar (who have no decency—no respect etc.).

I mean—it is funny—in all German travel guides—when it comes to Muslim countries, you find things like: If you are a woman, don’t wear a skirt! Under no circumstances be topless on a beach! Don’t look men in the eye—it is an invitation to sex! Etc. Are the ones who wrote this only hardcore racists? And now hundreds of thousands of people from these countries come here—what do we expect? They mistake our hospitality for weakness. And they (some of them at least) will turn to extremism.

A famous German journalist (one of the old school—Peter Scholl-Latour) once said prophetically: If you let Calcutta come here, you change this to Calcutta.

And he was right. A minority of the refugees consists of terrorists, murderers, rapists etc. They could only come here because the borders were kept open. Just on the eve of the Greater Depression (with all the distrust between the various groups and subgroups), they will make sure that German citizens will fight among themselves in countless battles and skirmishes.

Germans against migrants, Turks against Kurds, Sunni against Shia, Yazidis against Salafists etc. The rich will have their gated communities, the rest will have to deal with a much tougher life in ghettos and suburbs. And life will still go on… I was once in Nigeria. Though you can make money and do business there, life is not too pleasant for the majority of Nigerians…

That is where we are headed. German society will be so fragmented and there will be such turmoil and violence, the majority will accept every solution from above…

Still—if in the end it all plays out as planned—I don’t know. There still is something called destiny. And this may be—in the end—the stronger factor. Even against those in the shadows.

In the meantime, we have to carry on with our normal life. And try to stay human. That is a tough thing to do, these days—but it is possible.

And will remain possible.

viernes, 22 de julio de 2016

NATO: cada día, un pasito más cerca del abismo


Siguen las advertencias acerca de la demencial política expansionista del Imperio en Europa, léase NATO y vasallos adherentes. Hoy vuelve a la carga un conocido de este blog, Paul Craig Roberts, quien señala lo siguiente desde su sitio web:


Título: Armageddon Approaches

Texto: The Western pubic doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany. [http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/06/09/germany-preparing-for-war-against-russia.html] This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.

Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.

Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQm8L8d8uDc] 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.

Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war. [http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/08/are-you-planning-your-retirement-forget-about-it-you-wont-survive-to-experience-it; see also: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45055.htm]

Putin has made it clear that Russia will not accept US missile bases in Poland and Romania. He has informed Washington and the imbecilic Polish and Romanian governments. However, as Putin observed, “they don’t hear.”

The inability to hear means that Washington’s arrogance has made Washington too stupid to take seriously Putin’s warning. If Washington persists, it will provoke the preventive strike that Zhirinovsky told the German editor the Merkel regime was inviting.

Americans need to wake up to the dangerous situation that Washington has created, but I doubt they will. Most wars happen without the public’s knowledge until they happen. The main function of the American left-wing is to serve as a bogyman with which to scare conservatives about the country’s loss of morals, and the main function of conservatives is to create fear and hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, and Russians. There is no sign that Congress is aware of approaching Armageddon, and the media consists of propaganda.

I and a few others try to alert people to the real threats that they face, but our voices are not loud enough. Not even Vladimir Putin’s voice is loud enough. It looks like the West won’t hear until “there remains nothing at all of the German and NATO troops,” and of Poland and Romania and the rest of us.


Trump, NATO y la histeria mediática


Los chicos de la prensa corporativa estadounidense entraron estos días en histeria colectiva en relación con las declaraciones de Donald Trump sobre la relación entre los EEUU, la NATO y Europa. Veamos primero las declaraciones originales de Trump al New York Times:


Título: Transcript: Donald Trump on NATO, Turkey’s Coup Attempt and the World

Epígrafe: Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, discussed his views on foreign policy in Cleveland on Wednesday with David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times during the Republican National Convention. The following is an edited transcript of their interview.

Entrevista

SANGER: So what we want to do is pick up where we left off in March. We were listening to Speaker Ryan last night, and he presented a much more traditional Republican, engaged internationalist view of the world. One in which he said that the United States would never lead from behind. In our conversation a few months ago, you were discussing pulling back from commitments we can no longer afford unless others pay for them. You were discussing a set of alliances that you were happy to participate in.

TRUMP: And I think, by the way, David, I think they will be able to afford them.

SANGER: They may be.

TRUMP: We can’t.

SANGER: But I guess the question is, If we can’t, do you think that your presidency, let’s assume for a moment that they contribute what they are contributing today, or what they have contributed historically, your presidency would be one of pulling back and saying, “You know, we’re not going to invest in these alliances with NATO, we are not going to invest as much as we have in Asia since the end of the Korean War because we can’t afford it and it’s really not in our interest to do so.”

TRUMP: If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich. Then if we cannot make a deal, which I believe we will be able to, and which I would prefer being able to, but if we cannot make a deal, I would like you to say, I would prefer being able to, some people, the one thing they took out of your last story, you know, some people, the fools and the haters, they said, “Oh, Trump doesn’t want to protect you.” I would prefer that we be able to continue, but if we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth — you have the tape going on?

SANGER: We do.

HABERMAN: We both do.

TRUMP: With massive wealth. Massive wealth. We’re talking about countries that are doing very well. Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.”

SANGER: That suggests that our forward deployments around the world are based on their interests — they’re not really based on our interests. And yet I think many in your party would say that the reason that we have troops in Europe, the reason that we keep 60,000 troops in Asia, is that it’s in our interest to keep open trading lines, it’s in our interest to keep the North Koreans in check, you do that much better out away from the United States.

TRUMP: I think it’s a mutual interest, but we’re being reimbursed like it’s only in our interest. I think it’s a mutual interest. …


***

Ahora las reacciones. Leemos en Russia Insider:


Título: US Regime Media in Full Meltdown Mode Over Trump's NATO Remarks

Texto: Full meltdown mode all over the orthodox US press from the most-established ("namiest") brands to the newest and hippest. 

How a Trump presidency could destabilize Europe Anne Applebaum - The Washington Post: But now it is 2016, truth is stranger than fiction, and we finally have a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, with direct and indirect links to a foreign dictator, Vladimir Putin, whose policies he promotes.

Trump would wreck, not restore, America’s standing in the world - Editorial Board - The Washington Post: This is an extraordinary willingness to question 70 years of bedrock political consensus on U.S. foreign policy — one that includes Mr. Obama, who has dispatched U.S. troops to defend the Baltics.

Trump proves he’s a Putin lapdog - Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post: Trump continued on, promising to advance the “America First” mantra — an isolationist dog-whistle recalling Charles Lindbergh’s opposition in the 1930s to fighting Hitler.

It's Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin - Jeffrey Goldberg - The Atlantic: The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.

Donald Trump's Dark Vision - Editorial Board - Bloomberg: He called for a new era of isolationism in which America would retreat from the world order that generations of citizens sacrificed so much to build and sustain. (...) It was the most disturbing, demagogic and deluded acceptance speech by any major party nominee in the modern political era.

Trump Ignores the Reason America Defends the World - Editorial Board - Bloomberg: The biggest cause for alarm, however, may be Trump's casual dismissal of a global system that the U.S. invented and which has served it well for decades. 

Remember When Republicans Wanted to Stand Up to Putin? - Eli Lake - Bloomberg: The same guy who muses about killing the families of terrorists is open to abrogating America's treaty commitments to an alliance that has prevented a major European war for the last 70 years.

Donald Trump Is Sucking Up and Selling Out to Putin - Michael Weiss - The Daily Beast: Would Americans die for Narva? What an ugly and stupid question. Estonians have already died for New York.

Trump Is Dangerously Incompetent on National Security - Fred Kaplan - Slate: His promise to abandon NATO allies is a huge gift to Russia and China.

The Real Winner of RNC: Vladimir Putin - Franklin Foer - Slate: Donald Trump’s convention has been marked by gross incompetence in all areas save one: He’s been highly effective in moving the Republican Party toward Vladimir Putin.

Putin's Puppet - Franklin Foer - Slate: Vladimir Putin has a plan for destroying the West—and that plan looks a lot like Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s NATO comments are the scariest thing he’s said - Zack Beauchamp - Vox: Wednesday night, Donald Trump said something that made a nuclear war between the United States and Russia more likely. With a few thoughtless words, he made World War III — the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in nuclear holocaust — plausible.

Of course Donald Trump wouldn't honor NATO obligations - Josh Barro - Business Insider: What is surprising is the way other Republicans, who claim to care about America's commitments to allies and leadership in the world, have brought themselves to endorse this man.


jueves, 21 de julio de 2016

El temita ese de Incirlik


Si estás nervioso por lo de Turquía, lo que sigue te va a encantar. Sí, me refiero al temita ese de las 50 a 90 bombas termonucleares de hidrógeno B1 almacenadas en la base militar turca de Incirlik. Si se va de la OTAN, esta es la gran oportunidad que tiene Turquía de convertirse en potencia nuclear por sí sola. ¿Cómo? Se afana las bombitas de Incirlik, obvio! ¿Querés ponerte más nervioso todavía? Ponele que la cosa se desmadra, Turquía entra en guerra civil, y de golpe toman la base los chicos de Al Qaeda o ISIS (miles de los cuales ya deben estar en Turquía, rajando de los bombardeos rusos en Siria). ¿Te imaginás a un nene del ISIS con 50 a 90 B1 en la mochila? 

El coronel (RE) Pat Lang, estadounidense, mantiene un blog llamado Sic Semper Tyrannis. Ayer y anteayer posteó sobre el tema. ¿Su sugerencia al Pentágono? Saquen YA las bombas de Incirlik!!! Pasemos a las notas:


Título: Our hydrogen bombs or Erdogan's?

Texto


"Erdogan to announce tomorrow major policy change after the National Security Council (MGK). Could be something drastic, like leaving NATO, or giving up the EU membership application. Or even maybe declaring himself president for life, effectively taking over the entire state apparatus. Or even disbanding the parliament, and calling for a new referendum and election."  
--A Turk

---

"As of 2005, 180 tactical B61 nuclear bombs of the 480 U.S. nuclear weapons believed to be deployed in Europe fall under the nuclear sharing arrangement.[7] The weapons are stored within a vault in hardened aircraft shelters, using the USAF WS3 Weapon Storage and Security System. The delivery warplanes used are F-16s and Panavia Tornados"  
--Wiki on Nuclear Sharing

---

"The WS3 system consists of a Weapons Storage Vault (WSV) and electronic monitoring and control systems. One vault can hold up to four nuclear weapons and in the lowered position provides ballistic protection through its hardened lid and reinforced sidewalls.[1] The WS3 system allowed storage directly underneath the aircraft intended to carry the bombs. The location inside the aircraft shelter increased the weapon survivability in case of any kind of attack and prevent monitoring of preparations to use the weapons. The electronic systems include various classified sensors, electronic data-transmission and security equipment such as video, motion detectors, closed circuit TV coupled with thermal imaging devices. These facilities enabled remote controlled weapon safety and made the large security forces obsolete."  
--Wiki on weapons storage  and security system


"A Turk," whose words are quoted above is a long term commentator on SST.  I consider him to be a good source.

There are between 50 and 90 B-61 variable yield thermonuclear weapons  (hydrogen bombs) stored at Incirlik Air base in SE Turkey.  This base was built by the US starting in 1951 but it has always been a TURKISH base with US tenants.   Some of the weapons are earmarked for US use and some for Turkish use against US/NATO agreed on targets if they are ever released by the US National Command Authority.  The weapons are stored there in a semi-automatic system in vaults under the delivery aircraft.  Small point - There are no US delivery suitable aircraft now stationed at Incirlik.  They would have to be brought in from somewhere else to mate them with the bombs.  At the same time, the Turkish Air Force no longer has nuclear weapons certified pilots.


Questions:

1.  What are the targets for which these weapons would possibly be used? Are there any?  Really?

2.  How firmly are the American airmen at the base in control of these weapons, weapons situated on a foreign base?

3.  Can the weapons be disabled, perhaps remotely?

Let us say, for the sake of argument, that Erdogan controlled forces make a move to seize control of the hydrogen bombs on THEIR BASE.  What could the US do about it?

IMO the US should remove the weapons or disable them as soon as possible.


***


Título: "How Turkey Could Become the Next Pakistan" ISW. Nuclear Safety at Incirlik - New Yorker

Texto: 


"The failed coup attempt by elements of the Turkish Armed Forces on July 15 will enable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to establish himself as an authoritarian ruler in Turkey. His priorities in the next few months will be to solidify the loyalty of the Turkish military establishment and complete the constitutional reform necessary to replace Turkey’s parliamentary democracy with an executive presidency, his longstanding goal. A post-coup Erdogan is much less likely to submit to American pressure without major returns. Erdogan immediately demanded the extradition of political rival Fethullah Gulen from the U.S., accusing Gulen of plotting the coup and condemning the U.S. for harboring him. Erdogan will likely deprioritize the fight against ISIS, undermining the counter-ISIS mission in Syria, as he focuses on consolidating power. He may even revoke past concessions to the U.S., including permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik airbase for counter-ISIS operations."  
--ISW

*******

"With a few hours and the right tools and training, you could open one of NATO’s nuclear-weapons storage vaults, remove a weapon, and bypass the PAL inside it. Within seconds, you could place an explosive device on top of a storage vault, destroy the weapon, and release a lethal radioactive cloud. NATO’s hydrogen bombs are still guarded by the troops of their host countries."  
--New Yorker


These are very interesting pieces of work exploring the prospects for developments in Erdogan's Turkey. 

IMO the Turkish military will soon  be reduced to a quivering mass of fearful people looking over their shoulders while waiting for dismissal or worse.  This will produce a security vacuum in the country that is bound to be filled by Islamists.

Jennifer Cafarella raises the possibility that Erdogan will turn to AQ seeking an ally against his internal and external adversaries.  If this occurs then the safety of American assets in Turkey will be severely compromised

I will say once again that the US nuclear weapons at Incirlik air base should be removed while we still have the ability to do so without having to fight to remove them.

Think of the potential for blackmail inherent in the possession of one or more of these weapons in the hands of our enemies.

They couldn't arm it?  Do you really want to bet on that? 

http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/how-turkey-could-become-next-pakistan

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-h-bombs-in-turkey

miércoles, 20 de julio de 2016

Boom o Plafff


Las finanzas globales están que arden estos días. El volumen de deuda alcanza proporciones no ya galácticas sino directamente cósmicas: 199 billones de dólares, chicos (billones de los nuestros, equivalentes a los "trillions" anglosajones), unas tres o cuatro veces el PBI planetario. Digamos que el cálculo es conservador: cuando se suman todos los valores nominales de los papeles (notablemente, los "derivados") del conjunto financiero internacional, algunos dicen que la suma asciende a los cuatro trillones ("quadrillions" de la nomenclatura anglosajona). A esta altura lo único intrigante es la salida: Boom o Plafff, a saber: 

Hipótesis Boom: Ocurre que, como todo tiene que ver con todo, no sería raro que esa cantera de genios de los neocones estadounidenses decidan que lo que el mundo realmente necesita es un rocanrol nuclear, un poco de destrucción masiva de la buena, y vuelta a empezar que para eso son los negocios. 

Hipótesis Plafff: otros creen que todo se resolverá con un crack financiero típico, resetear y a empezar un mundo nuevo, preferentemente multipolar, que para eso también son los negocios. China y los EEUU serían los más golpeados, pero los chicos creen que al final todo se resuelve y que un poco de hambre global no viene tan mal, sobre todo para la población de obesos que crece día a día. 

En fin, como Occidente viene de dos o tres generaciones de prosperidad y estado de bienestar, nadie tiene mucha idea de cómo viven hoy, por ejemplo, los sirios que caminan por las ruinas de lo que alguna vez fueron Homs o Alepo. Total, qué importan uno o dos mil millones de muertos de hambre adicionales. Lo que le queda claro a todo el mundo es que TODAS las burbujas estallan, más tarde o más temprano. Al respecto, acá va otra linda notita del Zero Hedge de hoy:


Título: S&P Sees A "Crisis Of Confidence Around The Globe" As Corporate Debt Hits $75 Trillion In 2020

Texto: In an analysis that may rival that infamous "McKinsey report" from early 2015 which found that not only had there been no deleveraging since the financial crisis but that total global debt has risen to an unprecedented $199 trillion as of 2014, or up by $52 trillion in 7 years, earlier today S&P Global Raters issued a new report in which it forecasts that global corporate debt is set to rise by 50% over the next four years, rising from $51.4 trillion currently to $75 trillion by 2020 as a result of easy central bank monetary policy and low interest rates.

Not surprisingly, the world's biggest credit creator, China, is expected to account for the bulk of the credit growth, with the nation projected to add $28 trillion or 45% of the $62 trillion in expected global demand increase (the other $13 trillion of the $75 trillion total are refinancings). The U.S. is estimated to add $14 trillion, or 22%, in new debt, with Europe adding $9 trillion, or 15 percent.

In the latest attack on unorthodox monetary policy yet, S&P notes that central banks may be trying to reinflate their economies, but they’re doing so to the detriment of credit quality. 

Central banks remain in thrall to the idea that credit-fueled growth is healthy for the global economy. In fact, our research highlights that monetary policy easing has thus far contributed to increased financial risk, with the growth of corporate borrowing far outpacing that of the global economy.”

Continuing their assault on central banks, authors David Tesher, Paul Watters and Terry Chan say that "nearly half of corporate debt issuers are estimated to be highly leveraged, strongly suggesting that a correction in global credit markets is unavoidable. In fact, analysts believe that the credit correction began in late 2015 and will likely stretch through the next few years as defaults spike."

This is best visualized in a recent report from Morgan Stanley which indeed shows that if history is precedent, the current default cycle will continue for a long time.





Here, once again, S&P explains how global central banks are now trapped: they no longer wish to push rates lower on one hand, but on the other any sharp spike in rates would wreak havoc on global credit markets, and the financial system in general.  As a result, S&P considers a correction in the credit markets to be “inevitable.” The only question, as MarketWatch notes, is degree of that unwinding. An unexpected sharp economic slowdown and an aggressive reversal of ultra-low interest rates pose big risks to what otherwise could be an orderly drawdown of the global pile of IOUs.

The problem is that the default cycle has already started, and any sharp changes to interest rates will only accelerate it. As we pointed out  last week, there has already been a sharp uptick in corporate defaults. Global corporate bankruptcies reached a milestone 100 so far in 2016 in July. That puts the current tally, led mostly by U.S. energy companies, up more than 50% from the same time last year. In fact, the last time the global count was higher at this point in the year was in 2009, during the financial crisis, when it reached 177. At this pace, 2016 is set to see a new all time high number in corporate defaults.

At this point the authors coin a new term, “crexit”  or “heightened sensitivity to unexpected developments similar to the U.K.’s referendum to leave the European Union could lead to a crisis of confidence and rapid departure of both lenders and lower-quality borrowers from the debt markets.” Call it a sudden "exit" of the entire credit market as buyers, unsure of what comes next, stage a buyers strike and leave trillion in rolling over debt without a chance of getting refinanced.

The paper also touches on the poor use of proceeds from these trillions in debt, which instead of going toward new growth, has been largely used - especially in the US - to prop up markets and repurchase stock. And while so far, easier corporate credit has served its purpose, helping nurse along a slow recovery, mostly by way pushing the stock market to record highs amid a flurry of share buybacks and a Chinese credit-funded malivestment deluge, this will all end badly according to S&P.

Indeed, the credit build-up has generated two key tail risks for global credit. Debt has piled up in China’s opaque and ever-expanding corporate sector and in U.S. leveraged finance. We expect the tail risks in these twin debt booms to persist.”

The conclusion is about as dire as anything one could read on a tinfoil fringe blog:

"A worst-case scenario would be a series of major negative surprises sparking a crisis of confidence around the globe. These unforeseen events could quickly destabilize the market, pushing investors and lenders to exit riskier positions (a ’crexit’ scenario). If mishandled, this could result in credit growth collapsing as it did during the global financial crisis.”

For now, however, the music is still playing so the dancing must go on.

Mientras tanto, en Papa John’s…


Estos chicos del marketing son unos genios. Parece que en los EEUU han detectado que el creciente malhumor social, con posibles estallidos asociados, podría ser un buen negocio para los deliveries de pizza! Claro, la gente se queda en casa y pide pizza para cenar. Esto hizo que subieran las acciones de sitios como Papa John's o Domino's, negocios del ramo especializados en estas cosas. Qué tul? Leemos en Zero Hedge


Título: Papa John's Upgraded On Expectation Civil Unrest, Rioting Will Lead To More Pizza Deliveries

Texto: Who says that rioting is bad for business. According to KeyBanc analysts, the recent surge in civil unrest is just what Papa John's ordered, because the catalyst used to justify an upgrade of the pizza chain to overweight, is that consumers - worried about terrorism, political and civil unrest - will choose to stay home and order pizza rather than head out for a meal. They believe that this situation will last until the November election, justifying their new $80 price target on the pizza maker.

"After speaking with several large operators and industry contacts, we believe the recent decline in casual dining restaurant segment fundamentals—traffic down 3% to 5% the past several weeks—may be the result of consumers eating more at home amid the current political/social backdrop, which we believe could last through the November election,” KeyBanc analysts wrote in a note published Tuesday, cited by MarketWatch. Diners’ shift to a preference for convenience will benefit pizza delivery businesses like Papa John’s, according to KeyBanc.

We believe investors’ near-term neutral sentiment towards Papa John’s reflects a ‘missed it’ mentality following a meaningful recovery in its share price since reporting first-quarter results on May 3,” the note said.

As MW adds, Papa John’s, along with Domino’s Pizza, were downgraded to neutral from buy at Nomura in late June on concerns that traffic accidents among delivery and distribution drivers could push up insurance costs. “We have noticed, what seems to us, a recent uptick in pizza sector-related auto/truck accidents as of late,” Nomura analysts wrote in a note published June 22.

What Nomura did not factor in is that with US society breaking down, and mass shootings and violence between minorities and police at record levels, this would end up being a major benefit to pizza delivery.

Papa John’s shares, which jumped over 3% on  Wednesday, are up 23.0% over the past three months.

If this new "pizza indicator" is correct, violence in America is about to get much worse.

martes, 19 de julio de 2016

Turquía: primeras consecuencias


Comienzan a verse consecuencias directas y concretas en la Turquía post-golpe. Por ejemplo, cincuenta mil personas separadas de sus cargos previos, ya sea por detenciones, suspensiones o despidos. Pero eso es sólo el comienzo. La nota que sigue fue posteada hoy en Moon of Alabama y comenta varios de estos cambios: 


Título: Coup Defeat Hastens Change In Turkey's Foreign Policy

Texto: The after-coup purges in Turkey continue. The Erdogan administration is firing any public servant who might, just might, not agree with its policies. Today the education ministry suspended 15,200 teachers and education workers. The licenses of 21,000 teacher at private schools were revoked. The Higher Education Commission asked 1577 university deans to resign. The Religious Affairs Directorate sacked 492 personnel, including imams and muftis. The Turkish Prime Ministry sacked 257 of its personnel in the post-coup crackdown. The Turkish secret service M.I.T suspended some 130 of its spies. In totalnearly 50,000 people have been suspended, fired or detained by now. Most of these had nothing to do with the botched military coup against the government.

These losses of knowledge and experience, and the fear of those who for now stay, will take some toll on the functioning of the Turkish government and its security services. Turkey will turn inward while Erdogan will use his current popularity to remake the society in his image.

The expansive Turkish plans and projects in Syria and in Iraq will be cut back. Signs of this were already evident before the coup was launched and defeated. (Indeed some suggested that these changes were a reason for the coup.) The coup will reinforce and hasten the changes in Turkey's foreign policy.

Turkey pulled back the military forces it had illegally stationed in Bashiqa near Mosul in Iraq. Earlier the Iraqi government as well as Russia had protested against these forces on Iraqi ground but to no avail. Now they silently retreat. The Iranian agency FARS, though not always reliable, reported yesterday that all Turkish agents in Aleppo province in Syria were called back to Turkey. During the coup event something curious happened to one important person:

The top counter-terrorism official responsible for Turkey’s campaign against Islamic State did go to a “meeting” at the presidential palace in Ankara. He was later found with his hands tied behind his back, shot in the neck, according to a senior official.

Someone used the coup trouble to off the top Turkish ISIS contact. How very convenient. This is the only reported casualty at the presidential palace I have heard of. Who might have had an interest in removing this witness of Turkish relations with ISIS? Could this be some "cleaning the record" before making nice again with Syria and its allies? There is a second data-point that might have such a motive. The Erdogan government is now accusing "Gülenists" for the trouble with Russia and claims that the pilot who shot down a Russian jet also took part in the coup. Another person that stands in the way of better relations with Russia is thereby now imprisoned and moved out of the diplomatic picture.

Russia as well as Iran have loudly supported the Erdogan government against the coup plotters. Erdogan replied in kind:

Sam Tamiz @SamTamiz: In Rouhani's call to Erdogan yesterday, Erdogan said #Turkey committed to 'join hands' with #Iran & #Russia to resolve regional conflicts

In early August Erdogan and Putin will meet in person. All these little dots point to a new direction in Turkish foreign policies. This is one of the Three western worries about Turkey namely "Turkey’s ideological drift away from the West."

The former Turkish colonel Hasan Atilla Ugur, in talk with an Iranian news site, claimed that the coup was launched by the CIA directed Gülenists to prevent such change in Turkish foreign policy and the move towards Iran and Russia. (The preacher Fetullah Gülen, accused of orchestrating the coup, is known to be extremely anti-Iran.)

A trusted mouthpiece of Erdoagn, the somewhat lunatic chief editor of YeniSafak, ?brahim Karagül, accuses the U.S. of attempting to murder Erdogan:

I am saying it loud and clear: The U.S. administration directly planned to kill the president of the Republic of Turkey and implemented this plan. The operation aimed at martyring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Marmaris was activated through Gülen's terrorists, the assassination team.

I repeat: The attack aimed at martyring Erdogan was planned by the U.S., in the U.S., directly through Gülen's terrorists and the instructions were given by them.

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was bombed by a schizophrenic under U.S. protection. Bombing the people's Parliament is declaring war against the people. This attack, like no other in history, was made by the terrorists of a man protected by the U.S.

That Erdogan turns away from "west" and towards Iran and Russia does not yet mean peace for Syria. It will take a while for Erdogan to fully come around. It will be difficult and take months to neutralize all the fanatic proxy forces Turkey introduced to the battlefield. There will be resistance in Turkey against leaving Syria alone. Some of the Syrian "moderate rebels" will turn their wrath against Turkey itself as the Islamic State has already done. The U.S. will of course also continue to intervene no matter what. Over all though this change of attitude in Ankara is welcome news for Damascus.

If Erdogan wants to leave the western realm and gain support from his eastern neighbors he will have to pay a price. Peace in Syria is the one part of it on which Iran, Russia and China will insist.

There will be a Turkish National Security Council meeting on Wednesday after which a big announcement will be made. What might it be? Will Turkey leave NATO or will the move be of lesser significance?

Mientras tanto, en el Patio Trasero…


Bueno, comenzaron las operetas en contra del Canal Bioceánico de Nicaragua. Recordarás la historia, se trata de un proyecto de unos 50.000 millones de dólares de presupuesto, aportado por capitales chinos, que conectará el Golfo de México con el Océano Pacífico. Sí, igualito que el de Panamá pero más ancho y más moderno. Y manejado por China, obvio. Claro que tamaña afrenta no iba a ser olvidada por el Imperio, que ya comenzó con las escaramuzas iniciales de lo que promete ser una guerra abierta al nuevo proyecto. Comenzaron las escaramuzas mediáticas, digamos.

Siempre firme en su obediencia debida a cualquier operación sucia de desinformación masiva que se requiera, el diario español El País comenzó a tirarle mierda al proyecto con una herramienta ya clásica: la apelación a esa fibra campesino-ecologista culposa que todos llevamos dentro. Vieron, esa cosa mágica que tiene mostrar un campesino nativo hablando de la Tieya y cosas así, y de lo mal que lo van a pasar todos si construyen el canal. Todo esto bien mezcladito con chicos alternativamente denominados “ecologistas”, o “activistas”, procedentes de recónditos lugares, que cumplen con la loable tarea de enseñarles cosas básicas a los indios de la zona. Porque, como sabe todo lector de El País que se respete, los indios centroamericanos tienen esa enfermedad congénita que les impide aprender nada, por lo cual viven ignorantes de todo y necesitan desesperadamente que vengan unos chicos de otros países a explicarles cómo hacer fuego, recolectar la papaya, tomar agua y esas cosas. 

Entonces, por un lado tenemos a la campesina Francisca Ramírez, dispuesta a todo para que no le expropien su finca (más adelante se aclara que Francisca posee “varias” fincas) para la construcción del canal, cuya sóla idea a llevado crispación al país (país que vería su PBI multiplicado por cuatro si se construyera el canal). Por el otro están los chicos (de nacionalidades mexicana, nicaragüense y… agentina!), pertenecientes a la ONG “Caravana Mesoamericana por el Buen Vivir”, los cuales parece que habían llegado a la zona de La Fonseca “para enseñar a los campesinos a fabricar cocinas ecológicas”. De golpe se produjo una explosión y al ratito nomás fueron a parar todos a la cárcel. [El diario El País no te explica por qué se produjo la explosión, ni por qué los chicos del “buen vivir” andaban explotando cosas por ahí, ni cómo fue que terminaron presos, pero vieron cómo son estas cosas de los ecologistas: cada tanto algo explota y nadie sabe bien por qué. Como lo de las “cocinas ecológicas” no nos cierra por ningún lado, googleamos un rato y llegamos al diario La Nación de Costa Rica, donde se nos informa que “Policía Nacional de Nicaragua arrestó a tico que participaba en taller de cambio climático”. El tico era uno de los chicos de la Caravana, claro. Por su parte, el diario La Prensa Libre de Costa Rica informa que la misión de los chicos es explicar, aparentemente, qué cosa es el reciclaje: “El Buen Vivir está dado por la relación de nosotros con la naturaleza. Dentro de eso viene el reciclaje, mencionó Ana Laura Rodríguez, parte de la Caravana.”, dice el diario. Ana Laura Rodríguez es el aporte argentino a la Caravana Mesoamericana del Buen Vivir. O sea: cocina ecológica, cambio climático, reciclaje. Dale que va. Viva la Patria.]


***

En fin. Así lo cuenta El País:


Título: La campesina que planta cara al Canal de Nicaragua

Epígrafe: Francisca Ramírez es el símbolo de la lucha de los agricultores y ambientalistas contra la construcción de la obra interoceánica a cargo de una empresa china

Texto: Francisca Ramírez supervisa sus cultivos de tubérculos montada en una yegua. Esta campesina bajita, de piel morena quemada por el sol, da instrucciones a sus trabajadores, que arrancan del suelo uno a uno los bulbos, mientras explica los motivos que la llevaron a convertirse en la cara del movimiento campesino que se opone a la construcción de un canal interoceánico en Nicaragua. La faraónica obra, valorada en 50.000 millones de dólares, es el sueño con el que el presidente Daniel Ortega espera tener un lugar destacado en la historia.

“Nací en una familia pobre”, dice Ramírez sin bajarse de la yegua. “Toda mi niñez fui pobre. Cuando crecí y tuve mis hijos, luché y trabajé para que ellos no pasaran por lo que yo pasé, para que tuvieran tierras donde trabajar, donde vivir”, agrega. “Esa es la lucha que he emprendido hoy, porque me ha sorprendido que este Gobierno haga una ley quitándonos lo que tenemos, lo que hemos logrado con tanto esfuerzo. Quiere expropiarnos sin tomarnos en cuenta. ¿Cuál va a ser nuestro futuro? Nos tiran a la suerte”, explica la campesina.

El Gobierno del exguerrillero sandinista Ortega impulsó la aprobación de la Ley 840, la que entrega por 100 años la concesión para la construcción del canal interoceánico al empresario chino Wang Jing. El inicio de la obra se ha retrasado en dos ocasiones, en parte por la férrea oposición de los campesinos y organizaciones defensoras del medio ambiente, y porque aún no se conoce la lista de inversores dispuestos a participar en el proyecto.

El canal tendría una extensión de 278 kilómetros, atravesaría el país desde el Caribe hasta el Pacífico y permitiría el paso de cargueros de enorme calado, que ahora no pueden atravesar el Canal de Panamá, recientemente ampliado. La obra de ingeniería requerirá de enormes trabajos de excavación y la expropiación de terrenos, lo que afectaría a miles de nicaragüenses que habitan en la ruta del proyecto. Además, se construirían puertos, aeropuertos y zonas de libre comercio.

Ramírez se ha puesto al frente del movimiento que se opone a la obra, a la cabeza de decenas de manifestaciones en las que los campesinos exigen la derogación de la ley que entregó la concesión a Wang y el respeto a sus propiedades y su forma de vida. La campesina ha increpado a oficiales de la Policía Nacional que intentaron evitar una de esas marchas y hasta se enfrentó a un pistolero —un presunto policía—, que la amenazó en la oscuridad de la noche, mientras miles de campesinos se trasladaban hasta Managua para participar en una manifestación pacífica frente a la sede del Parlamento. Ramírez los animó a seguir el viaje.

En Nicaragua la llaman cariñosamente doña Chica, a pesar de contar apenas con 39 años. La pobreza de su juventud y el duro trabajo en el campo la hacen parecer mayor. Ramírez vive con su esposo y sus hijos en una lejana aldea llamada La Fonseca, en las fértiles tierras del Caribe nicaragüense, una región rica en recursos naturales que se vería afectada por la construcción del canal.

Esta mujer con apenas estudios básicos —no llegó a aprobar el tercer grado de primaria— es una próspera agricultora, comerciante y ganadera. Ramírez cuenta con tres fincas en las que cultiva tubérculos, jengibre y granos y cría ganado. Es también propietaria de dos camiones de carga en los que traslada el producto del campo a la ciudad. Son esas tierras las que doña Chica defiende ante la amenaza de la expropiación.

“El canal nos va a quitar la cultura de ser campesinos”, afirma Ramírez. “Aquí tenemos todo, producimos las tierras. Nos van a quitar los lazos familiares, van a hacer una zanja, van a destruir. Vemos que es este trópico húmedo el que quiere desbaratar el Gobierno, sentimos que esto nos va a traer perjuicios a todos los nicaragüenses. ¿Qué va a pasar si aquí Ortega le da toda el agua a este chino Wang Jing? Quiere decir que a él, más adelante, hasta el agua le podemos comprar”, lamenta.

—¿Qué le diría al presidente Ortega si pudiera verlo en persona?

—Que escuche al pueblo, que cuando el pueblo dice no, es no; y cuando el pueblo se decide a algo prefiere morir y no entregarse. Yo le diría que si es un Gobierno que quiere la paz en Nicaragua, que lo demuestre.


Sin temor a las represalías

Ramírez asegura que no va a claudicar en su lucha. No tiene miedo, a pesar de las amenazas que ha sufrido, según sus propias denuncias. En junio, cuando dejó su aldea para protestar en Managua, la Policía detuvo a un grupo de jóvenes —mexicanos, argentinos y costarricenses— que habían llegado hasta La Fonsecapara enseñar a los campesinos a fabricar cocinas ecológicas. Fue ella quien se plantó ante las celdas de la Dirección de Auxilio Judicial para exigir su liberación. También ha encabezado un movimiento para llevar alimentos a las regiones golpeadas por la sequía en Nicaragua, a pesar de que el Gobierno prohibió que los entregaran.

“Estoy dispuesta a morir, si es necesario. Lo he dicho siempre, con tal de que queden libres mis hijos y tengan una casa y una tierra dignas”, remata la campesina que planta cara al canal chino en Nicaragua.

Turquía: más opiniones


Cuando un tipo como el presidente turco Recep Tayyip Erdogan muestra la caripela que aparece en la foto, mejor pongan distancia, chicos, porque la mano viene pesada. Esta vez la mano parece venir pesada para Occidente en general y el Imperio en particular, cada vez más sospechado de estar detrás de los acontecimientos recientes de Turquía. Lo que sigue apareció ayer en el sitio web TheSaker.is. Sigue la línea de otros posts recientes de este blog, aunque es más moderado en sus apreciaciones. Acá va:


Título: Failed coup in Turkey – a few initial thoughts

Texto: When I first heard that a coup was in progress in Turkey my first thought was that it was the USA’s way to punish Erdogan for his sudden apology to Russia.  Yes, sure, I realized that there were many other possible explanations, but that was the one I was hoping for.  I even  told my family that if this was a US-backed coup and if Erdogan or his supporters said so, there would be hell to pay for the USA.  Less than 24 hour later my hopes were fulfilled:

- Turkish Minister Blames US Authorities for Organizing Coup Attempt (http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160716/1043134590/turkey-minister-us.html)
- Kerry Blasts Turkey for Insinuating that Washington Plotted Coup of Erdogan (http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160717/1043140902/Kerry-erdogan-soylu-ankara-coup.html)

Erdogan was undeterred and he went on to publicly declare ““Dear President Obama, I told you this before, arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey. You didn’t listen. I call you on you again, after the coup attempt – extradite this man from Pennsylvania to Turkey. If we are strategic partners, do what is necessary,” Erdogan said. He also explicitly called any nation supporting Gulen “an open enemy of Turkey.”

Now we need to remember that Erdogan has a history of zigs followed by zags, so I would not put it past him to warmly embrace Obama in the near future, but I find that unlikely.  Why?  Simply because there is a lot of indirect evidence that the USA was, indeed, behind this coup.  Consider this:

The coup involved a very large number of people.  We can get a sense of the magnitude of this coup by looking at the huge purge now taking place in Turkey.  According to various sources it includes no less than 6’000 people, many senior officers (including 5 generals and 29 colonels), 2’745 judges and prosecutors.  So the first thing we need to ask ourselves is how likely is it that the USA did not know what was being prepared by the coup plotters?  I submit that in a country essentially at war, where US forces which are involved in combat operations in nearby Syria and Iraq are deployed and where the US reportedly keeps 50 tactical nuclear weapons, the notion that the USA did not see this coming is far fetched.  Turkey is a NATO member state, which in practical terms means that the US has full control over the Turkish military, and we know thanks to Sibel Edmonds that the Turkish deep state has very close ties to the US deep state – and we are to believe that nobody in the USA saw this coming?

Furthermore, when Erdogan says that the USA did not hurry to condemn the coup, he is absolutely correct.  In fact, it was rather amusing for me to see that all the western media was indicating that the coup had succeeded, while the Iranians and Russians reported that the coup had failed.  If that was case of wishful thinking on both sides, what does it tell us about the wishes?

Now let’s look at the cui bono angle.

Some, including Fethullah Gulen, have suggested that this coup was an a false flag operation by Erdogan himself.  And it is true that he declared that this coup was a “”gift from God… because this will be a reason to cleanse our army“.  But the reality is that this coup is a huge embarrassment for Erdogan who had already purged the Turkish armed forces many times over and who could not take the risk of having a planned “false flag” turn into the real thing: even General Bekir Ercan Van, the commander of Turkey’s Incirlik airbase, has been detained by Turkish authorities accused of complicity in the attempted coup.  So not only did this coup show that Erdogan was hated at the very top level of the Turkish armed forces, but the failure of the coup has now resulted in a huge purge which will tremendously weaken the Turkish armed forces who are involved not only in Syria but also in a bloody civil war against the Kurds.  So the notion that Erdogan triggered this coup himself appears very far fetched to me.

Then, of course, there is Russia.  And while I wholeheartedly agree that Russia will immensely benefit from this failed coup, I also am convinced that the Russians never had anywhere near the means needed to trigger a coup in Turkey.  Neither the Kemalists nor the supporters of Gulen are pro-Russian and Russia simply does not have the kind of access in this major NATO country to trigger military coups.

As for the USA, had the coup succeeded, they could have placed a compliant, and probably far more reliable, military leader at the helm of power in Turkey.  Now that the coup failed and now that Erdogan appears to be furious at the USA, the USA is the big loser in this outcome.  But had the coup succeeded?

Keep in mind that the war in 08.08.08 and the case of the US “multiple personality disorder” over Syria have shown that there is no unified US foreign policy.  There is a White House foreign policy, there is a CIA foreign policy, then there is a Foggy Bottom foreign policy and a Pentagon foreign policy.  We even know that there is a separate Neocon foreign policy.  Any one of them coup have pushed the coup plotters to take action just like the Neocons pushed Saakashvili to attacked South Ossetia.

Now that the coup has failed, however, the situation has the potential to strongly turn in Russia’s favor and even though the Russians will never trust Erdogan, they are also fully aware of the objective advantages Russian can reap from the current situation.  The ultimate success would be to trigger a withdrawal of Turkey from NATO, but I personally doubt that this is possible.  A more realistic goal could be to accept that Turkey will nominally remain in NATO, but that at least in Syria Erdogan will accept the Russian-created reality on the ground.  The fact that Lavrov and Kerry have agreed to a joint long-term ceasefire whose exact terms are to remain secret indicates to me that the Russians forced the US into concessions which the latter don’t want to be made public (and not the other way around because Moscow holds all the cards now and Kerry has therefore no means to put pressure on Russia).  In other words, now that even the USA has basically caved in, at least temporarily, the Turks have no reasons left to try to impose anything on Syria.

The current situation holds a tremendous potential for developments favorable to Russia.  I hope that the Russians will apply some creative thinking and make maximal use of this new situation to create a fait accompli on the ground in Syria.  The best option for Russia would be to have a reliable and predictable partner in Turkey.  Alas, this is not going to happen.  The next best option is to have a weak Turkey wasting most of its resources and energy dealing with internal crises.  This seems to be what will happen in the foreseeable future.  By any measure, this is a good thing for Russia, Syria and, really, the entire region.