— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for October, 2015

Catching the Caliph’s Men in Diyarbakır: IS Operations in Turkey

Last Monday (26 October 2015), the Turkish police conducted a raid in the Merkez Kayapınar district of the south-east Anatolian city of Diyarbakır with the aim of disrupting further terrorist actions by the Islamic State (IS) in Turkey. In the course of the operation, the police killed seven individual IS members, including one of the Caliph’s Turkish men, a certain Veysel Argunağa who had travelled to Diyarbakır from the German town of Bremen. Argunağa’s parents had been outraged by their son’s actions, but he apparently used his facebook account to state that “[a]s long as there are those able to take care of one’s parents, their words can be ignored. That is what the Shariah commands”. In addition to killing seven IS members, the Turkish police have also arrested 15 others, including a certain “N.T.” who has been identified as the Islamic State’s Diyarbakır representative. Two police officers were also killed in the course of the operation that was aimed at disabling IS sleeper cells active in Diyarbakır, and arguably responsible for the recent terror attacks in Suruç and Ankara..[1]

The Islamic State’s Diyarbakır representative “N.T.” apparently gave a number of public speeches in the course of 2013 and 2014, as the spokesman of the Takva Eğitim ve Okuma Salonu (Ethical Guard Education and Reading Room). During these lectures he indicated that “agents” as well as “listening devices” had been planted inside the local police headquarters. According to an unnamed source, “N.T.” literally proclaimed during one of these meetings (“22 November”) that “[t]hese agents have provided both sides with molotov cocktails, sound bombs and handmade explosive devices that have been prepared by the police using state facilities . . . It was the intention here to bring the Islamist faction face to face with the PKK”.[2]  According to recent reports, the terrorists that have been apprehended in Diyarbakır arrived in Turkey about two months ago, having travelled to Diyarbakır from Syria. Turkey’s security forces apparently kept these terrorists under strict surveillance during the past months, but decided to act now as these IS members were apparently on the verge of staging another attack.[3]

[1] Ferit Aslan and Ahmet Ün, “Diyarbakır’daki IŞİD operasyonuyla ilgili çarpıcı ayrıntılar” DHA (28 October 2015). http://www.dha.com.tr/diyarbakirdaki-isid-operasyonuyla-ilgili-carpici-ayrintilar_1059176.html.

[2] Ferit Aslan and Ahmet Ün, “Diyarbakır’daki IŞİD operasyonuyla ilgili çarpıcı ayrıntılar”.

[3] “O IŞİD’çilerin kimliği belli oldu” Milliyet (27 Oct 2015). http://www.milliyet.com.tr/o-isid-cilerin-kimligi-belli-oldu-gundem-2138812/.

Electing The President of an Empire

‘At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., Abby Martin interviews world-renowned philosopher and linguist Professor Noam Chomsky. Prof. Chomsky comments on the presidential primary “extravaganza,” the movement for Bernie Sanders, the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, modern-day libertarianism and the reality of “democracy” under capitalism. Published on Oct 24, 2015’.  

The Switch: Reinventing American Freedom

‘Professor John Witt explores the subject of how American constitutional law was “reinvented,” as he proposes, during the early twentieth century. Taking up a small cast of characters who self-consciously aimed to disrupt the ideological structures of American law, Witt tells a story of social experiment and constitutional transformation that explains our constitutional past and offers powerful, if sometimes troubling, implications for our constitutional future. Witt is the Allen H Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at the Yale Law School. Professor Witt’s work has ranged widely over the history of American law from the founding era to the Cold War. His most recent book Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (2012) was awarded the 2013 Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recorded on 09/17/2015. Published on Oct 26, 2015′.

The World Today – THE TURKISH CAULDRON

‘Tariq Ali talks to the scholar and academic Sungur Savran, about the on­going crisis in Turkey, a country backed by NATO and run by an Islamist government led by Tayyip Erdoğan. Published on Oct 21, 2015’.

Sungur Savran is based in Istanbul and is one of the editors of the newspaper Gerçek and the theoretical journal Devrimci Marksizm, and of the web site RedMed.[1]  And he wrote recently that the “Middle East and North Africa is rapidly moving towards a situation of civil war within the Islamic world between the Sunni and the Shia (the latter in alliance with the Alevis). Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main instigators of the Sunni camp while Iran, of course, is the leading force of the Shia camp. Erdoğan’s dream is (or should one perhaps say “was”) to lead the Sunni populations in this kind of struggle for supremacy within the Islamic world. This is a dream that is rooted in the glory of the Ottoman past. This immediately implies the reconstitution of the umma, the Islamic community at large, under the guidance of the Caliphate, which was abolished by the young republic in 1924. This abolition the Islamists in Turkey have never been able to digest. This kind of sectarian war within Islam will be a re-edition of the religious wars of Western Europe with redoubled violence. It is to be avoided at all costs. The Erdoğan camp, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran are playing with fire. This extreme threat in the Middle East and North Africa has to be countered by those forces that have no stake in the ground rent generated by oil and natural gas and in the so-called Sharia-compliant finance of the Arab world. Viewed from the regional angle, the Syrian civil war is precisely a proxy war between these two camps. Erdoğan is the frontline leader of the Sunni-sectarian camp. To even start to command the allegiance of the rest of the Sunni world, Erdoğan has to win his war for survival inside Turkey. In this he has thrown his lot with the takfiri, Sunni-sectarian forces inside and outside the country. This is leading Turkey to the precipice of Syrianisation. Turkey is, on the other hand, a country full of ebullition. Revolts of different kind have succeeded on each other’s heels within the last two years. One year after the waning of the Gezi popular revolt, so powerful in the western cities of the country but not in Turkish Kurdistan, a serhildan, i.e. a popular uprising of the Kurdish population broke out for a week in support of Kobane fighting ISIL. In neither of these momentous events was the working class present as a class. However, in the month of May this year a struggle that brought tens of thousands of metalworkers erupted, spreading from its original hometown in Bursa, an industrial hub near Istanbul, to many other industrial centres. After a long period of dormancy, the working class is now back in action. So this is a society that is also full of promises. It is only by overcoming the divisions between the three forces that are represented by these three waves of struggle that the progressive forces can win. And here two things are crucial: fraternity between the Turk and the Kurd and the entry of the working class onto the political scene. Should these two conditions come together, Turkey will not only see the domestic balance of forces shift decisively in favour of a progressive solution to its political crisis, but can also act as the triggering factor for a forward-looking solution, in a process of permanent revolution, to the problems that the whole Middle East faces”.[2]

[1] http://redmed.org/.

[2] Sungur Savran, “The Syrianisation of Turkey” Gerçek (20 October 2015). http://gercekgazetesi.net/node/14090.

Yes, we Canada!!!

‘We’ve got a new Prime Minister in Canada. Justin Trudeau has been elected in a decisive win for the liberal party. Cenk Uygur, host of the The Young Turks, breaks it down . . . “Canada’s Liberal Party has decisively won a general election, ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule. The centrist Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, started the campaign in third place but in a stunning turnaround now command a majority. Mr Trudeau, the 43-year-old son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, said Canadians had voted for real change”. Published on Oct 20, 2015’.

Establishment talking head and token Muslim name Fareed Zakaria states that “Justin Trudeau’s sweeping victory in Canada could be read as one more indication that voters in the Western world are moving left — and toward populism. The past year has seen the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party. In the United States, Bernie Sanders, a self-professed ‘democratic socialist’, has shaken up the Democratic primaries. But the lessons of Trudeau’s victory are somewhat more complicated”.[1]  And the term “complicated” is arguably code for unpalatable to the U.S. Senate and Congress . . . Zakaria, “[u]pper-class Indian academic raised in mostly secular household”,[2] explains that “Justin Trudeau promised to respond to Canada’s economic slowdown by running modest deficits and building infrastructure. (That’s something that most mainstream economists would support.) He has refused to raise Canada’s corporate tax rate, although he wants a slightly higher income tax for the top 1 percent to fund a middle-class tax cut. He has been noncommittal on the new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, placing himself to the right of Hillary Clinton. He wants to legalize marijuana. And he has promised, vaguely, that Canada will have a more progressive climate change policy. This would put him squarely at the center-left in any Western country”.[3]

On the Liberal Party website, one can read the following: “We will invest in sustainable infrastructure that makes our communities safer and more resilient. Responsible governments do not walk away from challenges, or pretend they do not exist. We will protect our communities from the challenges of climate change and grow our economy by making significant new investments in green infrastructure. This includes investments in local water and wastewater facilities; clean energy; climate resilient infrastructure, including flood mitigation systems; and infrastructure to protect against changing weather. We will boost investment in green infrastructure by nearly $6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years”.[4]

[1] Fareed Zakaria, “Justin Trudeau shows you don’t have to be angry to succeed in politics” The Washington Post (22 Oct 2015). https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/justin-trudeau-and-the-power-of-positive-politics/2015/10/22/1ab09a2c-78e6-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html.

[2] Joy Press, “The Interpreter” The Village Voice (09 August 2005). http://www.villagevoice.com/news/the-interpreter-6402768.

[3] Fareed Zakaria, “Justin Trudeau shows you don’t have to be angry to succeed in politics”.

[4] “Greener communities” Liberal. http://www.liberal.ca/realchange/greener-communities%e2%80%a8%e2%80%a8%e2%80%a8/.

The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

‘Talk by Alison Weir, Executive Director of If Americans Knew, President of the Council for the National Interest, and author of the book Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel recorded July 30, 2014 at the Common Good Cafe at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle, WA. Published on Aug 1, 2014′.

The IS Threat to Turkey: Suruç, Ankara, and Pendik

On Tuesday. 20 October 2015, RT reported that ‘Turkish police have detained dozens of ISIS-connected suspects, among them 24 under the age of 18, who are being trained to operate in Syria and Iraq as Islamic State’s militants. The Istanbul Anti-Terror Directorate has arrested dozens of foreigners in one of the districts of Turkey’s largest city. Those detained are suspected of getting ready to transfer to areas of Syria in Iraq under Islamic State’s control, the Turkish daily Vatan reports. Detectives targeted some 18 homes in Istanbul’s eastern Pendik district. Special operations teams supported by a helicopter simultaneously raided all the suspicious addresses. The raids were part of the investigation into the massive terror attack that killed over 100 people in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on October 10′.[1]

The report continues that ‘[a]ltogether 53 people have been detained, including 24 minors, all of them from the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The minors were brought to the Pendik Children’s Bureau Headquarters, while most of the rest were summoned to the Anti-Terror Directorate headquarters for questioning. Many of those detained had entered Turkey illegally, authorities said. The anti-terror teams say they have proof that the detained Tajiks and Uzbeks have connections to Islamic State (former ISIS/ISIL), finding maps of conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, as well as other documents, in their raids. Turkish authorities believe that the suspects organized training for the 24 minors in the basements of the raided installations. The children were taught radical Islam, extremist ideology and rules for living in Islamic State-controlled areas. Thousands of foreigners have joined Islamic State, which is currently estimated to have from 30,000 to as many as 200,000 fighters in its ranks. Up to 5,000 of them are believed to be Uzbek nationals, Vatan reports. In August, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a terrorist organization founded in 1996, officially announced its voluntary dissolution and swore allegiance to Islamic State. Before that, it had been affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Islamic State has never concealed the fact it uses children in its operations, organizing training camps for them, where they are trained to become jihadi fighters and even behead people’.[2]

The RT report furthermore elaborates that “Turkey had opened its border with Syria in the beginning of the civil war there in an effort to help rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad’s regime. This has reportedly allowed jihadist groups that rose rapidly in Syria to safely cross into Turkey to use it as a safe haven and resupply base . . . After Ankara agreed to share its bases with members of the coalition battling Islamic State in July [2015], ISIS released a video blaming Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of aiding “crusaders” and their jets to kill the Muslims in Islamic State. The jihadists called Erdogan an infidel and urged Turks to rebel and conquer Istanbul’.[3]

Now that Turkey has apparently a legitimate target for Jihadi terrorists, so far, the Caliph’s wrath appears to have been primarily aimed at the Kurdish opposition, apparently unwittingly aiding Turkey’s AKP-led government in this way. As I wrote last July, “Monday’s suicide blast in the Turkish border town of Suruç has shocked the nation and is now occupying the full media landscape of the country (20 July 2015). Once again, this violent episode has brought Ankara’s fraught relationship with the Kurds in Turkey and Syria to the fore. Yet, blame for the attack was immediately put at the doorstep of Caliph Ibrahim and the Islamic State right across the Turco-Syrian border”.[4]  And just about two weeks ago, another deadly attacked targeted supporters of the Kurdish and leftist political party HDP, who were getting ready to join a peace rally in the capital Ankara.[4]

Talking to bne IntelliNews, I declared that “it’s ‘obvious’ that there is a connection between the October 10 twin attacks in Ankara and what happened in Suruc on July 20. ‘It is the same methodology… Voices have emerged in Turkey accusing the government of colluding with the IS for these attacks and of employing IS to counteract the growth of the Kurdish movement in Turkey. What happened [on 10 October 2015] bares the hallmarks of that, and it would stand to reason that there could be some government complicity in there’. [Furthermore adding that it is my belief that] the only party that will benefit from this is the AKP. ‘The first reaction of people might be that the HDP will now get more sympathy votes, which may be true, but the Kurds are a limited group – 10% [or rather 20%, according to more recent estimates] of the population, and the sympathy vote will be minor. On the other hand, the AKP’s electorate is concerned with terrorist attacks and will turn to the government for protection and safeguarding. So I think that the only one who will benefit from this attack is the ruling party'”.[6]

[1] “ISIS camp in Istanbul trained children as terrorists” RT News (20 Oct 2015). https://www.rt.com/news/319160-istanbul-terrorist-camp-children/.

[2] “ISIS camp in Istanbul trained children as terrorists”.

[3] “ISIS camp in Istanbul trained children as terrorists”.

[4] “False Flag Terror Attack in Suruç: The AKP, the HDP and the IS” The Erimtan Angle (25 July 2015). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/false-flag-terror-attack-in-suruc-the-akp-the-hdp-and-the-is/.

[5] “Ankara’da Bombalı Saldırı: 10 Ekim 2015” The Erimtan Angle (11 October 2015). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/ankarada-bombali-saldiri-10-ekim-2015/.

[6] Carmen Valache, “Protesters rally against Turkish government as death toll said to rise to 128” bne IntelliNews (11 October 2015). http://www.intellinews.com/turkey-1001/protesters-rally-against-turkish-government-as-death-toll-said-to-rise-to-128-80718/?src=email&type=html&s=Ym5lIEludGVsbGlOZXdzIE1pZGRheSBFZGl0aW9uIE9jdG9iZXIgMTIsIDIwMTU=&e=Y3ZhbGFjaGVAYm5lLmV1&_eid=bdb6ea5518eb970e4afdc8924fcaef75.