My name is Joe and you can’t help it
Twenty years ago this week the so-called ‘free’ world, meaning the UK and other valued EU allies, lined up behind the US to invade Iraq and destroy its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and punish the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein who, by amassing these weapons, set the whole world on the path to destruction. Then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations Security Council, shaking a vial of an unknown substance, presented evidence of the existence of Iraqi WMDs, including biological ones. As a result, in March 2003, US forces invaded Iraq.
These are the first steps in a broad and concerted campaign, said then US President George W. Bush. Indeed, they were. As the president had warned two years earlier, the nations were either with him or against him. After the overwhelming evidence of a vial full of WMD presented by the United States, no nation would dare to be against the savior of mankind and no one has been. Those who disagreed with the invasion of Iraq, like Trkiye, for example, did not allow US forces to use their territory to enter Iraq and did not play an active role in the coalition of troops that the United States has assembled. To convince the world and prove those who did not believe Powell’s WMD fable, US occupation administration forces launched an intensive search. Yet a year later, they silently conceded that their pretext for invading large stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons at Saddam’s bases was flawed. David Kay, the former Chief Inspector of Weapons of the United States, told the US Congress in January 2004: We were almost all wrong. Two years later, a presidential commission concluded that no pre-war intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was correct.
WMD intelligence proved illusory, and there were over 4,700 US and allied soldier deaths, and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed; the initial effort to decapitate the Iraqi leadership had worked, and the complex ethnic balance of power had disappeared. Now, questions linger about Iraq’s turbulent political situation. Then Iraq, as we knew it, came to the brink of dismemberment. Today it is on the point of splitting into three parts: independent Kurdistan and the Shiite and Sunni Arab territories.
As the commander of the United States Navy of more than 60,000 troops waiting aboard their ships to operate from Turkish ports into Iraqi territory, which after the Turkish parliament failed to pass a proposal allowing them to disembark, had to leave to find another way to Iraq, observes this four-star general: the Turks will pay dearly for it! I don’t know if the Turks paid dearly, but the March 1 memorandum (as it had become famous) became a turning point in relations between Trkiye and the United States. The general was Jim Mattis, who served as the 26th US Secretary of Defense. and resigned in protest when then-President Donald Trump asked him to withdraw all US personnel from Iraq and Syria, leaving the task of fighting Daesh to the Turkish military. In Trkiye, President Recep Tayyip Erdoan was chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Yet he had yet to be elected to parliament, and Abdullah Gl was the prime minister keeping that seat warm for Erdoan; almost the entire US Deep State blamed Erdoan for the refusal. Years later, Gl said he pushed AKP party lawmakers to endorse the proposal, but they listened to Erdoan. Since that day, the central media of the United States, the pro-establishment think tanks and the report writers of the RAND Corporation, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the editors of their respective publications have never written the name of Erdoan without adding the possessive construction of Islamism. . They have always looked for a cunning motive, even in his government’s EU-approved reforms. When Erdoan established the presidential regime to avoid wasting time with crises within coalitions whose average lifespan did not exceed 14 months during nearly 70 years of the so-called parliamentary system, the cohort of neo-conservatives and neo-liberals magnanimously added new adjectives: strongman, autocrat and populist-authoritarian leader. As if he hadn’t been endorsed in elections every four (or five) years by the people, these US-based report writers now have the guts to announce a US military operation to prevent another American victory. ‘Erdoan in the next elections.
Henri Barkey and Turkey
The person who said those words is a familiar person: Henri J. Barkey, associate senior fellow for Middle East studies at CFR and instructor at Lehigh University. We all remember him coming to Istanbul before the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. A former adviser to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Barkey is accused of taking part in the action to overthrow the government . The indictment against Barkey and his co-conspirator tycoon Osman Kavala alleges that the defendants played an active role in coordinating and prosecuting the coup attempt by members of the Glenist Terror Group (FET) in favor of foreign states and monitored the execution of actions and intervened in the progress of the coup through the coordination and contacts they had established when needed. Barkey fled the country as the coup attempt failed, while Kavala was held in Istanbul.
Barkey, in his recent post in Foreign Affairs, titled Turkeys Turning Point: What Will Erdoan Do to Stay in Power, delineates Erdoan’s crimes and concludes that to save himself, his family, cronies and many others who personally benefited from his reign of grave repercussions of losing the election, he is likely to employ almost any means to avoid defeat.
This shameless and outrageous slander comes at a time when a chorus of his ilk is writing similar slanders. One after another, this inglorious cohort tried to induce the US and European governments to do something to prevent another Erdoan victory. The idea that Erdoan himself and his party, as well as the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), are very unpopular and that they will lose the elections if they are fair and just has been repeated so many times in the American and European press that one wonders if they are talking about Trkiye. The government has tried to mitigate the appalling impact of price inflation resulting from long months of pandemic-related shortages, a broken supply chain and, to some extent, the capitalist greed of manufacturers and resellers. . Despite the difficulties people feel, there are no mass demonstrations in Trkiye; no paralysis of daily life due to mass strikes, and no one is burning the streets of big cities like in Europe.
Some fabricated fake news in the newspapers and on social media supports the six-party opposition alliance! Barkey describes it as a surprisingly well-managed and relatively disciplined front; but he hasn’t even been able to agree on a presidential candidate yet, and there are only 97 days left before the election. Barkeys’ main motive appears to be drawing the wrath of US President Joe Biden for the upcoming election disaster their famous six-party alliance will apparently face. The cornerstone of the coalition was laid by then-candidate Biden long before the US election. In his infamous interview with the New York Times editorial board on December 16, 2020, a year before the presidential election, he said that a candidate must have many things in mind. Yet Trikiye and the future of its presidents was such a pressing question in Bidens’ mind that he had to devote some of the interview time to it. When he won the election, he said, “We can support the elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and draw more out of them and embolden them to be able to confront and defeat Erdoan. For what? The first thing Biden mentions is the allegation that Trkiyes is suppressing his Kurds. The candidate is very worried about it. I am very worried about this. But he is very optimistic: “But I’m still of the opinion that if we were to engage more directly as I did with them, we could support these elements of the Turkish leadership.”
He did. In a culture where even two political parties with similar orientations can hardly come together to form an electoral alliance, in a laudable effort, the six obvious members and one secret member of the opposition were able to sit around the same office and draw up a document bringing together the common points. This fact was also expressed by the member of Western alliances, eager for appreciation, Ali Babacan, when he said with a smile that the Europeans would examine our document and send their congratulations. But one thing was missing from this excellent document: the main issue that the architect of their alliance had built on their partnership: The right to self-determination of the Kurdish people in Trkiye. Biden and the neoconservatives he inherited from Bush: the issue that ultimately led the United States to create the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. This is the one issue that Biden helped train the elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and create the alliance so that the United States gets more from them.
Today, despite the efforts of the US and its new envoy to Ankara, Jeffry Flake, a former US senator from Arizona who single-handedly called on EU ambassadors to close their consulates to business, citing of the alleged security threats, the table of six, acting as if they haven’t grown bolder enough, avoid the major stake that is their alliance’s raison d’être.
Now Barkey paints a rosy picture that the opposition will win the election, but Erdoan will prevent that. In case Erdoan tries to overturn an election that is being watched by 85 million Turks and the world, Barkey suggests three ways the United States should be prepared.
Among his possible moves that Barkey suggests the United States should watch and be prepared to react to are: an accidental, albeit minor, clash with Greece in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, a confrontation with the United in Northern Syria” and a change in the status quo on the Turkish part of Cyprus.
Well, we heard it from the horses. Barkey says it simply and clearly: if he wants it enough, Biden can even change the results of an election that Erdoan justly and honestly won, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
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