In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act, George Orwell

Indignez-vous ! Stéphane Hessel

“Le courage c’est de chercher la vérité et de la dire ; c’est de ne pas subir la loi du mensonge triomphant qui passe, et de ne pas faire écho, de notre âme, de notre bouche et de nos mains aux applaudissements imbéciles et aux huées fanatiques ”.” – Djordje Kuzmanovic

mercredi 25 novembre 2015

Turkish back stabbing - NATO part 2

PART 2 - NATO’s angle with Turkey


The world yesterday was stunned by Turkey’s reckless move and of shooting down a Russian air force plane.   This was seen by Russia as a truly unadulterated example of provocation and in the words of Vladimir Putin, “a stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists."

The speed in which Turkey called for an ‘extraordinary’ NATO's decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council (NAC), on Tuesday evening is interesting; it was certainly done in haste.  By asking for this meeting, the Turkish authorities seemed to be trying to count on the support of NATO on the shooting down and to draw NATO into the Syrian conflict.

There are other ways of dealing with these kinds of incidents,” said one NATO diplomat who declined to be named. 

Nevertheless, NATO members clearly understood this for it was this worth and did not give into the Turkish statements.   The NATO response was certainly more muted than previous Russian-Turkish incidents in October of this year, where Ankara invoked NATO’s Article Four.

Back in October Turkey also called an emergency meeting after Russian planes violated its airspace several times following the start of Moscow’s air campaign in Syria. However, this time it did not invoke Article 4.  NATO’s Article Four outlines the situation under which a member declares that its territorial integrity, political independence or security is under threat.

There is a slight hint of a re-run of the Georgian conflict in 2008 in the air to this whole event, since it points at huge confidence, (read arrogance or spite?), by the Turkish authorities in escalating an air incident into a huge diplomatic crisis.  Erdogan presumably thought he could get away with only light repercussions. This would also explain why the Turks ran for cover in asking for the NATO meeting and in the swift release of a letter to the UN.

The enormity of the Turkish statement is in their letter: the SU-24 was in Turkey’s airspace for 17 seconds and only travelled through it for 1.15 miles. NATO’s statement suggests that it backs up this Turkish information without any quibbles.  Is NATO seriously expecting us to believe that 5 minutes is enough for the Turkish Prime Minister, to clear a pilot to fire his missile at a jet, through the chain of command?

The SU-24 incident highlights NATO’s propensity for skirting around the issue and dropping totally unsubstantiated pieces of information.  Here is a classic example; an extract from the rather vague statements expressed by the NATO Secretary General:

The Allied assessments we have got from several Allies during the day are consistent with information we have been provided with from Turkey. So the information we have from other Allies is consistent with what we have got from Turkey.”

By ‘assessments’ & ‘information’, does he mean the US tracking facilities at the US air base in Turkey, or maybe the NATO warships in the Eastern Mediterranean or even the COAC tracking centre in Qatar?

NATO is sure tight-lipped when it comes to events that cause an international diplomatic stir.  But it is hardly surprising since Turkey is a long-standing NATO member since 1952, with a lot of US military investment to boot, so they can never put a feet wrong.

Turkey has recently & begrudgingly re-allowed the US to use İncirlik Air Base for limited US air force air strikes against ISIS.  (But only after Biden apologized for the remarks he made about Turkey’s involvement in supporting ISIS).  US aircraft deployed there include A 10 Warthogs and soon Electronic Warfare EA-18 Growler aircraft.

The incursions of two Russian fighters in Turkish air space on Saturday and Sunday has brought the Syria conflict over NATO's borders, testing the alliance's ability to deter a newly assertive Russia without seeking direct confrontation.<!--[if gte mso 9]>
The relations between Moscow and Ankara became visibly tense in October when Russian air force planes flew through Turkish airspace.   This led to Erdogan warning Russia on the building of a nuclear station & Russian gas imports, “We are Russia's number one natural gas consumer. Losing Turkey would be a serious loss for Russia. If necessary, Turkey can get its natural gas from many different places." Erdogan was clearly agitated and said  We can't accept the current situation. Russia's explanations on the air space violations are not convincing."

NATO also got involved in the October’s incident and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stated that: "NATO is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey against any threats," he said. "NATO has already responded by increasing our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces including to the south, including in Turkey." He also expressed ‘reasons for concern’ at Russia’s use of cruise missiles in Syria. This comes from a head of an organization that with impunity bombed Serbia in 1999 and then Libya in 2011, with 3,000 targets struck in 14,202 strike sorties.
Spanish Patriot Unit in Turkey

NATO forces on the ground in southern Turkey consist principally of air defence units. German Patriot defense systems were positioned on the Syrian- Turkish until the beginning of the Russian air campaign, thus leaving  a Spanish patriot battery in southern Turkey holding the NATO line.  There was an US Patriot defense system remaining at Incirlik as well but it appears to be pulled out of service, although the stated end date is 1 January 2016.
 "NATO first deployed its Patriot missiles along the border in January 2013, to shoot down any missiles from Syria's conflict fired into Turkish territory."

Davutoglu's comments on ISIS
Turkey has shown by shooting down the Russian jet that its priorities are more towards scuttling any tangible anti-ISIS alliance. Turkey has shown persistent ambivalent attitude towards IS, as highlighted by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's comments. It is remarkable how Turkey has not only put NATO in a hard spot but also the US too. It is difficult to see how the Turkish were able to shoot down the Russian jet, without Washington in the know.  Their reaction to the shoot-down is really akin to insects scuttling for cover when the light is switched on.

Greece has experienced for decades hundreds of Turkish air force intrusions, despite the fact that they are both NATO members.  Greece, according to its Foreign Ministry, “especially comprehends provocative moves by Turkey given regular multiple violations of Greek air space by Ankara lasting for years.” Despite the huge spike in Turkish violations in 2014, NATO doesn’t batter an eyelid over this at all.  Everyone in Brussels knows that this take place and simply shrug their shoulders.

There is something odd to it all since not one major West mainstream media were able to recall and compare this latest event with what happened in June 2012 when a Turkish jet was shot down in Syria.  The MSM haven’t even seriously mentioned this, let alone discussed the event. Even back then, the Turkish military authorities proudly announced back in 2012 that they:

 "would have shot down 114 planes if every aircraft that violated a country's airspace were shot down without questioning."

This article was written in light of the shooting down of a Turkish jet by Syria. The article then continues to state that " a violation of one to two kilometers is accepted as "natural" given the speed of aircraft," drawing upon the statement released by the Turkish military.  How times have changed, for one Russian aircraft, for just 17 sec.   This information puts the whole  context for the SU-24 shoot-down into a much darker perspective.

Obama & Erdogan at G20 in Turkey

More lashings of double-standards all around please.  Obama said yesterday: "Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace," except for it seems Syria these days and Lebanon too.  So Obama seems to confirm the Turkish position. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that the shooting down was "fully in line with Turkey’s rules of engagement."  Sure, those which were created after the June 2012 incident in Syria, which included a segment of Syrian airspace as well as their own buffer space. All of which goes against international law, but once more NATO played dumb at that time.

A Turkish military group of 572 soldiers, 39 tanks  & 57 armoured vehicles went into Syria in February 2015 to move the Suleyman Shah shrine closer to the border. This is what the the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had to say about its incursion into Syrian sovereign territory:

 "We didn't get permission from anyone. The decision was taken, and the order was given, by the Turkish government".

Unfortunately for NATO, Erdogan has a nasty habit of falling out with ‘friendly’ countries.  Russia has just been added to the list:  Egypt, Israel, Iraq & Syria. Erdogan can also be seen to using NATO for his own purposes.  A hint of this became apparent when the US was negotiating for the use of the İncirlik Air Base.

Turkey also regularly bothers neighbouring states, whether NATO allies or neutral states.  Just compare the stated Turkish aggressive and outlandish position on airspace intrusions with those faced by Greece & Armenia.  Armenia was definitely nonplussed when a couple of Turkish military aircraft wandered into their airspace in October.   However, their indignation was limited to words only and not a missile. The Armenians raised this issue with NATO, through a letter:

“If NATO really values the inviolability of borders of its member states, it would be reasonable for the Alliance to serve an example and apologize for the incident, even if it has been caused by weather conditions. The incident is really an extraordinary and one, and I think NATO, of which Turkey is a member, should react to this case. Clear explanations are needed,” saidf Poghosyan.

Pat Bagley cartoon

The problem is that NATO is saddled with Turkey and more disturbingly, goes along with Erdogan’s often unilateral and knee-jerk policies. NATO's ambivalent attitude towards Turkey's scam in providing significant support for IS is becoming more apparent by the day.   It is almost a re-make of the Soviet Afghan invasion scenario, being played out in Syria, with this time the US & NATO lined up against Russia, Iran directly & through their own fighting unit proxies.It clearly show how the supposedly the main participants in an 'anti-IS' coalition are often at cross purposes with each other. Turkey has bombed the Kurds, whereas the US has at times provided the Kurds with air support. Likewise the Russians have bombed positions that neither the UK nor France would dare to. 

Prima facie evidence of the longstanding duplicitous activities of the US in the Syrian conflict, surfaced in a video of the destruction of a Russian helicopter sent out to rescue the pilot. The video show the rebels using a US TOW system to destroy the helicopter on the ground. These wouldn’t be one of handful of US-vetted rebels by any chance, would it?  It shows how such weapons can change hands easily and how difficult it would be to even contemplate separating out the “moderate rebels” from the “bad terrorists”.  Russia did not take the trouble to do so and retaliated against the Turkish-backed fighters in Syria.

The commander of the Turkmen Sultan Abdulhamid Brigade, Alpaslan Celik is shown here, is a Turkish citizen and son of MP. (Turk rebels in Syria being interviewed by CNN Turk & Fox news channels just hours after the SU -24 was shot down & one pilot killed while parachuting down to the ground.).
The West continues to permanently dither on how to best tackle ISIS militarily, while Turkey is still afraid of losing its grip on its Syrian ‘rebel assets’ due to the ongoing Russian air strikes on their positions.

The Turkmen Sultan Abdulhamid Han Brigade and Sultan Murad Brigade deployed in the Turkman Mountain region and this is where the Russian air force was striking in the days prior to the shoot-down of the SU-24. The Russians subsequently intensified their air strikes in the area. The Turkemen units are linked up with Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate,  that also operate in the area, who have been effective at either co-opting, dominating or organising other groups within Syria.
Green circles - location of Russian air strikes on rebels.  Purple finger is the alleged incursion spot where the SU-24 was supposedly have gone through & subsequently shot-down.

The Washington& NATO elite mindset is still hell-bent on brow beating Russia, when the opportunity arises.  Here is a blatant example: “I think it’s important that the world doesn’t separate what the Russians are doing in Syria with the rest of their behavior,” said US Gen Hodges, NATO commander.

Turkey still has not backed down from their rigid viewpoint regarding the shooting down of the Russian jet.  The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reiterated: "The protection of our land borders, our airspace, is not only a right, it is a duty," he said. "We apologize for committing mistakes, not for doing our duty."

In public NATO backs Turkey to the hilt: “All Allies fully support Turkey’s right to defend its territorial integrity and its airspace”, from the NATO secretary General.  The UK & Germany are the latest to have joined in the bombing campaign in Syria.

This is disconcerting especially as there is a build-up of NATO air power taking place in southern Turkey.   Are the Turks and NATO inching their way towards setting up a "safe-zone" on the Syrian border? Or is the US-led coalition trying to nudge Russia slowly out of the way in northern Syria?

 More to follow.
The world waits with baited breath what is the reaction of Russia to the shooting down of their jet. Meanwhile NATO  continues to be at the complete mercy of Turkish political vexations.

Video analysis 10th Dec 2015

The last word:

Turkish backstabbing of Russia Part 1

 The shooting down of a Russian Air Force SU24 at the Turkish-Syrian border.

Part 1 - #УдарВСпину 

Prelude:  Had the Russians been lulled into a false sense of security in the region; was it largely due to the political change post Paris attacks?  

SU-24 Infographic

If yes to both questions, then I can understand the genuine anger by the Russian government.  It would indeed frame the context for Putin’s comments on being backstabbed.
The Russian mission creep has set in, from an initial expeditionary style force, now is growing in stages with no clear-cut end in sight.  The previous tipping point in the mission’s remit was a direct consequence of the findings that Flight KGL9268 over Sinai was destroyed by a terrorist bomb.  This saw waves of TU-160 bombers and further cruise missiles launched.   I don’t think that Russia is in danger of losing track of what it intends to do in Syria, but the fact that ISIS has a number of countries that financially & militarily underpin it makes the end goal difficult to achieve.  Furthermore, NATO has remained steadfast in its stated policy goals in respect to its relations with Russia & Syria.

The Russian air force group based in Syria had the means to take adequate precaution to protect themselves from being shot down with an air to air missiles and were keenly aware of the threats of manpads, hence the 6000 m flight height.  The fact remains is that the Russian military leadership chose to have some trust in the so called anti-ISIS coalition and to a lessser extent Turkey.

It is certain that Russian air defense operators would have been tracking the Turkish F-16 CAPs, ( as shown in blue above and in yellow loops on a video clip:  ).  Likewise they have EW jamming devices. Were they trying to  minimise any potential for antagonism between themselves & the Turkish military? It is said that the Turkish F-16  were patrolling for over an hour before the missile attack. No information has been made forthcoming on whether the SU 24  itself did detect the F-16 radars, being locked on, (Radar warning receiver RWR) or the other EW systems detecting these or and the missile launch?

The Russians were evidently wary of extensively deploying suitable aircraft interceptors to obtain air superiority in the Syrian skies, because it might have been seen as being counter-productive within the ranks of the US led coalition.  The Russian group in Syria ultimately paid a relatively light price, with only a loss of 2 service personnel, for the “meek & unobstructive” diplomatic & military signals that had been sent out by Moscow.  These signals were taken by Ankara and NATO, as a sign of weakness.  Consequently an emboldened Turkey took the opportunity to strike out at the Russians.  Erdogan was willing to risk a potential war over his Syrian venture.   It may be assumed that he tried to bait NATO into taking account Turkey's interests in the region. Turkey had already got irritated over the US military help for the Kurds.

“In recent months, Turkish fighters jets have intercepted several Russian aircraft that flew close to Turkish airspace and harassment by radar locks were frequently observed.” and the Russians did likewise."

The chief of the main operations department of the Russian General Staff Sergey Rudskoy briefed journalists on the event:
  • “According to accurate data of objective monitoring, our plane did not cross the Turkish border,” 

  • “It is confirmed by the data from Syria’s missile defense system. Moreover, the Hmeymim airfield’s radar surveillance data registered a violation of the Syria airspace by the attacking Turkish jet.”

  • “Presumably, the plane was hit by a short-range missile with an infra-red seeker,” he said.

  • “Objective monitoring devices registered no attempts by the Turkish plane to establish radio or visual contact with our crew.

  • The Su-24 plane was hit by a missile over Syria’s territory. It fell down in the Syrian territory four kilometers off the border.”

Very quickly, the Turkish delegation to the UN wrote a one page letter detailing their version of the events, where it mentions the Russian having transgressed Turkish airspace for 17 seconds, while also stating that it warned the Russian planes 10 times within a 5 minute period.

Just on the basis of these fragments of information, the incident was a well prepared ambush of a Russian jet, based on solely on what it was doing at the time.  As a teenager, I once listened in awe to an intercept of a Soviet Bear by RAF jets.  It was a fairly drawn out process with established military rules of engagement in place.  The convention is that intruding aircraft entering a foreign airspace should be warned, intercepted and eventually escorted outside the violated airspace. This has done countless time during the Cold War and even the Turks know the ‘intrusion’ score card, since they are masters at it themselves, given they regularly violate Greek airspace. [1]  According to the Russians, none of this took place.  Even at the subsequent “extraordinary” NATO meeting in the evening, called by Turkey, some participants were left unimpressed with the nature of the Turkish radio communications excerpts & quality of facts presented.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  This is an astonishing set of highly contradictory information.  The Russian jets weren’t in Turkish airspace long enough to be a credible threat. We are talking about a deliberate, planned interception & shooting down of a jet, by a NATO F 16 fighter. The Turks have predictably come out with lame excuses on the shoot-down, including “defending their airspace” but the gem has to be Erdogan’s statement on CNN Turk:

“Turkish President Erdoğan on downed #Russia plane: We have kinsmen in the area that are being bombed.”

This sheds some light on the whole context.  It is well known that Ankara has a dim view on the Russian air campaign in Syria right from the start. They see the Russians safeguarding President Assad’s position in power, since they have attacked some elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that are deemed to be part of the moderate opposition movement against Assad.   It is the exact policy position as the US & NATO.

 Following the bombing of a civilian airliner over the Sinai, Russia had invoked Article 51 of the UN Charter, in its pursuit of terrorists.   Russia had also received UN endorsement to  tackle IS & Al Nursa in the wake of the Paris attacks, in the form of UNGA resolution 2249 (2015).

The shooting down of the Russian SU 24 follows on the heels of a number of significant events, starting with President Putin set down the cards on the table at the G20 Summit, where he alleged the backbone for Daesh/ISIL’s continued existence was been being financed from 40 countries, including some G20 members. It is should be noted that this was an issue that practically went unnoticed in the West’s mainstream media, which is revealing of the underlying 'priorities' in light of the Paris terror attacks.  This is the start of the first act.

 “I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products." 
Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit.

Act two was the recent bombing by the Russian Air Force of Daesh’s oil facilities & tankers, a highly prized source of revenue for them and their ‘sponsors’.   Turkey’s elite is said to be deeply implicated in the transport & distribution of oil produced in ISIL held areas.[2]
So we can imagine the consternation in some circles in Ankara & Doha when this lucrative money spinner is this week literally bombed to pieces. No other air force had been tasked in the same highly visible manner & intensity, as did the Russian Air Force to cripple this sector.

Act 3: to add to Ankara’s woes, the Russian Air Force was also bombing ‘rebel’ positions held by Turkmen, Erdogan's 'kinsmen'.  This no doubt incensed the Turkish government even more, as it played on the ‘nationalism card’, especially in the Hatay region. This is probable point of no return for Turkey with regards to the unfolding Russian air ops and diplomatic gloves coming off at the G20 summit in Antalya.

Add into this volatile mix, the potential for a long line of tangled webs being weaved in the region, with a strong US presence in Turkey.  Additionally, the coordination centre for the Middle-East regional air operations led by the US and the US-led coalition is in Qatar, at the al-Udeid air base. It is known as the United States Air Force Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC).  Take a moment to look at the picture & read the article:

The CAOC tracks the Russian air operations and the Russian authorities did notify the CAOC last week of imminent air strikes.  Back in October there were a number of high-level contacts not only between the US but also Ankara and Moscow on preventing “unintended air incidents, including collisions.”  Likewise the Russians had a hotline with Turkey.

The hotline failed on the morning of the 24th Nov, as succinctly outlined by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov:

He added that all evidence says Turkey planned shooting down the Russian jet. So was there a possibility of released Russian flight plans & tracks used to direct the 2 Turkish F-16 towards the 2 SU-24s?  In all probability, the decision to fire a missile at a SU24 did not solely rest in the hands of the pilot, but much higher up and the Russians surely know this.

The Russians in Syrians are probably one of the most surveilled, tracked & monitored groups under the US & NATO’s watch.   The mistrust between the Turks and the Russians was already there as each other traded accusations of locking on their aircraft quite a few times.  On a sideline, notice how now the US is apparently sending over US EA-18 Growlers to Turkey with an Airborne Electronic Attack capacity. There is already an active US presence at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. If that isn’t a hint to Russia, then what is?

The Russians are no longer  taking any chances.  An anti-aircraft missile unit S-400 was delivered, deployed and put on combat duty at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.    Moreover, they have also brought in the Moskva warship on air defence duties off the Lattakia coast. Meanwhile, Erdogan has reiterated that has said that if Russia violates their airspace again they will give same response.  The stakes in Syria have been raised one notch higher. The Turks have apparently deployed the KORAL Radar Electronic Warfare system,(used for multiple jamming and deception techniques), to counter the latest Russian response.  It remains to be seen what will happen next.

Putin stated in a press conference that Russia gave information on their flights to the US. 
    Just look: we warned our US partners in advance about where our pilots would be operating, when, and at what flight levels. The American side, which heads the coalition that includes Turkey, knew about the location and time of the flights. And that is precisely where and when we were hit.

By establishing a hotline between Ankara & Moscow, in addition to liaising with the COAC in Qatar, Russia’s genuine objectives may have been compromised. No official agreements had been put into place, only a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ not to interfere with each other’s air missions.    That came to an abrupt end with the SU-24 crashing into the Syrian mountains.  It is the Russians who are out on a limb, not the Turks who have the benefit of NATO cover to hide under if the situation gets out of hand.  Oddly, the TU-160 bombers did get fighter cover when they transited Syrian airspace, but not the SU 24s, at the same time the Russians had given prior notification of the air strikes to the COAC in Qatar.

I can see Turkish vested interests trying its best to trip up any consolidation of a well-meaning alliance fighting Daesh on all fronts, in which Russia is trend setter. The fact that Putin had recently publicly alluded to Turkey's little IS financial secrets may have provoked a hostile reaction in Ankara, which culminated in the shooting down of a Russian to distract the world and at the same time try to put Russia on the back foot.

The event bears the hallmarks of a preplanned action to destabilize the Russian air operations at worst and at best drive a wedge between Russia and NATO. Here's a poor joke of a statement that appeared back in August to herald the US & Turkish in the fight against IS:

Turkey and the United States will soon launch a comprehensive war against [the Islamic State

If the Russians took this statement at face value, no wonder they are utterly shocked now at being 'back stabbed'.  The Turkish government does not have the heart to strike at IS, because they see them as being useful & in fact help them. The Turkish air force has carried out more air strikes against the Kurds than IS. Turkey has never been committed to fighting IS at all and has kept its border with the IS controlled territory fully open for more than a year now.

I don’t know how this Turkish back stabbing will affect the notion of a Russo- French partnership that some commentators talked about lately, but the Russians will be more wary about the whole adventure from now on.  Introspection will also be the watchword within the Kremlin.

The latest action by Turkey contradicts completely what happened in 2012, when one of its own F4 Phantom jet was shot down by Syrian air defense off the Lattakia coast.  Back then, President Erdoğan stated that
"A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack."

  Yet this is precisely what Ankara did to the Russian air force in Syria.

No one in the West mainstream media has cottoned on to the fact that there were press photographers & TV stations on hand to film & photograph the SU 24 falling down.   Listen to the CNN footage of the cameras whirring away.

I’ll finish this article with this extract:

“It underscores the risk of escalation of the crisis into a broader and more intense international conflict absent better coordination between the parties involved, whose objectives are both overlapping and divergent in different ways.”

Part 2 - The NATO angle

[1] With well over 1300 violations of Greek airspace in the period of Jan- Aug 2015 alone.

[2] Erdogan family members are said to be involved in working with ISIS.

dimanche 22 novembre 2015

Some perspectives on Nov attacks

1. Nabeel Qureshi - Response to Paris Attacks

My response to the Paris Attacks: we need love and truth. Love for Muslims, but the truth about Islam.

Posted by Nabeel Qureshi on Friday, 20 November 2015

vendredi 20 novembre 2015

The EU, migrants & Visegrad 4

Hungry, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are collectively known as the Visegrad 4 or V4, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year.  PM Orbán congratulated the new Polish PM, and urged "the necessity of more intensive coordination between Visegrad nations."

Back in August, the V4 countries caused a stir in the EU by throwing a spanner in the EU works by refusing to accept an EU wide quota on migrants.   The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius responded by saying that this was "scandalous” and also said that the border barrier being built by Hungary at that time "did not respect Europe's common values".

[Ed-  I’m wondering what he has to say now that Slovenia’s is putting up its own border barrier, (sorry “temporary technical hurdles” in form of razor wired fences).   Or the fact that of Austria has constructed  its own fence on the border with Slovenia.]

Interestingly, the V4 countries did manage to shift Brussel’s position on quotas, as can been seen in their communique in September.  

On the ground, the Visegrad 4 countries are providing border patrols along the Hungarian border with Serbia.   This ties in with what Vitkor Orban stated recently that the EU must first establish its own lines of defence.,polish-border-patrol-units-in-hungary

There is still a deepening unease within the Visegrad 4 countries on the handling of the huge influx of migrants since late summer.  Hungary is acting in accordance with the Schengen Agreement that obliges countries with external Schengen borders to protect it from illegal crossings.  Yet the EU Commission countered a few times this by stating that Hungary was going against EU values!

"The commission does not promote the use of fences and encourages member states to use alternative measures," Natasha Bertaud, the European Commission's spokeswoman for justice and home affairs, in July.

Recently they have deployed around 300 police officers to patrol the Greek – Turkish borders. 

The Hungarian president, Viktor Orban, is quite scathing about the EU leadership, especially in relation with Turkey.  Last week, in Malta, he said “We do not want the EU to sit down to negotiate with Turkey, while giving the impression that it is Turkey which will save the EU. One cannot negotiate if the other party thinks that they are their negotiating partner’s last hope”.

On one hand, the ‘rebellion’ by the Visegrad 4 seems to be a clear cut example of disunity within EU ranks.  On the other hand, it also seems that they are acting as a kind of lifebuoy for the whole EU by taking the initiative & micromanaging a response themselves. This potentially might backfire on them, if Brussels does in the long run doesn't take into consideration the V4 countries’ political agenda concerning the ‘migrant’ flow into the EU. The signals from Brussels are still erratic to say the least, with Berlin still taking the limelight but at the same time staying quite inflexible.

According to a German newspaper Politico, Merkel said  Those who can consider themselves lucky that they have lived to see the end of the Cold War now think that one can completely stay out of certain developments of globalisation. It just strikes me as somehow very weird,” Merkel then said "“When someone says ‘This is not my Europe, I won't accept Muslims,' I have to say, this is not negotiable".  Merkel’s message from Germany didn't always reach a sympathetic audience. A Czech Republic newspaper, Mladá fronta Dnes, stated that it wanted Merkel to be replaced by someone “with a sense of reality” & then said that “We must quickly forget how Germany tried to force us and the other Visegrád states into obedience, how it threatened and insulted us.

It is quite revealing how the V4 are effectively responding in their own way to the sudden influx of migrants, and did so quickly, albeit in small measured steps. While Berlin generates more hot air & seen to be doing practically nothing at all to stem the migrant flow, it seems that the V4 are putting talk, aka “jaw jaw” into real concrete measures by micromanaging a partial unified response to the ongoing challenges, yet still remaining within the EU framework.

Lately, a number of high level V4 politicians seem to be pulling away from Brussel’s position on several issues.  First we had Viktor Orban firmly nailing his political colours to the mast in a number of speeches, now we have Miloš Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic, with his latest defiant speech regarding dissent views, migrants and Islam.   Then of course, a political swing towards the right in Poland recently took place along with a change in policy direction.  So that leaves Slovakia.  Well, the Slovak President doesn’t seem to share the same memo as his other V4 politicians.   AndrejKiska said that the Visegrad 4 cannot become a "troublemaking bloc... with a 'blame it on Brussels' attitude".  Yet, Robert Fico, the prime minister took different line back in August:

"We strongly reject any quotas ... If a mechanism for automatic redistribution of migrants is adopted, then we will wake up one day and have 100,000 people from the Arab world and that is a problem I would not like Slovakia to have." And Fico also send that “"As long as I am prime minister, mandatory quotas will not be implemented on Slovak territory."

Looking at the wider context: George Soros, of Hungarian descent, apparently outlined a 6 point plan in which the following is stated:

First, the EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future. And, to do that, it must share the burden fairly – a principle that a qualified majority finally established at last Wednesday’s summit.”

As if reading the Soros script, Brussels & Berlin did made calls to share the load out to all members of EU, through a quota system.  Notably the Visegrad 4 have officially stated that they are very unhappy at the 'political correctness' behind what they perceived as being 'failed' EU migrant quotas being imposed upon them.  The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, said “Efforts at political correctness, as well as hypocrisy, prevent some from admitting that this is not a migrant crisis, but mass migration”. Moreover he too alluded to Berlin’s initial handling of the migrant influx, when he said that it is unacceptable to make political statements which that can be interpreted as “invitations”.

The mandatory imposition of an EU –wide quota has now been openly challenged by all of the V4 countries, with Poland being the latest member to do so. The Polish foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has recently expressed his concerns over the whole migrant EU quota issue, after the terror attacks in Paris.

Soros’s article specifically mentions Viktor Orban’s own 6 point plan, where he criticizes it since in his opinion it “subordinates the human rights of asylum-seekers and migrants to the security of borders, threatens to divide and destroy the EU by renouncing the values on which it was built…”    The sparring match between Soros & Orban is quite evident.  Orban is not apparently approved of by the EU elites for a while now.  The MSM, right from the very beginning of the migrant ‘crisis, has been highly critical of the Hungarian government’s move in trying to the situation.  Now we can see that the V4 countries are lending a hand to Hungary.   Will this on-going political saber-rattling have wider repercussions on the V4 countries as a whole? Will Brussels be rattled by Orban and also V4’s general political direction?

The reality is that the V4 countries are not only deepening their cooperation between themselves but also wider across with Balkan countries. The Visegrad countries are currently holding a meeting in Prague along with Western Balkans states.  It is interesting to note that Slovenia is increasingly participating in the V4 group, but it is not as a member though. Also noteworthy was a trilateral meeting between Greece, Bulgaria & Hungary at the beginning of November.

While Brussels & Berlin appear to be totally frozen like a rabbit in the lights of a car, the V4 countries are continuing to establish & consolidate their political agendas and measures.

dimanche 15 novembre 2015

Some perspectives [eng]

In the wake Friday 13th Paris attacks

The US administration has been increasingly bellicose about Assad lately.  The US secretary for Defence Ashton Carter talked about more ground troops needed in Syria.   It seems that the US war-mongering plate isn’t quite full, what with the existing hundreds of US bases across the world & the ongoing “war on terror” in places such as Iraq, Nigeria or Afghanistan.

It could be said that the US war hawks’ manna from heaven materialized on late Friday evening in Paris.  What remains to be seen is the final outcome of the G20 summit in Turkey where in haste President Hollande has sent his foreign minister, Laurent Fabius in his place. On a side note, just today, Hollande had an hour long talk with Sarkozy, one of the instigators of the NATO campaign against Libya.  Alternatively, will Turkey’s Erdogan be given free rein to openly intervene in Syria?

Could this be part of a plan to either invoke Article 5 of NATO or creation of NATO "no fly zones"? Is this is the West’s pretext or sorry excuse to attack Syria, since the political & media elites established narrative is stubbornly centred on blaming Assad for all the terrorism in Syria? How many times have we heard Establishment commentators say or write that Assad supports IS or that Russia is apparently the airforce for ISIS? The buzz continues to make its rounds.

This is does not bode well for Syria or Russia, with a hint of possibility of French troops being sent to Syria, as part of the US created “global coalition”. Just a little reminder that the French aircraft carrier has been re-deployed back to the Persian Gulf, ostensibly to fight IS.  Odd, given that it was in the Persian Gulf to assist in combating IS in the first place. But 16/11/15 Hollande has stated that the aircraft carrier will go to the eastern Med instead.

Assad repeatedly warned us in the West, even back in 2012 but the EU political elites simply dismissed it out of hand:

 "What France suffered from savage terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring for over five years. And it is not possible to dissociate what happened yesterday in France with what happened in Beirut two days ago, because terrorism remains terrorism. It is not necessary to consider it as a strike in a different place, Syrian land, Yemeni land, Libyan, or  French ground : in reality, it is one and the same global field."

" Unfortunately, European leaders did not give importance to our statements, but they thought that we were threatening them they have not even learnt the lessons from the Charlie Hebdo events in January. Their statements that they are against terrorism have no value."

The Paris attacks showed another level of sophistication not previously seen before, which has taken some security experts by surprise.  Compared to the Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks in January, the latest attacks had a well-organized command & control that facilitated these terror attacks, with links with Belgium & possibly back to IS controlled territories in the Middle-East. The boomerang effect is here to stay indefinitely largely due to the West warped understanding of upholding democratic values.

Many people will plead either ignorance or complete stupidity about the level of Islamic terror attacks.  So let’s take a trip down memory lane, courtesy of Der Speigel. Back then in 2005, it was about al-Qaida, the scary bogeyman of the West, now transformed into the more brutal IS.  The article outlines its strategy, step by step and describes “a lunatic plan conceived by fanatics who live in their own world, but who continually manage to break into the real world with their brutal acts of violence.”  Notice how the Third step from 2007 to 2010 is focused on Syria.  “The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared.” Dose of deja-vu anyone?

Notwithstanding the deliberate Western media & political obscuring of the origins & tangled web of connections between the terror groups, most of the West’s intelligence services clearly know about the origins of IS, as succinctly put by a French general to the French Senate in 2014:

Who is the doctor that created this Frankenstein? Let’s clearly state it since it has consequences, it is the US. [But also] Other players out of short-term political policies; who appear to the West’s friends. Other players, through complacency or with deliberate intent, have contributed to this construction and to its strengthening. But the first culprits are the United States.” 
Général Vincent Desportes, 17th December 2014

Quelle surprise – pas! One of the reported attackers was apparently known since 2010 to the French security services, under the famous and notorious “Fiche S”, ("sûreté d'Etat"), system, used for known radicalized individuals.  Seriously what are these people doing loose in France, if they don’t like the French lifestyle & values?  It doesn't bear thinking that some even had access to airside parts of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

It seems that some of  those not only had been given a free pass by the authorities, including not going to prison  but actually went as far as going to Syria to fight over there. The problem is when the chickens come home to roost.

Marc Trévidic,a French anti-terrorist judge, mentioned in September 2015 that "The real war that the IS intends to carry out on our soil has not yet begun." He added that " the men of Daech have the means, the money and the ability to easily acquire as many guns as they want and organize mass attacks." 

ISIS is both supported behind the scenes by Turkey, a NATO member state.  NATO has either turned a blind eye or given the ok to the Salafi/Wahabi proxy army.   Equally disturbing is the fact that Western corporate media outlets have done doing their best to whitewash IS and cover up the EU, Qatari, Saudi, US & Turkey backing of these evil shits.

It was originally reported that 2 passports of the alleged attackers were Syrian & are that of recent ‘migrants’, into the EU. A Greek official commented that "“Either this person passed through Greece posing as a refugee, or along the way he bought or stole the passport. At this stage either scenario is possible.”  It is possible that the names M. al Mahmod & Ahmad Almohammad are false.  Information on one of them was given a Serbian newspaper. [Update French police confirm that 2 passports are bogus & probably forged in Turkey].  2 of the Stade de France suicide bombers did arrive in Greece on the in October in a  boat group of 200. A week later, the French prime minister Valls said on France 2 TV station, "These individuals took advantage of the refugee crisis... of the chaos, perhaps, for some of them to slip in" to France".  
German authorities have reported that  1 in 3 of the wannabe European settlers have fake IDs, where " at some border crossings 90 percent claim to be from Syria." That must be not so heartening news for European law enforcement, the fact that fraudulent use of documents is OK & hence no need to tighten border controls.  Judging from videos showing the migrant flow into Europe & into the Schengen area, there are a lot out there that are pretending to be Syrian, even if they don’t speak Arabic!

Cynically speaking of course, let's take inspiration from Soros,to allow the EU elites to completely throw open the borders, & do away with Schengen.   That way, no one will know how many mischief makers, criminals & terrorists enter Europe. That fits in well with what is being stated in the MSM, "Yet, the possibility that one of the attackers came from Syria has already been seized upon as an opportunity to criticise and alter refugee policy not just in Europe, but across the world" France 24.  The bottom line is don't dare to criticise or alter the EU's 'virtuous' migration policy since it is deemed to be non-negotiable.

 Once more, very few searching questions are being asked about the widespread circulation of mostly fake Syrian passports, seemingly coming from Turkey! Despite this lax attitude on the part of the MSM, one enterprising Dutch journalist managed to obtain a forged Syrian passport  & ID card with a photo of the Dutch prime minister, all for 750€! Furthermore, 10,000 fake Syrian passports have been seized in Bulgaria alone, a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated 150,000 refugees who have recently entered the EU with false IDs. 1 or 2 of them  did take advantage of the chaotic influx into the EU and subsequently  turned up in Paris where they killed ordinary people out & about & enjoying their Friday evening.

Calls including by the French Greens, have been made not to stigmatize migrants in the wake of the attacks, but have ever so quiet on making suggestions as to how to deal security questions arising from the huge migrant flow. At the same time there is increasing evidence being provided by police on a potential terror networks stretching across Europe.  Certain mainstream media outlets feel greatly concerned about the political negative fall-out that the Paris attacks have had on the migrant flows into the Schengen area. In a nutshell, here is what the Guardian has to say: "Increasing fear of Muslims being associated with terror attacks; with potentially more hatred shown by far-right groups".  Apparently we need to be more concerned about so called far-right groups than actual indoctrinated murderers returning from the Syrian conflict, planning killing sprees in Europe and across the world.

Yet, 13% of Syrian refugees in Lebanese, Jordanian & Turkish refugee camps, viewed IS in a 'positive' or "positive to a certain extent". This is according to a 2014 report, the Arab Opinion Index Team -  Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, based in Doha, Qatar.  So a probably a fair sprinkling of IS sympathisers if not supporters in  are scattered to the four corners of the EU, largely thanks to Merkel & Erdogan's actions in the summer of 2015.  This does not help other Syrian refugees either, since a large proportion, 73% have a negative view of IS.  We have all found ourselves in uncharted waters, with various key state & regional players bit by bit revealing their geopolitical  true colours & long-term intentions, such as the US & Saudi Arabia.  Other key players simply have melted into the night, such the EU, due to a complete inability to take concrete measures.

"Europe has not yet become aware of its incompatibility with IS. But as long as it exists, Europe will not resume its former way of life. It is a truth that is not fun"
Alexey  Puchkov, Head of foreign affairs committee, Duma, Russia

Often cited by establishment media and intensely disliked by EU elites,Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, had previously warned about the unchecked "tidal wave" of migrants entering into Europe: 

Everything which is now taking place before our eyes threatens to have explosive consequences for all of Europe… If Europe does not return to the path of common sense, it will find itself laid low in a battle for its fate.”

It is not as if we have not been warned about the outrageous behaviour of the US & NATO proxies.  At the end of September, Vladimir Putin clearly alluded to this absurd state of affairs in his speech to the UNGA:

“It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.

We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.

Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can’t allow them to return home and continue with their criminal activities. Nobody wants that, right?”

Unfortunately, ordinary people in Paris were on the receiving end of assault rifles & explosives and over 130+  of them lost their lives.


Blaming Assad


Assad TV interview:

 Der Speigel:

Général Vincent Desportes, 17th December 2014

Paris Match interview:

RT 1:3 fake IDs

Blic :

Syrian passport: