Τουρκική Δολιότητης Η (Διαζ) Το Ιράν Σε Ρόλο… Παρθενόπης (!..) Και Άλλα Χρήσιμα Άρθρα + 1 ΥΓ!..
– Διαβάστε παρακάτω κάποια άρθρα (αναδημοσιεύσεις χωρίς την άδεια των συντακτών τους), εκτιμώμενα ως “χρήσιμα” από εμάς, για όσους φυσικά ασχολούνται με… μας (!..), ώστε να έχετε, πιθανώς, μια πληρέστερη και διαυγέστερη εικόνα, για τα διαλαμβανόμενα σ’ αυτά θέματα! (Το 1ο άρθρο μας είναι ο… μισός τίτλος μας)!..
1. Report: Turkey sold Iran Israeli-made devices with nuclear applications
May 17, 2018
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard threatens Israel, displays “Ghadr H” surface-to-surface ballistic missile, June 23, 2017. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Turkey allegedly tried smuggling made-in-Israel electronic devices to Iran that could be used as parts for nuclear weapons triggers.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Did Turkey violate United Nations Resolution 2231 that does not allow components or technologies that could be used in nuclear weapons to be sold to Iran? The international organization’s Secretariat has asked Israel, among other countries, to help it find out, according to a report Thursday in Yedioth Ahranoth.
The story began last July, said the paper, when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seized a shipment that Turkey was sending to Iran that contained CSP 180/300 model capacitors. These small devices are what is called dual-use technology. High speed capacitors are components that are critical to activate, or trigger, a nuclear weapon. However, capacitors in general are widely used in many common electrical devices.
The twist in the tale is that these specific capacitors were made in Israel, by a Jerusalem-based company called Celem Power Capacitors. So when the UAE notified the UN of the Turks’ alleged offense, its Secretariat, which is empowered to investigate possible violations of Security Council resolutions, wrote to the Israeli government to ask it to “provide pertinent information on the matter forthwith.”
The Israeli company was adamant that it had no idea why its products would be on their way to Iran, reported Yedioth Ahranoth.
“We will cooperate with any investigation,” Celem was quoted as saying. “We will prove that we sold it to Turkey, to an established firm. We don’t sell to enemy countries. Most of our sales are to Europe and the US, but Turkey is not an enemy country and there is no obstacle to trading with it”.
If the legal customer then went on to attempt a smuggling operation to Iran, they added, then “the buyer deceived us.”
Celem’s website states that it has an active R&D center in Jerusalem and holds over 30 patents in various areas of capacitor-related technology. It is a family-owned business established in 1963 that moved from France to Israel in 2003.
2. TRUMP, TRUMAN AND ISRAEL
The Deep State’s decades-long war on Israel — and the presidents who have stood in its way.
Michael Ledeen is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
I dare say few Americans know that May 14th is the anniversary of the United States’ recognition of Israel. It was done by President Harry S. Truman, in the face of extraordinary opposition from several of Truman’s closest advisers.
It wasn’t easy. Some of the most powerful men in America were opposed, and they weren’t reluctant to fight the president. We’ve got a melodramatic account from Richard Holebrooke, who interviewed all the principal players some years later, and wrote an essay about it for the Washington Post.
Holbrooke contends that “beneath the surface lay unspoken but real anti-Semitism on the part of some (but not all) policymakers. The position of those opposing recognition was simple — oil, numbers and history.
According to (Holbrooke’s records, Defense Secretary James Forrestal told ( Truman assistant Clark) Clifford that “There are thirty million Arabs on one side and about 600,000 Jews on the other. Why don’t you face up to the realities?”
‘Crisis narrowly averted’
On May 12, Holbrooke says, Truman held a meeting in the Oval Office to decide the issue.
“Marshall (the secretary of state) and his deputy, Robert Lovett, made the case for delaying recognition — and ‘delay’ really meant ‘deny.’ Truman asked his young aide, Clark Clifford, to present the case for immediate recognition. When Clifford finished, Marshall, uncharacteristically, exploded: ‘I don’t even know why Clifford is here. He is a domestic adviser, and this is a foreign policy matter. The only reason Clifford is here is that he is pressing a political consideration.’
We don’t know how or even if, General Marshall voted in the 1948 elections, but we do know that he was of a piece with other branches of the establishment, notably what we now call the intelligence community. Listen to the authoritative Michael Doran:
…No sooner had Truman recognized Israel than the CIA secretly sponsored and funded the establishment of the American Friends of the Middle East. Outwardly a ‘people-to-people’ public diplomacy initiative, AFME brought influential Middle Easterners to the United States, helped them write and publish books and articles, and seeded Middle Eastern student organizations on American college campuses. It also lobbied Congress – against Israel…
We’re talking seventy years ago. The foreign policy establishment didn’t like Israel, and took action against it. The pattern continues to this day, and should be internalized by the current administration.
Trump and his team were flabbergasted when the Washington establishment not only refused to carry out his policies, but fought them. He shouldn’t have been surprised. That is the pattern, and it applies across the board, from national security to tax and trade. It won’t be changed spontaneously, Trump, Kelly et. al. must grab the system by the throat and impose their will on it.
The president has to fight for his policies every day, and to be effective he must take control of the bureaucracy, staffing it out with his own people. The key positions are the “action jobs,” the assistant secretaryships. Moreover, he must ruthlessly and systematically fire, or transfer way down the corridors of power, those who oppose him. That most certainly starts with the leakers.
By and large, this is Trump’s greatest failure, although he shows signs of getting it right. The best news comes from the Senate, where McConnell excels at getting solid candidates confirmed in judgeships. Surprised? Me too. I’m not a big McConnell fan. But lots of credit should go to him and to the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Iowa’s most impressive pig farmer, Chuck Grassley. Grassley’s arguably been the best Republican Senator, and the Trumpkins should cherish him. He has shown, and in the life and death matter of the corruption of the justice/intelligence/law enforcement world, that it is possible to obtain good results. We still await the dropping of many shoes, but they may fall soon. Anyone see the Justice IG report?
3. FREE SYRIAN ARMY COMMANDER GAVE OBAMA SUPPLIES TO AL QAEDA
When John Kerry, John Brennan and the rest of the Obama gang do their tour of media green rooms and late lunches offering reproving quotes about Trump’s foreign policy, here’s a reminder of what they oversaw.
U.S. military equipment and ammunition, sent to Syria as part of a failed Obama administration plan to find and arm moderate forces to defeat ISIS, were instead simply handed over to an Al Qaeda group, according to the man who said he himself brokered the deal.
“I communicated with Al Qaeda’s branch, Al Nusra, to protect and safely escort me and my soldiers for two hours from North Aleppo to West Aleppo,” Maj. Anas Ibrahim Obaid, better known on the battlefield as Abu Zayd, told Fox News from his home in the western Aleppo area. “In exchange, I gave them five pickup trucks and ammunition.”
This was a very well thought out program. Of course.
He claimed the main prerequisite for inclusion in the program was proof of association with a group that had fought ISIS, the Islamic State. That was followed by a few basic questions, like, “With which faction did you fight?” and “What do you think about ISIS?”
Meanwhile Zayd is still in the FSA and selling US weapons on the black market.
Zayd said the Pentagon halted the troubled program about a month after his deal with Al Nusra. “I got many messages the Americans do not want to deal with me anymore. But they can’t get their weapons back,” he boasted.
Over Skype from his living room, Zayd showed off an assortment of M-16 and M-24 sniper rifles, as well as ammo, mortar rounds and machine guns. He claimed most in his arsenal were U.S.-issued, with more in a nearby warehouse.
Sources close to Zayd told Fox News his American-funded goods routinely surface on the black market, and constitute something of a lucrative business. Zayd today remains a commander for the Free Syrian Army.
Hope. Change. Jihad.
4. THE FIRST PRO-ISRAEL ADMINISTRATION
Why Trump can be pro-Israel when no one else could.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
After Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israel teens (one of them Israeli-American), Barack Obama urged Israel not to “destabilize the situation.”
Secretary of State John Kerry warned that, “The perpetrators must be brought to justice… without destabilizing the situation.” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psak told, “Both sides to exercise restraint and avoid the types of steps that could destabilize the situation.”
When Hezbollah terrorists opened fire on Israeli villages and took two the bodies of two Israeli soldiers as hostages, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted, “All sides must act with restraint to resolve this incident peacefully.” When Hamas kidnapped Gilad Shalit, another soldier, she urged Israel to “Calm the situation, not to let the situation escalate and give diplomacy a chance to work.”
After the latest attacks by Iran and Hamas, the EU, the UK, France, Germany and China called on Israel to exercise “restraint”. “We continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint,” the UK’s Alistair Burt insisted. France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian demanded that Israel, “Act with caution and restraint in the use of force, which must be strictly proportional”.
Belgium called Israel’s ambassador in to browbeat her for defending her own country.
At the White House, the media demanded that deputy press secretary Raj Shah issue some sort of call for “restraint”. Instead Shah made it clear, “Hamas is responsible.”
“Does the U.S. not agree with the French, that Israeli authorities should exercise discretion and restraint?” NBC News’ Peter Alexander asked.
Shah once again pointed out that it was a Hamas attack.
“So there’s no responsibility beyond that on the Israeli authorities? Kill at will?” the frustrated NBC News hack barked. What he and the rest of the media wanted was for Trump to stop Israel from fighting back.
That was what “restraint” had always meant. And the same game had been played by every administration. Israel would respond to a terrorist attack. And then there would be immediate calls for restraint. That code word meant that Israel had to immediately stop fighting back against the terrorists.
At the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley put the restraint meme to bed. “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” she said.
The meeting had been called by Kuwait’s ambassador. The Muslim country’s response to Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War had been to ethnically cleanse 200,000 of them.
In response to an upsurge in Muslim violence, China banned beards and burqas, ordered Muslim storekeepers to sell liquor and warned against children attending Koran classes.
“The records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained,” Haley added.
All administration, even those of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, had claimed to be pro-Israel. But for the first time ever, there was an actual pro-Israel administration. There have been pro-Israel presidents before, but their campaign convictions never translated into White House policy. Walled in by their advisers, Republicans would end up with a foreign policy barely distinguishable from Democrats.
President Trump is the first pro-Israel president who actually has a pro-Israel policy. This is the first administration to have a pro-Israel Secretary of State, National Security Adviser and UN Ambassador.
And so it’s the first administration that actually means what it says.
The embassy move, the upending of the Iran nuke scam and the refusal to condemn Israel for fighting Hamas are examples of this incredible new phenomenon in the often tawdry history of foreign policy.
A pro-Israel administration isn’t measured by the size of its foreign aid. The financial barometer that politicians love to use is often just a kickback to politically connected American companies. Being pro-Israel doesn’t mean money. It means letting Israel protect its borders and people against terrorists.
Pro-Israel is respect.
If you respect a country, you don’t second guess its self-defense or tell it where its capital is.
During the Obama years, Hillary Clinton had bragged that she was the “designated yeller”. One time, she yelled at the Israeli Prime Minister for 45 minutes after the Jerusalem municipality approved one stage of a possible housing plan while Biden was in the country.
It’s a sure bet that Secretary of State Pompeo hasn’t spent 45 minutes yelling at Netanyahu.
Forget all the policy details. Forget Jerusalem, Hamas, the Green Line and Iran’s nuclear program. When your diplomatic relationship is defined by yelling over the phone at Israel, that’s not pro-Israel. The contempt and hostility in the style of that relationship reflected the substance of the relationship.
And the mutual respect of the relationship style under Trump also reflects its deeper substance.
There’s a very good reason for that.
Democrat and Republican administrations chased stability by appeasing terrorists and pressuring Israel to show restraint and not “destabilize” matters by fighting terrorism. That was followed by demands for a diplomatic solution which the establishment claimed would bring stability to the region.
Every previous administration treated Israel as the problem. And that made it impossible for them to be pro-Israel. If you view a country as the problem, your relationship to it will be the “designated yeller.”
Trump isn’t a stability guy. He knows the power of creative chaos. Stability is the coat that a failed establishment uses to hide its lack of imagination. Instead he dumped the Iran deal and moved the embassy to Jerusalem because he wants results and isn’t interested in the establishment’s status quo.
That’s why he can be pro-Israel.
The obsession with stability eventually turned every administration against Israel. Every terror attack and Israeli response created crises that previous administrations would stabilize with meaningless truces and worthless deals that rewarded the terrorists and punished Israel. And that kept the violence going.
President Trump however knows that forcing a crisis can actually lead to a resolution. That’s what he did in North Korea. His predecessors were more willing to go to war than face a diplomatic crisis. They were told by their advisers that instability was an even greater threat than war and that as the leaders of a superpower, they were geopolitical managers tasked with maintaining stability around the world.
Our enemies became used to employing chaos to threaten stability. But Trump showed North Korea that he could be a bigger and scarier chaos agent. Iran is using Hamas to unleash chaos, but it doesn’t understand that Trump can ride bigger probability waves than its virgin-seeking suicide bombers.
The Trump revolution blew out stale lies for harsh truths. Trump enjoys the thrill of a crisis and isn’t afraid to throw a punch. His predecessors thought like managers while he thinks like an insurgent. They saw a crisis as a threat to order. Trump sees a crisis as an opportunity to achieve a desired outcome.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump is willing to let Israel do what it needs to do. And see what emerges from the crisis. That’s why so much of the foreign policy establishment panicked when he came on the scene.
Left to their own devices, the foreign policy establishment would be demanding, “restraint” from Israel. But Trump neither demands nor exercises restraint. He knows, what so many in America and Israel have forgotten, that you don’t win through restraint, but by doing what you need to do to win.
The motto of the 2016 campaign was, “Let Trump be Trump.” Trump’s approach for now has been to, “Let Israel be Israel.”
5. Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Cyber Defence Pledge Conference (Ecole militaire, Paris)
Ladies and gentlemen.
May I start by thanking France for hosting us today.
France is a strong NATO Ally, contributing to our shared security and our collective defence in many different ways.
You have high end capabilities.
You have professional, dedicated forces.
You have the resolve and the will to deploy them when needed.
And also in cyber space we see France leading the way.
And just the fact that France is organising this conference.
The first annual conference on the Cyber Defence Pledge.
Shows France’s strong commitment to our collective defence and also to the efforts to strengthening our cyber defences.
And to implement the Cyber Defence Pledge.
So therefore it is really a great honour and pleasure to be part of the opening of this conference.
Moving NATO forward when it comes to adapting to the many threats and challenges we see in cyberspace.
From the moment a rock was first used as a hammer, society has been driven by technology.
Today’s great leap forward is not physical, but it is digital.
In just a few decades, the digital revolution has given more people access to communication, education and news than ever before.
But there is a dark side to this technology.
In recent years, we have seen many large scale cyber-attacks.
Here in France, TV-Cinq Monde was taken off air by hackers.
‘Fancy Bear’, a group associated with the Kremlin, hacked the main political parties in the United States.
In a brazen attempt to influence the 2016 election.
Last years’ WannaCry attack forced Renault to halt production at several of its factories.
And brought hospitals in the United Kingdom to a standstill.
The very nature of these attacks is a challenge.
It is often difficult to know who has attacked you.
Or even if you have been attacked at all.
There are many different actors.
Governments, but also criminal gangs, terrorist groups and lone individuals.
Nowhere is the ‘Fog of War’ thicker than it is in cyberspace.
Low cost and high impact, cyber-attacks are now a part of our lives.
Some seek to damage or destroy.
If these were hard attacks, using bombs or missiles instead of computer code, they could be considered an act of war.
But instead, some are using software to wage a soft-war.
A soft-war with very real, and potentially deadly consequences.
For almost 70 years, NATO has been the bedrock of transatlantic security.
Whether on land, at sea, or in the air.
The same is now true in cyberspace.
Today, NATO has three key roles to play in cyberspace.
To drive progress across the Alliance.
To act as a hub for information sharing, training and expertise.
And to protect our networks.
First, driving progress across the Alliance.
In 2014, NATO leaders agreed that a cyber-attack could trigger Article 5 of our founding treaty.
Where an attack on one Ally is treated as an attack on all Allies.
Traditionally, an Article 5 attack would be with tanks, aircraft and soldiers.
Now it can come in the form of a cyber-attack.
Placing cyber at the very heart of what we do.
In 2016, NATO leaders designated cyberspace as a ‘domain’, alongside land, sea and air.
This meant re-examining everything we do, from top to bottom.
Whether we are in Afghanistan or the Baltic countries, cyber is now a core part of our operations.
Also in 2016, leaders agreed to the Cyber Defence Pledge.
The focus of this conference.
As a result, in less than two years, almost every Ally has upgraded their cyber defences.
France is leading the way, investing 1.6 billion euros and employing thousands more cyber experts.
But Allies are not working alone.
Throughout NATO, they are working together, pooling their knowledge and experience, and helping each other.
The Cyber Pledge has a multiplier effect across the Alliance.
With the results being far greater than the sum of their parts.
The Pledge is also helping nations to look at their cyber-defences in a far broader, more holistic way.
Involving government departments, public sector organisations, private companies and individual citizens.
Each of them has an important role to play.
NATO’s second role is as a hub of operational information and expertise.
We share information about cyber threats in real-time.
As we did with the European Union, nations and private companies during last year’s WannaCry and NotPetya attacks.
As part of our new Command Structure, we are setting up a Cyber Operations Centre.
To integrate cyber into our planning and operations.
And I welcome the contribution by some Allies of their national cyber capabilities to NATO, as Minister Parly just mentioned.
I hope that more Allies will make similar offers at our next Summit in July.
NATO Cyber Rapid Reaction teams are on standby to assist Allies, 24 hours a day.
And the NATO Centre of Excellence for Cyber Defence in Estonia leads on research, education and training.
The Centre of Excellence also organises large-scale cyber exercises, such as last month’s Locked Shields, the world’s largest, live-fire cyber exercise.
It gave participants the chance to test their systems and critical infrastructure against world-class opponents.
The exercise consisted of 30 teams and more than a thousand cyber-experts.
And I am delighted – and a little relieved! – to say that the NATO team won!
And since I’m in Paris, I’m also glad to say the French team came a very close second!
Finally, NATO’s final role is to defend its own networks.
NATO has hundreds of experts protecting our networks and systems around the clock.
And we need them.
NATO is attacked every single day.
And the threat is evolving all the time.
Being strong in cyberspace is as important for our deterrence as our conventional forces have always been.
The idea of deterrence is simple.
To make the potential costs of an attack too high.
And make the potential gains of an attack too low.
By making cyber a domain…
By encouraging Allies to develop their own cyber capabilities…
And by agreeing that a cyber-attack can trigger an Article 5 response…
We can make the potential cost of action by an aggressor high.
And, in that way, strengthen our deterrence, defence and resilience in cyberspace.
I am often asked, ‘under what circumstances would NATO trigger Article 5 in the case of a cyber-attack?’
My answer is: we will see.
The level of cyber-attack that would provoke a response must remain purposefully vague.
As will the nature of our response.
But it could include diplomatic and economic sanctions, cyber-responses, or even conventional forces, depending on the nature and consequences of the attack.
We need a full spectrum response.
So we can respond to serious cyber-attacks even if they don’t cross the Article 5 threshold.
But whatever the response, NATO will continue to follow the principle of restraint.
And act in accordance with international law.
Knowing who has carried out an attack can often be difficult – initially at least.
But attribution can also play an important role in helping to deter future attacks.
We must also lower the potential gains of any attack.
The Cyber Pledge increases investment in new, secure systems.
But even the best system is only as secure as its users.
Some of the biggest cyber-attacks have only been possible because of human error.
Such as picking up an infected USB Drive placed in a car park, and plugging it into a computer.
Or clicking on a bad link in a ‘phishing’ email.
It is time we all woke up to the potential dangers of cyber threats.
In the Second World War there was a popular saying.
“Loose lips sink ships.”
Today it is weak passwords, failing to add software updates, or opening unfamiliar emails.
But if we get them right, we go a long way to protecting ourselves.
So, ladies and gentlemen, the digital revolution has improved our lives in many ways.
But like the physical world, there are dangers that we must guard against.
We are making real progress.
Nations are investing resources where it counts.
And people the world over are increasingly aware of the importance of being secure online.
Today’s conference focusses on NATO’s Cyber Pledge.
A pledge that is driving progress across the Alliance.
And making us all safer as a result.
I hope you have a productive conference and help drive that progress even further.
Thank you so much and all the best with the conference.
6. THE NEW AXIS OF EVIL
When Iran, Russia and Turkey collude.
In his January 29, 2002, State of the Union address, President George W. Bush inaugurated the phrase “Axis of Evil.” He described the regimes of Iran Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and North Korea as such. Bush stated that, “…Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature.
(Kim Jong-il’s) North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom. Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror.
The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.”
The butchery in Syria has exposed a new team in the “Axis of Evil” including the Bashar Assad regime, Iran, Russia, and Turkey’s maniacal president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Together, they have killed half a million Syrians, mostly civilians, and caused another 11 million civilians to flee and become refugees. They dropped barrel bombs and used poisoned gas on innocent civilians, including women and children. Together, they have devastated large cities such as Aleppo, and smaller ones like Afrin, once held by Kurds and bombed by the Turks. Syrian and Russian war planes have targeted hospitals, churches, mosques, and other public places where people might seek shelter. Iran’s proxy, the Hezbollah terrorist organization, has starved entire cities into submission. What is common to all of them is that they head dictatorial regimes.
North Korea’s cruel dictatorship that starves its people and intimidates the international community with nuclear weapons, especially South Korea, is still a solid member of the “Axis of Evil.” If however North Korea denuclearizes as a result of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and its “Rocket Man,” Kim Jong-Un, North Korea might be able to exit from the “honor” of being part of the “Axis of Evil.”
With Saddam Hussein gone, Iraq today is under the leadership of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has exited the “Axis of Evil” club. Nonetheless, the dictatorship of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are seeking to subvert the nascent Iraqi experiment with democracy. PM Abadi is subjected to powerful Shiite militia leaders agitating on behalf of Iran. Abadi would like to stay neutral in the Iran-Saudi (Shiite-Sunni) rivalry and benefit from both. His people are predominantly Arab, but the majority of his support comes from his fellow Shiites, who identify with non-Arab Shiite Iran.
Gary Osen, in a Newsmax piece, pointed out that “Iran has emerged as the dominant regional power in the Middle East. With Russia’s assistance, it now controls four Arab capitals, (Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and Sanaa) and is within striking distance of destroying the security architecture America carefully constructed over the past seventy years.” The Islamic Republic of Iran evil is not however limited to its imperialistic machinations, it is a cruel and evil regime that oppresses its own people, and persecutes its ethnic and religious minorities. Its nuclear ambitions, coupled with its messianic and apocalyptic designs of its leadership, endangers world peace, the security of its neighbors, and the world.
Delivering a dramatic speech from the White House (May 8, 2018) on the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), President Trump stated that “The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda (and Hamas in Gaza).
President Trump went on to say, “Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise (to abstain from developing its nuclear program) was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons. Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads. Finally, the deal does nothing to constrain Iran’s destabilizing activities, including support for terrorism. Since the (2015) agreement, Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen.
In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40%, while its economy is doing very badly. After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
Putin’s Russia allied with Iran, the Assad regime, and apparently Erdogan’s Turkey, has used the same rationale that Hitler used to annex first the Sudetenland and then the entirety of Czechoslovakia in October, 1938 and March, 1939. Putin annexed Ukrainian Crimea into Russia, and sent Russian-speaking proxies to detach sections of Eastern Ukraine from the sovereign Ukrainian state. Putin’s rationale was similar to Hitler’s in claiming that this act of aggression meant to “correct a historical wrong.” Today, Russia is complicit in the destruction of Syria, and the mass killing of its civilian population, along with the Assad regime and Iran. Putin’s dream is to re-create the Soviet Union, and restore its status as a superpower.
An unholy alliance has recently emerged between Russia, Iran and Erdogan’s Turkey. Turkey has been drawn into this alliance because it wants to crush the U.S. backed Kurdish forces. President Erdogan recently signed a $2.5 billion arms deal with Russia for S-400 sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, which raised deep concerns among NATO allies. Erdogan’s unrelenting assaults on the Kurdish people in his own country as well as in Syria, killing civilians under the pretext of combatting “terror,” is just one side of the new partner in the “Axis of Evil.” Erdogan’s has transformed Turkey from a secular, democratic state into another Islamist dictatorship with mass arrests, curtailment of press freedom, and human rights abuses. His illusions of grandeur seeks to restore the “glories” of the Ottoman Empire and the leadership of the Sunni-Muslim world.
While Syria’s Bashar Assad is merely an instrument to be used, Iran, Russia and Turkey are dangerous actors in the global arena. Together they constitute the new “Axis of Evil.”
7. ERDOGAN UNHINGED
The erratic behavior of Turkey’s leader calls for a decisive response.
In the past twenty-four hours, Turkey’s increasingly unhinged Islamist leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has taken the following actions and made the following pronouncements;
- Recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Israel;
- Expelled Israel’s ambassador to Ankara, Eitan Na’eh and then attempted to humiliate him at the airport by subjecting him to intrusive scrutiny;
- Expelled Israel’s consul general in Istanbul, Yossi Levi Sfari;
- Hosted the rabidly anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic fringe group known as Neturei Karta and pronounced them to be “representatives of the Jewish community.” The Neturei Karta is a reviled, marginal cult numbering no more than perhaps 1,500-2,000 members worldwide. They are infamously known for their shamefully submissive and obsequious conduct before the enemy.
- Voiced support for Hamas, a terrorist organization recognized as such by most of the world’s civilized community;
- Referred to Israel as a “terrorist state,” and;
- Called upon the Muslim world to unite against Israel and downgrade ties.
I recently noted 12 reasons why Turkey should be expelled from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forthwith. I can now come up with a half-dozen more. Turkey under Erdoğan has transformed itself into the Sunni version of Iran. It is expansionist, having invaded two of its neighbors within the past two years; has little regard for human rights, little regard for press freedoms, treats the judiciary (which has been stacked with Erdoğan shills) as a tool of oppression and routinely snatches and detains foreign nationals on contrived charges for future bargaining positions.
But expelling Turkey from NATO is insufficient. The United States (I expect little from our craven NATO allies) can and must do more to punish Turkey for its outrageous, pariah-like conduct. First, working with Congress, President Trump should formally recognize the historic tragedy of the Armenian genocide, the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians. The Turkish government has routinely denied its role in committing this genocide, disputing the numbers killed and perniciously claiming that those who were murdered or starved to death were simply casualties of war. Turkey must acknowledge its sole responsibility, and formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide would provide the Turks with the necessary jolt.
Second, the U.S. should consider imposing a partial arms embargo on Turkey. Turkey is slated to receive the F-35 fifth generation fighter. That deal should be nixed immediately on humanitarian and security-related grounds. The F-35 contains top secret stealth and other technologies that must be safeguarded. The Turks have proven to be untrustworthy, having betrayed intelligence assets to Iran. Moreover, they’ve been caught red-handed transferring banned electronic components to the Islamic Republic. The embargo should also include restrictions on the sale of attack helicopters and spare parts for the Turkish air force, which is being utilized by the Turks to bomb and strafe Kurdish civilian areas within Turkey and Syria. In Afrin, the Turkish air force bombed militias allied with coalition forces in the fight against ISIS, without regard for U.S. concerns.
Concurrent with the arms embargo, the administration should increase military assistance to Greece, which is the recipient of frequent Turkish aggression in the form of ship rammings and airspace intrusions. We must ensure that Greece as well as Cyprus can defend themselves against Turkish expansionism in the Mediterranean. Recent gas findings in the eastern Mediterranean along with Greek-Israeli-Cypriot cooperation in energy exploration, marketing and infrastructure, brings urgency to the matter.
For years, the Turks have waged an unrelenting campaign of terror against their Kurdish minority. It is estimated that since 1984, more than 40,000 people (mostly Kurdish civilians) have died in Turkey’s merciless campaign of terror against the Kurds. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the guerrilla group waging a campaign for greater Kurdish autonomy in Turkey is currently listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department. The State Department should give serious consideration to de-listing the PKK from the FTO categorization but that action would largely depend on whether the PKK can refrain from targeting civilians.
Finally, the U.S. should declare the IHH, the Turkish-backed non-government organization that refers to itself as a “humanitarian relief foundation,” as a terrorist organization. The IHH is a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot with close links to Hamas. It was responsible for organizing the 2010 flotilla in which its ships tried to break the Israeli naval quarantine around Gaza. Israel maintains this quarantine to prevent arms and other contraband from reaching Hamas. Israel intercepted the flotilla and during the course of the operation, its naval commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara (the largest of the blockade-running ships). They were instantly attacked by IHH terrorists armed with clubs, knives and “hot weapons.” The commandos killed 10 of the Turkish assailants in self-defense. The IHH has been placed on Israel’s terror watch list and the group has been banned from the country.
In 2010, a bipartisan group of 87 senators penned a letter to Barack Obama requesting that the IHH be investigated and asked the administration to consider placing the IHH on the FTO list. The Obama administration took no action. The time has come for the Trump administration to list the IHH as an FTO, which would have an immediate negative impact on the group’s financial situation and hamper its fundraising and logistical activities.
Like all bullies, Erdoğan must be made to understand that his words and actions have consequences. It is doubtful that these actions will sway this megalomaniac but it may make Turks understand that their leader is leading them into the abyss.
Πολλά Χαιρετίσματα στα αδέλφια ΚΑΜΜΕΝΟΥ, Που Έχουν Μια Ιδιαίτερη Σχέση Με Το… Κολοδάκτυλο!