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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Erdoğan, Kerry, and Sisi

6:17 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Last time I’d checked, Erdoğan, was sputtering about how it was foreign powers that were propagating “dissemination propaganda”…!

Well, Voilà…

Erdogan’s corruption defense falls flat

Denying the corruption accusations that brought his party under a disconcerting spotlight, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been lamenting press attempts to “throw the mud and see if it sticks.” He indirectly accused the judiciary of being taken over by the Fethullah Gulen religious movement, as well as acting as a subcontractor to foreign powers who, out of envy for Turkey’s political and economic success, manufactured this corruption plot to finish him off just as they tried to do at the Gezi Park protests in June.

Erdogan’s approach to this scandal, however, is best challenged — surprisingly — by his very own party members. Justice and Development Party (AKP) Burdur Deputy Hasan Hami Yildirim resigned on the last day of 2013, bringing the total resigned deputies from the ruling party to seven.

“It’s necessary to correctly identify the problem and the request,” he said Dec. 31. “The issue is not to cut short Turkey’s growing success story. The issue does not embed a conspiracy, foreign powers’ intervention, a mob or a gang. And it certainly is not a coup attempt against the government. In simple terms, the problem and the request is a call for democracy. The people demand that the ruling party not cover up these corruption allegations, but faces them, to come clean.”

Moving along to Kerry’s recent activities…

Naturally, it was well received…

US Secretary of State John Kerry held fresh talks yesterday with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas seeking to brush aside bitter Israeli-Palestinian recriminations and advance difficult peace negotiations.

After five months of mostly sticking to pledges not to air their grievances in public, the mutual distrust between the two sides has burst into the open with each accusing the other of trying to scupper the talks.

US officials have acknowledged a sought-after agreement on a framework to guide the negotiations forward would not be reached on this trip, signaling Kerry may return to Israel soon.

Kerry, who has made it a personal quest to reach a peace deal, is on his 10th trip to the region since becoming secretary of state in March.

On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accused Abbas of not being committed to peace.

Moving on to the Egyptian ‘Coup’…

With Sisi cracking skulls, Mubarak-style, he actually has the audacity to announce his run for the
Presidency…

Al-Wafd newspaper reported that Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi will soon step down from his position in preparation of his possible candidacy in Egypt’s next elections.

It was further reported that the Supreme Council of the Egyptian army decided in a meeting held last Tuesday that Egypt’s army chief of staff Sedki Sobhi will take on el-Sissi’s position. The reason for the replacement is to give el-Sissi a buffer period before the elections take place.

Can you say stuffed ballot-boxes…?

Anyways, in wrapping up, some more newsworthy links…

His Highness the Amir expressed condolences for Saudi King for death of Prince Bandar

Finally, perchance…?

Western Intelligence Agencies: Saudi Regime to Collapse This Year

And, here’s a new acronymn to learn… From BRIC to MINT

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Bibi, Karzai, and, the P5+1

1:45 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Mere hours after the ink dried on that Security Pact, in which Kerry assured… No combat role for US forces in Afghanistan, Karzai threw a hard fastball right under Kerry’s voluminous jowls…

United States gives Afghanistan year-end deadline for crucial security deal

Karzai’s surprise move, which came just a day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the pact’s language had been agreed upon, suddenly threw its future into question and seemed certain to reignite tensions with Washington.

…In a statement certain to irritate the United States, which is eager to clinch the deal as soon as possible, Karzai told the assembly any agreement on the status of U.S. forces would have to wait until after a presidential election in April.

“This pact should be signed when the election has already taken place, properly and with dignity,” Karzai, who cannot run in the 2014 vote under the constitution, told the elders…

A senior Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Karzai intended to leave the pact unsigned until he is sure the international community will not interfere in the election. Karzai’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, confirmed that, adding that the grand assembly and parliament also had to approve the pact.

“Once we are assured of peace and security, and transparent elections, then President Karzai will sign this pact after the election if this is approved by the Loya Jirga and passed by the parliament,” Faizi said.

He did not explain how Karzai intended to sign the document after a new president had been elected.

Karzai has appeared wary of being too closely associated with the security agreement, which would formally invite foreign forces to stay in Afghanistan.

“President Karzai just doesn’t want to own the agreement,” said Kate Clark of the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network think tank. “He kept handing the responsibility for agreeing or not agreeing to the agreement to the people in the hall, to the delegates of the Loya Jirga.”

Once a weasel politician, always a politician…! Speaking of which…

Obama Promises To Respect ‘Dignity’ of Afghans If U.S. Troops Stay

President promises U.S. troops won’t enter Afghan homes except under ‘extraordinary circumstances’

President Barack Obama sent a letter to President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday, striking an empathetic and diplomatic note about how American troops will conduct themselves in Afghanistan, as the two countries near an agreement for a continuing U.S. presence there.

In the days before the U.S. and Afghanistan agreed on language for a bilateral agreement to keep U.S. troops in the country for at least another decade, there were reports that the Afghan government would demand an apology for the suffering of the Afghan people during military operations. Obama’s letter stopped short of that, but promised to treat Afghans with “dignity.”

“Over time, and especially in the recent past, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Afghan homes are respected by our forces and that our operations are conducted consistent with your law,” Obama said in his letter(6pg PDF), which was posted on the Afghan government’s website. “We will continue to make every effort to respect the sanctity and dignity of Afghans in their homes and daily lives, just as we do for our own citizens.”

Obama promised that under the new agreement, U.S. forces would not enter Afghan homes for military operations, except under “extraordinary circumstances involving urgent risk to life and limb of U.S. nationals.” One of the chief complaints among Afghans has been the practice of “night raids” where coalition troops enter homes in the middle of the night searching for suspected insurgents.

Now, if y’all believe that, I’ve got a slighty used bridge for sale, real cheap…!

Let’s look at what the WH had to say about it, Stateside…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Handing a Monkey a Hand Grenade, Real Men Go To Tehran, and SEAL Fail

5:36 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

The esteemed Col. Lang, a signatory of this letter to both Kerry and Lavrov, pointed out this excellent article…

De Borchgrave on Syrian government guilt in re the 21st of August gas deaths.

“What is becoming increasingly clear is that Assad wasn’t behind the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in an eastern suburb of Damascus. The evidence gathered by U.N. inspectors may lead to pro-al-Qaida operatives in the resistance movement. The purpose of such an operation would be to further discredit Assad’s regime and sabotage peace talks.” De Borchgrave

——————————–

When I saw this section of Arnaud De Borchgrave’s column yesterday, I contacted him so as to know this was his opinion or that of the Russians. He assures me that this is his opinion. pl

Please do read the entire article, originally entitled: The US could be supporting the wrong people in Syria…

…The purpose of such an operation would be to further discredit Assad’s regime and sabotage peace talks.

Russia is playing its Syrian hand deftly and prudently. It warned the Obama administration that U.S. military intervention would have “catastrophic consequences” for the entire region by giving radical Islam a winning hand.

But some Russian voices objected to the softer tone of the men in the Kremlin. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that the West “is playing with the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade.”

Some newspapers criticized Russian leaders as overly prudent.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, a mass circulation tabloid, warned, “If optimists in the Pentagon believe that Russia will limit itself to warnings and expressions of anger, like it did over Iraq and Yugoslavia, they may well be mistaken … Times have changed. There’s too much at stake and Moscow won’t retreat … Who’ll cave first — Putin or Obama?”

Next to the Russian media’s fire-and-brimstone warnings, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had made clear that Russia has “no plans to go to war with anyone.”

The Syrian civil war, with its influx of foreign fighters, including a powerful contingent of pro-al-Qaida combatants, many of them recruited online, have led some Russian commentators to predict Moscow will soon be increasing weapons supplies to Syria.

At the same time, Russia will be negotiating still closer ties with Iran coupled with a cut back on areas of cooperation with the United States, some Russian experts said.

Before increasing aid to Syria’s underground resistance, U.S. intelligence should nail down beyond the shadow of a doubt the true identity and plans of the underground resistance. Or at least of the commanders of units they are dealing with.

During the recent four-day siege of Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall, al-Shabaab jihadists “raped, tortured, beheaded, dismembered, castrated, gouged out eyes, amputated fingers and hung hostages on hooks from the roof,” a forensic medical doctor in Kenya told FrontPageMagazine.com, a conservative online magazine edited by David Horowitz and published by the Freedom Center in Los Angeles.

For jihadists — or “holy warriors” — these were ritual killings “consistent with a growing global jihadist MO (modus operandi),” writes FrontPage’s Dawn Perlmutter. “Similar acts of torture, rape, beheading and mutilation regularly occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria and other countries,” says Perlmutter. {…}

Taking on the Damascus-Tehran-Moscow axis at this late stage in Syria’s civil war would put the United States in the same camp as AQAM — al-Qaida and its associated movements. This would also jeopardize negotiations with Iran aimed at abandoning its quest for nuclear weapons.

Seriously, pups, I’m aghast at the clusterf*ck that is our FP…! On the one hand, you have Obama asking Congress to ‘delay’ the latest round of sanctions on Iran, then, roll out this IC propaganda…!

Followed up by this noise…

Obama says Iran a year away from nuclear bomb

US President Barack Obama said in an interview released Saturday that Iran was “a year or more away” from getting a nuclear bomb, in a clear sign of discord with Israel.

Obama also told the Associated Press that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had staked his credibility on dialogue and it was up to the United States to see if he had the political weight to follow through.

The president’s timetable contrasts with that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has warned that Iran has been building faster centrifuges to enrich uranium which would allow it to jump across an Israeli red line within “weeks.”

Did you catch that Calvinball shift…? Oopsies… Israel: No Dispute Over Iran Timeframe…

Well, that was certainly a quick response dontcha think…! Hmmm…?

Let’s be clear who is responsible these daze…!

Anyways, when I’d first heard about a ‘western’ strike in Somalia, I’d suspected Mossad, yet… AP sources: Navy SEALs raid Somali town in strike aimed at al-Shabab militants, and f*cked it up…

US Navy SEAL raid in Somalia fails to nab al-Qaida suspect in Kenya mall attack

U.S. Navy SEALs carried out a pre-dawn raid Saturday on a coastal town in southern Somalia looking for a specific al-Qaida suspect linked to the Nairobi shopping mall attack, but did not get their target, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press.

A former U.S. military official also confirmed the raid by the SEALs, but no other details have been provided. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the raid by name. The Pentagon declined comment.

In Somalia, officials said international military forces carried out a pre-dawn strike Saturday against foreign fighters in the town of Barawe. Officials said the strike was aimed at “high-profile” targets.

The strike was carried out in the hours before morning prayers in Barawe, the same town where Navy SEALs four years ago killed a most-wanted al-Qaida operative, the officials said.

However, it wasn’t a total wash, as it were for us… US forces capture al-Qaida leader in Libya wanted by US for 1998 embassy attacks in Africa. Oorah…?

In wrapping up, I do wonder about these newsworthy links…

US was so sure it was striking Syria it made ‘warning calls’ to Israel’s leaders

At height of crisis, Netanyahu was given formal notice of imminent attack on Assad; Obama’s change of heart said to have dented Israel’s faith in president’s ‘military option’ for Iran…

That was right about the time of those two ‘failed’ launches in the Med…!

Last but not the least, link… Iran, Russia to continue negotiations on S-300 missile system

To be crystal clear…