Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Turkey intervenes again inside Syria in support of Al Qaeda forces

RT reports that today is the third day of heavy shelling by Turkish (NATO) forces against YPG (Kurdish militias) trying to liberate the town of Azaz from the islamo-fascist terrorists. Turkish PM Davotuglu openly speaks of even greater intervention by the Turkish military if the attempts to liberate the strategical border town, a lifeline to terrorists, continue. Meanwhile the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the attack as a breach of UN resolutions and called for Turkey to step out of Syria. Damascus also condemned Turkish actions as support of terrorism and has sent an official protest to the UN. Even France issued an ambiguous note rejecting the Turkish bombardment against Kurds.

A more detailed analysis by the independent site South Front shows that Turkey has also been transferring, through Turkish territory, Al Qaeda militants from the crumbling Latakia province front to the embattled town of Azaz.

Turkey embarrassment or battering ram of NATO?

The reckless attitude of Turkey in the Syrian (in-)civil war has brought a growing chorus of opinions (for example) claiming that Turkey should be expelled from NATO, because otherwise NATO members are formally obliged to defend Turkey against attacks, even if Turkey is the one provoking them, as they clearly are.

However these opinions remain low profile and as of now not a single government has formally asked the Islamist regime to be even temporarily suspended of membership in NATO or anything of the like. This has only one possible meaning: Turkey is acting within NATO directives and has more or less full backup from its NATO allies, notably Washington (which is the one calling the shots). 

It also means that we are very close to World War III. Too close: the tensions are there and growing and any miscalculation by either side can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Podemos and NATO

Maybe the most criticized program stand of Podemos is that it is not questioning NATO in the short term (they call for a European alliance to replace it but otherwise nothing), unlike for instance Jeremy Corbyn is doing in Britain. Yesterday the new leftist party (which came third in the December elections and may well come first in the upcoming ones that will take place in June if government formation fails, as looks most likely) made public a draft government plan in a last ditch attempt to lure the socialdemocrats into a coalition government. Again the issue of NATO is missing and that is a problem of growing relevance in an international situation like the one that is going on at the Turkish-Syrian border. The least thing that a party with intention of forming government today can do is to ignore the immediate threat of all out international war caused by the aggressive and terrorist stand of Turkey, conveniently protected under the skirt of NATO. This absence of international policy is a major flaw in Podemos' program and political praxis. I understand that there are other priorities but when WW3 comes in force, with nukes raining all over our heads for no good reason at all, all those other priorities will become irrelevant in comparison.

Therefore I argue that NATO must be questioned, for many reasons but right now very particularly for the sole reason that Erdogan's Turkey is a regime we do not want to get bogged into defending, rather the opposite.


  1. Maju,

    Do you agree with what is suggested here?.

    1. I don't know: I'm rather unfamiliar with Canadian politics, however those NDP guys look quite Blairite and not at all Corbynist or otherwise seriously socialist even in a social-democratic way, so I would not consider them "left" but rather center-right. Or as some say, I'm borrowing the term from British-Pakistani author Tariq Ali, "the extreme center".

      I don't understand well the article but I do understand that it is absolutely wrong to make excessive differences between cultural or religious backgrounds and that allowing that in the name of "tolerance" is a clear mistake. I have strong feelings and political opinions on issues like gender equality (and even beyond in all things anti-patriarchial) and I don't feel any need (except for the most basic politeness in daily interactions) to respect any religious beliefs beyond the respect that the person and his/her subjectivity deserves. I'm strongly against circumcision and I believe it is exactly the same as female genital mutilation in its less extreme (but not for that reason more acceptable) forms. I'm also strongly against ethnic communitarianism unless it is part of a national (both ethnic and territorial) demand, in which case I consider it legitimate for as long as it is democratic, a popular demand in the country or region affected and stands with democracy, i.e. popular power, not serving as pretext for authoritarian degeneration, including increase of the power non-democratic organizations such as sects in which the believers have no vote or private companies in which the workers have no vote.

      I think that democracy is confronted with the very idea of religion (hierarchical, not necessarily faith as such) and also of capitalism (companies are not democratic unless they are cooperatives). Hence I'm generally opposed to these institutions although I can reluctantly accept compromises, provisional truces in the eternal battlefield between people's power and people's stupidity.

      So, in other words: if you want to have a religious-based diet without pork or cow or strictly vegetarian, I'm fine. But if you want to mutilate your children on religious grounds or force them to adopt sexist behaviors, then society must intervene... if it can, because it's difficult to raise such a belligerant consensus when the "extreme center" ideology still proclaims that parents have almost infinite discretion on how they treat "their" children, rather than focusing on protecting children rights.

      It's complicated but my stand is quite radical and, while I do strongly favor the integration of newcomers, full assimilation even, I know that it may be difficult, especially in individualist societies that, rather than bring us all together from the local and workplace levels upwards, segregate us from each other on the grounds of extremist individualism.

    2. Thank you for the thoughts. I think that the word tolerance is self contradictory aka idiotic . What is there to tolerate? its only about understanding with an unbiased mindset.

    3. Well, rather than tolerance (which sounds bland) I'd use the term respect. However the respect is always for the person and not so clearly for the segregated community, whose existence, whose segregation, I challenge (although the blame may be in both sides). I live in an urban society with people of many different backgrounds (Castilian and Galician immigrants from the early and mid 20th century, African and Asian immigrants of more recent times, Roma or "Gitano" self-segregated communities of remote Indian origin and uncertain last residence) and I must reckon that such a diversity, while partly enriching, is also potentially problematic because it fragments the society first of all along many ethnic lines, sometimes subtle, sometimes more apparent, sometimes secular, sometimes religious, etc. Even if the society would be purely European and otherwise homogeneous, we'd already have a strong conflict between the conservative sectors, usually with strong religious feelings, undeserved nostalgia for past-times that they imagine idyllic and visceral fear of nearly all kind of social innovation, and the progressive ones, which look with fear and dislike rather to the past (always threatening with an impossible but potentially very disruptive return) than to social innovation in favor of human rights and a scientific-minded, secular approach. This in general terms I think it's pretty much universal, regardless of whether the "Humanist revolution" began in Europe, in China, in the Arab World or wherever, because it actually has many roots, even if some (the conservative-reactionary ones always) perceive it as something "Western" and therefore "foreign" and "dangerous". But in any case my point is that all self-segregated communities also organize around the conservative polarity. That's because there is nothing in the progressive pole that may serve to their communitarian organization, except in the case that they have been mostly been segregated from the outside and want to become optimally integrated, with full effective rights and equality (as can be the case of African-Americans or oppressed castes/tribes in India, and also often of immigrant populations with a real will for full integration in the host society). However this integration demands a toll: the toll of de-ethnicization (not in full, there's always respect for each one's ethno-cultural baggage but only for as long as it integrates well in the mainline secular society).


    4. ...

      This process of integration is hard for first generation immigrants, who typically don't even speak well the host language and seek refuge in family and the ethnic community, but it must be said that, the better these integrate, the better assimilated their descendants will be, and the less problems it will all the process cause to everyone. In short: the immigrant must not renounce to everything (some things surely yes, unavoidable, else: stay at home) but must incorporate everything they can from the host society as soon as possible, as that is best for both sides. They cannot expect the host society to change their ways for the newcomers nor accept behaviors that are considered unacceptable. If I emigrate to Holland I must learn Dutch, probably, being European myself, I won't need much greater adjustment, but what if I emigrate to India? The cultural shock will be no doubt greater and I am the one who must adapt, even if I don't like some things (I once said to my friend Jesusless, who died recently in India, that I could not travel there at risk of being lynched by a mob after punching the face of some arrogant Brahmin most likely). Same if I migrate to Morocco: I must know that smoking or eating in public in Ramadan is bad manners, or going nude to the beach, drinking alcohol however seems to be OK, depending on who you are with (LOL), but never in the streets in any case.

      En fin, it's complicated. My general reasoning is that Castilian saying of "donde fueres haz lo que vieres" (wherever you go, do as you see): try to get integrated, it's good for you and for everyone else. But there are places where it's better not to go, for example Saudi Arabia.

    5. Absolutely Maju, Thank you for the beautiful reply! :).


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