The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Turkish Coup Attempt Fails

Doesn’t appear to have gone far. Not enough colonels.

Has failed. Not enough troops, not organized well enough. Will increase Erdogan’s power significantly. Not good.

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The Nice Attacks


Personnel: A Potential Achilles’ Heel for Progressive Electoral Politics


  1. Ghostwheel

    Those wacky coup-plotters! Got me all hot and bothered and then dropped me flat. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them that it’s not nice to tease a boy?

  2. Tom

    Democracy won. The Citizens and Police immediately moved as one to crush the coup, and even the opposition parties sided with Erdogan.

    Whether you like or hate Erdogan is immaterial. He is the elected leader of Turkey and the people, not the military will decide if he and the AKP will remain in power.

  3. Hvd

    The obvious incompetence of the “plot” suggests the possibility of staging as prelude to a purge.

  4. Myself

    Hey Tom, it’s been a long time since you last came on here. I’m glad to see a voice of reason

    like yours standing up for self determination even if it’s unpalatable, it seems kind of racist to
    deny someone else the right to choose the type of government they want.

    What’s your view on the war in Syria? Have the Kurds improved or are they still as dismal as you said they were.

  5. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Alas, they failed. The Erdogan crime family will continue allowing ISIS to move its petroleum through Turkish territory in exchange for a cut of the profits. Meh.

  6. hvd



  7. Tom W Harris

    In football terminology, it was a draw play.

  8. The old way was a somewhat benign – about half the time – military establishment. It is now over, and the new project of a somewhat malignant establishment has begun. it is probable that it will descend into a demagoguery – but there is a chance that it will not.

    The People have decided that this is that time, now it is the role of the dice.

  9. kj1313

    My gut is telling me that Erdogen staged this coup in order to purge the judiciary and military from dissenting voices.

  10. Ian Welsh

    While I (reluctantly, very reluctantly) support Erdogan in this particular case, Tom’s pattern is to always support what the Turkish state (aka. Erdrogan) does. I wonder what his take on Erdogan’s humiliating apology to Russia is.

    Erdogan’s foreign policy has been a disaster, as has his internal domestic policy v. Kurds, Journalists, etc…

    May have a more detailed piece by a friend who has lived in Turkey up later. Hopefully.

  11. markfromireland

    1: The coup was very inept – there has never been a successful coup launched during daylight hours to my knowledge.

    2: Most of the soldiers involved appear to have been conscripts.

    These two points – there are many others that can be made, are so striking that it is not unreasonable to wonder if the coup was in fact organised by agents provocateurs.

    3: By contrast the civilian resistance seemed rather well organised.

    4: I noticed an awful lot of “Grey Wolf” salutes in the photos of the civilians resisting.

  12. markfromireland


    1: It’s interesting how quickly and effectively the police and security service have struck back. A suspicious person might wonder if they had lists prepared and how long in advance those lists were prepared.

    2: An effective counterstrike particularly one which got under way while the coup was in progress is quite difficult to organise and carry out. Almost but not quite as difficult as mounting an effective coup.

    A suspicious person might wonder if the police and security service were forewarned as to when the coup would start and were lying in wait.

  13. Hugh

    The main takeaway from the failed coup in Turkey is that the forces of democracy did not win, but they did probably lose. Erdogan is corrupt and anti-democratic, not to mention egomaniacal and duplicitous. I think he has already purged the military sufficiently so that it can’t stage a successful coup. I doubt that the coup plotters were democrats either.

    It says a lot about Erdogan’s character that a false flag operation in this case seems by no means farfetched. He wanted to change the constitution to make himself a presidential dictator. He basically provoked a new war against the Kurds in the southeast to that end. Yet despite this, his efforts at constitutional change have stalled somewhat of late. A doomed military coup and national emergency might be just the thing to push his own “constitutional” coup over the finish line.

    Thing is that the more Erdogan seeks to consolidate his power, the more unstable Turkey is becoming. Turkey has a population bigger than Germany’s: 82.5 million vs 81 million. But Turkey’s economic “miracle” has largely gone the way of those of all the emerging markets: the neoliberal, laissez-faire elements remain but without the prosperity. Erdogan has been a divisive leader in the literal sense of that term. He has governed through division. The Islamists against the secularists, the Turks against the Kurds. He turns one spigot on and ISIS volunteers flow through Turkey to Syria. He turns another and ISIS oil flows into Turkey. He turns yet another and a million Syrian refugees flow into Europe. He then promises to turn this one off if he is allowed a new one which would let Turks, rather than Syrians, in. He plays ISIS, the US, and even Russia off against each other. Meanwhile he plays his own games in Syria backing ethnic Turkomans and attacking anti-ISIS Kurds.

    Given the economic and demographic pressures on Turkey, the internecine conflicts within Turkish society which Erdogan has sought to exploit and exacerbate, and the tensions he has been fomenting with Russia, the US, and Europe, Turkey could well find itself isolated from all three, fracture in the next one to two decades, and join the ranks of other failed and failing states, like its neighbors Syria and Iraq. That’s a pretty high price to pay for one man’s petty ego.

  14. Tom


    Unlike the US which caused its disastrous Foreign Policy, Erdogan did not. Erdogan has always supported popular democracy by the people and has run a secular government and purged the deep state that was a threat to the people’s will while expanding the rights of minorities in Turkey and returning properties confiscated from them. He has also been cautious not to involve himself directly in others affairs which proved wise given how much Obama has backstabbed him.

    Erdogan has also made his number 1 Priority Turkey itself and has been careful to only do what is necessary to secure Turkish security and no more than that. Erdogan did not create IS which has been around since 1989 and whose current flag first showed up in 2006 when Zarqawi announced the formation of the Islamic State in Iraq.

    Erdogan is not gassing children and directly targeting hospitals and schools like Assad and Putin. And whatever one thinks of Erdogan, Assad truly has to go, and regardless of whether Erdogan armed them or not the FSA would still fight on till that monster is dead. The FSA not Erdogan is making the decisions on the war in Syria to end a Regime that is genocidal and has made it clear the war will continue till Assad and his Allies are purged from Syria.

    Make no Mistake Ian, Assad, no one else, is responsible for the mess in Syria. Assad and Assad alone bears all the responsibility for the bloodshed and violence that has torn Syria apart.

    Also Erdogan is not anti-Kurd, Kurds make up his supporters and the KRG is amongst his allies. The PKK is a different matter and doesn’t have the support of the Kurds who are its primary victims.

    When Erdogan leaves office, Turkey will be a stronger democracy in which coups are a thing of the past and the military is totally subservient to the Civilian Government and having avoided getting his nation strung out in 50 Nations fighting pointless wars for no end and then owning the mess.

  15. bajathomas

    how much did your handlers pay you for this extraordinary piece of crap?
    You turned everything upside down, a bit too drastically; maybe they wont
    be happy with you this time. You gotta do it more “delicately”, you know.
    Why did Orwell come up in my mind when reading your mess?
    Don’t know, must be my considerable age, and the heat down here…

    To the rest of the crew, a Great Weekend !

  16. The Erdogan Crime Family

    Very good, Tom. Your fee will be deposited in your bank account Monday.

  17. Jill

    wikileaks has some interesting documents on the matter at their twitter feed.

  18. Kim Kaufman

    What does anyone think about the reports that Fethullah Gülen is behind the coup? I have been following his expanding network of charter schools in the U.S. I’m against the privatization of public schools in general but in particular against the reach of these Muslim-influenced schools with Turkish teachers brought over on H-1B visas. I’m not anti-Muslim but it does seem to be an effort to influence children with a particular ideology (with public funds). I have read that Gulen is a long-time CIA asset and is thus protected. Any thoughts?

  19. Ian Welsh

    188 Turkish Justices have been arrested as supposedly being part of the coup.

    No, reverse coup now.

  20. V. Arnold

    July 16, 2016

    Yep, Tom is bought and paid for…

  21. Steeleweed

    The judiciary was the last real obstacle to an Erdogan dictatorship. I’m not generally into conspiracy theories, but the immediate arrest of much of the judiciary suggests pre-planning, which in turn opens the possibility that it was a false-flag to increase Erdogan’s power and flush anti-Erdogan forces out in the open.

  22. Some Guy

    “It’s interesting how quickly and effectively the police and security service have struck back. A suspicious person might wonder if they had lists prepared and how long in advance those lists were prepared.”

    I have no particular knowledge of Turkey, but on general principles, the notion of a false-flag seems misguided to me. The scale here is just too big. It’s not that I don’t think Erdogan might try a false-flag if he was desperate, but even if he were to do so, it wouldn’t look like this – you’d want to limit the number of people involved on the coup side (e.g. a plan to set fire to a building or shoot down a single plane targeting the leader, a handful of snipers on a roof shooting protesters, whatever)

    To me it looks more like desperation on the part of those making the coup, either incompetence or knowing the odds are long but not liking their chances otherwise. Whether Erdogan was tipped off or not is hard to say, definitely possible I’d say – quite a gamble to let it proceed that far if he was aware, but one that is paying off, if true.

    Any halfway competent leader of Turkey, and – like him or hate him Erdogan is far from incompetent – is going to start every day knowing that priority #1 on the to-do list is anti-coup preparation – from personal safety of key people, to which military units to rely on, to communication strategies and fallbacks, moles in key places, on and on down the list.

    It doesn’t take a suspicious mind to think he had lists ready, it takes a credulous one to think he might not have. Of *course* he had lists of people to purge, those have probably been in place since he took power, if not before, and have been assiduously maintained over time. With different lists depending on different circumstances (i.e. who supported the coup attempt) and so on.

  23. V. Arnold

    Erdogan has cut the power to Incirlik Air Base and threatens to shoot down any aircraft trying to land or take off; effectively shutting down the U.S. airforce in Turkey.
    There are between 50 and 90 B-61 nukes on that air base as well.
    A very interesting source;

    It seems the U.S. is deeply involved…

  24. markfromireland

    The problem with Tom is not only is he a shameless asshole but that he’s a stupid shameless asshole:

    Democracy, freedom and the rule of law,” have “absolutely no value any longer,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told local leaders in Ankara on Wednesday.

    “Those who stand on our side in the fight against terrorism are our friend. Those on the opposite side, are our enemy,” he said in the televised comments, according to DPA news agency.

    Turkey will employ “an iron fist against terrorism” and “fight Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants,” Erdogan told a televised gathering of local district leaders in Ankara Wednesday.

    The president also made critical remarks about the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has 80 seats in parliament.

    “Wherever you run, our soldiers, police and village guards will find you there and do what is necessary,” the president said.

    Turkey is also working on widening the definition of a “terror crime” to cover those who use the media “to support or praise acts of violence,” a senior official from the AKP said Wednesday. Erdogan said Monday that the country’s anti-terrorism laws should be widened further


    Lifting Kurdish MPs’ immunity

    Turkey’s parliament has set up a committee to consider lifting the immunity of five members of parliament (MPs) from the HDP, including party leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag. This would make it possible to try them over their call for Kurdish autonomy.

    Erdogan called on parliament to “swiftly” end immunity from prosecution for pro-Kurdish lawmakers.

    “I no longer see as legitimate political actors the members of a party which is operating as a branch of the terrorist organization,” Erdogan said, repeating his claim that the HDP is a front for the outlawed PKK.

    Turkish media reported that a simple majority in a vote in parliament – where Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds over half the seats – would be enough to strip the MPs of their immunity.

    A powerful Syrian Kurdish political party said Wednesday that it planned to declare a federal region in northern Syria, across the border from Turkey. Erdogan said Turkey would not support any form of Kurdish self-rule in the country.

    jh/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

    Source: Erdogan claims fighting terrorism outweighs democracy in Turkey | News | DW.COM | 16.03.2016

    His other lies have been repeatedly refuted both here and elselwhere and I see no reason to do so yet again.


  25. Peter*


    During war the niceties of civilization are often swept aside and if you look at France today some of the same restrictions are probably being discussed and implemented but the French can’t publicly argue in the way Erdogan does, if this translation is accurate.

    I certainly hope you are not one of the mindless supporters of this failed coup.

  26. markfromireland

    @Peter* Given that I spent several decades — most of my adult life, as a peacekeeper first in Lebanon and then Irak I don’t need you or anyone else to tell me what takes place during war. I’ve seen it, heard it, and above all smelt it repeatedly.

    A major reason why the Israelis have been forced to run away every time they’ve invaded Lebanon is the counterproductive results of their policy of committing atrocities &mdash, terrorist acts, against the civilian population, A major reason why first Britain and then the USA were both forced to leave Irak paying tribal fighters substantial bribes both in money and in materiel not to attack their convoys as they left was because of the vicious way in which the British and American occupying forces behaved towards the populace. The occupying forces in Irak cynically, viciously, with malice, and with forethought, set out to destroy Iraki society and to terrorise that society’s denizens. Contriving to be better than the Ba’ath a government so evil that vile does not even begin to describe them should not have been remotely difficult. It was however too difficult for the losers in charge of the occupying UK and US militaries, they couldn’t manage it. Which is why allied countries such as Spain took one horrified look at what they were being associated with and left – hastily.

    The reason why Daesh can take but not hold territory is because of their policy of committing appalling crimes against the civilian populace in the areas they overrun.

    The reason why the Turkish state is having increasing difficulty holding Kurdish majority areas is because of the atrocious way in which the Turkish state has behaved in those areas.

    All governance takes place with the consent of the governed. The consent might be grudging it might be purely tacit in nature but it must be there. If it is not there the only way of holding the governed territory is to create a Tacitean peace.

    Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

    Creating a Tacitean peace is far more difficult than commonly believed and the effect first upon the military attempting it and then upon their home society (as Americans are learning to their cost) is distinctly deleterious. This inconvenient fact is one ignored by people like you.

    Take your glibness, your ignorance in every sense of that word, and your amchair bound condescension and shove it. You wouldn’t last 10 minutes.

    Finally the terrorist attacks in France and elsewhere are crimes committed by civilians not acts of war. Experience has repeatedly demonstrated the most effective way of combating such crimes is to treat them as serious criminal acts to be dealt with using the police, the courts, and the prison service. It never seems to occur to armchair-bound commentators like you that when you treat these criminal acts as acts of war that you are immediately ceding a major advantage to criminals perpetrating crimes.

  27. V. Arnold

    July 17, 2016

    Re: Peter*
    His comment(?) was particularly egregious, given he is not new to Ian’s blog and surely should have known better.
    Your experienced POV is of particular relevance when the M.E. is the subject at hand and much valued by this one.

  28. Tom


    The pilot who shot down the Russian Su-24 last year was part of the Coup and bombed the Turkish Parliament at the start of the Coup while they were in session. He is now reported to be dead after pro-Government F-16s shot him down.

    Icirlik Airbase is currently shut down with no flights allowed in or out as pro-Government Forces sweep it. Already the TSK base commander and XO have been arrested. Overall 3,000+ Soldiers are detained, and 3,000+ judges, prosecutors, and civil workers have been dismissed from their posts. Even HDP sided with Erdogan who only goes after its members who were actually helping the PKK whereas the Military would have banned it and executed the lot of them for being Kurds.

    Erdogan and Putin are also set to meet. Ever since Erdogan expressed sorrow the Russian Pilot died, after Putin cancelled his sanctions on Turkey, while not apologizing for the shoot down itself, they have been talking more. Neither has really changed their position on Assad, but have basically agreed that its not worth harming economic relations over. Its basically the same deal with Israel over the Gaza Flotilla mess.

    But its safe to say, Democracy is fully established in Turkey where the People who have seen what happens when the Military Rules came out into the streets and put it down swiftly with the help of the Police and pro-Government Military Forces.

    This was a victory of the People and Democracy, and it saddens me that many here don’t see it despite the fact the Coup gunned down unarmed civilians and ran them over with tanks before the civilians with police help fought back and won.

    Here is just a small sample of how swiftly the Civilians and Police retook CNN Turk from the Coup Forces.

    Here is Coup Soldiers surrendering to Police on the Bosporus Bridge

  29. V. Arnold

    July 17, 2016

    Again, just what planet are you from?
    It must be an analogue of the earth, we here at Ian’s place inhabit.

    “Erdogan and Putin are also set to meet. Ever since Erdogan expressed sorrow the Russian Pilot died, after Putin cancelled his sanctions on Turkey, while not apologizing for the shoot down itself, they have been talking more.”

    This is tacitly false rewriting of factual events; shame on you Tom!!!
    You’re a Sophist and duly busted; now, go away!

  30. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Of course, anyone can use any name over Da Intertoobz. Perhaps “Tom” is actually a Turk, and a member of Erdogan’s crime family, rather than an infidel being paid by the Erdogan crime family.

  31. markfromireland

    @ Some Guy July 17, 2016

    Only spotted this now sorry for the delay in replying.

    The scale here is just too big.

    No it isn’t that’s the whole point. Turkey is a big place with a large and powerful military. Up until about ten years ago the military was politically monolithic, they were Kemalist nationalists of varying degrees of fanatacism. This was particularly the case amongst the officer corps and the NCOs.

    The military isn’t monolithic any longer look at who they had:

    They had the commanders of the second army and the third – armies at opposite ends of the country in other words. The Third Army under General Erdal Öztürk actually tried to block the Bosphorus. Now ask yourself why would they do that?

    There’s only one possible reply and that is that they were worried that the first army which is based in Thrace would mount a counter-coup. There seems to be some evidence that that’s exactly what was about to happen.

    The Second army – well nice to have them on board, but given where they’re located in Anatolia and that they’re a border guard force and have been one for rather a long time there’s not much they could have done. (Take a look at a map, find Malatya – it’s in Eastern Anatolia, and you’ll see what I mean.)

    So that leaves the Central Army (The Fourth Army – if in coming days your read about the Central Army or The Fourth Army or The Ægean Army those three terms are synonymous). Where were they? They stayed in their barracks.

    But wait it gets worse because the two rebelling army commanders didn’t actually have command of their entire forces.

    They had a couple of tanks in Istanbul and Ankara.

    They appear to have had between 2 and 5 helicopters.

    They appear to have had conscript units only. Think about that – from the evidence now available to us they do NOT appear to have had any, not even one, of the professional units in either army, they do not NOT appear even to have had any of the senior service conscript units in either army.

    They do NOT appear to have have had more than a fairly small number of NCOs.

    The highest active rank amongst the rebels seems to have been Major. That’s very important the Turkish Army is a Colonel’s army.

    Oh and they had a small number of fighter jets. Except that they were quickly grounded when the rest of the airforce threatened to blow them out of the sky.

    What about the Navy? Who cares.

    On the basis of present evidence this was a small and very badly organised coup that unlike every other coup in modern Turkish history took place outside the chain of command.

    Yes it’s possible they did move before they were ready although given the fact that the highest ranking operational commander were majors and the paucity of NCOs I doubt they were ever going to be ready.

    I agree that it’s entirely possible indeed I would say probable that the EGM had some inkling of what was going on. As to the remainder of your points I’ll confine myself to remarking that the word “Irony” does not mean “tasting somewhat of Iron”.

  32. markfromireland

    @ Ivory Bill Woodpecker July 17, 2016

    Of course, anyone can use any name over Da Intertoobz.

    Aha!!!!! So you CONFESS that you’re really Hillary Clinton in drag!!! 🙂

  33. markfromireland

    @ Ivory Bill Woodpecker July 17, 2016

    Jeez I hope for his sake he’s an enthusiastic amateur with some kind of fetish about middle-aged Turkish Islamists because I’d hate to think that somebody was actually paying for the tripe he writes. In my experience of them Turkish people don’t have all that much money to throw around the place and even the ones that do are keenly interested in getting value for money and are not at all shy about expressing their disappointment with vigour when they don’t get it.

  34. markfromireland

    WRT my comment above:

    “The highest active rank amongst the rebels seems to have been Major. That’s very important the Turkish Army is a Colonel’s army.”

    And before anyone says “What about Colonel Yazici?” I did say active rank in other words actively within the chain of command. Prior to his arrest Colonel Yazici was Erdogan’s aide-de-camp. Presidential aide-de-camp cannot even remotely be described as a command position.

  35. S Brennan

    Cui bono? Qui venientes viderunt?

    Erdogan, seemed very well prepared for such an “out of the blue” event, he had long lists prepared of unrelated people to arrest while the coup was underway…how is that? You are a “hunted man”, but indulge in disparate actions, hardly the actions of a man under threat? And then there’s Erdogan’s history of a false flag operation with nerve gas that clearly passed through Turkey and on into Syria…just as the chemical inspectors arrived.

    The thing with Erdogan is this; his diabolical plots are a little too obvious, a little too over the top.

    Turkey was needed during the cold [although, they regularly betrayed us], but not now. Erdogan is building a religious state, some say an eastern caliphate, so be it, Turkey should be removed from NATO, then we will see how much popular support Erdogan has when his bloody games are his and his alone.

  36. markfromireland

    @ Seamus

    You make good points but “cui bono” only takes you so far. Erdogan has long wanted to alter the structure of the Turkish state (which is why he’s reformed, rearmed, and greatly strenghtened the EGM in particular its security directorate). He’s had 10 years to prepare lists of opponents and potential opponents to be either neutralised or got rid of if push came to shove.

    I agree with you about their membership of NATO, I also think that the EU instead of caving in to him should instead slap harsh, very harsh, sanctions on Turkey but that’s a discussion for another day.

  37. Peter*

    I know about your peacekeeping background, Mark and even though you were involved in two failed peacekeeping missions I’ll defer to your knowledge about the military. I was addressing your projecting that Erdogan’s angry political remarks were somehow unique or especially dangerous, justifying a coup, when a country is at war even internally as Turkey is and has been for thirty years with the Kurds. The Turks, even before Erdogan, have been especially brutal to the Kurds but the Kurds adopting terror tactics only hardened the rejection of their legitimate pleas for autonomy.

    The reprisal attacks in France either directly or indirectly linked to the IS are being called ‘acts of war’ by the French authorities are are a result of France waging war in the MENA and the state of emergency there is a wartime reaction now including the activation of the National Guard. I don’t think anyone can honestly reduce these attacks to simple crimes anymore and the Police State will be used to respond to them while it restricts the rights of everyone in France.

  38. S Brennan

    I agree with your take Mark.

  39. Hugh

    Some small part of the army stages what has to be one of the most half-assed, clown car coup attempts in history, and Erdogan’s response is to fire the judges. Do we really need to go any further into what is what and who is who?

    Think how different the results might have been if any of the coup leaders had read Coup-Making for Dummies. On the other hand, it is reported that Erdogan’s copy of Counter Coup-Making (Professional edition)is well-worn, dog-eared and filled with copious handwritten notes.

    Oil and basing rights are the two cornerstones of American neocons. Turkey doesn’t have oil, and Erdogan’s penchant for precipitating crises and playing both sides in the neocon adventure against ISIS is going to seriously erode their belief in Turkey’s reliability re bases. The US has been Turkey’s chief supporter within NATO. As US interest in Turkey wanes, an Erdogan dictatorship could well see itself marginalized or even pushed out of the organization.

    An important problem in the establishment of one-man rule is that the one man can always be offed. There are lots of groups that Erdogan has made enemies among in Turkey. There are also lots of people who have supported Erdogan but are now wondering if they might be next on his to-do list. At some point, one or more of them is going to put it together that the best way to deal with Erdogan is to deal with Erdogan before Erdogan deals with them.

  40. Some Guy

    To be clear, I agree that the scale was too small to mount a successful coup, but I still think if you were planning a false flag operation to consolidate control, you would plan something else involving fewer players and that it would be very difficult to make a plot of that nature work on the scale observed (notwithstanding that it was a small scale for a coup attempt in a country like Turkey).

  41. Tom

    New information is coming out. Apparently some of the coup plotters had been under surveillance and suspicion for several weeks with many scheduled for early retirement in August. So they struck early with too little planning.

    It is also emerging the pro-Coup F-16s actually had Erdogan’s plane in their sights, but being unable to re-program their IFFs they weren’t able to shoot him down and pro-Government F-16s chased them off.

    Its increasingly clear this wasn’t a false flag as our resident conspiracy theorists state, but a real coup that actually was on the verge of being stopped before it started.

    Oh and the Bosporus is now closed to shipping till further notice as well.

    The Governor of Sinop Province has also been removed from her Office for her part in the Coup and her Husband arrested.

  42. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Aha!!!!! So you CONFESS that you’re really Hillary Clinton in drag!!!

    Close. I’m BILL Clinton.

    C’mon, wasn’t the middle name a clue? 😉


    As for Tom-Tom, the human drumbeat for Ottoman Restoration, I will simply assume that every word he types is a lie, including “a”, “an”, and “the”.

    And HELL YEAH, throw Erdogan’s sorry, profiteering, ISIS-collaborating @$$ out of NATO, with whispers to the right people that Turkey would be welcome again once they get rid of the Sultan-wannabe.

  43. VietnamVet

    I agree 100% with MFI; I am just not as clear. The quarter century war in the Middle East is coming home to roost. If Turkey joins with Russia and China; this is a multi-polar world once again. Europe will have to build a new Iron Curtain much like the old one but with a naval blockade in the Mediterranean Sea. To have any kind of peace within; the ruling elite will have to restore the rule of law and provide good paying jobs for every able-bodied man. More likely, if WWIII doesn’t break out, the West will splinter into ethnic and religious armed camps. The wealthy will hire mercenaries. The few lucky ones in Davos will be protected by Swiss conscripts.

  44. Tom W Harris

    Tom: “Make no Mistake Ian, Assad, no one else, is responsible for the mess in Syria. Assad and Assad alone bears all the responsibility for the bloodshed and violence that has torn Syria apart.”

    That’s true only on Opposite Day. On any other day, the USA and its allies bear “all the responsibility.”

  45. Ché Pasa

    If staged, then Erdogan is perhaps the most thoroughly post-modern ruler currently in office, someone to be emulated by the Highest of the Mighty. We should expect coups (phony and real) and rumors of coups to sweep the globe for the foreseeable future. The round ups and purges that follow will become the new normal. What are a few hundred or thousand deaths in the streets or against the walls, or secretly in the various chambers of horrors compared to the ultimate power game to be played for keeps?

    On the other hand, the initial celebration of this coup among so-called “progressives” was something to behold. The Turkish military was set to save the day against the Evil That Was Erdogan and a New Dawn would break on the shores of the Bosporus. Peace and Prosperity would reign once again. Democracy would be saved…

    Only when it became clear that it wasn’t going to turn out quite that way, no not quite, did we hear it was all an Erdogan plot engineered to further consolidate his power against the forces of truth and justice.

    Initially, this coup appeared to be little different than what happened in Cairo not so very long ago, a coup that many believe was at least partially engineered in the regime change shops of Langley and… elsewhere. Of course, that coup succeeded, and those who took to the streets to protest were shot down in their thousands; tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Egyptians were rounded up, many were disappeared and Washington and the rest of the capitals of the West are just as happy it is so. “Democracy” was… extinguished. But only to preserve it for some future time. Of course.

    Given the similarities and the contrasts between what happened in Egypt and what happened in Turkey, I’m sure there are Lessons Learned con-fabs under way in capitals near and far. No crisis, even a failed coup, can be allowed to go to waste.

  46. hvd

    This isn’t Egypt nor is it a white hats/black hats situation.

    Democracy is only an ideal if it is functioning. The determination of whether it is functioning is not always clear. Take the U.S. for example.

    There is little doubt that Erdogan, no matter how you look at it, is increasingly autocratic, erratic and rules over an increasingly corrupt state. Whether this leadership amounts to Democracy is very much in doubt. Some of us, noting the deterioration in Turkey’s Democracy had a brief moment of hoping that the coupe would prove to be rational and intent on removing an evolving tyrant and restoring a secular democracy at peace with its neighbors. We knew, history being what it is, that even this hope was a long shot. But at least it represented a possibility.

    The incredible ineptitude of the coupe raised serious questions about its origins. But whether it was false flag or grotesquely inept matters little now that we are in the post-event time. What matters significantly is the Erdogan response.

    Unfortunately, the aftermath of this coupe or “coupe” will almost certainly result in further diminution of Democracy in Turkey – the arrest of large numbers of jurists certainly suggests as much.

    Regardless of the domestic resolution it plainly is going to be seriously consequential with respect to the “great game” being played out among the world’s plutocracies with Turkey being an important plutocracy in the middle. There really aren’t any good guys in this game.

  47. Peter*


    I don’t think I have ever questioned your knowledge of things military or your observations about the countries you served in but I don’t think your service in two very large and failed peacekeeping missions could give you special insights about Turkish politics or what leader should be eliminated because of your personal fears or dislike of that popular elected leader.

    Your statement about France is nonsense, their leadership is calling these attacks ‘acts of war’ and their actions, a state of emergency, closing the frontier and now calling out the national guard, are wartime political restrictions and suspension of rights of all of France’s people. France is at war in the MENA partnered with the US and that war making will not go unanswered whether the attacks are directly linked to the IS or not.

  48. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    France is at war in the MENA partnered with the US and that war making will not go unanswered whether the attacks are directly linked to the IS or not.

    Indeed, the war-making by “national” governments of Western nations and their local allies (both actually wholly-owned subsidiaries of Global Capital), to dominate the MENA on behalf of Global Capital, will not go unanswered.

    Lone-wolf “terrorists”, who use the “cause” of ISIS to lend an air of dignity to their lethal tantrums about their inability to achieve the quantity and quality of sexual conquests which they feel are rightfully theirs, will manage to kill some of the janissaries and slaves of the Malefactors of Great Wealth (but never the MOGW themselves, mind you).

    Likewise, the Native Americans managed to kill a few pony soldiers and settlers, and even win an occasional battle, such as the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

    Who won the wars?

  49. Peter*

    You and many other people don’t seem to understand that the IS and before it the AQ strategy has never been to destroy the West militarily because it can’t but they have developed a plan to help the West destroy itself and it is already working. Since 9/11 the West and especially the US has pursued policies that are destroying the liberty we are supposedly fighting for, pursuing the WOT at home and abroad. The continuing attacks in France are producing the same results even though the attacks pose no existential threat. The fact that these attacks are less and less dependent on direct IS involvement makes them almost impossible to detect and counter so mass repression is their only possible response.

    Who knows how much repression people in the West will tolerate before they begin resisting, we are already seeing martyrs attacking the pigs here who make up the occupying forces repressing and murdering minorities and poor people.

  50. Synoia

    Eric believed Erdoman has his sights on a Caliph Position.


  51. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    You and many other people don’t seem to understand that the IS and before it the AQ strategy has never been to destroy the West militarily because it can’t but they have developed a plan to help the West destroy itself and it is already working…Who knows how much repression people in the West will tolerate before they begin resisting, we are already seeing martyrs attacking the pigs here who make up the occupying forces repressing and murdering minorities and poor people.

    If it’s working, it’s working rather slowly…perhaps it’s only working in the imaginations of Asterisk and his ilk?

    Ian has an international audience, and I don’t know where Asterisk lives. Where is “here”, and who are these “martyrs”? If he means dementos murdering cops, while claiming this or that political cause to lend an air of dignity to their lethal tantrums, most of the “people of the West” will take the cops’ side against the lethal tantrum-throwers and their clueless apologists.

  52. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Again, yes, the mujahideen and pseudo-mujahideen will manage to kill a tiny percentage of janissaries and slaves. Of the vast majority who survive, the vast majority of those survivors will blame the ideology of the mujahideen, not their own masters–especially since their masters own all of the media outlets which matter, on which Asterisk and his ilk will never be allowed to speak.

  53. Peter*


    Erdogan has a full plate just being president of Turkey and I doubt the Caliph would be treating with the Zionists.

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