Friday, October 28, 2016

How NATO Is Trying to Sabotage the Turkey-Russia Reset

 hattip Ally!
Russia Insider

Originally appeared at Indian Punchline
The Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg in his ‘doorstep statement’ today on the 2-day meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels said, inter alia, that an agenda item concerns “making progress on plans” for more NATO presence in the Black Sea region. He cited Russia’s belligerence as the rationale for such move. Interestingly, there was much emphasis on the Russian operations in Syria in Stoltenberg’s media briefing. (Transcript)
Prima facie, Syria is not ‘NATO territory’, but a linkage is being established between NATO  posturing toward Russia and the latter’s military presence in Syria. This can only happen at the behest of the United States, because Stoltenberg wouldn’t even sneeze sans green signal from Washington. 
Of course, generally speaking, boosting the ‘enemy’ image of Russia is useful and necessary for Washington to keep the alliance going, since the member countries are otherwise loathe to increase their defence budgets to 2% of GDP. The US also calibrates the NATO posturing toward Russia to curb any proximity developing between individual European countries and Moscow at the bilateral level as well as to ensure that the sanctions against Russia will remain in place.
However, the plan to discuss Black Sea deployment as well as Stoltenberg’s emphasis on Aleppo also appears to serve another US objective – namely, put pressure on Turkey to delimit its strategic autonomy vis-à-vis Syrian conflict.
Significantly, NATO intervened publicly – alongside an American demarche – to force Spain to refuse refuelling for the Russian flotilla of warships (including aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov) heading for eastern Mediterranean. This has been justified on the ground that with beefed up military prowess, Russian operations in Aleppo might intensify. (RT)

The alibi that NATO has advanced is laughable – namely, humanitarian considerations – given the alliance’s brutal war crimes in Libya and its role in the gruesome murder of Muammar Gaddafi. Seumas Milne wrote in Guardian newspaper at that time, ‘If there were global justice, NATO would be in the dock over Libya.’ (Guardian)
So, why is Stoltenberg acting like this? The answer is, Spain’s rethink on refuelling the Russian flotilla on the basis of a NATO demarche, is intended to create a precedent that will also be applicable to Turkey. Indeed, Washington is having a difficult time to ‘manage’ Turkey. Turkish President Recep Erdogan is on guard vis-à-vis Washington ever since Ankara concluded that the US had a hand in the July 15 attempted coup to overthrow his government. Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus had some strong words for the Obama administration when he left Ankara for Washington on Tuesday on a mission to put more pressure on Washington to extradite the Islamist preacher Fetullah Gulen. (Hurriyet)
But then, wouldn’t Ankara know that Washington simply cannot extradite Gulen who has worked for the CIA? Of course the Turks would know that alright. So, it is a catch-22 situation. Gulen has become a lump stuck in Uncle Sam’s throat. Read a caustic commentary by the pro-government Sabah newspaper titled What happens if Washington refuses to extradite Fetullah Gulen?
To be sure, Turkey’s role in any plans on NATO deployment in the Black Sea will be crucial because of its prerogatives under the Montreaux Convention (1936), which severely restricts the traffic of warships (other than Turkey and Russia’s) through the Bosporus.
Again: Turkey’s role in any plans on NATO deployment in the Black Sea will be crucial because of its prerogatives under the Montreaux Convention (1936), which severely restricts the traffic of warships (other than Turkey and Russia’s) through the Bosporus.
In principle, Turkey will be obliged to go along with any NATO plans to step up deployment in the Black Sea. But in reality, Turkey would know that Moscow expects it to fully and faithfully observe the provisions of the Montreaux Convention. You bet Erdogan will twiddle thumbs and keep Stoltenberg waiting in the ante-room, no matter the decision to accelerate NATO deployment in the Black Sea.
Again: Turkey will be obliged to go along with any NATO plans to step up deployment in the Black Sea. But in reality, Turkey would know that Moscow expects it to fully and faithfully observe the provisions of the Montreaux Convention.

Conclusion: NATO is placing Turkey between a Rock and  a hard place
Clearly, the US hopes to somehow insert NATO into the Turkey-Russia rapprochement. Washington feels uneasy that Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are effectively coordinating their approaches to the Aleppo situation. What emerges out of all this is the desperate extent to which Washington will go to stall the progress of the Russian-Syrian mlitary operations to liberate Aleppo from the al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra. Conceivably, the Obama administration would prefer to somehow keep the Syrian situation fluid for Hillary Clinton to do what she promises to do — namely, revive the ‘regime change agenda in that country, if need be through a US military intervention. (See the piece in Telegraph titled Hillary Clinton will reset Syria policy against ‘murderous’ Assad regime.)
Erdogan disclosed today that the Turkish military operations in northern Syria will steer clear of Aleppo. He said he has discussed the matter with Putin. At the same time, he gave a punch to Washington by revealing that Turkey next intends to target Manbij in northern Syria with a view to drive out from the city the Syrian Kurdish militia, who happen to be the US’ closest ally on the Syrian chessboard. (Hurriyet)
Because....  "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled"
Yesterday's post must be read so don't miss it!

Kirkuk: Kurdish authorities demolish Arab Refugee Homes. KURDIShIS attacked Kirkuk


  1. Excellent post, Penny. I was wondering what was going on re Gulen. IMO, Erdogan has "Crossed the Rubicon" between the US and Russia. He's just wanting for a formal rejection of the extradition request so he can kick NATO/US out of Incirlik.

    1. Greencrow, do you really believe that the Turks are leaving Nato for good?

    2. I believe that Turkey, and MANY other NATO nations...would dearly love to leave NATO "for good". Whether they would be allowed to leave is another question. As long as the US maintains Gulen in Pennsylvania...he will remain a coup threat to Turkey. So if Erdogan double-crosses Russia (again) he will leave himself wide open to another it was Putin who saved Erdogan's sorry @$$ the last time.

    3. I was actually pondering what would be involved in extricating oneself from NATO- I would dearly love Canada to get itself of NATO- Promptly!!

    4. Me too. Nato won't stand by and watch it happen. I think that most Eastern European nations also want to leave-lots of anti-Nato sentiment there but most of them are pretty weak. They are just waiting for 1 powerful country to leave and then they will all get out!! I also hope that Britain can separate from its 'special relationship' with the US but it doesn't seem like that will be happening any time soon. We haven't even invoked the article 50 yet.

  2. Russia was very clear months ago quoting the balck sea will not be turned into a nato lake. Presumably that stands for the capsian too

    1. Donald cook?

    2. thanks and I would assume that stands for caspian also

      Forgot about the Donald Cook


      A bit of clarity concerning the Russian naval task force being deployed to the Mediterranean *

    4. Hi Charles!

      I did read that article over at Saker's and it's a good one

  3. President Vladimir Putin has denied the Russian military’s request to order a resumption of airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, his press secretary said. The military had asked permission to resume airstrikes due to the increased activity of militants.

    “The Russian president considers it inappropriate at the present time to resume airstrikes in Aleppo," Dmitry Peskov told the press.

    Today "rebels" have captured two districts in Aleppo. This is the beginning of their big offensive. Sometimes it looks like a bad cop/good cop strategy. The good cop is Putin... Hope I am wrong.


    Russia voted off UN Human Rights Council amid allegations of war crimes in Syria

    “In rejecting Russia’s bid for re-election to the Human Rights Council, UN member states have sent a strong message to the Kremlin about its support for a regime that has perpetrated so much atrocity in Syria,” said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch. “Next year, UN member states should make sure that all regional groups have real competition so no one is guaranteed victory"

    Louise Charbonneau Canadian lackey


    Iran, Turkey Agree to Boost Agricultural Ties

    Turkey’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Faruk Celik emphasized potential opportunities for agricultural trade with Iran.
    Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara alongside Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati on Wednesday, Celik said, “We have decided to enhance collaboration in the agriculture sector to increase trade volume between Turkey and Iran from $10 billion to $30 billion.”
    According to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration, Iran exported $1.3 billion worth of non-oil goods to Turkey over the last Iranian year (March 2015-16), registering a 66.5% drop compared to the previous year, Daily Sabah reported.

    Imports stood at $3 billion, marking a decline of 23%.
    IRICA’s latest statistics on bilateral trade show exports amounted to $2.3 billion during the first six months of the current Iranian year (started March 20) to record a 342% jump year-on-year. Imports stood at $1.3 billion, indicating an 18% decline.

    The exported commodities included gas, copper, aluminum, steel, zinc, petrochemicals, watermelon, pistachios and raisin. Bananas, grains, cigarettes, tobacco, machinery, wood, cotton, beans, steel, pharmaceuticals, paper, shampoos and apparel were the main imports.

    Iran is also a major oil exporter to Turkey.
    Celik said there was more potential for business, as the total population of Turkey and Iran is around 160 million.

    “For Turkey, Iran is a gate opening to Asia, and for Iran, Turkey is a gate opening to Europe,” he noted.

  6. Gorbachev says reaches agreements with Bush Sr. to make all to normalize U.S.-Russian relations Interfax 20Oct16

    Is this burried? Why? Clinton email FBI with trump wanring of WWIII in Syria?

    1. I didn't see that news WW3 warnings?
      Saw a bit on the email scandal resurfacing- interesting time for all that to come back

    2. 11 days before the election. Trump says Clinton Syria policy leads to wwIII. The entire bush Sr foreign policy apparatus beginning with scowcroft have supported Clinton. Then this odd headline hits that apparently everyone missed. Also remeber that Gorbachev indicated at time of Crimea referendum that its handover to Ukraine was a historical mistake.