July 21, 2016

The stakes are high — a stable Turkey is essential to the West

Posted in Irish Independent · 70 comments ·
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Last Friday night my Ryanair flight arrived into Zadar airport in Croatia just before midnight. The plane was full of young Irish people pretty well tanked up on their way to the Ultra Music Festival in Split.

 

Everyone was in good spirits despite the rocky descent. The unexpected Adriatic storm is part and parcel of summer in this part of the world. The storms are both violent and swift. The burst of applause as we slammed, rather than touched, down was tinged more with relief than celebration.

 

My phone immediately started to beep with WhatsApp messages from a dear friend in Turkey. She was distraught.

 

“What are you hearing outside?”

 

“What?”

 

“There’s been a coup here. We don’t know what to do.”

 

“I’m so afraid for us.”

 

This woman is a very successful businesswoman in Istanbul. She doesn’t particularly like President Erdogan. Her hero is the remarkable Kemal Ataturk, the man who modernised Turkey and made it secular.

 

Even though the Turkish army regards itself as the upholder of the Kemalist tradition, and although she would normally side with anything secular against the increasingly Islamist government of Erdogan, she realised that once a country falls into the hands of the military, a civil war isn’t far off. And a religious civil war is part, but not all, of the awful story of Syria.

 

The news of the coup and the realisation that it had failed — but only just — is a huge shock to anyone who has experienced modern Turkey, especially those of us who have worked in Istanbul in recent years.

 

Last year, I had the opportunity to work there for a large international company and was beguiled by the place. Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities and there is evidence everywhere that this place has been at the centre of the world for close to 2,000 years, stretching down the ages from the Roman Eastern Empire to the days of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were eventually deposed and replaced by Ataturk and his extraordinary secular vision in the early 20th century. He fashioned the new Republic out of the twin ingredients of science and nationalism.

 

Over the years, the city has been home to Jews, Greeks, Slavs, Armenians and Georgians, as well as the Muslim Turk population.

 

It has been one of the three great Muslim caliphates, the centre of the flourishing sophistication of the Christian Orthodox Church at a time when Rome was home to barbarians, and it was also the site of Judaism’s finest synagogues.

 

You can see the imprint of all these great tribes in the architecture, the places of worship and the markets. You can feel the 19th-century European aspirations of the Ottoman merchant class in the wide, French-designed boulevards, but its narrow, higgledy-piggledly lanes tell you this isn’t Paris, London or Berlin. It smells of the Orient, yet large parts look like the West. This is the echo of all who have passed through, set up home and then moved on again.

 

Most of the Greeks, Jews and Armenians left in the 20th century.

 

However, one constant has been the Bosporus Strait, linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. For thousands of years, this was the single most important trading route in the world, and even today it still feels like this. Every morning from my hotel, I looked out over the strait watching massive Russian cargo ships relentlessly ploughing through it, heading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.

 

This is where East meets West.

 

Is it any wonder that the coup plotters’ first move was to close the Strait?

 

The congestion on the Strait is amazing to see. Just outside its mouth, close to the Dardanelles, where thousands of Irish troops died 100 years ago this year, there is a daily queue of ships waiting to get through.

 

The Irish were the first troops who landed in Gallipoli. To put the futility and slaughter in context, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Munster Fusiliers were the first to attack the Turks from the SS River Clyde. Of the first 200 men to leave the ship, 149 were killed and 30 wounded immediately.

 

This was always a strategic spot.

 

From that point in Gallipoli to the far side in the Black Sea, there is a constant flow of enormous, laden-down hulls carving slowly through the waters, reinforcing the proximity of the eastern part of Europe and the West. All sorts of Russian, Ukrainian, Crimean and, of course, Romanian and Bulgarian cargo ships use the Black Sea. And coming the other way are all sorts of manufactured products from southern Europe and North Africa.

 

Here you appreciate that this massive country of 80 million people is a huge regional power. Istanbul is Europe’s largest city, home to close to 17 million people. Turkey’s military is the largest in the region and there will be no settlement in Syria and Iraq without Ankara’s imprimatur.

 

Under Erdogan, the economy grew strongly, inequality shrank and Turkish companies became regional powerhouses. Erdogan has restructured the economy and attracted more foreign investment in a decade than in the entire 90-year history of the Turkish Republic.

 

But two years ago, the Turkish economic miracle came to an abrupt end with political violence in the streets of Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. The currency went into free-fall, as did the stock market.

 

Once the economy fractured, old alliances went the same way.

 

For years, Erdogan had as an ally an Islamist power base known as Gulenists – followers of a cleric called Fathullah Gulen, who is in self-imposed-exile. To the outsider, it seems a bit like an Islamic version of Opus Dei.

 

Originally, Gulen set up an educational system of strict religious schools, which taught a mixture of self-discipline, Islam and societal responsibility.

 

Many thousands of graduates of these schools – Gulenists – are now in powerful positions. Until recently, they were in cahoots with Erdogan in his ‘soft Islam’ project. This is the aspiration to combine an Islamic society living side-by-side with democracy and the constitutional protection of secularism.

 

Like all aspirations, the success of such a venture depends in significant measure on the economy being strong, offering opportunity and generating wealth.

 

As the economy turned down, this alliance turned sour.

 

Many believe that Gulen was behind the coup, signalling to his fifth column of supporters in the military to rise up. Others think it was a set-up by the government to bolster its own position. Whatever the real cause, Turkey won’t be the same again. Turkey is the key country in the region. The US and the EU should be worried because if Turkey fractures, so too does the West’s biggest regional ally, which stands between Russia, Iran and the unravelling Middle East.

 

The stakes couldn’t be higher.


    • Dannywalsh

      Adam,
      I’ve set up an account just so I can ask you this.

      In the comments of most of David’s articles you have commented “Subscribe”.

      I demand an explanation.

      • Sideshow Bob

        I can do the honours, Adam?

        Danny,

        Adam likes to receive e-mailed updates from the thread but it does not work for him automatically for some technical reason unless he logs an actual comment here on the thread. So, he taps in “subcribe´´ early doors to each new thread to get all the comments as they are posted.

        I hope that has satisfied your curiosity and, if I may say so, please do feel free to use the account to offer any opinions and insights that you feel should be aired.

        Regards,

        Mr. S. Bob.

        • Jesus thanks Bob, I just got online and was going to reply to Danny in the vein of “I refer the honourable gentlemen to the answer I gave a short time ago”, but you nailed it. Cheers.

          One addendum: I asked the webmaster many years ago if he could fix the glitch – he said no he couldn’t – figure that one out.

          Danny, welcome, put out a few more posts of you own.

      • “I refer the honourable gentlemen to the answer [Sideshow Bob] gave a short time ago”

  1. ASark

    “Most of the Greeks, Jews and Armenians left in the 20th century.” – very interestingly constructed sentence, especially the word “left”.

  2. Deco

    At this point in time, it seems that Erdogan, whose power over the Turkish people is increasing, is abandoning the West.

    Because he has chosen a path away from the rule of law, and essential principles that are used in the West that are considered a basic requirement for good governance.

    Attaturk decided that Turkey would be part of the West. He abandoned the life and conquests of Mohammed as a template for daily existence, and opted instead for “get real”.

    Erdogan has decided to overturn that.

    The coup is increasingly looking as if it was managed for all it’s worth and perhaps even staged. The attack on the hotel where Erdogan was staying occurred one hour after he made a broadcast in Istanbul. The chain of command would have known he was no longer in the hotel.

    Air Force jets could have shot down Erdogan’s plane, effectively making the coup a success, but refused to do so.

    In response to the coup, and Erdogan’s call for protests thousands of men showed up, and were ready to chant religious slogans.

    The coup itself was a shambles. Badly organized. No clear line of command. No clear ideas on declaring a leader to the new military government.

    The coup declared for Ataturk’s Republic, and the government has behaved as if it was caused by Gulen. In other words, it seems as if there already was a political startegy decided before anything happened. The message of the coup plotters was discarded. The PR war and startegy had been decided before the news occurred.

    After the event massive lists emerged, of people who were deemed to be part of the coup, before anybody involved was interrogated.

    The lists included prominent people who could not possibly have known about the coup. Who had no links to the military. And no interest in politics. But who were deemed to be insufficiently Islamic.

    It included important parts of civil society, and much of the intelligentsia. Including judges, university deans, and teachers.

    Essentially, a purge on the intelligentsia of Turkey is now taking place. The entire structure of society is being deliberately re-engineered.

    Finally, a three month state of emergency is being declared. During which the regime will have more power, to implement what it wishes.

    This is no longer a coup.

    This is a deliberate abuse of state power, to control a people, and to make them obedient, and less free, and less liberal.

    The current Turkish regime has taken the country on the path towards backwardness. Erdogan is fighting those who think for themselves, and s backed by those that obey nonsense.

    This is better described as Pol Pot in Anatolia.

    • Wouldn’t be so sure about the ‘essential principles’ of the West, Deco.

      There’s probably more robber barons here per capita than in Turkey, I would say.

      The elites don’t care about ‘essential principles’, they care about milking the lower and middle classes for as much as they possibly can.

      • And don’t even get me started on ‘good governance’.

      • Deco

        Adam,

        I am firmly of the opinion that we have an “oligarchy” problem here.

        This consists of a dominant market manipulator, or a handful of maniupulators, who work together. Who are well connected politically, and with the institutional state/regulator. The prices are manipulated. Barriers to entry exist, and any new entrant gets a price war. And then back to market rigging.

        Usually such rackets, are sold with a massive dose of green jersey patriotism, to counter any moral outrage.

        Some examples. Cement before Sean Quinn emerged (bearing in mind he got regulatory approval in NI, something that would never have occured in the RoI). Media.
        Banking.
        Real estate development space on the outskirts of the Dublin area [ massive scandal].
        Beef processing (essentially a gatekeeper on exports). Beer (one firm has an overly dominant position in 22 of 26 counties).

        It is a very sophisticated form of gombeenism.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “I am firmly of the opinion that we have an “oligarchy” problem here.

          This consists of a dominant market manipulator, or a handful of maniupulators, who work together. Who are well connected politically, and with the institutional state/regulator.”

          The following quotes from Plato’s VIII Book of his “Republic” (a chapter in which he shows how forms of government inevitably decay, from the best form of government into a less perfect form and then an even lesser form), capture perfectly the mentality of the oligarchical type of rulers (oligarchy is in Plato’s view a deteriorated form of government from the best from – aristocracy (government of the best), and then from a deterioration of aristocracy into timocracy (government of honour – I once took trouble of reading Polish newspapers from before WWII to find out that nearly all the corruption that we have now – much more of that under the previous government, which is the primarily reason why the Poles voted for PiS (the Law and Justice party) in first place – nearly all of that corruption was present back then too, the difference being that once found out, the ministers back then would have handed in their resignations plus the councilors would have been doing their job for free as this was considered a honorary function – if I am not mistaken, same applied for Great Britain until WWI (no time to check the latter now – compared that with Mr Sarkozy who started the war in Libya because he borrowed $50m for his campaign from Mr Gaddafi and did not want to repay it, as revealed in wikileaks – the French politicians of today have absolutely no honour and I bravely claim that they are both more dumb and cowardly than the Irish politicians).

          So what does Plato tells us about oligarchy; what kind of a portrait he portrays to render these type of politicians?
          .
          .
          .
          “The next form of government is oligarchy, in which the rule is of the rich only; nor is it difficult to see how such a State arises. The decline begins with the possession of gold and silver; illegal modes of expenditure are invented; one draws another on, and the multitude are infected; riches outweigh virtue; Jowett1892: 551lovers of money take the place of lovers of honour; misers of [cxix] politicians; and, in time, political privileges are confined by law to the rich, who do not shrink from violence in order to effect their purposes.

          Thus much of the origin,—let us next consider the evils of oligarchy. Would a man who wanted to be safe on a voyage take a bad pilot because he was rich, or refuse a good one because he was poor? And does not the analogy apply still more to the State? And there are yet greater evils: two nations are struggling together in one—the rich and the poor; and the rich dare not put arms into the hands of the poor, and are unwilling to pay for defenders out of their own money.

          And have we not already condemned that State in which the same persons are warriors as well as shopkeepers? The greatest evil of all is that a man may sell his property and have no place in the State; while there is one class which has enormous wealth, the other is entirely destitute. But observe that these destitutes had not really any more of the governing nature in them when they were rich than now that they are poor; they were miserable spend-thrifts always. They are the drones of the hive; only whereas the actual drone is unprovided by nature with a sting, the two-legged things whom we call drones are some of them without stings and some of them have dreadful stings; in other words, there are paupers and there are rogues. These are never far apart; and in oligarchical cities, where nearly everybody is a pauper who is not a ruler, you will find abundance of both. And this evil state of society originates in bad education and bad government.”

          “And being uneducated he will have many slavish desires, some beggarly, some knavish, breeding in his soul (this to me appears to be a spitting image of one of our taoisigh, as well as some famous banker – but as I have other things to worry about the face a defamation court case, there is no way I will tell you whom I have in mind – G.K.). If he is the trustee of an orphan, and has the power to defraud, he will soon prove that he is not without the will, and that his passions are only restrained by fear and not by reason. Hence he leads a divided existence; Jowett1892: 555in which the better desires mostly prevail.”

          And by the way, as the Truthist’s remark that it is when the poor get corrupt too (this in fact presents the next stage of decline in Plato – democracy, which leads to tyranny, like soon in France) things get really bad, do not think that this description only related to TDs and bankers (when translated into our world).
          No, it is also the trade unionists, the academics, the 595,355 people in Ireland on disability with free travel passes (according to Census 2011), most of it due to anxiety and other bullshit, etc.

          And other countries have societies that are even more corrupt. What, you think Irish political life is a circus? That’s because you have not watched live coverage on French TV 2 years ago when the trade unions captured their manager, were beating him up on live TV and… forcing him to eat pizza (only in France, only in France). All of that because they did not want to work 40 hours like people in all other countries do, except for Germany (when they work less) or Greece or Poland (when they work much more; those who have jobs that is).

  3. Deco

    To Erdogan’s list of “achievements” must be added the deep and lasting impression, he made with leading members of Ireland’s dodgiest outfit.

    Ireland’s maFFia party found something that they really liked about Erdogan in recent years. Dick Roche and Mary McAleese, in particular became very impressed.

    Maybe it is the unsustianable property and credit card debt that now sits over the Turkish economy. Maybe it was the rampant corruption. Or the media that pumped out lies. Or the the construction craze backed by massive borrowing. Maybe it is contempt for the law, and the concept of public responsibility.

    But, in any case it is undeniable that FF are up to their neck in this.

  4. Deco

    A good expert in the area of political power in Turkey, is Spengler (an American called Daniel Goldman).

    http://atimes.com/category/spengler/

    http://atimes.com/2016/07/erdogan-targets-more-than-50000-in-purge-after-failed-turkish-coup/

    Also, some of you might be interested in the inherent inconsistency between a very rich family in Turkish politics, their official statements about their lifestyle, and their spending habits.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3696037/She-silk-wallpaper-bathroom-2-000-roll-Super-spending-habits-Turkey-tyrant-s-shopaholic-wife-laid-bare-two-million-coup-hit-country-earn-3-day.html

    • Deco

      [
      She claims to live a 'humble and modest' life with strict Muslim values, whiling away the hours in palace kitchen fermenting apples and turning them into vinegar.
      ..
      As a quarter of her country live in extreme poverty and almost two million live on just £3 a day, the president's wife boasts she drinks specialist white tea at £1,500 a kilo… and drinks it from gold leaf glasses worth £250 each.
      ..
      She once closed down a shopping mall in Brussels to go on a designer shopping spree and while accompanying her husband on an official visit to Warsaw in Poland blew through more than £37,000 while browsing an antiques bazaar.
      ]

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “while accompanying her husband on an official visit to Warsaw in Poland blew through more than £37,000 while browsing an antiques bazaar.”

        Yes that’s right. And that has triggered some caustic remarks from some of the Polish media that while at the same time the world in general, and Germany in particular, are worried about the state of democracy in Poland (based on some fabricated evidence, on which Mr Derek Scally from the Irish Times bases his journalism) and made up quotes from US President speeches: more on that in the excerpts from the debate on German TV with a Polish journalist participating (with English subtitles); perhaps the first and last time she was invited there:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr6ZWF371Po

        )

        meanwhile, in far away Warsaw,

        Mr and Mrs Erdogan were basking in luxury, unchallenged by the western press or politicians when it comes to the state of democracy in their dictatorship country, now charging the EU the racket money for not sending any more refugees. But I suppose Polish emigrants in Germany are not in the habit of cutting passengers throats on the trains, while f…g up with the Turkish population in Germany would probably produce different outcomes, not to mention the most cowardly country on earth (as proven during WWII:

        http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/07/18/french-pm-booed-telling-people-learn-live-terrorism/

        )

        Mrs Erdogan bought, among other things, chest of drawers and chairs, necessitating huge presence of the police and secret agents to protect her highness, especially in view of the fact that she was haggling and quarelling with everyone, to much of a bemusement of the locals who tend to speak with voices 50dB more quiet.

        At the summit she met with Mrs Merkel and rebuked her that calling the Turkish genocide of the Armenians a genocide ain’t no cricket.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTLeOcpI8bg

  5. McCawber

    Conspiracy Theory Alert.
    The EC, France in particular, don’t want Turkey in the EC.
    Organise a failed coup knowing that Erdogan would clamp down on civil rights and possibly introduce the desth penalty.
    This would give the cover the EC need to continue to stall.
    On the other hand Erdogan realising that the EC were stalling and addimg in the Brexit complexity, decided that now was a good time to have a good purge of the local opposition.
    In essence this is a win win (except for the losers who end up dead or in prison) for both parties especially NATO.
    Maybe Russia isn’t too happy or the Kurds.
    Maybe not a win win for everyone.
    Very interesting article.

    • Deco

      I presume the Kremlin knows that the thaw between Ankara and the Kremlin is only temporary in duration.

      Erdogan cannot be trusted. And the Russians have already told the world about the ISIS oil trade through Turkey.

      Amongst those being fired by Erdogan will include many agents inside the Turkish system who are agents of the FSB, MI6, and the CIA. And perhaps even of the Chinese or the Indian intelligence agencies.

      None of them will be happy with this, but it is not something that they will publicly declare.

  6. Deco

    Wikileaks are going to release a large volume of information on the “coup”.

    It will prove interesting.

  7. Daithi7

    Totally off topic (kindly excuse), could the author readdress Ireland’s membership of the Euro currency zone???

    Maybe now that our national debt to government receipts (since our official GDP has been proven to be complete Bs) is falling to circa 130%, and growth is running at circa 5%, perhaps this is the time to leave the Euro before the next European banking crisis???

  8. coldblow

    This is Peter Hitchens’s latest article from his weblog:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/07/turkey-part-one-what-i-have-said-in-the-past.html

    It reproduces two shortish articles, the first from 2005 and the second (2010) which I read before, and it is excellent. The bit about the Ergenekon plot ties in nicely with the recent coup attempt.

    • coldblow

      By the way, I have read a couple of Pamuk’s books (My Name Is Red and Snow) and I’m not that keen about them although he is clearly a brave man.

  9. Enda Kenny licking French arse today – sticking his nose where it’s not wanted nor warranted – into Britain’s affairs.

    What a pathetic sight.

  10. coldblow

    Two more from him. First, from this evening, comparing the coup attempt to the Reichstag Fire:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/07/where-are-the-strong-voices-calling-for-due-process-in-nato-turkey-.html

    And from two years ago, a prescient I-saw-it-coming article:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2014/08/mr-erdogan-changes-trams-.html

    What little I have read in the press has been complete rubbish. I haven’t watched RTE but I’d be surprised if they were any different. Completely, totally useless.

    • Deco

      Hitchens is right.

      Where are the international community with respect to the abolition of due process, in Turkey ?

      Where is the “left” in regard to the sacking of excellent public sector employees in the education system ?

      There are far too many people saying nothing.
      And those that do comment are not saying enough.

      • coldblow

        Praise and condemnation by the international community is ideologically driven rhetoric and divorced from any reality. Putin is Hitler, South Africa is an inspiration to all of us, China isn’t mentioned at all. The more I think about it the more it seems to be a undiagnosed popular madness. Are the papers still pushing the line that the coup was defeated by ‘People Power’? Is the orchestrated coup in Kiev’s Maidan Square still hailed as another example of ‘People Power’? If not, has anyone told RTE (Paddy Last) yet?

        I forgot earlier to mention Erdogan’s not-at-all-unlikely role in the Assad-gasses-his-own-people story that narrowly failed to launch a thousand bombing raids on Syria at the time.

        http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

  11. michaelcoughlan

    Lest we Forget.

    “The Irish were the first troops who landed in Gallipoli. To put the futility and slaughter in context, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Munster Fusiliers were the first to attack the Turks from the SS River Clyde. Of the first 200 men to leave the ship, 149 were killed and 30 wounded immediately.”

    Irish in SS River Clyde documentary 2 min;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKEC2FCo76c

    Aussies in trenches at galipoli movie scene 2 min;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-kVrdc9g_s

    I am wondering David if the Central bankers and economists know the appalling vista they are visiting upon all the modern day teenagers not yet in Uniforms?

    • McCawber

      Can one man make a difference?
      Donald Trump is not a warmonger.
      Trump is accepting of the fact that Erdagon is Turkey’s leader. Whither Ma Clinton?

      • michaelcoughlan

        “Can one man make a difference?”

        Kemel Attaturk was one man who made a massive difference. Trump and Clinton are not relevant in the context of this article however Trump will probably get a landslide so dumb is the average American voter.

        Michael.

        • McCawber

          A case dumb and dumber.
          And Trump isn’t dumber.
          You’re happy with the status quo that Hillary represents as compared to the unknown Trump represents.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi,

            I don’t care one way or the other. It will be a case of dummy in dummy out. They will do what they are told by gsucks etc.

            Michael.

    • “I am wondering David if the Central bankers and economists know the appalling vista they are visiting upon all the modern day teenagers not yet in Uniforms?”

      Michael, I am sad to say the central bankers and most economists could give a flying fig for anything except themselves.

  12. The average american family earns 4000 US less than h they used too. Many are working 2 or 3 service jobs to make ends meet and they have had it up to here with the average politician. Viva Democracy! {:-)

    • McCawber

      Therein lies the Donald’s trump card.

      • Deco

        While Trump can talk about it, it is absent, how exactly, he is going to solve it.

        • ..sure, in general terms.
          ..put up a wall.
          ..cut immigration to those needed by the USA not those needing the USA
          .. upgrade the military, (to russian standards?)
          ..reduce feoreign adventurism.
          .. abandon bloc trade deals and revert to individual trade agreements between countries
          .. return manufacturing to US homeland
          .. make foreign countries pay for their fair share of the US defensive umbrella
          ..upgrade veterans affairs and support program.
          .. having so many people return to work will enable large tax cuts across the board.

          quite comprehensive , I’d say, and beats “yes we can” Obama BS.

          The question asked is, will he be able to do it, or ALLOWED to do it by the TPTB? If backed by the people, yes.

          He’s got to get elected yet. What are the odds?? Anyone?

          The “debate” with the Clintons’ will be illuminating. Will Clintons’ sue for defamation. Not likely as that would put them in court again just as in the Whitewater investigation. Not good in a campaign. Also, Trump may be telling truths rather than lies.

        • Oh, and he promised to be rid of Isis.
          That IMO means reinstalling secular governments run by a strong man. Where is Hussein and Qaddafi when you need them.
          It also means a new arrangement with the Saudis and the overthrow of Erdogan in Turkey and maybe allowing independence for the Kurds with territory from Iraq, Iran and Turkey.

        • Oh again

          I forgot. Not a mention of the problem of the central bank policies that have ruined the world economies. not a word on debt based money resolution.

          so is he really a front man for the banks before all else? Will he be better for the elite 1000th of 1% and devil take the hindmost, or is he as he says, for the working man and woman?

          Will he be allowed to take office or will Martial law be invoked before the election? We will see. Two Kennedys were taken out and an attempt made on Reagan. Pray that the US reverts to lawful governance from the current corruption.

        • By David A. Stockman

          ………First there were seventeen. At length, there was one. And now there is even a chance he may become President.

          Donald Trump’s wildly improbable capture of the GOP nomination and rise toward the White House is surely the most significant upheaval in American politics since Ronald Reagan.

          Yet the rise of Trump–and Bernie Sanders, too–vastly transcends ordinary politics. In fact, it reaches deep into a ruined national economy that has morphed into rank casino capitalism under the misguided policies and faithless rule of the Washington/Wall Street elites.

          This epic deformation has delivered historically unprecedented setbacks and resentments to the bottom 90% of American households. They have seen their real wealth and living standards steadily deteriorate for several decades now, even as vast financial windfalls have accrued to the elite few at the very top.

          To be sure, the proximate cause of this year’s election upheaval is similar to that in Reagan’s time. Back then, an era of drastic bipartisan mis-governance generated an electoral impulse to sweep out the Washington stables.

          Now, however, it is not just the beltway political class but the very foundation of American economic life that is under attack. What remained of healthy market capitalism in Reagan’s time is no more.

          It has been battered by 30 years of madcap money printing at the Fed, a debilitating $50 trillion explosion of public and private debt and the boom-and-bust of serial financial bubbles that drain productivity and efficiency and channel economic resources to speculators and wasteful malinvestment.

          Unfortunately, this policy-induced rot at the foundations of the US economy has bred a profusion of public fears and scapegoats. Illegal immigrants, bad trade deals and the unfair mercantilist practices of China and many other foreign governments have taken the blame-especially in Donald Trump’s campaign patter.

          But these scapegoats are either irrelevant or symptoms. The real problem is not free trade or free entry of people.

          To the contrary, America’s faltering economy has been made in Washington DC, not at the illegal crossing routes on the Arizona border or the containership berths at Long Beach. For more than three decades the nation’s central banks have flooded the US and world economies with too much free money and Washington politicians have accommodated the beltway lobbyists and racketeers and the country’s huge entitlement constituencies with too much free boot.

          So the real disease is bad money and towering debts. The actual culprits are the Wall Street/Washington policy elites who have embraced statist solutions, which aggrandize their own power and wealth.

          That much, at least, Donald Trump has right. Throwing-out the careerists, pettifoggers, hypocrites, ideologues, racketeers, power-seekers and snobs who have brought about the current ruin is at least a start in the right direction.

          What made American great once upon a time, of course, was free markets, fiscal rectitude, sound money, constitutional liberty, non-intervention abroad, minimalist government at home and decentralized political rule.

          Whether Donald Trump gets that part of the equation remains to be seen.

          Then again, the GOP establishment has failed, the Democrats are clueless and the mainstream media and punditry is overtly hostile.

          So if the ideals of world peace, capitalist prosperity and constitutional liberty are to survive at all, it’s up to the Donald.

          That might seem like cold comfort. But a nation that has been Trumped is a people coming back to life. Americans don’t want to take it anymore. They want their existing rulers to take a permanent hike.

          And that’s a start

          Meanwhile the ECB plots to save the doomed EURO

          http://financialsurvivalnetwork.com/2016/07/the-ecb-literally-going-off-the-rails/

  13. Deco

    Erdogan is NOT a moderate. He is using religion as a prop to keep his own deformed personality from seeing the need to develop.

    Turkey is in serious trouble. The West has pandered to Erdogan, when really we should have been far less accepting of various infringements like journalists being jailed, and opposition polticians being pushed around.

    And Irish politicians ( one political party sticks out ) need to be lambasted and ridiculed, for ignoring the various abuses of power that have occurred in recent years. Is money really that dirty in their world that they can do this ? There is a mountain of evidence from several Tribunals indicating that it is.

    It is close to becomming TOO LATE to help Kemal Ataturk’s state now. At this point in time the the West, the Russians and the Chinese all have a common interest, in seeing a peaceful, secular Turkey (that is not run by a volatile clown).

    I think we will see discussions to this effect, in coming months.

    • onq

      Deco, thank you. Your clear view of current events is like a breath of fresh air. If you are on other social media let me know and I will follow your posts

      @oneillquigley

  14. onq

    “Most of the Greeks, Jews and Armenians left in the 20th century.”

    David McWilliams, you should be ashamed of yourself. glossing over the Armenian Genocide like this. Unacceptable.

    Deco, thank you. Your clear view of current events is like a breath of fresh air. If you are on other social media let me know and I will follow your posts

    @oneillquigley

    • Deco

      In fairness, we all ignored the Armenian Genocide. It is good that you mentioned it. It demands recognition for what it was – a massive act of criminal behaviour.

      In Irish politics, it seems that nobody mentions it. Even Kanye West, (Mr. Kim Kardashian – she being of Armenian heritage) hardly the leading intellectual, has a better and more moral viewpoint, than a certain Irish political party, whose leading lights have expressed conFFidence in Erdogan.

      ONQ – I am not on social media. Too old school for that. The complexity of the situation can rarely be squeezed into less than 140 characters.

      This site is good enough. It is a place where ideas are discussed openly, and freely. If a society is to prosper and thrive in every aspect, there must be free expression of thought.

      • onq

        I wouldn’t expect unsanctioned political comment against a former American ally from the chief purveyors in America of populist trivia, i.e. the Kardashians and Co.

        I hadn’t realised they were Armenian but I see they were descended from Armenian Christians through their original father (not the TransJenner).

        Fair enough if you prefer to stay off social meeja. I may have to go to Meeja Anonymous (I’m sure there is some sort of pun there) and ‘out’ myself as an addict in the long term.

        In the short term I will repost your summary without attribution if you have no objection. I wouldn’t want David’s page swamped with the kind of Hasbara TROLLs my postings tend to attract.

  15. Deco

    The GOP convention is done. The VP candidate is no heavyweight.

    And Trump seems to have hired somebody who represents what Trump is not. The anti-Trump. An understated fellow, who prays, and keeps away from the brash and the glitzy. What exactly he adds to the running of America, I have not yet been able to resolve. He really is just a vote catcher.

    Next the Democrats. Will Clinton 2.o pick somebody to draw in the Sanders section of the electorate.

  16. Deco

    Why Turkey is about to drift into the abyss.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-coup-attempt-erdogan-torture-human-rights-suspension-kurdish-prisoners-freedom-from-torture-a7149951.html

    [
    In light of this, it is shocking that the joint statement by John Kerry and Francesca Mogherini at this month’s EU Foreign Affairs Council, reminding Turkey of its EU aspirations and Nato commitments, failed to specifically mention the very severe risk of torture and ill treatment of those who are being rounded up. It is also alarming that there has been no action to rescind the highly controversial EU-Turkey refugee deal.
    ]

    The West has been letting Turkey off lightly, in relation to the state abusing it’s power over the individual.

    Sacking judges for being too civil, is going to make matters worse.

    Over to the FF party for a public comment, on where they stand currently on the matter. A strange and troubling silence is not sufficient.

  17. obript

    Like your commentators above Turkey has since Kamal Attaturk been a forwward secular country despite previous military juntas. I worked on an EU Black Sea project and spent a good deal of my time in Istanbul a great city and people. I am afraid with the current Islamic lunatic at the helm its in free fall and will certainly never ever be part of the EU

  18. The coup was a false flag event engineered by Erdogan to legitimise a crackdown and a purge. The last thing the residents of Europe need is an overtly Islamic state as a Trojan Horse inserted to Europe. If allowed , within a generation the Western Christian culture of democratic Europe will be destroyed for ever.

    Admitting turkey to Europe is a suicidal death wish.

  19. McCawber

    Agree with Tony re Letting Turkey join EU.
    However Merkel has already cracked the door ajar by allowing so many “refugees” into Europe.
    Britain handed the EU a great opportunity to sort out the immigration problem (it is a problem – let’s stop pretending).
    A team of specialists should have been set up to study impact of immigration both sociologically and financially and any other way deemed necessary.
    Following that analysis the rules could then have been established.
    It’s not too late.
    What surprises is that the French didn’t cop onto the opportunity.
    Our government could usefully start a whispering campaign but it requires balls.
    It requires being honest and having the balls to take on the PC brigade and their moral blackmail.

  20. Tyranny v. Freedom is the tone of the US election.
    It vibrated with Brexit
    It is seen in Turkey
    it is a world phenomenon

    http://usawatchdog.com/weekly-news-wrap-up-7-22-16-greg-hunter/

  21. From http://www.lemetropolecafe.com

    Ireland:

    Irish bad bank planning to sell €4B in real estate loans: The Irish Independent cited two sources, who said the country’s bad bank vehicle, known as the National Asset Management Agency, is planning to sell real estate loans with a face value of about €4B, in what could be one of its last major disposal programs. The sources said that NAMA is expected to seek bids for the portfolio, known as Project Gem, towards the end of 2016 and the portfolio will sell at a substantial discount to its par value – the face value of the loans owned.

  22. Deco

    Erdogan has is “enabling law” in place, thanks to a presidential decree ordering a 3 month state of emergency.

    He has ordered his supporters to stay on the streets. Effectively to maintain intimidation in public places to deter protests against an increasingly totalitarian regime.

    He seems to be particularly obsessed with forcing an end to education facilities that are not in line with his thinking.

    Erdogan is now involved in a purge against teachers, professors, university deans, and intellectuals. Before that he was obsessed with controlling the media.

    Ultimately, Erdogan is obseesed with how people think. He wants a system where people are not allowed think differently from their leader.

    And they definitely are not allowed express opinions that the leader does not like.

    He is involved in the systematic change of a state from open, legally mandated, and professional, to firmly-closed, obedient-to-those-who-obey, and increasingly amateur in nature.

    This is bonkers.

    The approach of the West has been total facilitation. Erdogan knows he will get away with it. He has not been stopped on any step to the current position. Merkel even threw money at him, before his last election so that he would get back into power.

    Turkey is lost. Because the West has abandoned principle, and be too eager to please Gulf-petromonarchy money that also backs Erdogan.

    We are all debt slaves, abandoning critical principles like freedom of thought, and freedom of speech.

  23. AlfieMoone

    Turkey? Merkel voted for Xmas when she ripped up the EU Dublin Agreement/Protocol to get herself a million more gastarbeiters to try and solve her demographics/destiny fixation. Japan doesn’t have that fixation, but that’s another topic. Except she didn’t just get werkers, she got a few jihadists in the mix, as she now admits, silly b******…

    thought i’d have a good rant on this one but…not into it today…hungover in Cork…if they don’t stop letting those eejity tourists ring the Shandon bells I’ll go postal…

    ProdiJig at the Opera House is excellent. A glass of wine there is 7 euro and it’s not even a posh bar with folk in tuxedos like Symphony Hall in Brum. Just a load of West Cork hippies being right on and moaning about Brexit. Not to me, of course, I don’t talk to anyone here except relatives..loads of 1916 stuff to *reflect* on in between watching the human tide in Flaneur mode….

    ‘We look to Cork for the language we use: Dublin is dead, Dublin is dead…’

    Cork/Brum: 2nd cities rule!

    bye *lads*

    Alfie the Double Agent…

    • AlfieMoone

      addendum: just about to go to 3rd & final ‘Revolution’ show by ProdiJig . When I wrote ‘it’s good’ well, it is…but not THAT GOOD.

      ‘talking ’bout a revolution, sounds…like…a…whisper…poor people gonna rise up…’ Etc

      There’s a wee bit too much of ‘now that’s what I call Craic-ism’ in one scene & it’s all a bit non-specific 1% vs 99% but the dancing is excellent. Can someone tell Alan to stop jumping off the risers or he’ll end up with bad hips like me and Flatley The King Of The Eejits. And Prince….Fentanyl: just say No kiddo…if you even know you’re getting that crap. Oh yes, the clothes are all a bit Primark/Pennys so I hope Sir Bob Toss-pot On Thames doesn’t see the show when it hits Dublin.

      As you can gather I am TOTALLY BORED of ‘being a tourist’ in Cork City. So many Americans all looking for their great-great-great-great grandfather’s grave whilst shovelling down ‘food on the go’. Gross.

      bye now!

      Alfie the Double Agent

      from Cork – only slightly less Occupied By Globalists than Dublin.
      6:30am flight home tomorrow. Yay! Back to The Shire Irish, the real epicentre of ‘Irish’ culture, innit.

      • AlfieMoone

        2nd addendum (sorry! off-topic, I know! I’ll get back to Gold’n'Silver soon. Promise!)

        Final third show last night was great. I’d tweak the running order as it’s a bit ‘roller-coaster’ of fast/slow. I’d build more momentum with the post-rock Sigur Ros/Enya wailing stuff before doing the full-on techno blast as one long final crescendo. But it’s their show, not mine. I was only there to research the ‘competition’ (there is none is what I’ve concluded)

        The economics of the show are interesting. You couldn’t possibly self-fund such a show & very much doubt you’d get angel/venture capital for such a punt. Alan’s very lucky to have publicly funded Arts programmes to support his ‘Revolution’ show.

        Overall impression of Cork this time: not exactly ‘mighty’ but on the mend. Was grumpy last night as I’d got in a row with a relative whilst pissed. As you do.

        Very, very strange to follow in Collin’s footsteps and see it all turned into a tourist theme-park alongside the artisan bread & salad stalls.

        Now, let’s get back to Turkey. And gold!

        “it’s gold, Jerry! GOLD!”

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