30/10/2012

US uses Turkey as a launching pad for bombing Syria

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President Obama, was the 2009 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

As a reminder: In 2003 Turkey was being bitterly criticized in the US for 'failing to allow us combat troops to use Turkey as a launching pad to open a second front in northern Iraq'.

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US offered Turkey its military technology to hunt down the PKK leaders...

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Photo: Victim of an American drone attack in Afghanistan


October 3, 2012

'Iraq urges end to Turkey PKK attacks'

Iraq has called for an end to the presence of Turkish military forces on its land, demanding that Turkey stop its attacks on members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

 
“The cabinet decided to reject the presence of any foreign bases or forces on Iraqi land and to reject the entry of any foreign military forces into Iraqi land,” said Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh in a statement issued on Tuesday. 
 
Dabbagh reiterated that the Turkish military action against the PKK members on Iraqi land “contradicts the principles of good neighborly relations.” 
 
The Iraqi cabinet “recommends that parliament cancel or not extend any treaty signed in the past with any foreign state that allows the presence of foreign forces and military bases on Iraqi land or the entry of these forces,” the Iraqi government spokesman stated. 
 
The remarks were made in response to a request by the Turkish government on Monday from its parliament to renew a mandate, expiring on October 17, that allows Turkish military strikes against the PKK in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
 
The treaty in question was signed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1995, allowing Turkish forces to have presence in the northern regions of Iraq to target the Kurdish group. 
 
The military presence of Turkish forces and their crossing into Iraq “is a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and security,” Dabbagh added. 
 
Some analysts believe that Baghdad’s decision may be a reaction to Turkey’s refusal to extradite fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who has been sentenced to death in absentia by an Iraqi court for running terror squads in Iraq. 
 
Over the past months, Turkish military forces and the PKK have been involved in one of their heaviest clashes since the beginning of the Kurdish group’s armed opposition against Ankara. 
 
In July, Baghdad warned Ankara against the “violation” of its territory and airspace by Turkish fighter jets and called on its foreign ministry to file a complaint with the UN Security Council over the issue.


Oct 18, 2012

'US envoy reveals secret assistance offer to Turkey in PKK fight'


The US ambassador to Turkey has revealed that Washington secretly offered Ankara to have an “anti-bin Laden” type of joint operation against a number of military leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)...


On Tuesday, Francis Ricciardone revealed to Turkish journalists that the US had offered Turkey its military technology to hunt down the PKK leaders.


However, the Turkish government turned down the offer, saying it would continue battling with the PKK “on the basis of its laws and experiences.”


The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.


Ankara has carried out several military operations against the PKK in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.


Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also confirmed on October 16 that he had rejected the offer on a rather technical basis.


Erdogan recalled the US operation near the Pakistani capital Islamabad in May 2011 that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.


“Bin Laden was caught in a house,” said the Turkish premier, adding, “But the struggle here is in mountainous geography.”


This is reportedly the second disclosed secret offer of assistance by the US.


http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/18/267356/us-secret-offer-to-turkey-revealed/

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October 29, 2012

'Turkish policeman, eight PKK members killed in clashes'

At least nine people, including one policeman, have been killed in clashes between police and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak...

Heavy fighting erupted after PKK members attacked the building of Sirnak provincial government, a police department and a police checkpoint with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on Sunday.

Law enforcement agents have cordoned off the area and launched manhunt operations to arrest PKK members involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, Turkish troops backed by jets, launched an offensive against the Kurdish rebels in Sirnak.

Clashes between Turkish troops and PKK fighters have intensified in recent months.

Six Turkish soldiers and three PKK members were killed in overnight clashes along a highway in the remote province of Hakkari bordering Iraq and Iran.

PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.

http://presstv.com/detail/2012/10/29/269380/9-killed-in-pkk-clashes-in-turkey/

29/07/2012

American and NATO misadventures

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July 28, 2012

American and NATO misadventures
Abid Mustafa, Frontier Post


After having fought for more than a decade in Afghanistan, America has yet to show any considerable gains for its brutal occupation. Nonetheless, there are some diehard American strategists who beg to differ, and argue that America has achieved its primary objective, which was to establish a few military bases in Afghanistan to counter Russia, China and the future Caliphate state for eventual supremacy over Eurasia.
But, even this lofty ideal when measured against the reality on the ground appears too remote to be categorized as a worthy accomplishment. On the contrary, the rampant instability in Afghanistan not only puts into jeopardy the viability of such strategic objectives, but more importantly raises questions about how long can America afford to stay stuck in the Afghan quagmire and continue to report failure after failure.
Clues about this very prospect were provided at the NATO summit convened in Chicago back in May 2012. Speaking about America's ubiquitous nemesis the Taliban, Obama candidly admitted that they were a hardened opponent and whatever gains NATO had made could easily be undone.
He said, "The Taliban is still a robust enemy, and the gains are still fragile. But think about it. We've been there now 10 years. Ten years in a country that's very different, that's a strain, not only on our folks but also on that country, which at a point is going to be very sensitive about its own sovereignty."
Just how much time does the world's lone superpower need with all of its sophisticated weaponry to defeat a ragtag army of no more than 25,000 or so? Did America not assemble under its supervision 400,000 soldiers - not to mentions the tens of thousands of private contractors - on both side of the Afghan-Pakistan border? After several years of warfare, America is still unable to crush their avowed adversary. Outgunned and outmanned Taliban are definitely proving to be more than a 'robust enemy'.
Equally unfathomable is that it has taken several years for the US to accept the fact that NATO is not only fighting the Taliban but also the Afghan people. The reference to "be[ing] very sensitive about its own sovereignty" is an admission by President Obama that NATO faces a popular resistance which cuts right across ethnic fault lines and trumps traditional tribal loyalties.
Another fiasco of America's Afghan war is its exorbitant cost, which has placed a huge toll on the defense budget and this has been further exacerbated by the economic crisis of 2008. America has spent circa $550 billion on the Afghan war since 2001.
Other NATO member states like Britain have spent in the region of $20 billion. Yet despite squandering billions of dollars of taxpayers' money, NATO has very little to show. Karzai's government is corrupt to the core and hated by ordinary Afghans.
Karzai's writ does not extend beyond parts of Kabul, and if it does exist elsewhere, it is totally reliant on foreign forces. According to some estimates Taliban controls around 80% of Afghanistan. This probably explains why it is so difficult for NATO to hold on to territorial gains. All attempts to coopt the Taliban into a political solution have likewise failed.
The Financial Times summed up the West's sorry state: "Five years ago the Americans were refusing to speak to the Taliban. Now the Taliban are refusing to speak to the Americans. That is a measure of how the balance of power has shifted in Afghanistan. The western intervention there has failed."
Added to this is the human toll on NATO forces, which cannot be quantified in monetary terms. So it came as no surprise to find that the joint communique issued at the end of the Chicago summit expressed the collective desire of all the NATO countries to draw the curtain on their Afghan misadventure. The statement read: "After 10 years of war and with the global economy reeling, the nations of the West no longer want to pay, either in treasure or in lives, the costs of their efforts in a place that for centuries has resisted foreign attempts to tame it".
Whilst 2014 (a date revised several times) is the final withdrawal date for most NATO countries, America and her opportunist partner Britain both steeped in arrogance have still not learnt their lesson and plan to stay beyond this date.
No doubt they will do their utmost to delay the inevitable collapse of Karzai's government and try and save face with their domestic audience.
Concluding, the writing is on the wall; America and NATO are heading for a catastrophic defeat and no matter how hard they try to dress up their failings, their only success will be to unite and embolden Afghans along with their brethren across the border in Pakistan to claim the scalp of Pax-Americana and deal a devastating blow to NATO's first ever mission in Eurasia.

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Photo: South Vietnamese forces follow after terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc (center left), as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places, June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The children from left to right are: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division.