Friday, May 07, 2021

Minks and farts

"This is how President Maduro Welcomed Steven Seagal in Miraflores". 

"Biden Wants a Pliable Turkey: Will his Strategy Work?" (Sheikh):

"While there may not be an immediate reaction as Erdogan has limited options at a time when he is battling one of the world’s highest number of COVID cases coupled with a continuously falling lira, Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s advisor, said that Turkey will carefully weigh its reaction, and its counter-measures could even involve ending military cooperation with NATO, adding that “There will be a reaction of different forms and kinds and degrees in coming days and months.”

However, such a reaction, if it involves striking the NATO from within, will need support from Russia and even China, support that Ankara cannot get without making some crucial policy changes in some sensitive areas of policy. A deepening of ties with Russia may not be possible unless Turkey agrees to change its policy of unnecessarily complicating conflict zones from Syria to Ukraine. As far as China is concerned, Turkey will need to recalibrate its understanding of US-led allegations of “genocide” of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang region. For Turkey, America’s recognition of Armenian genocide should serve as a lesson on how such rhetoric is quite often politically motivated, seeking to destabilise a given polity."

"Has Washington Lured Erdogan into a Bear Trap?" (Engdahl).

"Turkey’s New ‘Enfant Terrible’ Role Baffles Even the Region’s Experts" (Jay).  Trump is an interesting comparison.

"NATO's Southeastern Spearhead: Turkey's Military Aggression In Iraq, Syria, Yemen, & Caucasus Signals Proxy Conflict With Iran" (Rozoff).  Taking on Iran soaks up a lot of the anger from the Assholes.  This is Erdoğan's basic trick in dealing with all other countries - if you find enough issues where you are an indispensable ally, the only country that can take certain actions, you can also press your luck when you pick fights which the ally doesn't like.  Once you throw out all the conventional niceties, including diplomatic, and make pure power moves unapologetically on the basis of unalloyed self-interest - very Trump - you might be able to pull this off, at least until everybody finds you too mercurial and unreliable.  Erdoğan's Achilles heel is the economy, the success of which is not in his control.

"An empire in love with its Afghan cemetery" (Escobar):

"It gets curioser and curioser again: Turkey, backed by Qatar and the UN, is getting ready to host a conference to further bridge the gap between the Kabul government and the Taliban. Realpolitik cynics will have a ball wondering what Erdogan is scheming at."

"Turkey: How Erdogan's Pledge For Reform Collapsed In Five Months" (Bekdil).

"It doesn’t matter if it isn’t true: No matter how many times it’s debunked, Western anti-Russian propaganda is immune to facts" (Diesen):

"Russia again is a convenient bogeyman for Sweden, which has a history of searching for mysterious Russian submarines when it’s time to boost defense spending or reopen the debate about joining NATO. They have variously turned out to be minks, a Dutch vessel, a broken buoy, and the detection of farts from various animals."

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