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17 May 2013
Later today, President Barack Obama will sit down with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Oval Office. It will be a friendly re. Obama has said Erdogan is one of the few foreign leaders with whom he has developed "friendships and the bonds of trust." Speaking to the Turkish parliament four years ago, on his first trip abroad as president, Obama declared, "Turkey is a critical ally. Turkey is an important part of Europe. And Turkey and the United States must stand together — and work together — to overcome the challenges of our time." These challenges are many — among them, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. While Turkey and America partnered for the greater good throughout the Cold War, no amount of White House praise can hide the fact that Turkey today is less a bridge between the West and the Islamic world and, increasingly, a force undermining trust and cooperation.
18 April 2013
Ten years ago, the United States and the United Kingdom along with the so called 'coalition of the willing' conducted a military operation against Iraq. The war ended with almost complete occupation of the country and overthrow of its leader Saddam Hussein, who was later executed. Prefabricated intelligence about the construction of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by the Hussein regime and its alleged links with international terrorism were offered as justification for this aggression. This sort of information, which post facto was proved to be far from the truth, was deliberately spread and reproduced in abundance in mainstream Western media. A few years before Saddam, Milosevic was demonized portrayed in the same sources as the 'butcher of the Balkans' while a number of UCK thugs fell into the Western-sponsored 'pantheon of the untouchables' comfortably groomed for leadership of a breakaway Kosovo. The scene was set in Yugoslavia: a massive propaganda campaign branded Milosevic as 'most wanted for war crimes' which in turn warranted a Western self-sanctioned military action against rump Yugoslavia. Like in Iraq, Serbia's infrastructure was devastated, turning the countries decades back. In both cases the real undeclared aim of this massive Western aggression was the downsize of Serbia's and Iraq's power respectively. In similar fashion in Serbia Western aggression ended with the elimination of the unwanted demon. Details may vary - Saddam was immediately executed, Milosevic perished in jail a few years later - but overall strategy and ultimate goal are remarkably identical.
14 February 2013
Islamic extremists from Western countries who have gone to fight in Syria could carry out terrorist attacks when they return home, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned on Thursday. Hague said war-torn Syria had become the "number one destination" for jihadists from around the world. "They may not pose a threat to us when they first go to Syria, but if they survive some may return ideologically hardened and with experience of weapons and explosives," he said. "The longer the conflict continues, the greater this danger will become," he added in a wide-ranging speech setting out Britain's plans to tackle terrorism without compromising human rights.
British trainee doctor Shajul Islam and another man, Jubayer Chowdhury, are due to go on trial in Britain in June charged with the kidnapping of two Western journalists who were held by Islamic extremists in Syria. British photographer John Cantlie has said he and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans were held for a week last July by some 30 Islamic militants from countries including Britain, Pakistan and Chechnya.
29 January 2013
Much has been made of Neo-Ottomanism and its impact on the Balkans, on the Middle East, and on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Turkish foreign policy has been characterized by an ever growing activism ranging from the political to the economic and to the linguistic and cultural dynamics in the immediate region; though in some respects it stretches all the way to the Red Sea, North Africa, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Erdogan and Davutoglu, principal policy makers for the ruling party in Ankara, see a reborn Porte as the center of a chain of overlapping cultural, religious, political, and economic spheres that promote Turkey as an ascending power in the international system.
22 December 2012
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats. No evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to the attack that killed four Americans at the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September. But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.