Category: Islam

Egypt hosts Arab war games, in possible nod to growing anti-Iran alliance

Drill by states envisioned as part of ‘Arab NATO’ comes after Gulf appears to open up to Israel, but some warn against having Iran replace Jewish state as regional boogeyman

By AP Today, 5:20 am 1

CAIRO, Egypt — Ground, air and naval units from five Arab nations are arriving in Egypt to join their Egyptian counterparts for war games, Egypt’s military said, in the first sign that a military alliance proposed by Washington and dubbed the “Arab NATO” for its Middle East partners may be gaining traction.

A military statement late Wednesday said forces from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan will take part in the November 3-16 exercises codenamed “Arab Shield” and to be held in western Egypt. Lebanon and Morocco are taking part as observers.

Egypt has been holding separate drills with each of these five Arab nations in recent years, but “Arab Shield” will be the first time that all six will be simultaneously participating in war games.

The announcement came a little more than a month after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in New York with the foreign ministers from the six nations participating in this month’s maneuvers plus those from Oman and Qatar to advance the idea of creating a Sunni alliance uniting America’s Middle East partners against Shiite and non-Arab Iran.

However, the Egyptian military statement made no link between the war games and the proposed alliance, which Egypt may be approaching with caution given its sectarian undertones.

Egypt has become heavily dependent on financial assistance and investments from Gulf heavyweights like Saudi Arabia and the UAE and that might in turn influence its decision on whether to join the proposed alliance.

The Arab NATO idea was previously seen as part of a wider US administration approach to the region, which included some form of normalized ties with Israel as part of an anti-Iran alliance. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have official relationships with the Jewish state, though Israeli leaders have regularly boasted of growing, albeit covert, ties with potential regional allies.

While Arab states have traditionally insisted Israel first reach a peace deal with the Palestinians before open ties can be forged, the last week has seen several public signals of a growing rapprochement with Israel. That included a visit to Oman by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and separate trips to the UAE by two Israeli ministers.

On Saturday, Oman’s Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah told a security conference in Bahrain that Israel should be accepted in the region.

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt, who will travel to the region next week, lauded the apparent growing ties Wednesday.

“In the last few days we have seen our regional partners Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE make statements and/or gestures signaling warmer ties with Israel,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter. ” A more stable region leads to a stronger and more prosperous region. It is good for all.”

But a prominent Egyptian analyst on Thursday warned Cairo against joining a US-brokered Sunni alliance, framing its creation as part of an ongoing process to replace Israel with Iran as the Arabs’ chief enemy and emphasizing that differences between the Arabs and Iran can be politically settled.

“Israel is not a friend and this is a fact despite all attempts to ignore it,” wrote Abdullah el-Sinnawy in the independent al-Shorouk newspaper, alluding to growing public contacts between Israel and Gulf Arab nations that, unlike Egypt and Jordan, don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel.

“Where will the alliance’s front line (against Iran) be? The Arab NATO project is about military confrontation that will be fueled by Israeli participation and no one will be able to bear its grave consequences,” he wrote.

Qatar has reacted with skepticism to the proposed alliance, citing its yearlong dispute with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. The four nations have since June 2017 boycotted Qatar, demanding that the tiny but super wealthy nation limit its diplomatic ties with Iran, shut down the state-funded Al-Jazeera news network and sever ties to radical Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Qatar denies supporting Islamist groups.

Oman is highly unlikely to join the alliance, given its close relations with Iran and its traditional role as a mediator in regional or international conflicts involving Tehran.

The US proposed alliance follows the derailment three years ago of efforts to create a joint Arab force agreed on at a March 2015 Arab summit in Egypt. That force was to be led by an Egyptian and headquartered in Saudi Arabia. But a meeting of military chiefs of staff that was to iron out details of the force was canceled in the last minute in August 2015 and another one was never scheduled.

Last year, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism. Defense chiefs from some 40 Muslim majority nations gathered for the alliance’s inaugural meeting in Riyadh a year ago, but little has been heard of the grouping since.

Egypt is a member of a Saudi-led, US-backed coalition that has been fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen since 2015, but its role in the conflict is known to be limited to reconnaissance and the deployment of warships off Yemen’s Red Sea coastline to secure shipping lanes.

However, Egypt’s military is likely to be a key partner in the proposed alliance.

The most populous Arab nation, Egypt under general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has become one of the world’s top arms buyers. It has spent billions of dollars, mainly in Russia, France and Germany, to acquire fighter jets, submarines, troop carriers and helicopter gunships.

Its recent arms purchases are on top of some $1.3 billion worth of American arms it buys annually under a US military aid program in place since Egypt signed a 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9448

Nation Will Rise Against Nation: Israeli Tanks Mass Along The Border As War Between Israel And Hamas Appears To Be Imminent

Another extremely bloody border protest on Friday has pushed Israel and Hamas to the brink of war.  The Egyptians had been urging Hamas to tone down the border protests, but that did not happen.  Instead, Hamas is pledging to continue the border protests for as long as it takes to end the Israeli blockade.  So Israel has a choice to make.  Either it can end the blockade, accept the endless violence that is currently taking place along the border, or invade Gaza.  The Israelis have already stated very clearly that the blockade will not end, because everyone understands that weapons and fighters will pour into Gaza if that happens.  So it looks like the choice will come down to living with the border violence or invading Gaza, and living with the border violence does not appear to be an acceptable choice either.  On Friday, 10,000 Hamas protesters showed up at the border fence, and 130 of them got shot during the violence that erupted

Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza Strip border on Friday, the enclave’s Health Ministry said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said about 10,000 demonstrators massed at the border and that some threw burning tires, grenades and explosive devices at the troops across the fence.

Friday’s chaos followed more violence earlier in the week.  On Wednesday, a rocket that was fired from Gaza obliterated a home in southern Israel, and another rocket landed not too far from Tel Aviv.  The Jewish people have been greatly outraged by these attacks, and their patience has worn very thin.

In response to those attacks, the IDF hit targets in Gaza with airstrikes.

In an article just a few days ago, I noted that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is now saying that he believes that war between Israel and Hamas is “inevitable”.  And on Thursday, Israel made a major move in that direction by massing tanks along the Gaza border

On Thursday Israel had ramped up armored forces along the Gaza border, a day after a rocket fired from the enclave destroyed a home in southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed “very strong action” if attacks continued.

In fact, it is being reported that this massing of tanks along the border represents “the largest mustering of forces since the 2014 war”

Reuters has reported some 60 Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers now stationed at a deployment area along the border as of Thursday, which is the largest reported mustering of forces since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

This would be a war that would not benefit anyone, but it is very difficult to see how it will be avoided at this point.

Hamas could avoid war by simply ending the protests, but they have pledged not to do that.

Israel can keep hammering Gaza with airstrikes, but that definitely will not stop the violence.  The only thing that could permanently stop the violence is a full-blown invasion of Gaza with the intention of completely eliminating Hamas.

But that would be an exceedingly bloody mission, and it could potentially spark a much broader Middle East war.

The mainstream media in the United States has been mostly silent about this looming conflict, but the truth is that this is an extremely serious situation.  Just check out what Nickolay Mladenov told the UN Security Council on Thursday

Special UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, told the UN Security Council on Thursday thatwe remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent”.

If someone was constantly sending rockets, grenades and incendiary devices across the U.S. border, the American people would be screaming and yelling for the military to do something, and rightly so.

Israel is not going to put up with all of this violence for much longer, but there is one huge problem.  If Israel invades Gaza at this point, they will be considered to be the “aggressor” by most of the rest of the world.  And in order to eliminate Hamas entirely, Israel would have to be ruthless, and images from the very bloody war would be endlessly broadcast throughout the Islamic world.  This could greatly galvanize Israel’s other enemies, and it could very easily spark a broader conflict.

Israel is surrounded by nations that would love to see it wiped off the map, and if the right opportunity arose they would gladly join forces in an all-out attempt to defeat Israel once and for all.

But if that scenario were to unfold while Donald Trump was in the White House, the Trump administration would most certainly intervene militarily on the side of Israel, and that could potentially be the start of World War 3.

It isn’t true at this point, but U.S. relations with Israel will soon once again become one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics.  And a major war in the Middle East would go a long way toward destabilizing the entire globe.

We truly do live in apocalyptic times, and many are anticipating that global events will greatly accelerate during the months ahead.

Throughout much of human history, Israel has been at the center of attention, and now it is happening again.

Watch Israel very carefully, because the things that are happening over there right now are going to have very serious implications for all of us.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9431

Major Turkish Politicians Reveal That Erdogan Is Conspiring To Bring Back The Caliphate, And This Is All Happening While Trump And NATO Are Allowing Turkey To Invade Syria And Iraq

Turkey is bringing back the caliphate, and NATO is helping them to accomplish this.

According to some prominent politicians in the Turkish parliament, there is a plan being conspired by Erdogan and his ilk to bring back the Caliphate to the center of the religious and political paradigm of the Islamic world. Cem Toker, the former head of the libertarian Liberal Democratic Party in Turkey, recently warned in an interview:

“There will be another referendum in the next four years… There is one more referendum left to come. I believe that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is assertive (on this point). My guess: the caliphate. We will ask the nation, ‘shall we bring back the caliphate or not?”

When asked by the interviewer on whether or not he was certain of what he was saying, Toker responded: “It’s a very, very great possibility, yes …March 3, 2024 is the hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the caliphate…”

The interview was done on the Turkish private television station, KRT, which is known for being opposed to Erdogan’s Islamist aspirations. It is thus not surprising that the Turkish regime has been working to have the station shut down. In January of this year, Cem Küçük, who is a mouthpiece commentator for the Erdogan regime, demanded that the station be shut down. Lawyer Fidel Okan announced on Twitter that the station will be closing down.

Meanwhile, there are very prominent officials in the American government working to help Turkey gain the military technology it needs to have a conquering force. 

There seems to be an internal struggle taking place within the United States government on whether or not to allow Turkey to obtain F-35 fighter jets. But there are very influential officials lobbying to permit the defense company Lockheed Martin to sell F-35s to the Turks. Meanwhile, in the NATO summit, NATO countries have affirmed that they will back Turkey against the Syrian government, which thus gives further leeway for Turkey’s geopolitical agenda of expanding its military into Syria. 

In its most recent meeting in Brussels, NATO backed Turkey against Syria, declaring in a joint statement that Syria poses a national security threat to Turkey. “We remain concerned that Turkey has been hit three times in the last four years by missiles launched from Syria. We continue to monitor and assess the ballistic missile threat from Syria,” the declaration said.

“The increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles in the vicinity of the south-east border of the Alliance has been and remains a driver in NATO’s development and deployment of a ballistic missile defense system, which is configured to counter threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area,” it added.

The NATO alliance also vowed “tailored assurance measures” for Turkey against Syria:

“Tailored assurance measures for Turkey to respond to the growing security challenges from the south contribute to the security of the Alliance as a whole, and will be fully implemented …We have increased the strength of the NATO Response Force, and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) is ready to deploy on short notice”

Pointing to a missile threat or to Kurdish separatists is simply a way of justifying enabling Turkey to expand its hegemony into Syria. Erdogan claims that he wants Turkish forces in Syria to crush the YPG, but remember what he said back in 2016: “We entered [Syria] to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason”. Turkey wants to enter Syria to replace the government and conquer the land. And the United States is giving Turkey the green light to expand into Syria. As a Whitehouse press statement pointed out early this year: “President Trump stressed the need to intensify cooperation with Turkey with respect to shared strategic challenges in Syria.”

Erdogan most certainly has fantasies about reviving the Ottoman Empire, and this is reflected in the fact that Erdogan envisions that Turkey will be once again a great power in the year 2071, and paralleled this date to 1071, the year the Seljuk Turk Sultan Alp Arslan defeated the Christian Byzantines in the Battle of Manzikert. In August of 2017 Erdogan declared in a speech:

“Just like [Turkey’s vision for] 2023 and 2053, we’ve also determined 2071 [marking the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt] as a ‘horizon line’ … We are proud of our ancestors who walked with glory, honor and victory into the center of Europe after entering Anatolia from Malazgirt, with the red flag in one hand and the green sanjak in the other”

Erdogan then mentioned Mehmet II, the conquerer of Constantinople, and Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic, and said that he and the Turkish people are continuing their struggle:

“Whoever Osmangazi [the founder of the Ottoman Empire], Fatih Sultan Mehmet [the 7th Sultan of Ottoman Empire who conquered Istanbul], Sultan Abdulhamid [the 34th Ottoman Sultan] and the veteran [Gazi] Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [the founder of the Republic of Turkey] struggled against, we also struggled with them on July 15”

Erdogan sees his cause as the perpetuation of the struggle of the sultans before him, including the most famous of sultans, Mehmet II, one of the most significant figures in the formation of Ottoman power. Mehmet was greatly influenced by Zaganos Pasha, a Slavic military commander who left Christianity and converted to Islam, and who held tremendous influence on him. In fact, it was Zaganos who urged Mehmet to conquer Constantinople, an aspiration that he completed on May 29th of 1453. After this, Mehmet sealed his reputation as a supreme leader, and selected all of his grand viziers from his personal slaves, concentrating government power to his hands.

After this, Mehmet then began to expand the Ottoman Empire deeper into Europe. The Ottomans took Athens in 1458; Serbia in 1459; Morea in 1460. Bosnia got absorbed into the Ottoman empire in 1464, and the Bosnian nobility took up the jihad of the Ottomans and warred against Hungary. After a long war with Venice (1463-1479), the Ottomans took control of Negropont and the Adriatic coastline. The Turks took Trebizond in order to control the Black Sea coastline of Anatolia and to make the Black Sea into an Ottoman maritime territory. Eventually the whole of Crimea went into Ottoman hegemony after the khan of the Golden Horde agreed to become an Ottoman vassal in 1475. Mehmet II established a major trading network, connecting Constantinople (now Istanbul) with routes north into Russia and Central Asia, and west into Europe (See Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition, ch. 1, pp. 24—27)  It is this empire that Erdogan desires to revive.

Whether or not you believe that Turkey is going to return to a caliphate, one thing that is certain is that Turkey is trying to revive its empire. This is evident in Turkey’s recent military expansions into both Syria and Iraq. There has been a struggle within the US government on whether or not to help further enable Turkey in its militarist expansionism in the Middle East. A focus in these tensions is Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who is currently in Turkish prison. Numerous American lawmakers want to put pressure on Turkey to release Brunson through efforts to prevent Turkey from getting F-35 fighter jets.

US senators have twice voted in favor of preventing Turkey from getting F-35s, a vote which is being apparently ignored by Lockheed Martin which recently held a ceremony for the giving of the first two F-35s purchased by Ankara. Other than the situation of pastor Brunson, another focus of US lawmakers is Turkey’s move to purchase two Russian S-400 missile-defense systems. With the Cold War mentality of the Americans, US senators have threatened Turkey in a defense authorization bill with stopping the delivery of F-35s unless it ceases its purchase of Russian S-400s. According to one report from Radio Free Europe:

“U.S. senators have moved for a second time to block delivery of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey unless it abandons an arms deal with Russia, even as the plane’s manufacturer announced the roll-out of the first aircraft purchased by Ankara.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill for U.S. foreign operations on June 21 after adding an amendment blocking delivery of the F-35s unless Turkey drops its plans to buy Russian S-400 missile-defense systems.”

Politicians in the State Department have been supposedly very unhappy with these moves by the US Senate to prevent Turkey from getting F-35s, with one US official reporting that U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has personally told lawmakers to remove any anti-Turkish language from the defense authorization bill.

There has also, reportedly, been some deception taking place on the part of the State Department. For example, the State Department lobbied for Turkey early this year when it stated that pastor Brunson might have been released by the Turkish government. This convinced some US lawmakers, like Senator Jeanne Shaheen, to rescind the sanctions that prevented Turkey’s purchasing of F-35s. But this turned out to be not true when Turkey remanded Brunson. Ragip Soyly, writing on the Daily Sabah reported on this:

“The State Department, on the other hand, earlier this year convinced Senator Jeanne Shaheen and others that Turkish courts might have released Brunson in May, and in return Shaheen retracted the then-intended sanctions. Their expectations proved to be fruitless. As a Turkish judge later remanded Brunson, senators came up with fresher and bolder sanction ideas like the F-35s. Their intent was hitting Turkey where it would hurt.”

Another report from the Daily Sabah from late last month reads:

“Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Lankford, also previously acknowledged that they would pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in the 2019 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs spending bill. The same senators dropped a similar attempt in March following State Department lobbying. However, because a Turkish court remanded Brunson last month, the senators brought this threat back on the agenda, expecting more leverage against Ankara.”

While there have been moves by senators to stop Turkey from acquiring American Air Force technology, there are senators who, while acknowledging this, still advocate for ‘strategic partnership’ with Turkey in Syria. In June of 2018, US senators Jeanne Shaheen and Lindsey Graham had a meeting with Erdogan in the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara, which lasted about an hour. Graham then went onto Twitter to say that while there are things about Turkey’s policy that differ from American policy, and that this has been a cause of tensions, the US must continue its strategic partnership with Turkey in the Middle East, saying that “failure is not an option” when it comes to such relations.

Democrat senator Chris van Hollen questioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Turkey acquiring the F-35 late last month, stating:

“Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400s, in combination with the F-35s, would allow Russia to detect and expose potential vulnerabilities with the F-35, and that would present a national security threat. I know you testified over in the House that quote — you were quote — ‘imploring’ — unquote — the Turks not to go forward. I think we want a more definitive statement. This committee just passed last week legislation, saying that its one or the other. We want the Turks to get the F-35. But can you tell us today, Mr. Secretary that we will not deliver the F-35s to Turkey until they pledge they won’t acquire the S-400?”

Now, while working to prevent Turkey’s efforts to get American F-35s should be acknowledged, we should at least observe what van Hollen is stating here, and how it really does not serve as an adequate response to the Turks’ actions. For one, van Hollen does not say that he does not want Turkey to have F-35s because of their militarist expansionism into Syria and Iraq that is being fueled by the imperialist ideologies of Islamism and pan-Turkism. Van Hollen says nothing like this. Instead, van Hollen says emphatically: “We want the Turks to get the F-35s.” This does not sound like an enthusiastic response towards the intensifying policies of Turkish militarism. For Mr. van Hollen, all Turkey needs to do is drop the deal with Russia in purchasing its S-400, and then it can acquire the American F-35 fighter jet.

Pompeo responded to van Hollen by saying that he and others in the Trump administration have been very “clear” with Turkey about the “risks” involved with their acquisition with the S-400. To van Hollen’s credit, he told Pompeo that he did not understand what Pompeo meant by “risk” (an ambiguous term) and that the Turks would only understand a “definitive statement”. Van Hollen then urged Pompeo to make a statement right there and then, because (in his words): “there was this ceremony in Texas”. Pompeo ended his response with typical slippery language, that “It’s a very complex situation, Senator … We’re certainly reviewing it. We’ve spoken to the Turks a great length.” Basically, there are people in the US government who want Turkey to buy more American weaponry, not caring what innocents die under Turkish terror with such weapons. Its blood for profit.

LOCKHEED MARTIN AND TURKEY

But lets go back to Van Hollen’s mention about this ceremony in Texas. While he did not go into detail, van Hollen was speaking of a bizarre ceremony organized by Lockheed Martin, celebrating its sale of two F-35s to Turkey. In this ceremony (with all of its strange dancing) Orlando P. Carvalho, the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, mentioned that there were representatives from several Turkish corporations present in the event:

“We also want to welcome and thank the individuals from the Turkish industry that are with us here today, including our distinguished colleagues from the following companies: Tusaş, the Kale Group, Alp Aviation, AYESAŞ, Tusas and the Engine Industries, Havelson, Roketson, TUBITAK, SAGE, Kale Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engine Industries Joint Venture.”

Lets inquire into some of these companies. Tusas is a Turkish defense company that is ran by very prominent figures in the Turkish scientific establishment. The chairman for Tusas is Oğuz Borat, who has been a member of the Scientist Development Group in the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) which, as we have written before, is the scientific establishment of the Turkish government whose scientists are heavily involved in eugenics and human experimentation.

Just last month, the CEO of Tusas, Temel Kotil, personally promised Erdogan the creation of an indigenously engineered Turkish engine for military helicopters, another reflection of how Turkey is pursuing independence from the American security umbrella.

Kale Group, another Turkish defense company, is currently working with Rolls Royce to develop the TF-X, Turkey’s first independently made fighter jet. According to one report from Invest in Turkey:

“Rolls Royce, the British automotive and aviation giant, and Kale Group, one of Turkey’s prominent defense contractors, have announced the establishment of a joint venture.

Kale Group will own 51 percent and Rolls Royce 49 percent of the joint venture company, which will be known as the TAEC Aircraft Engine Industry Corporation. The agreement was signed on May 8, 2017, in Istanbul. TAEC will produce jet engines for both military and civilian purposes, with intellectual property rights to the engines remaining in Turkey.”

Kale Group announced that they are taking the lead on the TF-X National Fighter Jet project currently being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI). The TF-X will be Turkey’s first domestically designed and produced fighter jet and it is meant to replace the current fleet of F-16s in the early 2020s.

The event included a recorded speech by Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir, Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Industries and a big backer of Erdogan. In this recorded speech, which played on a screen for the ceremony in Texas, Demir said:

“Today is a great day for us that we are going to have our first F-35. It will take our air force and our country to another state, and our pilots and air force will be owning the most advanced air system, and then this will increase our fight capability overall.”

Look at the words: “this will increase our fight capability overall.” Fight capability for what? The Turks would argue that its for combating Kurdish terrorists in Syria and Iraq. But Kurdish YPG insurgents in these regions, if anything, serve as the pretext for Turkey to expand in Iraq and Syria. Lets remember that the Americans backed the YPG in their fight against ISIS in Syria. Turkey then began to fight the YPG, and now the Americans are backing the Turks as part of their ‘roadmap’ to stabilize Syria. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June 27, 2018, before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that: “They [Turkey] will ultimately be part of political resolution there [Manbij, Syria] and an important part. And we need to recognize that and do our best of work alongside them”. The deal consists of the YPG — the very group the Americans were backing — withdrawing from Manbij and on ‘stability’ in the region.

So now that ISIS has become insignificant, the US is working with Turkey to control Syria. Thus, the sale of the F-35 to Turkey, and the lobbying being done to allow Turkey to purchase the F-35, is part of a policy to strengthen Turkey’s presence in the Middle East.

Another subject that was discussed in the Lockheed Martin ceremony in Texas was the integration of Turkish technology in the F-35. Reha Ufuk Er, a Turkish major general, gave a speech in the ceremonial event in which he said:

“Another aspect of F-35 program, that pleases me most, is the prospective integration of Turkish indigenous weapons with the F-35 aircraft.”

Er spoke of adding in the Precision Guidance Kit HGK, which is a system made for jet fighters to aim bombs with exact precision. It was designed by Turkish defense company TUBITAK SAGE and produced by ASELSAN, another major Turkish defense corporation.

 

The F-35 to Turkey will also be developed with a SOM-J high precision cruise missile, which was also developed by TUBITAK SAGE. The SOM is Turkey’s first indigenously made missile for destroying either moving or stationary targets at a stand-off distance of over 180 kilometers. The modification of the F-35 into an American-Turkish hybrid is a reflection of Turkey’s desire to be independent of the United States in the production of military technology. As Serdar Demirel, the Turkish deputy undersecretary of defence industries, said in the ceremony in Texas:

“I would like to say that, starting with the AA1 (the first F-35 aircraft), there’s a part which is produced by the Turkish industry on every aircraft flying now. So we are very proud that we are the partner of this program, and that we own this weapons system. So F-35 is changing the battlefield forever.”

Notice Demirel’s fixation on how Turkey owns some of the technology integrated into the F-35, and the mention of how the jet fighter “is changing the battlefield forever.” Turkey is looking into its own future, a future of war, conquest and empire. Engineering military technology independent of the American security umbrella is pursuant to Turkish policy. In recent years president Erdogan has been pursuing a plan to make Turkey more and more independent of foreign military technology, and Turkey has been showcasing this in its military operation in Syria, as well as in Iraq. Early this year Erdogan boasted:

“Almost all of the armored carriers (operating) in Afrin are domestically produced. I thank our friends who produced them”

In 2016, the Turkish government underwent a number of reforms which put Turkey’s defense industry deeper under the auspices of the Erdogan regime. For example, the presidency now superintends the Defense Industry Executive Committee, which is the most powerful entity overseeing Turkey’s arms procurement projects. In 2017, Erdogan made a presidential decree placing Turkey’s weapons industry directly under his control. Since then, the Turkish government has spent billions of dollars in investments to boost its military capacity. A presidential statement reads:  “A total of 55 projects worth $9.4 billion were evaluated”. Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners states:

“In the past there was no money, but now there is a lot of money slushing around, and the AKP has the vision to realize this project. This is a success story of the AKP … We used to procure 80 percent of our (armament) needs from abroad; now we are producing our own rifles, simple drones, armored vehicles. It saves foreign currency, it develops an industry which has some export potential and reduces foreign dependency.”

In 2015, Erdogan, in a speech commemorating the Battle of Gallipoli — in which the Ottomans gained a major victory over the British in World War One — affirmed that “A nation without its own defense industry cannot fight the cause of liberation,” and he further added that by 2023 a Turkish made combat plane will “fly the Turkish skies”.Turkey is home to two of the top 100 biggest defense corporations in the world: Aselsan and TUSAS. Faik Eken, General Director of Aselsan, said in 2015 that: “We’re making products better than most in the West. We’re cheaper … We’re ready to share technology. The Turkish defense industry can be a valid alternative to the West”. Muharrem Dortkasli, the chief executive of TUSAS, confidently affirmed that Turkey is “a country that will have its own national tank, national ship, national helicopter, satellite and war plane”.

A Stratfor report from May of 2017 states that Turkey’s “goal is to achieve full self-sufficiency by 2023.” Turkey desires to become the dominant arms exporter in the Muslim world. As the same report tells us:

“The Turkish government wants to establish a respectable industry based around a wide array of defense projects — some of which Erdogan has a keen interest in — from maritime vessels to army vehicles to aerospace projects. In the naval sphere, Turkish defense industries including Istanbul Shipyard and Golcuk Naval Shipyard are close to securing warship and submarine contracts worth billions of dollars with countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.”

Turkey is also working to build its own navy battleships. For example, Sedef Shipbuilding, the largest private shipyard in Turkey, is right now in the process of building Turkey’s first assault ship, which will eventually be used for holding aircraft. Turkish defense company, Otokar, has developed the Altay main battle tank to replace the old tanks in Turkey. And Turkish defense company, Turkish Aerospace Industries — in conjunction with Anglo-Italian company AgustaWestland — has developed the T129 attack helicopter.

Perhaps Turkey has learned from its own history of depending on other countries for advanced military technology. In 1911, The Turks made a deal with two British shipbuilders, Vickers and Armstrong, to purchase two state-of-the-art British dreadnoughts. The two dreadnoughts were scheduled for delivery in July 1914. The Ottomans wanted these two battleships in order to advance the Turkish military (just as Turkey today bought two F-35s to further advance its own air force). The Ottomans called the two dreadnoughts the Sultan Osman and the Resadiye. But they were a burdensome drain on the Ottoman economy. The Ottoman government had to solicit the nationalism of its subjects in order to receive charitable donations, and Turkish school children were exhorted to give their own pocket money for the cause of securing possession of the ships. Fund-raising stands were made in city squares where people were encouraged to donate five piasters or more.

Turkey, at this time in 1914, was in the dreary stage of recovering from the devastating defeats in the Libyan and Balkan Wars, and it was the hope of the empire that the ships would reinvigorate its military. Russia and Greece watched with much consternation as the two dreadnoughts were almost completed in the spring of 1914. Greece was in the midst of a dispute with Turkey over three islands in the Aegean Sea — Chios, Mytilene and Lemnos —, much like how today the Greeks and Turks are in vicious dispute over the Imia islands, which are really just small uninhabited islets (just like how China and Japan are disputing over the uninhabited Senkaku islands, which are really uninhabitable rocks).

In the summer of 1914, after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, war was in the air, and the plans of war — which were deeply entrenched in the political minds behind the curtains of the face of diplomacy — war was in the conscious of the highest echelons of power, war crept from the shadows of the murky waters of the dark principalities, and was now in the light, like a filthy puddle turning stale in the muggy heat. The Ottomans tried to secure an alliance with the Entente in order to prevent Russia from invading their empire, but to no avail. The Turks were eager to get their two British dreadnoughts.

In July of 1914, shortly after the murder of the Archduke, Cemal Pasha went to Toulon in  France at the invitation of its government to witness the manoeuvres of the French fleets. Cemal took advantage of his stay in Europe to visit the Turkish officers who were overseeing the building of the ships. They told Cemal that “the English were in a very peculiar frame of mind. They seemed to be always searching for some new excuse for delaying the completion and delivery of the warships.” Cemal told the officers to make the delivery of the ships happen as soon as possible. Cemal then left Toulon and went to Paris where he told the director of political affairs: “You must take us into your Entente and at the same time protect us against the terrible perils threatening us from Russia.” As a way to return the favor, Cemal promised the French that Turkey would be loyal to them and to the British in helping “forge an iron ring around the Central Powers”.

The French diplomat told Cemal that France could only make an alliance with Turkey with the approval of their allies, which was “very doubtful”. Cemal recounted: “I understood perfectly that France was convinced that it was quite impossible for us to escape the iron claws of Russia, and that under no circumstances would she vouchsafe us her help.” On July 18th, Cemal left Paris and returned to Istanbul with nothing. On July 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia, and what started as a conflict in the Balkans quickly spread like a burning conflagration across Europe (which was part of the plan of the Germans). On August 1st, The British refused to give the dreadnoughts to Turkey, even though the Ottomans paid for the ships in full. Cemal wrote that he knew that the British delays to deliver the battleships “had been nothing but pretexts which… revealed the design England had long cherished of making these ships her own”. The Turks were humiliated, and on August 2nd — the very next day — the Ottoman Empire made a secret alliance with Germany and joined the Central Powers. (See Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans, ch. 2, pp. 31—39)

Speaking of Germany, the Germans, like the Turks are strengthening their military to establish themselves as the major power in Europe. In NATO’s most recent meeting, NATO countries backed Turkey. And in the same meeting, Trump again pushed for Germany to boost up their defense industry. Trump stated that Germany is controlled by Russia because it purchases most of its oil from Russia, and that Germany is not paying enough for its own defense. All of this implies one thing: Germany needs to become militarily independent:

“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.  And you tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not, and I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO and I don’t think it should have happened.  And I think we have to talk to Germany about it.

On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent, whereas the United States, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2 percent of a much larger GDP.  So I think that’s inappropriate also.”

The secretary general for NATO, the Norwegian general Jens Stoltenberg, agreed with Trump, and said that European countries are already boosting their defense spending thanks to his exhortations:

“SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  First of all, it’s great to see you again, Mr. President.  And good to have you here for a summit.  And we are going to discuss many important issues at the summit.  Among them is defense spending. And we all agree that we have to do more.  I agree with you that we have to do make sure that our allies are investing more. The good news is that allies have started to invest more in defense.

After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets.  And last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in that generation.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Why was that last year?

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  It’s also because of your leadership, because of your carried message.  And —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They won’t write that, but that’s okay.”

So, there are Europeans who are happy about Trump pushing Germany to spend more on its military, including the Germans themselves. In fact, just recently Germany’s Defence State Secretary Peter Tauber said that Germany’s current defense spending plan is not enough, stating: “Further increases in defense spending should follow in the next years … to meet the Bundeswehr’s (military’s) needs”. Trump encourages this further when he said in Brussels that NATO countries need to increase their spending by 4% of their GDP.

Imagine Germany spending 4% of their GDP on its military; what a difference this would be from what they are spending now. But this is exactly what the Germans want, because they want to bring back their reich. Last year, the German politician, Andreas Nick of the Christian Democrats said that he wanted to increase defense spending to 3% of German GDP. But Trump is giving the Germans more than this, saying that they should spend 4%. Germany is in glee knowing that the Americans are pushing them towards military independence. Turkey and Germany are both receiving the green light to make their plowshares into swords.

But we cannot discuss what has been taking place in the Middle East and Europe without talking about America’s foreign policy. The toppling of Saddam in Iraq led to a power vacuum that sucked in the horrifically violent instability that the world witnessed under both the Bush and Obama administrations, with jihadist groups unleashing a reign of terror on the populace. Apologists for the war would argue that the United States invaded Iraq to bring democracy and defeat terrorism. But there is no democracy in Iraq, and terrorism still has a very strong presence. They said that they wanted to remove Saddam because he had some connection to the 9/11 attacks. But many of the voices lobbying for the invasion of Iraq did not even care if this allegation was true or false. This was made evident in a letter made by the Project of the New American Century (PNAC), addressed to president Bush, which declared that “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.”

So it didn’t matter to the lobbyist for war if Saddam was or was not involved in the 9/11 attacks. They just wanted him removed. Removed, for what? For 9/11? That didn’t matter, because they wanted him removed regardless. They said it was about WMDs. But shortly after the invasion of Iraq, and after it was revealed that there were no WMDs, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Israeli Knesset released several reports showing that the intelligence Israel gave to the Bush administration was false.

So going beyond the justifications of “democracy” and the “war on terror,” the reasoning behind the war in its totality is not fully comprehended. As journalist George Packer writes: “it still isn’t possible to be sure, and this remains the most remarkable thing about the Iraq war.” Richard Hass, the director of policy planning in the State Department under Bush Jr., said that he would “go to his grave not knowing the answer.” (1) At least for now, in our time, the true reasons for entering Iraq have not been completely revealed. But maybe, in the chaos of it all, we find the answer that we seek. Perhaps the reason for invading Iraq was chaos, chaos to help the most powerful of countries bring more chaos in the name of order. The Iraq War left the power vacuum that Turkey is now filling.

Why is Turkey invading Syria and Iraq? Why is Germany working to becoming a powerful military force again? The answer may lie in the conclusion the historian David Fromkin gave to the question of why Germany invaded her neighbors and ignited World War One:

The decision for war in 1914 was purposeful; and the war itself was not, as generation of historians have taught, meaningless. On the contrary, it was fought to decide the essential questions in international politics: who would achieve mastery in Europe, and therefore in the world, and under the banners of what faith.” (Fromkin, Europe’s Last Summer, ch. 51, p. 296)

They will bring up ‘terrorism,’ but at the end of the day, its all about supremacy.

(1) See Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby, ch. 8, pp. 235—236, 248

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9286

Next Middle East War Is Most Likely to Start In These Places, According to New Report

Escalating violence in two nations may threaten to plunge the already restive Middle East into a deeper conflict involving regional and international powers, according to the latest report by a leading monitor.

The Belgium-based International Crisis Group describes its “U.S.-Iran Trigger List” as “an early-warning platform to monitor, analyze and provide regular updates on key and increasingly flashpoints between Iran and the U.S. or their respective allies that could lead to a direct or indirect confrontation, or generally to a dangerous regional escalation.” It currently includes nine flashpoints with varying degrees of severity, the highest being “Critical,” across the Middle East and its periphery.

In a statement sent Tuesday to Newsweek, the International Crisis Group announced that, for the first time since the project was launched in late 2017, it includes “flashpoints in two different countries set to Critical.”

“In Yemen, where the battle for [the city of] Hodeida is reaching the point of no return and Huthi ballistic missile launches against Saudi Arabia are on the rise; and in the Golan Heights, where the dangerous tit-for-tat between Israel and Iran continues,” the group said.

Iran and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia are locked in a battle for regional supremacy, fighting proxy wars in several different Middle Eastern countries. Among the conflicts listed in this map, the International Crisis Group has identified Yemen and Syria as being the most likely to produce violence between the U.S., Iran or their allies. Reuters

The war in Yemen has already caused what the United Nations has called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” The conflict began shortly after a Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebel group known as the Houthis, or Ansar Allah, managed to force Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the capital city of Sanaa in 2015.

Hadi had replaced longtime Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh after mass protests surrounding the Arab Spring movement in 2012, but the new administration was plagued by accusations of corruption, economic woes and violent insurgencies waged by both the Houthis and the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim Al-Qaeda. Neighboring Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as a proxy force of Iran, which sponsors Shiite Muslim militias across the Middle East, and gathered allies to stage a massive intervention against the Houthi government.

Tehran and the Houthis, though largely aligned politically, deny any military connection, but the U.S. and Israel have joined Saudi Arabia in accusing Iran of supplying the Yemeni rebels with the ballistic missiles they frequently fire on Saudi-backed forces and on the kingdom itself.

Saudi Arabia’s devastating air campaign has largely failed to break a bloody stalemate between the pro-Yemeni government forces and the Houthi bloc. This could change, however, as the Saudi-led coalition claimed to have seized the only Houthi-held port city of Al-Hodeidah. Iran and the Houthis have denied these reports and casualties continue to mount.

The International Crisis Group warned such a critical battle could lead to drastic measures on either side. It listed “Critical” flashpoints in the Yemeni cities of Saada, where the Saudi-led coalition claimed to have captured and killed members of the powerful Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement, and in the strait of Bab el-Mandeb, where Houthi commanders have threatened to bomb Saudi vessels and military sites.

A map shows deaths in Yemen from June 10-16, 2018 as battles rage on between the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement and the Saudi-led coalition attempting to reinstate Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project/Reuters

The non-governmental organization also listed Syra’s southern region of Al-Tanf, located near the country’s borders with Jordan and Iraq, and the eastern Euphrates River Valley as a “Moderate” threat. The U.S.-led coalition set up a base in Al-Tanf despite Syrian, Russian and Iranian calls to dismantle it and has used force to defend a roughly 34-mile right around it against what it says are incursions from pro-Syrian government fighters.

Syria’s long-running civil war also began with the 2011 Arab Spring protests. The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others backed regime change efforts against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia and Iran, both of which ultimately intervened to support the Syrian leader against rebels and jihadis attempting to overthrow him.

Even as the U.S. cut support for an increasingly Islamist opposition, close calls between international forces in Syria have been dangerously commonplace. The U.S.-led coalition and Russia maintain a deconfliction line to prevent incidents between their dueling air campaigns against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The Pentagon, however, has intentionally targeted the Syrian government on at least two occasions in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in rebel-held regions, and it has launched several airstrikes on pro-Syrian government fighters—including Russian fighters—after reportedly coming under attack.

The U.S. focused on assisting the local, Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces take out ISIS in eastern Syria, fellow NATO Western military alliance member Turkey staged a unilateral invasion of northwestern Syria to oust U.S.-backed Kurdish groups branded terrorist organizations by Ankara. Scores of Kurdish fighters fled U.S.-led coalition frontlines to battle the Turkish troops and Syrian rebels, even joining pro-Syrian government efforts.  The U.S. and Russia remained mostly sidelined, but Washington refused Ankara’s demands to withdraw from the city of Manbij and the two nations ultimately settled on establishing separate, yet coordinated controls around the Kurd-held city.

The U.S.-led coalition, the Russia-Syria alliance and their mutual Iraqi ally were not the only ones conducting airstrikes in Syria, however. While rarely announced, Israel has increasingly targeted suspected Iranian and pro-Iran military assets in neighboring Syria, from which a hostile force—potentially Iranian—fired rockets toward the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, prompting a massive Israeli air assault.

The U.S. has already warned it would not provide military support to Syrian rebels and a potential arrangement may exclude Iran-aligned elements from taking part in Assad’s latest offensive, but a suspected Israeli attack on what was reportedly an Iranian weapons shipment in Damascus has prompted further concerns that the situation could quickly get out of hand. The International Crisis Group listed “Golan Heights and South/West Syria” as a “Critical” flashpoint.

Smoke rises above the southwestern Syrian city of Daraa as it’s being bombarded in this footage obtained from the official Syria TV network, June 26, 2018. The Syrian military and its allies have begun a new offensive to retake the rebel-held southwest, but involvement by Iran could risk an intervention from Israel, which occupies the nearby Golan Heights. Syria TV/Reuters TV

On Friday, the U.S.-led coalition told Newsweek that its advisers and allied Syrian rebels came under from “an unidentified hostile” force near Al-Tanf. The incident occurred only days after the U.S. and Israel were blamed for deadly airstrikes against pro-Syrian government fighters—including Iraqi militias—in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor. The province is located in the Euphrates River Valley, where both the U.S.-led coalition, pro-Syrian government forces and the Iraqi military are clearing out the last of ISIS.

In addition to Yemen and Syria, the International Crisis Group listed other flashpoints in Afghanistan, IraqLebanon and the Strait of Hormuz—a crucial waterway where U.S. and Iranian naval ships have shared tense encounters.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9283

The Government Of Iraq Bans Farmers From Using Water. Now Iraqi Farmers Are Pushing The Government To Get Water From Turkey. This Is Only Helping Turkey Dominate The Middle East

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. (Revelation 9:12)

The government of Iraq is restricting the use of water for farmers, only allocating water for fifty percent of Iraqi farmland. This disaster is made worse by the fact that Turkey has been building dams on the Tigers and Euphrates, and taking water from the two rivers. Now the situation is so severe that Iraqi farmers are pushing their government to start importing water from Turkey.

The Hurriyet Daily News published an article on the situation, and there are some excerpts I would like to show:

Iraq has banned its farmers from planting summer crops this year as the country grapples with a crippling water shortage that shows few signs of abating.

Citing high temperatures and insufficient rains, Dhafer Abdalla, an adviser to Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources, told The Associated Press that the country has only enough water to irrigate half its farmland this summer.

But farmers fault the government for failing to modernize how it manages water and irrigation, and they blame neighboring Turkey for stopping up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers behind dams it wants to keep building.

Farmers staged demonstrations against the moratorium. In one instance, they forced the closure of a levee along a branch of the Euphrates River to let the water levels rise for irrigation.

They demand the government secure more water from Turkey, fill the country’s reservoirs, and drill into the nation’s aquifers.

About 70 percent of Iraq’s water supplies flow in from upstream countries. Turkey is siphoning off an ever-growing share of the Tigris and Euphrates to feed its growing population in a warming climate. And it is building new dams that will further squeeze water availability in Iraq.

Syria is expected to start drawing more water off the Euphrates once it emerges from the yearslong civil war.

Turkey started filling its giant Ilisu Dam upstream in June, then paused the operation until July after pleas from Baghdad. Iraq’s Water Resources Ministry says it has enough water behind the Mosul Dam to guarantee adequate flow for a year, but experts say the Ilisu could take up to three years to fill, depending on rains.

So Turkey — as part of its decades long Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) — has been building dams throughout southeastern Anatolia while taking water from the Tigris and Euphrates, and at the same time Turkey is conducting a policy of military expansionism into Iraq. While Turkey has a military presence in Iraq, it is already taking resources, making Iraq more and more agriculturally impoverished. The US’ invasion of Iraq and its toppling of Saddam led to major instability in the country, causing a ripple effect of violence into Syria. With Syria is in chaos, this has enabled countries like Iran and Turkey to take advantage of the situation and enter the country. With Iraq in horrible conditions, due to war, the situation has enabled Turkey to take water from the region, and Iraq’s condition is so bad that farmers are asking water from Turkey. In other words, the declining water supply of Iraq is only giving more political leverage to Turkey to become the rising power in the Middle East.

Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolian Project has been criticized for flooding villages, giving Turkey control over water, desertification and pushing people out of their villages. As one researcher has said:

Opponents of the project criticize the privatization of rivers, the limitation of the right to use water, expropriation of private lands, eviction of villages, depopulation, desertification, clearance of forests, and the submerging of historic homes and cultural sites. GAP has also been harshly criticized in the past for flooding villages and displacing the inhabitants. From the perspective of Kurdish inhabitants in particular, there have been occasions where GAP had brought more instability to the region and its citizens than peace and happiness. In addition, GAP has an international dimension. It has been criticized for being a project that enables Turkey to control the flow of water to downstream states, and thus to build dominance over Iraq and Syria.

According to journalist Alex Kemman, there are academics in Turkey who believe that the dams — while being portrayed as a means to economic growth — are actually part of a war strategy by the Turkish government to fight against the PKK:

I was there in 2013 and 2015 to investigate a series of state-funded dam projects that locals believe will be used for military purposes. Some academics have reported that the so-called “security dams” are actually part of a broader war strategy by the Turkish government, to counter the PKK.

The General Directorate for the Turkish state owned company behind the construction of the dams, State Hydraulic Works (DSI), admitted that the dams are “security dams against the PKK.” The head of DSI, Veysel Eroglu, is a major backer of Erdogan’s Islamist AK Party, and he is also a huge supporter of Turkey’s military operation in Syria, exclaiming early this year:

“Our hero is an army, it has captured important centers at this moment, we will never allow the terrorist organization to form a corridor, America is notwilling to set up such a terrorist state in Mexico, besides, we will not tolerate this.

He also said: “it is a pride of our soldiers to run to martyrdom as if he is going to play.”

So the company behind the building of these dams, State Hydraulic Works (DSI), is ran by a member of Erdogan’s Islamist AK Party who believes in jihad. The building of the dams, then, is a part of Turkey’s geopolitical jihad.

PKK terrorists, in 2012, reportedly set 22 trucks on fire, and construction workers have been kidnapped by these militants. Regardless, that Turkey is building dams that lower the water supply of Iraq, and thus push Iraqi farmers to ask for water from Turkey, does indicate a strategy of war, not just to defeat the PKK, but to give Turkish political preponderance in the Middle East.

Turkish power rising in the Middle East can be, to a great extent, attributed to US policy. With the Saddam regime toppled, it created a power vacuum. With destabilization plaguing Syria, this also created a political power vacuum. This gave Turkey the green light to enter Syria, and now it is entering Iraq. The United States is facilitating Turkish expansionism with its recent agreement with Turkey on the “Manbij agreement” which esteems Turkey as a partner to bring stability to Syria. As Hurriyet Daily News reports:

The Manbij Roadmap agreement between the U.S. and Turkey about power-sharing in the northern Syrian city of Manbij will be “part of the political resolution,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June 27.

“They [Turkey] will ultimately be part of political resolution there and an important part. And we need to recognize that and do our best of work alongside them,” Pompeo told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on funding for the State Department, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

The plan was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij and on stability in the region. Turkey deems the YPG as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

The Turkish General Staff said in a statement on June 24 that the two countries’ forces conducted patrols separately in the west of Manbij. The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began on June 18.

So the United States used Kurdish militants to defeat ISIS, and now is getting warm with Turkey by siding with the Turks against the Kurds. Turkey is the most powerful country of the Muslim world. Of course it is going to get the permission to rule, because it is the preponderating and superior force.

Removing Saddam was the catalyst to this vicious filling of power vacuums and the stealing of water by Turkey which would have otherwise been used to enrich Iraq’s agriculture. And although Saddam did conduct policies that were destructive to Iraq’s farming (like diverting rivers to dry out marshes to root out political dissidents), the reality is that Iraq under Saddam was in a much better state agriculturally. Said K. Aburis has written:

“Operating through loyalists within the Ministry of Agriculture, Saddam introduced an admirable land reform programme. Trade unions loyal to the party were allowed to function and, although unable to question the overall government policy, they did address themselves effectively to the issues of workers’ conditions and pay. An extensive social security system was introduced, and steps were taken towards improving health care.” (Saïd K. Aburis, Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge)

Before the Iraq War, Iraq had a very strong agricultural economy, being one of the largest producers of dates on earth. Amnon Cohen and Noga Efrati write:

“From being one of the largest producers of dates in the world thirty years ago, Iraq’s crop dropped to such a level after the war that the ministry of agriculture began to consider importing dates. Productivity is down to about half the level of the mid-1980s, in part due to lack of technology and water, and whereas there were 150 date processing factories prior to the 2003 invasion, there are now only six, with most Iraqi dates now packaged more than 800 miles away in the United Arab Emirates.” (Amnon Cohen & Noga Efrati, Post-Saddam Iraq) 

Kamran Mofid also writes on how Saddam focused much on making Iraq agriculturally self-sufficient:

“In 1980 the importance and potential of agriculture in Iraq’s overall development was once more highlighted when Saddam Hussain declared that agriculture was Iraq’s ‘permanent oil’ and that he wanted to see the country become self-sufficient and a net exporter of food within this century”. (The Economic Consequences of the Gulf War)

The water conditions of Iraq are getting so bad that there have been actual cases of gun battles between people over water, as the financial times reports. The Turks are being backed by the Europeans in their dam making enterprise. An Austrian company, Andritz AG, is taking part in this in cooperation with Turkey. European and American actions are enabling Turkey to dominate the Middle East. Be prepared for the next Ottoman Empire.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9280

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz In Austria Makes Bold Move To Shut 7 Mosques, Expels 60 Imams To Prevent Becoming Another Londonistan

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques. His coalition government, an alliance of conservatives and the far right, came to power soon after Europe’s migration crisis on promises to prevent another influx and clamp down on benefits for new immigrants and refugees.

 

by Geoffrey Grider June 9, 2018

Austria said today it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and would shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on ‘political Islam’ that was described as ‘just the beginning’, triggering fury in Ankara.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Austria looked over at England where Muslim immigration is going to triple over the next few years to 13 million people, looked at the sky-high violent crime rate in London who has a Muslim mayor who is very soft on Islamic crime, and they decided they didn’t want that to be their future. Muslims are one of the only people groups who refuse to assimilate into the society of their host country, demand sharia courts as they have successfully done all over the UK, and one day you wake up to find you are a minority member in your own birth country. How do you stop it? You identify and shut the mosques where political radicalization is going on, and you begin deporting the radicals. Well done, Austria, hopefully other nations across Europe will follow your lead. 

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques.

His coalition government, an alliance of conservatives and the far right, came to power soon after Europe’s migration crisis on promises to prevent another influx and clamp down on benefits for new immigrants and refugees.

In a previous job as minister in charge of integration, Chancellor Kurz oversaw the passing of a tough ‘law on Islam’ in 2015, which banned foreign funding of religious groups and created a duty for Muslim societies to have ‘a positive fundamental view towards (Austria’s) state and society’.

‘Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country,’ Kurz told a news conference outlining the government’s decisions, which were based on that law. ‘This is just the beginning,’ far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache added.

Ankara quickly denounced the move, and Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter: ‘Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.’

Interior Minister Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), the junior partner in Austria’s coalition government, said: ‘The circle of people possibly affected by these measures – the pool that we’re talking about – comprises around 60 imams.’

Kickl was referring to imams with alleged links to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB) organisation, a branch of Turkey’s religious affairs agency Diyanet. The interior minister added that the government suspects them of contravening a ban on foreign funding of religious office holders.

The ministry said 40 of them had an active application for extending their residency and that a number of these had already been referred to immigration authorities, where a process for expelling them was underway. Once family members were taken into account, a total 150 people risked losing their right to residence, Kickl told a Vienna press conference.

Seven mosques will also be shut after an investigation by Austria’s religious affairs authority sparked by images which emerged in April of children in a Turkish-backed mosque playing dead and re-enacting the World War I battle of Gallipoli.

‘Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country,’ said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the ruling centre-right People’s Party.

The photos of children, published by the Falter weekly, showed the young boys in camouflage uniforms marching, saluting, waving Turkish flags and then playing dead. Their ‘corpses’ were then lined up and draped in the flags. The mosque in question was run by ATIB

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9221

Trump ME peace plan: Half West Bank for Palestinians, Abu Dis as capital

May 20, 2018 @ 10:04 Abu Dis, Arabs, Israel, Jard Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Jerusalem, Palestinians, Trump peace plan, West Bank

President Donald Trump sees his peace plan as a springboard for shaping an Israel-Arab track – even  if spurned by the Palestinians at first. He is preparing for the second time to unveil the all-but complete peace plan in mid-June i.e., after the month of Ramadan, subject to the situation in the region, five administration officials informed US media on Friday, May 18. His son-in-law and senior advise Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, his special adviser for international negotiations, had originally been instructed to tie up the last ends in time for its launch with the US embassy dedication in Jerusalem on May 14. The spadework was in hand. The president had discussed the peace plan’s content with three Arab leaders, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, UAE emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, the Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, as well as thoroughly briefing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was invited to come aboard, but he rebuffed the offer – and that was even before he generated a crisis with Israel for its deadly confrontation with Hamas in Gaza.
Some of the elements incorporated in the Trump peace plan were revealed by DEBKA Weekly 798 on April 27

  • The plan will be released on the date scheduled by Washington, regardless of a boycott by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.
  • The Arab world is expected to publicly nix the blueprint while keeping it afloat by offering to make the acceptable elements the basis for further discussions for an eventual peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel.
  • In search of a measure of Palestinian assent, the White House, Egypt and Gulf nations agreed to headhunt Palestinian figures living outside the PA domain, who hold different views from the Ramallah elite, and would be willing to underwrite the plan. Five eminent Palestinians have been found as possible candidates, including Abbas’ arch-foe Muhammed Dahlan. Feelers are still ongoing.
  • The Israeli prime minister will issue a cautious statement proposing that the Trump plan be the springboard for immediate negotiations with Arab governments on certain mutually acceptable points. Administration emissaries have buttonholed a wide range of Israeli political leaders, both in the government coalition and on opposition benches, who have agreed to look with favor on the Trump plan and not obstruct it.
  • Kushner and Greenblatt are assigned exclusively with the task of shepherding the peace plan from one stage to the next.
    The Trump plan is not a definitive document. It is designed to generate momentum for key Arab governments, notably the three Gulf emirates and Egypt, to sit down with the US and Israel and start the ball rolling for peace talks. Since this will be a long process, the Palestinians will have a chance to jump in at some point. At all events, the Arab and Israeli governments are expected to establish a mechanism for airing common issues that will be open to co-optiong Palestinians.

Sources who have had access to the text told DEBKAfile that it addresses the subjects at issue in detail, including Jerusalem. They disclosed the following nine elements:

  1.  A Palestinian state will be established with limited sovereignty across about half of the West Bank and all the Gaza Strip.
  2. Israel will retain security responsibility for most of the West Bank and the border crossings.
  3. The Jordan Valley will remain under Israel sovereignty and military control.
  4. .The Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will pass to the Palestinian state, excepting the Old City, which will be part of Israeli Jerusalem.
  5. Abu Dis east of Jerusalem is the proposed capital of Palestine.
  6. Palestine and Jordan will share religious jurisdiction over the city’s mosques.
  7. Gaza will be integrated in the new Palestinian state provided Hamas agrees to disarm.
  8.  There is no provision in the plan for the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” – but a compensation mechanism will be established and managed by the international community.
  9.  The Trump plan mandates Israel’s recognition as the homeland of the Jewish people, and Palestine with limited sovereignty as the Palestinian homeland.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9193

DAZED AND CONFUSED: Erdogan Says Turkey Will Not Allow Israel To Steal Jerusalem From Palestinians. Huh?

Erdogan said his chief of staff’s office and foreign ministry were working to evacuate the injured from Gaza, and said that Turkey would stand by Palestine “no matter what the price”. “Even if the whole world shuts their eyes, we will not allow Israeli cruelty. We will continue to be with our Palestinian siblings not only with our hearts, but with all our resources,” he said. “We will never allow Jerusalem to be stolen by Israel.”

by Geoffrey Grider May 17, 2018

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the United Nations had “collapsed” in the face of events in Gaza where Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinian protesters on Monday as the United States relocated its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

“And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.” 1 Kings 11:36 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The president of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, seems to be a tad confused today. In giving his latest fiery tirade against all Jews everywhere in general and against the sovereign nation of Israel in particular, Erdogan made a amazingly ignorant statement. He said, and I quote that he will “not allow Israel to steal Jerusalem from the Palestinians”. Hmm. In my King James Bible, the word ‘Jerusalem’ appears 811 times, all of them in reference to Israel. Look it up, check me out. But that’s not all. There are dozens and dozens of verses where the LORD says that Jerusalem is the place where He chooses to ‘put His name’. And there is not a single reference that shows any Canaanite or Philistine, that’s what the modern day Palestinians are descended from, with the right to control the Holy City. In fact, Zechariah 14:21 shows that, in the Millennial Reign of King Jesus, all Canaanites/Palestinians will be removed completely from the House of the Lord. 

“Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 14:21 (KJV)

Turkey has been among the most vocal critics of the Israeli use of deadly force against protesters at the Gaza border and of the U.S. decision to open its new embassy in Jerusalem. It called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Friday.

Speaking at a dinner on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan said the majority of the international community had failed to react to the events in Gaza, and warned that remaining silent would mean “opening a very dangerous door.”

For those of you who are not geographical scholars, here is the original land grant God gave to Abraham in bullet points:

How much of Israel belongs to the Jews? All of it, and then some. God’s land grant to Abraham is in perpetuity, and will not only last through the Millennial Reign, it will last throughout all eternity as well.

WHO’S OCCUPYING WHO? LET’S LOOK AT GOD’S ORIGINAL LAND GRANT OF ISRAEL TO ABRAHAM

“In the face of all these events, the United Nations has ended. (It has) become exhausted and collapsed,” Erdogan said. “If Israel’s bullying is met with more silence, the world will rapidly be dragged into a chaos where thuggery prevails.”

The events in Gaza have also sparked a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel, with both countries expelling each other’s senior diplomats on Tuesday.

The dispute appears to mark the worst diplomatic crisis between the two regional powers since Israeli marines stormed an aid ship to enforce a naval blockade of Gaza in 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists and prompting a downgrade in diplomatic ties that lasted until 2016.

Erdogan, who described Monday’s bloodshed as genocide earlier this week, said Turkey had launched initiatives to get the issue onto the U.N. General Assembly’s agenda. He said Ankara was pressing members of the U.N. Security Council to be more active.

He said his chief of staff’s office and foreign ministry were working to evacuate the injured from Gaza, and said that Turkey would stand by Palestine “no matter what the price”.

“Even if the whole world shuts their eyes, we will not allow Israeli cruelty. We will continue to be with our Palestinian siblings not only with our hearts, but with all our resources,” he said. “We will never allow Jerusalem to be stolen by Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9186

As 40,000 Palestinians Rush Gaza Border, Israeli Snipers Kill 38, Wound 1,000 Ahead Of US Embassy Opening

Israeli snipers have killed 25 Palestinians and hundreds more have been injured as 35,000 joined protests over the opening of America’s embassy today. At least 900 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives. A 14-year-old and two men in their 20s were among those shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day of protests since weekly border demonstrations started on March 30.

 

by Geoffrey Grider May 14, 2018

Israeli snipers have killed 38 Palestinians and hundreds more have been injured as 40,000 joined protests over the opening of America’s embassy today.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Embassy in Jerusalem will open officially in the next 50 minutes at 10:00 AM EST, 4:00 PM Israeli time today. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are right now engaged on the Gaza border, rushing the protective fence behind which live Israeli citizens. The stated goal of the rioters is to ‘loot, destroy and kill Israelis’. IDF snipers have already killed scores of these Gazan rioters, with over 1,000 wounded, and the death toll is climbing by the minute. These figures will be out of date the moment this article is published. With mere minutes until the Embassy opening in Jerusalem, it would appear that nothing is going to stop it. 

At least 900 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives. A 14-year-old and two men in their 20s were among those shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day of protests since weekly border demonstrations started on March 30.

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Dedication Ceremony

Click here to watch a live stream of the US Embassy dedication ceremony coming in real-time from Jerusalem, or watch below.

It comes as a White House delegation and Israeli officials gathered for an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognised the city as Israel’s capital in December – a  decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis.

Russia said today it feared the embassy opening would increase tension in the Middle East while Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan warned the US it had forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now ‘part of the problem rather than the solution’.

As violent clashes broke out this morning, Trump, in a tweet, hailed the scheduled embassy opening as ‘a great day for Israel’.  Trump made no reference to the violence in an early morning tweet, instead inviting Twitter followers to watch live coverage of the embassy opening.

Amid heightened tensions in the region, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri last night called for followers to carry out jihad against America. In a new message, he said America’s decision was evidence that negotiations and ‘appeasement’ have failed Palestinians as he urged Muslims carry out jihad against the United States.

The Israeli air force struck five targets in a Hamas military camp near the city of Jabaliya, the IDF said. The strike came following three “serious” incidents in which IDF troops were targeted by Palestinians along the border fence. According to the army, 40,000 Palestinians are demonstrating in 12 different locations along the border fence. source

Trump ‘was clear and explicit as he revealed the true face of the modern Crusade, where standing down and appeasement does not work with them, but only resistance through the call and jihad,’ Zawahiri said, according to a transcript provided by the SITE monitoring agency.

It follows Trump’s announcement last week that the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and Israeli strikes two days later on dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Those strikes came after rocket fire toward Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights that Israel blamed on Iran.

This morning, the Israeli military said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to place an explosive device by the border fence in Gaza during mass protests.

The shooting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah came as the army said an Israeli aircraft had bombed a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli troops came under fire. No Israeli casualties were reported.

The Israeli military says over 35,000 protesters are taking part in demonstrations at 12 points along the Gaza border. The Trump administration has vowed to restart the moribund Middle East peace process but the embassy move has inflamed feelings across the globe.

Monday’s inauguration ceremony at 4pm Israel time will include some 800 guests – though Trump himself will not attend – at what until now had been a US consulate building in Jerusalem.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the Washington delegation that includes Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Ivanka Trump thanked Benjamin Netanyahu for the Israeli Prime Minister’s hospitality at a welcome reception

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9182

Muslim Family Tortured by Visible ‘Demonic Bat Creatures,’ Then Dad Literally Sees ‘the Light’ of Jesus

Muslim Family Tortured by Visible ‘Demonic Bat Creatures,’ Then Dad Literally Sees ‘the Light’ of Jesus

04-14-2018

Lucille Talusan

MELBOURNE, Australia – According to the latest census, the Muslim population in Australia has soared to more than 600,000 people making Islam the most popular and fastest-growing non-Christian religion in the country.

While extreme Islamization does pose a threat to Australian society, some Muslims “down under” have made decisions to leave their religion and embrace Christianity instead.

We hear of many stories all around the world of Muslims converting to Christianity through dreams and visions. In Australia, CBN News met a Muslim man whose family was tormented by the devil until he experienced a supernatural encounter with Jesus.

Ismail was a Turkish Muslim. He migrated to Australia when he was 19. Although he practiced Islam, he considered himself a moderate Muslim because he always had questions about God and Islam.

He said he wanted to know who God was and the unknown about God. He was curious about the spiritual realm and wondered if witchcraft was from God or the devil.

In his search for answers, Ismail got involved with the occult not knowing that he opened himself to demonic spirits. He met a Turkish Muslim who called spirits using the Ouija board and a coffee cup. Ismail continued this activity with the spirit world until the manifestations of the devil became more and more frightening.

He told CBN News about his encounter with demons.

“I was making coffee. I was stirring the coffee and when I looked inside, I saw this creature live on the coffee, looking at me, behind me, hanging on the curtain. They were kind of human demonic bat kinda looking creatures; real long fingernails. And every time they were flapping their wings, there was smoke coming out of them. On the last day when actually I was leaving my friend’s house, he said, ‘Look, two of them are going with you!’”

For four years, Ismail’s two sons were tormented by these demons.

According to Ismail, they drew sketches of the creatures with red eyes.

“They came to our bed and they started shaking. My kid, he was on the bed and he was throwing fists. He was sitting on his bed and screaming, 10, 15, 20 minutes, I can’t remember. We couldn’t wake him up. I lay him down flat and I said, ‘What’s happening?’ He’s still there, still didn’t wake up. I freaked out.”

Ismail tried everything and prayed to Allah and the prophets but nothing worked. Out of his frustration, he sought the help of an Iranian Christian friend who brought him to a Bible study. There, he surrendered his life to Jesus and experienced a supernatural encounter.

“I’m seeing this figure, He’s holding his hands up like this towards me. I could tell he was smiling. All I was seeing was this light coming from everywhere. It was just amazing. And actually, I have fallen in love with Him. That’s how I converted.”

The pastor instructed Ismail to pray for two weeks, commanding the demons to leave their home.

Ismail said, “Every night I was praying. I was saying, ‘In the Name of Jesus Christ, you have no authority here. You demons leave in Jesus Name!’”

As a result, his children stopped having nightmares. Since then, Ismail hungered for the Word and began reading the Bible. He compared what the Bible said with the teachings of the Qur’an.

Ismail explained, “There’s nowhere in the book, nobody can find anywhere where Allah says, if you do this you will go to heaven. There is only one way and that is if you get murdered in the way of jihad. I now know the truth. Jesus is as real as you and me. He has created us. And only through His blood, can we come to God the Father. And He is an amazing, compassionate, graceful, forgiving God.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9132