Turkey

Who Rules The World? Part 1

The Western picture of world order is that “ever since the end of the Cold War, the overwhelming power of the U.S. military has been the central fact of international politics.” This is particularly crucial in three regions: East Asia, where “the U.S. Navy has become used to treating the Pacific as an ‘American lake’”; Europe, where NATO -- meaning the United States, which “accounts for a staggering three-quarters of NATO’s military spending” -- “guarantees the territorial integrity of its member states”; and the Middle East, where giant U.S. naval and air bases “exist to reassure friends and to intimidate rivals.” The problem of world order today is that “these security orders are now under challenge in all three regions” because of Russian intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and because of China turning its nearby seas from an American lake to “clearly contested water.” The fundamental question of international relations, then, is whether the United States should “accept that other major powers should have some kind of zone of influence in their neighborhoods.”

Washington's Military Addiction (And The Ruins Still To Come)

In a Washington that seems incapable of doing anything but worshiping at the temple of the U.S. military, global policymaking has become a remarkably mindless military-first process of repetition It’s as if, as problems built up in your life, you looked in the closet marked “solutions” and the only thing you could ever see was one hulking, over-armed soldier, whom you obsessively let loose, causing yet more damage. But don’t bother to blame the politicians and national security nabobs in Washington for this.  They’re addicts.  They can’t help themselves.  What they need is rehab.  Instead, they continue to run our world.  Be suitably scared for the ruins still to come.

Turkey Threatens Europe: "Unless Visas Are Removed, We Will Unleash The Refugees"

A high-ranking Turkish politician said that Ankara will send migrants back to the EU if the European Parliament won’t grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens.  Kuzu made several statements on Twitter in anticipation of Wednesday’s session of European parliament, at which visa exemption for Turkish nationals in the Schengen zone, as part of a migrant deal between Brussels and Ankara, was to be discussed. "The European Parliament will discuss the report that will open Europe visa-free for Turkish citizens. If the wrong decision is taken, we will unleash  the refugees!" in what was an unmistakable threat.

Central Banks And The Rise Of Extremism

Perhaps the world will have to wait it out to finally be graced with leaders who are willing to stand by their convictions and make hard, maybe even unpopular, choices. Such leaders might have to risk sacrificing everything political to be crowned the next true champions of conviction, giving us all a shot at a once again storied fate. Where does that leave us? Apparently angry. Very, very angry.

Islamic State Buries Alive Dozens Of Its Own Soldiers To Stem Soaring Defections

One month ago, in an attempt to stem soaring soldier defections, the Islamic State sent a very clear message to anyone considering quietly abanonding the ISIS army when it killed 45 battlefield defectors by freezing them to death. In retrospect this attempt to "build morale" appears to have failed, and defections have - predictably - accelerated. So to send an even stronger message, the Islamic State has reportedly buried alive dozens of its own militants, after the jihadists refused to fight and fled the battlefield.

The Nuclear Arms Race Is Back: Russia Furious As US Launches European Ballistic Missile Shield

The United States' European missile defense shield goes live on Thursday almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe. As a result, Reuters notes that "Russia is incensed at such of show of force by its Cold War rival in formerly communist-ruled eastern Europe where it once held sway. Moscow says the U.S.-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols."

Frontrunning: May 11

  • Clinton loss in West Virginia signals trouble in Rust Belt (Reuters)
  • GOP hopefuls struggle with support of Trump (Hill)
  • Brazil Impeachment Vote May Spell Rousseff's Last Day on Job (BBG)
  • Staples-Office Depot Merger Collapses After Block by Judge (BBG)
  • Tumbling Banco Popolare leads Italian bank shares lower  (Reuters)

Poland Refuses To Accept Any Refugees "As They Pose A Threat To Security", Will Not Comply With European "Blackmail"

Seemingly unfazed by the recent European Commission proposal to punish countries which refuse to comply with "fair" refugee allocation quotas with fines as high as €250,000 per asylum seeker, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and former PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski said that no refugees will be accepted in Poland "as they pose a threat to security" adding that Poland will oppose any law forcing EU members to pay €250,000 per refused refugee.

Meet Sadiq Khan - The First Muslim Mayor Of London

Labour Party politician Sadiq Khan has been sworn in as mayor of London. He is the first Muslim to lead a major European capital. Khan - who won 57% of the ballot, or 1.3 million votes, a number which happens to be roughly equal to Muslim population of London - has promised to be "the British Muslim who takes the fight to the extremists." Others are not so sure. During the election campaign, Khan faced a steady stream of allegations about his past dealings with Muslim extremists and anti-Semites.

The New Normal: Cold War 2.0

We are all living in Hybrid War time. From R2P (“responsibility to protect”) to color revolutions, from currency attacks to stock market manipulations. From judicial-financial-political-media enabled “soft” coups – as in Brazil – to support for “moderate” jihadis, multiple stages of Hybrid War now cross-pollinate and generate a vortex of new mutant viruses. This is the new normal; Cold War 2.0, 24/7.

To BREXIT Or Not To BREXIT...

On 23 June the British will vote in a referendum to decide whether their country should remain in or leave (BREXIT) the European Union (EU). The importance of this event cannot be overstated, since it will impact the future of the UK – and very likely that of Europe – for decades to come. The polls suggest that this will be a close contest. This means that a significant proportion of the population will be deeply unhappy with the outcome of the referendum, not really an encouraging sign given its profound implications. But why on Earth are the Brits questioning their membership of the EU in the first place? Why can’t they just settle down like everyone else?

Erdogan "Prince Of Europe" Rejects EU Demands To Reform Terrorist Law

The EU should thank its lucky stars that Erdogan will not uphold his end of the deal and gratefully cancel it. Coupled with the cancellation (for which the EU can blame Erdogan), the EU should announce an Australia-type plan forcing back all boats, while arresting and prosecuting smugglers. Call out the military to enforce the borders. That’s what Australia did.  Making a deal with the devil then letting the devil renege on a critical piece of his end is not a viable option. Accepting Erdogan’s new demands would do four things, all unsavory...