Not Good For A Secular Turkey

If you thought Turkey was already an unreliable NATO ally, this won’t help.

Turkey: Military chiefs resign en masse

The chief of the Turkish armed forces, Isik Kosaner, has resigned along with the army, navy and air force heads.

They were furious about the arrest of senior officers, accused of plotting, shortly before a round of military promotions.

A series of meetings between General Kosaner and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to resolve their differences.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul moved quickly to appoint General Necdet Ozel as the new army chief.

Gen Ozel is widely expected to be swiftly elevated to chief of the general staff in place of Gen Kosaner. Tradition dictates that only the head of the army can take over the top job.

There has been a history of tension between the secularist military and the governing AK party, with the two sides engaged in a war of words for the past two years over allegations that parts of the military had been plotting a coup.

See also:
In Turkey, top military figures apparently resign en masse
Turkey’s military has at last stood aside
Turkey’s top generals resign in apparent rift with Erdogan government
Turkey’s military chiefs of staff resign
Turkish military’s chiefs of staff step down
Turkey’s top military leaders resign in protest of staff arrestsTurkey’s resignations, a sign of military decline
Turkey’s military chiefs quit ahead of key meeting
How Turkey’s military upheaval will affect NATO
Turkey’s reset
Analysis: Turkish government strengthens control on military
Government prepares for major overhaul of Turkish military
A Prime Minister’s Push Reshapes Turkish Politics

Traditionally, in Turkey, the military has served as check on Islamist forces and a key to maintaining a secular government.

/obviously, this development represents a substantial consolidation of power in the hands of Erdogan’s Islamist AK party and a big blow to the future of secularism in Turkey

Taking NATO To The Woodshed

On his way out the door, retiring U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates lets it fly.

Gates Says NATO Could Face ‘Irrelevance’ in the Future

American Defense Secretary Robert Gates has told NATO members that they need to do more — and spend more — to support the alliance.

ROBERT GATES: “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the US Congress — and in the American body politic writ large — to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.”

On Friday, Mr. Gates gave his last policy speech before he retires as defense secretary on June thirtieth. He spoke in Brussels, Belgium, at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO was created in nineteen forty-nine to defend western Europe against the Soviet Union.

See also:
Transcript of Defense Secretary Gates’s Speech on NATO’s Future
Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech
‘Collective Military Irrelevance’
After Gates’ Blunt Warning, What’s Next for NATO?
US warns Europe over NATO future
Libya, Europe and the future of NATO
NATO’S future at risk, warns Pentagon chief
Gates offers grim account of NATO’s Libya efforts
Gates slams NATO allies over share of combat burden
Where Gates criticizes, Obama celebrates
How long will the U.S. find NATO relevant and affordable?

Just how worthless is NATO? They’ve been battling third rate military power Libya for three months now, NATO’s running out of ammunition, and Moammar Gadhafi is still there. What would NATO do if, say, Russia attacked western Europe? If NATO can’t defeat Libya, how can they possibly defend themselves? It’s more than obvious that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to be disbanded. Why should the United States continue to put up the vast majority of funding, troops, and equipment to support Europe’s defense, when Europe refuses to defend itself?

/and why the [expletive deleted] is Turkey a member of NATO, they not only don’t contribute much of anything, they actively work against the other alliance members, how insane is that?

A Kinetic Military Action By Any Other Name

Oh look, they put lipstick on the Operation Odyssey Dawn Pig, like no one will notice.

NATO in Libya: ‘Unified Protector’ hides divisions

The codename for NATO’s operations in Libya, “Unified Protector”, hides internal divisions that the alliance battled hard to overcome before taking on the mission.

The 28-nation military organisation is finally fulfilling Washington’s wishes, replacing the United States at the helm of all operations in Libya and is expected to be fully up and running by Thursday.

But to get to this point, the alliance had to ease Turkish concerns about the scope of the bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and convince France that NATO should be in command of operations.

Germany was opposed to any military intervention from the outset, refusing to vote for the UN Security Council resolution that authorised “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians.

Despite the squabbles, NATO is enforcing an arms embargo and a no-fly zone, and it finally agreed on Sunday to take over the riskiest mission: preventing Gaddafi loyalists from massacring the population.

See also:
NATO Assumes Command of Libya Operations
Nato takes over air war
NATO Operation Unified Protector against Libya Making Use of Greek Bases in Crete, the Peloponnese
NATO assumes full command of Libya operations
NATO takes control of Libya air operations
LIBYA: NATO assumes ‘sole command’ of coalition air operations
NATO Launches Operation Unified Protector & No Fly Zone Blockade
NATO takes charge of Libyan effort
NATO Assumes Full Command of Operations in Libya
Operation Unified Protector Factsheet
Operation Unified Protector

Dressing it up with a new name and putting a NATO fig leaf on the United States’ intervention in the Libyan civil war doesn’t hide the fact that Obama totally owns this kinetic military action and, so far, it’s not going well at all. The “rebels” Obama has decided to back in this all Libyan conflict are infused with al Qaeda and they can’t fight worth [expletive deleted]. If it weren’t for a highly publicized display of inept confusion, we’d have nothing to show for our efforts to date.

/watch out for Obama’s Runnin’ Rebels, retreating soon to a city or town near you!

Oh Boy, Look What Israel Found

I’m shocked I tell you, shocked, the peace loving Iranians caught smuggling illegal weapons to the peaceful people of Gaza, how can this be?

Israel Seizes Egypt-Bound Ship With Arms On Board

Israel announced Tuesday that its naval forces have intercepted and seized a cargo ship carrying weapons from Turkey to Egypt, adding that it believed the arms shipment originated in Iran and was destined for the Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Israeli officials said the ship was seized some 200 nautical miles west off the Israeli coast. An initial search of the seized vessel uncovered three containers loaded with arms and officials indicating the ship would be searched thoroughly after it reaches Israel.

The seized cargo ship was identified as “Victoria,” which according to Israeli officials had initially set off from the Syrian port of Lattakia to Mercin in Turkey. They said the vessel was seized when it was heading towards the Egyptian port of Alexandria from Turkey.

The Israeli officials, however, stressed that their initial investigations indicated that neither Turkey nor Egypt were involved in the arms shipment. They believe the countries involved in the shipment were Iran and Syria.

“The only certain thing is the source of the weaponry was Iran, and there was a Syrian relay station as well. This is the main axis that provides the forces of terror in Lebanon and Gaza,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.

See also:
Israel seizes ship carrying weapons for Gaza
Israel intercepts ship with ‘Gaza-bound weapons’
Israel seizes ship carrying weapons
Israeli Navy Seizes Suspected Arms Vessel
News Analysis: Captured Gaza-bound weapon ship just one of many: analysts
Israel Seizes Syrian Ship Bringing Iranian Weapons To Gaza — Will Nukes Be Next?
Anti-ship Missiles and Guidebooks Found on Victoria
Chinese Made Anti Ship Missiles On Board ‘Victoria’ (PHOTOS)
Navy dep. commander: ‘Victoria’ carried anti-ship missiles
Navy: Anti-ship missiles, Farsi manual found on seized vessel
Israel’s arms seizure points to Iran
Israel’s seizure of arms shipment highlights rising unease about Iran
Analysis: Israel’s shadow war against Iran
PM: Capture of ship shows world dangers Israel faces

Now, why on Earth would Hamas, the government of Gaza, need sophisticated anti-ship missiles and why would Iran be supplying them? Nevermind, that was a rhetorical question, Iran and Hamas both want to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate all the Jews.

/and all the while, the Western governments just stand by cowering, like so many eunuchs, picking their collectives noses while they watch Iran develop nuclear weapons before their very eyes and do nothing to stop it, what are they waiting for, the mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv?

Algeria Circling The Drain

First there was political upheaval in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and now Algeria is the latest Muslim country domino to teeter on the edge of open revolt.

Thousands in Streets of Algiers Demanding Change of Government

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Algeria’s capital and other main cities demanding the government’s ouster, mirroring protests in fellow North African countries Egypt and Tunisia.

A day after pro-democracy protesters drove Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak from power, Algerians were in the streets demanding their own President Abdelaziz Bouteflika leave office.

Protesters chanting, “No to the police state!” and “Bouteflika out!”. News reports say crowds were in the thousands but far out numbered by riot police.

Protests also took place in other cities, including the Mediterranean hub of Oran, also against government orders.

See also:
ALGERIA: Clashes, arrests reported at banned anti-government demonstration
Thousands protest in Algeria, defying government warnings; 400 arrested but ‘the fear is gone’
Thousands Defy Ban To Protest In Algeria
400 arrested in Algeria at rally demanding reforms
Thousands rally to demand Algerian leader resign
Hundreds arrested as Algeria defies protest ban
Police and protesters clash in Algeria
Algerian opposition says 5,000 people participate in demonstration
Algeria: Police And Protesters Clash
Algerian police crack down on protesters
Algeria begins crackdown on pro-democracy demos
Algerian Riot Police Break Up Protest

I’d sure like to believe that the anti-government demonstrations in all these countries, one after the other, represented a wave of Western democracy marching through the Muslim world, but color me skeptical. None of these countries has any democratic history and their populations are decidedly non-secular. Even the countries held up as models of Muslim “democracy”, such as Turkey or Indonesia, have societies heavily steeped in Islamic law, antithetical to Western values.

/one thing’s for sure, whatever becomes of these Muslim countries currently embroiled in various stages of popular rebellion, the end result, in the aggregate, is likely to be decidedly less secular and less friendly to the West

Just Vote No

Here’s a chance for the secularists in Turkey to push back against Islam.

Turkey’s vote on constitution also a referendum on its premier

The battle between Turkey’s socially conservative, Islam-rooted government and the country’s more secular political establishment will come to a head Sunday, when Turks vote on a package of constitutional amendments in a referendum that is being cast as a judgment on the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A single up-or-down vote is required on 26 proposed constitutional changes. They include uncontroversial steps such as expanding rights for the disabled as well as a more polarizing amendment that would give the executive branch more power in appointing judges and state prosecutors.

The referendum is the most far-reaching attempt to amend the constitution since it was put in place in 1982 after a military coup. The results will shape Turkey’s political outlook as it heads into general elections in the spring. A no vote could bolster the opposition and cost Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) support in those elections. That could lead to a coalition government, which in the past has prompted economic instability.

A yes vote would give the AKP another chance to confirm its mandate and an advantage heading into campaigning for a third term. But it would also mean that the polarization among Turks about the country’s direction will continue to grow.

See also:
Turkey Referendum to Be Closely Watched
Recep Tayyip Erdogan facing crucial Turkey vote
Turks Hold Referendum on Amendments to Constitution
Key issues in Turkey’s referendum on amendments
Judicial referendum divides Turkey
Turkey votes in referendum to amend constitution
Turkey’s Vote A Popularity Contest For Democracy
Turks go to the polls in crucial referendum

This vote is huge, a microcosm for where the world is headed.

/keep your fingers crossed because it’s too close to call

The Bloom Is Definitely Off The Obama Rose

It took a while, but more and more people are finally figuring out that Obama is nothing but a huge bunch of bull[expletive deleted] tethered to a TelePrompTer. It’s bad enough that 57% of Americans disapprove of his performance, but how is his infamous outreach to Islam going? Well, after apologetic, blame America first speeches in Egypt and Turkey, it turns out that Muslims worldwide don’t like Obama much either, their fists are definitely not unclenched.

President Obama losing the confidence of Muslim countries, new survey shows

President Obama can’t seem to please anyone, lately.

He’s losing friends both at home and abroad.

As U.K. pundits and politicians slam the president for assigning blame to Britain over the BP oil spill disaster, a new survey shows Obama falling out of favor in Muslim nations, too.

Overall, confidence Muslim countries have in Obama fell from 41% to 31% in the past year, according to Pew’s Global Attitudes Project.

Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon also posted 10% drops in confidence.

While never a big fan of Obama to begin with, only 5% of Muslims in Pakistan have confidence in Obama.

The over-arching reason: fears the U.S. will become a military threat to their nations.

See also:
How Obama lost Muslim hearts and minds
Poll: Obama’s ranking in Muslim world slides over Mideast
Obama’s ratings ebb in Muslim world
Poll Shows Muslims Leery of U.S.
Global poll shows Muslims leery of US and Obama
Muslims around the world less approving of Obama, poll finds
Poll Reveals Growing Muslim Antipathy to Obama Foreign Policy

The really bad news is that this long national Obama nightmare is far from over.

/seriously, from the economy to foreign policy and everything in between, is there anything Obama has touched that hasn’t turned to [expletive deleted]?