A Blind Eye Toward Turkey’s Crimes

Exclusive: The alleged ties between Turkish President Erdogan and Islamist terrorists in Syria is an embarrassment for the Obama administration and the U.S. news media, which would prefer to look the other way rather than face up to the danger created by an out-of-control NATO “ally,” writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Theoretically, it would be a great story for the American press: an autocrat so obsessed with overthrowing the leader of a neighboring country that he authorizes his intelligence services to collaborate with terrorists in staging a lethal sarin attack to be blamed on his enemy and thus trick major powers to launch punishing bombing raids against the enemy’s military.

And, after that scheme failed to achieve the desired intervention, the autocrat continues to have his intelligence services aid terrorists inside the neighboring country by providing weapons and safe transit for truck convoys carrying the terrorists’ oil to market. The story gets juicier because the autocrat’s son allegedly shares in the oil profits.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

To make the story even more compelling, an opposition leader braves the wrath of the autocrat by seeking to expose these intelligence schemes, including the cover-up of key evidence. The autocrat’s government then seeks to prosecute the critic for “treason.”

But the problem with this story, as far as the American government and press are concerned, is that the autocratic leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is in charge of Turkey, a NATO ally and his hated neighbor is the much demonized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Major U.S. news outlets and political leaders also bought into the sarin deception and simply can’t afford to admit that they once again misled the American people on a matter of war.

The Official Story of the sarin attack as presented by Secretary of State John Kerry, Human Rights Watch and other “respectable” sources firmly laid the blame for the Aug. 21, 2013 atrocity killing hundreds of civilians outside Damascus on Assad. That became a powerful “group think” across Official Washington.

Though a few independent media outlets, including Consortiumnews.com, challenged the rush to judgment and noted the lack of evidence regarding Assad’s guilt, those doubts were brushed aside. (In an article on Aug. 30, 2013, I described the administration’s “Government Assessment” blaming Assad as a “dodgy dossier,” which offered not a single piece of verifiable proof.)

However, as with the “certainty” about Iraq’s WMD a decade earlier, Every Important Person shared the Assad-did-it “group think.” That meant — as far as Official Washington was concerned — that Assad had crossed President Barack Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons. A massive U.S. retaliatory bombing strike was considered just days away.

But Obama at the last minute veered away from launching those military attacks, with Official Washington concluding that Obama had shown “weakness” by not following through. What was virtually unreported was that U.S. intelligence analysts had doubts about Assad’s guilt and suspected a trap being laid by extremists.

Despite those internal questions, the U.S. government and the compliant mainstream media publicly continued to push the Assad-did-it propaganda line. In a formal address to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013, Obama declared, “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.”

Later, a senior State Department official tried to steer me toward the Assad-is-guilty assessment of a British blogger then known as Moses Brown, a pseudonym for Eliot Higgins, who now runs an outfit called Bellingcat which follows an effective business model by reinforcing whatever the U.S. propaganda machine is churning out on a topic, except having greater credibility by posing as a “citizen blogger.” [For more on Higgins, see Consortiumnews.com’s “‘MH-17 Case: ‘Old Journalism’ vs. ‘New’.”]

The supposedly conclusive proof against Assad came in a “vector analysis” developed by Human Rights Watch and The New York Times tracing the flight paths of two rockets back to a Syrian military base northwest of Damascus. But that analysis collapsed when it became clear that only one of the rockets carried sarin and its range was less than one-third the distance between the army base and the point of impact. That meant the rocket carrying the sarin appeared to have originated in rebel territory.

But the “group think” was resistant to all empirical evidence. It was so powerful that even when the Turkish plot was uncovered by legendary investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh, his usual publication, The New Yorker, refused to print it. Rebuffed in the United States the land of freedom of the press Hersh had to take the story to the London Review of Books to get it out in April 2014. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Was Turkey Behind Syria Sarin Attack?”]

The Easier Route

It remained easier for The New York Times, The Washington Post and other premier news outlets to simply ignore the compelling tale of possible Turkish complicity in a serious war crime. After all, what would the American people think if after the mainstream media had failed to protect the country against the lies that led to the disastrous Iraq War the same star news sources had done something similar on Syria by failing to ask tough questions?

It’s also now obvious that if Obama had ordered a retaliatory bombing campaign against Assad in 2013, the likely winners would have been the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which would have had the path cleared for their conquest of Damascus, creating a humanitarian catastrophe even worse than the current one.

To confess to such incompetence or dishonesty clearly had a big down-side. So, the “smart” play was to simply let the old Assad-did-it narrative sit there as something that could still be cited obliquely from time to time under the phrase “Assad gassed his own people” and thus continue to justify the slogan: “Assad must go!”

But that imperative not to admit another major mistake means that the major U.S. news media also must ignore the courageous statements from Eren Erdem, a deputy of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who has publicly accused the Erdogan government of blocking an investigation into Turkey’s role in procuring the sarin allegedly delivered to Al Qaeda-connected terrorists for use inside Syria.

In statements before parliament and to journalists, Erdem cited a derailed indictment that was begun by the General Prosecutor’s Office in the southern Turkish city of Adana, with the criminal case number 2013/120.

Erdem said the prosecutor’s office, using technical surveillance, discovered that an Al Qaeda jihadist named Hayyam Kasap acquired the sarin.

At the press conference, Erdem said, “Wiretapped phone conversations reveal the process of procuring the gas at specific addresses as well as the process of procuring the rockets that would fire the capsules containing the toxic gas. However, despite such solid evidence there has been no arrest in the case. Thirteen individuals were arrested during the first stage of the investigation but were later released, refuting government claims that it is fighting terrorism.”

Erdem said the released operatives were allowed to cross the border into Syria and the criminal investigation was halted.

Another CHP deputy, Ali Åžeker, added that the Turkish government misled the public by claiming Russia provided the sarin and that “Assad killed his people with sarin and that requires a U.S. military intervention in Syria.”

Erdem’s disclosures, which he repeated in a recent interview with RT, the Russian network, prompted the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation into Erdem for treason. Erdem defended himself, saying the government’s actions regarding the sarin case besmirched Turkey’s international reputation. He added that he also has been receiving death threats.

“The paramilitary organization Ottoman Hearths is sharing my address [on Twitter] and plans a raid [on my house]. I am being targeted with death threats because I am patriotically opposed to something that tramples on my country’s prestige,” Erdem said.

ISIS Oil Smuggling

Meanwhile, President Erdogan faces growing allegations that he tolerated the Islamic State’s lucrative smuggling of oil from wells in Syria through border crossings in Turkey. Those oil convoys were bombed only last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially shamed President Obama into taking action against this important source of Islamic State revenues.

Though Obama began his bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in summer 2014, the illicit oil smuggling was spared interdiction for over a year as the U.S. government sought cooperation from Erdogan, who recently acknowledged that the Islamic State and other jihadist groups are using nearly 100 kilometers of Turkey’s border to bring in recruits and supplies.

Earlier this month, Obama said he has had “repeated conversations with President Erdogan about the need to close the border between Turkey and Syria,” adding that “there’s about 98 kilometers that are still used as a transit point for foreign fighters, ISIL [Islamic State] shipping out fuel for sale that helps finance their terrorist activities.”

Russian officials expressed shock that the Islamic State was allowed to continue operating an industrial-style delivery system involving hundreds of trucks carrying oil into Turkey. Moscow also accused Erdogan’s 34-year-old son, Bilal Erdogan, of profiting off the Islamic State’s oil trade, an allegation that he denied.

The Russians say Bilal Erdogan is one of three partners in the BMZ Group, a Turkish oil and shipping company that has purchased oil from the Islamic State. The Malta Independent reported that BMZ purchased two oil tanker ships from the Malta-based Oil Transportation & Shipping Services Co Ltd, which is owned by Azerbaijani billionaire Mubariz Mansimov.

Another three oil tankers purchased by BMZ were acquired from Palmali Shipping and Transportation Agency, which is also owned by Mansimov and which shares the same Istanbul address with Oil Transportation & Shipping Services, which is owned by Mansimov’s Palmali Group, along with dozens of other companies set up in Malta.

The Russians further assert that Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian Su-24 bomber along the Syrian-Turkish border on Nov. 24 which led to the murder of the pilot, by Turkish-backed rebels, as he parachuted to the ground and to the death of a Russian marine on a rescue operation was motivated by Erdogan’s fury over the destruction of his son’s Islamic State oil operation.

Erdogan has denied that charge, claiming the shoot-down was simply a case of defending Turkish territory, although, according to the Turkish account, the Russian plane strayed over a slice of Turkish territory for only 17 seconds. The Russians dispute even that, calling the attack a premeditated ambush.

President Obama and the mainstream U.S. press sided with Turkey, displaying almost relish at the deaths of Russians in Syria and also showing no sympathy for the Russian victims of an earlier terrorist bombing of a tourist flight over Sinai in Egypt. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama Ignores Russian Terror Victims.”]

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman expressed the prevailing attitude of Official Washington by ridiculing anyone who had praised Putin’s military intervention in Syria or who thought the Russian president was “crazy like a fox,” Friedman wrote: “Some of us thought he was just crazy.

“Well, two months later, let’s do the math: So far, Putin’s Syrian adventure has resulted in a Russian civilian airliner carrying 224 people being blown up, apparently by pro-ISIS militants in Sinai. Turkey shot down a Russian bomber after it strayed into Turkish territory. And then Syrian rebels killed one of the pilots as he parachuted to earth and one of the Russian marines sent to rescue him.”

Taking Sides

The smug contempt that the mainstream U.S. media routinely shows toward anything involving Russia or Putin may help explain the cavalier disinterest in NATO member Turkey’s reckless behavior. Though Turkey’s willful shoot-down of a Russian plane that was not threatening Turkey could have precipitated a nuclear showdown between Russia and NATO, criticism of Erdogan was muted at most.

Similarly, neither the Obama administration nor the mainstream media wants to address the overwhelming evidence that Turkey along with other U.S. “allies” such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been aiding and abetting Sunni jihadist groups, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State, for years. Instead, Official Washington plays along with the fiction that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others are getting serious about combating terrorism.

The contrary reality is occasionally blurted out by a U.S. official or revealed when a U.S. intelligence report gets leaked or declassified. For instance, in 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted in a confidential diplomatic memo, disclosed by Wikileaks, that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

According to a Defense Intelligence Agency report from August 2012, “AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq, which later morphed into the Islamic State] supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media. AQI declared its opposition of Assad’s government because it considered it a sectarian regime targeting Sunnis.”

The DIA report added, “The salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria. The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition.”

The DIA analysts already understood the risks that AQI presented both to Syria and Iraq. The report included a stark warning about the expansion of AQI, which was changing into the Islamic State. The brutal armed movement was seeing its ranks swelled by the arrival of global jihadists rallying to the black banner of Sunni militancy, intolerant of both Westerners and “heretics” from Shiite and other non-Sunni branches of Islam.

The goal was to establish a “Salafist principality in eastern Syria” where Islamic State’s caliphate is now located, and that this is “exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition” i.e. the West, Gulf states, and Turkey “want in order to isolate the Syrian regime,” the DIA report said.

In October 2014, Vice President Joe Biden told students at Harvard’s Kennedy School that “the Saudis, the emirates, etc. were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war [that] they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda.”

Despite these occasional bursts of honesty, the U.S. government and the mainstream media have put their goal of having another “regime change” this time in Syria and their contempt for Putin ahead of any meaningful cooperation toward defeating the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

This ordering of priorities further means there is no practical reason to revisit who was responsible for the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack. If Assad’s government was innocent and Ergogan’s government shared in the guilt, that would present a problem for NATO, which would have to decide if Turkey had crossed a “red line” and deserved being expelled from the military alliance.

But perhaps even more so, an admission that the U.S. government and the U.S. news media had rushed to another incorrect judgment in the Middle East and that another war policy was driven by propaganda rather than facts could destroy what trust the American people have left in those institutions. On a personal level, it might mean that the pundits and the politicians who were wrong about Iraq’s WMD would have to acknowledge that they had learned nothing from that disaster.

It might even renew calls for some of them the likes of The New York Times’ Friedman and The Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt to finally be held accountable for consistently misinforming and misleading the American people.

So, at least for now — from a perspective of self-interest — it makes more sense for the Obama administration and major news outlets to ignore the developing story of a NATO ally’s ties to terrorism, including an alleged connection to a grave war crime, the sarin attack outside Damascus.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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35 comments for “A Blind Eye Toward Turkey’s Crimes

  1. Robert Ajemian
    December 27, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    You know, had the US properly characterized the Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks on April 24th last year (Putin did!), perhaps Turkey would not act with such impunity today. Hey, if a race of people commit genocide against another and then launch worldwide denialist efforts with blackmail and untold millions of lobbyist dollars; why are we so surprised that they could do the same (and are against Kurds) today?

    BTW, this smacks of Israeli, American, gulf oil states and oil corporation complicity to rearrange the energy world and defang the threats to Israeli using American blood and treasure. Turkey couldn’t do shit without their approval.

    “There is nothing new under the sun”…….Ecclesiastes

  2. Jim Mooney
    December 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    And just when you thought Turkey couldn’t be worse:
    ISIS Selling Yazidi Women and Children in Turkey
    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7078/turkey-isis-slaves

  3. Mike JT
    December 18, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Hahaha a new name for Obama, 2KM Obama, after all he was able to get Turkey to reduce the porous ISIS/Turkey supply corridor from 100KM to 98KM.
    Bravo! Way to go!

  4. December 18, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Regarding Blind Eyes, Deaf Ears and Dumb Tongues…

    In October 2014 I filed a criminal complaint with the International Criminal Court at The Hague charging Obama, Erdogan and twenty-seven other international operators from eleven countries with war crimes. Like the Count of Monte Cristo famously suggested, I am waiting and hoping. But I been growing deaf from the silence emanating from The Hague.

    The Complaint entitled Criminal Carnage in Syria by the Criminal Cabal for Perpetual War claims that illegal weapons transfers in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, the EU Treaty (2008) regarding exports of military equipment and the Rome Statute, Articles 7 and 8, Crimes against Humanity and the Crime of Aggression were instrumental in committing the crime of aggression against the sovereign nation of Syria. The entire 63-page complaint can be read and/or downloaded at:

    http://www.brighteningglance.org/slaughter-in-syria-war-crimes-charges-against-turkey-and-america.html

    http://www.brighteningglance.org/criminal-complaint-international-criminal-court-6-october-2014.html

  5. December 18, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Dear Mr. Parry. I have today reposted your article “A Blind Eye Toward Turkey’s Crimes’ on my website Brightening Glance.
    http://www.brighteningglance.org/a-blind-eye-toward-turkeyrsquos-crimes-robert-parry-18-december-2015.html

    I have lived in Turkey for 15 years. I write for Aydinlik newspaper. We have been on the Erdogan case for 12 years, more even, counting his earlier looting as mayor of Istanbul. My website section “On Turkey” carries my work. I (USMA 1962) also am cofounder of West Point Graduates Against the War
    wpgaw.org.
    And Service Academy Graduates Against the War
    sagaw.org)
    I assure you that there is a large, enormously frustrated opposition movement against the Islamo-fascist government. The problem is that the political opposition in Turkey is sold-out to America as well. Thus, the youth and so-called Ataturk youth like me are abandoned electoral-wise. Still, we labor on. Thank you for your strong voice that joins so many of us in oppostion to Erdogan, who, in my opinion, is the most dangerous person in the world. In Turkey, we are confronting Nazis without the uniforms.
    Respectfully yours,
    Jim Ryan

  6. jg
    December 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Why ISIS Exists
    https://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/

    They’ve installed terrorists in Libya, Nazis in Ukraine, and protected a terrorist Caliphate all on Obama’s watch. But you can’t get deluded Democrats to open their eyes or listen to anything other than partisan gibberish about Trump et al.

    We are under the spell of evil, Machiavellian criminals. They wear suits, and they rise to the top of both entrenched criminal syndicates–I mean political parties.

  7. Zachary Smith
    December 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

    The Turkish/Saudi/American dealings looked even worse than I’d realized when put all together in one place. Impressive piece!

    After reading assorted blogs and news pieces, it appears to me that the balance is starting to turn against the Good Terrorists. The vermin we’ve been supporting against the Evil Assad are meeting real resistance for the very first time, and they don’t like it. Unless the neocons (or their Turkish pawns) double down and start a major war, it looks as if the end of the Head-Choppers is definitely within reach.

  8. William P. Homans
    December 16, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    If you watched the GOP debate last night, you undoubtedly remarked that two-thirds of the questions and a requisite number of responses concerned destroying Daesh/ISIL. Gonna bash ’em, bomb ’em, make their sand glow at night. Every single one of those candidates was unwilling, or scared silly, of noting the part that NATO (i.e. Turkey and the US), various Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and Israel have had in creating and maintaining ISIL. The debate was, thus, a complete sham.

    I am waiting to hear the Democratic debate (that’s Hillary, Bernie and O’Malley by this point) and see whether either of the two candidates besides Hillary have anything to say about our involvement or Turkey’s. Hillary is AIPAC’s candidate, she certainly will not say anything that might put either Israel or our “effort” against ISIL in a bad light.

  9. ltr
    December 16, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Repeatedly brilliant reporting and analysis. I am so grateful.

    • Peter Loeb
      December 17, 2015 at 7:43 am

      “BRILLIANT REPORTING” (ITR) AND COMMENTS

      The facts so thoroughly exposed in Robert Parry’s article
      and additional analyses by many commenters are indeed
      treasures .

      They focus on past “fact” as in appropriate for informed
      discourse.

      The following is NOT based on past or present events:

      The US is currently involved in one of its quadrennial
      overlong Presidential campaigns. Assuming that many
      plan to accuse the current Administration of being
      “weak” as concerns the military etc., it seems not
      improbable that at an appropriate time (“of its own
      choosing” as it were) the US Democratic Party will
      unleash its plans for military aggression against
      the current government of Syria thus depriving
      its opponent(s) of their major claim of military
      weakness. An “October surprise” of a sort.
      (or perhaps another date is planned…)

      Internationally, the US would be joined by
      ebullient allies in crime such as Israel, Saudi
      Arabia, Turkey, the Gulf States and so forth.

      The effects on the US public make interesting
      conjecture at this writing.

      The effects on various powerful interest groups such
      as as the weapons lobby, the Israeli lobby,
      veterans’ groups etc.make political sense and
      despite being a recipe for foreign policy disaster.

      Whether this hypothesized event is where we
      are in fact heading can be disputed. But all
      the pieces for such a move are already in place.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  10. Brendan
    December 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    A TV program, which repeated the allegation of Syrian government involvement in the 2013 sarin attack in Damascus, has just won an award from a prominent Ivy League journalism school. “A Crime Against Humanity” by CBS’s “60 Minutes” has received a 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
    http://www.journalism.columbia.edu/dupont

    From the program: “The rockets were types used by the Syrian army, and they were launched from land held by the dictatorship. U.S. intelligence believes the Syrian army used sarin in frustration after years of shelling and hunger failed to break the rebels.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/syria-sarin-gas-attack-in-2013-60-minutes-2/

    The flaws in that program were covered by Robert Parry on this website in April this year. See also the comment by Coleen Rowley on the lack of crediblity of the alleged witness to the gas attack:
    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/20/a-fact-resistant-group-think-on-syria/

  11. Abe
    December 16, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Comment Policy at Consortium News specifically mentions avoidance of racial or religious slurs (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia).

    In today’s comment, “Mortimer” has quoted from a 1988 article published by the anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi linked Institute for Historical Review.

    “Mortimer” has been called out for numerous anti-Jewish slurs, and for extolling Benjamin H. Freedman’s rants about “the Jews”. (See the comments section of “The Religious Element of Terrorism” by William Blum)

    Consortium News has been under increasing attack by Hasbara (Hebrew: הַסְבָּרָה‎ hasbará, “explaining”) propagandist trolls.

    Hasbara trolls seek to derail any discussion of Zionist links to terrorism, Israeli violations against the people of Palestine, and Israel’s collusion with the United States in “regime change” projects from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

    Hasbara smear tactics include:

    1) deceptively accusing anyone who offers legitimate criticism of Israel or Zionism of being “anti-Semitic”, and

    2) deceptively posting racist and religiously bigoted comments, including links to “anti-Semitic” and “Holocaust denial” material.

    Fortunately, Consortium News readers are alert to these Hasbara propagandist deception tactics.

  12. December 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I have to say i don’t think Kerry is a “respectable source” of any sort.
    I think he is lying scum, and i think what you are calling “group-think” was in fact a big goddamned lie that almost our entire government knowingly engaged in and all of “our” ha ha free press too.

    Sorry, I do not buy any of this Bob. It reads and feels to me like a “limited hangout”.

    WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT ERDOGAN DID NOT HAVE A THUMBS UP FROM OBAMA AND THE JT CHIEFS TOO FOR THE SHOOTDOWN and all the rest of it ?

  13. December 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Three weeks ago I rushed out a number of texts about Turkey’s material support of terrorist groups, MIT’s Laissez-faire attitude to Islamic State bombing plots (Suruc, Ankara), the invasion of Syria via Turkey by Western proxies, the ambush of a Russian SU-24 jet, the massive onslaught against Kurds in southern Turkey (urban warfare in Cizre, Silopi, Sirnak, Nusaybin, Yuksekova, Semdinli, Diyarbakir), the rise of fascist groups (Grey Wolves, Esedullah teams), Turkey’s orchestration of the European refugee crisis, assassinations of journalists (Serena Shim, Hrant Dink, Yasar Parlak), and Turkeys water grab by the Southeastern Anatolia Project (22 dams which significantly reduce the waters of Euphrates and Tigris and increase water scarcity in Syria and Iraq).

    This is only a short list.

    I was furious about Turkish aggression and irresponsibility, and I was and still am disgusted and horrified by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and MIT head Hakan Fidan, who are both the personification of evil (Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is just an unimportant sycophant, parroting Erdogan).

    But what can one do against a rogue nation supported by a rogue superpower?

    Sometimes existing sentiments and prejudices are useful, even if they are less than noble. Anti-Turkish feelings in Europe are deeply entrenched, historically founded (Vienna siege 1529 and 1683), and reenforced by recent events, especially the flooding of Germany with one million refugees, sent by Erdogan in order to blackmail the EU and NATO.

    Merkel and Hollande will not be able to sell Western viewpoints to the European public and the backing of Erdogan will discredit US and NATO policies even more. There are already calls for a boycott of Turkish goods, it could well be that after losing Russia, Iraq, and Egypt, also the European markets will dry up for Turkish producers.

    Maybe the PKK will get access to new equipment. TOWs are not for Syrian Islamists alone.

    Turkey is in turmoil and the economy is tanking. Erdogan has started many fights at the same time and one wonders if he is aware of the precarious situation or if he is trapped in his neo-Ottoman fantasy world, unable to realize that Turkish society is falling apart and all his crooked schemes sooner or later will inevitably unravel.

    The Turkish problem will solve itself.

  14. Abe
    December 16, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    “I don’t seek out nor read any anti-Jewish racist material.”
    Mortimer, comment (December 12, 2015 at 10:12 am) on the Consortium News article, “The Religious Element of Terrorism” by William Blum.

    Mort, now you are officially a liar.

    The Institute for Historical Review and its publishing arm, Noontide Press have links to neo-Nazi racist organizations and are widely regarded as anti-Semitic.

    Since 1995, the director of the IHR has been Mark Weber, who previously worked with the white supremacist National Alliance.

    Noontide Press publishes numerous anti-Semitic titles, including “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and Henry Ford’s “The International Jew”.

    Consortium News editor, please ban this lying tool.

    • F. G. Sanford
      December 16, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      The “Institute for Historical Review” could actually be regarded as a cult organization inspired by worship of its spiritual guru, David Irving. Its a strange paradox, but I recall crypto-neocon Christopher Hitchens once proclaiming that no true scholar of Churchill could afford to ignore Irving’s work. Irving did manage to dig up amazing original source information on the Third Reich – for instance, I believe it was he who discovered missing chunks of Goebbels’s diary and Theo Morrell’s medical notes on his prize “Patient A”, the Fuhrer. But Irving’s main motivation throughout was historical revision, not historical review. His main thrust was always to salvage Hitler’s reputation.

      • Mortimer
        December 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

        Editors;
        Is Abe the representation of Meletus in the trial of Socrates..?

      • Abe
        December 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        ἐκ τῶν λόγων σου καταδικασθήσῃ

        • Mortimer
          December 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

          For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

          A google search of LORD ROTHSCHILD + ZIONISM leads to an abundance of history’s truths buried via the erosions of time.
          Credible history can be distorted under the rubric of “discredited witness testimony” –
          Weighed against the preponderance of collected fact, as established in the volume of record undisputed – a record that includes a report linked to from “ihr”
          CANNOT thusly make me a “liar”!!!

          My knowledge of that organization is NIL. — Their SPECIFIC input in regard to this topic had to do with Turkey – and my sole use of “them” -ihr- as a reference… !

          On the other hand, why do you, Abe, have such broad knowledge of Jewish hate groups that empowers you to call for BANISHMENT of whosoever innocently picks That particular link? —
          This causes me to wonder/question where you come from and/or who you patrol on behalf of…

          – Google search Lord Rothschild + Zionism — all in-a-mirror- no- matter- who- repeat- the- same- history.

        • Abe
          December 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

          The Consortium News Comment Policy specifically mentions avoidance of “religious slurs”.

          On December 12, after being called out for his use of anti-Jewish bigoted terms, Mortimer insisted: “I don’t seek out nor read any anti-Jewish racist material”.

          Then, on December 16, Mortimer posted a direct link to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a site notorious for its overt anti-Jewish bigotry and frank neo-Nazi racism.

          Mortimer’s link to IHR was by no means “innocently” picked.

          In fact, the IHR article quoted by Mortimer pointedly acknowledged Benjamin H. Freedman, whose rant about “the Jews” Mortimer has extolled.

          The IHR publishes pseudo-historical “research” articles. The director of the IHR, Mark Weber, previously worked with the white nationalist, anti-Semitic and white separatist National Alliance organization.

          IHR’s publishing arm, Noontide Press, disseminates Nazi and anti-Semitic classics, as well as racist right-wing literature like The Turner Diaries by William Luther Pierce, founder of the National Alliance.

          Noontide Press also published Benjamin H. Freedman’s pamphlet Facts are Facts. Purportedly a 1954 letter from Freedman to David Goldstein, proponent of the idea that Christianity fulfilled Judaism, the text expounds the notion that most people now identified as Jews are descendants of Khazars, a Turkic people of Central Asia who converted to Judaism. Freedman does not refer to Jews but to “so-called or ‘self-styled Jews’.

          Sir Richard J. Evans is a British academic and historian best known for his research on the history of Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly the Third Reich. According to Evans:

          “Like many individual Holocaust deniers, the Institute [of Historical Review] as a body denied that it was involved in Holocaust denial. It called this a ‘smear’ which was ‘completely at variance with the facts’ because ‘revisionist scholars’ such as Faurisson, Butz ‘and bestselling British historian David Irving acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed and otherwise perished during the Second World War as a direct and indirect result of the harsh anti-Jewish policies of Germany and its allies’. But the concession that a relatively small number of Jews were killed was routinely used by Holocaust deniers to distract attention from the far more important fact of their refusal to admit that the figure ran into the millions, and that a large proportion of these victims were systematically murdered by gassing as well as by shooting.”

          The IHR and its publishing house promotes anti-semitism-inspired pseudo-historical books and articles, including:

          – The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a fraudulent work purporting to show a historical conspiracy for world domination by Jews.
          – The Khazar theory, an academic fringe theory which postulates that the bulk of European Jewry are of Central Asian (Turkic) origin. In spite of mainstream academic consensus, this theory has been promoted in anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist circles alike, arguing that Jews are an alien element both in Europe and in Palestine.
          – Holocaust denial, including claims by such writers as David Irving that the genocidal Nazi Holocaust did not happen to the extent historically recognized.

          Mortimer’s enthusiasm for the pseudo-historical Khazar theory is well-established in his comments.

          Nor was the reference to IHR Mortimer’s “sole use” of anti-Jewish slurs and right-wing ideology.

          In the comments section of William Blum’s “The Religious Element of Terrorism” article on Consortium News, Mortimer used numerous anti-Jewish bigoted terms “Khazarians”, “not the Jews of the land”, “barbaric usurpers” and “cunning liars”, all phrases common in anti-Semitic literature.

          The religious slurs, the rants by right-wing agitators like Benjamin H. Freedman, and the anti-Jewish bigotry spewed by the Institute for Historical Review — all have absolutely nothing to with legitimate historical analysis and criticism of political Zionism, the actions of State of Israel, U.S.-Israel relations, and Middle East affairs.

          Historical researchers and geopolitical commenters like professors James Petras, Noam Chomsky, and Norman Finkelstein offer factual analysis and substantive critique of Israeli policy, Zionism, and pro-Israel political influence. Chomsky and Finkelstein are Jewish.

          Petras, Chomsky, Finkelstein and other authors critical of Zionism and Israel have been accused, utterly without foundation, of “anti-Semitism” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and various pro-Israel organizations.

          • Mortimer
            December 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

            Indictment:
            “Socrates is guilty of refusing to recognize the gods recognized by the state and introducing other, new divinities. He is also guilty of corrupting the youth. The penalty demanded is death.”

            Mortimer is accused of trafficking with anti-semitic hate groups along with the posting of slurs. The penalty demanded is Banishment.

            Mortimer’s final word to Abe; “Do I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” — (Galatians 4:16)

            —— executioner!! pass me that hemlock!

        • Abe
          December 17, 2015 at 11:46 pm

          Jewish solidarity in the Rothschild family was not homogeneous. Many members of the family were supporters of Zionism, while others opposed the creation of the Jewish state.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothschild_family#Jewish_identity_and_positions_on_Zionism

          It’s called Reality, Mort, look into it.

          Of course, right-wing anti-Semitic nutjobs still shudder at mention of the dastardly Balfour Declaration and mumble incoherently about the evil machinations of “the Jews”.

          Yes indeed, there are evil machinations aplenty, and Rothschild family hands are no doubt deep in the devil’s work, along with oodles of Jews and Christians and Muslims and godless atheists “all in” for the global terror clusterfuck. Fasten your seatbelts.

          The ones who want you to think its all about “the Jews” are anti-Jewish bigoted morons at best, and Hasbara trolls at worst.

          ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς

    • EdgarG
      December 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      The Nazis banned — and burned — books and materials they did not like. Now this would-be Nazi wants us to do the same thing: ban books and articles that he doesn’t like! To date, we still have the first amendment to the constitution which established freedom of freedom of speech and press.

    • Jeff Davis
      December 26, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      These days the truth itself must be indicted as “anti-Semitic”.

      The only thing “anti-Semitic” about the Institute for Historical Review is their penetrating and fastidiously documented exposure of Zionist criminality. Perhaps they are Neo-Nazis, and of course, Abe doesn’t like Neo-Nazis. Too damn bad! More to the point, Neo-Nazis — without regard to their motives — can tell the truth just like anyone else. In this case Abe doesn’t like their non-Zionist — ie fact-based — version of truth, so he’s using the tired old shriek of “anti-Semite” to try and discredit them.

      You’ve failed, Abe. Just like the rest of the pro-criminal-Zionist Hasbara crowd. The truth is out. “Israel” — in quotes because it is utterly illegitimate– is a geo-political crime-in-progress, and the world knows it, and the long-propagandized American and British people are beginning to break out of the blinders put on them, starting back at the turn of the last century, by the Zionist-owned Western media.

      So while I’m busting Abe for being a criminally complicit Zionist, let me offer this link to some more of the IHR truth:

      Behind the Balfour Declaration
      http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html

      This essay provides the details of the criminal conspiracy between The British and Zionists that led to the “deal” to turn Palestine over to the Jews.

      And as always, I’m and American and a Jew, and I absolutely refuse to be complicit or condone Jewish criminality. All the Zionists, right fascist and left liberal, are criminals, as are all the Neocon and AIPAC subversives who have taken over the US govt, as are those American Jews who are plenty smart enough to see “Israel” for the crime it is, but out of greed and tribal loyalty, turn a blind eye, and refuse their Judaic duty to always live justly.

      Justice is coming for the Zionist criminals, and every Jew has to pick a side, the side of justice or the side of the criminals?

      We know which side Abe is on.

  15. Abe
    December 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    In 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, imposing Israeli “laws, jurisdiction and administration” to the Golan Heights. In response the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242 which declared Israel must withdraw from all lands occupied in the 1967 war with Syria, including the Golan Heights.

    Again in 2008 a plenary session of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution 161–1 in favor of a motion on the Golan Heights that reaffirmed Security Council resolution 497, which was passed in 1981 after the Israeli de facto annexation, declaring the Golan Heights Law, “null and void and without international legal effect,” and called on Israel to desist from “changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and, in particular, to desist from the establishment of settlements…from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and from its repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan.” Israel was the only nation to vote against the resolution. As recently as June 2007 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent a secret communique to Syrian President Bashar Assad saying that Israel would concede the Golan Heights in exchange for a comprehensive peace agreement and the severing of Syria’s ties with Iran and militant groups in the region.

    Genie claims huge discovery

    On October 8, into the second week of Russian airstrikes against ISIS and other so-called “moderate” terrorists at the request of the Assad government, Yuval Bartov, chief geologist from Genie Energy’s Israeli subsidiary, Afek Oil & Gas, told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that his company had found a major oil reservoir on the Golan Heights: “We’ve found an oil stratum 350 meters thick in the southern Golan Heights. On average worldwide, strata are 20 to 30 meters thick, and this is 10 times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities.”

    This oil find has now made the Golan Heights a strategic “prize” that clearly has the Netanyahu government more determined than ever to sow chaos and disorder in Damascus and use that to de facto create an Israeli irreversible occupation of Golan and its oil. A minister in the Netanyahu coalition government, Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs and leader of the right-wing religious party, The Jewish Home, has made a proposal that Israel settle 100,000 new Israeli settlers across the Golan in five years. He argues that with Syria “disintegrating” after years of civil war, it’s hard to imagine a stable state to which the Golan Heights could be returned. Further a growing chorus in Tel Aviv is arguing that Netanyahu demand American recognition of Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan as an “appropriate salve to Israeli security concerns in the wake of the nuclear deal with Iran.”

    Energy war has been a significant component of US, Israeli, Qatari, Turkish, and, until recently, Saudi, strategy against Syria’s Assad regime. Before the latest Golan Heights oil discovery, the focus on Assad pivoted on the huge regional natural gas resources of both Qatar and of Iran on opposite sides of the Persian Gulf, comprising the largest known gas discovery in the world to date.

    Genies and Genocide: Syria, Israel, Russia and Much Oil
    By F. William Engdahl
    http://journal-neo.org/2015/10/26/genies-and-genocide-syria-israel-russia-and-much-oil-2/

  16. F. G. Sanford
    December 16, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    The F-16 fighter jet “franchise” sold to Turkey came with strings attached. One of those “strings” was an agreement that any aggressive action contemplated required prior NATO approval. Without delving deeply into the weapons systems onboard – this has been well covered by renowned aeronautical engineer and defense industry guru Pierre Sprey, a member of the so-called “fighter mafia” team of Pentagon experts – the missile fired at the Russian Su-24 was most likely guided to its target by an AWACS platform. Only two such platforms were being operated contemporaneously with the event: one by Saudi Arabia and the other by USA. When a number of individuals have access to “empirical evidence”, but those same individuals lay the blame on a “patsy”, the term that comes to my mind is not “group think”. The term most appropriate in political, juridical and academic circles would be “conspiracy”. The news media gets a free pass by anticipating that its errors might be attributed to “incorrect judgment”. In its audacity, it is confident its viewership in significant numbers will never question the “facts”. This strategy represents a manifestation of “The Big Lie”. The more audacious the lie, the more likely it will be believed, because it is not within the nature of a people to themselves engage in such utterly despicable behavior. They assume that the “free press” would also be so disinclined. That the news media “would have to acknowledge that they had learned nothing from that [WMD] disaster” obverts reality. The “lesson learned” was that they got away with it. And each time they do, the subsequent deception becomes more brazen. The logical progression of this ongoing “face saving” brinkmanship is a confrontation from which no amount of “spin” will deflect reality. Paul Josef Goebbels learned that lesson the hard way. The USA does not intend to back down, and Putin does not intend to lose. It’s time to ask, “Where does this lead”?

    • Abe
      December 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      The Israeli Air Force has the most experience in Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWACS) coordinated F-16 assaults on Syrian air defenses.

      The IDF/AF has participated in training with the US, Canadian, British, Italian, Romanian, German, Polish and Turkish air forces, flying F-16 attacks coordinated with NATO AWACS contingents.

    • W. R. Knight
      December 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      “…the missile fired at the Russian Su-24 was most likely guided to its target by an AWACS platform. ”

      The missile employed was a heat seeking Sidewinder that relies entirely on its internal sensors and guidance system. Once the missile seeker has acquired and locked on to its target and the missile is launched, it can no longer be controlled by the pilot or anyone else.

      AWACS aircraft might have vectored the F-16 to the launch point, but it is not possible for the AWACS to control the Sidewinder missiles either before or after launch.

    • Abe
      December 17, 2015 at 12:03 am

      NATO “Turning A Blind Eye” to Help Shoot Down A Russian Aircraft

      According to a Russian military analyst interviewed by REGNUM News Agency, published on 26 November 2015 http://regnum.ru/news/polit/2021108.html [translation by Google]

      “The flight trajectory of the F-16CJ indicates a precision interception of its target by means of triangulation: A pair of E-3s plus the Patriot’s air defense radar plus the geostationary MENTOR spy satellites plus, possibly, the Geosat space system.

      “Besides which, the E-3s provided guidance as to the location of our plane in the air; they determined its route, speed, and the status of its weapons control systems; and the Patriot’s air defense radar together with the MENTOR spy satellite provided telemetry on the SU-24M2’s movement relative to the ground surface—that is, it provided a precise prediction as to where our plane would be visible relative to the mountainous terrain.”

      The Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, derived from the Boeing 707, provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications. The E-3 is used by the United States Air Force (USAF), NATO, Royal Air Force (RAF), French Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force.

      The E-3 aircraft is distinguished by the distinctive rotating radar dome above the fuselage. The AWACS literally turns “a blind eye” to detect, identify and track aircraft and direct fighter-interceptor attacks on these targets.

      NATO and RAF E-3s participated in the NATO military operation in Libya.

      On 27 January 2015, the RAF deployed an E-3 to Cyprus in support of U.S.-led coalition purported airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

      On 18 November 2015, the United States deployed an upgraded E-3 to the Middle East to begin “immediately” flying combat missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, purportedly against ISIL.

    • Red Hanrahan
      December 26, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Wake up! Analyse all U.S. media coverage of Israel, Iran, and the entire Middle East, and you will see quite clearly that there is no “U.S. media.” What we have is a media controlled by passionate supporters of Israel, supporters who have no difficulty placing Israeli interests ahead of U.S. interests. A bit of research would show that the majority of all major U.S. media, both print and electronic, are either owned outright or controlled Israeli supporters. Don’t believe me? Then DO THE GODDAMN RESEARCH.
      There is no U.S. media, only a giant propaganda arm for Israel and Israeli interests.

  17. Abe
    December 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Continuing to Turn a Blind Eye Toward Israel’s Crimes:

    Israel has been visibly aiding al-Qaeda terrorist mercenaries in Syria and ISIS forces in Iraq, and reportedly purchasing ISIS oil via Turkey.

    Notwithstanding Israel’s manifest crimes and the much-ballyhooed “tensions” between the Obama administration and Netanyahu, the U.S.-Israel is more profitable than ever for Israel, as research analyst Salman Rafi Sheikh reports in the highly understated “Faced with Prospects of Defeat, Obama Mends Ties With Netanyahu”:

    The U.S. aims, as it always has, to establish its hegemony over the resource rich region and thereby control the outflow of energy resources, especially oil and gas, to the world. By controlling energy resources of the Middle East, the US can not only manipulate, as the makers of the US twenty-first century grand strategy originally envisioned, global economy to its own benefits but also maintain its domineering position vis-à-vis both ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ i.e., China and Russia on the one hand and Europe on the other.

    Israel, on the other hand, too have deep interest in the region’s energy resources. Currently it has been buying most of oil from Kurds as well as ISIS. As a matter of fact, Netanyahu was the first to publicly announce support for an “Independent Kurdistan” when the first oil container from Iraqi Kurds reached Israel in 2014. Both the U.S. and Israel continue, till today, to support Kurds in Iraq as a means to materialize their own interests.

    The “oil interests” of both the U.S. and Israel happen to be perfectly compatible with the U.S. strategy of Balkanizing Syria into different “zones.” By tacitly allowing Israel to strike inside Syria against Hezbollah, the U.S. is paving the way for eventually cornering Hezbollah into an isolated “zone” and thereby cut it off from both Syrian Army and Russian campaign against ISIS and other Western sponsored terrorist outfits.

    This re-newed relationship has been made possible, to a considerable extent, by the fact that Obama is no longer faced with the crucial need for balancing its relations with Arab State and Israel at the same time. Since the announcement of Iran-nuke deal, both Israel and Arab States led by Saudi Arabia, have certainly “discovered” plethora of “common interests” each other. It is a fact that Arab States no longer want to see Obama publicly bashing Netanyahu for his Palestine-policy. Arab State, in fact, are much more concerned about Iran’s growing power and Russian presence in the Mid-East than they are about Israel—-a State that has turned out to be a potential “ally” of Saudi Arabia against Assad and Iran.

    The much expected new US-Israel defense deal is, therefore, not a mere “consolation prize” to Israel following the Iran-nuke deal nor is it a “personal gift” from Obama for Netanyahu to “appease” him. It goes well beyond all that and is deeply rooted in the larger geo-political tension evolving in the Middle East between Russia and America in what has generically been called “new cold war” era as Moscow wants terrorism defeated and a political solution in Syria but Washington wants endless regional wars and instability – ousting all independent governments, replacing them with pro-Western ones, completely regardless of the cost in human lives and suffering.

    http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/16/faced-with-prospects-of-defeat-in-syria-obama-mends-ties-with-netanyahu/

  18. Abe
    December 16, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    What is perhaps more damning than […] deductions made regarding ISIS’ obvious logistical lines leading to NATO-member Turkey and Saudi Arabia itself, is the fact that official documents from the US Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA), drafted in 2012 (.pdf) quite literally admitted:

    “If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

    To clarify just who these “supporting powers” were that sought the creation of a “Salafist principality,” the DIA report explains:

    “The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.”

    It is clear that – just as was planned since 2007 regarding the rise of Al Qaeda in Syria – the rise of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) was planned and pursued by the United States and its allies, including, and specifically Turkey and Saudi Arabia – with Turkey supplying logistical support, and Saudi Arabia supplying the ideological source code.

    For those wondering why the United States has spent over a year bombing Syria allegedly to “fight ISIS” but has yet to make any progress, the fact that the US intentionally created the organization to gut Syria and would like to delay the liquidation of the terrorist army as long as possible until that occurs may provide a viable explanation.

    For those wondering why Russia and the regime in Ankara are on the brink of war just as ISIS’ supply lines near the Turkish border with Syria are threatened, the fact that Turkey created and has gone through extraordinary measures to ensure those lines are maintained may also be a viable explanation.

    And for those wondering why Saudi Arabia is inviting obvious accomplices of Al Qaeda to its capital, Riyadh, for a confab about Syria’s future, it is precisely because Saudi Arabia played a leading role in creating Al Qaeda as a means of influencing Syria’s future to begin with – a conspiracy it is still very much, clearly involved in and a conspiracy the United States doesn’t seem troubled leading along.

    Islamic State or Wahhabi Colony?
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/12/islamic-state-or-wahhabi-colony.html

    • Abe
      December 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      And for those wondering why Israel is aiding the al-Qaeda terrorist mercenaries (al-Nusra in Syria and ISIS in Iraq) that are assaulting the government of Syria, it is precisely because Israel wants to secure permanent rule over portions of Syrian territory.

      As reported by Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.685267 Netanyahu proposed Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights during his meeting with US President Obama in November.

    • W. R. Knight
      December 16, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      DIA is the Defense Intelligence Agency and reports to the Dept. of Defense. It is not the U.S. Department of Intelligence Agency.

    • Call A Spade
      December 17, 2015 at 5:38 am

      Why is the US involved it is just not oil it can buy that with its paper?

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