Turkish government deal with ISIS


This video is about anger in the Turkish government because US Vice President Biden mentioned their connections to ISIS.

When United States Vice President Joseph Biden spoke about links between the Turkish government and ISIS terrorism, he did not commit a ‘gaffe’, whatever establishment media pundits say. For one moment, rare for establishment politicians, Biden told the truth.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

British prisoners handed to Isis

Prisoner Swap: Two British extremists were among dozens of prisoners handed back to Islamic State by the Turkish government in exchange for the release of diplomats, it was reported yesterday.

The Times newspaper claims Shabazz Suleman, 18, from Buckinghamshire, and another 26-year-old Briton are among as many as 180 fighters traded with Isis to secure the release of Turkish consular staff.

Amid reports that nearly 350 US-led air strikes over the past three weeks have failed to stem advances by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, there are mounting signs of justifications being prepared, and plans made, for an escalating presence of US ground forces in the region: here.

According to multiple reports coming out of Iraq today [6 October 2014], US warplanes attacked the town of Hit in Anbar Province, a town recently taken over by ISIS. But the airstrikes hit a crowded marketplace and nearby apartment buildings, killing 22 civilians and wounding 43 others: here.

United States Vice President Biden apologizes for honesty on Turkey and ISIS


This video is called [United States Vice President] Biden blames allies for ISIS rise.

After a German President sacked for honesty about the economic aims of the Afghan war, now a United States Vice President ashamed about his honesty about ISIS.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Biden apologises for blaming Turkey for growth of Isis

Sunday 5th October 2014

Vice-President ‘sorry’ for rare moment of honesty

A FURIOUSLY backtracking US Vice-President Joe Biden apologised to Turkey at the weekend after making surprisingly frank remarks about the growth of jihadist group Isis.

Mr Biden told Havard University students last week that Middle Eastern US allies such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates had inadvertently strengthened extremist groups in their bid to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He said the states had supplied anyone willing to fight Mr Assad with millions of dollars and thousands of tonnes of weapons.

“Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.

“We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” he said.

But Mr Biden irked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telling students that his “old friend” had told him: “You were right. We let too many people through. Now they are trying to seal their border.”

The Turkish leader denied ever making such comments, saying that the US Vice-President “will be history for me if he has indeed used such expressions.”

Mr Erdogan added: “Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms.”

Turkey has prevented 6,000 suspected jihadis from entering the country and deported another 1,000, he claimed.

Mr Biden phoned up his chum and “apologised for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of Isis,” the White House said on Saturday.

Turkish MPs voted on Thursday to expand military operations in Iraq and Syria and allow foreign forces to launch attacks from the country.

Many have accused Turkey of collaborating with and supplying the militants.

Mikail Cicek, who lives on the Turkish side of the border, told Etkin News agency that a convoy of 10 large military vehicles crossed into Syria on Saturday evening, driving towards Isis positions before returning half an hour later.

Speaking to students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Forum Thursday, US Vice President Joseph Biden committed what the US media characterizes as a “gaffe.” In other words, he told an embarrassing truth about US government policy, one that is usually obfuscated in the remarks of government officials and the commentaries of media pundits: here.

Turkey fighting to the last Kurd: here.

US, Turkey at odds over Syria intervention: here.

Bahrain regime arrests human rights defender Nabeel Rajab again


This video is called Nabeel Rajab: Bahrain ‘Bought British Government’s Silence’ Over Human Rights Violations.

From AFP news agency:

October 1, 2014 7:45pm

Bahrain detains top activist over ‘insulting’ tweets

Bahraini police on Wednesday detained prominent rights activist Nabil Rajab after questioning him over remarks posted on Twitter deemed offensive to the security forces, the interior ministry said.

Rajab acknowledged during questioning that he was responsible for the remarks posted on his Twitter account, and “legal measures have been taken to refer him to the general prosecution”, a ministry statement said.

It said Rajab “insulted official bodies in his tweets”.

In one tweet posted on Sunday, Rajab charged that Bahrainis allegedly joining Islamist extremists in Syria were originally members of the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s security forces.

“Many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator,” he wrote, referring to one acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group.

Rajab, who heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was released in May after serving two years in jail for participating in unauthorised protests.

The vocal activist had led anti-government protests following a crackdown on Shiite-led demonstrations against the Al-Khalifa ruling family in March 2011.

See also here.

Bahrain’s Prominent Human Rights Activist Arrested for Criticizing Police Defectors Who Joined ISIS: here.

We, the staff and Advisory Board members of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), call for the immediate release of our colleague Nabeel Rajab, GCHR Director, who has been arrested today in Manama. Rajab, who is also President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), returned home from Europe last night, 30 September, after being away for a couple of months: here.

Nabeel Rajab Arbitrarily Detained. Please ask your [British] MP to support the campaign by writing to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: here.

Media Coverage of Nabeel Rajab Arrest: here.

During his visit to Ireland in late August, Rajab spoke with Malachy Browne about his experience in a Bahraini prison, the failure of western media and governments to support human rights in the Gulf, and the challenges facing the pro-democracy movement which began in earnest in February 2011: here.

Bahraini torture police officer now in ISIS


This video is called Bahrain capital of torture.

The absolute monarchy Bahrain is now officially an ally in the Pentagon’s ‘war on terror’.

How about Bahrain and ISIS?

From Global Voices online today, about one Bahraini, Lieutenant Mohamed Isa Al-Binali:

Mohamed (abu-Isa) graduated from the Police Academy in 2013 and was supposed to be a prison guard in Bahrain’s infamous prisons, which have practiced systematic torture since 2011. Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior issued a statement saying that he was sacked from his job because of his absence earlier this month. According to Arabic-language news reports, he had been in the ranks of ISIS for over four months.

Mohamed comes from a famous family in Bahrain, the Binali clan, which is closely affiliated to the Al Khalifa ruling regime. His cousin, Turki Al-Binali, who goes by the alias Abu-Sufyan Al-Salami (Al-Salami refers to the tribe of Sulaim in Arabia), is a high ranking preacher in ISIS. Prior to holding this public position in the terror organisation, he was arrested and released many times before in Bahrain.

In the video that follows, you can see him leading a protest in front of the American Embassy in Bahrain; that protest was not attacked by the authorities like the opposition protests usually are. His books can also still be found in libraries and bookshops around Bahrain in a country which bans hundreds of websites which oppose the government.

The BinAli affiliation with ISIS is longstanding. In May, Turki published information of yet another of his cousins dying while fighting within ISIS. …

Many feel that the Bahrain government has turned a blind eye on the rise of ISIS sympathizers in the country. Prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab doesn’t mince his words. His message is clear:

Nabeel Rajab @NABEELRAJAB

many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator

12:55 PM – 28 Sep 2014

Bahrain consists of a Shia majority who have been complaining of marginalization for decades under the ruling Sunni royal family. In a response to a popular uprising in February 2011, “the Bahraini regime responded not only with violent force, but also by encouraging a nasty sectarianism in order to divide the popular movement and to build domestic and regional support for a crackdown,” wrote Mark Lynch at Foreign Policy.

While Bahrain has joined the coalition in its airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the environment of discrimination at home couldn’t be any worse. As Mr. Rajab explains:

Nabeel Rajab @NABEELRAJAB

Terrorism laws in #Bahrain & #Gulf were not used against #terrorists or #ISIS but against #human_rights defenders & prisoners of conscience

12:31 PM – 27 Sep 2014

… The ISIS threat against Bahrain coincides with similar messages to neighbouring countries, which too have turned a blind eye to the group, allowing it to fester and grow in ranks on their own soil.

On 1 October 2014, human rights defender and Co-Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) Maryam Al-Khawaja will appear before the High Criminal Court on trumped up charges relating to an alleged assault on a lieutenant and policewoman at the Bahrain International Airport. Read Maryam Al-Khawaja’s testimony here. See also here.

On the day of her arrest at Bahrain International Airport, human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja tweeted: “Overheard guards saying they are going to deport me. They keep saying I am not a citizen.” Khawaja had travelled to Bahrain from Denmark on August 30 to support her imprisoned father, who’d just started a second round of hunger strike five days earlier. Her case highlights the threat now confronting some Bahraini opposition activists: The removal of their citizenship and subsequent deportation: here.

‘West silent on Bahraini rights abuse to retain military bases’: here.

It is the irony of ironies. A cadre of repressive monarchies is chosen to liberate the captive peoples of Iraq and Syria from the tyranny of ISIS. Combating a group known for its violent sectarianism, the five Arab allies ordered by the United States to participate in the bombing campaign against ISIS are themselves the region’s worst sectarian agitators. Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are now at the vanguard of efforts to dismantle an organization that is essentially of their own creation: here.

The governments of both Australia and Canada Friday formally joined the new war that Washington has launched in the Middle East, ostensibly for the purpose of crushing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS): here.

Turkish government, NATO allies and ISIS allies


This is a Syrian Kurdish music video by GULEN EFRIN.

By I. Zekeriya Ayman:

Turkey’s war on Rojava

Saturday, September 27, 2014

With the US and allied nations, including Arab countries, carrying out air strikes in Syria, the Turkish government is trying to convince the West it does not support the Islamic State (IS) forces the US is targetting.

Newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (the former prime minster) linked the adjective “terrorist” with “IS” for the very first time on September 23 during a US TV interview while attending the United Nations climate summit.

“Turkey will do whatever needs to be done to stop this terrorist organisation, militarily, and politically,” he said.

But the truth is that IS has received vital support from the Turkish government. It is known that IS has received crucial support from Turkey, which includes:

* Turkey positioning itself as an easy bridge for IS foreign militants to reach Syria, and Iraq;
* Trapped IS militants in Syria and Iraq escaping to Turkey to regroup and train;
* IS casualties being treated in Turkish hospitals and even having an hospital exclusively for their use;
* Turkey providing basic needs to IS under the guise of “humanitarian aid”;
* The Turkish government providing weapons and ammunitions directly to IS and providing safe passage for arms deliveries from elsewhere; and
*Turkey opening and closing its borders to suit IS.

The main reason the Turkish regime has supported IS, besides its interest in the toppling the Syrian regime, is the growing Kurdish resistance in Syria and the creation of a revolutionary “liberated zone” in the Kurdish territory of Rojava.

The “Rojava Revolution” is the first revolutionary project in the Middle East not supported by any major political power since the 2011 Arab Spring. This is a real people’s revolution, led by the Kurdish liberation movement, that is generating hope in the Middle East. It suggests that revolution may be possible without the backing of the super powers.

The Turkish government had a secret policy of maintaining a “buffer zone” on its border with Syria to stifle the Rojava revolution.

So what has changed? The US has declared its intention to “destroy IS” and the Turkish government believes this may revive its failed attempts to demolish the Rojava uprising.

Turkey has been the most enthusiastic government in the world about the demise of the Assad regime. At the start of the Syrian uprising the then-Turkish foreign minister, now Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, boldly predicted that “Assad’s days were numbered.”

The Turkish government believed it. But it was the prediction that collapsed, not the Assad regime. These recent US air strikes have renewed hopes that Assad may go.

The Turkish government also seems to have calculated that it cannot rely on the IS to crush Kurdish resistance. Its best bet is actually the US.

If a ground operation follows air strikes in Syria, Turkey will be more than happy to occupy Syria from the north ― providing an excellent opportunity to deal with the Kurds.

The US attacks on IS in Iraq and Syria send a clear message to all that the US is not finished in the region, yet. The US pushed hard for Sunni Arab countries and Turkey to come on board with the air strikes.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Turkey had no choice but to support the US-led anti-IS “coalition”.

Turkey won’t change its policy to kill the Rojava revolution but will try to kill it from within this coalition.

The Turkish government will pay a hefty price, domestically, for its support of the US led coalition against IS. Its religious base will ask questions. But it is a lower price than it would pay if it went against US interests.

The Turkish left is well aware of US plans in Iraq and Syria. The People’s Democracy Party (HDP), which gained significant support at the recent presidential elections, is leading a huge campaign in solidarity with defence of the Rojava city of Kobane against IS attack.

Thousands of Turkish-Kurdish youth trying to enter Syria to join the war against IS have clashed with Turkish police at the border ― but many have managed to join the fight. HDP MPs have visited the Syrian border to show their solidarity with Kobane resistance and now many other groups are visiting in solidarity.

I. Zekeriya Ayman is a Kurdish–Turkish leftist living in Melbourne [Australia].

Turkish Kurds against government’s pro-ISIS policies


This is a Syrian Kurdish music video, Rojek Rojava.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Ocalan calls for Kurdish action on Isis

Tuesday 23rd September 2014

The imprisoned PKK leader has urged for resistance against Isis militants in Syria

IMPRISONED Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan urged “all-out resistance” by the Kurdish nation yesterday against the Islamic State (Isis) jihadist group that is seeking to overrun Kurdish forces in Syria.

Mr Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence on a prison island near Istanbul, issued the call to arms through his lawyer Mazlum Dinc.

“I call on all Kurdish people to start an all-out resistance against this high-intensity war,” he declared.

“Not only the people of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) but also all people in the north (Turkey) and other parts of Kurdistan should act accordingly.”

The Isis offensive against the northern Syrian city of Kobane, defended by the YPG Kurdish local self-defence forces, has driven 130,000 refugees to seek safety in Turkey in the last few days.

However, the Ankara government has used tear gas and water cannon against the refugees to prevent them crossing the border and to hamper Turkish Kurds in their efforts to fight alongside their fellow Kurds in Syria.

Turkey has explained its reluctance to allow Kurds to cross the border to defend Rojava by citing fears that increasing the number of armed and trained Kurds could complicate internal peace talks with the PKK.

But Mr Ocalan accused Turkey of stalling peace negotiations aimed at ending the three-decade-long conflict for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.

PKK commander Murat Karayilan, who is based in northern Iraq, accused Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of collaborating with Isis and declared the peace process in Turkey dead.

However, Mr Karayilan confirmed that Mr Ocalan would have the “final say” on the future of peace efforts.

Accusations that the Erdogan administration is hand in glove with Isis were strengthened on Monday when the prime minister indicated that 49 Turkish hostages may well have been traded for Isis prisoners.

Asked about it in New York, he said: “Such things may be possible.”

Mr Erdogan went on to refer to Israel’s release of 1,500 Palestinian hostages in exchange for one Israeli prisoner of war, “so you see, it’s possible.”

He did not mention allegations that his government provided trainloads of arms for Isis shortly before the handover of the Turkish hostages.

ISIS in Iraq and Syria, new book


This video from Britain is called Bush and Blair: The fatal attraction that killed 1m Iraqis. It says about itself:

10 June 2014

Written by Heathcote Williams. Voice and editing by Alan Cox.

By Kenny Coyle in Britain:

Book review: The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising

Monday 15th September 2014

Patrick Cockburn’s excellent book on the jihadis reveals the duplicity of the West in placating and arming the states that give them succour, says KENNY COYLE

Patrick Cockburn’s latest book is timely to say the least.

As the Western powers oversee a succession of seemingly endless bloody fiascos in the Middle East, Cockburn illuminates the intelligence illusions and diplomatic deceptions of Washington, London, Paris and Brussels that have shaped the murderous onslaught in Iraq and Syria by Islamist extremists seeking to establish a Sunni caliphate in the region.

He charts the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant from a minuscule splinter group into a powerful military and political force.

Cockburn has made many visits to Syria during the recent conflict and he shows how the efforts to topple the Assad government in Damascus ran aground on the stubborn reality that the Syrian government, despite its political and economic failings, retained a bedrock of support across key communities and was never an exclusive “Alawite dictatorship” as many in the West believed.

As to Iraq, he derides the corruption and inefficiency of the Iraqi government and argues that its incompetence and greed fuelled Sunni animosity and alienation.

The West’s attempt to promote supposedly moderate forces such as the Free Syrian Army were derailed as these forces followed increasingly hardened sectarian positions and even so were still outgunned and outfunded by ever-more extreme Islamist groups.

The very term jihadi is controversial, since the Koran’s usage of the word jihad refers more often to peaceful and spiritual struggle than to violent conflict.

Yet key Western allies in the Gulf — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — have been pushing fundamentalist Wahhabi theology at the expense of other strains of Islam for several decades. Its network of Gulf-funded mosques and madrassas has acted as an incubator for Wahhabi extremism globally.

But the US and Britain have continued to placate and arm these states in return for trade opportunities and access to military bases, while the latter’s hostility to Iran dovetails with Western foreign policy.

We can also ask why it is that these Islamist forces have spent such efforts and spilt so much blood in attacking independent and non-aligned Arab states such as Syria, while neighbouring Palestine continues to bleed.

One is left with no other conclusion than that the jihadist forces’ anti-zionism, often mixed with a poisonous anti-semitism, is largely rhetorical and kept within limits acceptable to their Gulf sponsors.

Cockburn brings an intellectual depth that is rare outside the preserve of academics and a refreshing detachment from the “embedded” journalists who inevitably become compromised by their integration into military formations.

Currently Middle East correspondent for the Independent, he is scathing about the willingness of many of his press corps colleagues to uncritically repeat atrocity propaganda but he is professionally discreet enough not to name names.

His late father, the legendary Claud Cockburn who wrote for the Daily Worker as Frank Pitcairn, famously suggested that the only way a diplomatic or foreign correspondent could do their job properly when faced with military misinformation and diplomatic misdirection was to continually ask the question: “Why are these bastards lying to me?”

It’s heartening to see that Patrick Cockburn has kept this sceptical legacy alive and his latest work is essential to make sense of the latest phases of the Middle East crises.

OR Books, £9

Britain: FOLLOWING the release of a video showing the killing of hostage David Haines by Islamic State militants, PM Cameron yesterday announced ‘five points’, for dealing with the situation: here.

Struggle against Assad and Iran more important to US-UK gangsters than defeating ISIS: here.

KERRY BUILDING UP ANTI-ISIS COALITION –Turkey has refused and the US rules out Syria and Iran: here.

The Obama administration is rapidly putting together a “coalition of the willing” to ramp up its new war of aggression in the Middle East. Using the pretext of “degrading and destroying” Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, Washington has revived its plans, put on hold last year, directed at ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and also aimed against Syria’s backers, Iran and Russia: here.