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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Con Coughlin lunches with the right MoD briefer this time

Back in 2015 this blog was something of a lone voice in advocating kicking Turkey out of NATO for its support for ISIS and Sunni terrorism in return for stolen Iraqi oil - oil that made Erdogan's son very rich indeed. It was also a time at which Turkey had practically isolated herself - I wrote
Erdogan is now skating on very thin ice; the EU is reeling from his policy of actively pushing migrants into Greece, with Turkey's old ally France in particular grief at this betrayal, he's lost Russia's support and now the US has turned against him. The generals must surely now be taking quiet soundings from these international players as to the likelihood of sanctions and international opprobrium if they act to remove Erdogan. If they get an answer that a coup will mean a deal of disapproving noise but nothing concrete followed by a swift move to co-operation if Turkey both halts the migrant flow, takes the pressure from the Kurds and closes the border to ISIS then Erdogan's days are numbered.
Well, the coup was tried - and failed. Tens of thousands of civil servants have been dismissed, hundreds of the most senior military officers imprisoned, and at least a score of them judicially murdered in custody ('fell out of a window' 'had a heart attack' etc). Erdogan appreciated his isolation and moved to make an ally of Russia, with $20bn of arms purchases. It is pertinent that at least some of that money comes from the EU, the billion-Euro bribes for not sending migrants across the Greek border. Again, I wrote back in 2015
Make no mistake; Turkey and the KSA are our real enemies, and the real threats to peace. We need to pour money and troops into Greece to secure Europe's Eastern flank against Turkey, and give full support to Russia, Syria and the Kurds in blocking Turkey from the South. Only then will peace start to return to Iraq and Syria, and the tsunami of migrants into Europe actively facilitated by Turkey start to stem. Oh yes. We need to kick Turkey out of NATO.
Maybe we should have kicked Turkey out of NATO in 2015 - but the US then needed Incirlik for its anti-ISIS operations. Well, now Erdogan has forced the move again; his purchase of Russia's S400 system has forced the US to exclude him from the F35 programme. And our old friend Con Coughlin has, for once, been lunched at the expense of the right MoD briefer; he writes in the Telegraph
When Turkey joined Nato back in 1952, the idea was that it would help to protect Nato’s eastern flank from Moscow’s aggression. Now that is clearly no longer the case, and European leaders should join their American counterparts in facing up to the fact that Turkey under Mr Erdogan is a lost cause. The days when Turkey had a genuine interest in cementing its ties with the West by joining the European Union are long gone. Instead, we have a country that openly associates with those who wish to do us harm.

Consequently, now that Mr Erdogan has demonstrated that he feels more at home in Moscow than he does in Brussels, we should acknowledge where Turkey’s true interests lie, and terminate its Nato membership.
There is one matter that Con has missed - perhaps his briefer avoided it. It's the US loan of B61 nukes to both the EU and Turkey - in 2017 I wrote 
As I've posted below, I think the timing is important. EU free-riders will not now increase their NATO spending by a cent. The EU is calculating what's needed to make a Common EU army and national expenditure will be so directed; the spending may be badged as 'NATO' in the short term, but this will be mendacious. They've almost certainly also got an outline idea of how to fudge the divorce.

Which brings me to an interesting footnote - shared Nukes. The US, to help little countries without the bomb to feel included, has distributed 180 B61 air-launched nukes to Turkey, Germany (?), Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. These 'dial-a-yield' devices can be set on loading to yield from 0.3 to 170 kilotons (Hiroshima was 15) and they can be launched from a variety of national NATO aircraft - but need US consent to 'unlock' them. Will Mr Trump now ask for them back?
Well, I ask the question again - with vdL now in post with an almost fanatical commitment to German EU militarism, and Erdogan off the NATO chums list, will Trump now arrange to have the US's 180 B61s shipped back home? They are dangerous toys to leave in the hands of not-really-allies.


r_writes esq. said...

Well Raedwald, I never had you down as someone who suffers from dangerous delusions like that Farage bloke?

Cheerful Edward said...

Yes, mostly fair comment, I think, Raedwald, and I would add that since the purpose of NATO was to counter Soviet power, like Peter Hitchens does, I think that there is a good case for its abolition.

Perhaps Ursula Von Der Leyen does too?

Whatever, there never was any chance that Turkey would join the European Union, and everyone with any sense knew that before the referendum and the use of that prospect as a scare tactic by the Leave campaigns.

Raedwald said...

Edward I agree - the entire EU is not worth the bones of a single Briish soldier. However, EU nations that *don't* see Putin as a cuddly benign uncle who only wants to deploy his intermediate nukes pointing at Europe for fun, as a joke, and who wish to contribute 2% of GDP to NATO (Poland, the Baltic states) under largely US command can continue to enjoy British protection.

The rest can learn Cyrillic.

Cheerful Edward said...

Just a detail here - who are this "we", who should pour men and materiale into Greece?

Hadn't "we" better ask the Greeks first? You know, sovereignty and all that?

DiscoveredJoys said...

vdL is not well placed to advance EU militarism, unless the new EU army practices with broom handles and aeroplanes that can't fly.

Unless that is part of her world view... the world is a beautiful place with neighbours who will join in song to skip brightly through the mountain meadows.

What could possibly go wrong?

Cheerful Edward said...

DJ, you are absolutely right that a civil servant, the chair of the European Union's Commission, is in no position to decide as to any co-ordinated military arrangements on the part of its member states. That remains, properly, the business of the supreme power in the Union, the Council of the national heads of governments.

However, after whatever intention is conveyed to her, she can address the Parliament, and thereafter speak for the Commission, as to whatever way forward has been brokered.

It is for this reason amongst others, that military powers within the Union, such as the UK and France, have hitherto always made arrangements outside of the Lisbon Treaty, as they are perfectly free to do.

Dave_G said...

I always mistrust governments that make auto-assumptions that Russia is 'aggressive/bad' when I've yet to see any positive evidence to support it. What they do internally is their own affair but I've never seen them invade another country since communism fell - even before it fell - unlike the USA that seem to get a 'pass' to invade with impunity.

There are only two major unexploited continents left - Africa and Russia (not counting the polar regions) and resources will be the next reason - if it isn't already THE reason - for potential conflict with Russia.

As a genuine military threat the 'Russia-is-bad' meme is laughable and the constant use of them as an excuse for expansionist is far more worrisome.

Mark said...

"You won't vote me I'm part of the union, you won't vote me I'm part of the union.........."

Cheerful Edward said...

Yes, Dave, generally that's the case, but it depends what you mean by "invade".

Russia has deployed troops in a number of places, notably Syria. Usually, I support their apparent aims in so doing too. And then there's Crimea, but her actions there also seem eminently understandable.

The blatant double standards by some sources here in their criticisms of Russia and of Putin are plain embarrassing, I find.

Raedwald said...

I suspect that most sane folk see Putin's Russia in one of the many shades of grey. Yes, I think he was right to support Syria against western bullying, but wrong to then allow / assist Erdogan to mount a land-grab and assault on the Kurds. He may have had historic justification for occupying Crimea, but there is none for shooting down a passenger airliner. Yes, he is right to suppress Islamist violence in Chechnya and elsewhere on the -stan periphery but wrong in imprisoning / murdering journalists in Russia.

And of course none of you will excuse Putin's exporting his murderous repression to Salisbury.

Putin's Russia is ruled by a thieving mafia of oligarchs who are allowed to flout justice, equity and democracy with impunity so longs as they keep him in power. Putin himself is at heart a crude thug. He will provoke the west as far as he is able - nuclear bombers flying into our airspace, intermediate range nukes targeted on London, Birmingham and Manchester, breaking nuclear treaties, developing subs to cut undersea internet cables, employing an army of cyber terrorists to disrupt developed world infrastructure.

No. Neither black nor white. But no cuddly ally. Yes, there will be matters on which our national courses are parallel - but Russia and China remain our most cogest and tangible threats.

Cheerful Edward said...

Yes, I think that's a good summary of probably a majority of British people's views, Raedwald.

Those purporting to speak on our behalf annoy us and embarrass us, when they use out-of-date, Cold War caricatures to misrepresent that view.

Anonymous said...

War coming -

RAC said...

So the traitors in the Con party have tried to tie Boris's hands even before he's in the job. If the Con hierarchy had any guts they would throw the bastard traitors out now. We need GE ASAP. Strangely enough a voter registration form fell through my letter box this morning. Can't wait for it.

Dave_G said...

I'm surprised to find myself more in agreement with CE than Raed over the Russia issue. None of the so-called 'threats' (airspace, missiles etc) are any different than practised by Western countries against Russia (although never advertised here of course) and the idea that Russia had anything to do with shooting down a passenger aircraft in the face of evidence contrary and 'hidden' is simply breathtaking. Similarly the evidence of Salisbury leaves far too many open questions - Steele dossier being just one.
I suppose 'we' don't have nukes aimed at Moscow, StPetersberg etc? Let's not get into 'who did it first' shall we?
As I said, what Russia does internally is for them to sort and no different from the 'mafia' of Globalists, Euro-shills and establishment corruption we live under - all carefully hidden behind a veneer of acceptability despite the end result being the same - as Dr David Kelly.

No, the use of Russia to excuse the way the West works is deplorable and not much of the public is on-side over condemnation of Putin who, at the very least, works FOR his country rather than against it as 600+ members of our supposedly-democratic Parliament continually demonstrate.

Look a the way the Epstein affair and US Deep State or even the UK establishment massaging of 'events' is slowly revealing...... it will eventually lead back to one common denominator we're not allowed to mention.

Cheerful Edward said...

Putin seems to me to be walking a fine line, between keeping some very rich, and nasty people on side in Russia, and maintaining some semblance of Russia being at least an orderly country.

I can only speculate as to how much direct control he or his government exercise over some of these individuals or groups, and the extent to which some of the actions attributed to Putin's Russia are in fact their work.

Transparency of government and agencies is a hallmark of a civilised country. There doesn't seem to be much about Russia to showcase on that point.

Anonymous said...

For anall too brief interlude, while under the careful supervision of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Asia Minor choose reason and enlightenment, encouraged University learning, a free press and opened its doors to the world, a middle class was nurtured.

Sadly, the new sultan stopped all that and ushered BACK in the Ottomans, in charged, igrorance, barbarity, darkness and terror.

So be it.