Why Turkey’s Coup d’État Failed.

And why Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s craven excesses made it so inevitable.

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Rule No. 2 in planning a successful military coup is that any mobile forces that are not part of the plot — and that certainly includes any fighter jet squadrons — must be immobilized or too remote to intervene. (Which is why Saudi army units, for example, are based far from the capital.) But the Turkish coup plotters failed to ensure these loyal tanks, helicopters, and jets were rendered inert, so instead of being reinforced as events unfolded, the putschists were increasingly opposed. But perhaps that scarcely mattered because they had already violated Rule No. 1, which is to seize the head of the government before doing anything else, or at least to kill him.

The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was left free to call out his followers to resist the attempted military coup, first by iPhone and then in something resembling a televised press conference at Istanbul’s airport. It was richly ironic that he was speaking under the official portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey’s modern secular state, because Erdogan’s overriding aim since entering politics has been to replace it with an Islamic republic by measures across the board: from closing secular high schools so as to drive pupils into Islamic schools to creeping alcohol prohibitions to a frenzied program of mosque-building everywhere — including major ex-church museums and university campuses, where, until recently, headscarves were prohibited.

Televised scenes of the crowds that came out to oppose the coup were extremely revealing: There were only men with mustaches (secular Turks rigorously avoid them) with not one woman in sight. Moreover, their slogans were not patriotic, but Islamic — they kept shouting “Allahu ekber” (the local pronunciation of “akbar”) and breaking out into the Shahada, the declaration of faith.

Richly ironic, too, was the prompt and total support of U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the European Union’s hapless would-be foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, in the name of “democracy.” Erdogan has been doing everything possible to dismantle Turkey’s fragile democracy: from ordering the arrest of journalists who criticized him, including the outright seizure and closure of the country’s largest newspaper, Zaman, to the very exercise of presidential power, since Turkey is not a presidential republic like the United States or France, but rather a parliamentary republic like Germany or Italy, with a mostly ceremonial president and the real power left to the prime minister. Unable to change the constitution because his Justice and Development Party (AKP) does not have enough votes in parliament, Erdogan instead installed the slavishly obedient (and mustachioed) Binali Yildirim as prime minister — his predecessor, Ahmet Davutoglu, had been very loyal, but not quite a slave — and further subverted the constitutional order by convening cabinet meetings under his own chairmanship in his new 1,000-room palace: a multibillion-dollar, 3.2 million-square-foot monstrosity (the White House is approximately 55,000 square feet), which was built without authorized funding or legal permits in a nature reserve.

That is just normal operating procedure for Erdogan, who started as a penniless youth in a slum and is now allegedly a billionaire. When prosecutors found millions of dollars in cash while investigating his associates and sons, Bilal and Burak, for bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering, and gold smuggling, 350 police officers and all the prosecutors involved were simply removed from their jobs. Only interested in his relentless Islamization of Turkey, Erdogan’s core party followers evidently attach no value to democratic principles or legality as such and think it only natural that he and his sons should have enriched themselves on such a huge scale.

When Erdogan foists the blame for anything that goes wrong — including his very own decision to restart the war against the country’s Kurds — on foreigners, the United States, and you-know-who (the “Saturday people“), his followers readily believe him. That is also true of his wild accusations of terrorism against the U.S.-based Turkish religious leader Fethullah Gulen, once his staunch ally. Having previously blamed Gulen for an aborted corruption investigation, which he had described as a “judicial coup,” Erdogan is now blaming Gulen and his followers for the attempted military coup as well. That could be true to some extent, but Turkish military officers scarcely needed Gulen to egg them on: They blame Erdogan and his AKP followers for dismantling Ataturk’s secular republic; for having built up the murderous Sunni extremists of Syria who are now spilling back into Turkey to conduct suicide bombings; and for deliberately restarting the war against the country’s Kurds in 2015 for crass political reasons — a war that is costing soldiers’ lives every day and threatens the survival of Turkey itself within its present borders. (Kurds are a net majority in the eastern provinces.)

Coup planners need not enroll very many soldiers or airmen to win, so long as uncooperative chiefs are apprehended, and their initial success induces more to join in. But Turkey’s top military chiefs neither planned the coup nor joined it, and only a few (including the supremo Gen. Hulusi Akar) were detained. Indeed, the principal force commanders stayed out so that the coup activists (fewer than 2,000 in all, it seems), including some fighter pilots, were hopelessly outnumbered once Erdogan’s followers came out by the tens of thousands in the streets of Istanbul.

Opposition parties all very loyally opposed the coup, but they should not count on Erdogan’s gratitude. The drift to authoritarian rule is likely to continue, even accelerate: As in other Islamic countries, elections are well understood and greatly valued, but not democracy itself.

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Executive Order 13603

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Researchers Find RoundUp Responsible for Harmful Algae Blooms In Great Lakes.

Harmful algae bloom. Kelley's Island, Ohio. Lake Erie. September 2009.
Harmful algae bloom. Kelley’s Island, Ohio. Lake Erie. September 2009.

Harmful algae bloom. Kelley’s Island, Ohio. Lake Erie. September 2009.

Ohio — Glyphosate, the main ingredient found in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, RoundUp, has poisoned Lake Erie.

Scientists from Ohio Northern University (ONU) in the U.S. have discovered that glyphosate is largely responsible for an increase in harmful algae blooms that contaminate lake water and kill off life dependent upon this habitat.

Namely, dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) has been contaminating Lake Erie and the Maumee watershed. This DRP comes from surrounding farms that rely on Monsanto’s weedkiller to grow their crops. The runoff ends up in the lakes, killing fish and contaminating the water.

Though Lake Erie’s trouble with phosphorous is not new, there has been an alarming increase in DRP, which caused scientists to question its probable origins.

Christopher Spiese, a chemist at Ohio Northern University suggests that an increase in the use of glyphosate is causing the problem. DRP loads in Lake Erie have been increasing since the early 1990s — the same time that RoundUp was being sold to farmers across the U.S.

RoundUp was first introduced commercially in 1974, but it was in the 90s that farmers started to spray it copiouslyon genetically modified crops. RoundUp is currently Monsanto’s biggest profit-maker, accounting for a whopping one-third of its total sales in recent years.

Despite its worldwide use, members of the E.U. Parliament addressed the “European Commission, Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, and responsible Ministers of the Member States” to try to ban glyphosate across Europe. Traces of it were found in the urine of almost every member of parliament who tested for it.

Ohio Northern researchers have confirmed that glyphosate is causing the harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie, but Drs. R. Michael McKay and George Bullerjahn of Bowling Green State University have been studying this likelihood since 2012. They suspected that the growing ‘dead zones’ in the Great Lakes were caused by this herbicide, killing millions of fish and polluting drinking water every year.

McKay explained:

“Our research is finding that Roundup is getting into the watershed at peak farming application times, particularly in the spring.”

Bullerjahn explained further:

“It turns out that many cyanobacteria present in Lake Erie have the genes allowing the uptake of phosphonates, and these cyanobacteria can grow using glyphosate and other phosphonates as a sole source of phosphorus.”

ONU research also attests that the delicate balance of Mother Nature is further disturbed by RoundUp. Spiese states:

“These crops that are able to grow in the presence of glyphosate have really kind of started to take over, to the point where we’re washed in Roundup.”

Spiese figured out that for every acre of GM soy planted with the use of RoundUp, you can count on one-third of a pound of phosphorous being dumped into the Maumee. He argues:

“The P in glyphosate is what we call phosphonate, a phosphorus-carbon bond. A phosphorus-carbon bond is extraordinarily stable. It’s very difficult to break. We don’t expect this to contribute one bit to the DRP.”

But it did. Add one more disaster to Monsanto’s growing list of environmental misdeeds.


This article (Researchers Find RoundUp Responsible for Harmful Algae Blooms In Great Lakes) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to [email protected]. Image credit: Flickr/NOAA

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George Soros Doubles Down: Accept 300k Refugees Costing $30Bn, Or Risk EU Collapse.

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Seemingly doubling down on his comments in April (following what he called Europe’s “flawed asylum policy”), George Soros has expanded his demands from four to seven fundamental pillars on how to prevent the collapse of the European Union. In an article penned for Foreign Policy titled “This Is Europe’s Last Chance to Fix Its Refugee Policy,” Soros details his plan (over-riding the current “piecemeal approach”) for rescuing Europe before it is too late. Simply put, the billionaire says the EU must take in hundreds of thousands of refugees a year, spend at least 30 billion euros (a minor sum, since he believes it can all be financed by debt and taxes) or Europe faces an “existential threat.”

Soros begins ominously: The EU’s piecemeal solutions are coming apart. Only a surge of financial and political creativity can avoid a catastrophe.

The refugee crisis was already leading to the slow disintegration of the European Union. Then, on June 23, it contributed to an even greater calamity — Brexit. Both of these crises have reinforced xenophobic, nationalist movements across the continent. They will try to win a series of key votes in the coming year — including national elections in France, the Netherlands, and Germany in 2017, a referendum in Hungary on EU refugee policy on Oct. 2, a rerun of the Austrian presidential election on the same day, and a constitutional referendum in Italy in October or November of this year.

 

Rather than uniting to resist this threat, EU member states have become increasingly unwilling to cooperate with one another. They pursue self-serving, discordant migration policies, often to the detriment of their neighbors. In these circumstances, a comprehensive and coherent European asylum policy is not possible in the short term, despite the efforts of the EU’s governing body, the European Commission. The trust needed for cooperation is lacking. It will have to be rebuilt through a long and laborious process.

 

This is unfortunate, because a comprehensive policy ought to remain the highest priority for European leaders; the union cannot survive without it. The refugee crisis is not a one-off event; it augurs a period of higher migration pressures for the foreseeable future, due to a variety of causes including demographic and economic imbalances between Europe and Africa, unending conflicts in the broader region, and climate change. Beggar-thy-neighbor migration policies, such as building border fences, will not only further fragment the union; they also seriously damage European economies and subvert global human rights standards.

 

What would a comprehensive approach look like? It would establish a guaranteed target of at least 300,000 refugees each year who would be securely resettled directly to Europe from the Middle East — a total that hopefully would be matched by countries elsewhere in the world. That target should be large enough to persuade genuine asylum-seekers not to risk their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, especially if reaching Europe by irregular means would disqualify them from being considered genuine asylum-seekers.

 

This could serve as the basis for Europe to provide sufficient funds for major refugee-hosting countries outside Europe and establish processing centers in those countries; create a potent EU border and coast guard; set common standards for processing and integrating asylum-seekers (and for returning those who do not qualify); and renegotiate the Dublin III Regulation in order to more fairly share the asylum burden across the EU.

And, as ValueWalk’s Jacob Wolinksy notes, specifically Soros thinks the seven points below are key…

First, the EU and the rest of the world must take in a substantial number of refugees directly from front-line countries in a secure and orderly manner, which would be far more acceptable to the public than the current disorder…

 

Second, the EU must regain control of its borders. There is little that alienates and scares publics more than scenes of chaos…

 

Third, the EU needs to develop financial tools that can provide sufficient funds for the long-term challenges it faces and not limp from episode to episode…

 

Fourth, the crisis must be used to build common European mechanisms for protecting borders, determining asylum claims, and relocating refugees…

 

Fifth, once refugees have been recognized, there needs to be a mechanism for relocating them within Europe in an agreed way

 

Sixth, the European Union, together with the international community, must support foreign refugee-hosting countries far more generously than it currently does

 

The seventh and final pillar is that, given its aging population, Europe must eventually create an environment in which economic migration is welcome.

Soros concludes as follows:

The benefits brought by migration far outweigh the costs of integrating immigrants. Skilled economic immigrants improve productivity, generate growth, and raise the absorptive capacity of the recipient country. Different populations bring different skills, but the contributions come as much from the innovations they introduce as from their specific skills — in both their countries of origin and their countries of destination. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this, starting with the Huguenots’ contribution to the first industrial revolution by bringing both weaving and banking to England. All the evidence supports the conclusion that migrants have a high potential to contribute to innovation and development if they are given a chance to do so.

 

Pursuing these seven principles is essential in order to calm public fears, reduce chaotic flows of asylum-seekers, ensure that newcomers are fully integrated, establish mutually beneficial relations with countries in the Middle East and Africa, and meet Europe’s international humanitarian obligations.

 

The refugee crisis is not the only crisis Europe has to face, but it is the most pressing. And if significant progress could be made on the refugee issue, it would make the other issues — from the continuing Greek debt crisis to the fallout from Brexit to the challenge posed by Russia — easier to tackle. All the pieces need to fit together, and the chances of success remain slim. But as long as there is a strategy that might succeed, all the people who want the European Union to survive should rally behind it.

Interestingly, Soros goes back hundreds of years to give us the examples Huguenots and not fifty years to when France starting letting in migrants from Algeria and Morocco – so far the much recent plan has been a failure most would agree even before the recent terror attack in Nice. While hope continues to spring eternal (for many establishmentarians) that the EU stays together, we can’t help but suspect that spending 30 billion euros a year (funded by taxing or indebting EU citizens more) and letting in ‘even’ 300,000 refugees a year when the social fabric of the looming super-state is near collapse, terrorist attacks are increasing, and unemployment in many European countries is in double digits – will likely be a non-starter.

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Globalization’s Few Winners and Many Losers.

By:

CHARLES HUGH SMITH

charles hugh smith
Quality, quality of life, and well-being are not easily quantified, so they are ignored.
I often write about the Tyranny of Price, the rarely examined assumption that lower prices are all that matters.
Thanks to the Tyranny of Price, the quality of many goods has plummeted.Obsolescence is either planned or the result of inferior components that fail, crippling the entire product. As correspondent Mark G. has observed, the poor quality we now accept as a global standard wasn’t available at any price in the 1960s– such poor quality goods were simply not manufactured and sold.
There is another even more pernicious consequence of the Tyranny of Price: globalization, which makes two promises to participants: 1) lower prices everywhere and 2) manufacturing work that will raise millions of poor people in developing economies out of poverty.
Globalization is presented as a win-win solution: the developed countries get cheaper goods and the developing world get the benefits of industrialization.
But now a new study, Poorer Than Their Parents? Flat or Falling Incomes in Advanced Economies, finds that globalization has been a bad deal for 80% of the people in developed economies, as their income and wealth has stagnated or declined.
A Cheerleader for Globalization Has Second Thoughts: A new study from the McKinsey Global Institute finds that changes in the world economy have left many people worse off..
The McKinsey report focuses on the 540 million residents of developed nations who have lost ground in the era of globalization. But if we look at the terrible pollution in China, we find that rapid industrialization hasn’t been as win-win for developing nations as advertised.
The mainstream cheerleaders of globalization have been forced to accept that globalization exacerbates wealth/income inequalities by boosting the rewards for the 20% who benefit from global markets and capital-friendly central bank policies (zero interest rates and quantitative easing) that have pushed asset valuations to incredible bubble heights around the world.
Domestically, the American ruling class and the mainstream punditry are struggling to square the circle, that is, defend the globalization of the U.S. economy that has greatly enriched corporations, the wealthy and the top 5% of the work force but also alleviate the stagnation in the incomes and wealth of the bottom 80%.
Correspondent Graham R. summed up the situation very succinctly in a recent email:
“Focusing on the minimum wage is a false flag. The society as a whole is now stressed at every level because Globalism has promised us cheaper prices at the cost of destroying societal structures and their meaning for its members.”
Graham identifies a key consequence of globalization that the mainstream media has ignored: the erosion of social/economic structures that supported communities and provided purpose, meaning and stability to their residents.
When price is all that matters, factories and offices are closed overnight and the work is shipped elsewhere. When production costs go up, the production is moved to another locale.
In this environment, employees are competing with workers globally, which suppresses wages everywhere. Since global corporations have gained political power in globalization, they can buy lobbying and political influence that raises the cost of commerce for small businesses–a process known as regulatory capture that erects walls that stifle competition.
Regulatory capture is the inevitable result of globalization’s rewarding of capital and erosion of labor.
Price is not the sole absolute good. Price is only one kind of information. Since price is easily quantified and converted into any currency, it has achieved total dominance in markets and mindspace. Quality, quality of life, and well-being are not easily quantified, so they are ignored. Stagnation, insecurity and a loss of social cohesion are the inevitable result once price is all that counts.

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