Posted tagged ‘Coup’

Is This The Coup the Left Wanted?

February 15, 2017

Is This The Coup the Left Wanted?, The Resurgent, February 15, 2017

trumpandflynn

There is no evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence cooperated to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. But the New York Times waits for the third paragraph of this sensational story to tell you. First, they want you to know intelligence sources say Trump campaign staffers had multiple, repeated contacts with the Russians.

What we are seeing is an intelligence community trying to sabotage the President of the United States. We should all be concerned even if we have our own concerns about the President and Russia.

It is more and more apparent that, while Mike Flynn misled Vice President Pence and should have been fired, we only know this because members of the intelligence community engaged in an opposition research dump on Flynn with the media. They engaged as a separate and distinct branch of government, and that is a dangerous situation.

The left is cheering on the outcomes, as are some on the right, but they are all ignoring the process. When the intelligence community ceases to serve the Commander-in-Chief and instead tries to sabotage him because they do not like the direction he is taking the country, they are putting their interests ahead of the voters and the electoral process.

The same problem exists with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and its decision on the immigration order. In large part, the court based its decision on Donald Trump’s campaign statements that he wanted a Muslim ban. At first blush, that may seem legit to people but consider Barack Obama and Obamacare.

Chief Justice John Roberts upheld Obamacare’s constitutionality because he said it fell under the taxation powers of the constitution. But Barack Obama had campaigned on Obamacare saying that it was not a tax. Had the Supreme Court used President Obama’s campaign statements against him, they would have thrown out Obamacare.

While one may cheer on the outcome from the Ninth Circuit, they should not cheer the process and flawed legal reasoning.

Both the intelligence and court situation raise troubling issues. By cheering outcomes based on deeply problematic processes, people are rapidly moving towards “ends justify the means” reasoning. That will bring about the very creeping authoritarianism the left fears from Donald Trump.

They cheer this on now because it is working to their advantage as rogue leakers try to undermine a President they do not like. But it will eventually happen to them. By then they will have surrendered any and all moral high ground to cry foul.

The intelligence community serves at the pleasure of the President, not the other way around. The President must be able to depend on the intelligence community’s assessments. Right now, the intelligence community is causing a breakdown in trust with the Trump Administration through leaks designed to undermine his authority.

If a terrorist attack on our soil happens because the President felt he could no longer trust the intelligence community’s assessments, that will be on them. This behavior, in a democratic republic, must be considered unacceptable.

It is possible to be happy Mike Flynn is gone and also be deeply bothered by the means through the intelligence community designed his ouster. People on all sides should be speaking up loudly that the behavior of the intelligence community in damaging leaks is unacceptable.

Finally, we know that Mike Flynn intended to reform the intelligence community and expose side deals made with Iran to secure a diplomatic agreement. President Trump should commit to replacing Mike Flynn with someone as hell-bent on reform and exposure of the Iran deal as Mike Flynn was. The intelligence community cannot be rewarded for bad behavior that undermines the democratic processes of this nation, even if some of us are happy Mike Flynn is gone.

If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S.

July 20, 2016

Op-Ed If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S.

by James Kirchick

Source: If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S. – LA Times

Americans viewing the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey as some exotic foreign news story — the latest, violent yet hardly unusual political development to occur in a region constantly beset by turmoil — should pause to consider that the prospect of similar instability would not be unfathomable in this country if Donald Trump were to win the presidency.

Trump is the most brazenly authoritarian figure to secure the nomination of a major American political party. He expresses his support for all manner of strongmen, and his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has actually worked for one: former Ukrainian president and Vladimir Putin ally Viktor Yanukovich. At the Republican National Convention here Monday, Manafort put some of the tricks he learned overseas as a dictator whisperer to good use, employing underhanded tactics to avoid a roll call vote on the convention’s rules package and quietly removing language from the party platform expressing support for Ukraine’s democratic aspirations.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has repeatedly bragged about ordering soldiers to commit war crimes, and has dismissed the possibility that he would face any resistance. “They won’t refuse,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baierearlier this year. “They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me.”  When Baier insisted that such orders are “illegal,” Trump replied, “I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”

Oh really? Blimpish swagger might fly within the patriarchal confines of a family business, a criminal operation (the distinction is sometimes blurred) or a dictatorship. It does not, however, work in a liberal democracy, legally grounded by a written constitution, each branch restrained by separation of powers.

Try to imagine, then, a situation in which Trump commanded our military to do something stupid, illegal or irrational. Something so dangerous that it put the lives of Americans and the security of the country at stake. (Trump’s former rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio, said the United States could not trust “the nuclear codes” to an “erratic individual.”) Faced with opposition from his military brass, Trump would perhaps reconsider and back down. But what if he didn’t?

In that case, our military men and women, who swear to uphold the Constitution and a civilian chain of command, would be forced to choose between obeying the law and serving the wishes of someone who has explicitly expressed his utter lack of respect for it.

They might well choose the former.

“I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who served as head of the CIA and the National Security Agency under President George W. Bush, said in response to Trump’s autocratic ruminations. Asked by TV host Bill Maher what would happen if Trump told American soldiers to kill the families of terrorists, as he has promised to do, Hayden replied, “If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”

“You are required not to follow an unlawful order,” Hayden added. “That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”

Previously, in those rare situations when irreconcilable disagreements have arisen between America’s civilian and military leadership, it is the latter who were ultimately deemed out of line. This was the case when President Truman acrimoniously fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur after he publicly criticized Truman for denying him permission to bomb China in the midst of the Korean War. Though MacArthur returned to the United States with a hero’s welcome, Truman’s decision endures as one of the most important in the history of American civil-military relations.

Trump could pull a reverse-Truman, firing a general who refused to bomb.

If this scenario sounds implausible, consider that Trump has normalized so many once-outrageous things — from open racism to blatant lying. Needless to say, such dystopian situations are unimaginable under a President Hillary Clinton, who, whatever her faults, would never contemplate ordering a bombing run or — heaven forbid — a nuclear strike on a country just because its leader slighted her small hands at a summit. Rubio might detest her, but he cannot honestly say that Clinton, a former secretary of State, should not be trusted with the nation’s nuclear codes.

Trump is not only patently unfit to be president, but a danger to America and the world. Voters must stop him before the military has to.

James Kirchick is a fellow with the Foreign Policy Initiative. His book, “The End of Europe”, is forthcoming from Yale University Press. 

Turkey: Purge spreads to education sector

July 19, 2016

Turkey to dismiss thousands of deans and educators following attempted coup After firing tens of thousands of military and police officials, judges and lawyers following the unsuccessful coup attempt, Turkey announced that it has now decided to fire thousands of deans and educators from the Turkish education system.

Jul 19, 2016, 7:46PM

Source: Turkey: Purge spreads to education sector | JerusalemOnline

The purge continues. Erdoğan Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News

The Council of Higher Education in Turkey announced today (Tuesday) that it will be firing 1,577 deans of Turkish academic institution in light of the unsuccessful coup attempt that took place in the country last weekend.

The Turkish News Agency reported that the Council’s announcement followed a Turkish Education Ministry decision, according to which 15,200 educators would be fired. The Ministry claimed that these educators were linked to the conspirators against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

image description
Official documents were submitted for his extradition. Fethullah Gülen Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News

The newly fired educators joined the ranks of thousands of military and police officials, as well as lawyers and judges, whom Erdoğan instructed to immediately fire after the attempted coup. The Turkish News Agency also reported that the Turkish Communication Ministry revoked the broadcasting license of television channels that “supported or identified with the conspirators against the regime.”

While the purge campaign in the country deepens, CNN reported that Turkey is also continuing its talks with the US in order to bring about the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the exiled preacher who Erdoğan claims was behind the coup. Ankara has already submitted official documents to the US as part of the formal request to extradite Gülen, which according to the Turks include evidence that links him to the coup attempt.

Turkish naval ships & choppers reportedly missing since botched coup, Turkey Deputy PM denies

July 19, 2016

Turkish naval ships & choppers reportedly missing since botched coup, Turkey Deputy PM denies

Published time: 19 Jul, 2016 11:11 Edited time: 19 Jul, 2016 13:44

Source: Turkish naval ships & choppers reportedly missing since botched coup, Turkey Deputy PM denies — RT News

FILE PHOTO, Turkish frigate F-495 TCG Gediz. © Wikipedia

Turkey’s navy is still unable to account for 14 ships, while two helicopters with 25 special forces troops are also missing since an unsuccessful coup plot against the government. However, Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus has denied any naval vessels are unaccounted for.

With suspicions growing that the commanders of the vessels could have been behind a coup plot against the Turkish government and are now seeking asylum at Greek ports.

The ships were on duty in either the Aegean or the Black Seas on Friday before the coup to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place. However, they have failed to return to port, though in theory radar and satellite tracking technology should be able to determine their locations, according to a report in the Times newspaper.

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A Turkish F-16 fighter jet © Murad Sezer

It is believed that the ships could be heading towards Greek ports.

The Turkish deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus, has dismissed reports that any naval vessels have gone missing. However, he did not give any further details as to their current location.

Eight Turkish military officers have already sought asylum in Greece after landing in the country on Saturday, where they were subsequently arrested.

The Turkish ambassador to Greece, Kerim Uras, has told the Greek authorities that the soldiers who fled to Greece will have a “fair and transparent trial in Turkey.”

He added that if the soldiers are not returned Turkey, this would not help bilateral relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the fate of the commander of the Turkish Navy Admiral Veysel Kosele, who has not been heard from since the attempted coup took place, is still unknown. It is also unclear if he took any part in the action against the president or whether he is being held against his will.

According to reports within the Turkish media, Admiral Kosele was tricked onto his ship by those supporting the coup who told him that a terrorist attack was taking place.

Two helicopters and 25 Special Forces troops are also missing since the failed coup, according to a report by the Hurriyet newspaper. It was reported that they were heading for a raid to target Erdogan in Marmaris, where he was enjoying a vacation.

A spokesman for the Turkish president said on Tuesday that 14 soldiers have been detained over the attempted attack on the head of state, but some of the group are still at large, Reuters reports.

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© Medya Gundem

The EU and NATO both said they do not know anything about the missing vessels or planes, the chief spokesperson for the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, told journalists on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Greek Defense Ministry says it is unaware of any Turkish ships that have tried to enter its ports following the attempted coup.

“We are looking out for every ship. We had information from talks that took place that at one point they wanted to enter Greece’s territorial waters. However, this did not happen,” a source told RIA Novosti.

The most senior military figure to be arrested since the coup, General Akin Ozturk, the former air force chief, has already appeared in court. He has denied being the mastermind behind the plot.

Meanwhile, a purge of various Turkish government institutions has been taking place following the failed coup d’etat. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says 7,543 people have so far been detained, including 6,038 soldiers. A court also remanded 26 generals and admirals in custody on Monday.

A senior security official told Reuters that 8,000 police officers, including in the capital, Ankara, and the biggest city, Istanbul, had been removed from duty.

About 1,500 Finance Ministry officials had been suspended, a ministry official said, and CNN Turk said 30 governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants had been dismissed. Annual leave was suspended for more than 3 million civil servants, while close to 3,000 judges and prosecutors have been suspended.

Egypt blocks U.N. Security Council condemnation of Turkey violence

July 16, 2016

Egypt blocks U.N. Security Council condemnation of Turkey violence, Reuters, July 16, 2016

A Turkish flag is seen next to the dome of Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

A Turkish flag is seen next to the dome of Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

The United Nations Security Council failed on Saturday to condemn the violence and unrest in Turkey after Egypt objected to a statement that called on all parties to “respect the democratically elected government of Turkey,” diplomats said.

The U.S.-drafted statement also expressed grave concern over the situation in Turkey, urged the parties to show restraint, avoid any violence or bloodshed, and called for an urgent end to the crisis and return to rule of law.

Statements by the 15-member Security council have to be agreed by consensus.

Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egypt argued that the U.N. Security Council was not in a position to determine whether a government had been democratically elected.

Egypt’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Turkish forces loyal to President Tayyip Erdogan largely crushed an attempted military coup on Saturday after crowds answered his call to take to the streets in support of the government and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a former general who overthrew elected President Mohamed Mursi, of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013 after mass protests against Mursi. Turkey provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Turkey: Coup Has Failed, Erdogan More Powerful Than Ever

July 16, 2016

Turkey: Coup Has Failed, Erdogan More Powerful Than Ever, PJ MediaMichael Van Der Galien, July 16, 2016

(But please see also, Analyzing Turkey and the threat of lone wolf attacks. — DM)

Turkey coupTurkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul’s Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Izmir, Turkey — It’s a done deal: the military coup has failed. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Parti remain in power and vow to take revenge against those behind the coup.

Or, perhaps better said: against those they say are behind it.

Now that the coup has clearly failed, we can conclude that this must have been the most incompetent attempted takeover in Turkey’s troubled history. When part of the military launched their offensive last night (Turkish time), I immediately checked news channels supporting President Erdogan. Surprisingly, none of them was taken over. The only broadcaster who was taken over was TRT Haber, the state news channel. But NTV and other channels supporting Erdogan were left alone.

That was remarkable, but what struck me even more was the fact that these channels — especially NTV — were able to talk to the president and the prime minister. That’s strange, to put it mildly. Normally, when the military stages a coup, the civilian rulers are among the first to be arrested. After all, as long as the country’s civilian leadership are free, they can tell forces supportive of them what to do… and they can even tell the people to rise up against the coup.

And that’s exactly what happened. Both Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called into news programs and told their supporters to go out on the streets and fight back against the soldiers. A short while later, streets in the big cities (Ankara and Izmir) were flooded with Erdogan-supporters, who even climbed on top of tanks. Fast forward a few hours and it was officially announced that the coup had failed, and that Erdogan and his AK Party remained in power. About 1500 soldiers were arrested.

As I wrote on Twitter yesterday, there were three options:

  1. The coup was staged by a small group within the military, which would severely limit their ability to strike.
  2. The coup was staged by the entire military, which meant Erdogan’s chances of surviving politically were extremely small.
  3. The coup was a set-up. Think the Reichstag fire.

The main argument against option number three is that there was some very serious fighting taking place, including massive explosions. Dozens of people have been killed. If this was a fake coup, it probably was the bloodiest one ever. That’s why many people are skeptical about this option, and believe it was just an incompetent attempt at a military takeover.

The general feeling in Izmir — a city with 3 million inhabitants who are generally not pro-Erdogan at all — is that it was a real coup attempt, but that the officers behind it were incredibly amateurish. Friends on the streets and cafés are literally telling me:

It was a real attempt, but they were stupid.

Shortly after the attempted coup, Erdogan and Yildirim immediately blamed a disgraced Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania. Gulen and Erdogan were longtime allies, who shared a dream of Islamizing Turkey, but had a falling out several years ago. Ever since, Erdogan has blamed Gulen for pretty much every problem in Turkey, including a major controversy about cabinet members (including Erdogan, and his family) possibly stealing millions of dollars. In the years after, Gulen became Erdogan’s enemy number one, which is undoubtedly why he’s blamed for yesterday’s coup.

Proof that Gulen is indeed behind it hasn’t been presented, however. In fact, the Gulen group denies any involvement. You could imagine that, if they did support it, they’d call on their followers to support the takeover. They did no such thing.

The same goes for the leaders of Turkey’s official opposition parties. The secular CHP and the nationalist MHP aligned with the AKP to condemn the coup. Some in the West have expressed shock at that: if they’re opposed to Erdogan, why didn’t they support the coup? The answer is, of course, that Turkey has had two military takeovers in the recent past (1960s and 1980s): both were very bloody and absolutely horrendous, not just for the ousted governments, but also for the average Turk. People weren’t allowed to leave their homes, not even to buy food and drinks, and many innocent civilians were rounded up by the military. Once in prison, many of them either died or were severely tortured.

It’s not very strange that even the country’s opposition parties don’t wish a repeat of that. No person in his right mind would.

When the coup was still going on, one Twitter user tweeted this:

This coup attempt, whether it succeeded or failed, ensured Turkey would be more autocratic moving forward.

I’m afraid that Yousef was, and is, right. If the military would’ve succeeded, Turkey would now have been a military dictatorship. Regardless of where you stand on Erdogan, that would’ve meant major changes for the Turkish people. A lockdown would’ve been put in place, people would’ve been imprisoned in their own homes. In fact, I went out at 2 a.m. to a local market to buy as much food, milk, eggs, and so on as I could. I did this because, in past coups, people had to stay indoors for many days. Some people, who couldn’t take care of themselves, actually died from hunger, or so I’ve been told by Turks. After that first phase, the military always rounded up all those they thought were loyal to the former government. Mass imprisonments, torture and killings were everyday events.

In other words, even if you oppose Erdogan, it’s difficult if not impossible to celebrate a military coup.

Of course we now have to see what Erdogan’s government will do. More than 100 soldiers involved in the coup have been killed, military commanders were taken hostage, and Erdogan has vowed revenge. As anyone with even a bit of knowledge of history knows, the crackdowns after a failed coup can be as bad as the crackdown after a successful military takeover. Erdogan already wanted to change Turkey’s constitution and change the system into a so-called presidential system, meaning most if not all power would reside in his office. Nobody doubts that this is exactly what’ll happen now: he’ll draw all power to himself and ignite a major cleansing, possibly not only of the military and police forces, but also in politics itself.

The only possibly conclusion, then, is: no matter what, democracy will suffer a major setback in Turkey. We can only hope and pray that the consequences will be less severe than I fear.

BREAKING !-Report: Military Coup Under Way in Turkey

July 15, 2016

Report: Military Coup Under Way in Turkey

by John Hayward

15 Jul 2016

Source: Report: Military Coup Under Way in Turkey – Breitbart

Reports began emerging from Turkey of a possible military coup on Friday afternoon.

The UK Telegraph reports that while Prime Minister Binali Yildirim urged the public to remain calm, and said “it would be wrong to call it a coup,” he conceded that “part of the military” was making an “illegal attempt” to seize power.

It sounds like a spirited attempt, judging from tidbits of information flowing onto social media:

 

 

 

 

Social media services Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were reportedly blocked shortly before 11:00 PM local time.