Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!
Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’
Welcome to the return of this week in jihad! (And by “this week” I mean “since the last time I did a roundup.”)
Hillary Clinton corruption! The 2016 Presidential race! Two not-so-great tastes that taste absolutely rancid together!
Let’s tuck in, shall we?
A joint fundraising committee called the Hillary Victory Fund, ostensibly designed to funnel money from rich donors to local party committees, had in fact been used as a cut-out to funnel money back to the national party and the Clinton campaign.
As an example, take couples who paid or raised $353,400 to sit at a table with George Clooney, a sum that Clooney himself called an “obscene amount of money.” The figure represented the maximum allowable donation given the structure of the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint venture between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and 32 state committees.
Donors can give a maximum of $5,400 per election cycle to Hillary’s campaign, $33,400 per year to the DNC, and $10,000 per year to each of the 32 state committees in the fund.
If you assumed that the Clooney guests had already given their maximum $5,400 to the Clinton campaign, that left just over $353,000 for the DNC and the committees.
But Vogel and Arnsdorf found that less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by the Hillary Victory Fund went to the state committees.
Actually it’s better to say that only 1 percent of the money “remained” with the committees. In talking to state sources, the Politico reporters found that large sums of money would sometimes appear briefly in state committee coffers, and disappear just as quickly, and then just as quickly be deposited into DNC accounts.
The money sometimes came and went before state officials even knew it was there. Politico noted that the Victory Fund treasurer, Beth Jones, is also the COO of the Clinton campaign.
“Turkey will temporarily suspend the European Convention on Human Rights after announcing a state of emergency following the attempted coup.”
After all, you can’t very well let pesky documents stand in the way of your liquidating your political enemies.
The Turkish Parliament also passed an
Enabling Act national state of emergency giving scumbag Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers in the wake of the Reichstag fire failed coup.
But I don’t think it’s going to be five years between the Enabling Act and Kristallnacht in Turkey. I suspect the death squads are probably rounding up Erdogan’s enemies right now…
He fired all university deans and suspended 21,000 private school teachers in yet another reaction to an ever-more-suspicious coup.
And he was just getting warmed up:
A total of 50,000 civil service employees have been fired in the purges, which have reached Turkey’s national intelligence service and the prime minister’s office.
The government has also revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists because of alleged ties to Gulen’s movement, Turkish media reported.
Authorities have rounded up about 9,000 people — including 115 generals, 350 officers, 4,800 other military personnel and 60 military high school students — for alleged involvement in the coup attempt. Turkey’s defense ministry has also sacked at least 262 military court judges and prosecutors, according to Turkish media reports.
Claire Berlinski says that things in Turkey are getting bad:
It’s hard to overstate how sinister this turn of events is for Turkey. Mass trials are already underway. Defendants have been escorted by men brandishing weapons. They are not soldiers, nor are they wearing police uniforms. While Islamists weren’t the only faction of Turkish society opposed to the coup, the coup has unleashed all of Turkey’s Islamist psychopaths, sociopaths, criminals, and thugs; they have been verbally authorized to walk the streets and defend the nation against coup plots. The government has suggested it should be easier for people to acquire guns so they can defend the nation against coups. (It was not difficult to begin with.) Just as nationalists and police from Erdoğan’s ruling AKP party were recently unleashed against the Kurdish population in the southeast, they have now been emboldened to pursue any and all dissenters in Turkey.
So far, Turkey’s 15 million Alevis, the country’s largest minority, have been a target of the surge in Sunni Muslim excitement. AKP mobs have reportedly entered Alevi districts and suburbs chanting “Allahu ekbir,” and, “The AKP has come—where are the Alevis?” A memorial to the largely left-wing and Kurdish victims of ISIS’s October 10 bombing in Ankara has been attacked, as have Syrian shops and the offices of the Kurdish-focused HDP. Until now, many Turks have tacitly assumed the military to be the guarantor of last resort against the prospect of spiraling violence, but the military is now too discredited to play that role. Turks are frightened, and with good reason.
Berlinski also voices an ideas I’ve heard kicking about: That the coup might have been so badly bungled because coup plotters were forced to launch it early:
According to Ahmet Sık, a journalist who was arrested after writing a book that charged the Gülenists with extensive infiltration of the Turkish state, the weekend coup was indeed headed by Gülenist officers who had been planning to stage it before a promotions meeting in August, when they were due to be dismissed. Their plans were discovered, he writes, and they knew they were to be arrested at 4am on Saturday morning. He believes the officers, aware they had been rumbled, decided to attempt the coup early on Friday night. This would explain why the coup was so poorly planned. Consistent with this, Erdoğan has acknowledged he knew of “military activity” at least seven-to-ten hours before the coup.
This is not incompatible with my theory that Erdogan had advanced knowledge of the coup and let it happen to consolidate his own power.
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds says that what Erdogan is really doing is “eradicating the last remnants of the secular Turkish state, as he proceeds to turn Turkey into, instead, an Islamic State. As he builds an enormous palace, consolidates power, and elevates Islamists over secular types, it almost looks as if he’s trying to restore the Ottoman Empire with himself in the role of Sultan. In fact, Erdogan has made that comparison himself.”
It looks like, thanks to the coup, He’s already a good way there.
If my own alternate conspiracy theory about the coup doesn’t convince you that Recep Tayyip Erdogan had at least some foreknowledge of the failed Turkish military coup, then the speed with which he’s purged vast number of political enemies may.
Overnight Turkish president Erdogan’s counter-coup witch hunt continued, when thousands of police officers were suspended on Monday, widening a systemic purge of Erdogan’s enemies first in the armed forces and then judiciary after a failed military coup, now focusing on the interior police force, and raising concern among European allies that it was abandoning the rule of law. Turkey’s state-run news agency says the nation has detained or suspended 20,000 personnel across the country, following Friday’s foiled coup attempt.
Anadolu Agency says a total of 8,777 employees attached to the ministry were dismissed, including 30 governors, 52 civil service inspectors and 16 legal advisers
Thirty regional governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants have also been dismissed, CNN Turk said. Thousands of members of the armed forces, from foot soldiers to commanders, were rounded up on Sunday, some shown in photographs stripped to their underpants and handcuffed on the floors of police buses and a sports hall. Several thousand prosecutors and judges have also been removed.
Bloomberg summarizes as follows: more than than 7,500, including more than 6,000 soldiers from various ranks detained by police, Turkish PM Binali Yildirim says in televised remarks. Those detained include 755 judges and prosecutors, 650 civilians and 100 police officers. Separately, about 9,000 from the Interior Ministry, 3,00 judges and prosecutors and 1,500 staff members of Finance Ministry have been removed from duty.
In total, approximately 20,000 political opponents “purged” just days after the conclusion of the failed coup.
At the same time speculation that the terribly planned “coup” was anything but came from the European Commission itself. As Reuters adds, the swift rounding up of judges and others after a failed coup in Turkey indicated the government had prepared a list beforehand, according to EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s membership bid, Johannes Hahn, said on Monday.
“It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage,” Hahn said. “I’m very concerned. It is exactly what we feared.”
Turkey may restore the death penalty so
Erdogan can liquidate his political enemies the state can execute the coup plotters. The EU, in turn, says that restoration of the death penalty would mean kissing Turkey’s already slim chances at EU membership goodbye. I wonder how much, at this point, Erdogan actually wants EU membership, which might interfere with his plans to fully Islamacize Turkey. Indeed, Erdogan’s Islamist AKP party floated, then withdrew a new Islamist constitution.
Then again, maybe it’s all about the Mustafas:
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.
Edward Luttwak is another observer who feels (like myself) that the “Gulenist” plot angle is just a red herring:
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.)
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)