The Sultan and the Tsar: Will the imperial ambitions of Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan spark a new World War, asks historian MICHAEL BURLEIGH
There is no end in sight to the disaster unfolding in the vast refugee camps of Jordan and Turkey, among the 60,000 terrified civilians massing on the Syrian border and on Europe’s corpse-strewn Aegean shoreline.
Far from it. Last week, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad promised to wage war until he had regained every inch of the country. Few believe that plans for an American-backed peace deal can hold. Early indications suggest that the migrant crisis in Europe will be many times worse this year than last.
Entire towns have been laid waste during Syria’s five-year civil war. Up to half a million people on all sides have been killed. Millions are either internally displaced, or worse, languishing in desperate foreign holding centres.
Syria is now the battleground for a proxy war between two regional powers, Russia or Turkey, or more particularly between their ego-fuelled presidents: Recep Erdogan (R) and Vladimir Putin (L)
But all this cannot be blamed only on the murderous advance of Islamic State, Assad’s brutality, or the rebels who wish to depose him. Syria is now the battleground for a proxy war between two regional powers, Russia and Turkey, or more particularly between their ego-fuelled presidents: Recep Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Or, if you like, between the Sultan and the Tsar.
These two men, driven by their own imperial ambitions, have no intention of seeking peace in Syria, except on their own terms. It is already an international conflict sucking in fighters from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Chechnya and Pakistan, plus Shia from Iraq and Lebanon, and now it threatens to drag in Nato. It is no exaggeration to say the conflict has the potential to become a Third World War.
So it is that the refugees have become a weapon in their own right – a crisis the combatants are relentlessly fuelling in the hope of coercing Western governments into supporting one side or the other.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3446089/The-Sultan-Tsar-imperial-ambitions-Russia-s-Putin-Turkey-s-Erdogan-spark-new-World-War-asks-historian-MICHAEL-BURLEIGH.html#ixzz408Cm57gS
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For its part, Turkey feels it is fighting a battle of survival. It wants to prevent the Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq from joining with its own Kurdish population to create their own state – which would mean the dismemberment of Turkey.
But Erdogan is also keen to see the removal of Assad, with whom Turkey has major complaints about water resources. So Turkey has allowed foreign jihadis (including from Britain) to cross into Syria to fight with the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and IS.
Erdogan has 10,000 troops trying to suppress a Kurdish insurgency led by the Marxist PKK (supported by Assad) in eastern Turkey, which is next to the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The Turks also want to protect 100,000 ethnic Turkmen in Syria who are also opposed to Assad.
The refugees have become a weapon in their own right – a crisis the combatants are relentlessly fuelling in the hope of coercing Western governments into supporting one side or the other
It is no mere coincidence that Erdogan is a pious Sunni Muslim, while Assad belongs to the Shia Alawite sect.
Russia meanwhile is determined to protect its influence in the region, including access to the Mediterranean naval base of Tartus. So, along with Iran, Putin is directing Assad’s war with airstrikes, which have mainly targeted the so-called ‘moderate’ rebels backed by the West.
The conflict is already dangerously international. The wily Major General Qassem Suleimani, leading Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, has thousands of Hizbollah fighters from Lebanon under his control; as many as 20,000 Afghan Hazara refugees, paid $750 a month, with the promise of naturalization in Iran; Pakistani Shia volunteers; and last but not least Iraqi Shia militias.
As for the Russians, they’ve recruited 400 Cubans to man their latest tanks, including the T-90, which has explosive plates on the hull that detonate incoming anti-tank missiles.
The Syrian war has become like the Spanish civil war of 1936-39 by pulling in committed fighters from abroad. Foreign jihadis are a kind of international brigade for IS and Nusra, while the large numbers of indigenous Islamist rebels are funded from the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia’s brash new defence minister, deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, last week airily promised to send troops to fight IS, though Hizbollah would make mincemeat of them. The Saudis might try to reverse Assad’s advances by giving the rebels more and better weapons, but ManPad shoulder-launched missiles might then down Russian planes.
Erdogan is keen to see the removal of Assad while Russia is determined to protect its influence in the region
And the weaponry is frightening. On Putin’s 63rd birthday, 26 Russian cruise missiles flew nearly a thousand miles from corvettes in the Caspian Sea over Iran to hit Syrian targets. Russia has deployed its latest anti-aircraft missile systems (the S-400) and trialed its latest Su 35 ‘Flanker’ combat fighters as well as older Bear and Blackjack strategic bombers.
All of these planes use ‘dumb’ bombs, including cluster munitions, causing many civilian casualties. The conflict works as a sort of live arms fair for Russia while also dividing the West’s allies.
Most leaders in the region are rushing to pay court in Moscow: Iran’s Rouhani; the Saudis; Israel’s Netanyahu; Egypt’s el-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan included.
They need arms or nuclear energy deals with Russia, or just to ensure the Russian or Syrian airforce does not encroach on their airspace, or allow terrorists to do so. Nato’s one member in the region, Turkey, is being diplomatically isolated, largely through Erdogan’s fault.
Which brings us back to the refugees. Turkey’s president is cynically extorting ‘Turkgeld’ (like the Danegeld the Anglo-Saxons had to pay Vikings) from the EU, in return for stemming the tide of migrants.
Turkey’s president is cynically extorting ‘Turkgeld’ (like the Danegeld the Anglo-Saxons had to pay Vikings) from the EU, in return for stemming the tide of migrants
After the EU offered three billion euros, the Turks said this was just an opening instalment, and by the way, they wanted visa-free travel for all 78 million Turks as well. Prolonging the disruption in Syria, and the refugee crisis, also suits Putin as he calculates that Europe, desperate for peace, could be made to soften its sanctions.
Not that continuing stalemate is the main threat here – the proxy war in Syria is bringing the real risk of escalating into a disastrous, and open, conflagration. Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev warned of this in an interview on Friday, insouciantly forgetting that Russian forces have also been involved since September
We have already had Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter. The potential for a disastrous increase in hostilities between Sultan Erdogan and Tsar Putin are obvious.
Whether we like it or not Europe lies next to a war that is escalating by the day.
And the growing number of overladen boats crossing the Mediterranean and the Aegean – or sinking with terrible results – will make that all too clear.
WW III: 18 Days Away-Russia Prime Minister Warns US and Arab Countries: Invading Syria “Will Start a NEW WORLD WAR
Russia has publicly warned Saudi Arabia, the US, and other countries, they risk “a new world war” if they act on plans to send troops into Syria. WW3: 18 days away.
I am not certain if you are familiar with me, I am Hal Turner, a talk-radio host on WBCQ International Shortwave (7.490 MHz) and 95.1 FM in New York City, “SuperStation95.” I do not own this web site nor do I author any of the news or articles which appear here. This is my very first contribution to this web site’s content and I am taking this unusual step because something terrible is taking place: All of us are now in grave danger and it is imperative that you be told before it is too late.
National Security Intelligence Asset; FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force
First, some quick background on me: As some of you may already know, from 1993 through 2008, I worked for the FBI. From 2003 through 2008, I was a National Security Intelligence Asset with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). I left the FBI in 2008 and a year later, was horribly betrayed by the Obama Administration who had me arrested for saying in public (in 2009), the exact same words the government paid me to say several years earlier in 2005! I am the only living American media personality ever imprisoned by the federal government for writing an Editorial they didn’t like!
After putting me on trial THREE times, driving me into Bankruptcy and replacing my lawyers with a public defender, they won at trial #3 and imprisoned me for 33 months in federal prison. I was released in 2012, was barred by court order from being on the radio for three years, and was then able to resume my radio show on October 7, 2015.
When I was put on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court, the third highest ranking official from the FBI in New York City, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Amy Pickett, testified in court that my role was “National Security Intelligence, Terrorism and Foreign Counter-Intelligence.” I tell you all of this to make it very clear When I tell you what I am about to tell you, please know it is 100% accurate fact.
We are 18 days away from World War 3
I am not certain if you had a chance to tune-in to my radio show last night. I spent the better part of an hour talking about the fast-developing situation in the Middle East regarding Syria. The short-and-sweet of it is that we are now in very grave danger. When I say “we” I mean me, you, our families, friends . . .country . . . . all of us. This is not an exaggeration.
I have been in regular contact with my former colleagues from the FBI and other government agencies and they concur with my analysis! We are very rapidly approaching a conflict the likes of which the world has not seen since the 1940’s and this one is highly likely to go nuclear very early. Tactical (Battlefield) nukes absolutely, positively, WILL be used. There is no avoiding it. I will explain why, below.
Here are the terrifying facts you need to know
Syria, in the Middle East, is suffering from a Civil War which has been going on for several years. Rebels have been trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Rebels are backed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan and other Sunni Muslim countries. Those Sunni Muslim countries do not like that Syria’s President, Bashar Assad, is an Alawite Muslim, with beliefs closer to Shia Islam – the Iranian version of that “religion.” Shias and Sunnis are ideological enemies on a horrific scale.
It is in the interest of the Sunni nations to have Assad overthrown, so they can enjoy hegemony over Syria and bring it into the Sunni sphere of influence as opposed to Syria getting closer to Iran and their Shia version of Islam.
The US also backed the rebels because, for whatever reason, we wanted Syria destabilized, as we did with Iraq, Libya and pretty much every other nation we’ve screwed-up for the past decade! In short, we in the U.S. and our allies, are backing rebels who are trying to overthrow the Syrian government. We’re backing “the bad guys.”
Syria has always been a military ally of Russia. Russia has a deep water port in Syria which is important to the Russian Navy. When it became clear to Russia that Syria was going to fall to the Rebels, Russia announced they were coming to the aid of their ally, at the request of Syria and with its permission.
The Rebels, Terrorists and their Accomplices
These “rebels” are a murky bunch. Some call themselves the “Free Syrian Army” while others are part of the Al-Nusra Front. But the rebels are also cozy with folks in Al Qaida and ISIS; outright terrorists.
ISIS takes over entire regions of countries, steals the resources and uses the cash from the stolen resources to fund its worldwide terror attacks. In Syria, ISIS controls the second largest city, Aleppo and another, smaller city Raqqa. In Iraq, ISIS controls Mosul. These are oil-rich areas of the two countries, and ISIS has been stealing the oil.
What the rest of the world didn’t know until recently, was that Turkey has been covertly working with ISIS. Turkey has been allowing literally thousands of oil tanker trucks from Iraq and Syria to carry stolen oil into Turkey, EVERY DAY, where it is slightly refined, re-packaged to look legitimate, then sold “on-the-cheap” so no one asks any questions. This oil theft operation has netted ISIS $100 Million per month! ! ! !
Russia Enters To Assist Their Ally
When Russia entered the Syrian fight, they had two targets:
1) Rebels who were trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, AND;
Russia has excellent intelligence-gathering systems, has very good spy satellites, and very good sig-int (Signals Intelligence) which spies on electronic communications. Through these systems, Russia came to know where ISIS was operating and how. Russia began attacking them with air strikes. This severely affected the flow of stolen oil. With less stolen oil flowing, less money was coming in, and everyone who was “in” on the stolen oil money, started losing profits. The highest levels of the Turkish government, including its President and his sons, are “in” on the oil smuggling.
With Russia putting a damper on the stolen oil, and cutting into profits, Turkey decided to send Russia a message to knock it off: They shot down a Russian Bomber.
You may recall at the time that Russian President Putin described this as “A stab in the back of Russia by accomplices to terrorism.” No one understood what“ACCOMPLICES TO TERRORISM” meant, until Russia’s intelligence people revealed publicly, surveillance videos of the convoys of oil trucks carrying stolen oil into Turkey. Then, everything became quite clear.
In the ensuing months, Russia has made incredibly good progress against both the Rebels and the Terrorists. They really are doing a lot of good.
But this is interfering with Saudi Arabia’s grand plans, Turkey’s stolen-oil-money-profits and the intent of other Sunni Muslim countries to control Syria. It is also riling the US who wants Assad out.
As Rebels Lose, Saudis Begin Talk of Invasion
Last week, Syrian forces, with Russian and Iranian help, began encircling the City of Aleppo, Syria. When Saudi Arabia and its pals saw that Aleppo was being circled – and would fall – they knew that their entire effort to overthrow Assad would fall too. Aleppo is a key Rebel/Terrorist stronghold and if it goes, the fight is done for the Rebels.
So last weekend, Saudi Arabia publicly floated the idea of sending 150,000 ground troops into Syria “to fight ISIS.” Well, everyone who knows what’s really going on now, understands the Saudi’s are full of shit. They don’t want to “fight ISIS” they want to help the rebels overthrow Assad! Turkey wants to protect ISIS so they can keep grabbing boatloads of cash from the stolen oil.
Nobody who mattered took the Saudi offer seriously because everyone knows what’s really going on. This did not sit well with the Saudis or the US. So U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter publicly described the Saudi offer of 150,000 ground troops as “a good idea” which he would “discuss with our other allies.”
The Public WARNINGS Begin
Syria and Russia both read between the lines and saw the writing on the wall: If foreign ground troops come in, it will not be to fight ISIS, it will be to support the rebels and overthrow Assad. So Syria’s Foreign Minister went public and said, No one should think they can challenge Syria’s territorial sovereignty and anyone who tries will be sent home in a wooden coffin.” Then a member of the Russian State Duma (Parliament) publicly stated that “If any foreign troops enter Syria without permission from the Syrian government, Russia will consider that a declaration of war.”
The world took a “pregnant pause.” These are heavy duty words from Russia which is – like it or not – a super power.
Wednesday, I got word from my colleagues in the Intelligence Community that Saudi Arabia and 25 of its “allies” had begun massing troops in northern Saudi Arabia. This time, it wasn’t the 150,000 that were mentioned earlier. This time it is 350,000 ground troops.
Then the shit hit the fan when it was confirmed that the Saudis and their allies are already transporting TWENTY THOUSAND TANKS. (20,000). Worse, 2,450 warplanes are enroute to northern Saudi Arabia and the Saudis have declared the airspace in the northern section of the country to be “closed.” Lastly, in addition to the 2,450 warplanes, four-hundred-sixty (460) military helicopters are enroute as well.
Saudi Arabia had the balls to claim this was all part of an “exercise.” Bullshit. There has never, in the history of human existence, been an “exercise” with 350,000 troops, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters. There is just no way to have an exercise of that magnitude, it is too damn large. What’s really taking place is the massing of an invasion force. Saudi Arabia also said the exercise would take 18 days. That would put it as ending February 28.
When this info came out, Russia repeated its warning that any foreign troops entering Syria without permission would be a declaration of war.
This time, there was no “pregnant pause.” This time, the Saudis had one of their Brig. Generals come out on TV and state “The decision to send ground troops into Syria is final.” That statement came out earlier today.
Late this afternoon, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced he was “asking NATO allies to join a US coalition to send ground troops into Syria.” This is directly threatening the Russians that they will be facing NATO!
The Russian response was swift: This evening Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that “the demands of some Arab countries to send ground forces into Syria risks starting a new world war.” Mr. Medvedev said sending troops to Syria risks drawing “everyone taking part in it into a war” and drastically escalating the conflict. “All ground operations, as a rule, lead to permanent wars,” he said. “The Americans must consider – both the U.S. president and our Arab partners – whether or not they want a permanent war.” Russia again repeated its warning that any foreign ground troops entering Syria without permission would be a declaration of war.
Late this evening, The Irish Times broke news that the intent of Saudi Arabia sending ground forces is “to counter Russia.” Whoa! When did the mission change from fighting ISIS to “countering Russia?” Who decided that?
We are now watching World War Three being put into operation
Oh, My Dear Holy God! I cannot believe I am watching this take place. We are literally watching World War Three be put into motion and the clock is ticking: 18 days max.
Here’s the worst part: When NATO was first created to protect Europe from what was the big, bad Soviet Union, the Soviets enjoyed huge advantages in all military force. Russia could field 100 Divisions; NATO could only field 12. Russia could field 18,000 tanks. NATO could only field about 5,000. So NATO adopted the “flexible response strategy.”
The ONLY possible way to delay or halt the advance of 100 Army Divisions with 18,000 tanks is to use Tactical (Battlefield) nuclear weapons as a “force multiplier.” NATO thus no longer needed to match the size and strength of Russia, because a doctrine had been adopted to equal the balance of power by using Tactical nukes. The Deterrent threat of that possibility worked! It kept the peace.
Fast-Forward to today. To this very moment, the ONLY way to stop 350,000 ground troops with 20,000 tanks coming at you is to use tactical nukes. There simply is no other choice.
Russia has adopted a first strike doctrine. If Russia, or its territory or its interests are faced with being over-run, they will use tactical nukes to deal with that problem.
So here we have it: Russia now faces being over-run in Syria starting 18 days from now. The ONLY possible way they can stop 350,000 ground troops backed by 20,000 tanks, is to use tactical nukes. Their formal policy is to do exactly that. Hence, tactical (Battlefield) nuclear weapons will be used. There’s no way to avoid it because it is the only possible defense against 350,000 ground troops and 20,000 tanks coming across the border.
As the artillery-fired nuclear shells start detonating, they will spread radiation into Jordan or Iraq – whichever nation is the entry point for the mass of troops. Wind will carry that radiation deep into those countries.
Perhaps very small (5kt) devices will be launched by (undetectable) cruise missiles directly into Saudi Arabia because that’s where the mass of troops is coming from? Again, the wind will carry the fallout elsewhere inside that nation too.
American Mass Media Keeping All of This Quiet
The American media is totally silent about all this. This is by design; they want you to be taken totally by surprise when war breaks out, so you’ll be too scared to think, and instead, will just do what the politicians tell you.
When this war breaks out — 18 days from now — and the Russians do what they mustto protect Syria from being over-run, the ONLY thing the American public will be told is “Russia attacked Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia is our ally and we are going to help them.”
Americans, completely ignorant of who is _really_ the bad guy here (the Sunnis and the US), will hear that “Russia attacked our allies with nukes” they’ll gasp and say to themselves “those bastards” and off to war they’ll go; a war that will have already gone nuclear. WW3 . . . 18 days from now.
Bear in mind there have always been questions about President Obama’s religious leanings. He has claimed he is a Christian. But in verbal slips from time to time, he has talked of his “Muslim faith.” If Obama is, in fact, a Muslim, then it is proper to ask if he leans Sunni or Shia. The facts seem to show the answer: Look at the sweetheart nuclear deal he gave to (Shia) Iran!
Would Obama use a deception like this to lead the Sunnis to destruction? Maybe. Would Obama risk causing a nuclear exchange with Russia, destroying parts of his own country? Well, if he _is_ a Shia, one need only remember that (Shia) Iran refers to the US as “the Great Satan.” so this could be a way for Obama to achieve two enormous goals: lead the Sunnis to THEIR destruction at the hands of Russia, then cause the “great satan” severe destruction too.
If Obama is a Shia muslim, it would be “mission accomplished” for him!
My Fellow Americans, we must act now to stop this
Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow citizens, we cannot sit back and allow this to take place. We cannot allow people to start a world war over religious beliefs and an egotistical desire to control other countries. We cannot send our sons to war for this nonsense! I have a son of Draft age. I speak now, as his father, to protect him from this insanity.
Please spread the word. Send links to this article to everyone you know. Please tell your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers to read this story so they know what’s actually taking place and how much danger we are all facing. There does not have to be a war. A nuclear war.
Unless we stand-up, right now, and tell our elected public SERVANTS that we absolutely forbid them from sending ground troops into Syria, they will lead us to utter destruction . . . and they have a very good motive for doing it:
The government in the US, and those in Europe, need a DIVERSION to shift the public’s attention away from the coming economic collapse.
Right now, banks throughout Europe are on the edge of collapse from their bad loans, speculation and corruption. In Germany, for instance, Deutsch Bank has seen more than fifty percent (50%) of its stock value get wiped out, with 40% of that fall since January 1. People are pulling money out in droves. The banks are becoming unstable.
If (or when) Deutsch Bank collapses, they are exposed to “Derivatives” worth $50 TRILLION. When the bank fails, the $50 TRILLION hits the rest of the banks and they collapse too.
In the USA, the “too big to fail” banks are now also heading into collapse because instead of changing when they needed bailouts in 2008, they kept right on doing what they were doing! Now they are all bigger and in worse debt!
The governments do not have the credit or the cash to bail out the banks again, so when the banks go under — and they will — the governments need to divert people’s attention from the fact that their life savings and retirement moneys have been wiped out; . . . . . . a “limited nuclear war” is just what they need to shift people’s attention away from losing their life savings!
IT MAY ALREADY BE TOO LATE
We may not be able to stop what’s coming, but we have to at least TRY. There does not have to be a war.
There is no reason or legitimate interest, in overthrowing the government of Syria and we are backing the bad guys if we continue trying to do that.
If we allow Saudi Arabia and their Muslim buddies to go into Syria, it absolutely, positively will result in immediate war with Russia, and the Saudis are massing so much firepower and armor that the only way Russia can defend Syria is to use tactical nukes.
Once that happens, the US will get sucked-in and our children will be sent to fight and die . . . . all as a diversion from the economic collapse caused by greedy bankers and inept politicians.
Please post links to this article via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Craig’s List and whatever bulletin boards or forums you frequent. We HAVE to get the word out about what is taking place so our fellow citizens are not blind-sided by a war that does not have to take place.
Call your U.S. Congressmen, call your U.S. Senators, tell them that as a citizen and voter, YOU FORBID THEM from sending our ground troops into Syria. It is none of our business and you FORBID THEM from doing it. And make sure they understand that if they disobey you, and allow this to take place, nothing they ever do in office again will get you to vote for them. Make it personal to each of them. Make it clear from this, they cannot politically survive. Make clear this is a career-ender by election defeat if they disobey.
Time is of the essence. There are only a maximum of 18 days left before it all goes to hell, and it may happen sooner than that.
Hey, wake up everybody.
I think our culture and values are worth fighting for, do you?
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