Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
U.S. President Barack Obama has been resisting the demands of the Turkish government to extradite the person that Turkey alleges was behind the failed July 15th Turkish coup-attempt, and the Turks are now stepping up pressure against Washington by implying that Obama has been lying about Washington’s advance knowledge regarding the coup.
The Turkish government is preparing a formal extradition request to Washington regarding Fethullah Gülen, the exiled Turkish cleric in Pennsylvania, whom the Turkish government alleges was behind the July 15th coup-attempt. The Turks are demanding that when the U.S. government receives it, their extradition request will quickly be complied with.
Gülen runs a global Islamic organization, which the Turkish government alleges carried out the coup-attempt. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said, “The files pertaining to their involvement in this coup attempt have not been sent yet. They will be sent and will leave no doubt whatsoever as to their involvement in this.” So: the Turkish government has, in effect, indicated that they will tolerate no further delay in the extradition of Gülen.
Washington has said that no proof exists that Gülen had anything to do with the coup. The “files” that Turkey is preparing to send, will present Washington with the same evidence that convinces the Turkish government of Gülen’s guilt. Therefore, if Washington disagrees with that, then the longstanding U.S. alliance with Turkey, which has been a NATO member since 1952, would almost certainly end, and Turkey could even leave NATO altogether. Turkey has been an essential part of NATO. So, the stakes in this matter are large.
Considerable evidence has long been available, even in the West, that the Gülen organization is affiliated with the U.S. CIA; and, so, if the Turkish “files” include anything which indicates to Washington that the Turks can publicly “spill the beans” about such Gülen-CIA involvement, Washington will virtually be forced to comply. But complying would mean a fundamental break away from the Turkish-American relationship which has existed since Turkey joined NATO in 1952.
On Friday, July 29th, Reuters quoted Prime Minister Yildirim as responding in the following way to the U.S. government’s admission that key CIA assets in Turkey are now in Turkish prisons, and are being charged with participating in the coup-attempt:
“Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim echoed [President] Erdogan’s feisty tone: ‘This is a confession’.”
This was being said by Yildirim in response to:
“The director of U.S. national intelligence, James Clapper, said on Thursday the purges were harming the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq by sweeping away Turkish officers who had worked closely with the United States. The head of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said he believed some of the military figures whom the United States had worked with were in jail.”
The statement by Yildirim, that this constitutes “a confession” by the U.S. government, is a subtle way of warning Washington that, if Obama says no to Turkey’s extradition-request, then Turkey has, and can make public, the evidence that Washington has been lying about this entire matter.
The Reuters report noted further that, “Yildirim also said Turkey would shut down an air base near Ankara which served as a hub for the coup plotters as well as all military barracks used by them.” The Reuters report failed to state that this air base is America’s Incirlik Air Base, but later in the story did note that, “Turkey hosts U.S. troops and warplanes at Incirlik Air Base, from which the United States flies sorties against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.” The connection between that and “an air base near Ankara which served as a hub for the coup plotters as well as all military barracks used by them” wasn’t made there, but the implications of this connection for the U.S.-Turkey-Saudi-Qatari-UAE-Kuwaiti effort to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are significant: That U.S.-Saudi-led invasion of Syria will now have to end. Not only will the Western alliance’s pathway sending jihadists into Syria now be terminated, but also U.S. control of this key NATO air base, Incirlik, will end — unless the Turkish Prime Minister’s statement of Turkish government policy becomes reversed. The only person who could possibly reverse it is Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan — the top man whom the coup had especially targeted to capture and perhaps kill.
Turkey has been a vital ally of the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-Kuwaiti operation to replace the secular pro-Russian Bashar al-Assad in Syria, by a pro-jihadist Sunni anti-Russian leader who will allow pipelines to be constructed through Syria into the European Union to replace Russian oil and gas there by Saudi oil and Qatari gas. Almost all of the tens of thousands of jihadists fighting in Syria have entered Syria through Turkey. Furthermore, the vital supply-lines of U.S. and other Western weapons and medical supplies to these jihadists, have also been entering through Turkey. Consequently, if the U.S. and its Saudi, Qatari, UAE, and Kuwaiti, allies, were to lose Turkey as being an ally in this operation, then the entire Western effort to remove Assad would fail, because all polling that has been done in Syria, even by Western pollsters, shows that Assad’s public support there is well above 50%, and that no possible competitor against him in any free and fair election would come anywhere close to that percentage. (Indeed, polls show that overwhelming margins of the Syrian people loathe the jihadists — and loathe the U.S. for backing them.) For this reason, too, U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon has condemned the U.S. government’s demand that Assad be removed from power and essentially replaced before any democratic process in Syria can be established. America’s demand for a dictatorship to be imposed that’s to America’s liking, as a prerequisite for ‘democracy’ to become established there, has been repeatedly rejected by the U.N.’s Secretary General.
On 25 February 2016, RFK Jr. bannered “Syria: Another Pipeline War”, and he documented, sometimes from Kennedy family archives, that the U.S. CIA has been trying since 1949 to overthrow the secular Syrian government and replace it with a sectarian Sunni one, which would allow the West’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies to replace Soviet, subsequently Russian, oil and gas, by oil and gas which come from those fundamentalist-Sunni U.S. allies, that would cut the big Western oil companies in on the profits. The U.S. military is a vital arm of those oil companies, by supplying (at taxpayer expense) the force that enables those oil companies and their allied foreign leaders to prosper.
As I headlined on 10 November 2015, “Uprising against Assad was Engineered in Washington”, and I reported that ever since Barack Obama first entered the White House on 20 January 2009, he secretly harbored the hope that he would be able to oust Assad. This was before the ‘Arab Spring’ even started. I later headlined “Obama’s Invasion Plan of Syria Was Drawn Up by Kim Roosevelt in 1957”, but I didn’t know then that that plan, which was drawn up by the same CIA operative who had organized the replacement of democracy by dictatorship in Iran in 1953, wasn’t the first such CIA effort in Syria — that the first was actually in 1949.
So: it seems that the failure of Obama’s coup-attempt in Turkey will make impossible, for him, his aspiration to be the U.S. President who delivers Saudi oil and Qatari gas to the EU through Syria.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again,” says an old adage. Under Obama, they did try again. And, yet again, it has (apparently) failed.
Turkey is making preparations, just in case Obama says no to them.
There is set to occur on August 9th in St. Petersburg a private meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.