Our Enemies – Double Standards, Lies, and Deceptions
False propaganda exuding from our enemies, foreign and domestic, asks us to reject Truth and accept their double standards, lies, and deceptions. To the contrary, justice for all demands that truth be the indelible standard. Truth is defined by immutable Law, and is inaccessible to human desire and invention. The Framers and Founders, studying history in secret to five hundred years before Christ and relying on science as they understood it at the time, made Truth the foundation of our “supreme” order of law to which all judges and public officials, Federal and state, are bound.
By attacking the original intention of the Constitution, our domestic enemies threaten to destroy all that made America great. Whether threatening our homeland security by their bankrupt immigration agenda; subverting the fundamental judicial principle of innocence until proven guilty; calling to identity politics vilifying the righteous who have moved from past mistakes; instituting an unconstitutional unjust administrative state compromising our public health, crippling our industry and free enterprise; taxing us with uncontrolled debt; making the impossible control of global warming a mantra of their false religions; and the list seems endless; America is under attack as never before.
Liberal / progressive politics that move beyond reason have crippled a partisan divided Congress, so that needed oversight and legislation is abandoned. Congress is failing in ways unprecedented. Aided by a media that promulgates and advocates their double standards, lies, and deceptions; the enemies in our midst elect politicians who accept their bribery.
To make the point, the following video looks at but one of the many double standards contaminating the political circus.
With errors and failures not isolated to one party, the recent abandonment of our Kurdish allies highlights how lies and deceptions from whatever source(s) compromise and threaten freedom and justice for all. The following article displays with undeniable clarity that only truth is the ally of freedom and justice for all.
Turkey says it is acting to defend itself from terror. But what Turkish officials tell their American counterparts is one thing; what they tell regional extremists is another.
October 23, 2019
On October 22, U.S. Special Envoy Jim Jeffrey testified in Congress to discuss the Trump administration’s decision to abandon support for Syrian Kurds. While both Democrats and Republicans criticized Jeffrey’s policy and its disastrous results for the Kurds, nothing Jeffrey said should surprise. After all, when he spoke to reporters last December after a U.S.-Turkey Working Group Jeffrey reportedly said that U.S. cooperation with the Kurds was tactical and temporary, but that it was bilateral ties with Turkey that mattered. “We want to have cooperation with Turkey across the board on all Syrian issues.” This is a logic that Trump supporters in the foreign policy community embraced. Bush administration alum Michael Doran explained at a Hudson Institute panel, “We borrowed a Russian and Iranian proxy, and it was strategically stupid,” Doran added. “Everyone knows we’re leaving sooner or later. Turkey is going to be there forever, and the Turks know this as well. So we have to work through them, largely on their terms.”
There is a fundamental problem with this argument, however. Turkey may once have been an important ally and partner, but if Jeffrey, Doran, and supporters of Trump’s strategy believe Turkey is an ally, then the word simply has no meaning at all.
Turkey says it is acting to defend itself from terror. But what Turkish officials tell their American counterparts is one thing; what they tell regional extremists is another. As Turkish forces poured across the border, Erdoğan tweeted in Arabic, “I kiss the foreheads of all the hero members of the Muhammadian army” entering Syria, not a statement typical NATO leaders say. He was not alone. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu then told CNN Türk that Turkey would “make a deal with ISIS.” This may not be bluster. The only reason why the United States began its alliance with Syrian Kurds in the first place was because of overwhelming evidence that Turkey was passively if not actively support the Islamic State (ISIS). A Wikileaks dump of personal emails from Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law and, at the time, Energy Minister, showed efforts to profit off of ISIS oil. At the battle for Kobane, Turkey allowed ISIS fighters to attempt to outflank Kurdish defenders and to attack from the Turkish side of the border. Captured passports and identity cards from ISIS fighters show most openly traversed Turkey’s territory. ISIS even maintained a de facto ambassador in Turkey to liaise with Turkey’s intelligence services. Turkey has incorporated Islamic State veterans into its proxy Free Syrian Army.
Turkey’s past actions in Syria raise serious concerns about its commitment to its neighbor’s territorial integrity. On January 20, 2018, Turkish forces entered Syria’s northwestern Afrin district, supposedly to combat terrorism. They forced tens of thousands of Kurds and Christians to flee. Those who remained had to exchange their Syrian identity cards for Turkish-issued ones. Kurds say women who remain cannot get an ID unless they wear conservative head coverings. Maps shown on Turkish television show northern Syria (and parts of Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, and Armenia) incorporated into Turkey. Again, this is not just bluster. In the northern Syrian town of Jarabulus, Turkey opened a civilian post office sporting a Turkish flag.
The most tragic element in Turkey’s operation has been, despite Trump’s assurances, the impact on religious freedom and the local civilian population. Among Turkey’s first targets was Bisheriya, the largest Christian neighborhood in Qamishli city, setting houses alight and killing several civilians, even though there were no apparent Kurdish military positions in the area. Turkey also assaulted Amudeh, one of the few towns left in Syria with a Jewish population. This was no surprise: Since the Turkish assault began, more than 100,000 fled their homes. Many experts believe that figure will skyrocket.
No one should be surprised by Turkey’s actions in northern Syria. Its casus belli—to fight terrorism—was contrived. For all Turkish authorities speak about Kurdish terrorist groups in northern Syria, they and their supporters have been unable to show any recent attacks planned or executed from the towns and villages they now bombard.
Nor should Turkish behavior surprise since it has all been seen before. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, ostensibly to protect the island’s Turkish minority from a Greek junta seeking to annex Cyprus. Greeks overthrew that junta within weeks of Turkey’s invasion and yet, 45 years later, Turkey continues not only to occupy the northern third of the country, but now seeks to extract gas from its territorial water. When U.S. and European diplomats previously raised objections to Turkey’s behavior off Cyprus, Egemen Bağış—a top Erdoğan advisor—threatened to use the Turkish navy against American gas exploration ships operating under Cypriot contract. “This is what we have the navy for. We have trained our marines for this; we have equipped the navy for this. All options are on the table; anything can be done,” he said. As Turkey grows more aggressive, Cyprus has become perhaps the most dangerous flashpoint in Europe. As for Bağış, Erdoğan just rewarded him with an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic.
Nor should Turkey’s willingness to side with violent extremists over secularists and democrats be a surprise. As an Al Qaeda affiliate overran Mali in 2013 precipitating French intervention, Ahmet Kavaş, a theology professor whom Erdoğans appointed to be Turkey’s ambassador to Chad, tweeted that Al Qaeda was not actually a terrorist group. Erdoğan helped a man at the time designated by the UN as an Al Qaeda financer—a man with whom his son did business—evade Western sanctions.
Indeed, when it comes to terrorism, Erdoğan is at constant odds with Western countries. In 2006, it was Erdoğan who welcomed not only Hamas but also one of its most militant leaders to the Turkish parliament at a time when the United States and European Union demanded Hamas first foreswear terrorism before it could gain international diplomatic legitimacy. Erdoğan followed that meeting up by visiting Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Syria. Two months before Boko Haram horrified the world by abducting 300 Nigerian school girls, leaked tapes exposed a conversation between Mustafa Varank, an advisor to Erdoğan, and Mehmet Karataş, the private secretary of the CEO of Turkish Airlines, in which the airline official allegedly said that he did not feel comfortable shipping weapons to Nigeria since it was unclear whether those weapons “are to kill Muslims or Christians.” Then, of course, there was Erdoğan’s reaction to Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir whose indictment on genocide charges for his actions in Darfur Erdoğan dismissed. “No Muslim could perpetrate a genocide,” Erdoğan declared.
Then there are Erdoğan’s efforts to help Iran to bypass international sanctions, Erdoğan’s diplomatic and military turn toward Russia, and Turkey’s threats to hold international organization (and therefore NATO) decision-making hostage over its 2010 flotilla spat with Israel. That Erdoğan action highlighted the danger poses to NATO. As a consensus-driven organization, Turkey can be Russia’s Trojan Horse—stymying any decision-making to paralyze the organization. And while Turkey critics argue that, in such a case, NATO can simply expel it, they are wrong: There is no formal mechanism within NATO to expel members.
Trump defends his greenlighting of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria by attesting to the importance of Turkey as an ally. It is time he join the increasingly rare bipartisan consensus in Congress to ask whether if Turkey is an ally, then how would its actions be different if it were an adversary?
Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). You can follow him on Twitter: @mrubin1971.
Ukraine is playing footsie with China even as Adam Schiff and William Taylor depict it as a staunch American ally.
There was something more than a little troubling about the initial day of the first public impeachment hearing since the 1990s. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) is filling the same role he performed under the previous Mueller investigation: convict at all costs. Already the third word out of the chairman’s mouth during his opening statement was none other than—what else?—Russia.”
With Schiff as impresario, a sickly miasma of unreality thus quickly enveloped the hearing. It came to resemble a morality play more than an impartial examination of President Donald Trump and Ukraine. On the one side was the virtuous Ukraine, an ally of America that had been wantonly abandoned by President Trump. On other side was a malignant Russia out to extirpate freedom not only in Europe, but potentially the rest of the free world. Or so at least both Schiff’s and William B. Taylor’s opening statements would appear to suggest. Schiff declared that in invading Crimea, Russia was trying to “fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire.” Was it? Or was it reacting to the sudden toppling of the Yanukovych regime in Kiev in February 2014 and trying to show that it would not take it lying down?
Then there was Taylor. According to Taylor, “the security assistance we provide is crucial to Ukraine’s defense and to the protection of the soldiers I met last week. It demonstrates to Ukrainians—and Russians—that we are Ukraine’s reliable strategic partner. It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression.”
Maybe so, but how is that best accomplished? Is it better to pursue a modern-day version of détente with Russia, as Trump seems inclined to do, or is it better to engage in a standoff with Moscow? Taylor seems to believe that it’s not even permissible to debate this issue. What’s more, Taylor puts the onus on Washington to prove its bona fides to Kiev rather than the reverse. It’s quite remarkable that Trump should have to display his credibility to Ukraine instead of it showing him that there is a benefit to America assisting a country that has been riven by blatant corruption, infighting and intrigue for decades.
The ostensible focus of the congressional inquiry is a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the president’s withholding of aid to elicit an investigation into the Biden family’s business connections. The facts are known; there’s no smoking gun waiting to be uncovered. The forthcoming testimonies from diplomatic officials were already provided last month, and their substance ceremoniously leaked to sympathetic media outlets. There will be no surprise witness or shocking revelation to be had during the public testimony.
“The main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended. You’ve been cast in the low-rent, Ukrainian sequel,” Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George P. Kent.
“While the founders did not intend that impeachment be employed for mere differences over policy, they also made impeachment a constitutional process that the Congress must utilize as necessary,” said Schiff. If today didn’t add anything, it did prove something: much of the case for impeachment is built on policy, not personal action.
Kent testified that it’s not in the “national interest” of the United States to promote “political investigations.” What the national interest of the United States is in Eastern Europe, or what the benefits to the American people are from restructuring foreign societies, went unsaid (a norm for congressional testimonies).
For his part, Taylor devoted a significant portion of his testimony to reiterating the putative duty the United States has to support Ukraine. In Taylor’s narrative, the February 2014 coup against the democratically elected government was wholly organic, with no outside support or organization. He referred to the vote after Crimea’s occupation as a “sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles.” A new, free vote ought to be held following the requirements of internationally recognized observers, but this is not a hostage situation. Finally, Taylor said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “[generating] illegal armed formations” and forming “puppet governments” in the Donbass. In fact, there is a significant minority of Ukrainians unhappy with the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych who wish for closer relations to Russia than the west. In fact, the self-declared eastern republics requested a union with Russia similar to Crimea’s, and Putin refused.
“Candidate Trump had made a statement saying it was possible that he would allow Crimea to go back to Russia. He expressed the sentiment, or the opinion, that it was possible Crimea wanted to go back to Russia. What I can tell you Mr. Nunes, that sentiment is amazingly inflammatory to all Ukrainians,” Taylor said later. Is it verboten to suggest a majority of a predominantly Russian area wants to remain a part of the Russian state?
As it happens, western Ukrainians don’t always seem as desperate for Western support as Taylor and Kent make it appear. As the trade war between the United States and China has intensified in the past year, Ukraine has made it a priority, as Dimitri Alexander Simes, Jr. reports, to court “multibillion-dollar investments from China as part of its effort to join Beijing’s One Belt One Road Initiative.” This includes aiding the modernization of the Chinese military, which is hardly in America’s national interest. But when it comes to assessing Ukraine, somehow that doesn’t seem to figure into the calculations of Schiff and Taylor. Expect more of the same as the hearings continue.
Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at The National Interest.