Israel’s ‘periphery doctrine’ of non-Arab friends is in tatters

on 65 Comments

After reading Glenn Greenwald’s scathing rebuke several days ago, Jeffrey Goldberg composed himself enough to respond by inviting Greenwald to visit Iraqi Kurdistan, and let the rest of us know who is in his rolodex:

"As it happens, I was e-mailing yesterday with the prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan, Barham Salih, and I mentioned Greenwald’s critique."

Goldberg’s contact with Barham Salih represents what is now one of the few tattered survivals of Israel’s ‘Periphery Doctrine,’ in which the Jewish state sought to offset the rejection it experienced from neighboring Arab regimes through alliances with the non-Arab states ringing the Arab world–Turkey, Ethiopia, Iran–and with minorities inside the Arab world like the Kurds and the Maronites.  This policy hasn’t had a very good run.  It was only a few days ago at Foreign Policy that Leon Hadar actually wrote its obituary.  

Israel has systematically lost its friends at the periphery–Iran, Ethiopia and now Turkey. Its adventures and attempts at kingmaking in Lebanon ended with tens of thousands of civilians killed, the Maronites politically emasculated, a decades-long occupation and war which traumatized its army, the politicization and militarization of the Lebanese Shi’ite community and the emergence of Hizbullah. Very recent history has shown Israel’s supporters in the US reacting against Turkey with the hurt and anger of a scorned lover: Goldberg himself stated with perverse glee

"I hope to be blogging more about Turkey’s disgraceful treatment of its Kurdish citizens!"

Mark Arax, among others, has documented the shameful, transparently expedient, volte face that the Israel Lobby took on the issue of the Armenian Genocide post-Flotilla.

One wonders how long this Kurdish-Zionist connection will last. When it does collapse, will Goldberg suddenly look forward to blogging about the treatment of Christian minorities by Kurds in Turkey (which is not good)?  Or will other Zionist apologists suddenly discover that it was Kurds who did much of the actual killing on the ground in the Armenian Genocide and not Turks?  

One wonders.

65 Responses

  1. potsherd
    June 30, 2010, 8:52 pm

    4 Turkish soldiers were just wounded in an attack by the PKK. Doesn’t this make Israel a state sponsor of terrorism?

    • hayate
      June 30, 2010, 9:31 pm

      Israel has been a state sponsor of terror from the day of its formation.

      The israelis have been running pkk terrorism for along time. While they were supposed best buddies with Turkey, they were using the pkk terror to murder people in Turkey.

      The israelis specialise in playing the different sides in conflicts against each other. In Sri Lanka they armed and trained both the Sri Lankan guv forces and Tamil rebel forces. In Fact, I believe they were also invoved with a 3rd group there, as well.

      • potsherd
        June 30, 2010, 10:06 pm

        Let me rephrase: isn’t it time to officially recognize Israel as a state supporter of terrorism and apply crippling sanctions against it?

      • hayate
        June 30, 2010, 11:08 pm


        “isn’t it time to officially recognize Israel as a state supporter of terrorism and apply crippling sanctions against it?”


    • thankgodimatheist
      June 30, 2010, 10:17 pm

      Very good point potsherd..

    • Seham
      June 30, 2010, 11:21 pm

      I’ve only become aware of Greenwald in the last year or two. Were his politics consistent or did this happen post Gaza?

      • tree
        July 1, 2010, 12:49 am

        I’ve followed him since 2005 when he started his blog, Unclaimed Territory. He’s been consistent politically, although I think in the early years he was less likely to call out the Israel-obsessed among the mainstream for their hypocrisy.

      • Danaa
        July 1, 2010, 1:24 am

        Seham, one thing about Glenn Greenwald is his consistency. His issues – as a left leaning, civil rights champion with constitutional law background have been accountability, transparency and balance. So he has spoken up against the infringement of civil rights in the US through Patriot act, wiretapping and the like and has reserved the most cogent arguments against the MSM which cow tows to the powers that be, serving as its mouthpiece rather than the 4th branch that it was meant to be. The interesting thing is, that unlike so many on the left, he wass never, to my knowledge, a PEP, and has reserved some of his sharpest barbs against US policy towards Israel and the coddling of Israel’s unacceptable behavior. Why, he didn’t even shy from calling the lobby out for what it is – an agent of a foreign government.

        He did, BTW, write several times about Israel’s bizzaro tactics before Gaza. I’ll rumage around in my drawer to find some for you, if interested.

        The one area I am still scratching my head about is Glenn’s [equivocal] support for the Citizens United ruling by the SCOTUS. He got the most comments ever on that issue, I believe. I think he just got carried away with the 1st amendment on that one, just like the ACLU does sometimes. OH well, no one is perfect and I know he doesn’t claim to be.

        That being said, his takedown of Goldberg was absolutely masterful. How would our Jeffrey boy ever lift himself from the dust, I wonder? but try he will – even if he needs to call the Kurds to the rescue.

      • Chris S
        July 1, 2010, 8:00 am

        You may be scratching your head because I’ve never seen Greenwald describe himself as a leftist or a rightest or anything, although he seems to associate largely with “lefties”. He seems to revel in his ambiguity in that regard. I don’t blame him. He has a Libertarian streak, or at least he seems to have a soft spot for nonintervention. He agrees with Ron Paul on a lot of things he considers important, e.g. PATRIOT Act, MCA, Iraq and Afghan War, FISA, Federalism, Israel, etc., Greenwald engages his comment section and has said as much (about Ron Paul anyway).

        He is def not PEP.

      • David Samel
        July 1, 2010, 9:32 am

        Danaa, I’m in complete agreement with you. I hate to idolize anyone, but Greenwald makes it difficult to resist. Even his equivocation on Citizens United is clearly based on principle rather than going along with the crowd (a crowd that includes me), and he is one of the few, perhaps the only, commentator of the left to note that there are troubling aspects about the issue. I have found him to write infrequently on I/P (infrequently only in proportion to his prodigious output), but he has always been not only on target but unusually insightful. You’re right about his takedown of Goldberg, but it was nothing unusual from him. The Updates on that article are quite interesting as well, as he responds to Goldberg and Joe Klein’s utterly dishonest complaints that Greenwald already had anticipated.

        Reading this over, I’m a little nauseous. I hate to gush, but GG is so impressive. I just scrolled down and saw your reference to an “oasis” and MRW’s to “moral clarity.” Ditto. Also, Danaa, you’re thinking of doing your own blog?

      • Seham
        July 1, 2010, 10:09 am

        Thanks Danaa!

      • Danaa
        July 2, 2010, 3:24 am

        David, I know what you mean about gushing. The whole concept of being a fan of someone or something gives me the shivers. Perhaps though we should be able to take leave of pride – at least now and then – and just wallow for the heck of it – like proper proletarians. I tell myself that there are occasions where neither pride nor intellectual dignity are relevant – kind the way it is listening to an especially good concert performance. I also try to remember that we are lucky to have GG on our side. That really helps counter the nausea….

        The answer to your question is yes. Been working on a blog (which got already split into two!) for sometime now, but it’ll be ready when I find those 4-5 spare hours in a day. That’s the problem for some of us – making a living can be such a bitch! Anyways, I think it’s gonna have to be soon – no? I’ll advise when it’s up and running. And I hope you’ll succumb to the temptation yourself one of these days. Got at least one reader here already.

      • David Samel
        July 2, 2010, 8:43 am

        I look forward to seeing your blog, Danaa.

      • Donald
        July 1, 2010, 9:45 am

        I think GG has become a little deeper in his critique of American imperialism, the press and our politics in general than he was during the Bush years–to his credit, he’s very good about allowing reality to impinge on what he thinks, which is something most of us struggle with when it comes to political issues. During Bush’s time he emphasized how much damage Bush had done to US prestige overseas, but since Obama has to a large degree merely continued Bush’s policies while putting a more sophisticated face on them, he writes as though he’s come to realize there’s much more to the problem than just Bush’s stupidity and extremism.

      • David Samel
        July 1, 2010, 12:04 pm

        Donald, one of the things I like best about Greenwald is that he refuses to give Obama any undeserved slack. He holds Obama to the same standards as Bush and expertly skewers those who attacked Bush for various positions yet defend Obama when he takes the same position, albeit more articulately and with the appearance of struggling with the issue. It’s one thing to target an idiot like Bush, but quite another to take on an articulate, bright first African American Prez who brought so much hope around the world. In other words, Glenn sticks to consistent principles, at the risk of pissing off fellow progressives.

      • lareineblanche
        July 1, 2010, 3:11 pm

        “he’s very good about allowing reality to impinge on what he thinks, which is something most of us struggle with when it comes to political issues.”

        Extremely well said. He’s clairvoyant. I think that Greenwald is generally more critical of Obama than Bush, actually (regarding the targeting of American citizens if they are alleged terrorists, without due process of law, the escalation of the Afghan “war”). In any case, he’s very impressive, I’ve never noticed any hypocrisy or weak arguments with him, he cuts through the rhetoric and bull like a knife.

      • hayate
        July 1, 2010, 11:26 am

        In an attempt to neutralise Greenwald and other critics of ziofascist war crimes/corruption, there is this disgusting rubbish:

        Guess Who Wants to Kill the Internet?

        by Maidhc Ó Cathail

        June 30, 2010

        It would be hard to think of anyone who has done more to undermine American freedoms than Joseph Lieberman.

        Since 9/11, the Independent senator from Connecticut has introduced a raft of legislation in the name of the “global war on terror” which has steadily eroded constitutional rights. If the United States looks increasingly like a police state, Senator Lieberman has to take much of the credit for it.

        On October 11, 2001, exactly one month after 9/11, Lieberman introduced S. 1534, a bill to establish a Department of Homeland Security. Since then, he has been the main mover behind such draconian legislation as the Protect America Act of 2007, the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010, and the proposed Terrorist Expatriation Act, which would revoke the citizenship of Americans suspected of terrorism. And now the senator from Connecticut wants to kill the Internet.

        According to the bill he recently proposed in the Senate, the entire global Internet is to be claimed as a “national asset” of the United States. If Congress passes the bill, the US President would be given the power to “kill” the Internet in the event of a “national cyber-emergency.” Supporters of the legislation say this is necessary to prevent a “cyber 9/11” – yet another myth from the fearmongers who brought us tales of “Iraqi WMD” and “Iranian nukes.”

        Lieberman’s concerns about the Internet are not new. The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which Lieberman chairs, released a report in 2008 titled “Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.” The report claimed that groups like Al Qaeda use the Internet to indoctrinate and recruit members, and to communicate with each other.

        Immediately after the report was published, Lieberman asked Google, the parent company of You Tube, to “immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organisations.” That might sound like a reasonable request. However, as far as Lieberman is concerned, Hamas, Hezbollah and even the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are terrorist organisations.

        It’s hardly surprising that Lieberman’s views on what constitute terrorism parallel those of Tel Aviv. As Mark Vogel, chairman of the largest pro-Israel Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States, once said: “Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions … is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress. There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman.”

        Lieberman has been well rewarded for his patriotism – to another country. In the past six years, he has been the Senate’s top recipient of political contributions from pro-Israel PACs with a staggering $1,226,956.

        But what is it that bothers Lieberman so much about the Internet? Could it be that it allows ordinary Americans access to facts, which reveal exactly what kind of “friend” Israel has been to its overgenerous benefactor? Facts, which they have been denied by the pro-Israel mainstream media.

        How much faith would American voters have in the likes of Lieberman, who claims that the Jewish state is their greatest ally, if they knew that Israeli agents planted firebombs in American installations in Egypt in 1954 in an attempt to undermine relations between Nasser and the United States; that Israel murdered 34 American servicemen in a deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967; that Israeli espionage, most notably Jonathan Pollard’s spying, has done tremendous damage to American interests; that five Mossad agents were filming and celebrating as the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001; that Tel Aviv and its accomplices in Washington were the source of the false pre-war intelligence on Iraq; and about countless other examples of treachery?

        In his latest attempt to censor the Internet, does Lieberman really want to protect the American people from imaginary cyber-terrorists? Or is he just trying to protect his treasonous cronies from the American people?

        Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan

        link to

  2. Cliff
    June 30, 2010, 9:04 pm

    Shouldn’t we be sending Goldberg off to one of our black sites now for interrogation since he clearly supports terrorism and is an anti-turkite?

  3. hayate
    June 30, 2010, 9:23 pm

    Good ole zionists and their history made up to order.

  4. MRW
    June 30, 2010, 9:32 pm

    Part of Greenwald’s equally scathing and accurate rebuttal to Jeffrey Goldberg:

    I don’t need to travel to Kurdistan to know that many Kurds, probably most, are happy that the U.S. attacked Iraq. For that minority in Northern Iraq, what’s not to like?

    They had foreign countries (the U.S. and its “partners”) expend their citizens’ lives and treasure to rid the Kurds of their hated enemy; they received semi-autonomy, substantial oil revenues, a thriving relationship with Israel, and real political power; the overwhelming majority of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis whose lives were snuffed out and the millions of people displaced by the war were not Kurds, and most of the destruction took place in Central and Southern Iraq away from their towns and homes, while they remain largely free of the emergent police state tactics of the current Iraqi government. As Ali Gharib put it to Goldberg: “there are at least 600,000 Iraqis who, I imagine, are not too thrilled about the way it all turned out and with whom Greenwald will never get a meeting.” […]

    I’m not interested in an overly personalized exchange with Goldberg, but there is one aspect of his response worth highlighting: the universality of the war propaganda he proffers. Those who perpetrate wars of aggression invariably invent moral justifications to allow themselves and the citizens of the aggressor state to feel good and noble about themselves. Hence, even an unprovoked attack which literally destroys a country and ruins the lives of millions of innocent people — as the U.S. invasion of Iraq did — is scripted as a morality play with the invaders cast in the role of magnanimous heroes.

    link to

    • MRW
      June 30, 2010, 9:50 pm

      THIS is the correct link. Sorry.
      link to

    • Danaa
      July 1, 2010, 4:18 am

      Reading Glenn sometime feels like having reached an oasis – sort of. Don’t you think?

      Even if one is perfectly familiar with all the facts and has gone through the arguments, it’s kind of nice to see someone go to the trouble of putting it all together.

      How long, do you reckon, it takes him to write one of his blog entries? 4 hours? with the help of an assistant perhaps?

      That’s what I am struggling with, BTW, the time factor. Woodward (War in context) is doing a nice job, me thinks. maybe I’ll use as a model instead of trying to Greenwald.

      • MRW
        July 1, 2010, 8:15 am


        I’ll bet some of them take longer than four hours. I love this moral clarity.

  5. hughsansom
    June 30, 2010, 9:36 pm

    The Israel-apologistas’ sudden concern for the Kurds is a particularly easy about-face to document. Years of silence on or express opposition to Kurdish concerns suddenly evaporates when it becomes politically expedient. Even dim-witted bigots like Thomas Friedman or Jeffrey Goldberg must be at least minimally aware of this. So they emerge, not as ill-informed or innocently mistaken or mislead, but as conniving liars.

    • MRW
      June 30, 2010, 9:58 pm

      From Greenwald’s original article: Two weeks ago, Goldberg — like all Israel-obsessive devotees — turned his ire toward Turkey for daring to oppose Israel’s policies, and threatened: “I have nothing original to say about Turkey’s turn toward darkness (except that I hope to be blogging more about Turkey’s disgraceful treatment of its Kurdish citizens!)” As one emailer put it to me: Goldberg is open about the fact that “he’s only interested in the plight of the Kurds when he can gleefully use it as a cudgel against Israel’s enemies.”

      • munro
        June 30, 2010, 10:11 pm

        “turned his ire toward Turkey for daring to oppose Israel’s policies” –
        the policies being murder in international waters (breaking the Leon Klinghoffer law for one).

    • potsherd
      June 30, 2010, 10:07 pm

      Like Israel’s opposition to recognizing the Armenian genocide is no longer politically expedient.

    • Egbert
      July 1, 2010, 8:34 am

      Looks like the Turkish and the Iraqi Kurd governments may be working together to defuse the PKK. Apparently Turkey has established a consulate in Iraq Kurdistan and assigned one of its best diplomats to the post.

      link to

      If a peaceful solution is achieved, another stone will have been kicked away from under Israel’s feet.

  6. azythos
    June 30, 2010, 9:50 pm

    A more detailed discussion of the official Holocaust denial by the Zionists –and making noise about it– is in order.

    For those who haven’t looked, the subtitle At the link given by Boulos is “I once tried to blow the whistle on the Israel lobby’s denial of the Armenian Genocide — and I had to leave my job”

    Time to remind all that the Zionists themselves have made “Holocaust denial” into a hanging crime and that there is more than a smoking gun to hang them with.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    June 30, 2010, 10:08 pm

    RE: “Jeffrey Goldberg composed himself enough to respond by inviting Greenwald to visit Iraqi Kurdistan” – Boulos

    MY COMMENT: Picture Jeffrey Goldberg’s Kurdish friends ‘decked out’ in their new duds from Walmart® saying: “Thank you, America!”™

    The Other Iraq: “Thank You” (VIDEO, 00:30) – link to

  8. stevelaudig
    June 30, 2010, 11:08 pm

    So let me get this straight the current [and past] Israeli government provided aid to the PKK [or whatever the initials were] and it initiated terror attacks on a NATO ally thus making Israel a proven sponsor of terror. Time to invade and overthrow the regime. oh, the U.S. is already there in Israel or is Israel there in the U.S.

    • azythos
      June 30, 2010, 11:57 pm

      “current [and past] Israeli government provided aid to the PKK”

      Not until now, not than anyone would know. That would have been very much against Israeli interests until recently, as the Israelis’ ally is the Turkish military junta and the Turkish neo-nazi party –both genocidally anti-Kurdish. The head of PKK was kidnapped by the Mossad and delivered to Turkey.
      Only with the remarkable recent democratization in Turkey and the difficulty for the Turkish Army to realize an umpteenth coup d’Etat has there been any speculation of Israel’s getting ready to use the PKK. During the last weeks, with the Iran deal to get a peace agreement followed by the Israeli proxy counterattack on the Flotilla there was open talk of such a policy. The PKK, by the way, has fought the Israelis in Lebanon since the 70s and unlike the Iraqi Kurds is still very, very antizionist but it has certainly been infiltrated by US and Israeli Zionists. Their involvement in the last three violent attacks inside Turkey is anybody’s guess.

    • Avi
      July 1, 2010, 12:02 am


      Not that I’m trying to draw a parallel here, but the point is that many states sponsor terrorism one way or another. The US, for example, has supported the MEK (Mujahideen Al-Khalk) in Iran to destabilize the Iranian government. In general, the tactic has been used for decades by various governments. In this particular case, the US has had ties with the MEK in Iran since the 1970s. Recently, during the Bush administration, the White House sought to boost its support for the MEK in carrying out clandestine sabotage operations. You might have heard about several incidents in which a bomb exploded in one Iranian city or another. Many of those were the work of the MEK.

      As for Israel, it has been working with the Kurds in Iraq (close to the border with Turkey) for years, ties which have been bolstered after the US invasion in 2003. Israel provided training to the PKK, as well as, military hardware, small arms and such. All this is done covertly, so that the governments in question can always – formally – deny the accusations.

      Incidentally, Israel was active in propping up Hamas and supporting it financially to counter the PLO. Unfortunately, for Israel, that plan has backfired.

      Back in the 1980s, during its occupation of Southern Lebanon, Israel supported the Christian Phalangas. It provided them with arms, money and training. Those were the same militias that slaughtered thousands of Palestinian refugees at the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, all the while, the Israeli army closed off all the exists to the camps.

    • hayate
      July 1, 2010, 11:19 am

      Why Turkey is looking East

      Abdulaziz Sager

      1 July 2010

      The Turkish wish to shift to the East is not a new one, and it certainly did not begin with the Israeli war on Gaza or with the “Freedom Flotilla” accident.

      It stems from higher national interests that have accumulated since the mid-1970s, i.e. after Turkish troops entered parts of Cyprus in 1974 and after Turkey hosted the summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in 1976.

      Success in this area will depend on several factors including mutual economic interests, the need of the region to create a positive balance to counter extremist groups, and a concerted move away from political hegemony, polarisation and the policies of axes and military or ideological alliances. Does the Turkish shift toward the East mean that Turkey has abandoned the West? Is this shift transitory and governed by the interests of the ruling Justice and Development Party? Is this rapprochement with the Arab world contradictory to American and Israeli interests or not? And are Arabs prepared for 
this rapprochement?

      To begin with, Turkey has never been distant from the Arab region. Ottoman Turkey maintained strong relations with the Arab world over four centuries until the Caliphate fell and the Republic of Ataturk was founded in 1923. It was the Ataturk Republic that moved the country in a Westward direction. Consequently, Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 1952. Turkey was also the first Muslim country to recognise Israel in 1949.

      After 80 years, however, Turkey has begun to realise that there are limitations to what it can obtain from the West. The door to the European Union appears locked. The growing power of Iraqi Kurds may lead to the emergence of a Kurdish state in the Kurdish Triangle in Iraq, Iran and Turkey. The shifts push Turkey back in the direction of the Arab world.

      There is an economic rationale too. Turkey imports 95 percent of its oil requirements at an annual cost of more than $20 billion. On trade, Ankara wants to see its trade exchange with the Arab states increase to $100 billion annually, from $40 billion in 2008. Turkish Minister of Finance Mehmet Simsek said recently: “We have begun a new phase of mutual openness, developing investment environment and entering into joint projects.” This desire for increased cooperation is shared by Arabs too. The Turkish economy currently ranks as the largest in the Muslim world and 15th globally. The fact that Turkey has vast agricultural lands and fresh water makes the country a breadbasket of the Arab region.

      The Southeastern Anatolia Project, for example, targets cultivating 2 billion hectares by investing $12 billion. Turkey also ranks 10th worldwide as a tourist attraction and anticipates that 30 million tourists will visit Turkey by the end of this year providing an income of $30 billion.

      Direct foreign investment in Turkey today is nearly $30 billion compared to only $1.1 billion in 2001. In addition, Turkey’s foreign trade is nearly $290 billion with plans to increase this to one trillion dollars by 2023. Given its huge water reserves, Turkey is willing to provide the Gulf countries with fresh water. There is a slow convergence between the Arab states and Turkey when it comes to economic and political cooperation. But the question is whether Arab-Turkish relations will grow in proportion to the ambitions of the two parties. While the factors for possible success certainly exist, the actual realisation is contingent on domestic developments in Turkey in addition to the positions of America, Israel and the EU countries.

      Inside Turkey, the relationship of the military institution with the political authority and its outlook on Turkish-Arab cooperation is one issue to consider. The military put an end to the initial rule of the Welfare party under the leadership of Necmettin Erbakan when he wanted to freeze the agreement of military cooperation with Israel.

      This forced him to submit his resignation in June 1998. Outside of such domestic factors, the Turkish-Israeli military alliance continues to raise suspicions on the Arab side. The Arab-Turkish rapprochement might collapse altogether if the military seizes power in Ankara, or if other nationalist parties with different political orientation come out on top. So, the rapprochement with the Arab world must stem from a real desire across the full spectrum of political elites in Turkey and be in accordance with a long-term strategy of all the parties involved.

      External challenges, meanwhile, are represented by the positions of Israel and the US. The former fears that the Arab-Turkish rapprochement is going to be at its expense and, therefore, Israel has resorted to trying to fuel the domestic conflict in Turkey either between the Turkish military and the political authority, or by supporting a coup d’etat against the Justice and Development party, or by assisting separatist Kurds to destabilise the system of rule in Ankara. The US might perceive this rapprochement as coming at the expense of its influence and interests, especially now that there is a regression of the US role in the Middle East. Washington also fears the emergence of a new power at loggerheads with some of its policies including the handling of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the confusion regarding the Iranian nuclear programme. As a result, the US is likely to use the “carrot and stick” policy with Ankara. The carrot would be exercising pressure on Europe to accept the membership of Turkey in the European Union whereas the stick is embodied in waving the card of the massacres of Armenians. As long as the Arab-Turkish cooperation is based on economic and not on military grounds, the relationship is not going to be directed against any party and will not upset any regional or international balance of power. A careful reading outside of the economic domain will nevertheless reveal common interests supporting a broad Arab-Turkish rapprochement that bring the Arab world and Turkey closer together.

      Whether this is a sufficient foundation remains in doubt given the tremendous internal and external pressures that exist on the Turkish government to end its honeymoon with the Arab world. The major parties to Arab-Turkish relations or the Arab-Turkish alliance, are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. It is important they adopt a long-term view to ensure that no differences that threaten this alliance or rapprochement will materialise. This includes preventing Turkey from monopolising influence on issues such as Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

      Abdulaziz Sager is Chairman of Gulf Research Center in Dubai.

      link to

  9. syvanen
    June 30, 2010, 11:30 pm

    The Kurds definitely deserve more than they have received. One of their problems is that they have spent more energy fighting among themselves they have for a national state. It has therefore made it very easy for outside powers to support one faction or another, not for Kurdish national aspirations, but as a tool against a nation state. The US used the Kurds against Iran for awhile, then against Saddam’s Iraq at another time. The Israelis have been meddling there for the last twenty years, using the Kurds first against Saddam, then Iran and now it seems against Turkey. It is hard to be too sympathetic with their “national liberation” movement when they so willingly become pawns in national power games. Why they would ally with the Israelis is really nuts, hasn’t anyone told them about the Southern Lebanese Army?

    • syvanen
      July 1, 2010, 12:43 am

      Could have also mentioned the Bedouins. In 1948 the Zionists successfully recruited them in the war against the Palestinians. For centuries the Bedouin, a migratory herder society, was in conflict with the more urban and fixed farmer culture of the Palestinians. (A similar conflict that is the basis of the Darfurian civil war BTW). Now that the Israelis no longer need the Bedouins they are now being driven off of their traditional lands. Poor suckers. Unfortunately for the Bedouin, they do not have international supporters.

  10. VR
    June 30, 2010, 11:33 pm

    “One wonders how long this Kurdish-Zionist connection will last.”

    As long as Israel thinks it is useful for their own purposes. That is one sad issue with Israel, they have no friends (in the sense of the people of the USA, just an entrenched elite which the people despise more daily), and the ones that they call friends they wipe their feet on as a matter of course. Eventually an internally fixated country will asphyxiate itself, make itself insufferable, and alienate the rest of the world.

  11. Sumud
    July 1, 2010, 12:56 am

    Goldberg is a total clown! His justification for decimating Iraq now rests on the facts the Kurds are happy Saddam was overthrown. In fact he says:

    “If he were to meet with representatives of the Kurds — who make up 20 percent of the population of Iraq and who were the most oppressed group in Iraq during the period of Saddam’s rule (experiencing not only a genocide but widespread chemical gassing) — I think it might be possible for him to understand why some people — even some Iraqis — supported the overthrow of Saddam. ”

    Hmm, can I think of another country, that has an oppressed 20% minority population? Perhaps it’s time for Goldberg to meet with some representatives of Palestine – Israeli arabs *and* Palestinians in the OPTs *and* refugees in peripheral countries, and then talk about overthrowing the government of Israel..

  12. Danaa
    July 1, 2010, 1:39 am

    An idea has just occured to me –

    the charges leveled againt the ‘deep cover” Russian “spies” is that they failed to register a foreign agents (not spying per se, as there has been no proven spying apparently).

    By the same token – foreign citizenship, operating on behalf of a foreign country, deep cover, etc. shouldn’t jeffrey Goldberg be arrested for the same offense? namely – failing to register a a foreign agent?

    I do believe he is an israeli citizen – making him every bit the equivalent of the Russian ‘cell’ members, except he seems to have fulfilled his mission better – rising up the ladders of influence – a instructed.

    Now that I think oof it, what about Rahm? or Dershowitz? or Feith? hmmm…. the mind boggles at all the potential arrests.

    • hayate
      July 1, 2010, 2:38 am


      But the Russians are evil and the israelis are “THE CHILDREN OF GOD”. Didn’t they teach you anythig in skool?


      • Danaa
        July 1, 2010, 4:24 am

        They taught me too much of that at school – the ones I went to at least (back in the so called “holy land”). Learning to forget is kind of full time job….still working on it.

        But I do get a kick out of counting the possibilities of the ‘unaccounted for and unarrested, unregistered foreign agents. boggle the mind, indeed.

      • hayate
        July 1, 2010, 11:01 am


        It would be nice to see those unregistered agents you write of treated equally with the rest.

      • lysias
        July 1, 2010, 7:12 am

        The Russian state renounced anti-Christianism at the same time it renounced Communism. Putin and the conductor Gergiev are godfathers to each other’s children. Putin and Medvedev attended the funeral of Solzhenitsyn held in a Moscow monastery.

  13. Richard Parker
    July 1, 2010, 3:44 am

    Leon Hadar’s obituary on Israel’s ‘periphery doctrine’ of non-Arab friends is masterful.
    link to

    However, there is a new ‘peripheral friend’ – Azerbaijan, a Muslim country that Israel has been sucking up to for some time now.
    link to; (Unfortunately, all in Azerbaijanian, but you’ll get the drift).
    link to

    See this map to undertand why both Georgia and Azerbaijan are Israel’s current ‘best friends’.
    link to

    Azerbaijan borders Iran directly; see this analysis from Iran (and especially the comments).
    link to

    Meanwhile, guess who’s dipping her dirty little fingers into this area; your very own Hillary Rodham Clinton;
    link to

    Notes From The Levant
    link to
    link to

    • hayate
      July 1, 2010, 11:09 am

      Richard Parker

      Interesting stuff. One of the reasons the zionists had their Georgian proxy attack South Ossetia was to facilitate a later attack on Iran, using Georgia as their to and from refueling point. They were also set to take Abkhazia (spell?) as well. The reason was to push Russian radars further away where they would not be able to detect the incoming israeli aircraft using Georgia to refuel.

    • azythos
      July 1, 2010, 11:31 pm

      Richard Parker –
      “new ‘peripheral friend’ – Azerbaijan …all in Azerbaijanian, but you’ll get the drift”

      I’ll be blown! The first thing that link says is that “Israel … does not recognize the elections in Karabagh. Israel strongly supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and does not recognize the legitimation and excuse given by the “elections” to the process between Armenia and Karabagh…”

      What do you know. This was dated May 24 and they forgot to take it down so that they can now suck up to Armenia to use the Armenian holocaust against Turkey, thereby offending the Azeri. Looks like Zionism gives a lot of headache.

  14. Richard Witty
    July 1, 2010, 3:59 am

    The sympathy of the Kurds is constructed of three components:

    1. That the Kurdish people (like the Armenians prior, Jews prior, Palestinians currently) are a diaspora people, divided.
    2. That the Kurds seek self-governance, NOT assimilation.
    3. That the Kurds are assaulted by the left for their being a poster child for neo-conservatives.

    And a fourth,
    That they engage in occassional odd alliances to attempt to firm their independance.

    The left should remain skeptical of Turkey. This one-issue litmus test (“sticking it to Israel”), is an incomplete assessment of their position. They ARE a large power, seeking to be a larger one.

    Give them a year. The left, Greenwald for example, will and should be tearing at them.

    • Mooser
      July 1, 2010, 3:49 pm

      Too bad Greenwald won’t read this. He will get as far as “The left, Greenwald for example” than collapse in laughter.

      You’ve never read Greenwald, have you Richard? He don’t like “the left” very much.

      Oh well, like you say, first thing you do when you get into town is “look for the longhairs”. You always know how to find your own, huh?

      • lysias
        July 1, 2010, 3:55 pm

        Even in recent days, Greenwald has been careful to point out that Turkey is far from without fault on human rights issues.

        I would add that Erdoğan has tried much harder than previous Turkish leaders to negotiate with the Kurds, even if those negotiations have broken down for the time being.

  15. Richard Parker
    July 1, 2010, 4:03 am

    I have just submitted a post on Israel/Azerbaijan (with probably far too many links) which comes up with the message: ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation“. It appears OK for me when I view it, but I wonder what happens when anyone else does.

    • Sumud
      July 1, 2010, 10:53 am

      Anything w/ more than 2 links automatically goes to a moderation queue for approval RP – also if you’re a very naughty boy your posts will have to be approved. I can see your post now.

      • tree
        July 1, 2010, 11:01 am

        Apparently I have been a naughty girl, or someone thinks I have, because all my posts are moderated- in other words, they don’t appear until much later than when I post them. I emailed Phil about this but it seems to be out of his hands. Does anyone here know how I get myself off moderation? I can’t for the life of me figure out what I did to warrant the moderation. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

      • Mooser
        July 1, 2010, 3:56 pm

        I noticed that the moderation system (that’s ah seestem?) was replacing my (expletive deleted) with (expletive deleted), but then it seemed to stop. I was also held in a moderation queu for short periods, but then it stopped.
        If this moderation system is not giving my posts the most careful scrutiny, and rejecting at least 75% of them, it isn’t worth (expletive deleted).

        Perhaps a guide to what sets the moderater’s ganglions aquiver could be included in the commenting standards. (Expletive deleted) gets deleted, but drek still gets through, so it’s hard to know what the standards are.

    • potsherd
      July 1, 2010, 4:05 pm

      The problem is that moderation often never takes place.

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2010, 3:45 pm

        It does seem to be hit-and-miss. Which is how it would be if it was run by al gore rhythms, and not by an actual person or persons unknown.
        That Witty never complains of moderation is a stunning testimony to his ability to write reams and say less than nothing. I bet he could get anything past ’em.

  16. lysias
    July 1, 2010, 7:13 am

    The Kurds not only did much — if not most — of the actual killing in the Armenian genocide, they did the same in the simultaneous genocide of Assyrian Christians in what is now northern Iraq.

  17. Les
    July 1, 2010, 7:31 am

    As Mubarak weakens, will Israel attempt to get Egypt’s Coptic Christians to rise in revolt against their oppressors? Will Methodist Secretary of State Clinton support such a policy?

    • MRW
      July 1, 2010, 8:14 am

      Of course the Obama admin is upset: probably all the warmongers. Turkey closed off the airspace to Israel, and if there is any plan afoot to use Israel as a starting point for planes and weapons to Georgia and Azerbaijan, they would have to go around Turkey over northern Iran, or the long route over Bulgaria.

      The longer Erdogan can keep that air space closed, the longer WWIII can be forestalled.

      • lysias
        July 1, 2010, 11:40 am

        They’re not just closing air space. Turkish Air Defense System Deployed to “Defend Syria, Iran against Israel Raids” (May 14, 2010):

        High-ranking sources in the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed displeasure with Turkey over deploying anti-aircraft batteries along the Syrian border in the Iskenderun district.

        The Turkish daily Hurriyet meanwhile, quoted a military source as saying that “this move aims at repelling a US or Israeli attack against Iran or Syria.”

        Maybe the PKK chose to attack the Turkish naval base at Iskenderun two hours before the Israeli attack on the flotilla not only because any Turkish naval assistance to the flotilla would have come from this base, but also because of this news from a month before.

      • potsherd
        July 1, 2010, 4:05 pm


  18. traintosiberia
    July 1, 2010, 11:08 am

    There is no need to categorize Gleen or other as “leftties’ or “rightist”. Its always desirable to look at the merits of the nature of the problems and the at the proposed solution without any preconceived leanings or mindset. Gleen does that. –

    On a different note, I support Kurdish causes but I wont team up with Israel or USA or any global power. Kurdishtan has been run currently by nepotisitic families having no regard for justice or good governance. One wonders what would have happened if US did not meddle in the nascent democratic babysteps of Syria in 1940s, Iraq in 1960s, Iran in 1956. Kurdistan and its peopel would have achieved thier dream mcuh sooner in a democratic envioroments.

  19. PilgrimSoul
    July 1, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Although the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was not an official project of the Turkish government, the willingness to criticize Israel’s Gaza policy has been a defining political initiative of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His party, the AKP, is heir to several important Islamist groupings, and has been remarkably successful in defining itself as a politically-astute, moderate Islamist party. Erdogan is strong on human rights, has more female representation in Parliament than any other party, and has brought the Kurdish parties into parliament. But it is his courageous and unprecedented defiance of Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza that has won him the most respect—in Turkey, in other Muslim-majority countries, and among human rights activists in the West.

    Besides bringing Kurdish parties into the parliament, Erdogan has restored the use of the Kurdish language in many venues (education, for example) where it was banned before. There are two points to be made here. One, that Erdogan has been able to do much that the secular governments were not able to do in resolving the Kurdish dilemma. Secondly, this illustrates that moderate Islamist parties can play a very important and positive role in Muslim-majority countries. Of course, the American media will not want to make any such distinctions, and the Lobby and the neo-cons will cooperate in trying to keep it hidden from most Americans.

    Most dangerous is the probability that various Zionists initiatives will try to exacerbate the Kurdish problem solely to make Erdogan look bad.
    I think the Lobby will have difficulty in getting the US national security elites to go along with this, however–the self-destructive and generally dangerous attitudes of the Israeli political class have become clear to them, even though US politicians can’t talk about it openly.

    • lysias
      July 1, 2010, 1:50 pm

      The way Erdoğan was able to defang the Turkish “deep state” by using the human rights demands of the EU shows true political genius.

      The way he used the Freedom Flotilla to lure the Israelis into a trap shows it again.

  20. azythos
    July 1, 2010, 7:28 pm

    Same topic. Good paper by Arman Grigorian:

    The Armenian Genocide – Genocide Recognition, But at What Cost?

    link to

    “Is this really a development that Armenians should celebrate, welcome, and support? The relentless pursuit of genocide recognition has become so central to Armenian life in America (or even to Armenian identity in America and elsewhere in the Diaspora), that it is impossible to conceive of any answer to this question other than “of course.” But we should at least try to think about a different answer, for enthusiastically welcoming this newfound sympathy for Armenian suffering in the Israeli and American political establishments is not free of costs, both moral and political.”

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