Candice Lanier – Last Friday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, in an email to reporters, wrote: “We can confirm a terrorist blast at a check point on the perimeter of our embassy compound in Ankara, Turkey, at 1:13 p.m. local time. We are working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties, and to begin an investigation.”
The suicide bomber who carried out the attack was Ecevit Sanli, a member of the leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), a Turkish group that has accused the U.S. of using Turkey as its “slave.” Sanli blew himself up in a perimeter gatehouse as he tried to enter the embassy, also killing a Turkish security guard.
The DHKP-C is venomously anti-American and is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is described as a U.S. “puppet” by the DHKP-C in a statement on the Internet: “Murderer America! You will not run away from people’s rage.” The statement was posted on “The People’s Cry” website which included a picture of Sanli wearing a black beret and military-style gear, with an explosives belt around his waist.
Sanli was born in 1973 in the Black Sea port city of Ordu and was jailed in 1997 for attacks on a police station and a military staff college in Istanbul, but received a deferred sentence after he became ill while engaged in a hunger strike. In 2002, he was condemned to life in prison but managed to flee Turkey a year later. Later, he re-entered Turkey using fraudulent documents, according to Interior Minister Muammer Guler.
Two others were taken into custody in Istanbul and Ankara in connection with the attack, state broadcaster TRT reports. The White House has condemned the bombing as an “act of terror”, while the U.N. Security Council described it as a heinous act.
The violent attack was launched due to the terrorist organization’s wanting the U.S. to remove the Patriot missiles, which are now part of a NATO defense system, from Turkey. The missiles are being deployed alongside systems from Germany and the Netherlands as a security measure against spillover of the war in neighboring Syria. The DHKP-C also resents the allied relationship between the U.S. and Turkey and seeks to sever that bond. Turkey has been one of the leading advocates of foreign intervention to end the civil war in Syria and is also one of President Bashar al-Assad’s sharpest critics, a position which the DHKP-C views as submission to an imperialist agenda.
DHKP-C is one of some sixty terrorist organizations in Istanbul. A few of them, including DHKP-C, are anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Turkish government. The DHKP–C is suspected in several bomb attacks against Turkish authorities.
Originally formed in 1978, the organization went by the names Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, and was a splinter faction of the Turkish People’s Liberation Party/Front. The group changed its name in 1994 after factional infighting. Its philosophy is based on Marxist ideology and its activities are financed primarily via armed robbery and extortion.
According to the State Department, in 1992 DHKP-C assassinated two US military contractors in addition to wounding a US Air Force officer. This was done in protest of the Gulf War. In 1992 rockets were launched at the US Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish authorities thwarted a DHKP/C attempt in June 1999 to fire a light antitank weapon at the US Consulate in Istanbul.
In 2004, in a dragnet spanning five countries, authorities arrested more than 50 people suspected of belonging to or aiding DHKP-C which was suspected of a string of deadly bombing and shooting attacks against Americans and Turks. In addition to that, fourteen Americans were murdered by the terrorist organization between 1979 and 1991.
DHKP-C uses PASS (Politicized Military War Strategy) as its modus operandi, with the ultimate goal being the overthrow of the Turkish government. The U.S. is sometimes targeted because of the allied relationship between Turkey and the U.S. and because DHKP-C is opposed to capitalism and the West, in general. They are also anti-Israel. According to the Turkish National Police:
“DHKP/C has used several tactics in the form of armed attacks, such as assassinations, suicide bombings and bomb traps which are still maintained among the terrorist organization’s attempts. DHKP/C also organizes massive violent demonstrations, particularly on special days with political and ideological sense.”
Turkish authorities knew that the DHPK-C was planning an attack. They said that they did not possess enough information to prevent it from happening but offered no further expanation. President Abdullah Gul made the following statement: ”Our security and intelligence organizations knew the terror organization was seeking to carry out an attack; they were on alert and had warned everyone. But unfortunately it could not be prevented, and they carried out this attack against the US embassy.”
But, US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said the embassy did not receive a specific threat warning in advance from the Turkish government. Instead, he said, the US was aware of a general warning with regard to the terrorist organization. The State Department’s awareness of the threat was not conveyed on the State Department website; in October, the State Department issued a travel warning for the southern provinces of Turkey, due to the war in Syria, but Ankara, where the recent attack took place, was not listed.
At a press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said:
“Ankara is one of the posts that is due for a completely new embassy compound in the future, and it is one of the posts that will go on the list if the department gets the money that we’re looking for from the Congress for security.
This is one of the compounds where we have been making steady security upgrades over the last decade, and, in fact, the attack was at one of the exterior compound-access sites, so it was far from the main building. And it was a result of the way that it was hardened that we only lost the one local security guard.”
Ricciardone said that FBI teams were on the ground in Ankara within 48 hours of the incident and that forensic experts from both the FBI and Turkish police are coordinating efforts to develop a solid case against the DHKP-C.
In response to the question as to whether Turkish authorities failed to prevent the attack, he said: “We are not in a blame game here. It is always possible to improve intelligence and law enforcement.” He indicated that they will draw lessons from the incident. Ricciardone noted that both the US and Turkey have suffered a lot from terrorism.
According to embassy officials, the DHKP-C has stated that it intends to commit further attacks against the United States, NATO and Turkey. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether the improvements Nuland spoke of will be in place in time for the next potential attack. It is also unclear as to why, with prior knowledge, the attack could not be thwarted. How much information the State Department had at its disposal, prior to the bombing, also remains a mystery, for now.
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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