World View: Iran, Turkey Trade Accusations as Relations Deteriorate

This morning's key headlines from

  • Turkey's Erdogan says that Assad's regime in Syria is ending
  • Iran and Turkey trade accusations, as relations deteriorate
  • Greece makes plans for Syrian refugee camp on Corfu
  • Venezuelans wonder if Chavez's cancer surgery has failed
  • Fiscal Cliff negotiations collapse

Turkey's Erdogan says that Assad's regime in Syria is ending

Erdogan (R) introduces Syrian opposition leader on Sunday (DHA)
Erdogan (R) introduces Syrian opposition leader on Sunday (DHA)

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he's started to receive what he called "strong signals" that the Syrian civil war is coming to an end:

"We are receiving strong signals that the end is approaching in Syria. This bloody, this despotic process that continues nearly two years is already nearing to end. A government that meets the demands of people in Syria – God willing – will come to power soon."

The tide turned in favor of the opposition fighters in mid-November, when they captured military bases near Aleppo, carting off tanks, armored vehicles and truck-loads of munitions.

On Sunday, Erdogan introduced Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the National Coalition for Opposition Forces, and added the following:

"My brothers, more than 100 countries have recognized the leadership of this friend [Moaz al-Khatib] and his team. What does this mean? It means that ‘al-Assad, we don’t recognize you any more, get out’ because leaders who do not get approval from their people cannot remain in power. Unwanted leaders will quit and the ones who are demanded will come to power. ...

"Tyrants will be remembered with al-Assad’s cruelty. His father [Hafez] is not remembered with good deeds, he won’t be remembered in the same way, too. [Assad once said that] his elders made some mistakes but that we won’t make the same mistakes.

[Cruelty] is cultivated in his genes. He even surpassed his father. Some 50,000 Syrian brothers have been killed by his bombs."

According to Erdogan, once the ruling powers change in Syria, the "people of [Turkey and Syria] will walk together into the future, joining forces."

Erdogan has made similar predictions in the past. Zaman (Istanbul) and Hurriyet (Ankara)

Iran and Turkey trade accusations, as relations deteriorate

After centuries of wars, Iran and (Ottoman) Turkey signed the Qasr-i Shirin Accord in 1639, which drew today’s Iran-Iraq and Iran-Turkey borders. For over 400 years, Iran and Turkey have respected one another and, no matter what kind of regimes governed them, recognized each other as experienced and established states and adhered to a code of conduct that restrained their competition for influence and power and prevented the use of force, and even restrained their language about each other. However, the two-year-old Syrian conflict has caused this mutual respect to erode, and this erosion has become more pronounced in the last couple of months. When Turkey decided recently to deploy Nato Patriot missiles, a furious Iran said that the Patriots could cause a third world war.

Last week, Turkey's Interior Minister accused Iran of supporting PKK terrorists in Turkey, allowing them to use Iran as a base for sanctuary and as a site for transit, training and indoctrination, recruitment, fund-raising and the supply of arms and munitions:

"Intelligence was received indicating that the [PKK training camp], where Iran had denied access to the terrorist organization in the past, has again become operational and that terrorist members who were injured during operations [conducted by Turkish security forces] were being treated in Iranian state hospitals near the border area."

He added that members of the terrorist organization are using vacated Iranian military posts for logistical support.

Iran fears a Turkey/Sunni alliance against Iran and Shias, but this may be a good time to remind readers that the Generational Dynamics analysis indicates that in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, Iran will be allied with Russia, India and the West, including Israel, versus Turkey, the Sunni Arab states, Pakistan, and China. Al-Monitor (Washington) and Zaman (Istanbul)

Greece makes plans for Syrian refugee camp on Corfu

Greece is the most popular entry point for refugees trying to get into the European Union, and there have been waves of them from the entire Mideast, and as far away as Afghanistan. In 2012, some 8,000 Syrian refugees came to Greece, many of them arriving on the island of Lesbos. The Greek government is tentatively planning to accommodate as many as 20,000 Syrian refugees on the island of Corfu. Greek Reporter

Venezuelans wonder if Chavez's cancer surgery has failed

Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro made a sudden, unexpected trip to Cuba on Saturday, increasing speculation that the December 11 cancer operation on president Hugo Chávez, his fourth, was unsuccessful. Chávez has not been seen in public since the surgery, and the location and type of cancer have been kept a closely guarded secret. The Venezuelan opposition are becoming more vocal in demanding the latest medical reports on Chávez, and the people are openly wondering why Chávez has to go to Cuba to be treated, rather than take advantage of treatment facilities in Venezuela. They note that Paraguay's president Fernando Lugo was successfully treated for cancer in the prestigious Hospital Sírio-Libanês (Syrian-Lebanese hospital) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Al-Jazeera and Latin-American Herald Tribune

Fiscal Cliff negotiations collapse

I watched the discussions about the fiscal cliff negotiations on the Sunday morning talk shows, as much as I could stand, and it's hard to overemphasize how pathetic and sickening all of these people are -- President Obama, the Republicans in Congress, the Democrats in Congress. All they want to do is cover their asses. None of these corrupt politicians gives a shit about what they're doing to everyone else. They're a disgrace to the country.

The clown negotiations in Washington have collapsed for now, apparently because the Republican proposal includes the "Chained CPI" proposal that I wrote about two weeks ago, since it cuts Social Security benefits by 0.3%, and which one Democrat I quoted said "hammers" 95 year old women, and throws grandma under the bus. (See "19-Dec-12 World View -- 'Chained CPI' proposal enters the farcical Fiscal Cliff negotiations")

It would be kinda funny if these people weren't so pathetic.

It's worth remembering that in the 1980s, when the Silent generation was in charge, Republicans and Democrats could reach agreements on many things, including saving Social Security and controlling the budget deficit. Even as late as 1996, they could agree to end the welfare entitlement. Today's Generation-Xers and Boomers couldn't agree on the color of mud. CNN

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