Daily Archives: July 18, 2016

TURKEY: RIGHT-WING FORCES BATTLE FOR CONTROL

ALLIANCE NEWS
July 18, 2016

TURKEY: RIGHT-WING FORCES BATTLE FOR CONTROL

( The Alliance News reprinted this article from the LIBERATION NEWS of the Party For Socialism and Liberation (PSL) regarding the prevailing situation in Turkey after the failed coup -Editors)

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Los Angeles— A group composed primarily of mid-level officers of the Turkish Armed Forces attempted to carry out a coup the night of July 15 and early in the morning of July 16.

They were able to capture several strategic locations before being driven back by police and other forces loyal to the reactionary regime of President Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Coup

Fighting primarily took place in Istanbul and Ankara, the most important big cities in the country. Tanks and troops fanned out, momentarily capturing key motorways, government offices and media outlets. The coup forces were able to lay siege to the parliament building and carry out airstrikes against police headquarters.

The rebelling officers failed, however, to capture top government leaders. In a surreal moment, President Erdogan, who was on vacation, appeared on live TV via Facetime and assured that the AKP remained in control. He called on his supporters to take to the streets to protest – but staying true to the cowardly nature of tyrants, some reports indicate that he was simultaneously exploring the possibility of securing safe haven in Greece or Germany.

Large numbers of the AKP followers did in fact take to the streets and confronted tanks and soldiers following this message. The country’s clergy quickly responded and issued a special call to prayer to mobilize supporters of the Erdogan regime. It is important to distinguish the class and political character of the crowds that came into the streets on July 15 and the hundreds of thousands of progressive and working class people who have taken part in various movements to resist the AKP’s reactionary project, including the heroic June 2013 “Gezi Park” movement.

The crowds on the streets of Turkey Friday night were of a purely reactionary, lynch-mob character, some of them armed and acting in close coordination with the police. It is important to remember that the AKP and Erdogan have played a critical in the rise of the so-called Islamic State by supporting, arming and funding IS. The character of the crowds dominating the streets last night is also a grim exposure of how the AKP could equally unleash these reactionary gangs on progressive and left forces if there were a similar Gezi-like uprising.

13709853_1219396161444903_5673639909833269346_nErdogan returned to Istanbul late Friday night, and the pro-coup forces began surrendering. It is important to note that the Turkish military is composed primarily of conscripts, who have no choice but to join. Many enlisted soldiers were told by their commanders that they were simply participating in drills, and only later realized that they were being used in a coup attempt. One of the soldiers in Istanbul was beheaded by the AKP supporters, reminiscent of the style of Islamic State terror in Iraq and Syria.

The Obama administration issued a statement after it became clear that the coup would likely fail, urging respect for the “democratically-elected government of Turkey.” It would be a cruel irony to allow the AKP regime – or their opponents who attempted the coup – to claim the mantle of defenders of democracy.

Who are the Gulenists?

It appears that the coup attempt was led by officers aligned with the Fethullah Gulen movement. This is a reactionary Islamist movement whose leader Fethullah Gulen is in exile in the United States. The Gulen movement has an extensive history of working with the CIA.

The Gulen movement had been an important ally of the ruling AKP government between the time it came to power in 2002 until 2013. They have colluded with the AKP, held important positions in the state apparatus and exercised influence through a vast network of media and educational institutions.

The basis of their unity with their former partners in the AKP was a shared desire to destroy the 1923 secular republic and replace it with a religiously-oriented state that rolls back democratic rights.

As the AKP reoriented the nature of the state, it eliminated most of the followers of the progressive secular “Kemalist” tradition – named after the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – from the judiciary, state security, public education and even sections of military. This vacuum was filled in many cases by Gulenist cadre.

The Gulenists were a key force in the 2010 constitutional referendum that essentially expanded Ergodan’s judicial powers in the name of democracy and cleaning up the remnants of the deep state. It was in fact a pretext for Erdogan to charge a wide range of opposition forces and put them in jail.

As has been the case throughout his career, Erdogan has been unable to share power even with his most like-minded allies. The exact circumstances that sparked the rift are still unclear, but for the last several years the AKP-Gulenist alliance has turned into a bitter rivalry. Where they were once close partners in the past in pushing forward reactionary policies that destroyed the secular nature of the republic coupled with a systematic ideological drive to Islamicize all aspects of social life, the AKP has now focused its attention on expelling the Gulenists.

A wave of repressionkp_7

 

Thousands have been arrested so far in a massive sweep carried out by security forces after the coup was put down. The judiciary, military and other key state institutions are being purged of remaining opponents of Erdogan and the AKP. This reportedly includes dozens of generals.

Many of these people likely were involved in the coup to one extent or another, but others are undoubtedly targets of opportunity who have been in the AKP regime’s crosshairs for some time. There is a possibility that the death penalty could now be reinstituted in the country. It may not be far-fetched to say that Erdogan will use the failed coup attempt as the pretext to push forward his own reactionary coup in the name of defending democracy.

Erdogan has long held ambitions of an “executive presidency.” This means fundamentally reforming Turkey’s constitution so that near-dictatorial powers are vested in the presidency. Under the current arrangement, the presidency is technically a ceremonial role with power primarily held by the Prime Minister – a position Erdogan occupied until 2014.

It is unclear how extensive the campaign of repression will be in the wake of the coup. The bourgeois political and business establishment in the country has unanimously condemned the attempted coup.

While the AKP currently lacks the votes in parliament to force through the constitutional changes it desires, that equation could change soon given that the whole bourgeois political establishment including the three main opposition parties, Kemalist CHP (Republican People’s Party), the right-wing MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and Kurdish opposition party HDP have all expressed support for the AKP’s so-called democracy.

Anti-Kurdish Repression

Prior to the coup, the AKP was already whipping up popular sentiment against the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Following his defeat in the June 7, 2015 general elections, to regain the AKP’s parliamentary majority Erdogan reignited the government’s brutal war against the oppressed Kurdish people concentrated in the country’s southeast.

The abrupt end of the peace process with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) was consistent with Erdogan’s record of reckless adventurism. The AKP government is a principal sponsor of the right-wing religious terrorist organizations that are leading the fight to overthrow the Ba’athist government led by President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. For years, it allowed IS and its predecessor organizations to operate supply lines into Syria from Turkey and recruit on Turkish territory in an almost open manner.

Last November, the Turkish military shot down a Russian plane that had at most violated Turkish air space for a few seconds while it was participating in the country’s mission to support the Syrian government. This provoked a profound diplomatic crisis that raised the specter of a catastrophic escalation. Now that Erdogan appears to be softening his position on Syria – making moves to normalize relations with Russia, for instance – the Turkish people are suffering from the inevitable blowback from his incredibly dangerous and foolhardy maneuvers for regional dominance.

It is crucially important to reject all U.S. attempts at intervention in Turkey – the “eastern flank” of NATO – where a succession of murderous CIA-backed coups have repressed the people’s aspirations for democracy and liberation for decades. Difficult days are ahead for all progressive people in Turkey. AKP will surely use the resulting conditions of the failed coup to its benefit to the fullest extent and will tighten its dictatorial grip on the whole country, escalating its already brutal repression of all progressive and leftist movements to a new level.

As tensions are inflamed and the situation becomes even more dangerous, the Party for Socialism and Liberation stands in solidarity with our comrades in Turkey fighting for an end to the domination of their country by right-wing, pro-imperialist forces – whether that is Erdogan and the AKP or another variant.

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ALARM BELLS

KOMUNIDAD
July 18, 2016

ALARM BELLS

By Arturo P. Garcia

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By my own monitoring, more than 300 drug addicts, drug pushers and drug lords have been killed by the police and some vigilante groups.

Media reports says, more than 100 or more than one third of 300 were killed by civilian vigilante groups

News reports also said that more than 65,000 involved in the trade trade have surrendered en masse all over the Philippines .

The alarm bells had been raised by some quarters, namely, the human rights groups, concerned citizens, some legislators. On the other hand, the –co-opted token opposition are all quiet giving the President its honeymoon period for the next 100 days.

Will the alarm bells keeps on ringing louder and louder after 100 days? We have yet to see and hear these sounding off.

Even the PNP Director General “Bato” Dela Rosa has accepted the fact that the PNP is not ready for this mass surrender. They have less rehabilitation centers ready or the infrastructure prepared for this mass surrender.

At the rate the President Digong Duterte is going, many more Generals and government officials will fall with this anti-drug and criminality drive within the next six months.

What worries me is that scenario is what happened during the 14 years of martial law. Just replace the drug lords and drug pushers and addicts with “ communist terrorists.”This is the same modus operandi that the police and the AFP has been doing during martial law to impress the ten Dictator Marcos.

The newspaper were filled with thousands of NPA supporters and mass base surrendering in masse in different provinces Surrendered or capture Communist and NPA leaders were paraded for photo opportunity for Generals and Regional Commanders for their promotions and for the eyes and ears of the President.

PFMCounting all those who have surrendered or captured NPA’s or MNLF all through the years, one will wonder why there are still NPA and MNLF up to these days and why they grew stronger during the Marcos years.

During martial law, if there is a spike of criminality in the urban areas, the President will at once unleash his “secret marshals” and what we see now are the death tolls left and right.

The only difference now is the new President made this call in public and even made the PNP bolder by saying,” Sagot ko kayo.” Hence, the rise in killings.Another difference is that he has named the Generals who are involved in the drug menace. The only problem is how the process will take place and how long it will take.

As if Duterte has find a way to impose martial law without even declaring. And as if the public is enjoying it for the moment. Just like martial was hailed by the public during its early years.

Later comes the abuses and excesses of the martial law regime.14 years later, the exasperated Filipino people had enough of the martial law dictatorship and overthrew the Marcos regime in February 1986.

Let us crossed our fingers and hope for the best.

But as the French Foreign Legion says: “ Let us hope for the best and expect the worst.”

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WAR JITTERS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEAS

KOMUNIDAD
July 16, 2016

WAR JITTERS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEAS

By Arturo P. Garcia

Over a cup of coffee, a friend of mine, a fellow journalist who has a 19-year experience in world affairs asked me a question. “ What China is up to in its brinkmanship in the China Seas?”

“ Don’t tell me China just like to tests its modern war machinery or its army who had no wars for almost 37 years?’ He added to the first question.

I explained to him that as a political realist, President Duterte declared at once his opinion on the matter. “ We are not ready to go to war. We have negotiate with China”.

The last big war China fought was sixty-six years ago, during the Korean War from 1950 to1953. They fought unofficially in Vietnam on the side of the Socialist North Vietnam from 1950 to 1975 sparingly under the internationalist Red Flag of course. They manned the Vietnamese Air Force like what they did to North Korea during the Korean War.

As our discussion went deeper, I explained to him that the last time China went to war is with their neighbor Vietnam was 37 years ago. For almost 25 China supported Vietnam’s war for national liberation. First with France from 1949 to 1954 and then with the United States and their puppet government in South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975.

But when Vietnam became finally free, they deported more than one million Chinese Vietnamese in 1975 as its first act against its neighbor-China. This resulted in the phenomenon “The Boat People” exodus from 1975 to 1980’s.In return, China under paramount leader Deng Xiao Ping decided “to teach Vietnam a lesson” by invading its four border provinces in 1979 that became a “border war” or a “ pocket regional war” . At best, the war was a draw.

Since then China has been modernizing and flexing its military muscles since the 1980’s to the present. It had declared a “ air defense zone” on the four disputed islands with Japan and revived the “Nine-Dash Line” against its six Asian neighbors since 2011. This angered the United Sates and its allies prompting the later in a new policy called “Pivot Asia.”

The “Pivot Asia” policy will deploy 60% of the US Naval Assests in the Pacific before the end of President Obama’s term. Tis is the military policy of the economic policy, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that will ”contain China”.

Eager to advance China’s new destiny as a global superpower, builds up the China’s army for global conflict and territorial claims in the South China seas. His best bet is to prove to the world that China is a military superpower and can beat even the United States in a regional war in the China seas.

The worst, if ever they are defeated is to prove to the world that China is not a push over. At best it is a regional power to reckon with. And it can hold its head up high to world at last.

Even if China is defeated, it can prove to its people that if can fight a war. May it be a world war or a regional war. In a regional, for sure Russia, the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) can be drawn into this war. On the other hand, Vietnam, the United States and Japan as well as its allies, the UK, Australia and Vietnam can be drawn into the maelstrom.

The Philippines and other Asian countries will remain neutral unless the Philippines is attacked then, it will be another case. In a regional war, under Duterte, the Philippines will be on the defensive unless it is attacked by China. The good thing is that the former President Aquino III has made preparations to modernize its armed forces for the last six years.

Of course, its high time for China to fight a war. It has been raring to go to war. They have shelved Mao Ze Dong’s theory of People’s War and have mastered the Western Doctrine of gun-boat diplomacy by building a blue navy and adopting the social-imperialist “Nine-Dash Line” doctrine in the China Seas.

Most of all, they believed in the Chinese saying, “In time of peace, prepare for war.”

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