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Davian93
07-15-2016, 04:25 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/15/turkey-low-flying-jets-and-gunfire-heard-in-ankara1/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

Tons of rumors of a seizure of power in Istanbul...not exactly a great thing right now. Apparently attempting to seize power from Erdogan and not on behalf of him at least.

Kimon
07-15-2016, 04:56 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/15/turkey-low-flying-jets-and-gunfire-heard-in-ankara1/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

Tons of rumors of a seizure of power in Istanbul...not exactly a great thing right now. Apparently attempting to seize power from Erdogan and not on behalf of him at least.

Might be even more dangerous if it fails. Looks like they grabbed the bridges across the Bosporus and the airports, but haven't arrested Erdogan yet. I'd have to imagine that this was done at least with our approval. If it fails, we'll be blamed, and relations with Turkey will get even worse. Will be interesting to see both if it succeeds, and how much backlash there is both inside and outside of Turkey. Turkey becoming even more of a chaotic mess isn't good for anyone. On the other hand, if it succeeds, and if the Turkish people are mostly supportive could be very good for the Kurds, for the efforts against ISIS, for finally ending the civil war in Syria, and thus for us and the region.

Turkey was a much more western, much more progressive state when it was run by the military. A return to that, away from the theocratic/autocratic "democracy" of Erdogan, would be potentially quite good for us and for them (well those who don't like Turkey becoming an Islamic state). If it works. Or it could ruin our relationship with Turkey, and make Erdogan act even more like an autocratic thug if it fails.

Certainly increasingly clear why the State Department has been urging all Americans to get the f out of Turkey...

Kimon
07-15-2016, 05:33 PM
MSNBC saying that Erdogan was refused the right to land his plane in Istanbul and is now requesting asylum in Germany. Quite ironic considering the recent row over both the Armenian genocide, and Erdogan insisting on that German comic being prosecuted for slandering him. Hopefully Germany refuses.

https://twitter.com/L0gg0l/status/754065388019781638?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp %5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Davian93
07-15-2016, 05:39 PM
Seems like the military has done a pretty good job of taking over Ankara and Istanbul. Appears to be a pretty well organized coup here.

Erdogan won't be missed.

Isabel
07-15-2016, 05:46 PM
I am also watching the news. I am quite stunned.
I do hope its succesfull, otherwise its even more dictator erdogan.

Kimon
07-15-2016, 05:55 PM
Terrifying to think of Trump potentially handling these types of messes in a couple of months...

Rand al'Fain
07-15-2016, 06:02 PM
Terrifying to think of Trump potentially handling these types of messes in a couple of months...

He'd probably try and reinstate Erdogan.

Southpaw2012
07-15-2016, 07:08 PM
Good riddance

Kimon
07-15-2016, 07:23 PM
Not so sure that this coup is going to succeed. Seems like only part of the military is involved, and most of the senior command had to be taken hostage. And we just issued a statement condemning the violence and supportive of Erdogan.

Kimon
07-15-2016, 07:44 PM
Definitely looks failed now. The coup seemed to seize Ankara, but failed to secure Istanbul, and the soldiers are unwilling to fight against the civilian protesters, or the police, which seems in full support of Erdogan. This might get messy, and looks like it will end with Erdogan back in power, and likely ruling with even more of an iron fist than he had before.

Southpaw2012
07-15-2016, 08:12 PM
And now he will crack down with an even stronger Islamic authoritarian rule. Why our country is supporting the government is baffling, though 99% of what our administration does is baffling.

Davian93
07-15-2016, 08:14 PM
And now he will crack down with an even stronger Islamic authoritarian rule. Why our country is supporting the government is baffling, though 99% of what our administration does is baffling.

Shot in the dark...we could tell the coup was failing and went with the winner since they're a major ally?

Kimon
07-15-2016, 08:36 PM
And now he will crack down with an even stronger Islamic authoritarian rule. Why our country is supporting the government is baffling, though 99% of what our administration does is baffling.

We, unfortunately, have little choice. At least we don't seem to have been involved in planning this debacle. And we waited long enough to see how it played out, and began failing, and so avoided making any embarrassing official statements in support of a failed coup.

Kimon
07-15-2016, 08:58 PM
Reichstag Fire type conspiracy theories already floating...

https://twitter.com/Max_Fisher/status/754108034159353856?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp %5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Isabel
07-15-2016, 10:40 PM
Reichstag Fire type conspiracy theories already floating...

https://twitter.com/Max_Fisher/status/754108034159353856?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp %5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Yep its quite worrying what happens in Turkey now. I think Erdogan will be even more a dictator and no more secular Turkey.

GonzoTheGreat
07-16-2016, 04:27 AM
And now he will crack down with an even stronger Islamic authoritarian rule. Why our country is supporting the government is baffling, though 99% of what our administration does is baffling.
One reason could be that despite his flaws, Obama still has some respect for democracy and the rule of law. Your implied suggestion that other countries should not have any kind of freedom is the kind of attitude that makes people distrust American prattle about democracy.

Erdogan got his position because he was elected to it. Simply having him shoved aside by the military is not really the kind of situation to be applauded, even if it may not be much of a difference anyway, seeing as how Erdogan doesn't have much respect for freedom and the rule of law either.

GonzoTheGreat
07-16-2016, 06:37 AM
It may sound somewhat cynical, but I have to ask: was the CIA behind this?

Terez
07-16-2016, 08:20 AM
It may sound somewhat cynical, but I have to ask: was the CIA behind this?
Kimon seems to think that if they had been, it wouldn't have failed.

SomeOneElse
07-16-2016, 08:47 AM
Sadly it is already defeated. Yesterday when I heard of it I was so fucking happy, just as much was I upset when I woke up and saw the reports about pro-Erdogan forces regaining control over the country.
Still hope to see Erdogan hung one day like Saddam.

Davian93
07-16-2016, 09:31 AM
Over 2800 military officers arrested...and the purges begin.

Kimon
07-16-2016, 10:58 AM
Kimon seems to think that if they had been, it wouldn't have failed.

We're hardly infallible, but our confusion as things were unfolding seemed more genuine than feigned. Erdogan seemed to blame Gulen, who while in the Poconos, wouldn't be our choice for a coup, as he was Erdogan's old AKP associate, and arguably even more hardline. This would be far too much risk of instability just to hand things over to Gulen, especially considering how little of the military - seemingly just the gendarmerie and parts of the air force - was directly involved. Maybe I'm giving us too much credit (certainly we made quite a mess of Iraq and Libya, so simple incompetence and miscalculation isn't implausible), but this doesn't really give the feel of our fingerprints.

Concerning Dav's mentions of the purges, this failed coup shows just how thorough (well nearly thorough) a job Erdogan did starting back in 2007 purging the military and judiciary in the so-called Ergenekon and Sledgehammer. Now he's finishing that job.

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-europe-36811357

Summary

Turkey PM Binali Yildirim says coup attempt by faction of armed forces is over
More than 160 people are dead, 1,440 are wounded and some 2,800 soldiers are under arrest, says Mr Yildirim
More than 2,700 judges are fired for alleged links to coup attempt - warrants are out for 140 Supreme Court members
It follows reports of explosions and gunfire in Ankara and Istanbul overnight as the coup unfolded
President Erdogan made a televised address, urging opposition to the uprising and calling it "treason"
Mass arrests after failed Turkey coup

The government has blamed followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen - once an ally of President Erdogan, but his fiercest foe since 2013, when the president said he was behind a huge leak of phone calls that seemed to implicate the government in corruption.

Ever since, there's been a relentless purge of Mr Gulen's loyalists within the police, civil service and military: individuals the government has accused of forming a parallel state.

Mr Gulen has denied involvement in this latest coup attempt, but the government wants his extradition from the US, where he lives in exile.

Kimon
07-16-2016, 12:00 PM
Numbers on the purge getting a bit clearer.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36813924

Some 2,839 soldiers, including high-ranking officers, have been arrested after an attempted coup that is now over, says Turkey's PM Binali Yildirim.

Unclear whether any of the "high-ranking officers" are just unpopular, and not trusted by Erdogan, and so rounded up using the coup as pretext, rather than actual evidence of involvement, but the numbers of judges is a bit harder to hide...

Some 2,745 Turkish judges have also been dismissed in the wake of the coup, state media say.

There is also this...

In other developments, the US consulate in southern Adana province said local authorities were preventing movement in or out of Incirlik air base and had cut power there. No reason has been given.

Apparently we are being punished for waiting a few hours before officially picking sides.

Mort
07-16-2016, 12:22 PM
Erdogan got his position because he was elected to it. Simply having him shoved aside by the military is not really the kind of situation to be applauded, even if it may not be much of a difference anyway, seeing as how Erdogan doesn't have much respect for freedom and the rule of law either.


Sadly it is already defeated. Yesterday when I heard of it I was so fucking happy, just as much was I upset when I woke up and saw the reports about pro-Erdogan forces regaining control over the country.
Still hope to see Erdogan hung one day like Saddam.

I'll take democratically elected shitheads over military shitheads any day. Turkey have to learn to manage itself by elections, not coups. It's tempting to want the quick change that a coup gets you, but which military coups has really worked out so far?

Kimon seems to think that if they had been, it wouldn't have failed.

Having the CIA involved is an almost assured failure, their win-rate isn't very high.

Kimon
07-16-2016, 01:23 PM
Having the CIA involved is an almost assured failure, their win-rate isn't very high.

- Syria 1949 - success (albeit another coup a few years later brought Assad's family into power)
- Iran 1951 - success (albeit came back to haunt us)
- Guatemala 1954 - success
- Indonesia 1957 - failure (mostly because Ike and the CIA weren't on the same page)
- Congo 1960 - success
- Dominican Republic 1960 - success
- Cuba 1961 - failure (again arguably because JFK and the CIA weren't on the same page)
- Vietnam - failure (hard to blame this quagmire on them)
- Afghanistan 1979 - success (albeit came back to haunt us)
- Iran Contra (embarrassing, but this one was mostly Reagan's fault, not the CIA's)
- Lebanon - massive fu*kup, again Reagan's fault. We never should have allied with Israel. We were far better off when the CIA was working quietly with the PLO. But Israel assassinated Salameh, and Reagan was a senile bible-thumping idiot.

A few embarrassments aside, the CIA essentially was, for the most part, very good at what was admittedly some very ethnically questionable activities, until they were forced to work for that senile bastard Reagan. Mind you, going 6-5 isn't exactly a great record, especially when a lot of those "successes" are Pyrrhic victories.

I was initially hoping that this was Davutoglu (the recently ousted PM who was thrown aside for resisting Erdogan's attempts to change the constitution) with the backing of the military, and with our consent. Davutoglu at least would have had a clear rationale, defending democracy against Erdogan's illegal power grab, and he, while AKP too, had been far more willing to work with us on both ISIS and the refugees. Unfortunately...

Mort
07-17-2016, 02:03 PM
- Syria 1949 - success (albeit another coup a few years later brought Assad's family into power)
- Iran 1951 - success (albeit came back to haunt us)
- Guatemala 1954 - success
- Indonesia 1957 - failure (mostly because Ike and the CIA weren't on the same page)
- Congo 1960 - success
- Dominican Republic 1960 - success
- Cuba 1961 - failure (again arguably because JFK and the CIA weren't on the same page)
- Vietnam - failure (hard to blame this quagmire on them)
- Afghanistan 1979 - success (albeit came back to haunt us)
- Iran Contra (embarrassing, but this one was mostly Reagan's fault, not the CIA's)
- Lebanon - massive fu*kup, again Reagan's fault. We never should have allied with Israel. We were far better off when the CIA was working quietly with the PLO. But Israel assassinated Salameh, and Reagan was a senile bible-thumping idiot.



Count those "came back to haunt us" as failures too. The only way to win is not to play.

SomeOneElse
07-17-2016, 03:00 PM
I'll take democratically elected shitheads over military shitheads any day.

The problem with turkeysh democracy is that it is different than the one you're used to. In fact, the army is the most democratic fource because many of the officers still share kemalist ideology. In fact, all previous coups in that country were a step towards democracy.

Kimon
07-17-2016, 03:49 PM
The problem with turkeysh democracy is that it is different than the one you're used to. In fact, the army is the most democratic fource because many of the officers still share kemalist ideology. In fact, all previous coups in that country were a step towards democracy.

Most of those Kemalists had already been rounded up and jailed by Erdogan between 2007-2011, when the military made the mistake of trying to bully Erdogan and Gulen. It's still unclear whether these rebels were Kemalists, or if they were the last few Gulen supporters, which is what Erdogan is claiming. Certainly in addition to rounding up all those judges, he is also demanding that we hand over Gulen. Erdogan did finally lift his blockade of Incirlik, and allow us to recommence our sorties against ISIS, so we apparently successfully convinced him that this hadn't been a failed CIA mission.

It is somewhat demonstrative of just how bad Erdogan is, that while democratically elected, and while a NATO ally, we weren't exactly shy about being cautiously optimistic at the brief prospect of him being gone. Certainly nothing that he has done following the coup's failure invalidates our dismay at his authoritarianism. Hopefully we don't elect our own version of Putin and Erdogan in a few months, as Trump is very much cut from the same cloth.

Davian93
07-18-2016, 08:05 AM
Two rebel F-16s reportedly had Erdogan's plane in their sights and locked on with radar but never fired on him.

Um...do they not understand how coups are supposed to work...FIRST, you cut the head off the snake, then you kill its body. That's the moment this one fell through. Had they taken him out, they likely are in power right now instead of being pushed up against a wall and getting shot.

Kimon
07-19-2016, 11:52 AM
He's going after teachers now too.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36838347

More than 15,000 education staff in Turkey have been suspended after last week's failed coup, as a purge of state officials widens still further.
The ministry of education accused them of links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric the Turkish government says was behind Friday's uprising.
Mr Gulen denies any involvement in the coup attempt .
The resignation of more than 1,500 university deans has also been ordered by Turkey's high education board.

The army, judiciary, security and civil service have all been targeted following Friday's coup attempt:
6,000 military personnel have been arrested, with more than two dozen generals awaiting trial
9,000 police officers have been sacked
3,000 judges have been suspended
More than 250 staff in Mr Yildirim's office have been removed
Turkey's media regulation body on Tuesday also revoked the licenses of 24 radio and TV channels accused to have links to Mr Gulen.

It is increasingly impossible to ignore Hahn's observations about prepared lists. This, like Suruc, looks suspicious...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3695128/Turkey-govt-list-arrests-prepared-EUs-Hahn.html

Davian93
07-19-2016, 11:54 AM
The Turkish state must be ever vigilant against the creeping influence of Emmanuel Goldstein...I mean Gulen.

GonzoTheGreat
07-19-2016, 12:00 PM
Why doesn't he simply follow Bremer's example from Iraq: fire everyone and await further developments?

Kimon
07-19-2016, 12:06 PM
Why doesn't he simply follow Bremer's example from Iraq: fire everyone and await further developments?

The teachers and judges are more alarming than the military purge. Going after suspect officers and soldiers could be legitimate in the aftermath of a coup. Teachers and judges? That reeks of a shift toward sharia and the systematic removal of all known secularists.

Davian93
07-19-2016, 12:21 PM
The teachers and judges are more alarming than the military purge. Going after suspect officers and soldiers could be legitimate in the aftermath of a coup. Teachers and judges? That reeks of a shift toward sharia and the systematic removal of all known secularists.

Getting rid of the intellectuals is a time honored part of seizing absolute power. See also, the anti-intellectual movement in the US Right Wing as another great example of this facet of would-be dictatorships.

Kimon
07-19-2016, 12:47 PM
This is somewhat tangential, but a reminder of the types of "moderate" rebels that Erdogan has been convincing us to support against Assad in Syria.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36835678

Videos have emerged online that appear to show Syrian rebels taunting and then beheading a boy they say is a captured Palestinian pro-government fighter.
One video shows five men posing with the frightened child, who could be as young as 10, in the back of a truck. One of the men grips him by the hair.
The same man is later filmed apparently cutting the boy's head off.

The men in the first video say he is a fighter from Liwa al-Quds (the Jerusalem Brigade), a Palestinian pro-government militia operating in the Aleppo area.
Enab Baladi, a pro-opposition news website, said the boy was captured in Handarat by members of a local rebel group, the Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement.

The group is reported to have benefited from financial and military support from the US, UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf Arab states in the past.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2016, 03:33 AM
The teachers and judges are more alarming than the military purge. Going after suspect officers and soldiers could be legitimate in the aftermath of a coup. Teachers and judges? That reeks of a shift toward sharia and the systematic removal of all known secularists.Except that these aren't secularists, or not all of them. Or at least, not entirely. They're said to be followers of Gulen, a Muslim leader with whom Erdogan first cooperated and then fell out with. Many of them are probably inspired by these teachings; others are merely collateral damage.

Davian93
07-20-2016, 08:03 AM
Except that these aren't secularists, or not all of them. Or at least, not entirely. They're said to be followers of Gulen, a Muslim leader with whom Erdogan first cooperated and then fell out with. Many of them are probably inspired by these teachings; others are merely collateral damage.

Yeah, this is more akin to Stalin's purges of suspected Trotsky sympathizers...If I were Gulen, I'd watch my back.

Kimon
07-20-2016, 10:51 AM
Except that these aren't secularists, or not all of them. Or at least, not entirely. They're said to be followers of Gulen, a Muslim leader with whom Erdogan first cooperated and then fell out with. Many of them are probably inspired by these teachings; others are merely collateral damage.

Gulen and Erdogan were the original leaders of the AKP. There is no difference ideologically between the two. It was only a power struggle. If it was just military officers and judges, I might buy this as a rounding up of Gulen sympathizers, but even for that the numbers are too high. It is however difficult without being there, and knowing them personally to truly assess if those targeted are AKP-Islamists, which would apply to Gulen and Erdogan flunkies, or if this is just a pretense for finally purging not just the judiciary, army, and police, but also the education sector of Kemalists. At present, BBC reports that 15,200 education ministry staff have been fired, 21,000 teachers have had their licenses revoked, and 1,577 university deans have been forced to quit. These numbers seem far too high to be Gulen specific sympathizers. There just isn't any doctrinal contrast between Gulen and Erdogan, and such high numbers seem impossible for Gulen to have planted. It seems far more likely that these are Kemalists, and Erdogan is simply using Gulen and the coup as an excuse to finally rid all secularists from all sectors of civil service, and to replace them with Muslim fundamentalists. If these were all Gulen's people, they would all already be Muslim fundamentalists, AKP types, just like Erdogan's flunkies. It just doesn't make sense, especially as Gulen has been in America since 1999. To think that these are all his people, after all this time, seems nigh impossible.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2016, 12:39 PM
Well, Khomeini did have quite a large following in Iran too, despite having been in exile for almost as long.

Then again, the army is fairly famous for being filled with Kemalists instead of Muslim fanatics. Odds are that only very few of them would have felt any loyalty to Gulen.

Davian93
07-20-2016, 12:41 PM
14 naval ships are still missing after the coup...so, um...yeah, there's that. If anyone sees them, Erdogan would like to speak to them.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2016, 01:02 PM
Maybe they'll turn up in Al-Raqqa. Wouldn't that be fun?

Rand al'Fain
07-20-2016, 02:25 PM
14 naval ships are still missing after the coup...so, um...yeah, there's that. If anyone sees them, Erdogan would like to speak to them.

And the head of the Navy with them. Not really sure if he was a conspirator or taken hostage, but no one's seen or heard from him since the coup attempt.

Kimon
07-20-2016, 02:41 PM
Well, Khomeini did have quite a large following in Iran too, despite having been in exile for almost as long.

Then again, the army is fairly famous for being filled with Kemalists instead of Muslim fanatics. Odds are that only very few of them would have felt any loyalty to Gulen.

There was a clear contrast in ideology between Khomeini (Muslim Fundamentalist) and the Shah (Secularist). Khomeini could also appeal, at least in the lead up to the revolution, to secular nationalists who saw Pahlavi as a hated puppet of the evil Brits and Americans. Gulen has no such contrast ideologically from Erdogan. The only contrast between these two is that Gulen was the loser, and ran away to hide amongst the hated Americans. Why would large numbers of Muslim fundamentalists side with Gulen over Erdogan, when backing Erdogan means backing not just a winner, but a guy that we in the West despise. That these are Kemalists (secularists) just makes far more sense. Gulen's name is just being invoked as cover.

Kimon
07-20-2016, 05:10 PM
He has just effectively declared himself dictator.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36852080

Turkey's president has declared a state of emergency for three months following Friday night's failed coup.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said citizens should not have "the slightest concern with regards to democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms".

This all seems quite reminiscent of Sulla - the massacres of the rebellious Samnites (=Kurds), the Mithridatic Wars (=Assad), civil war vs Marius & Cinna (=Gulen &/or the Kemalists), declaring himself dictator for limited tenure to restore the republic and then rounding up and killing all who opposed him (proscription lists - he hasn't started executing people yet, but he has called for a restoration of the death penalty). Of course Sulla at least retired two years into his reign of terror. Thinking Turkey has a lot more than just two years more of Erdogan to endure...

Davian93
08-11-2016, 03:30 PM
Latest news: Erdogan has basically said that the US/Turkey alliance (and Turkey's role in NATO by extension) is over unless we hand over Gulen. And he's looking to ally himself with Russia instead.


So um...good luck with that course of action, Erdogan. I'm sure we totally need you way more than you and your economy needs the West. No way that backfires on you at all.

Kimon
08-11-2016, 04:14 PM
Latest news: Erdogan has basically said that the US/Turkey alliance (and Turkey's role in NATO by extension) is over unless we hand over Gulen. And he's looking to ally himself with Russia instead.


So um...good luck with that course of action, Erdogan. I'm sure we totally need you way more than you and your economy needs the West. No way that backfires on you at all.

It's not really a surprise. Russia is an important trading partner for Turkey, more so really than the rest of Europe, and far more so than us, and Russian tourists are also quite important for the Turkish economy. Since there is no chance of achieving their goal of pushing Assad out of Syria, this reconciliation with Putin makes sense, especially as it also serves as an irritant, if not outright coercive blackmailing tactic, against both us and Europe. Putin, doubtless, is also far less likely to be bothered by him continuing to butcher the Kurds than are we. It's clever.

In addition to Gulen, there is also the presence of another high ranking asylum seeker in America - Rear Admiral Ugurlu was in Virginia, at NATO, when the coup occurred, and understandably, thought it would be imprudent now to return home.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37032171

One can hardly blame him, even if he was involved...

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/07/turkey-independent-monitors-must-be-allowed-to-access-detainees-amid-torture-allegations/

Amnesty International has credible reports that Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul are holding detainees in stress positions for up to 48 hours, denying them food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abusing and threatening them. In the worst cases some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture, including rape.

“Reports of abuse including beatings and rape in detention are extremely alarming, especially given the scale of detentions that we have seen in the past week. The grim details that we have documented are just a snapshot of the abuses that might be happening in places of detention,” said Amnesty International’s Europe director John Dalhuisen.

Two lawyers in Ankara working on behalf of detainees told Amnesty International that detainees said they witnessed senior military officers in detention being raped with a truncheon or finger by police officers.

A person on duty at the Ankara Police Headquarters sports hall saw a detainee with severe wounds consistent with having been beaten, including a large swelling on his head. The detainee could not stand up or focus his eyes and he eventually lost consciousness. While in some cases detainees were afforded limited medical assistance, police refused to allow this detainee essential medical treatment despite his severe injuries. The interviewee heard one police doctor on duty say: “Let him die. We will say he came to us dead.”

The accounts of lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were strikingly similar.

All the lawyers said that in the majority of the cases detainees were held pre-charge for four or more days by the police. With very few exceptions, their clients were being held incommunicado throughout this period and had not been able to inform their families of where they were or what was happening to them.

They were also not able to phone a lawyer and in most cases did not see their lawyers until shortly before being brought to court or being interrogated by prosecutors. One lawyer told Amnesty International that when she finally saw her clients, “[They] gave me the contact information [for their families] so I could call them. The families knew nothing. They were happy to hear their sons were alive.”

Amnesty International spoke with a relative of a high-ranking military official who was detained in Ankara. He said that family members were able to speak with the detained relative on his mobile phone on Saturday 16 July before it was confiscated by the police, but that the family has had no information about his fate or whereabouts since then. Family members made several trips to detention centres in Ankara but were consistently told the detainee was not there. The detainee has also had no access to a lawyer. Such treatment amounts to enforced disappearance which in itself is a crime under international law. This practice places detainees outside the protection of the law and cuts them off from the outside world, putting them at very high risk of torture or even extrajudicial execution.

Rand al'Fain
08-12-2016, 08:04 PM
And thus, Ataturk's hard work has been destroyed, especially with Erdogan's military purges (the military being the one previous fail safe to would-be dictators in Turkey).

Kimon
08-14-2016, 11:08 PM
This is getting quite thorough...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37079704

It is not just the attempted takeover for which the "Gulenists" are blamed. Several damaging incidents are now being pinned on them, including the nationwide Gezi Park protests in 2013 and the shooting down of a Russian jet in Turkey last November that soured relations with Moscow - even though the prime minister and president appeared to take responsibility for it at the time.

The fear is that the Gulen label is being freely applied to a range of opponents and that in the "new Turkey" you are either seen as a staunch government supporter and anti-coup activist or a potential Gulen sympathiser.
A well-known singer had her concerts cancelled after she refused to perform at the democracy meeting in Istanbul. And the Actors' Union has warned that a "witch hunt is influencing intellectuals, journalists, artists, writers and actors who have nothing to do with Feto".

Arda Aydin is one of six actors who have been suspended, pending investigation. Others were laid off for "poor performance".
"We've probably been suspended because we opposed the government in the past few years - but it's laughable to say we are Gulenist," he says. "Those targeting us are trying to turn down our voices. They think we'll be scared - but the opposition can never be silenced."

Davian93
08-15-2016, 07:59 AM
Hitler or Stalin would be so proud to see their playbook being executed so well.

Ivhon
08-15-2016, 01:40 PM
Putin is putting together a nice little run of diplomatic successes. Erdogan, Trump, Assad. He's on a good roll.

Kimon
08-19-2016, 06:46 PM
These might be the first tangible fruits of Erdogan's rapprochement with Putin...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37136536

American fighter planes have been scrambled to the Syrian city of Hassakeh to protect US special forces on the ground from Syrian government aerial attacks, the US military says.
The Pentagon said the Syrian planes were leaving as its jets arrived.
People in the north-eastern Syrian city say government warplanes have hit Kurdish districts there for the past two days.
Thousands are reported to have fled their homes.
Hassakeh is mainly under the control of a Kurdish militia, the YPG.

Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis said that as far as he was aware, Thursday's mission was the first time that coalition aircraft had been scrambled to respond to an incident involving Syrian government aerial bombardment.

In a statement on Syrian state TV on Friday evening, the general command of the Syrian army accused Kurdish forces of "attacking state institutions, stealing oil and cotton, obstructing exams, kidnapping unarmed civilians and spreading chaos and instability".
These actions required an appropriate response from the army, the statement said.
A Kurdish journalist who is in Hassakeh, Heybar Othman, told the BBC that it was the first time the Syrian government had used air power against the city.

So, Putin convinces Erdogan to stop fighting Assad, and in exchange, Assad starts targeting the Kurds.

Rand al'Fain
08-19-2016, 09:40 PM
I'm thinking that it may be time to create a couple of Kurdistans. One in Iraq (most competent group there) and one in Syria. Both would be made into members of NATO. Or if both the Peshmerga and YPG can come to some agreements and become one nation, even better.

We get a stable, democratic and Western friendly country in the Middle East heartland that has no issues fighting their own battles, stick one to both Putin and Erdogan, and bring some stability back to the region. Without putting minority groups in danger of being wiped out.

Kimon
08-19-2016, 10:31 PM
I'm thinking that it may be time to create a couple of Kurdistans. One in Iraq (most competent group there) and one in Syria. Both would be made into members of NATO. Or if both the Peshmerga and YPG can come to some agreements and become one nation, even better.

We get a stable, democratic and Western friendly country in the Middle East heartland that has no issues fighting their own battles, stick one to both Putin and Erdogan, and bring some stability back to the region. Without putting minority groups in danger of being wiped out.

It's not that simple. Beyond the obvious obstacle of our hesitancy to break ties with Turkey (which might lead us to instead betray the Kurds), there is also the issue of revenue. Beyond the existential threats posed by the hostility to their existence from ISIS as well as from the Iraqi, Turk, and now Syrian govts, there is also the simple fact that they don't have enough oil wealth to support two separate states, and without access to their own port, the Turks currently are able to use this problem as the means by which to play the Iraqi Kurds off against their Turk and Syrian brethren, as those Iraqi Kurds ship their oil through Turkey.

Speaking of which...

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iraq-resumes-pumping-oil-via-kurdish-region-to-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103045&NewsCatID=348

The timing of this is interesting.

GonzoTheGreat
08-20-2016, 04:25 AM
To paraphrase what an Englishman said about a century ago: we should create a little loyal Kurdish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism. Of course, around the time that plan was made, there were also plans to recognise an independent Kurdistan, but those plans were dumped because oil was found and dividing that up naturally became more important.

Kimon
08-20-2016, 03:38 PM
To paraphrase what an Englishman said about a century ago: we should create a little loyal Kurdish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism. Of course, around the time that plan was made, there were also plans to recognise an independent Kurdistan, but those plans were dumped because oil was found and dividing that up naturally became more important.

If you're referring to the failure of the Treaty of Sevres, that wasn't due to oil. Ataturk refused to recognize it, and then defeated the French, Greeks, and Armenians (the Armenian Genocide), in a series of battles, ending in the abandoning of French and English plans for the further partitioning of Turkey (which would have not only created Kurdish and Armenian states, but also given back much of western Turkey to Greece), and instead Ataturk's victory was officially recognized with the Treaty of Lausanne.

Kimon
08-22-2016, 08:57 PM
So, on Saturday an ISIS suicide bomber murders 54 Kurds, mostly women and children, at a wedding, and today, of course, Erdogan responds by bombing the Kurds (and maybe ISIS, but only the attacks on the Kurds can be verified) in Syria.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37161538

We have, unfortunately, waited too long to really have the ability to condemn these kinds of acts. It's hard enough to convince the Turks that we weren't involved in the coup as it is, any extra push now and Erdogan will happily complete the conversion of Turkey from NATO to Putin's nouveau Warsaw Pact. This does somewhat underscore the similar problem we've all had in how to describe the Armenian Genocide. Is it just the unfortunate fruits of war, or was this really genocide? Is this a Kurdish Genocide, or is this just war? Certainly, even with the genocide, we in the west tend to have a much more favorable opinion of Ataturk than we do of Erdogan. If Erdogan just wasn't such a Koran-thumping religious nut, and instead a secular butcher, would we all just shrug and look the other way?

GonzoTheGreat
08-23-2016, 03:43 AM
Frankly, I think that it does not matter all that much what precise flavor of dictator there is. Just about any dictator is bad. And that is what "the West" thinks as well, if it suits the powers that be to say so, at least.
After all, Stalin was a secular dictator too, and our governments didn't like him at all. Except when they needed him to survive, of course. The Saudi monarchs, on the other hand, are thoroughly religious dictators, and we (our governments) have always gotten along with them very well and been quite willing to look away from any inconvenient human rights violations.

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 07:26 AM
Frankly, I think that it does not matter all that much what precise flavor of dictator there is. Just about any dictator is bad. And that is what "the West" thinks as well, if it suits the powers that be to say so, at least.
After all, Stalin was a secular dictator too, and our governments didn't like him at all. Except when they needed him to survive, of course. The Saudi monarchs, on the other hand, are thoroughly religious dictators, and we (our governments) have always gotten along with them very well and been quite willing to look away from any inconvenient human rights violations.

Democracy or dictatorship, a bad leader makes bad things happen. If the other people in my nation are hell bent on voting evil into power because they like his act, then give me that benevolent dictator. Unfortunately the ways in which a dictator becomes a dictator and stays a dictator don't allow for much benevolence.

All forms of government are based on some naive idea which pretty obviously isn't true once you think about it. Monarchy is based on the idea that being a good ruler is genetic. Communism believes people aren't selfish. Fascism thinks it's all someone else's fault. And with democracy it's the mistaken belief that good is more popular than evil.

If only there was a practical way to ensure that you only get wise rulers, though the idea that there always is someone wise to put on the throne might turn out to be naive.

GonzoTheGreat
08-23-2016, 09:45 AM
And with democracy it's the mistaken belief that good is more popular than evil.Actually, democracy is more based on the idea that it is good (or at least less bad) to vote out the current bum once he's gone bad and replace him with a new bum who will need some time to get as bad, at which point you can vote him out too. This is a brilliant idea in theory, but it somewhat suffers from the "better the devil you know" principle, which tends to protect current bums from being voted out.

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 10:43 AM
Actually, democracy is more based on the idea that it is good (or at least less bad) to vote out the current bum once he's gone bad and replace him with a new bum who will need some time to get as bad, at which point you can vote him out too. This is a brilliant idea in theory, but it somewhat suffers from the "better the devil you know" principle, which tends to protect current bums from being voted out.

So the mistaken belief is that a lesser evil is the same as good?

GonzoTheGreat
08-23-2016, 11:15 AM
Nah, the mistaken belief is that you'll get a lesser evil, instead of at most a differently wrapped one. Then again, the idea is not wholly wrong, sometimes it even works, which is why democracy is less bad than any of the alternatives.

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 01:00 PM
Nah, the mistaken belief is that you'll get a lesser evil, instead of at most a differently wrapped one. Then again, the idea is not wholly wrong, sometimes it even works, which is why democracy is less bad than any of the alternatives.

Care to make a full list of all alternatives and prove that each of them is even at its best worse than the worst democracy? Oh and do it for all possible definitions of "worst" and "best".

Rand al'Fain
08-23-2016, 04:13 PM
Frankly, I think that it does not matter all that much what precise flavor of dictator there is. Just about any dictator is bad. And that is what "the West" thinks as well, if it suits the powers that be to say so, at least.
After all, Stalin was a secular dictator too, and our governments didn't like him at all. Except when they needed him to survive, of course. The Saudi monarchs, on the other hand, are thoroughly religious dictators, and we (our governments) have always gotten along with them very well and been quite willing to look away from any inconvenient human rights violations.

No, the other Allies did not like Stalin. By all reports, they tolerated him. Even during the height of the war. It was an alliance of convenience. That's pretty much it.

Kimon
08-23-2016, 04:53 PM
Care to make a full list of all alternatives and prove that each of them is even at its best worse than the worst democracy? Oh and do it for all possible definitions of "worst" and "best".

Have you ever read Aristotle's Politics? Aristotle argued that there are three basic forms of govt. Kingship, which can be subverted into Tyranny. Aristocracy, which can be corrupted into Oligarchy. Polity (Constitutional Govt) which can devolve into Democracy.

Politics IV.1289
And inasmuch as in our first inquiry2 about the forms of the constitution we classified the right constitutions as three, kingship, aristocracy and constitutional government, and the deviations from these as three, tyranny from kingship, oligarchy from aristocracy and democracy from constitutional government, and about aristocracy and kingship we have spoken (for to study the best constitution is the same thing as to speak about the forms that bear those names, since each of them means a system based on the qualification of virtue equipped with means), and as also the question what constitutes the difference between aristocracy and kingship and when a royal government is to be adopted has been decided before, it remains to discuss the form of constitution designated by the name3 common to them all, and the other forms, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny. Now it is manifest also which of these deviations4 is the worst and which the second worst. For necessarily the deviation from the first and most divine must be the worst,5 and kingship must of necessity either possess the name only, without really being kingship, [1289b] [1] or be based on the outstanding superiority of the man who is king; so that tyranny being the worst form must be the one farthest removed from constitutional government, and oligarchy must be the second farthest (for aristocracy is widely separated from that constitution), while democracy must be the most moderate. An account of their relative merits has indeed already been given also by one of the former writers,1 though not on the same principle as ours; for he inclined to judge that there were good varieties of all the forms, for instance a good sort of oligarchy and so on, and that democracy was the worst among these, but the best among the bad varieties, whereas we say that the deviations are wholly wrong, and that it is not right to speak of one form of oligarchy as better than another, but only as less bad.


He then goes into a lot of detail describing various forms of oligarchies, democracies, and tyrannies, before finally getting back to what he considers a Polity to be...

Politics IV.1293b
Having then stated the reason for this mode of classification, we have now to set forth our view about constitutional government. For its meaning is clearer now that the characteristics of oligarchy and democracy have been defined; since constitutional government is, to put it simply, a mixture of oligarchy and democracy. But people customarily give the name of constitutional government only to those among such mixed constitutions that incline towards democracy, and entitle those that incline more towards oligarchy aristocracies, because education and good birth go more with the wealthier classes, and also the wealthy are thought to have already the things to get which wrongdoers commit wrong; owing to which people apply the terms ‘gentry’ and ‘notabilities’ to the rich. Since therefore aristocracy means the assignment of the highest place to the best of the citizens, oligarchies also are said to be drawn rather from the gentry. [1294a] [1] And it seems an impossibility for a city governed not by the aristocracy but by the base to have well-ordered government, and similarly also for a city that has not a well-ordered government to be governed aristocratically. But to have good laws enacted but not obey them does not constitute well-ordered government. Hence one form of good government must be understood to consist in the laws enacted being obeyed, and another form in the laws which the citizens keep being well enacted (for it is possible to obey badly enacted laws). And for laws to be well enacted is possible in two ways: they must either be the best laws possible for the given people or the best absolutely. But aristocracy in the fullest sense seems to consist in the distribution of the honors according to virtue; for virtue is the defining factor of aristocracy, as wealth is of oligarchy, and freedom of democracy (while the principle that a decision of the majority is supreme is found in them all: for in both oligarchy and aristocracy and democracies whatever the larger part of those who have a share in the government decides is supreme). In most states1 then the name of aristocracy is given to that form of constitutional government,2 for the combination aims only at the well-off and the poor, wealth and freedom (since in almost the largest number of states the rich seem to occupy the place of the gentry); but as there are three things that claim equal participation [20] in the constitution, freedom, wealth and virtue (for the fourth, what is called nobility, accompanies the two latter—nobility means ancient wealth and virtue), it is manifest that the mixture of the two factors, the rich and the poor,3 ought to be termed constitutional government, while the mixture of the three factors deserves the name of aristocracy most of all the various forms of aristocracy beside the true and best form.

He goes into a lot more detail. Essentially he thinks that aristocracy and the constitutional polity, forms which overlap are essentially the best (the philosopher king still being the actual best possibility, but rarest, and likely to devolve into the worst variant), or at least the safest, but that democracy is far better, and safer, than oligarchy and tyranny. He also thinks that govt is safest when left in the grasp of the middle class...

Politics IV.1296a
That the middle form of constitution is the best is evident; for it alone is free from faction, since where the middle class is numerous, factions and party divisions among the citizens are least likely to occur. And the great states are more free from faction for the same reason, because the middle class is numerous, whereas in the small states it is easy to divide the whole people into two parties leaving nothing in between, and also almost everybody is needy or wealthy. Also democracies are more secure and more long-lived than oligarchies owing to the citizens of the middle class (for they are more numerous and have a larger share of the honors in democracies than in oligarchies), since when the poor are in a majority without the middle class, adversity sets in and they are soon ruined. And it must be deemed a significant fact that the best lawgivers are from among the middle citizens; for Solon was of that class, [20] as appears from his poetry, and so was Lycurgus (for he was not a king) and Charondas and almost the greatest number of the other lawgivers.
And these considerations also show the reason why the constitutions of most states are either democratic or oligarchical; owing to the middle class in these states being often a small one, the classes diverging from the middle status—whichever of the two, the owners of the estates or the people, from time to time has the upper hand—conduct the government on their own lines, so that it becomes either a democracy or an oligarchy. And in addition to this, because factions occur and fights between the people and the wealthy, whichever party happens to gain the upper hand over its opponents does not establish a common or equal government, but takes the superior share in the government as a prize of victory, and makes it a democracy in the one case and an oligarchy in the other.

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 07:47 PM
No I haven't read that one. How does he define each type exactly? Which would communism be for example? Also I'm not sure what he means by "virtue". Does he recognize it as a variable or not?

Kimon
08-23-2016, 08:20 PM
No I haven't read that one. How does he define each type exactly? Which would communism be for example? Also I'm not sure what he means by "virtue". Does he recognize it as a variable or not?

The word translated here as virtue is "ἀρετή". It has a range of meanings, but basically just means things like goodness, merit, or excellence. When translated into Latin, one would typically use as the most equivalent synonym "virtus", hence the use of "virtue" as a translation. It's pretty long, but if you're interested I grabbed the translated bits from Perseus, which provides both the original Greek and the translation into English.

Here's the link to this particular section, though you can access the whole work, either in English or Greek, on Perseus. You can jump between the sections by using the book and section markers located above the English text. To switch the text to Greek you'd need to click on the "focus" option next to Greek on the left side of the page, or to see both the English and Greek on the same page, click on "load" instead.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0058%3Abook%3D4% 3Asection%3D1293b

It's hard to get an exact equivalence for communism from ancient Greece, but Sparta is close. It was more of an aristocratic oligarchy, but still formed upon that basis of egalitarianism, albeit solely for the Spartans, and maintained only due to the subjugation of their neighbors the Helots (of Messenia in the Peloponnese, but significantly for the justification of their enslavement, they were considered to be Pelasgians rather than Dorians like the Spartans, and so were treated like barbarians). This society, not Athens, nor really any other Classical Greek city-state, was the only one that had levels of slave-labor anywhere near to what we see later amongst the Romans, and like the Romans, it was slave labor force that had been won through warfare. When the Thebans defeated Sparta at Leuctra in 371 BCE, it led to the freeing of the Helots, which led to the almost immediate collapse of Spartan power. It's why a generation later Philip and then Alexander could ignore Sparta, because the city no longer mattered. The Spartan system was essentially an oligarchy, so a corrupted form of aristocracy. Athenian aristocrats often praised the Spartan system, and longed for it - including such luminaries as Socrates and Plato. After the occupation, when Sparta installed a friendly oligarchy drawn from those same aristocratic Athenians, what quickly emerged was a brief reign of terror, the so-called 30 Tyrants. After Thrasyboulos, the only surviving democratic general who had escaped the purge, returned to Athens and liberated his city, Socrates was famously put on trial for corrupting the youth (since the 30 were almost all his students), and Plato fled to Syracuse to train another tyrant, Dion. What the Soviets had was similar, though one could also well call it, especially under Stalin, instead a tyranny, which is to say a bastardized form of monarchy rather than a corrupted aristocracy. Certainly the Soviet form of communism was in no way either a polity or a democracy.

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 08:44 PM
I wonder if oligarchy could be avoided if you defined the aristocracy based on wisdom rather than the more ambiguous virtue. Of course the problem would be that while wisdom is harder to fake it might not be possible to find enough people who fit the minimum requirements. And of course defining those minimum requirements would be a tough task in itself.

Kimon
08-23-2016, 08:53 PM
I wonder if oligarchy could be avoided if you defined the aristocracy based on wisdom rather than the more ambiguous virtue. Of course the problem would be that while wisdom is harder to fake it might not be possible to find enough people who fit the minimum requirements. And of course defining those minimum requirements would be a tough task in itself.

Naz, this is what he is trying to point out as the problem with Plato. Plato is an idealist, and why he notes that while one might try to equate wealth with merit and wisdom, that it is still wealth that is being treated as the sign of virtue often in an oligarchy. Sure you can write about some idealistic vision of what you think a utopic society and government should be, but in practice, these systems tend to more often take the three corrupted forms (tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy), and as such, that while not the ideal form, nonetheless, the safest of those three typical real-world variants is democracy. But then, that type of thinking does tend to be the dividing line between idealism and pragmatism...

Out of curiosity Naz, does the word that you would use as a typical replacement for our English word virtue in Finnish have a much more narrow range of meanings than does the English? I'm somewhat confused by why you are bothered by the concept, as it does not have a negative connotation in English, but you seem to have a negative opinion of it. I can't help but wonder if this is perhaps a cultural or linguistic issue.

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 09:53 PM
Naz, this is what he is trying to point out as the problem with Plato. Plato is an idealist, and why he notes that while one might try to equate wealth with merit and wisdom, that it is still wealth that is being treated as the sign of virtue often in an oligarchy. Sure you can write about some idealistic vision of what you think a utopic society and government should be, but in practice, these systems tend to more often take the three corrupted forms (tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy), and as such, that while not the ideal form, nonetheless, the safest of those three typical real-world variants is democracy. But then, that type of thinking does tend to be the dividing line between idealism and pragmatism...

Out of curiosity Naz, does the word that you would use as a typical replacement for our English word virtue in Finnish have a much more narrow range of meanings than does the English? I'm somewhat confused by why you are bothered by the concept, as it does not have a negative connotation in English, but you seem to have a negative opinion of it. I can't help but wonder if this is perhaps a cultural or linguistic issue.

Virtue in Finnish is pretty much the same as English. Funnily enough you very nearly answered your own question. The whole point about virtue is that it is a subtle inner quality yet people insist they can see it on the outside. It's the eternal honour vs glory dilemma. This is of course true about wisdom as a more specific virtue, but it at least is more easily defined and tested than the whole spectrum. Morality, strength, intelligence, experience, honour, humility, patience, discipline, the list of virtues is a long one and many would add things that are more debateble on it like wealth or piety or patriotism or fame. Of course it leads to oligarchy when you try to use something as complicated as that as a basis for the elite class. But if you use a specific virtue it gets simpler. The question is can we define a virtue or a small set that would not lead to oligarchy. I'd say wisdom is such a virtue. Honour and morality would be important too, but I'm pretty sure that wisdom would bring them along by default so it's a moot point. But are there enough people who meet the minimum requirements? A system where only the wise get a vote is easy enough to imagine. It's even fairly simple to think up some safeguards, but the further you go the more requirements pile up and it becomes doubtful that you can find even one person that fits the bill.

Kimon
08-23-2016, 10:11 PM
Virtue in Finnish is pretty much the same as English. Funnily enough you very nearly answered your own question. The whole point about virtue is that it is a subtle inner quality yet people insist they can see it on the outside. It's the eternal honour vs glory dilemma. This is of course true about wisdom as a more specific virtue, but it at least is more easily defined and tested than the whole spectrum. Morality, strength, intelligence, experience, honour, humility, patience, discipline, the list of virtues is a long one and many would add things that are more debateble on it like wealth or piety or patriotism or fame. Of course it leads to oligarchy when you try to use something as complicated as that as a basis for the elite class. But if you use a specific virtue it gets simpler. The question is can we define a virtue or a small set that would not lead to oligarchy. I'd say wisdom is such a virtue. Honour and morality would be important too, but I'm pretty sure that wisdom would bring them along by default so it's a moot point. But are there enough people who meet the minimum requirements? A system where only the wise get a vote is easy enough to imagine. It's even fairly simple to think up some safeguards, but the further you go the more requirements pile up and it becomes doubtful that you can find even one person that fits the bill.

No, this is the point that I was making, that I find it odd that you, seemingly, have an unambiguously positive connotation of wisdom, yet not of virtue. This strikes me as odd, as it is virtue, not wisdom, that really has the closer connection to both ethics and morality. Ask yourself, for instance, this. Would you rather have a leader who is wise and cruel, or one who is naive and kind. Both obviously have a drawback, but the key here is that wisdom and virtue can walk hand in hand, but they need not. One can be wise but lacking in virtue, and one can be virtuous, but lacking in wisdom. Preferably one's leaders would be both, but, to use the Greek words, "sophia" isn't necessarily preferable to "arete". Let's use recent American politics as a guide. Take the two runners-up, would you have preferred Ted Cruz (wise + evil), or Bernie Sanders (naive + virtuous)? Mind you, at present, our real options are Trump (stupid + evil), or Hillary (wise + a bit shady on ethics), so technically that means I, as you seem to insist should be the choice, chose wisdom (Hillary) over virtue (Bernie)...

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 10:28 PM
No, this is the point that I was making, that I find it odd that you, seemingly, have an unambiguously positive connotation of wisdom, yet not of virtue. This strikes me as odd, as it is virtue, not wisdom, that really has the closer connection to both ethics and morality. Ask yourself, for instance, this. Would you rather have a leader who is wise and cruel, or one who is naive and kind. Both obviously have a drawback, but the key here is that wisdom and virtue can walk hand in hand, but they need not. One can be wise but lacking in virtue, and one can be virtuous, but lacking in wisdom. Preferably one's leaders would be both, but, to use the Greek words, "sophia" isn't necessarily preferable to "arete". Let's use recent American politics as a guide. Take the two runners-up, would you have preferred Ted Cruz (wise + evil), or Bernie Sanders (naive + virtuous)? Mind you, at present, our real options are Trump (stupid + evil), or Hillary (wise + a bit shady on ethics), so technically that means I, as you seem to insist should be the choice, chose wisdom (Hillary) over virtue (Bernie)...

Ah so the problem is that you have no clear definition of wisdom. None of those reach my standards. Intelligent maybe, but not wise.

Kimon
08-23-2016, 10:41 PM
Ah so the problem is that you have no clear definition of wisdom. None of those reach my standards. Intelligent maybe, but not wise.

This is hardly a clear definition. Nor is it convincing...

Nazbaque
08-23-2016, 11:09 PM
This is hardly a clear definition. Nor is it convincing...

Did I say that was my definition? I merely stated that I have one not what it is. It's actually fairly simple but understanding it requires a certain humility of mind and I'm not really sure you have that. After all you want to own an argument as if being right was some kind of contest where you can call copyrights. Here you are, more concerned over who is "winning" than whether or not you are wrong or right. You also seem to believe that if a different opinion is wrong then yours must be right as it was opposing it.

Kimon
08-23-2016, 11:19 PM
Did I say that was my definition? I merely stated that I have one not what it is. It's actually fairly simple but understanding it requires a certain humility of mind and I'm not really sure you have that. After all you want to own an argument as if being right was some kind of contest where you can call copyrights. Here you are, more concerned over who is "winning" than whether or not you are wrong or right. You also seem to believe that if a different opinion is wrong then yours must be right as it was opposing it.

Oy vey. Wisdom is simply the application of knowledge, experience, and judgment. And I simply disagree with you that it is necessarily preferable to virtue. And Naz, it's possible to disagree with someone without being rude.

GonzoTheGreat
08-24-2016, 05:13 AM
Care to make a full list of all alternatives and prove that each of them is even at its best worse than the worst democracy? Oh and do it for all possible definitions of "worst" and "best".The problem with them all (including democracy) is that they won't stay at their best. They generally don't stay at the absolute worst either, so what you get in reality is "fairly bad, with occasional random fluctuations in either direction".

Ah so the problem is that you have no clear definition of wisdom.No one has such a definition. Which makes wisdom a somewhat dodgy criterion to base a government upon.

The Iranians try, though, by combining democracy with a council of wise men (mullahs). Do you think such an arrangement is better than what we have in the West?

Nazbaque
08-24-2016, 07:59 AM
Oy vey. Wisdom is simply the application of knowledge, experience, and judgment. And I simply disagree with you that it is necessarily preferable to virtue. And Naz, it's possible to disagree with someone without being rude.
You think you aren't being rude? And your definition is vague just as I suspected. Knowledge has a place in the definition but it's not the application that makes someone wise. Experience is just a way of acquiring knowledge. Judgement is something every human does, it doesn't make you wise. This is exactly what I mean Kimon. You focus on the surface, on actions, on results, when you should look deeper at the motives and plans. Any act may turn out to be wise or foolish when compared to the motive and any result might turn out to be unintended when compared to the plan.

The right answer is much simpler.
The problem with them all (including democracy) is that they won't stay at their best. They generally don't stay at the absolute worst either, so what you get in reality is "fairly bad, with occasional random fluctuations in either direction".
So how do you prove that democracy's fairly bad is the least bad?
No one has such a definition. Which makes wisdom a somewhat dodgy criterion to base a government upon.
I do.
The Iranians try, though, by combining democracy with a council of wise men (mullahs). Do you think such an arrangement is better than what we have in the West?

If the mullahs actually were wise it might be.

Kimon
08-24-2016, 09:46 PM
Slightly more on topic, the Turks today took Jarablus, one of the border crossing towns, claiming that they were liberating the city from ISIS, but this is a town that ISIS had been in the process of imminently losing to the Syrian Kurds...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37171995

Syrian rebels, backed by the Turkish military and US air cover, say they have taken the town of Jarablus from jihadists of so-called Islamic State.
The assault began at dawn when Turkish warplanes, tanks and special forces personnel crossed the nearby border.
Rebel commanders said most of the IS militants subsequently retreated.
Turkey says its intervention is targeting both IS fighters and a Syrian Kurdish-led alliance that is attempting to advance on Jarablus.

...and we have now officially begun the abandonment of our only reliable ally in the region.

US Vice-President Joe Biden said the US had been flying air cover for the operation.
He also warned members of the Syrian Democratic Forces - the most effective opponents of IS on the ground in Syria - that they had to return to the east of the River Euphrates if they wanted to continue receiving its help.
"We have made it absolutely clear... that they must go back across the river," he said. "They cannot, will not, and under no circumstances get American support if they do not keep that commitment."

A US official travelling with Mr Biden admitted that some Kurdish fighters had pushed further north than they should have and said Turkey's offensive on IS in Jarablus was probably partly to create a buffer zone against any further Kurdish advance.
But he said the US had "put a lid" on any more such moves, creating a breathing space for the Jarablus operation, which the US supports and to which it is ready to contribute.

Kimon
08-31-2016, 11:10 AM
The proximity of the election obviously hampers Obama's options to radically change policy with Turkey, but the carrot is clearly not working...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37231760

The pursuit of Kurdish forces, whom Ankara considers terrorists, has led to criticism by the United States.
Ankara summoned the US ambassador on Wednesday over comments the foreign ministry called "unacceptable".
A US military spokesman had expressed hopes on Tuesday that, rather than see Turkey pursue Kurdish fighters, "all parties involved are going to stop shooting at each other and focus" on IS.
"Turkey is a sovereign state, it is a legitimate state," said EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik, echoing comment by Turkey's foreign ministry.
"To suggest it is on a par with a terrorist organisation and suggest there are talks between them, that a deal has been reached between them, this is unacceptable."
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday that "operations will continue until all terrorist elements have been neutralised, until all threats to our borders, our lands and our citizens are completely over".


This, by the way, is the type of topic that we really should be discussing in the lead up to the election, not how much more racist than usual does the republican candidate need to be before his party abandons him, or how can we pretend that Hillary's emails are a bigger deal than the insignificant issue that any sane person should recognize them as being (of course the same is true of Benghazi, and the republicans are still obsessed with that nonsense too). This, frankly strikes me as far more important than how candidates stand on the ttp and ttip as well. This Turkey-Syria-Kurdistan issue is a powder keg...

GonzoTheGreat
08-31-2016, 11:43 AM
This Turkey-Syria-Kurdistan issue is a powder keg...And it has been a powder keg for decades. Suppose that Trump solves this and achieves peace in the Middle East, then what's the next batch of politicians to do?

Kimon
08-31-2016, 01:05 PM
And it has been a powder keg for decades. Suppose that Trump solves this and achieves peace in the Middle East, then what's the next batch of politicians to do?

Kurdish separatism has been a regional issue for decades, but vastly exacerbated recently both by the instability in Syria (and Iraq), and by the heavy-handed despotism of Erdogan in Turkey. I'm not sure I trust Hillary much on dealing with this matter either, certainly Obama hasn't had much success cleaning up the mess that the Younger Bush made of the region, but he at least is a calming influence, and stable enough not to do anything really stupid, like the Younger Bush did in invading Iraq. I trust Hillary to mostly maintain his approach. Trump, on the other hand, makes the Younger Bush look like Winston Churchill...

Kimon
09-10-2016, 11:36 AM
Turkey is at least claiming to accede to the deal that we and the Russians negotiated. Obviously a welcome development, but no one really seems all that optimistic about how long it will hold.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37328945

Getting a deal was an achievement, given the sour atmosphere between Moscow and Washington. It offers some fragile hope about stopping the slaughter.
But there is scepticism about its chances. That is because a lot is going to have to go right, quite quickly, if the agreement is to work. One necessity is President Assad's consent. A week-long ceasefire might be possible, but a political deal to end the war is still out of sight.

Assad isn't the problem that will cause this to collapse. He won (due mostly to Putin, along with the fact that we, rightly, don't really care about Assad's fate). The problem isn't him, it's Erdogan and the Kurds.

GonzoTheGreat
09-10-2016, 12:00 PM
Another, not quite explicitly mentioned, problem is that not actually all involved parties agreed to the deal.

All ISIS has to do to scuttle this deal is carry out a few false flag operations. Would they be capable of that? Would they be willing to do that? If the answers to those are "yes", then it seems unlikely that a cease fire has much chance.

Kimon
09-11-2016, 10:21 AM
Another, not quite explicitly mentioned, problem is that not actually all involved parties agreed to the deal.

All ISIS has to do to scuttle this deal is carry out a few false flag operations. Would they be capable of that? Would they be willing to do that? If the answers to those are "yes", then it seems unlikely that a cease fire has much chance.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37332789

Mr Erdogan said in a statement that the current Turkish military operation in Syria, known as Operation Euphrates, was just a "first step" in the fight against IS, which he calls Daesh.
"It is our duty to our people to finish off Daesh in Syria, and to bring them to a level where they can't carry out attacks in our country," he said.
In the same statement, he said Turkey was also determined to defeat the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and the Feto group of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Mr Erdogan has accused Mr Gulen of masterminding a failed coup attempt in July.
"We are determined to wipe out the PKK trouble from Turkey together with our security forces. Just like Feto, the PKK stands no change against our sagacious people and the power of our state."


Turkey has as yet done nothing to convince that ISIS still isn't the lowest of those three priorities...

Kimon
09-19-2016, 05:17 PM
The truce is officially dead - and emphatically so.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37413411

Aid trucks have been hit by an air strike near the Syrian city of Aleppo, reports say, hours after the military declared the current cessation of violence was over.
The Syrian Red Crescent said the convoy had been making a routine delivery from Aleppo to rural rebel-held areas.
A UN spokesman said an aid convoy had been hit in Aleppo province but could not confirm it was an air strike.

Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the aid trucks were hit near the town of Urm al-Kubra by Syrian or Russian warplanes.
Details are unclear, but a civil defence volunteer said rescue efforts at the scene were continuing.
Earlier, air strikes were reported to have resumed on Aleppo and other cities after the Syrian military declared the seven-day "regime of calm" at an end.


It certainly didn't help that we accidentally attacked the Syrian military (Assad) over the weekend.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/world/middleeast/us-airstrike-syrian-troops-isis-russia.html?_r=0

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United States acknowledged on Saturday that its warplanes had carried out an airstrike in Syria that resulted in the deaths of Syrian government troops. American military officials said the pilots in the attack, in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, believed they were targeting the Islamic State.

Russia’s defense ministry said the United States attack had killed 62 Syrian troops, wounded 100 more and opened the way for an Islamic State offensive.

The episode comes at a time of escalating tensions in Syria. A partial cease-fire that started on Monday continues to steadily unravel after it was declared with much fanfare by the United States and Russia.

A statement by United States Central Command said that the planes stopped the attack after a warning from Russia that the strikes could be hitting Syrian troops.

The Syrian government insisted that the strike was not a mistake. Instead, the government said it was “a very serious and flagrant aggression” that aided the Islamic State and proved its long-held assertion that the United States supports the jihadist group as part of an effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

“These attacks confirmed that the U.S. clearly supports the terrorism of Daesh,” SAMA television, a state-run news outlet, said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The channel quoted a statement issued by the Syrian military’s general command, which said the attack exposed “false claims of fighting terrorism” by the United States.

That accusation would just be amusingly silly, but for the fact that many Trump supporters still think that Obama is a Muslim terrorist.

Rand al'Fain
09-19-2016, 10:05 PM
In all honesty, the attack on Assad's forces only quickened the unraveling of the ceasefire a bit. No chance in hell was it going to last long.

But to attack aid trucks? Whom the Assad forces had been holding up at several locations prior?

And people wonder why there are non-ISIS combatants that don't want Assad in power.