The Iran Nuclear Deal…One Year Later: Interview with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. KGNU, Boulder. “Hemispheres Program.” Tues, August, 30, 2016. Part One
Jim Nelson: I’m just going to give a brief introduction, highlighting the topics we’ll be discussing this evening. Later in the program we’ll be looking at the events in Yemen, a somewhat neglected subject in the mainstream media although not on this program. Recently, it has returned to the news, not as much as it should be. Before that we’ll look at Syria and Turkey and the current issues involved, the recent Turkish military incursion into northern Syria, included. But first we’re going to look at the Iran Nuclear Deal, now a year after it was finalized.
Rob Prince: Introduction
Tonight we want to discuss a number of recent events, as usual, try to put them into historical perspective and give some sense as to where the region seems to be heading.
As we went into the dynamics of the Turkish coup last month, we want to begin by stepping back a moment and look at what has transpired – how the United States, the European Union, Iran, Russia have – or have not – kept their parts of what is mistakenly referred to as “the Iran Nuclear Deal” – mistakenly because it not only concerned Iran’s nuclear program but also the lifting of economic embargos against that the country
We’ll return to the Turkish events shortly thereafter and address a number of questions:
– A month later, what are the consequences of the so-called Turkish coup – what has happened to all those people who were purged?
– Is Turkey involved in what might be called “a geo-political shift towards Iran and Russia, or to the contrary is its Syrian policy essentially “on course” with US – NATO plans?
Finally we’ll look at the failure of the Saudi war against Yemen and the current possibilites for resolving that conflict Read more…
It was just this past Saturday, August 19.
I dropped Nancy off at her all-day recorder workshop at the Allenspark art gallery right on Highway 7, 16 miles or so south of Estes Park and headed directly to the Meadow Mountain Cafe in town. At 9 am the place was packed but someone sitting by himself let me join him at his table. The redness in his face suggested a lifetime of booze, although he appeared sober; no breath wreaking of alcohol to ruin breakfast; mercifully he permitted me to sit at his table as long as we didn’t have to talk, which suited me fine. After a short time, he got up to leave..and kept getting up and up and up. Sitting I hadn’t noticed his 6’7″ towering figure.
Our agreed nonverbal table sharing didn’t prevent him from sharing his thoughts with others in this pleasant but somewhat cramped space that made up the interior of the restaurant. There was also a lovely patio, but it was too chilly out to enjoy it. From his conversation with the other clientele, my table mate, a Colorado Paul Bunyan, appeared to be something of a local, the “locals’ in Allenspark being mostly prosperous people from Texas and Oklahoma who have purchased mountain homes that for the most part, they visit for a few weeks in the summer. At least that is what the supersized SUVs and Hummers sitting outside the restaurant suggested.
The conversation flitted from one subject to another. It began interestingly enough. Read more…
Turkish Peace Activist, academic, Esra Mungan, arrested in March, 2016, along with Dr. Muzaffar Kaya and Associate Professor Kivanc for protesting Erdogan’s repression of Turkish Kurds.
In March of this year (2016), some months before the start of the current Great Purge three Turkish academics held a press conference in Istanbul, four days after which they were arrested and charged with supporting terrorism for calling for a negotiated peaceful settlement of Turkey’s differences with the Kurds living largely in the country’s southeast regions.
The three were a part of a Turkish-Kurdish peace initiative, a petition signed quickly after it was initiated by 1100 Turkish academics and several hundred Western intellectuals, including linguist Noam Chomsky. The three were victims of Turkey’s Stalinist-like effort to rid its body of politic of the supporters of Fetullah Gulen and pretty much anyone else standing in the way of Tayyif Erdogan’s increasingly narrow and bigoted version of Turkish nationalism.
Associate Professor Kivanç (Minar Sinan Fine Arts University, Mathematics), Assistant Professor Esra Mungan (Boğaziçi University, Psychology) and Dr. Muzaffar Kaya (fired as a consequence of the academics’ statement from Nişantanşi University, History), representing Academics For Peace, were into custody on charges of “making terrorist propaganda” after calling for “an end to violence between government forces and Kurdish separatists in Turkey’s southeast. Read more…
Turkey and Syria After The Failed Attempted Turkish Coup: Interview with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. KGNU, Boulder. “Hemispheres Program.” Tues, July, 28, 2016. Part Two
(This, and the entry that precedes it, are Parts One and Two of an hour-long interview done on KGNU radio/Boulder Colorado by Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. It is a part of a series that KGNU has run with them for five years. The entire program runs close to an hour. Part Two is below.)
Rob Prince: Now let’s return to Turkey. I want to put its current position within a regional perspective but briefly so that we can concentrate on Turkey’s role in Syria.
First of all what we are seeing in terms of the aftermath of the failed Turkish coup is a certain distancing, it seems, of Turkey from NATO and the United States, although how far is not clear and there are those “red lines” referred to earlier. Turkey is no long begging “please let us into the European Union instead it is looking both east and more towards its own region, the Middle East and the Turkish speaking zones of Central Asia. That seems clear.
Ibrahim Kazerooni: That’s one school of thought.
Rob Prince: Yes, it seems complicated for Turkey to simply walk away from NATO and the United States, as if they could walk away from the military base at Incirlik after more than half a century. That seems to be one of the red lines that certainly would be difficult for Turkey to cross. Read more…
Turkey and Syria After The Failed Attempted Turkish Coup: Interview with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. KGNU, Boulder. “Hemispheres Program.” Tues, July, 28, 2016. Part One
(This, and the entry that follows, are Parts One and Two of an hour-long interview done on KGNU radio/Boulder Colorado by Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. It is a part of a series that KGNU has run with them for five years. The entire program runs close to an hour. Part One is below; here is Part Two.)
This evening on Hemispheres the Middle East Dialogues with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. Tonight Ibrahim and Rob will discuss the failed coup in Turkey. Ibrahim and Rob will look at what is behind the internal repression going on in Turkey. Also, will Turkey’s relationship with Syria and with the Kurds change post-coup? Will relations with the west and the United States in particular change post-coup? All that and more along with listener phone calls will be welcome.
Jim Nelson (Host): Let’s move on to the failed coup in Turkey and there have been a number of articles about the current coup in Turkey, including yours, Rob. There are a lot of rumors about what his happening there. What’s the story?
Rob Prince: Once again we find ourselves in the situation where just prior to the program (Hemispheres) airs, there is some major new development and it happened again this time of course with this failed coup attempt in Turkey. Our general discussions about how to proceed tonight, were to talk about the coup somewhat, then the regional consequences of the coup as we understand them and then transition to the events in Syria. Without any doubt, the crisis in Turkey is related to the Syrian conflict. Read more…
Reports: Newsletter of the National Center For Science Education
My copy of “Reports” – the quarterly newsletter of the National Center For Science Education (NCSE) came in the mail today. This is the Summer 2016, Volume 36, No. 3. I read it cover-to-cover. Always. It also is available at the Center’s website. In the past I have written about NCSE here on my blog, hoping to familiarize a few more people with its content – its commitment to the idea that American students should learn Darwin’s theory of natural selection (Evolution) and climate change. It has, in a determined yet controlled manner countered all the (mostly) Christian fundamentalist drivel, garbage that argues against both scientifically valid ideas. Furthermore it has been both a watchdog and activist in trying to preserve the quality of scientific education (ie – evolution and climate change) in the school systems nationwide
Not to learn, be familiar with Darwin’s theory of Evolution through natural selection is to be scientifically illiterate. It is nothing short of the basis for all modern biology. Likewise, to deny the reality of climate change and the threat it represents to life on earth, is nothing short of denying future generations the possibility of a future. Science has – through long and complex observations and shared insights – concluded the reality of both. Through courses in Physical Anthropology, I taught human evolution over the course of thirty years. By the time I stopped teaching it (as I had moved on to the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies) some of the main themes of Climate Change (and global warming) had already entered into my lectures – specifically the period of mass extinctions which was already underway. Read more…
- Some Background
The aftershocks of the failed military coup in Turkey are resonating. Nearly 2500 upper level military personnel, including more than 100 generals sacked, many arrested. 6000 members of the judiciary, who sometimes challenged Tayyip Erdogan’s policies, fired along with 8000 Turkish policemen. Several hundred people were killed, thousands wounded. Two days later, more than 1,500 university deans have also been ordered to resign and the licences of 21,000 teachers working at private institutions revoked. In the end any and all opposition, the Gulen followers and pretty much anyone else that opposes Erdogan will be politically eliminated and Erdogan will rule supreme with no opposition. And it’s only just begun. More than likely, Washington will accept the changes, and Erdogan’s slap in the face (accusing the C.I.A of orchestrating the coup.)
While considerable confusion remains concerning the origins of the recent Turkish coup attempt, the geo-political outlines of where “post coup” Turkey is headed are coming into focus. A little background on the flurry of Turkey’s diplomatic initiatives that preceded the recent “coup attempt” are in order. As they were intense suggesting that a shift in Turkey’s political posture was in order. Besides initiating an extensive purge of the Turkish military and judiciary, Turkish President Erdogan appears to be setting Turkish regional political posture on a new direction. Read more…