Good morning, and now the news…Hopelessly unable to reach a compromise, the Brits remain deadlocked on the Brexit issue, with at least one conservative MP resigning his position in frustration while all of the EU and the UK continue to wonder what chaos will follow should Britain “crash out” of the European Union. Venezuelan strongman, Nicolas Maduro, has appointed someone named “Igor” to take over what Maduro calls the country’s “war on electricity.” (Think Young Frankenstein.) No word yet on how much influence Russian advisers who are now on the ground in Venezuela (as opposed to floating slightly above it), might have had on Maduro’s decision. Here in the U.S., Donald Trump says the GOP will delay implementing its new health plan he has been promising (it’s a secret, apparently) until after the 2020 election while he complains that Puerto Ricans in need of assistance would be stealing money from Americans, apparently forgetting that Puerto Rico is part of America. (Think pathological liar, malignant sociopath and big dummy.) The only sign of political sanity comes from Ankara, Turkey, of all places, where President Erdogan’s semi-fascist party (those who disagree with him are thrown in prison) appears to be losing in the polls. And finally, agriculture experts predict we will run out of avocados in three weeks time, should Donald follow through with his snit-fit promise to close the border with Mexico potentially costing both Mexico and the U.S. billions in lost trade. In Toronto, proving the world may actually be spinning off its axis, the Baltimore Orioles winning streak continues. The Orioles, last year’s worst team in American baseball, are now three and one, having taken two games from the Yankees in a three game series and then winning yesterday’s first game against the Toronto Bluejays. Gotta love those O’s. And that’s the real news, nothing fake about it, so you can now turn off MSNBC and FOX for the rest of the day. As for me, I’m going back to bed. Wake me when it’s over. Or by seven, when the Orioles play their next game in the series up in Toronto. If we last that long.
It’s interesting that the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a Sunni Muslim. Most of Turkey, is Sunni. ISIS was created by Sunni Muslims who were kicked out of their jobs and lost their power base when the Bush/Cheney regime invaded Iraq.
Fethullah Gullen, the cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, who Erdogan blames for causing this most recent coup attempt by the Turkish military, is said to be a secular Muslim who promotes “a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam (with) staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue. He left Turkey in 1999 and had a massive falling out with his former ally Erdogan about three years ago.”
In much of the world, religion and politics are one and the same, something too many in our governement and media continue to ignore. The question of whether the West would be better off without Erdogan in power, is both valid and reasonable.
Update: On Sunday, 7-17 the Associated Press reported that the government had put down a second coup attempt. According to the AP, the government said that “6,000 people had been detained in the investigation, including three of the country’s top generals and hundreds of soldiers. In addition to those mentioned by Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, dozens of arrest warrants have been issued for judges and prosecutors deemed to be government opponents. ” Earlier reports indicated that 3000 judges had already been removed by the government.
Getting good information on what’s happening in Turkey won’t be easy. The Erdogan regime is infamous for throwing reporters in jail. In 2013 Al Jazeera called it “The world’s biggest prison for media.”
In 2016, Nina Ognianova of The Committee to Protect Journalists testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that, “Turkey has intensified its repressive actions against the media in recent months, Ognianova said. In an attempt to stifle criticism, authorities have used broadly worded anti-terror laws; brought charges against journalists under an archaic law that carries jail terms for insulting the president; replaced the editorial management of opposition media outlets and fired their staff; routinely imposed bans on the reporting of sensitive stories; and has prosecuted and imprisoned journalists on anti-state charges in retaliation for their work.”
Accordin to the Committee to Protect, 25 journalists have been killed in Turkey since 1992. 22, have been murdered.