Sunday, April 29, 2012

Turkey Trot: Turkey starts illegal drilling in N. Cyprus update

John Ward has an analysis of the situation (and while we're at it, might as well have a look at the rights situation: letters from political prisoners (where's Amnesty when you need them?)) -

The Slog: "MED ENERGY WARS: UK Foreign Office slumbers on as Israel/Turkey showdown grows ever nearer"

Veteran Sloggers are well aware of Erdogan The Mad: Turkish leader, free-speech crusher, Kurd-basher, Holocaust denier, energy thief, and best friend of Iran and David Cameron at one and the same time.

They’ll also know from earlier in the week that, ignoring existing territorial waters ratified by the UN, Rabid Recep and his Erratic Engineers have plonked a drilling derrick right next to Cyprus (having earlier this year threatened to annex it) and got right down to the task of tapping into other people’s oil.

Now the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is denying Greek media reports that a Turkish Petroleum Company is carrying out oil exploratory works along the Greek continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea. (...) >>>

Apr 29, 2012

Athens News: "Greece condemns Turkish drilling in Cyprus"

The Greek foreign ministry on Thursday sharply condemned the exploratory drilling launched by a Turkish firm in the region of Sygkrasi (Sinirustu in Turkish) near the town Famagusta in the Turkish-occupied northern third of Cyprus.

Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras, referring to the drilling by a Turkish petrol company, stressed that this is another illegal Turkish move, blatantly violating the UN Security Council resolutions that call on all countries to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. (...) >>>

Apr. 26, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caucasian Heat: Russia gearing up for pushback on Iran, Syria

With tensions rising in Iran, and it's satellite Syria presently engaged in the Western operation dubbed Arab Spring, the Caucasus region is back in the news. Read also up on the developments on "The Levant's Intricate Intrigues", yesterday's entry April 11 (map right) -

Business Insider: "Russia Is Massing Troops On Iran's Northern Border And Waiting For A Western Attack"

The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources. (...) >>>

Apr 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Levant's Intricate Intrigues: Obama's dangerous game in Syria

Besides setting the stage for WWIII, what are the interests (strategics, geopolitical implications) Assigned reading! Check The Optimistic Conservative's Blog for more great posts (see also file "Caucasian Heat", entry Apr. 12) -

Hotair: Syria, Russia: It all looks different from out there"

(...) The US should be concerned about the danger as well – but instead, the Obama administration is seeking reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, backing it in Syria (see here as well), and proposing to fund and treat with the terrorist group Hamas. The Russians are justified in being worried that the US shows little discrimination in our choice of clients and protégés in the region. Whether the reason is ideological sympathy or ideological naïveté, the US administration’s affinity for the most radical, repressive, Islamo-statist elements in the Islamic world cannot be a basis for strategically responsible uses of power.

The Obama administration showed clearly during the Libya operation that it was committed to not using US power to achieve decisive political outcomes. Yet US power is the element most badly needed in the situation in Syria. The feat needed in Syria is one to which only America, up to now, has been suited: acknowledging the regional implications of any Syrian outcome; bringing Russia into a group effort; and yet also bringing an end to the Assad regime on terms favorable for the Syrian people, and acceptable to the Arab world, the West, and Russia.

Perhaps, in the weeks ahead, another nation will find a way to fill that role. France may shift her focus: from dismissing Russia and setting up a separate coalition, to trying to engage Russia. Turkey may be able to broker a group effort in which Russia gets a role.

Russian intransigence is marginally more likely to win out; I don’t think France and the UK are really stupid enough to provoke an armed standoff with Russia, even if the US is. But we are in uncharted territory, and that assessment may be wrong. (...) >>>

HotAir: "Report: Russian “anti-terrorism” troops arrive at Syrian port"

They’ve had military advisors inside the country assisting the regime for months and they’re doing their level best to meet Assad’s exploding demand for new weapons. But actually sending Russian special forces to Tartus, presumably to lend a hand in case Syrian troops need help with with their, er, “counterterror” operations, is a new one on me. Message to NATO and any other nascent western/Arab coalition: The price of intervention will be higher than you estimated. Time to start paying closer attention to Syria. (...) >>>

Apr. 11, 2012