Friday, April 24, 2015

An open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry: increase non-Muslim immigration, decrease it for Muslims, and recognize the Armenian Genocide

I'm sure you are well aware of the humanitarian nightmare that Daesh (Islamic State) has created in Syria and Iraq.  There are no simple solutions and even the less-bad ones are disturbing.  That said, there are multiple problems which can be solved with the same resolution.

The Somali community in Minneapolis is ground zero for Islamist recruiting, with many of them traveling to the Middle East to join al-Shabab or Daesh and then returning well-trained for local jihad.  Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombers, is a raving Islamist and should never have been allowed into the country (we can still fix that, by the way).  Islamists are calling for local jihad involving murders in the homeland in the U.S.Australia, Canada, GermanyDenmark, the Netherlands, France, and other countries, as well as providing slushies and sharia for the next generation of Islamists at Camp Jihad.

The Balkans have become notorious for exporting jihadists and mercenaries to the Middle East and other areas, with Kosovo, the country that liberals declared to be the first peaceful Islamic country, sending more of its citizens per capita to Daesh than any other Western country (Bosnia and Albania are #2 and #4, respectively).

There is the horrific situation with respect to Yazidis, especially girls and women who have been sexually enslaved by Daesh, with the main motivation of Daesh recruits being rape-tourism.  These girls may not be fully accepted back into their community, though the decree by Yazidi religious leader Baba Sheikh to welcome the girls back with open arms may mitigate some of the problems.  Assyrians have also been caught up in the kidnapping, murder, and enslavement, with some considering them to be at risk of extinction.  In Egypt, Coptic Christians who merely wanted to build a church to remember the ones murdered by Daesh in Libya were attacked by a Muslim mob intent on preventing the church from being built.

There is a mutual solution to the above.

Halt immigration for all Muslims until we have a reliable method with which to separate the murderous from the peaceful.  At the same time, open the immigration door wide for Yazidis, Coptics, Assyrians, Armenians, and other non-Muslims fleeing from Islamist terror.  This group of immigrants will be even more diverse than the Muslims we are allowing into the country today so we will not stagnate.

* * * * *

In 2009, I visited a museum in Altenburg, Germany.  In it was an exhibit on the Armenian Genocide, a subject of which I was only vaguely familiar.  The photos from the event, taken by German Army Lieutenant Armin T. Wegner who had been stationed in Syria and Mesopotamia during WWI, were gripping, depressing, and educational.  The photos depicted the horrors of the Ottoman Empire's slaughter of non-Muslims (see some of them here).  Wegner was so moved by his experiences that in 1933, he asked Adolf Hitler not to repeat history with the Jews.  Of course, Wegner was immediately arrested by the Gestapo.

Wegner was not the only witness.  An Iranian, Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, wrote a diary concerning the "the mass murder and looting of Armenians."

"It's very hard to deny the destruction of the Armenians.  It's very hard to explain away the fact that in 1913 there were up to 2 million Armenians living in Turkey in their ancient homeland, and a few years later barely 10 percent of them were left," said Thomas de Waal, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Great Catastrophe: Armenians And Turks In The Shadow Of Genocide.

The word "genocide" was coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1943 specifically in response to the Armenian Genocide, the Holodomor (Ukrainian Genocide), and the in-progress Holocaust.

German President Joachim Gauck, who lived under Nazi and then Soviet control for the first 50 years of his life, used the g-word just yesterday, even though Germany has many Turks who will be upset at his example.  He showed true grit investigating Stasi crimes heedless of Left Party leader Gesine Lötzsch calling him a "man of the past" who did not "set a path for the future," with Left Party ghouls being the inheritor of the communist DDR.

President Barack Obama will once again not recognize the Armenian Genocide for what it was, unlike Pope Francis who showed more courage (the Pope said that it was "the first genocide of the 20th century," but the actual first genocide of the 20th century was the creation of concentration camps by Lord Kitchener in 1900-02 during the Second Boer War), the European Parliament which renewed its language of 1987, and French President Francois Hollande who attended the memorial in person.  Armenia canonized the victims in what is likely the largest ceremony of its kind in history.

I can think of four reasons why your boss refuses to recognize the mass murder of Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks as genocide, even on the 100th anniversary of the event.

First, he could be pandering to Turks and Muslims in general, having made a political calculation that their votes outweigh those of Armenians.  In fact, there are more Armenians than Turks, but the number of Muslims far outweighs the number of Armenians.

Second, his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide could have been merely passive-aggressive politics.  This is believable especially given the way he did not discuss the creation of special rights for homosexuals, yet one of his first acts in office was to order the military to accept them regardless of the consequences.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that the only time he saw "passion" in Obama was during his push to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

Third, he might have been telling the truth during the early part of his campaign, but similar to how JFK learned that his much-touted "missile gap" was a myth well before entering the White House, Obama was informed that Turkey would not be cooperative in the Middle East with respect to NATO matters after an official genocide recognition.  However, Turkey is actively aiding Daesh (see The Last Days of Kobani: A Decisive Battle in the Fight against Islamic State and Video: Turkey "turns blind eye" to border-crossing jihadists), with Turkish President Erdogan believing himself to be the sultan of a reborn Ottoman Empire.  Congressman Bill Shuster blathered that an official recognition would risk alienating "one of our last allies in the region who is working hand in hand with U.S. soldiers and our allies to combat ISIS," but in truth, Turkey is vigorously sabotaging U.S. interests.  Turkey's refusal to allow Incirlik air base to be used to support the fight against Daesh is a clear violation of Article 5 of the NATO charter, leading to the obvious conclusion that Turkey should be ejected from NATO.

Or fourth, he might be overindulging pampered oil and gas executives who want a piece of the action in Azerbaijan, the country with the 20th largest proven oil reserves and 27th largest proven gas reserves.  Poor Armenia possesses zero proven reserves, even though it shares a border with both Azerbaijan and Turkey.  Azerbaijan, a close ally of Turkey, might be even more "antigenocide" than Turkey.  In 2012, an Azerbaijani officer, Ramil Safarov, savagely murdered an Armenian officer, Gurgen Markarian, in Hungary, but after Hungary sentenced him to a life sentence, it foolishly sent him to Azerbaijan which immediately pardoned him and paraded him around as a national hero.

One of the reasons Turkey has been able to deny its complicity in the atrocities is that, unlike Nazi Germany, it did not keep meticulous records.  Another reason is that the survivors, mostly children and females, were forcibly assimilated into Islamic society and given only the first two of the usual three choices for infidels: convert, be killed, or pay the jizya, a tax on non-Muslims.  Some of the descendants of those people are only now discovering their true roots (see One Hundred Years of Silence: Turks Slowly Take Stock of Armenian Genocide, Turkey's hidden Armenians search for stolen identity, and Turkey's "Hidden Armenians" Break Silence).

Turkish nationalists ruthlessly defend their position.  In 2007, Hrant Dink, a Armenian-Turkish journalist, was assassinated by Turkish nationalists for his writings on the Armenian Genocide.  Two years earlier, Dink had been convicted of "insulting Turkishness."  In his last article, he presaged his violent fate: "The memory of my computer is filled with angry, threatening lines sent by citizens from this sector."

Staying in the region, the Ottoman Empire's forced assimilation of non-Muslims explains much of the violence in the Balkans after the implosion of Yugoslavia.  Many people had converted to Islam, not because they wanted to, but because life would be much easier that way.  Not to mention the marriages of Turks and locals, forced or otherwise.  That's why we saw ethnically similar people of different religions fighting each other.  And it ties in to Syria and Iraq because many Armenians, Assyrians, and Yazidis moved to the area to escape the killing fields of the Ottoman Empire.

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Hitler rhetorically asked in his Obersalzberg Speech as he launched the industrial-style genocide of European Jews, Slavs, and others with the invasion of Poland in 1939.

Certainly not the Obama administration.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NATO, defend Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland

Some people openly worry of nuclear war, especially now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened the West, especially Ukraine, with nuclear weapons.

"I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations.  This is a reality, not just words," Putin declared last August.  "We must always be ready to repel any aggression against Russia and (potential enemies) should be aware ... it is better not to come against Russia as regards a possible armed conflict."

Earlier in the year he mentioned a mythical land named New Russia (Новоро́ссия), referring to Eastern European countries which managed to break away from the Soviet Union and then Russia.  Most articles only include eastern Ukraine in New Russia, but a cursory examination of Russian history will reveal that Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were also a part of the Russian and Soviet empires.  The kingdom of Poland-Lithuania was a feared power in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s, but then Prussia, the Hapsburgs, and Russia divided it up, similar to what Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union did via the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939.

And now Putin is updating his nuclear threats to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, all countries bordering Russia (Poland borders Kaliningrad).  After he annexes the aforementioned countries, he will raise his nuclear saber to forestall any counter-attack by NATO.

Russia warned that "the same conditions that existed in Ukraine and caused Russia to take action there" exist in the Baltic States and would not "[inject] troops and heavy weapons" into the region," but would favor "other tools."

Russia would "hope slowly to entice those Russian populations towards Russia without giving NATO a pretext to deploy troops."  Putin is already planting separatist seeds in order to sprout little green men in the area, given that Estonia and Latvia have 24-26% Russian populations, mainly in the east.

If NATO responds to Russian aggression, Moscow would consider it to be "a potential co-aggressor against Russian-speaking minorities in Baltic states."  This goes hand in hand with Putin's 2005 announcement: "First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.  As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy.  Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory."

This is what Estonia President Toomas Ilves is worried about.  He is pleading for a permanent NATO force to be stationed in Estonia, though it is clear that NATO forces need to be stationed in all three Baltic States and Poland.

NATO and Russia have signed a number of agreements over the years, but the one many people mention is the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation.  Many people assert that this agreement forbids NATO from placing troops in permanent bases in countries bordering NATO.  Ignoring for the moment the fact that Russia has lied to us since the beginning, declaring that Russian troops in Ukraine are merely on vacation, and just recently asserted via its television stations that a ten-year-old girl was killed -- only there was no such event -- does the Founding Act actually prohibit troops in countries bordering Russia?

The relevant sections of the Founding Act are listed below:
  • "NATO and Russia will seek the widest possible cooperation among participating States of the OSCE with the aim of creating in Europe a common space of security and stability, without dividing lines or spheres of influence limiting the sovereignty of any state."
  • "[NATO and Russia will refrain] from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act."
  • "[NATO and Russia will] respect [the] sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples' right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents."
  • "Provisions of this Act do not provide NATO or Russia, in any way, with a right of veto over the actions of the other nor do they infringe upon or restrict the rights of NATO or Russia to independent decision-making and action. They cannot be used as a means to disadvantage the interests of other states."
  • "The member States of NATO reiterate that they have no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy - and do not foresee any future need to do so. This subsumes the fact that NATO has decided that it has no intention, no plan, and no reason to establish nuclear weapon storage sites on the territory of those members, whether through the construction of new nuclear storage facilities or the adaptation of old nuclear storage facilities. Nuclear storage sites are understood to be facilities specifically designed for the stationing of nuclear weapons, and include all types of hardened above or below ground facilities (storage bunkers or vaults) designed for storing nuclear weapons."
  • "The member States of NATO and Russia reaffirm that States Parties to the CFE Treaty should maintain only such military capabilities, individually or in conjunction with others, as are commensurate with individual or collective legitimate security needs, taking into account their international obligations, including the CFE Treaty."
  • "In addition, in the negotiations on the adaptation of the CFE Treaty, the member States of NATO and Russia will, together with other States Parties, seek to strengthen stability by further developing measures to prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe."

Only the last two sections even hint at a restriction on NATO with respect to establishing bases in countries bordering Russia.  However, Putin's murderous rampages in Georgia and Ukraine have already demonstrated "individual or collective legitimate security needs" on the part of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

Sanctions will never force Putin into compliance, as he will simply ignore his country's slide into penury, but given that he enjoys boffing Alina Kabaeva, his retired, rhythmic gymnastics girlfriend with whom he just had a baby girl, we should notify him privately that, should he start a nuclear war, he, his girlfriend, his new daughter, his two daughters from his marriage to Lyudmila Putina, and the rest of his family will be the first to be converted into radioactive vapor.

But most importantly, we must prevent Putin from accomplishing a fait accompli by quickly annexing the Baltic States and then daring us to retake them by force.  We must establish permanent brigades in all three Baltic countries and Poland.  The issue of whether the troops are permanent or rotated in on a schedule is not important, but their equipment must be prepositioned.  If Putin foolishly decides to roll across the border, he will know that his attack on U.S. troops will be considered a declaration of war.

We should also remind Putin that the eastern portions of Estonia and Latvia are filled with ethnic Russians, people we won't take into consideration in terms of collateral damage in our counter-attack.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

First Daesh came for the Yazidis, then it came for the Assyrians

Daesh (a/k/a Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, and IS) began its genocidal career with the Yazidis, an ancient people embracing a religion incorporating elements of Zoroastrianism, an ancient, monotheistic religion of Persia, Mithraism, a now extinct religion which originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and Islam.  Most Yazidis speak Kurdish, an Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family.  Muslims consider Yazidis to be devil worshipers because they are neither Muslims nor "people of the book," with that book being the Bible.  Muslims consider Yazidis and all other members of obscure religions to be heretics and only useful as slaves or compost.

Daesh sexually enslaved hundreds, if not thousands of Yazidi girls as it moved into Syria and Iraq, driving some of them to suicide, and simply "killed any Yazidi they were unhappy with."

Now Daesh has found another group to torture.

Assyrians in the Middle East were historically centered in Mesopotamia -- northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, and southern Turkey -- with their language being Aramaic, the language of Jesus.  Hebrew is related to Aramaic.  Some Assyrians are relatively recent immigrants, having escaped the genocides of the Ottoman Empire which many people lump into the Armenian Genocide but actually consist of many individual genocides of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other Christian groups.  Some scholars believe that 3.5 million Christians were murdered from 1913 to 1922 alone, with this number exceeding four million if the Hamidian and Adana massacres starting in the 1890s are included.  Yazidis and other non-Muslim minorities were also targeted by the Ottoman Empire.

Caught between Daesh and the many Syrian conflicts, many Assyrians have traveled to Lebanon for refuge.  Jordan was forced to close its borders to Syrian refugees after 1.3 million of them entered the country.

Syria's Assyrian community is now "at risk of extinction" at the bloody hands of Daesh.  The latest episode involves over 200 Assyrians being kidnapped and held for ransom.  19 of them were released in exchange for payment of an undisclosed sum, but given how poor these people are, the remainder may very well be butchered or sold into slavery, given the motivations of Daesh.

The world watched while millions of Jews, Slavs, POWs, and others were murdered in an industrial manner in the 1940s, but military technology was not advanced enough to rescue them. Now that we have stealth helicopters, night vision goggles, secure radio communications, soldiers trained to the point of perfection, and efficient weapons, we sit on our hands as another mob of zealots slaughters its way into the history books.

Karl Marx was wrong: history sometimes repeats in exactly the same tragic manner.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fiction reference points

This post can be considered to be the extended footnotes for my fiction.  I consider my best story to be The demise and resurrection of North Korea.  I have added a character or two to it since I published it.

Swan song of the Moon has echoes of The U.S. versus the accelerated dragon with its dark view of China's Moon exploration plans which progressed with a moon rover, Jade Rabbit, rolling across the Moon's surface in December 2013.  China is planning to land another spacecraft on the Moon and bring back lunar soil in 2017.  Some news reports suggest China is currently planning for a manned Moon landing in 2025-2030, but I did not want to place my story that far in the future.  I actually wrote this story a few years ago and updated it.  One name, Veracious Tidings, was borrowed from another story.

The NATO-EU coup is a prequel to Finland is persuaded to join NATO.  I reused names from my other fiction -- Smegma Phallusconi, Byez Rubashka, and Mettle Snickersnee -- but only the last has continuity.  Charilaos Florakis was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece from 1972–1989.  Nikos Zachariadis was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece from 1931 to 1956 and a major player in the Greek Civil War.  Mehmed Reshad was the Ottoman Empire sultan in command during the bloodiest years, 1909-1918, of the genocides against Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other Christians, resulting in almost 1.5 million deaths.  Abdul Hamid was the sultan who preceeded Reshad, in command during the Hamidian massacres of the mid-1890s when two to three hundred thousand Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other Christians were slaughtered.  Lucre Buchanan's first name is a synonym for money.  Torygraph is slang for the Daily Telegraph, a newspaper which slavishly supports the Tories and Britain's version of Wall Street.  Inorbit was the best I could do with the last name of Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban.

As is typical for him, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan blathered: "The West's hypocrisy is obvious.  As Muslims, we've never taken part in terrorist massacres.  Behind these lie racism, hate speech and Islamophobia ... Games are being played with the Islamic world, we need to be aware of this."  Erdogan sided with the Charlie Hedbo murderers in Paris when he said: "French citizens carry out such a massacre, and Muslims pay the price.  That's very meaningful."  Many people believe that Barack Obama's politically motivated reaction to the Chapel Hill murders was precipitated by Erdogan.  Erdogan and Obama are far more concerned over the murders of three Muslims in the U.S. than the genocide of Yazidis and Assyrians in Syria and Iraq.  Don't ever say anything negative regarding Erdogan or you will end up in jail like the former Miss Turkey.

The Atlantic Magazine, generally one of the more liberal ones, published a surprisingly honest article regarding the reasons for Daesh's actions, What ISIS Really Wants.  To make a long story short, Daesh is interpreting the Koran literally.  Erdogan has a similar view and probably thinks of himself as the true caliph.

Turkey really is considering the purchase of Chinese missiles, with a NATO official in Brussels understating the case by stating that "It is premature at this stage to say whether Turkey's acquisition will be able to operate with the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System."  Greece really has become a friend to Russia, playing Russia and Europe against each other for its own purposes.  The part about Greece reducing the funding of its tax collection agency was the focus of a Deutsche Welle European Journal video piece a few years back, but European Journal appears to have bitten the dust.

Just as Vladimir Putin is leveraging Russians in Eastern Europe, Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban has granted ethnic Hungarians in surrounding countries, especially Slovakia, Hungarian citizenship.  He has hinted, though never actually proposed, the reattachment of the "lost territories" of Hungary which were separated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after its loss in WWI.  Putin visited him in Budapest in February, just two days after the signing of the latest ceasefire, yet Orban stated: "Ukraine's territorial integrity was infringed.  In violation of international law, Russia has launched an action against Ukraine.  We need to support Ukraine in this matter."  Orban has criticized sanctions against Russia, though, so far, he has supported them.

Speaking of the farcical ceasefire in Ukraine, a bomb exploded in a rally in Kharkiv, killing three people and injuring at least ten.  Ukrainian forces cannot yet comply with the terms of the ceasefire, i.e. withdrawing its heavy weapons to specified lines, until the Russians stop shelling them.  Russian forces are gathering to the east of Mariupol in anticipation of the battle there to complete the contiguous land bridge from Mother Russia to Crimea.  And Lithuania is definitely worried about Putin turning his gaze to the Baltic States next and is reintroducing conscription.

Bulgaria's corruption is almost triple the EU average.  The corruption is so entrenched, Bulgaria's judicial system has failed to ever find a top political figure guilty of corruption.  Its citizens are so despondent over the situation that some of them have resorted to self-immolations as a form of protest, the same as is happening in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

Greece's debt is currently at 324 billion euros ($368 billion), with around 2/3 of that owned by the EU.  Greece's unemployment sits at 25%, with youth unemployment almost double that, and debt of 175% of GDP.  It is difficult to see how Greece can pull itself up by its bootstraps without being able to print its own money as the U.S. does.  That said, Greece's exit from the eurozone, often called Grexit, would be problematic to say the least.  Der Spiegel commented on the potential: "In order to prevent people from making a run on the banks, the country would have to temporarily introduce controls on money flows.  Transfers abroad would be banned, limits would be placed on withdrawals from automated teller machines and supplier contracts would be suspended.  It's possible that medicines and foreign food products would only be available on the black market and that they could be purchased exclusively with hard currencies."  Still, Iceland essentially went bankrupt in 2008 but is doing fairly well today, though there is a vast difference in the honesty levels of Greece and Iceland.

Operation Yazidi Forget-me-not is my daydream of what should happen to the Yazidi girls and women who have been kidnapped by Islamic State (a/k/a Daesh).  We should have rescued them as soon as they were taken, especially since they are now being sold in Islamic slave markets.  There are many online articles regarding the kidnapped Yazidi females, but readers can peruse some of the best ones here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

"The international community isn't investigating. They don't believe such a large number of women have been kidnapped by IS," said minority expert Khidher Domle, with that number being around 3000.  He has been able to talk to several captive Yazidi females via mobile phones.  He verified that girls as young as nine have been sold as sexual slaves.

France24's Leela Jacinto blogged that rape-tourism is a prime reason why IS has specifically enslaved Yazidi girls, with most IS savages joining because it is their only chance to rape many girls, especially virgins.  She noted that the IS publication "The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour" ends with the authors pining for the good old days of slavery and includes the following justification: "The desertion of slavery has led to an increase in fahishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because ... a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation and sin ... many Muslim families who have hired maids to work at their homes [face this problem] whereas if [the maid] was his concubine, this relationship would be legal."

This was not the first time that Islamists targeted Yazidis.  In August 2007, al-Qaeda detonated four simultaneous car bombs, killing 796 and injuring 1562.  It was the second-worst terrorist act in history, with only the 9/11 attacks surpassing it.  The Yazidis did not release casualty breakdowns, but this was probably the largest death toll of children in the history of terrorism, exceeding even that of Beslan.  Yazidis are specifically targeted because they are not "Peoples of the Book," i.e. Jews and Christians.

Obama announced support for Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) -- FSA was the same group with which John McCain posed for photos -- but they are not rebels in the Western point of view.  The SRF allied itself with al-Nusra in the past because both have the goal of removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, but al-Nusra is a franchise of al-Qaeda.  Both groups applauded U.S bombing of Daesh, yet they decried bombing of al-Nusra.  Air strikes against Daesh were denounced by al-Nusra as "a war against Islam."  Many people are opposed to arming any Syrian groups because it is likely that their arms will end up in the hands of Daesh just like it was able to acquire stockpiles of weapons from the Iraqi army.

There is a growing movement to kick Turkey out of NATO for its explicit support of Daesh (view France 24 video of Daesh recruits crossing the Turkey-Syria border).  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his predecessors have fought with Kurdish groups for many years even though Kurds and Turkey are both Sunni.  Erdogan dislikes Syria's Assad because Erdogan is an Islamist Sunni and Assad is Alawite, a version of Shia, with Assad having the audacity to crack-down on Sunni "rebels" who threaten his hold on power.  Erdogan supports Daesh even though it has buried alive some of its victims, including women and children, as well as sexually enslaving hundreds of women and girls.  He has refused to allow the U.S. to use Incirlik air base to fight Daesh, even though it is by far the closest base.  Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the vehicle used in the latest car bombing came from Turkish territory.

Erdogan has not forgotten to pamper himself, having just unveiled his new presidential palace with 1,000 rooms, costing in excess of $615 million and built in a national forest, similar to how Russian President Vladimir Putin built a personal palace on the Black Sea.  Erdogan gave us a window into his soul when he ludicrously proclaimed that "Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus."  He gave us another with his misogynist comment: "You cannot put women and men on an equal footing.  It is against nature."  He referred to a female journalist as a "shameless woman," telling her, "Know Your Place!"  He pines for the return of the Ottoman Empire, just as Putin pines for the return of the Soviet Union, with Assad stating that "he [Erdogan] personally thinks that he is the new sultan of the Ottomans and he can control the region as it was during the Ottoman Empire under a new umbrella.  In his heart he thinks he is a caliph."  There's a lot of that going around today.

Erdogan's war against Kurds is typical of his hypocrisy.  He declared in front of a Turkish audience in 2008 in Cologne, Germany: "I understand very well that you are against assimilation.  One cannot expect you to assimilate.  Assimilation is a crime against humanity."  Yet Turkish leaders have insisted for years that Kurds are not actually a separate people, called them instead "mountain Turks," prevented them from speaking Kurdish, and forced them to assimilate into Turkish society.

Erdogan and Obama are two peas in a pod.  In his first presidential campaign, the latter promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide in which almost two million Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other non-Muslims were annihilated by the Ottoman Empire starting in 1894 with the Hamidian and Adana Massacres, but then he failed to make good on his promise.  He had another chance with the Armenian Orphan Rug, woven by 400 Armenian orphan girls living in exile in Lebanon.  It was originally given to Calvin Coolidge in 1925, with his family donating it to the U.S. government in 1982.  Since then it has mostly been in storage.  It was scheduled to be displayed at the Smithsonian in 2013, but the Obama administration cancelled it for reasons of their own, but certainly having to do with the fact that Turkey denies that its ancestor, the Ottoman Empire, committed genocide.  The rug is now on display in the White House Visitor's Center, but it is mixed together with other foreign gifts to the White House in a display called "Thank You to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents in Gratitude for American Generosity Abroad."

After a woman is raped in Islamic countries, she has little chance of marriage, with rape victims viewed as outcasts, even as prostitutes.  Obama could give these girls and women a second chance by opening the immigration door to non-Muslims, especially Yazidis and Christians (Coptics, Armenians, Assyrians, and others) who have been the victims of Islamists.  He should even things out by closing the door to any more immigrations by Muslims, as we have had too many instances of local jihad as it is.

The Russian President's last day in office is a sardonic, sometimes bawdy take on Putin's misadventures in Ukraine.  Byez Rubashka translates to "without shirt," paying homage to Putin's practice of posing for photos without wearing a shirt.  The president's floozie is modeled after Putin's rhythmic gymnastics girlfriend, Alina Kabayeva, with Gimnastka translating to "gymnast."  Putin really does have a $1+ billion palace on the Black Sea.  Boobs-R-Us refers to Femen, the feminist organization famous for displaying breasts as a political protest, with "boobs" having two meanings.  The juxtaposition of Rubashka and Boobs-R-Us removing their shirts is intentional.  Femen is originally from Ukraine, but is now based in Paris.  Ubistvo Lyubovnik translates to "murder lover."  Ciao Kakao is Russian, rhyming slang comparable to a 1950's song, "See you later, alligator," and cannot be taken literally.  Kakao is the Russian word for "cocoa," referring to the chocolate factory Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko owns.  Labia Likov's last name is pronounced "lick-off."  Onher Chappedbutt was the best I could do with the name of Anna Chapman, the Russian spy and outstanding sex partner who was deported in 2010.  Sneg translates to "snow" (then add "den").  All other names can be researched via an English dictionary.

Currently there are more than 800,000 Russians from Ukraine who have moved to cities in Russia because their house or neighborhood was bombed.  It is unknown if they will return, especially given the animosity which has developed between Ukrainians and Russian separatists.  And the separatists who have stayed are ridiculing, beating, kidnapping, and imprisoning people with different points of view, as was true in the Soviet Union they idolize.  Whether volunteer mercenaries or Russian regulars, troops with modern weaponry arrive via Russia on a regular basis.  Some separatists fear that that the Ukrainian army will impress them into service, just as Bolsheviks did during the Russian Revolution, but as usual, the separatists have it backwards.  Russian soldiers are being sent to Ukraine to fight, and if they are captured, Russia disavows all knowledge of their orders and declares them to be traitors, similar to what happened after the end of WWII when recently released Russian POWs were sent to the gulag after arrival back home for allegedly consorting with the enemy.

The murder of 333 children, parents, and teachers at Beslan was Russia's 9/11, just like the downing of MH17 via a Buk missile was the Netherlands' 9/11, with separatists not concerned that their side was responsible for the murder of 298 children, women, and men.  And just like George W. Bush who attempted to derail the 9/11 Commission because he knew it would accentuate his incompetence, Putin never supported an honest investigation of Beslan.  The mistakes made in Beslan ten years ago are many: ignoring warnings, allowing the savages to bribe their way through checkpoints, possibly allowing the pre-positioning of weapons in the school building, never securing the scene to prevent amateurs from triggering a bloodbath (there are photos on the Internet), and the lack of a coherent plan.  To this day it is unclear exactly what happened.  Another national screw-up was the Moscow Nord-Ost siege where many hostages died because Moscow planners failed to account for the highly toxic gas used to incapacitate the savages, with many hostages drowning in their vomit because no one was told to simply turn them onto their stomachs to allow them to vomit the poison out.  For further insights into the people of the Caucasus, search for "kavkaz" (or "Кавказ") on YouTube to find lots of videos of dancing at weddings, but also some videos (here's one) of wolves, pretty local women, and minarets interspersed with drawings of assault rifles and other military weapons.  Not surprisingly, the Islamic State has now declared the Islamic countries of the Caucasus, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan, to be the location of their next Islamic war.

The West must draw a line and not one of Obama's amateur-hour red-lines.  If Putin wants a proxy war, we must give him one.  Supply Ukraine with missile-firing drones, hand-held anti-tank weapons, counter-battery radars, and other relevant weapon systems, and train Ukrainians how to use them effectively.  Perhaps we can assist Ukraine with increasing the production of Grad rockets.  We can bleed Russia dry by trading drone missiles for battle tanks and armored vehicles, not to mention eliminating its many Grad and Buk systems.  And we'd better have a plan ready in case Putin's green men appear in Estonia and Latvia.

Finland is persuaded to join NATO is my daydream of what a competent politician could do vis-à-vis Vladimir Putin's hints at annexing the portions of Eastern European countries with large Russian populations.  This story is a fictionalized version of The guerrilla solution to Vladimir Putin's threats to invade Finland if it joins NATO and Barack Obama's potential JFK moment, although Obama actually appears to be a deer frozen in the international headlights.  The story starts with a mention of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 which divided Eastern Europe between two ruthless dictators, Hitler and Stalin, and installed Trojan Horses in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the form of large numbers of ethnic Russians.  Russian soldiers keep getting lost in Ukraine, so it's likely Putin has ideas about Finland too.  Herbert Hoover was given the credit he deserves for his many humanitarian missions around the world, starting during WWI and continuing past WWII.

Press conference regarding the Malvinas reconquest by Argentina is a possible outcome of an obvious gap in the UK's defense strategy.  For a number of years, Britain will not have any carriers capable of carrying fixed-wing aircraft and will only have one helicopter carrier starting at the end of 2014.  The window of opportunity will only last until the first of the new carriers is ready in 2017-18.  Argentina would never get another chance like this.  The time frame of the press conference is February 2015.  I got the idea for this story from the online comments of Brits who believe their country is the British Empire of old, even though Britain today is the land where Muslim men groom, rape, and share Sikh and other non-Muslim girls as young as 11 and police treat the victims as "stupid, naughty" girls.  The UK is the origin for a large number of ISIS killers.  And Birmingham is ground-zero for the Islamist Trojan Horse plot to surreptitiously convert public schools into madrasahs.

The demise and resurrection of North Korea is my hopeful vision of an implosion of North Korea.  Originally it was the main narrative of a larger story called The war of immiscible ideas which was presented in multiple chapters (TWOII was deleted).  Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, it is obvious that TWOII was a terrible name, though not nearly as bad as Saucy Mugwump.  I updated the narrative to reflect current events, added some characters, and improved the writing.  It all started with a BBC News story on South Korean women becoming military officers after the sinking of the Cheonan and other provocations by North Korea.  The concept of historical fiction came from B.R. Myers' book, The Cleanest Race, which noted that North Korea publishes sycophantic historical fiction regarding the life of Kim Il-sung, though I took it in a decidedly different direction.  I continued my research in Could an implosion of North Korea result in WWIII? which speculated on the events which would follow a collapse of the DPRK.

Originally, Bling Ka-ching was meant to be a rip-off of Jang Song-thaek, Kim Jong-un's uncle, but I made him a minor character, the mayor of Pyongyang, after he was executed.  Jang's real-life wife is Kim Kyong-hui who became Kim Tip-ple in the story.  She is reputed to be an alcoholic and in poor health.  The mayor and Aunt Kim are not related, though her snickering at dog food refers to the apocryphal story of him being eaten by dogs.  Yoo Tok-ki (whose name was created using the Korean word for rabbit) was the woman seen in a surreptitiously filmed North Korean video, with her frail body just about to give out.  The scenes involving orphans originated from stories in Radio Free Asia, the Telegraph, and PBS Frontline.  I obtained a point of view of China from a dissident, Bao Tong, via his Under House Arrest column.  Christian Talvela is, of course, my Jack Ryan, albeit with absolutely no explanation of his background.  This story just might be the longest blog post on the Internet.

The take-down of the labor camps was intentionally sparse because, for me, the immediate aftermath is the most interesting portion.  Also, I do not believe I could do justice to the dynamics of a raid along the lines of the one at Son Tay.  That said, it is fairly well accepted that prisoners in the labor camps would be executed during an implosion.  A UN report stated that guards "received orders to kill all prisoners in case of an armed conflict or revolution so as to destroy the primary evidence of the camps' existence."  The report "also explained that specific plans exist on how to implement the order and that drills were held on how to kill large numbers of prisoners in a short period of time."  Kim Il-sung was the creator of that strategy, as well as for Songbun, the DPRK's caste system, and the scheme where one's relatives suffer the same punishment as the accused.

From a project management point of view, the removal of Kim is critically essential.  He would need to be killed or at the very least, arrested and jailed, but Kim Jong-un has personal bodyguards in the Guard Command.  Soldiers from the 43rd Infantry Brigade recently fired on a vehicle carrying soldiers from the Guard Command, killing one of them.  As RFA noted, Kim "came unglued" and replaced the entire leadership of the Brigade.  It is likely that the Guards are pampered and therefore loyal to Kim, in contrast to the Brigade which is a special forces unit.  To eliminate Kim, one would need to penetrate the Guards.  Given the problems with the Brigade -- "Gunfights within the army show how lack of discipline has become a serious problem," said a source -- perhaps there is great resentment within the regular army for the special treatment of the Guard.  Or perhaps this was merely an incident of soldiers choosing to shoot rather than risk subsequent dereliction of duty charges if the vehicle had contained a lesser class of North Korean, similar to what happened in 2008 to when a South Korean female tourist walked over a forbidden line at the Mount Kumgang tourist resort.

China would not readily relinquish control of North Korea.  As I first mentioned in North Korea is China's useful idiot, China uses North Korea as a buffer zone against the West.  North Korea's rare earths deposits are essential to keeping China's industry humming.  China has done whatever it took to maintain the status quo in the DPRK, including deporting North Korean refugees back to almost certain death, as my posts In memory of nine North Korean orphans and China is murdering North Korean refugees noted.  And both China and Russia covet North Korea's ice-free port of Rajin.  A likely scenario, in a Chinese remake of Sherman's March to the Sea, is that Chinese armored forces blaze a trail east, with the people trapped north of Chinese forces possibly doomed to die of starvation while the armies danced.  U.S. and ROK forces intervening to prevent mass starvation could easily trigger a five-way war, including Russia trying to safeguard its railway to Rajin, given that China would not negotiate any line of demarcation and would demand that interlopers leave immediately.

The U.S. versus the accelerated dragon requires some knowledge of chess history on the part of the reader to be fully appreciated.  All character names were taken from famous chess players and the "accelerated dragon" from the title is a playing strategy.  The insects mentioned in the story actually exist and appear to be cousins of bed bugs.  Demand CS will kill them, but applying it properly and safely is crucial.

Bao Tong's commentaries, 'Mao And Deng Were The Same, And We Should Ditch Them' and Deng Xiaoping 'Opened The Floodgates' For Corruption, explained how China migrated from crazed communists to corrupt capitalists.  Another RFA editorial, The Only Thing Left For China Now is Revolution, by Wei Jingsheng, someone who served 18 years in Chinese prisons for "counterrevolutionary" activities, noted that China is essentially controlled by "26 hereditary family groups," in other words, China is no different than other oligarchies.  Last but not least is 'Everyone is Responsible For This Evil' which pointed out the evils of Mao's Red Guards who were instrumental in the millions murdered in the Cultural Revolution.  The photo on this last commentary is worth a thousand words, as it depicts a Chinese bride and groom dressed as Red Guards, suggesting that Red Guards are to China what Elvis is to the U.S.

The British Prime Minister's last day in office is fairly long and meanders through many current events and potential outcomes thereof.  It was triggered by comments from some of the survivors of the Utøya Island massacre in 2011 that they were planning to increase immigration for and give special rights to Muslims, heedless of what is happening in Britain with respect to local jihadists, in protest against the mass murder by the neo-Nazi fruitcake, Anders Behring Breivik (named Beavis, from Beavis and Butthead, in the story).  The names of the prime minister and other politicians were satirically designed, with the names of the two journalists borrowed from British and American literature.  Sweden, where headscarf fiction becomes reality was a follow-up post.  I would not write it again in its present form as it deals with too many issues.  Many people misunderstood my main point that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not a recommended practice.

Europe has a serious problem with out-of-control Muslim men.  One Muslim man struck and killed a 22-year-old woman in Germany (see video here) after she came to the aid of two teenaged girls who were being harassed by a small group of Muslim men in a McDonald's restroom.  Germany has seen a proxy war erupt between Daesh supporters and ethnic Kurds, similar to the real war going on every day in Kobani and other places in the Middle East.  More than 1000 people have left France and possibly more have left the UK to join Daesh.  British Muslims have tried to take over schools in Birmingham and convert them into madrassahs.  Teenaged girls have been groomed for sex by Muslim men in Birmingham, Burton-upon-Trent, Manchester, Oxford, Rotherham, Telford, and many other cities throughout Britain because Muslims do not respect non-Muslim girls.  One British police officer said regarding "rape jihad": "There isn't a town, village or hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited.  We should start from the assumption that children are being sexually exploited right the way across the country."

In Norway, a Norwegian-Pakistani imam, Fayed Sarased Ali Bukhari, seeks to establish a madrassah for 200 children in Grønland, a Muslim neighborhood in Oslo, and said: "If a person doesn't fast during Ramadan, he is mocking Islam.  And if the person is in a Muslim state, the authorities must behead him."  And an Islamic group demanded that the country cede territory for a sharia mini-state located only a five to ten minute walk from Oslo Central Station or a 9/11-style attack will commence:
We do not want to be a part of Norwegian society.  And we do not consider it necessary either to move away from Norway, because we were born and grew up here.  And Allah's earth belongs to everybody.  But let Grønland become ours.  Bar this city quarter and let us control it the way we wish to do it.  This is the best for both parts.  We do not wish to live together with dirty beasts like you.

Religious sex dolls is a one-off, disparaging religions and pretentious celebrities via bawdy humor.  It's more of an extended dirty joke.  Only people who pay attention to the American national soap opera will fully appreciate the humor.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

FICTION: Swan song of the Moon

"This is INI Headlines with Veracious Tidings," announced the crisp, professional voice.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: Good evening.  Let's get right to our top story: the breakup of the Moon.  Here's Luna Buzz, our chief investigative correspondent.

LUNA BUZZ: Veracious, China has been sending manned rockets to the Moon since 2018.  As you remember, a group of settlers died mysteriously later that year.  The Chinese subsequently discovered that their food was contaminated with melamine, resulting in everyone being poisoned.  You'll remember that melamine was the industrial chemical that was found in baby milk, with many Chinese children dying as a result, in the second half of the previous decade.

Then they discovered that the building materials were contaminated with sulfur, benzene, and a few other noxious chemicals.  The settlers were forced to live in a pure oxygen environment to compensate for the noxious fumes.

China never confirmed it, but experts suspected that China was drilling many, deep holes for mining.  It was clear from orbital analysis of the returning rockets that something heavy was being carried back to Earth.  The Moon is a rich source of helium-3, essential for nuclear fusion and fourth-generation nuclear weapons and we suspect that is what China was mining.

It appears that a spark was generated somewhere.  This caused a fire, and in a pure oxygen atmosphere, a fire is explosive, as we learned with the tragedy with Apollo 1 in January 1967.  The fire quickly spread to all buildings, killing most of the settlers.

However, the fire kept spreading, even beyond the walls of the buildings.  We are only speculating based on images taken of the moon by the James Webb Space Telescope, but it appears that China had manufactured either fertilizer or explosives in liquid form.  As Tim McVeigh showed us, fertilizers and explosives are often flip sides of the same coin.  These liquids were very dense and they spread slowly to the buildings housing the nuclear reactors.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: How many nuclear reactors were there?

LUNA BUZZ: Only three, but these settlements were all interconnected by long tubes, passageways, in a triangle pattern.  Allowing the settlers to work without space suits drastically increased their productivity.  The burning liquids eventually ate through the walls and caused the nuclear power plants to explode.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: I thought nuclear reactors were designed not to result in a nuclear explosion?

LUNA BUZZ: These explosions were not nuclear ones, only conventional ones.  Experts believe that the explosions were part of the breakup of the reactors.  And the design did not include a containment building, so the reactor cores melted through the floor a few meters down into the surface of the moon.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: The China Syndrome!

LUNA BUZZ: Exactly.  Enormous cracks caused by the explosions were then filled with the burning liquids.  The fires caused the cracks to expand.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: How could the liquid burn on the moon with no oxygen?

LUNA BUZZ: This is what makes experts suspect that the liquid was an explosive of some kind.  Just like underwater demolition requires explosives to be formulated with oxygen in them, these liquids obviously contained sufficient oxygen to burn.

Then something we do not understand at all happened. Below a number of the buildings, massive explosions occurred.  Experts believe these were caused by enormous hydrogen bombs.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: I thought you said the reactors could not explode!

LUNA BUZZ: Experts believe these were nuclear weapons stored on the moon for purposes as of yet unknown.  Perhaps the usual safeties were disabled by the fire -- or perhaps they never had any safeties.  Nuclear weapons all contain conventional explosives to start the chain reaction and those explosives can be triggered via intense heat.

To give the Chinese the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that they had stored hydrogen bombs for use against comets or asteroids.  However, it is equally possible the bombs were stored for use against satellites and/or spacecraft of other countries, similar to how the Soviets were going to use the space platform seen in the movie Space Cowboys.

The massive explosions cracked some of the Moon.  The Moon's lack of an atmosphere allowed the Sun to add to the fracturing by means of direct heating, and then as the Moon rotated in orbit, the dark side cooled rapidly to absolute zero, causing more stress fractures via thermal cycling.  Eventually the cracks ran through enough of the Moon -- keep in mind that the numerous mines also contributed to the cracking -- to allow gravitational and orbital forces to split it in many pieces.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: Is there any danger to Earth, the Space Station, or satellites?

LUNA BUZZ: No, the laws of physics ensures that the Moon fragments will remain in the original orbit, much like Saturn's rings.  But their erratic spin precludes any further attempt at colonization, or even prospecting.  Anyone left alive on the Moon fragments is doomed to certain death because rescue is impossible.  And the effect on Earth's tides will be immense.  Severe tides as seen at places like the Bay of Fundy are a thing of the past.  There is a good possibility of future collisions between the pieces, guaranteeing that the spectacle will be closely monitored by both scientists and amateur astronomers.

VERACIOUS TIDINGS: The moon is a harsh mistress.  Rather, was.  Thanks, Luna.

We'll be right back.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

FICTION: The NATO-EU coup

"So, Bucks, there is absolutely no doubt it is happening tonight?" asked NATO Secretary General Mettle Snickersnee.

"You have no idea, no idea whatsoever, how difficult this was.  I cannot believe we were able to keep the news of currency printing from the psychopaths in the press, especially the British," replied Lucre Buchanan, EU Finance Minister.  "Replacing euros in ATM machines will go on for days.  I would have preferred to wait another week, but a Torygraph reporter asked me about some specifics this morning, proving that we have an internal leak.  We really had no choice but to go tonight.  At least border controls won't be much of an issue, given Greece's location at the end of the EU world."

"We'll be okay," calmly assured Snickersnee.

"And I will tell you that there are many, many people who truly regret allowing Bulgaria into the EU.  I was buttonholed again today about converting it into a non-voting member the same as ..." paused Buchanan as a few people walked by them.

"Yes, the corruption is really out of control there.  How could the bureaucrats have missed that?  Romania is bad enough, but Bulgaria is world-class at it.  I really wonder how badly our alliance is affected by it," added Snickersnee.  "At least we didn't add Bulgaria to Schengen."

"I know exactly why Bulgaria was added: EU fever.  There are many bubble-heads who believe that somehow the events of the 1930s and 1940s were perpetrated by a different species and not by humans.  Magically, everything is different today.  They are only now grudgingly acknowledging that Hungary's Inorbit is close to channeling his inner Adolf with the potential for ethnic cleansing of Slovaks and other peoples, but he's also a Rubashka groupie who admires a despot.  The only reason Hungary was not added to the agenda tonight is that, so far, it has backed sanctions against Russia.  There are rumors of an assassination plot against Inorbit," continued Buchanan.

"It's time," interrupted Snickersnee.

Both of them made their way to the large, round table in NATO headquarters in Brussels.

"It truly pains me to be the first secretary general to violate NATO's long-standing policy of consensus," began Snickersnee.  "But circumstances left us no choice."

Charilaos Florakis, Greek ambassador to NATO, scowled.  He had heard the rumors.

"We even paid for a number of prostitutes to keep certain generals and politicians busy tonight.  We needed to avoid having someone sound the alarm," continued Snickersnee.  "We were even able to entice a number of former Italian Prime Minister Smegma Phallusconi's bunga-bunga girlfriends to play a role.  I'm sure I will be pilloried over that in the coming days."

"Might that have something to do with a large number of aircraft departing Incirlik?" queried Abdul Hamid, Turkish ambassador to NATO?  "Starting about two hours ago, U.S. fighters, tankers, and other aircraft have been leaving en masse."

"I guess we did not hire enough hookers," deadpanned Snickersnee.  "Yes, but that's only part of the story."

"I believe most people will consider that to be only a sideshow of the evening's events," began Buchanan.  "Rumors are already starting to fly, but I can officially tell you that Greece will be ejected from the eurozone as of midnight tonight."

The murmur from the crowd was surprisingly loud given that the audience was composed mainly of military men accustomed to hearing terrible news, often involving the maiming and killing of a large number of people.

"Months ago, it was suggested that we plan for an ejection from the eurozone -- just in case.  We were informed of the final decision just this morning.  I gather that Greece will not be required to print drachmas because truckloads of them are speeding toward Greece as we speak," interjected Florakis.

"Truckloads," confirmed Buchanan.  "We need to have enough drachmas to allow business to continue unimpeded, so we printed exact copies of the last ones to be used.  Of course, Greece is free to print ones with images of Prime Minister Nikos Zachariadis, Russian President Byez Rubashka, or Marx -- Karl or Groucho -- if it wishes."

"This is not really the surprise many of you think it is.  Billions of dollars have been leaving Greece for months now.  Unfortunately, the wealthy have been able to shield their assets as they always do.  The poor and middle class will be the ones to suffer the greatest hardship.  But now Greece will be able to print money and take control of its economy.  I don't want to get into the details here in this forum, but the EU will provide some bridge financing to reduce some of the pain," continued Buchanan.

"But what ..." began Hamid, but Snickersnee raised his hand to silence him.

"I will admit that I was very disappointed in the previous government.  It claimed to be in favor of austerity, but then it drastically reduced the budget of the government agency responsible for going after tax cheats.  Given that Greece has a cash-flow problem largely due to the wealthy and upper middle class finding ways to avoid taxes, this was the last policy which should have been implemented," resumed Buchanan.  "I am heartened by the plans of Zachariadis to finally force Greek ship owners to pay taxes, because for decades they have been getting a free ride, literally and figuratively."

"This is all very interesting, but what does it have to do with NATO -- and Turkey," inquired Hamid.

"Let's finish with Greece first," responded Snickersnee.  "Greece has been using sanctions on Russia as a bludgeon, playing Russia and Europe against each other.  This was unacceptable.  We were unable to remove Russia from the Swift banking system, which will bring Russia to its economic knees.  Sorry, Bucks, that's your area."

"It's okay, I'm used to it," retorted Buchanan.  "As Mettle was saying, doing this will sever Russia's access to the banking system.  None of you really believed Rubashka's claims that Russia could stand alone, did you?  This, along with ... well, I won't step on Mettle's shoes like ..."

"I deserved that.  We were finally able to convince the U.S. government to supply counter-battery radars and hand-held and vehicle-mounted anti-tank weapons.  I am not currently at liberty to say where funding is coming from, but AT4s in quantity are arriving directly from Saab Bofors Dynamics.  Also, the Americans are diverting some drone assets, both missile-firing and purely observation, to the region.  There are some other assets I cannot speak of, but the tide in Ukraine will soon turn," continued Snickersnee.

Hamid cleared his throat.  Snickersnee held up one finger to signify just one more minute.

"And another thing.  I really should not say it like that because this is another major announcement.  Greece is being placed on probation with respect to the EU.  It remains in the EU, but its veto powers are eliminated.  On top of everything else, we believe it likely that Greece will stop worrying about immigration restrictions to save money.  Schengen rules will remain in place at airports for now, but we have contingency plans to exclude Greece if necessary.  Its neighbors preclude additional border and customs checks for the most part, but Schengen won't be valid for Greek passport holders at ports in the Med.  Essentially Greece has been placed on a performance improvement plan.  It is possible that Greece will exit the EU as well as the eurozone, but we'd rather it not come to that," finished Buchanan.

The Hungarian ambassador to NATO slightly nodded his head at the implied risk for his country as well.

"There's one more important detail with respect to Greece, but first we will discuss Turkey," added Snickersnee.  "Ever since Mehmed Reshad became prime minister and then president, Turkey has changed from a trusted ally to a fair weather friend.  For years, if the government attempted to revert back to Islamic control, the military intervened.  Reshad was thrown in prison for this activity.  But he kept trying.  Eventually he was able to eliminate generals with integrity and replace them with his sycophantic cronies.  Now, all of the good generals are retired, in prison, or dead.  The Ottoman Empire has been reborn."

"Reshad forbade the use of Incirlik for actions against Islamists in Syria and Iraq, while at the same time allowing Daesh recruits to travel freely through Turkey and onto the killing fields," scolded Snickersnee.  "This was a clear violation of Article 5 of the charter."

"This is all innuendo and propaganda," interrupted Hamid.

"There are quite a few videos on the Internet showing Daesh recruits walking across the border in plain view of Turkish guards," countered Snickersnee.  "But much worse yet from the perspective of NATO, Turkey is buying a Chinese missile defense system from CHICOM, a firm which remains under U.S. sanctions for dealings with North Korea, Syria, and Iran.  Not to mention that this system will be incompatible with NATO systems, as well as allowing Chinese spies access to NATO systems and data."

Hamid lowered his head and attempted to use his smart phone.

"And it's not any of NATO's business per se, but Reshad has also asked that Islamic judges try Muslims in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and other areas for crimes committed in those countries.  Possibly even worse, he is asking that Islamic judges try non-Muslims in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and other areas for crimes committed against Muslims.  In other words, he wants to implement sharia, Islamic law, all around the world.  Reshad's views are mutually incompatible with the values of NATO members," opined Snickersnee.  "Turkey has completely changed since the days it was a valued ally in the Korean War."

A few military policemen from NATO member countries other than Greece and Turkey walked into the room.

"I said at the outset that this will not be a consensus decision.  We have already discussed it and we will now take a vote.  Turkey is to be removed from NATO.  Finland, a country which joined the Partnership for Peace program in 1994, will join.  Greece will remain, but its voting powers will be temporarily suspended -- and I must warn you that if Greece moves any closer to Russia, it will be ejected from NATO with no additional warning.  Turkey and Greece will not be allowed to vote for obvious reasons.  We always ensure in advance that votes are no surprise, but let's have a show of hands," prompted Snickersnee.

All representatives except for Turkey and Greece raised their hands.

"As expected, it is unanimous.  All of this will become effective as of midnight tonight, but since Finland's parliament needs to approve it, it will not become official until then.  I will be making a speech in Helsinki tomorrow morning on the subject," offered Snickersnee.

The military policemen walked behind the representatives from Turkey and Greece.

"As for the representatives from Turkey and Greece, I apologize, but I must inflict one last indignity.  We cannot allow you to communicate any of this until midnight, so the gentlemen standing behind you will take your phones, laptops, and tablets and escort you to guest quarters.  Room service will provide all reasonable requests.  We have disconnected the telephones in the rooms, but there are magazines, books, and televisions -- sorry, not smart ones -- available for you to while the hours away," added Snickersnee.  "You can communicate with anyone via paper and pencil and censoring NSA translators loaned to us for the day."

Some people chuckled because of the recent news reports explaining how smart televisions are listening to the conversations of viewers, sending the data direct to third-party data brokers.

"We need to give sufficient time for all air assets and as many ground assets as possible to leave Incirlik and the other NATO bases in Turkey," informed Snickersnee.  "Some of you have already figured this out, but we disconnected and/or jammed all wireless signals within the building as of the start of this meeting.  Things will return to normal very soon.  We are temporarily confiscating your Wi-Fi toys due to nearby networks you might be able to use."

"And the EU will officially terminate Turkey's accession as of midnight," added Buchanan.  He switched-off his microphone and whispered to Snickersnee: "I'm out of here.  Time for the real show to begin back at the office."  He collected his things and stood up.

Hamid shook his head.

"We will meet again after the business in Finland is resolved," concluded Snickersnee.