Türkiye Resisting US Pressure Against Increasing Economic Ties to Russia

Türkiye has been cozying up to Russia far more than the US would like. One suspects the reason the US has only started trying to lower the boom on Türkiye is that the US is overbusy on other sanctions fronts, such as restricting high-end chips and related technical know-how export to China, figuring out how to hurt Saudi Arabia for daring to defy the US by cutting oil production, planning to punish Iran over drones supposedly sold to Russia,1 and working out the details on its barmy Russian oil price cap.

Mind you, what the US might view as Türkiye economic provocations come as the US has been favoring Greece in long-festering Greece-Türkiye hostilities. From Turkey protests US, Greece over ‘violating non-military status’ of Aegean Greek islands in Al Monitor in September:

The US and Greek ambassadors to Turkey have been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara in a protest against the deployment of US-made armored military vehicles on two Aegean islands, in what Ankara describes as a violation of several international agreements.

In a protest note delivered to the Greek ambassador today, Ankara demanded Athens stop these violations, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency reported, citing the Turkish Foreign Ministry sources….

Ankara’s protest came after the Turkish military’s surveillance drones captured over the weekend Greece’s military landing ships carrying the armored vehicles en route to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos — both less than 5 nautical miles off the Turkish coast. Citing security sources, Anadolu said some of the deployed armored vehicles were donated to the Greek army by the United States. Ankara argues that military buildups on the islands are in violation of the non-military status of the islands under international treaties…

Ankara sees deepening defense cooperation between the United States, Greece and Cyprus as Washington’s departure from its traditional policy to stay neutral in the territorial dispute between the three countries in favor of the Greece-Cyprus bloc.

Washington, in turn, argues that its actions aim to counterbalance Russia in the region.

Türkiye recently entered into a wide-ranging economic pact with Russia, which included promoting tourism by having Türkiye banks accept Russia’s Mir card. Although the US put the kibosh on that particular element of cooperation, Türkiye and Russia are implementing alternate payment mechanisms that they expect to have ready to go by tourist season 2023.

The US escalation of threats against Türkiye is an evolving story but so far, Türkiye does not look very inclined to back down even after the Mir card incident. Despite the US view that a NATO member should not be consorting with an obvious yet undeclared NATO enemy, Türkiye continues to enter into more deals with Russia. The latest is agreeing to a Russian plan to locate a gas hub in Türkiye that would carry supplies from other gas producers and allow Türkiye to control the flows. It would also serve to disguise Russian origin gas, which would serve as a face saving device if Europe ever wakes up to the need to climb off its Russian energy sanctions cliff.

This week, the US got around to trying to put the screws on Türkiye. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that:

US officials have held talks with their Turkish counterparts regarding compliance with financial sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the latest move by the West to pressure Ankara into taking a harder line against Moscow.

A delegation led by Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the US Treasury, met counterparts including officials from the Turkish Treasury and Finance Ministry and business groups during a trip to Ankara and Istanbul this week…

In a readout published after the visit, the US Treasury said “Rosenberg covered a range of topics, including the sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia by a broad coalition of over 30 countries, energy security, anti-money laundering policy, and countering the financing of terrorism.”

It said “these meetings affirmed the importance of close partnership between the United States and Turkey in addressing the risks caused by sanctions evasion and other illicit financial activities.”

Note that there is no evidence that Türkiye agreed to do anything different than what it is doing now. That doesn’t mean it won’t. My suspicion is that this is the sort of meeting where the US lectured Türkiye over its obligations per the US and Türkiye officials mainly listened, noncomityally.

Notice the timing. The Treasury visit happened early this week since the Treasury statement was issued Wednesday (as in at the very latest, the meetings concluded Wednesday so the statement could be issued on Wednesday US time). Erdogan, presumably knowing where these Treasury meetings were going, chose to eye-poke the US on Wednesday by re-iterating his interest in the gas hub scheme, leading to a quick hissy from State. Per Greek Reporter:

The U.S. expressed on Wednesday its opposition to the agreement announced by Turkey for the creation of a natural gas hub in cooperation with Russia.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he had agreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to form a natural gas hub in Turkey…

The U.S. State Department fired back.

“We have worked closely with our allies and partners to impose severe and unprecedented costs on Russia, including through sanctions, export controls, visa restrictions. We have urged Turkey and all of our allies and partners that no one should have become a safe haven for illicit Russian assets or transactions, and we will continue to make that case,” Vedant Patel, State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson said.

“And as it relates to the energy conversation, we have continued to urge our allies to take steps to diversify their energy sources, to reduce energy reliance on Russia”…..

Last month, on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdogan held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey.

Putin has floated the idea of exporting more gas via the TurkStream gas pipeline running beneath the Black Sea to Turkey, touting the country as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after the Nord Stream pipeline leaks.

Erdogan previously said Russian and Turkish energy authorities would work together to designate the best location for the potential gas distribution center, adding that Turkey’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, appeared to be the best spot.

And after the two-pronged US effort to get Türkiye back into line, more news came out of Türkiye’s defiance. First was a Bloomberg report that Türkiye has asked Russia to help Türkiye construct a new nuclear power plant, when the US, as the remarks from State show, the US is strong-arming its purported allies to buy less energy from Russia. From ekathimerini:

Turkey has asked Russia to construct a second nuclear plant on its territory, Bloomberg reported Thursday quoting anonymous sources.

Bloomberg said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the request during talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last week in Kazakhstan.

Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom said Wednesday that talks are underway on a possible deal to build a new, four-reactor plant in the Black Sea town of Sinop. The company is already building Turkey’s first nuclear plant at Akkuyu, in southern Turkey.

And recall as Lambert pointed out in Links yesterday, the EU is in the process of planning to impose much stronger oil price cap sanctions than the US intended. Early ideas were to sanction tankers and prohibit insurance. But insures and tanker operators complained they weren’t in a position to police the shipments. So the outline from Treasury had the buyers (who could be readily punished by being kicked off dollar payment services) being responsible for not buying Russian oil at prices higher than the cap, and the shippers and insurers being able to rely on representations from the buyers. But then:

Needless to say, Greek shipowners, who are the big kahunas in this business, are mighty upset so this provision may not survive.

But in the meantime, Türkiye looks to be ready to help Russia defy sanctions:

And we had anticipated that Türkiye would support the Saudis (as in OPEC+) on the production cut dustup, although it’s not clear how forthcoming they have been about this view:

Türkiye’s location makes it the most important member of NATO, yet NATO and Europe regularly ignore legitimate Türkiye issues, and the EU has dissed Türkiye by rejecting its membership application (the Türkiye belief that it has to do with Türkiye being Muslim has merit).

Türkiye can also pressure Europe by dropping the ball on checking migrant movements. But on the other side of the ledger, the Türkiye economy is in an utter mess. But the US has been overplaying its hand on a lot of fronts. Assuming it can successfully browbeat Türkiye may prove to be a miscalculation.


1 Andrei Martyanov claims the Russian drones were made by a company in the Kalashnikov Concern; other contend the drones were developed independently and are similar due to having similar functional requirements.

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  1. marcel

    I think Erdogan still remembers getting a call from Russia in the morning hours one day of 2016: ‘get out of bed and run’. 30 minutes later his hotel was bombed by an F16 that took of from Incirlik Airbase (where US stores/stored its nukes).
    He knows his friends (or at least allies) from his foes.

    1. hemeantwell

      Utterly pertinent, and almost completely lost down the memory hole.

      The US believes it can play this or that card in its coercion menu freely, plunking economic coercion on the table, then tossing in some tanks on Lesbos, as though they are all equivalent in their hind-brain impact. They’re not, especially when a betrayal like that of 2016 occurred and Erdogan can find reliable support from other powers.

    2. Novus Ordo Seclorum

      Obama sent $2billion in cash through a US bank in Nigeria to NATO troops at the Incirlik Airbase to prepare the coup.

      Erdogan was lucky that Russia had decided to enter the NATO proxy war in Syria in 2015 and had its military base at Tartus (less than 300kms from Incirlik) with its electronic spy system.

    3. Zephyrum

      Wow, I had not heard that. Part of the 2016 coup attempt? They have managed to bury this pretty well. Quite a bit about Erdogan “threatening the US” over Incirlik in 2016, but little explanation why.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Upon more reading, this seems confused.

      1. There was an alleged attempt by F-16s to shoot down Ergodan;’s plane.

      2. The hotel bombing, which Erdogan did narrowly escape, used helicopters to try to capture him if he was still alive:

      The Turkish leader was returning to Istanbul from a holiday near the coastal resort of Marmaris after a faction in the military launched the coup attempt on Friday night, sealing off a bridge across the Bosphorus, trying to capture Istanbul’s main airport and sending tanks to parliament in Ankara….

      Erdogan said as the coup unfolded that the plotters had tried to attack him in the resort town of Marmaris and had bombed places he had been at shortly after he left. He “evaded death by minutes”, the second official said.

      Around 25 soldiers in helicopters descended on a hotel in Marmaris on ropes, shooting, just after Erdogan had left in an apparent attempt to seize him, broadcaster CNN Turk said


    5. WillD

      Everyone’s enemy – the USA. It is doing a terrific job of burning its bridges, having abandoned real diplomacy a long time ago, in favour of brutish coercion.

      It is almost becoming safer to be a real enemy than to be a so-called friend. At least, as an enemy, you know where you stand, but as a friend you don’t – just ask Germany.

      1. JBird4049

        The United States has been attacking or abusing anyone weaker than it, and it also has been back stabbing its friends and allies, at least since it became a republic. I think that it could not as a confederation, but only because it was too busy trying not to self destruct; I haven’t studied its very short history much and I could be wrong. This is more than two centuries.

        This is often not because of individual Americans, who have often been vociferously against, but the business community usually makes money, and the politicians get influence by robbing, lying, and backstabbing. Only thing difference today is the sheer wanton greed, completely missing ethics, and lack of any thinking other than for the continuing delivery of slops to their trough by our current “elites.”

  2. The Rev Kev

    Türkiye may not really have that much of a choice in a way. I am sure that the Biden regime has threatened to crash the Turkish Lira and wreck all sorts of economic damage on Türkiye. And of course this may or may not have an impact on the Turkish election next June-July. And that Elizabeth Rosenberg? I see that ‘Rosenberg was formerly a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a think-tank largely funded by the weapons industry. Whilst working at the Treasury during the Obama administration, she drafted sanctions on Iran, Libya, and Syria.’ Yeah, Deep State. They know what that is in Türkiye.

    So here is the thing. If they buckle to US demands, what happens next? Türkiye gets its energy and wheat from Russia and if they go along with the sanctions package, then this will mean the de-industrialization of Türkiye and along with possible food riots. I am sure that not only Erdogan but the Turkish people are getting a close hand look at what de-industrialization looks like in places like Germany and want no part of it. Of course they will recognize that after that, the US and the EU will go into their country to buy up everything on the cheap.

    But if they resist, then they have a chance of integrating their economy with the east leading to a flow of wealth coming their way. And I am betting that they would get a lot of help from countries like Russia, China and maybe even Saudi Arabia & India. Why those last two? Because the Biden regime has been going around and threatening them to get in line with Russia sanctions or else they will have to pay the price. So that would make those later two fellow travelers who make help each other-


    1. Tom Pfotzer


      Looks like the financial-system edicts mechanism has run out of gas; for the U.S., it’s one of those awkward situations where the harder you try, the behind-er you get.

      We may already be at the continental divide between one-world-order and the multi-polar world.

      Next up: as RevKev points out, are the myriad assassinations and coups that have characterized U.S. state-craft in the past.

      But then there’s the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” principle. I keep wondering when that shoe’s going to drop.

  3. Lex

    It is fascinating to watch the US stumble through eroding almost all of its global power built over 80 years in a startlingly short amount of time. Bases on the East coast of Greece make geostrategic sense as a second line without Odessa. But shy of an imminent invasion, there was zero reason to position material on Samos except as a provocation. And this while Turkiye holds the trump card on Finland/Sweden joining NATO.

    In almost every situation, with Turkiye being the best example, the US has been overplaying its hand. Hard to see an outcome that doesn’t leave the US severely isolated and with sanctions in place against half the planet.

    1. John Wright

      I fear the USA has many clones of the late Madeleine Albright.

      From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Albright

      “According to Albright’s memoirs, she once argued with Colin Powell for the use of military force by asking, “What’s the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can’t use it?” Albright strongly advocated for U.S. economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq”

      Substitute “global power” for “superb military” in the above quote and one may see some internal justification for the USA’s actions.

      What a mess as the USA keeps doubling down on sanctions and provocations of friend and foe.

      1. Novus Ordo Seclorum

        “To be America’s enemy is dangerous,
        but to be her friend is fatal.” – Henry Kissinger.

      2. Paul Art

        Didn’t she also say when asked about the number of children who died in Iraq ‘it was worth the price’

    2. KerSer

      Since the Turkish position regarding the status of Greek islands in the Aegean has been presented in this and previous articles on this site, it would only be fair to present the Greek position as well, since Turkish claims are all too self-serving to be completely honest.

      First of all, two different treaties have provisions on the demilitarization of Greek (and Turkish) islands: the Lausanne treaty of 1923 imposes total demilitarization on certain Greek (Lemnos, Samothrace) and Turkish (Gokceada, Bozcaada, Tavsan Adalari) islands, and the obligation to not establish naval bases and fortifications on others (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Ikaria).

      Considering that the Montreux Convention (1936) annuls the demilitarization of the area of the Straits, Greece considers that the regime established by Montreux allows for the remilitarization of Lemnos and Samothrace. Curiously, Turkey rejects Greece’s claim regarding these two islands all the while holding that its own obligations regarding demilitarization of Gokceada, Bozcaada, and Tavsan Adalari have been abolished by Montreux.

      Regarding the obligation to not establish naval bases and fortifications on certain islands, Greece considers that its own right to self-defense, as provided for in Article 51 of the UN Charter, and justified by Turkish hostility and overt threats over the years (See Cyprus 1974, Imia 1996, continuous violations of Greek airspace, creation and stationing of the Turkish Fourth Army), takes precedent.

      Regarding the Dodecanese, these islands were ceded to Greece by Italy and their demilitarization is provided for by the Paris Peace Treaty. This treaty, to which Turkey is not a signatory, does not concern Turkey and therefore Turkish claims here are irrelevant.

      Now, getting back to the point of this article, Turkey has been drifting steadily away from the West, less so because it has been scorned by the EU but because it sees a greater role for itself as a balancing power between the West and the rest, taking advantage of its rightly noted strategic location and its influence in the Middle East and the Turkic lands of Asia. In my view, giving in to Turkish demands by the West will only increase Turkey’s appetite, and result in its leaders requesting ever more and more in concessions (see: migrant blackmail, among other examples).

      “But shy of an imminent invasion, there was zero reason to position material on Samos except as a provocation” :
      The thing is, I’m not so sure Greece’s leadership is in agreement with you regarding the (non-)imminence of a Turkish invasion. Erdogan and company’s threats have been getting more and more explicit lately, and Greece is well within its right to reinforce sectors deemed to be in need of defense.

  4. HH

    I am baffled by the indifference of the U.S. corporate elite to the destruction of the western economies by the Neocons. The impending U.S. recession and E.U. depression are clearly the consequence of the misbegotten war in Ukraine, a typical Neocon blunder. The largest U.S. corporations have vastly greater potential lobbying and political power than the defense sector, the only beneficiary of this conflict, yet they sit on the sidelines idly as their markets shrink and their supply chains are damaged. What is going on?

    1. John Wright

      The corporate elites might believe they can get financial favors from the USA government if they fall in line with government policy.

      See the recent Chips Act government handout to the semiconductor industry.

      Well heeled large corporations know how to lobby for government favors.

      Smaller companies and workers are out of luck.

      Also the defense sector has a multiplier footprint on its $780 billion/year spend, so many people depend on it for their income.

    2. Tom Pfotzer

      Great question, often asked.

      I observe that there are a small number of very powerful people who have planned over decades to get control of our foreign policy, the security apparatus, and the media. Those three key societal components appear to be functioning in close coordination.

      Why do our “real economy” elites go along with the NeoCon plan? Because the elite’s economic prospects are quite a bit dimmer if the NeoCons fail. The NeoCons are spear-point, the rest of the elites are spear-shaft.

      If you rule the world, you get to control the financial flows. You live well. And if you’ve lived well for centuries (some of these families have), you’re not going to give that up without a very big fight.

      And we have arrived at the “very big fight”.

      === A bit of context:

      Our foreign policy, observed over many decades, is about controlling the world’s resources and markets on behalf of the most wealthy and powerful elements of our society. Not the 1%, more like the 0.01%. This is what “neoliberalism” as a concept is trying to explain.

      The reason EU can be directed and forced to commit economic suicide is because the same people that control our foreign policy, security apparatus, and media control theirs, as well. Certainly that is true of Germany.

      This is why Victoria Nuland , Assistant Undersecretary of State, can say things like “f*** the EU”, and not be fired for it.

      Read the bio of Nuland that I linked to above. While you’re there, note that she’s the wife of Robert Kagan, who co-founded the Project for the New American Century. (PNAC).

      === For those of you that are still wondering “what’s a NeoCon”…here’s some reading suggestions.

      If you take a few hours to follow PNAC’s trail, you’ll come across most of the people and philosophy that have characterized U.S. foreign policy over the past 20 years.

      These people are well-placed in the Dept of State, the security agencies, and via the security agencies, the media.

      It’s a well-planned, painstakingly crafted team of highly motivated, very intelligent people who believe that our elites should rule the world. They make no bones about it.

      Do your reading, and you’ll see that what they want to do is what is actually happening.

      1. HH

        Thanks for the informative reply. However crafty the Neocons may be, surely there will come a point at which the economic damage becomes intolerable. Are Apple, Amazon, and Walmart going to quietly watch the world divide into two hostile trading regions, sacrificing half of their global markets?

        1. hunkerdown

          I’m having trouble finding that quote about the oligarch giving up half his fortune to defend the other half, but corporations are much more willing to give up money than to give up control. Imagine that such a world split would be offset by sweeteners such as (perhaps tacit) permission for twice as predatory product and service offerings within the bloc.

          1. John Zelnicker

            hunkerdown – Are you thinking of the slightly modified quote from Jay Gould that “I could hire one half of the working class to kill the other half”?

            The original quote in 1891 was apparently “I can hire one-half the farmers of the United States to shoot the other half to death.” and it has slowly been modified over the years.

        2. Tom Pfotzer

          You asked: “Are Apple, Amazon, and Walmart going to quietly watch the world divide into two hostile trading regions, sacrificing half of their global markets?”

          They’re not quietly watching. They are engaged in a pitched battle for all the chips, and you’re now seeing the tectonic plates bashing up against one another.

          Russia and China are the enemy because they are the credible opposition to Western elite rule.

          Plain and simple.

          Bear in mind that this battle has been ongoing for well over 2 centuries. It’s not new.

          What’s different is that Russia and China have eluded the West’s grasp, their momentum is increasing, and if the West is to prevail, the battle must take place now, or it’s lost. The West is acutely aware of this fact.

          Hence the timing.

          Remember, Apple, Walmart, et. al. aren’t the locus of the decision-making. The people that own Apple, Walmart, etc. are.

          1. HH

            The biggest U.S. corporations are “owned” by institutional investors. In theory, all these investors care about is growth and profits. Wrecking the global markets, which the Neocons are trying to do, is going to damage the value of these companies. At some point material interests are going to prevail over ideology. I hope that happens without a nuclear war.

            1. Greg

              Are those institutional investors actually capable of exercising their power in a rational manner? Maybe everything is like Calpers.

            2. jsn

              At the apex of that shareholding pyramid are men like Leon Black, and advising them are men like Larry Summers.

              Personally, I expect most such men are connected to the neo-cons via the likes of the late, great Jeffery Epstein.

              It’s a small club, and if you’re in it, there’s no way out.

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              This is a complete misconstruction and is so off base that it amounts to Making Shit Up.

              Please read Amar Bhide’s Efficient Markets, Deficient Governance.

              Transient shareholders do not exercise any meaningful governance rights. When investors don’t like what a company is doing, they sell.

              And on top of that, the big institutional investors mainly run index funds. They don’t care what any particular company is doing. All they care about is index replication at the cheapest. cost.

              The ones with narrower mandates are still index related: their performance (like a health care stock fund) is measured v. a particular index and they are punished if they engage in style drift (having performance that deviates too far from the index).

              And even actively managed funds don’t have high enough fees for investors to play a meaningful oversight role, even if they had the inclination and a big enough ownership stake.

              1. HH

                Well, then, who calls the shots in the American plutocracy? Is it the billionaires? Is it the CEO’s. Is it the idle rich? Whoever they are, they are either oblivious to the Neocon destruction of efficient world trade, or they have set a high present value over their future total dominance of future markets.

          2. Durans

            In my opinion it is already far too late for the West to win. The principle problem is our elites are far too deluded to realize this.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        Maybe it’s time for smarter people in the West to get serious about putting a stop to them? Before it’s too late.

        1. Tom Pfotzer

          It is too late to prevent the warfare. The fight will happen.

          The remaining question is “will it be a fight to the bitter end, destroying almost everyone, or will the victor be determined via conventional warfare?”.

          If it goes to nukes, I repeat: those of you that survive need to clean the gene pool of the perps. That trait has to be stamped out.

          1. caucus99percenter

            > clean the gene pool of the perps. That trait has to be stamped out

            Oh, boy! Maybe it’ll be like the Great Simplification in Walter M. Miller Jr.’s post-apocalyptic novel A Canticle for Leibowitz.

            If so, everyone with even the slightest bit of education will end up sharing blame for civilization’s self-destruction. A spontaneous uprising, a worldwide purge — the Khmer Rouge on steroids.

            1. Kouros

              I would prefer to be on the line with the purge in the Hominids Parallax, where the Neanderthals from the parallel Earth got rid through sterilization of the sociopathic and psychopathic genes…

              1. Tom Pfotzer

                Hominids Parallax. Never. heard. of. it. till. now.

                And this is why I strive to maintain good relations with people who directly oppose me on some (narrow, limited) issues.

                While I was waxing poetic on all things German, Kouros said “Polish people cuss Germans, because they’ve been ***holes in the past”.

                Let us continue to evolve beyond our ancestors’ reach, Kouros.

                1. Kouros

                  What I said was that the damage that Germans have unleashed on Europe with WWII and after has not been repaid in full and seeing Germany’s economy sink maybe it is part of that karma…

                  Never mind the Japanese, who were truly coddled by the US…

                  Remember, it takes seven generations to wash away the sins of the fathers… People have long memories…

                  But what impresses me was that the Russian ruling class, in the Soviet time and after 1991, was open to put the past aside and forge interdependency links with Germany.

                  It looks to me that the children and grandchildren of the German generals defeated fair and square by the Red Army couldn’t let it drop and wanted a rematch under the leadership of US… Kids in the Hall saw it coming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBfDB5ug78s

                  1. Tom Pfotzer

                    Kourous, that is the second spurned olive branch I’ve offered you.

                    You’re clearly in this for the next six generations, and I say “please enjoy the journey”.

                    For the rest of us, I say:

                    “may you transcend the hatreds of your ancestors.”

                    1. Kouros

                      What I explained to you is not my feelings, but cold, rationalized opinion.

                      I am of the opinion that Germany has not paid in full for all the damage incurred to eastern Europe and Russia with wwii (including a lease of life for the Soviet Union). And Germany has try to be good, but obviously it cannot stop from only doing bad things, including for its own citizens. It does invite bad karma.

                      I have relatives in Germany – and my sister just moved back to Romania, can’t take it any longer. She is an AfD supporter.

            2. Tom Pfotzer

              Ah. I read A Canticle for Liebowitz when I was about 16. Never really understood why such a story would be written. Seemed a bit apocalyptic, and this was the 60s. ‘Merica Rolls!

              Read it again at 42 or thereabouts. Starting to make sense.

              Fast-forward to now.

              I have it on my bookshelf. Maybe now’s the time to-read it. Gah! Mirror, Mirror, on the wall: please tell me I’m not what I am.

              Did I mention that I am continually heartened by NC’s literacy?

              NC in this context means “the broader NC community, not just the core staff, brilliant tho they may be.”

      3. digi_owl

        Funny how whenever you look up their background, you find them being being descendants of someone getting the heck out of eastern Europe after WW2.

        And it is interesting how the modern trend of the bride not changing her family name help mask familial relationships among the “intelligentsia”…

      4. Paul Art

        And the CFR Council on Foreign Relations funded by the Rockefellers. As I read in ‘American Exception’ – Aaron Good, Kissinger, Brezehnski, Paul Volcker were all Rockefeller men. As was Eisenhower and Carter. Good lats a compelling case for the existence and operation of the ‘Deep State’. He has an entire chapter on C.W.Mills and his ‘The Power Elite’.

    3. Tom Stone

      The “Deep State” can and will get you six ways from Sunday if you step out of line, Billionaire or no.
      Wasn’t the Mar A Lago raid a clear enough message?

      1. Greg

        It does seem like at some point there comes a recognition that guns > money. Whether that’s overt or covert is another question.

        1. Kouros

          It is true. Picketty and others have established that war really, truly can put a dent in people’s fortunes…

          1. eg

            Walter Scheidel’s The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century posits that only mass political violence (revolution, war and civil war) and disease have EVER reduced inequality.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        The Deep State is really just a name for the top layer of US oligarchs and their enforcers and brown-nosers in government, the military, the CIA and business.
        They don’t care about us. They just care about themselves. They are ruthless. Their enforcers kill and steal and obliterate without a second thought.
        And they have long memories for ingrates, the people they “put into power” who turned around and stopped being US lapdogs.
        Like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, bin Laden, Germany. the EU. Also anyone who is a “a traitor to their class” like Trump.
        Like the Mafia, nobody leaves the US Cosa Nostra and lives comfortably for very long.

    4. begob

      In the gnostic apotheosis of the sovereign individual, the material world is discarded in favour of digital incorporation. I could be mixing that up with the instructions for an enema: “using the finger, insert into rectum.”

    5. skippy

      At the end of the day Capital can pick up assets on the cheap or consolidate assets as economies implode and then front run whatever comes next.

  5. spud farmer

    Türkiye would never in a million years pull an EUand deep six its own economy and stability on behalf of “NATO” (i.e. the US of A). It also maintains cordial diplomatic relations with its old adversary Russia and might be the one country that can eventually help broker a peace deal between Moscow and Ukraine/NATO.

    The blob doesn’t like that one bit.

    1. Tom Pfotzer

      Makes you wonder whether Erdogan hasn’t been severely under-rated here in the West.

      He’s doing a masterful job of riding the bronco.

  6. KD

    Question: Does the Biden Administration or the EU Leadership actually understand the long-term consequences of the policies they are implementing? Do they have a realistic understanding of how the war is progressing, and the time frame?

    Do U.S. Corporate elites actually understand the long-term economic consequences of these policies? Do they have a realistic picture of the war?

    My guess is that no one actually understands what is going on, and what passes for understanding is half wishful thinking and hubris, and the other half propaganda.

    The US has been playing economic games and fighting wars for decades without any real blowback, so why wouldn’t someone just conclude that this time it will be the same.

    1. Tom Pfotzer

      KD: It’s soooo very tempting to cast people that don’t act as we expect as “uninformed” or likewise.

      I submit to you that they’re better informed than I am, maybe better informed than most. They just have a different frame of reference.

      That frame of reference may be, for example, “it’s perfectly OK to cause a decade or two of discomfort and pain for people (not us elite, but “others”) so long as we reach the ultimate objective, which is continued control of global resources and markets”.

      Little people (like me, maybe some of you) don’t think in these terms, but rulers most certainly do. It’s a job requirement for ruler-ship. Divine right of Kings, and all.

      KD asked: “…so why wouldn’t someone [e.g. our elites] just conclude that this time it will be the same [as before: no consequences for screwing things up for everyone else]”.

      Tom: Because for a while, they’re quite right. It will be the same. The U.S. has enormous momentum, and the elite are in the top decks, not steerage.

      Steerage is where the water level rises first, for those of you that are applying the Titanic metaphor.

      1. JBird4049

        But the Titanic did sink and being of the right class didn’t save that many except for those few on the lifeboats; what good is it to being wealthy when you are a frozen corpse? The problem with these people is that they believe that because they have won in the past, therefore, they will continue to win, not understanding just how much of the infrastructure we all need to survive has been rotted through by their previous victories.

        1. eg

          The psychology you describe goes a long way towards explaining elite mismanagement as depicted in Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”

  7. MichaelSF

    “Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the US Treasury”

    I thought that U.S. terrorist financing was largely handled out of Langley. Financial crime seems to have more of a power center in DOJ and SEC.

      1. MichaelSF

        Should I have included a /sarc tag? :-) That sentence in the article seemed like a straight line too good to pass up. :-)

  8. Tom Stone

    With that new gas hub in Turkiye guess who will control what’s left of German industry?
    And as the USA continues to pursue its “Martingale Strategy” across the Globe, it’s almost as though there’s a “Moore’s law” of stupidity…

    1. digi_owl

      At some point it has to cross into Murphy’s law.

      Though before that, it seems to be stressing Hanlon’s Razer something seriously.

    2. tindrum

      The vast majority of very well educated Germans are atlanticists and anglophiles – they love the USA. They still now really truly believe that there will be no energy crunch, that we didn’t need those crappy industries like aluminium smelting anyway, and that the brilliant German engineers at VW will convert the paint shops to hydrogen in no time at all. The logic goes something like this –
      Russian gas and oil not going to europe must go to asia hence asia need less saudi and US oil and gas so that can go to europe. No shortage as no increase in demand, no price rise, all is well.
      We shall see.

  9. Randy

    Where is this Turkiye moniker coming from? In the past Erdogan’s country was referred to as Turkey. Now all of a sudden it is Turkiye. Is this someone’s preferred proper noun for Turkey?

    Is Turkiye trans nomenclature for Turkey? /s

    1. MichaelSF

      Randy, Wikipedia says “Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye [ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [ˈtyɾcije dʒumˈhuːɾijeti]” and the spoken version sounds like Turkeeyeah.

    2. CoryP

      It’s their preferred orthography. Seems it’s being increasingly used as a show of respect, as one commenter recently explained.

      I’m in favor of it, but I’m inconsistent since when I saw that we were all using the spelling “Kyiv”, I was like oh shit this is a PR move with bad omens. The whole spelling/pronunciation of Ukrainian regions seems freighted with the implication that one supports one side or another, and that one does or does not consider Ukraine/The Ukraine a “real state”.

      Someone on the site previously commented that we don’t call Rome “Roma”, or Prague “Praha”.

      I’m torn.

      1. CoryP

        By “we” all using the spelling “Kyiv”, I meant the mainstream western media made a very obvious and portentious shift in the last few years.

        I didn’t mean this commentariat.

        1. hk

          I suppose we’ll have to start calling ghe Loony Tunes character Foghorn Livorno? One day, this will get out of hand.

          Incidentally, this is not unique to Anglophones. Some years ago, Koreans decided that they should refer to Chinese names (both people and places) by their “correct” pronumciations. This caused problems because 1) Koreans have been using Chinese characters long enough that Koreanized versions of Chinese names are long familiar to them. 2) Mandarin is not necessarily the “correct” pronunciation, given the many officially recognized languages and dialects in China, incidentally including Korean. In fact, I’ve noticed that Korean broadcasts of the official Chinese CCTV use the “correct” Korean pronuniations of Chinese names! (In contrast to South Korean broadcasts using “Mandarin” probunciations of varying quality.)

      2. CoryP

        It’s an interesting social phenomenon that the commentariat seems to be fully on board with “Türkiye” with nary a comment.

        I too am fully on board with it (for perhaps base reasons, such as wanting to be part of the in-group).

        But you make a useful observation which should not be ignored

        I guess this is how memes (in the original sense) propagate. .

      3. S

        Whatever the implications, the shift to Kyiv is reasonable since that is the official transliteration of the city’s name. “Türkiye” is not the official English name for the state which covers Anatolia and Thrace. This strikes me as some new progressive linguistic affectation like “Latinx”, rooted in Anglo politics and not used outside of certain small communities.

  10. Ivanys

    Just to add to the comments already made: This article below shows some actual diplomacy in action!

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on 21 October called on western nations to lift unilateral economic sanctions imposed on countries like Iran and Venezuela, and said the US needs to “stop bullying” Saudi Arabia over rising oil prices.

    West cannot solve global energy crisis by bullying and sanctioning nations: Turkey

  11. Altandmain

    Feels like the US is doing everything in its power to alienate Türkiye and to hurt its long term relationship with the nation. The Turklish people do not trust the Americans, and for good reason – most Turks know that the US was involved in the 2016 coup.



    I can only assume that the US will attempt more “color revolutions” in Türkiye. The neoconservative John Bolton apparently has a think tank specifically for this. I suspect that like last time, it will fail. There just isn’t the popular support for Türkiye being an American puppet in the public.

    A failed revolution will only further alienate the people of Türkiye from the US. It’s astonishing how badly mismanaged US foreign policy has become and how quickly the ruling class is accelerating its own decline.

  12. morongobill

    I don’t think it has sunk in yet, the power which Turkey will have if this Putin/ Erdogan gas hub deal materializes. If the European and U.S. elites thought Turkey was difficult to deal with before……

    1. OIFVet

      It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it will. The EU will be paying a high price for its sins, one of which is the double standard it exhibited in how it dealt with Turkiye’s membership application.

      On a related to the article note, let’s remember the incident from December 2015, when Turkiye shot down a Russian Su-25 warplane over Idlib. Russia’s response inflicted just enough economic pain on Turkey to wake up Erdogan, while leaving the door open for him to climb down. It was rather masterful piece of thinking and diplomacy, especially as we see how it has managed to make an important NATO member rather cooperative with Russia while retaining its autonomy of action. Don’t think for a second that the rest of the non-NATO, non-EU world isn’t paying attention to the differences between the Russian and US approaches to conflict resolution. One is belligerent and dominating, the other one is smart and measured. Hearts may not be swayed, but minds certainly are.

      Also too, the latest from Bhadrakumar expands on this article and connects other players on the gas supply side, such as Qatar and Iran, to the calculation and events driving Turkiye and Russia’s hub play. Suffice it to say, a common interests rather than force will rule the coming decades.


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