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US, Turkey Announce $4 Billion Arms Deal

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(US, Turkey Announce $4 Billion Arms Deal)
(By: Meir Halevi Siegel, JP)
(Published: July 31st, 2014)
(Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniyeh and Erdogan. Haniyeh is the terrorist on the left.)
It’s been a great month for US arms manufacturers: Just two weeks after the United States and Qatar – “the world’s largest funder of terror”, according to former President Shimon Peres – signed an $11 billion arms deal, the Israel Defense website said Thursday that Washington has inked another multi-billion dollar deal for American firms, this time to provide Turkey with an advanced air defense system.
The deal comes at a time when Turkey appears to have re-defined its identity as a Muslim-majority democracy, as well as its role in the Middle East and the Islamic world. Although the Turkish republic, founded by Kamel Attaturk in 1923, has existed as a democracy for 90 years (with three military coups to restore democracy when the country teetered, in 1960, 1971 and 1980), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has directed the country towards an Islamist path since coming to power in 2002.
The evidence of Erdogan’s effort to Islamize the Attaturk Republic has been clear for years: After being banned from Turkish politics for five years in the late 1990s and early 2000s for promoting anti-Israel-democratic ideas, he has used his elections to redefine Turkish politics and international relations.
He has purged both the judiciary and the military, giving many Turks and international observers the clear feeling that he is looking to solidify a one-party, one-leader system. More journalists are in Turkish jails today than any other country on earth – not because it is formally illegal to criticise Erdogan or the government in the local press, but rather because journalists and editors have learned to self-censor if they want to survive. Under Erdogan’s leadership the country has moved steadily away from the democratic republic envisioned by Attaturk and steadily towards the dark Islamic republic envisioned by enlightened groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Internationally, too, Erdogan has redefined Turkey’s interests. Under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey has completely abandoned a thriving relationship with Israel in favor of relationships with some of the darkest regimes on the planet: Iran, Hamas, Syria, Libya. Even Turkey’s relationship with the United States has not been immune: In mid-July he said he “no longer speaks” to President Barack Obama, in protest of the latter’s supposed lack of support for Palestinians in Gaza.
The $4 billion missile defense deal is significant not only in light of Erdogan’s Islamist leanings, but also because of Turkey’s wider geo-political stance. The deal, which has been delayed four times over the past year, mainly due to Erdogan’s domestic political needs as he completes his term as prime minister and runs for president, is also relevant because American and European companies have been competing for the air defense contracts against competitors from Russia and China – the geo-political equivalent of a slap in the face to Washington and Brussels.
In that sense, then, the deal stands to re-cement Ankara’s standing in the West, and also to reassure President Obama and European leaders that Turkey has not ‘changed sides’ – at least, not completely.
Finally, the deal is critical as the United States heads to mid-term elections amidst signs of economic slowdown. Last month, Raytheon-Lockheed announced layoffs in Rhode Island and Massachussetts. Furthermore, many large weapons-producing states, such as Alabama, are not naturally Democratic support bases. Taken together, inking the Turkey deal was a clear economic interest for the United States, and a political interest for President Obama and the Democratic Party.
All of which suggests, however, that the choice of short-term financial gain over longer-term political interests is unstable at best. For Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey’s path is clear. Nothing illustrates this better than Erdogan’s outrageous comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany and Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked to Hitler. Especially in light of the current deal, the silence from the administration on growing state anti-Semitism in Turkey is deafening.
But President Obama’s silence on Turkish anti-Semitism cannot change the fact that the administration recognises both the possibility that Turkey could bolt the NATO stable, and also that that move would be a political earthquake. In that light, the current move is a desperate attempt to curry favor with an shaky ally on the way out, at the expense of a solid one that is firmly in the American orbit.

Manhattan Gas Explosion: Greek Musician Andreas Panagopoulos Among Missing; 4 Dead

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(GreekAt least four people have been killed, more than 20 others have been injured, while there are still missing residents including Greek Andreas Panagopoulos, after a massive explosion leveled two apartment buildings in New York City’s East Harlem. The sudden explosion was reportedly caused by a gas leak. A resident called Consolidated Edison at 9:13 a.m. on Wednesday and reported a detectable gas smell around the two buildings by 116th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem. After 20 minutes the buildings were gone, leveled by a tremendous explosion whose tremors could be felt more than a mile away. Mayor Bill de Blasio said a number of people are missing, although some may not have been inside the buildings when the blast occurred Wednesday. “This is a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication in time to save people,” said de Blasio. Greek musician and entrepreneur Andreas Panagopoulos was possibly asleep at the time of the explosion. Recently he started working from home for an internet project he wanted to launch soon. Panagopoulos, 42, was living in the building for more than a decade together with his wife Lisbeth Perez who had left their apartment for work early morning. Earlier ANA-MPA reported that Panagopoulos had been found among the injured at a New York hospital something that his friends and family deny. Until this story was published there was no sign of Andreas Panagopoulos at three hospitals, leaving his family and friends still searching, hoping to find him alive. “We don’t know anything, unfortunately nobody has heard from him and our search in the hospitals has returned no results. We are still visiting more hospitals,” said Evangelos Alkimos of New York, a close friend and musician who had lived for a period of time in the building that collapsed, in the apartment under Panagopoulos’. “I stayed with him for a few days and then I moved in temporarily to an apartment under his. Soon after I found a better one in another area and I moved out,” said Alkimos. The Mayor’s office said nine occupants of the building remain unaccounted for, according to Fire Marshals and the NYPD. Searches of the street have been completed and did not produce any additional victims, the mayor’s office said. “Our hearts go out to all the families involved,” de Blasio said at a news conference earlier Wednesday. “We are spending every effort to locate each and every loved one.” The Red Cross center for those affected is based out of PS 57: E. 115th Street between 3rd Avenue and Lexington Avenue. This is a developing story, check back for updates

Why are white males implicated in mass killings?

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The answer is one word: Prejudice.

(Elliot Rodger was not against feminism.
He was not a Men's Rights Activist,
He killed four men and two women
and wrote a manifesto that
never had any problem with feminism at all)
(The group most disproportionately represented on the Mother Jones chart is Americans of Asian descent. While only 6 percent of the population, they have been 15 percent of the 31-year period’s last 20 mass killers, 13 percent of the last 30, and 9 percent of the last 66. This is quite interesting, too, since Americans of Asian descent have a very low crime rate in general.) Of the last 20 mass killings of that period, 9 were perpetrated by non-whites. That would be 45 percent, which exceeds non-whites’ 37 percent share of the population. Of the last 30 mass killings, 11 were committed by non-whites — right at the 37 percent mark. And what if we go all the way back to 1982? We then have 66 mass killings in which the races of the perpetrators were known, and 22 of them, or one-third, were at the hands of non-whites. Note here that America’s demographics have been changing, with non-whites comprising only about 20 percent of the population in 1982; thus, if we consider an approximate average non-white population of 28.5 percent during the 31-year period in question, it appears that, again, mass murderers are slightly disproportionately non-white. In other words, there is no evidence whatsoever that mass killings are a characteristically white phenomenon. 

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