Updates & Multi-Week Round Up for May 31

Still Alive & Kicking, A Scholar For All Seasons Or Agendas?, Terrorization & De-Terrorization Flip

This is going to come as a relief to some and as a major disappointment to others: I am alive and almost back! As my long-term readers know I almost never share personal details here, and I am not about to change that, but here is a semi-reasonable albeit a bit vague explanation: despite having very costly health insurance coverage it was far more cost efficient (thus feasible) to take care of certain medical treatments outside the US than back home where the exact same medications (exact same brands) and treatments would have cost almost three times the amount. I am almost done with the two-month medical process, I’m doing well, and I should be back in three weeks or so. Many thanks to those of you who contacted me with your well-wishes and concerns, those of you who made me chuckle (I needed that badly) with some incredibly imaginative conspiracy guesses, and even those with death-wishes since I had the pleasure of disappointing you ;-)

HersheyvCadbury

While a part of me enjoyed (still does) being away (a break from the sin city where I live) and living in a laidback place, the other part soon began to long for home and now fully qualifies as a true case of ‘homesickness.’ Really. I’ve been trying to keep current, which is very hard to do with the entire medical process, an ultra high-energy 22-mo toddler with me 24 X 7, and a not very reliable (or speedy) internet connection. Yet, the most stimulating conversation I’ve been a part of had to do with ‘Hershey’s vs. Cadbury’ when it comes to chocolate, and, A-Frame Caravan vs. …I have no idea what the other type was or what it entailed… and, they had no idea who Bhutto was and why there was a new report on her assassination…or, what it meant to say ‘the moral dilemma using drones represents’…Yet, I’m still alive; I’m a survivor, ey!

Okay, enough about me. I’ve been saving many interesting stories, reports, and analyses. I won’t cover them all, but here are a few noteworthy notes and stories:

Fethullah Gulen & His Multi-Billion Worth Islamic Entourage

FethullahGulenFor those of you first-timers, who have never seen or heard this name before, please don’t start with Wikipedia ! I recommend checking out articles and analyses by Mizgin Yilmaz, and Luke Ryland; like this one here. Mizgin has been covering Gulen and significant Gulen related developments for years, and now, recently, all of a sudden, there appears to be these tainted-tilted-falsified-glorified articles in English popping up in the mainstream media and the not-so-mainstream but nonetheless the same outlets. Don’t get me wrong- this guy and the entire operation is very SIGNIFICANT. In fact, significant enough to be censored and blocked by the US mainstream media until recently. So, what’s the deal? What’s the real aim? Who wants what? And why?

As I’ve said, first read Mizgin’s coverage, and some background coverage by Luke Ryland here. Then, let’s take a look at one of the recent mainstream media articles – like this one:

October, 1992. the Soviet Union has disbanded and chaos reigns in its former territories. Three times a week, a rattly Russian charter plane filled with young Muslim devotees flies east from Istanbul across barren, low-lying steppes to the capitals of Central Asia. The men are clean-cut, sharply dressed in dark suits and ties, trim of mustache and purposeful. It is the first foray out of their hometown for most, let alone on a plane, but such is their faith in Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Muslim imam they revere. “Fly like swallows,” Gulen exhorted, “to these countries that are newly free, as an expression of our brotherhood.”

Fly they did. Hundreds of volunteer teachers fanned out across five Central Asian republics. It was the start of a global movement that is now one of the largest and most powerful competing for the future of Islam around the world. There are an estimated 1,000 Gulen-affiliated schools in 100 countries — from Malawi to the U.S. — offering a blend of religious faith and largely Western curriculum. All are inspired by Gulen, an enigmatic retired preacher who oversees the schools — and a multibillion-dollar business empire — from the unlikeliest of locales: rural Pennsylvania.

It’s a fairly lengthy piece, so it continues:

Gulen, the 68-year-old retired imam behind this colossal enterprise has never visited Central Asia. He leads an ascetic life on an estate in Pennsylvania, where he has lived since 1999 for medical reasons, and to avoid facing (recently dropped) charges of seeking to overthrow the secular regime in Turkey. Gulen declined TIME’s request for an interview, citing poor health.

Secularist hostility makes the movement secretive. There is no reliable data on the size of Gulen’s following because one doesn’t sign up to join and it has no official legal status. But it is growing in power. Gulen supporters are estimated to number at least 6 million, according to academics researching the phenomenon. (More surprising is a former Interior Minister’s estimate that 70% of Turkey’s national police forces are Gulen devotees.) “If they were a political party, they could post 20 to 25 MPs,” says Nedim Sener, an investigative journalist. “Any movement that wields that much power needs to be transparent, like an NGO. Who belongs to it? How is it funded? What goes on in the schools they run? What are its political goals? These are all issues shrouded in secrecy.”

And after more along the same lines here is the ending:

Add a quest for power to that fervor, though, and it gets complicated. In Turkey the movement is insular, growing and seems to harbor a mysterious political agenda. “On one level you have activities like the schools, which are hard not to be impressed by,” says King’s College lecturer Park. “Then there’s the political element, which appears suspicious because it’s rich, secretive and nobody really knows what it’s up to.” Gulen says he is opposed to theocracy, yet his supporters suggest that they would like more space for Islam in public life. But how will that come to pass? The future shape of secularism in Turkey — and around the Islamic world — might rest on that answer.

Of course, while it brings a bit of attention to this operation’s significance and reach targeting Central Asia since the mid 1990s, you’ll find no mention of the joint cooperation between Gulen and the State Department, or not the well-hidden secret of his CIA protectors, including his well-known ex-CIA body guards and backers such as Graham Fuller. Absolutely nothing.

And here is another piece written by a Turkish agent (news? Turkish government? US-Turkish agenda-setters?) published by the Turkish mainstream paper Hurriyet interestingly titled ‘The Gulen Movement Plays Big in Washington’:

It was one of the lavish lounges of the Willard Hotel in Washington where hundreds of Turkic people from all across America with plain name tags gathered to mark the creation of a new umbrella Turkic Assembly last Wednesday. Six Turkish-American federations, which have close proximity to Mr. Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric and the exiled leader of the Turkey-based religious Gülen Movement joined to form the Assembly of Turkic American Federations, or ATAF, a non-profit organization.

Half a dozen U.S. Senators and a few dozens of U.S. Representatives made a strong showing at the reception and the Gülen Movement hinted that its new assembly has some muscles to flex in Washington already.

The Gülen Movement accelerated its activities in U.S., especially since the leader of the Movement, Fethullah Gülen settled in Pennsylvania about a decade ago. During the mid ’90s, after almost three decades in the making, it was still operating very much under the radar in Turkey.

The unexpected and sudden decision to combine all of their 180 organizations under one umbrella assembly was a surprising move, at any rate, for those who follow the Gülen movement closely and are aware about its cautious strategies and steps.

Mr. Gülen first decided to go public with a wide ranging interview in early 1995, and in the following years the movement attracted ever-increasing attention. The postmodern-military coup of Feb. 28, 1997 pushed Gülen out of Turkey to find refuge in the U.S. Only more than a decade later, the Gülen Movement gathered enough manpower, recognition and credit to bring dozens of members of Congress to its half-official Washington debut night. The Turkish ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Namık Tan, came to the reception and stayed there almost the entire night, having conversations with the members of the U.S. Congress – alhough not everyone was as joyful about the new kid in town. The Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, or ATAA’s, president, Günay Evinç, was pretty upset about the name of this new assembly because of its similar word selection with their own assembly. Evinç argued that this name similarity has created a big administrative disaster for their organization to explain the difference.

Again, no mentioning of why Gulen happened to pick the US to defect to, or why this multi-billion dollar organization’s operation center (headquarters) happens to be in the States, or how the State Department has been backing, protecting, and promoting Gulen in the US and abroad (mainly his activities in Central Asia)…Nothing. Nada. Zip zip zilch. The same Turkish reporter/writer/agent who happens to be based in the US (Washington DC;-) has written other pieces (along the same lines) on his site here.

Let’s go ahead and simplify this a bit, shall we? The Russians hate Gulen. The US agenda-setters, the real policy-setters (Neocons and realists alike) love Gulen and have been supporting/backing/funding/protecting him since the mid 90s; especially (mainly, that is) those operations conducted in Central Asia. This man who doesn’t even have a high-school diploma has been promoted as a major ‘scholar’ by the CIA and the State Department, against multiple operations and investigations conducted by the FBI, and later by the Department of Homeland Security. So now: what’s really up with Gulen? Is he “a man for all seasons” or “a man for all agendas” set by our real agenda-setters? And, why this sudden coverage (long-due but completely distorted, sanitized, and re-formulated) by the mainstream media and the ‘agents’? Please be my guest and chip in with your own analyses and input!

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Another Case of State Department’s Terrorization-Deterrorization Flip

DokkuThanks to our friend Metem for the following example showcasing another classic flip by the State Department on declaring and listing a group as a terrorist group then declaring them as not, and probably soon declaring them again as terrorists…when their current use expires, that is ;-)

The State Department’s update of its annual list of official terrorist groups is imminent, but the group that just attacked Moscow won’t be on the list.

The Caucasus Emirate, which has been waging a jihad against the Russian government, is led by Doku Umarov, who calls himself the “emir of the North Caucasus.” He was previously President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, but dissolved that Republic and established the Emirate in its place in 2007 in order to impose sharia law in his territory.

Umarov declared all the way back in 2007 that his group was expanding its struggle to wage war against the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. Last month, he released a video claiming credit for the suicide attacks in Moscow in March that resulted in the deaths of 39 people.

But apparently, the State Department chose not to include Caucasus Emirate in the newest update to its list of foreign terrorist organizations, according to Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-FL, who is calling on the State Department to add the group for the sake of national security and U.S. -Russia relations.

And here it gets really funny:

Some experts note that there is internal debate within the Chechen rebel community about whether the group’s declarations of jihad against the West is really such a good idea.

“It seems that the Caucasian rebels themselves are frightened by their own ‘war declaration’ against the West,” Andrei Smirnov wrote in an article for the Jamestown Foundation, “The absurdity of the rebels’ declarations lies in the fact that they declare war against the West, and at the same time beg for aid in their anti-Russian struggle.”

“Whatever the Caucasian rebels say, it is clear that they do not have much in common with the interests of the international Jihadi movement,” Smirnov went on, “This movement has no smaller plans than the Jihadi movement worldwide, but it nonetheless limits itself to activities inside Russia’s borders and has no ambitions to grow into an international problem.”

Of course we all remember our flips and then flops and then flips again on KLA, but does anyone here remember our almost recent flip on MEK? So, what’s the latest on that? Did they go back to the list? Are they a part of the Pentagon’s recent souped-up operations inside Iran? Just asking…

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Okay, this is it for now. I will be back with more, so please don’t give up on me or this site (including our new season of podcast interviews and articles by our contributors!).

 

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Comments

  1. avatar glassotat says:

    Gulen …. I always find the relationship between a word and its function in the world indicative and often dismissed and overlooked by most people. In this case of the Gulen movement and its attachment as the new darling of the west’s agenda (whatever that may be), i would like to remind the reader of a historical significance regarding the name change of the c.i.a. from the former o.s.s. (office of strategic services). After world war two the u.s.a. lifted the very efficient espionage service of the nazis and installed them as controllers
    of the american system, thus enacting the change of official language, head office and name of the nationalist socialist system from germany to america. The name of this network of spies and analysts ….. Galen!
    -just a thought-

  2. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Get well soon, Sibel.

    best,
    KF

  3. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Raffi Khatchadourian (who is quickly becoming the best young reporter in the country) on WikiLeaks:
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/06/07/100607fa_fact_khatchadourian

  4. avatar Kingfisher says:

    “Another Case of State Department’s Terrorization-Deterrorization Flip
    Thanks to our friend Metem for the following example showcasing another classic flip by the State Department on declaring and listing a group as a terrorist group then declaring them as not, and probably soon declaring them again as terrorists…when their current use expires, that is
    And here it gets really funny:”

    Nothing is cut and dry when it comes to the North Caucasus, Sibel.

    “but does anyone here remember our almost recent flip on MEK? So, what’s the latest on that? Did they go back to the list? Are they a part of the Pentagon’s recent souped-up operations inside Iran?”
    Govt of Iraq took over Camp Ashraf last summer, and had to crack some uppity MEK skulls. I’ve heard MEK was not very reliable or useful; a stupid neocon idea out of the OVP. We should have gone through with the deal and traded those Marxists to the Iranians for captured high level AQ. We were stupid not to take the deal; I blame Israel.

  5. I think glassotat means Gehlen.

  6. @KF: Many thanks. Re: ‘Nothing is curt & dry…’: True; smoke & mirrors. Re: MEK: I tend to agree. Their operation (HQ) base has been France since early 1980s…So they tried MEK Rt, then, Shah pahlavi Jr (they are still trying)…I wonder which group is currently financed (royally) over (or near) there. I don’t have a clue…Mabe a circle gathered from the Iran-Revolution-Twitter Group; wearing Levis & Nikes, singing Brittany songs?!;-)

    Also, here is a general & sincere ‘thank you’ to all of you with kind messages sent via form/e-mail, and of course all of those who’ve been keeping this site alive & active (you know who I’m talking about;-)

  7. avatar theepitbull says:

    Glad that your doing ok…stay well and be good and kind to yourself.

    Love “Light” and Energy

    _Don

  8. @glassotat Yeah, it may be a coincidence that “Gulen” and “Gehlen” are very similar names, but is it also coincidence that Gulen’s organization seems to want to resurrect the Ottoman empire and the Gehlen organization seemed to want to retain power from the third reich? And that apparently (according to “The CIA’s Greatest Hits”) Gehlen got recruited by the US (I imagine CIA) by stressing his usefulness in the war against the communists, and that Gulen’s organization might also be in the same way “useful in the war against the islamic extremist terrorists.” Reminds me of the Doctor Who episode where the elderly leaders of a defeated warlike empire make a deal with a much more terrible alien race in their insane and evil quest to remake “the second Skonnon empire.”

  9. Edit Momma: This is my rambling disjointed effort at truth. Ahmed at the farmer’s market yesterday has a daughter with the last name of Deniz. He is from Turkey and sells bread. Gulen introduces science, fundamentalism, and allows creationism as fact. This is manipulative with the aim, control of Central Asian oil reserves. B.P. creates an oil disaster offshore unparalleled and the Tool Pusher knows his death might be imminent so prepares his wife and kids for the worst. Israel kills ten alienating Europe and Turkey. Erin Gobragh! Rachel Corrie lives. It is Israel’s right to defend their borders. In that day Jerusalem shall be a burdensome stone, and all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces.
    Alma-Ata means father of the apple. It’s the capital of Kazakhstan nestled beneath the Tien Shan mountains across from the Uighur capital in Sinkiang – Urumchi. Bastion of dissent long fomented to resist Han incursions. Coordinated with Tibetan efforts at independence. As much to weaken Soviet and Chinese empire as for oil rights. Tucson, Arizona became the default sister city to Alma-Ata, its original choice was discovered to be the center of Soviet classified military research – Novokutnetz near Novosibirsk. A clan of Old Believers fled across the Tien Shan mountains and sought refuge in Bolivia. From there, they emigrated to Oregon. Then the forests of the Amur River became the province of Weyerhauser.. Raw timber exports for profit. An American presence while tensions between China and Russia were temporarily defused. The weeping camel is touched by chords of Mongolian Tuva music and lets down her milk.

  10. Actually Sibel the Dairy Milk chocolate was so much better when Neilson in Toronto Canada made them.

    :)

  11. and, speaking of birds ordered conspiracy theories, right at the same time those mad egg north koreans -in the middle of glasnost- sink a south korean warship.
    product placement is everything.

  12. A bunch of freaking maniacs run the world…isn’t it f*cked?

    pretty interesting ramblings Simon

    hope you feel better soon

  13. avatar Kingfisher says:

    @Remo,

    Please bash your head against they keyboard, you mumbling twit.

    Q: Why can’t Kiwi guys take their girlfriends to the Rugby match?
    A: Because they eat all the grass!

  14. kingfisher.
    dosn’t change the fact that AsiaTimes and Pilger both report sinking of the Cheonan not a north korean action.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/LF04Dg02.html
    ‘In a highly significant development, the Chinese navy took the extraordinary step of quietly letting two American Internet sites know the findings of an independent technical assessment its naval intelligence arm made of the corvette’s sinking, which took place about 1 nautical mile (1.9 kilometers) off the south-west coast of Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea’
    ‘The NAM story said: “In the recent US-China strategic talks in Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese side dismissed the official scenario presented by the Americans and their South Korean allies as not credible.”

    ‘The two articles basically agreed that a US mine ripped the Cheonan in two and sent the hapless South Korean corvette down to Davy Jones’ locker. But they differed in two key aspects; one was the type of the mine used in the friendly-fire attack – limpet or rising – and the other was the nature of the friendly fire, deliberate or inadverted’.

    any comment on that ?

  15. Sibel

    The Neilson Burnt Almond candy bars were delicious, don’t try the Cadbury though, bleech!

  16. avatar SanderO says:

    Sibel,

    I am relieved to hear that you are OK. I was wondering what was going on. Your site is a great read and a real important part of the internet. Welcome back. Stay well.

    SanderO

  17. Sibel – Glad your back. Get well soon! Interesting information on Gulen.

    We need your Turkey/Middle East analysis. Hopefully this post is relevant given the Gullen commentary above.

    Given everything that’s going on in the Middle East — Turkey deploying troops, ships, anti-aircraft batteries to Cyprus; sending more ships with Iran to bust blockade, coinciding with UN sanctions vote–Ergodan threatening to sail in himself, considering sending Turkish Navy before James Jones called urging/threatening (NATO, EU distancing) against it; “Islamizing” intel–replacing professional intel heads with civilian friends–supposedly first time ever (Israel allegedly bugged war-room), long-standing intel back channels gone; Israeli diplomats’ families removed from Turkey, travel ban instated; El Al & Turkish Airlines end contract; Russia changes pipeline plans from through Turkey-Israel to Turkey-Syria; recent Kurdish PKK terrorist attack in Turkey kills 7 last wk–Turkey alleges Israeli support; Israel kills 4 Hamas “frogmen”; Israeli inner cabinet continues marathon session; UN likely to push investigation of Flotilla incident at Turkey’s block’s behest; Lebanon and Syria receive air defense from Syria…

    … Given whatever of this is true (mostly from debka’s reporting), what’s your take on it? Is it partly a shrewd power-play by Ergodan to lock up power domestically by unifying the country against an enemy and creating a volatile security situation? It appears that he’s not just bluffing (memo to Bibi), however. Does this mean the Israel-Turkey alliance is over? What ramifications do you think this will have on the Gülen movement?

    Curious, I checked Hurriyet and found this interesting article with a “message from Gülen,” which sounds like its directly from Western intel trying to restrain Ergodan:

    “While we are about to get into this vicious circle, the message coming from Fethullah Gülen, the spiritual religious leader of millions in Turkey and around the world, was really reassuring. Mr. Gülen suggested that the activists who were trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza should have tried to get prior permission from the Israeli authorities. I believe he wanted to warn all of us, especially this government, about the vicious circle we are about to embark on. Reading his last message together with his prior criticism of Hamas, Hizbullah and other extremist groups in the region, I believe Mr. Gülen provides a perfect example of how a pious Muslim can fight for everyone’s rights without falling into the trap of identifying with any of them. I hope his message will reach Erdoğan and everyone in Turkey and the region soon.”

    http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/columnists-212530-israel-hamas-selective-human-rights-advocacy-and-gulens-message.html

    The rest of the article’s interesting too. (I don’t usually read Hurriyet–is the reporting usually so superficial/programmed-sounding?)

    So is Ergodan and the AKP out of the woods? Will this enable him to effectively lock up his power? Another headline on Hurriyet said wiretaps exposed “cronyism” in the higher judiciary. Would Gülen go against him? It seems Ergodan is turning out to be more shrewd and unpredictable than everyone thought–maybe pulling a sort of Nasser?

    Hopefully it all blows over. Debka’s also reporting that Kuwait intel are leaking that Turkey has learned that Iran has Osama Bin Laden, but that sounds like pure Mossad disinfo that has been going on for a while from neocon propaganda outlets (much of Debka’s stuff seem like disinfo intel–is it usually somewhat reliable?), beating the drum for war with Iran.

    Sorry for all the questions. You’re probably busy with another post, so no worries if you don’t get a chance to answer.

  18. Judging by the information in today’s Asia Times article “Neo-cons lead charge against Turkey” by Jim Lobe ( http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LF11Ak02.html ), we do “live in interesting times”!…

    For it was not that long ago that the unholy alliance between Turkey and the ruling Zionist neo-con fifth column in the U.S. was simply a given in many a nefarious dealing here. In view of her own experience, perhaps Mrs. Sibel Edmonds’ might share her insight into this new development?

  19. Glad to hear that things are going better. I’ve missed you.

    As for the chocolate debate: have a little of both.

  20. avatar 344thBrother says:

    Very happy you’re still out, about and active :D
    On chocolate. It’s hard to beat Dove.
    And they pay their workers a living wage.

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