Thanks to Trump, Turkey is not alone

Extracts from an opinion piece by Murat Yetkin

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Turkish guy facing down a tank at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport – July 16, 2016

Does the U.S. president really, sincerely think the actions and sanctions against Turkey will work? They did not work against Iraq in the 1990s. Iraq could be put down through military action. They did not work in the 2000s against Russia, who even grew strong enough to influence the U.S. elections.

It is something favorable if Turkey and the U.S. are on good terms, with better cooperation and mutual respect, but . . . Turkey does not owe its existence to the U.S. and will not cease to exist without it.

Trump’s actions and sanctions on the Turkish economy . . . not only have had a rally-around-the-flag effect (as anyone who has read a bit of political history would guess) but have also told the Turkish people they have friends around the world who care for them.

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CNN news coverage on the night of the attempted coup. So was it staged? Who were the US supporting?

Be it in their own interest or by seizing an opportunity to say something against Trump’s policies, which bother many economies from China to the European Union, voices have been raised by those who have taken a stand with Turkey. Before this currency crisis, there were only a few of them; Azerbaijan and Qatar . . . the most loyal of them.

However, right after Trump started to use American economic power as a political tool against Turkey, not only Russia, Iran and China have chosen to speak out against the U.S., but European NATO allies like Germany and Italy have also started to lobby for Turkey.

Qatar pledges $15 billion investment

Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani paid a snap visit to the Turkish capital on Aug. 15 for talks with Erdoğan after a phone exchange the two men held late Aug. 13. Bilateral relations and regional developments were discussed in the working lunch that took more than three hours. The Emir pledged a direct investment worth $15 billion to Turkey, a presidential source said.

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Qatar’s and Turkey’s leaders meeting over lunch

“We attach importance to his visit. This visit, at the same time, is an indicator that Qatar stands with Turkey,” Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın told reporters at a press conference on Aug. 15.

In a written statement, on the day Emir al-Thani paid a visit to Ankara, Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey Saleem Mubarak al-Shafi reiterated his country’s support to the Turkish government.

“Just like during the defeated coup attempt in 2016, Qatar is the first country rushing to help its Turkish brothers and we will continue to stand with them,” the ambassador said. Underlining that his country has already expressed that it was ready to assist Turkey in this period, al-Shafi informed that the Qatari people have bought liras worth millions of dollars in direct support to the Turkish economy.

Turkey and Qatar enjoy a unique relationship in the region. Turkey, which has a military base in Qatar, rushed supplies to the Gulf state after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott in 2017.

Erdoğan spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the late afternoon on Aug. 15, after the latter has openly backed Turkey in its row with the U.S. that brought about political and economic sanctions. He will talk to French President Emmanuel Macron on Aug. 16, another European heavyweight.

“All these indicate there is a growing reaction in Europe against Trump administration’s restrictive and punitive economic policies. We are of the opinion that this marks an important point,” Kalın said.

European countries have expressed concerns and reactions over Trump’s harsh measures on Turkey on the grounds that it could also hit the global economic structure, particularly Europe, which has extensive economic cooperation with Turkey.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, “In fact, all these incidents have opened the world’s eyes. They have seen once again how the current American administration can disrespectfully use its economic power against countries,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Turkey’s frustration is bigger than US’s

Turkey’s disappointment regarding the Trump administration’s stance is much deeper because it has not taken into account its ally’s national security concerns, the Turkish government has said in response to a statement from a White House official that United States President Donald Trump is frustrated Turkey has not released pastor Andrew Brunson. 

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Turkey’s  Minister of Foreign Affairs responding to President Trump’s “frustration

“The president has a great deal of frustration on the fact that pastor Brunson has not been released as well as the fact that other U.S. citizens and employees of diplomatic facilities have not been released,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement on Aug. 14.

“The U.S. or any other country should not just focus on their own frustrations. They should also take into account our frustrations [with regard to their policies]. We also have frustrations,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on Aug. 15 in response to a question on Sanders’ statement.

For Çavuşoğlu, the U.S. decision to ally with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, a group Ankara considers as terrorist, and to arm them, is a bigger source of disappointment for Turkey.

The U.S. inaction on Turkey’s extradition request for Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), who Ankara blames for the coup attempt in July 2016, is another source of frustration for Turkey, he said.

“Now, they are even trying to protect FETÖ members in third countries. Why do they support them? Because they love traitors or because they love Turks, Muslims? We only tell the truth and say what we see. You should not just see it from your perspective,” Çavuşoğlu said.

The minister called on the U.S. to respect the judicial processes and to put an end to the idea that their objectives could be achieved by pressure or punitive actions.

In the meantime, both Çavuşoğlu and Kalın explained the signing of the Pentagon bill delaying the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey for 90 days should not be considered as a sanction.

“Turkey is not just purchasing F-35s but a part of this project. It made its payments for the project. Turkey will have to resort to legal action if these aircraft are not delivered. We hope this will not happen,” Kalın said.

“Our advice to the U.S. is not to use these as a tool. This seriously tarnishes U.S. credibility. No country in the world is without alternatives and helpless. Every nation is honorable and needs to be respected,” he said.

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Trust the United States? Sure can’t!

Yemen: US allies strike deals with al-Qaida in war on rebels

By MAGGIE MICHAEL and TRISH WILSON and LEE KEATH – Associated Press – Monday, August 6, 2018

US-double-standards-on-Syria-and-Yemen-MintPress-NewsATAQ, Yemen (AP) – A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns the militants had seized across Yemen and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

Again and again over the past two years, the coalition has claimed to win decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds and shattered their ability to attack the West. What the victors didn’t disclose: many of those conquests came without firing a shot.

The compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day – and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes as the al-Qaida fighters retreated in plain sight.

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And add al-Qaida to that

The AP’s findings are based on reporting in Yemen and interviews with two dozen officials, including Yemeni security officers, militia commanders, tribal mediators and four members of al-Qaida’s branch. All but a few of those sources spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals. Emirati-backed factions, like most armed groups in Yemen, have been accused of abducting or killing their critics.

The deals uncovered by the AP reflect the contradictory interests of the two wars being waged simultaneously in this southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

In one conflict, the U.S. is working with its Arab allies – particularly the United Arab Emirates – with the aim of eliminating the extremists known as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. But the larger mission is to win the civil war against the Houthis, Iranian-backed Shiite rebels. In that fight, al-Qaida is effectively on the same side as the coalition – and, by extension, the United States.

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The “war” in Yemen?

The U.S. has sent the coalition billions of dollars in weapons to fight the Houthis, and American jets provide air-to-air refueling for coalition war planes. The U.S. does not fund the coalition, however, and there is no evidence that American money went to AQAP militants.

“Elements of the U.S. military are clearly aware that much of what the U.S. is doing in Yemen is aiding AQAP and there is much angst about that,” said Michael Horton, a fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a U.S. analysis group that tracks terrorism.

But supporting allies against “what the U.S. views as Iranian expansionism takes priority over battling AQAP and even stabilizing Yemen,” Horton said.Trust the United States?

Read the whole article

United States losing friends fast

Trump’s trade war is destroying economic growth, says German minister

Peter Altmaier says history shows such actions hurt consumers above all.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions and trade tariffs imposed on countries like China and Turkey are damaging economic growth, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in an interview published Sunday.unnamed-4

“This trade war is slowing down and destroying economic growth, and producing new uncertainties,” Altmaier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “The past has shown that during trade wars, consumers suffer above all because products get more expensive.”

The United States is about to hit a variety of synthetic rubber products and halogenated polymers from China on August 23, as part of its second tranche of punitive tariffs. Trump also said Friday he would hit Turkey with increased steel and aluminum tariffs amid a diplomatic row over the arrest of an American pastor and charges against several U.S. officers at the İncirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.

Altmaier also praised an agreement reached last month by Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on trade, saying it has saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe.

“We have again turned the corner just a few meters from the edge. A global trade war would not know winners, only losers,” he said. “The agreement that EU Commission President Juncker set up with Trump secures hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany and Europe.”

unnamed-6Altmaier was also critical of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the first set of which came into force last Monday. “We do not let Washington dictate trade relations with other countries and therefore stand by the Vienna nuclear agreement so that Iran does not produce nuclear weapons,” Altmaier said, referring to the 2015 deal reached with Iran.

In a joint statement on Monday, the European guarantors of the Iran agreement said they were actively working to thwart the U.S. sanctions.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S., due to the latter’s withdrawal from the [deal],” the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, said in the statement, also signed by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the U.K.

Source

 

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With thanks to Malcolm Evans for the excellent cartoons!

PS – Italy agrees with Germany:

[Altmaier’s] words came one day after Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero dold Daily Il Foglio that Turkey plays a major role in balances in the Mediterranean, saying that it is “my first thought is lending it support.”

Source

The Cyprus Issue – Searching for the truth

Turkey has been suffering international condemnation for nearly fifty years for its military intervention in Cyprus back in 1974. The island was granted independence from Britain in 1960, with a constitution recognising the rights of both Greek and Turkish communities. The Greeks, however, were determined to unite with mainland Greece. When the Greek military junta in Athens implemented a coup d’état on the island in July 1974, the Turkish government asked for United Nations and British intervention (as provided for under the constitution). When both failed to get involved, Turkey’s government acted unilaterally (again, as allowed for in the constitution) and sent a military force that established a separate Turkish enclave in the north.

eu-and-u-s-world-champion-in-hypocrisy-750x400As far as Turkey is concerned, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was a political necessity as a result of illegal interference by the government of Greece. Ideally, they would like to see an independent united island, as provided for by the 1960 constitution, and as proposed by several United Nations initiatives – the latter always vetoed by the Greek community.

Despite the foregoing, the European Union and other Western governments have constantly put pressure on Turkey to withdraw, and insist on supporting the Greek position.

This article appeared in our English language news site the other day. I haven’t been able to check the quoted source because it is a Greek language newspaper based in Cyprus. If anyone can help with that I’ll be grateful.

10 Turks ordered to be killed for each Greek during Cyprus violence: Report

A Greek Cypriot newspaper published new documents about the violent years that led to the division of the Mediterranean island some five decades ago, including an instruction on Greek Cypriot security forces ordering that “10 Turks shall be killed for each Hellen.” 

Daily Politis’ article series titled “Cyprus: Crimes that went unpunished” reported on Aug. 7 cyprusthat two Greek officers and a Greek Cypriot policeman were killed in Magosa on May 11, 1964 at a time when tensions ran high amid the Greek attempt to unify the island with Greece, known as Enosis. One of the slain was Costakis Pandelidis, the son of the Greek Cypriot police director in Nicosia.

According to the report, Greek Cypriot security forces were then instructed that “10 Turks shall be killed for each Hellen” as retribution. The following day, 17 Turks were kidnapped and executed by a firing squad in Famagusta. 

The killings, which are considered by Turkish Cypriots as ethnic cleansing, continued on May 13 when 11 Turkish Cypriot workers were kidnapped and killed near Paralimni Lake. Their remains were found in 2006, the report added.

The newspaper reported there were many other atrocities committed by the Greek Cypriot side and that had gone unpunished in the following decade. For instance, 126 Turks, most of them women, children and elderly, were killed and buried in mass graves in Muratağa and Sandallar villages on Aug. 14, 1974.

“Most of the killers were EOKA militants but there were also some Greek Cypriot neighbors of the Turkish victims among them,” the report said.

The newspaper also gave other examples from Greek atrocities, including the raping of Turkish women, the plundering of Turkish villages and horrific murders, such as the death of Muratağa village’s Turkish coffeeshop owner Mustafa Kukudi, who was killed by quartering of his body on Aug. 10, 1974.

Politis drew the ire of the Greek Cypriot administration because of the latest article series, which continued with a new episode on Aug. 8. The newspaper, as well as its reporters, reportedly received death threats this week.

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Turkey’s “Peace Operation” 1974

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared on Nov. 15, 1983. It is currently recognized only by Turkey as an independent state.

The United Nations has sought a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe’s relations with Turkey.

The latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure in July 2017 after two years of negotiations.

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Well, it’s an issue that’s been bubbling away on the international scene for many years now, emerging from time to time as a major issue from time to time, such as when the EU want to justify their constant refusal to accept Turkey into their exclusive club.

I always thought this business was another manifestation of the general anti-Turkey obsession in the West. However, another news item caught my eye the other day that made me think again. Why is the Western First World so determined to support mainland Greece’s annexation of an island so far from its own shores; an island with no connection to “Greece” at all since it was seized from the Byzantine Empire by England’s crusading King Richard I in 1191?

Now I learn that the “Greek” republic of Cyprus is an important tax haven and provider of money-laundering services to the rich and powerful in those self-righteous Western “democracies”. Paul Manafort, former chairman of Donald Trump’s election campaign, is on trial in the United States on a wide range of corruption charges. And I thought to myself, “Aha! So that’s what it’s all about!”

Ex-Manafort Aide Rick Gates Describes Funneling Millions Through Bank Accounts in Cyprus

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Thumbs up for money-laundering, tax evasion and general corruption

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) —Paul Manafort’s longtime deputy told jurors Tuesday how he spent years disguising millions of dollars in foreign income as loans to lower the former Trump campaign chairman’s tax bill. 

Rick Gates, the government’s star witness, recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS.

“In Cyprus, they were documented as loans. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts,” Gates said during his second day of testimony in the financial fraud trial of his former boss.

Prosecutors summoned Gates, described by witnesses as Manafort’s “right-hand man,” to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Source 

Manafort lawyer: ‘So many lies’ Gates can’t keep up

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — In blistering and aggressive questioning aimed at undermining the credibility of the government’s star witness, a defense lawyer accused the protege of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being immersed in “so many lies” he can’t remember them all and demanded to know how a jury could possibly trust him.

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We’re squeaky clean – it’s Turkey that’s guilty!

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing began his cross-examination of longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates by confronting him on his own lies to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, an extramarital affair and hundreds of thousands of dollars he admitted to embezzling from his former boss. 

Prosecutors had braced for the tough questioning by getting Gates to come clean about his own crimes. He told jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Manafort’s tax bill. Gates recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS. 

Prosecutors summoned Gates to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

“In Cyprus, they were documented as loans. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts,” Gates said.

Source

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The Cyprus business used to be about controlling the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Now, it’s about controlling the world!

Porsche’s Dirty Secret – and United States’ complicity

I’ve never owned a Porsche, but an old school friend in New Zealand took me for a ride in his Carrera once. I can’t say I was vastly impressed. It was a pretty bumpy ride. But then we were in the heart of urban Auckland, so I couldn’t experience the full effect of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds or feeling the wind blowing in my hair at the top speed of close to 300 km/h. If you can find somewhere to do that, you may think it worth forking out $NZ 200,000 or more for the buzz. And you may be joining in the 70th birthday celebrations of the Porsche company.

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The “first” Porsche

Interestingly, however, an article in the UK Telegraph informed me that Porsche isn’t 70 as is being celebrated here, but 87 years old. It was in 1931 that Porsche formed his own company . . .  Ferdinand Porsche was the majority shareholder, with his son in law Anton Piëch and Adolf Rosenberger, each contributing the remainder of the start-up capital. Rosenberger became the managing director and the staff consisted of Porsche’s former colleagues, including Austrian engineer/designers Karl Rabe and Erwin Komenda, and his son Ferry Porsche.”

Early projects for Porsche’s new firm were a design for a new Wanderer saloon, the Kübelwagen military vehicle, the Elefant Panzerjäger tank, Hitler’s people’s car the Beetle, and the Type 64, a streamlined racing car based on the Beetle. 

Porsche kept his people close, but he wasn’t above borrowing ideas from others or dropping those who’d become an embarrassment. The Beetle’s swinging axles were designed by Edmund Rumpler in 1903, but its backbone chassis and rear-mounted air-cooled engine were all first used by Hans Ledwinka in his designs for Tatra – Porsche even admitted that he ‘might have looked over Ledwinka’s shoulder.”

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Adolf Rosenberger in his motor-racing days

Tatra sued for patent infringement and Hitler said he’d sort it out, which he did by invading Czechoslovakia. After World War Two, Volkswagen settled out of court with Tatra. Similarly Rosenberger had to flee Nazi Germany and give up his Porsche shareholding. He changed his name twice and ending up in America. After the war, Porsche and Piëch sent begging letters and Rosenberger sent back food and money, yet when he sued for the reinstitution of his shareholding in 1950 the German courts offered a derisory sum and a Volkswagen Beetle in compensation.

I’m just snipping out a few extracts from the Telegraph article here, since most of it is a car enthusiast getting excited about the 1948 Porsche 356 “Number One”. What I did do was follow up some questions that crossed my mind as I was reading. For example, why did Adolf Rosenberger have to flee Nazi Germany? Why did he change his name twice? What was Hitler’s involvement in the Porsche company?

Well, Wikipedia tells me that Adolf Rosenberger was a successful Jewish businessman born in Pforzheim, Germany in 1900 and a well-known racing car driver in the 1920s. “[W]hen Hitler came to power in Germany [he]was arrested for “Rassenschande” (racial crimes), and imprisoned at KZ Schloss Kislau near Karlsruhe.” He was released with the help of an influential friendbut “forced to leave Germany immediately. He emigrated to France, and later to Great Britain, representing Porsche GmbH in both of those countries. He immigrated to the United States in 1939 and in 1944 he became a US-citizen under the name of Alan Arthur Robert.

rewriting historyDuring the Nazi era, the role in the auto history of many Jews like Adolf Rosenberger . . . was written out of history.”

Two other sources I found provided further information. The Car Aficionada has this to say (again, I am providing excerpts): Devout Porsche enthusiasts are well-versed in the marque’s heroes. They can cite chapter and verse about Ferdinand and his son, Ferry. The roles Dr. Anton Piëch, Ferdinand’s son-in-law, and his descendants played founding and nurturing this brand are well documented. In the modern era, Hans Mezger’s brilliant engine contributions are core to the Porsche legend. But any mention of Adolf Rosenberger draws blank stares from the Zuffenhausen faithful. Here we set the record straight on his place in the Porsche lore.

“When the other Adolf became Germany’s chancellor in January 1933, it became clear to Rosenberger that his Jewish heritage was a distinct liability. He resigned from Porsche and transferred his ownership share and management responsibilities to a close friend, Baron Hans Veyder-Malberg. In spite of the fact that his speed in the experimental Auto Union racer during Nürburgring tests nearly matched Hans Stuck’s lap times, Rosenberger’s competition license was denied by Nazi officials. Since the purpose of the state-backed Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz racing programs was to demonstrate Aryan superiority, Jewish drivers were prohibited.

Rosenberger wisely departed Germany to represent Porsche interests first in France, then in Switzerland. Upon his return in the summer of 1935, he was arrested by the Gestapo and dispatched to a concentration camp for “racial disgrace”—defined as relations with an Aryan woman.

Thanks to the intervention of his ally Veyder-Malberg, Rosenberger was released after but four days of internment; the Reich billed him 953 RM (about $230) to cover the cost of his “protective custody” and legal fees. Taking the beatings he suffered during confinement seriously, Rosenberger relocated to France and changed his first name to Alfred. Then in 1938, he moved to America, settling first in New York before seeking employment in Detroit.

With World War II raging, the U.S. government considered Rosenberger an enemy alien and restricted his movements. Because of that status, no car company would have him, so he moved to Los Angeles, changed his name again to Alan Arthur Robert, and opened a gas station. When that venture didn’t pan out, he worked as a day laborer, selling plastic products on the side. He finally obtained U.S. citizenship in 1944.

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Doesn’t a girl have the right to lie about her age?

Rosenberger sued Porsche for 200,000 DM (about $480,000 today) through the German retribution tribunal. When the dust finally settled in 1950, his award was one-fourth that amount plus his choice of a new Beetle or a 356. While the historical record doesn’t show why Rosenberger chose the Volkswagen, it should be assumed that what he sought was respect, the one thing no one at Porsche seemed willing or able to provide.”

A second source, The Truth about Cars corroborated most of that information in a piece entitled Porsche’s Forgotten Man, adding some extra interesting thoughts:

“In fact, without Adolf Rosenberger, there would not have been a Porsche company in the first place.

According to Ghislaine Kaes, Porsche’s personal secretary, the engineer had a good reputation — but not much money.

“Porsche didn’t have the financial means at the time for such an establishment. These funds were supplied by Adolf Rosenberg.” Adolf Rosenberger put up 30,000 marks to capitalize the design agency. Dr. Porsche got 80 percent of the stock, Anton Piëch received 10 percent and Rosenberger was allotted the remaining 10 percent. Facilities were rented at Kronenstrasse 24 in Stuttgart.

In 1933, [a] sponsor was found in the person of Adolf Hitler, newly installed as German chancellor. Hitler saw auto racing as a means of projecting German prowess and power. In February 1933, Hitler gave a speech opening the Berlin auto show and Dr. Porsche sent the soon-to-be-dictator a congratulatory letter, offering his services. A month later, Ferdinand Porsche, Baron von Oertzen, and racer Hans Stuck met with Hitler in the Reich Chancellery. The result was that Porsche and Auto Union were given 300,000 reichsmarks to build a race car.

Later, of course, Hitler’s commission to Porsche for the KdF Volkswagen people’s car would put Dr. Porsche’s company on even better financial footing.

While all that was going on, Rosenberger began to have concerns about himself being a Jew in Germany and Adolf Hitler, no great judeophile, being in power. Rosenberger brought in his friend Baron Hans von Veyder-Malberg to serve as Managing Director of the design agency and apparently gave nominal control of his shares in the company to Malberg in a strawman deal.

To keep the company afloat before Hitler’s sponsorship of the Auto Union racecar came through, Rosenberger made a stockholder loan of 80,000 reichsmarks to the firm. That means that not only did Rosenberger provide the startup capital for the Porsche company, he kept it in business for the first two years of its existence.

In September of 1935 . . . the Gestapo arrested Rosenberger for “racial shame.” In other words, he had an “Aryan” German girlfriend. After about three weeks in the Kislau concentration camp, where the treatment was apparently brutal enough that it permanently affected his health, Rosenberger was released and made to pay 53 reichsmarks for the cost of his “protective custody.”

In 1945, Ferry Porsche, Dr. Porsche’s son said that the Porsche and Piech families had interceded on behalf of Rosenberger, to get him released. However, Rosenberger maintained until his death that the only help he got was from Baron von Veyder-Malberg, who bailed him out.

In terms of the wider picture, I read that an exhibition has opened at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Americans and the Holocaust. According to Lily Rothman, “news that publications like TIME ran in the 1930s and ’40s shows that, in fact, Americans had lots of access to news about what was happening to Europe’s Jewish population and others targeted by the Nazi regime.

In fact, Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, [was]on the cover of the July 10, 1933, issue of TIME Magazine.

It would have been public knowledge in the late 1930s (and not entirely controversial) that the U.S. was denying entry to some refugees from Hitler’s regime . . .”

Well, it’s ancient history now, I guess – but nevertheless, there are lessons for us

First, writing inconvenient facts out of history is common practice in all countries.

Second, the truth tends to come out long after the events took place.

That being so, we should be suspicious that similar “adjustment” of facts is taking place today, at national and international levels. Fortunately, we today have the internet, and it is much more difficult for unscrupulous businessmen/women and politicians to hide what is really going on. As always, however, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

US demand to stop oil trade with Iran not binding for Turkey: Minister

The United States’ demand to stop trading oil with Iran is not binding for Turkey, a top Turkish official has said, adding that Turkey would only follow a United Nations decision regarding this issue.

Turkey economyDuring a press meeting in Ankara on June 27, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci noted Turkey would pay attention so that its friend Iran will not face any unfair treatment due to such actions.

The U.S. has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil by November and is unlikely to offer any exemptions, a senior U.S. Department of State official said on June 26 as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran.

“The decisions taken by the United States on this issue are not binding for us. Of course, we will follow the United Nations on its decision. Other than this, we will only follow our own national interests. In addition, we will pay attention so our friend Iran will not face any unfair actions,” Zeybekci said.

U.S. President Donald Trump in May said his administration was withdrawing from the “defective” nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions, and ordered the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions against Tehran that were suspended under the accord.

“Yes, we are asking them to go to zero,” the official said on June 26 when asked if the U.S. was pushing allies, including China and India, to cut oil imports to zero by November.

“We’re going to isolate streams of Iranian funding and looking to highlight the totality of Iran’s malign behavior across the region,” the official told reporters speaking on condition of anonymity, as reported by Reuters.

Turkey strives for the development of free trade around the world, Zeybekci also said.

“Turkey acts in a more responsible way for the improvement of global trade and we have shown an effort for the development of free trade among countries,” he said.

Read the whole article

“We Are All Palestinians Now”

I’m not going to write about the massacres in Palestine, but I’m reblogging this from Shuck and Jive:

Anti-SemiteNakba 1948

Holocaust Denier

Conspiracy Theorist

People are beginning to awaken to the fact that the name-calling is connected to the violent oppression. The name-calling and the smearing is the weapon the oppressors use to silence the resistance. When someone is labeled as an anti-Semite, Holocaust Denier, Conspiracy Theorist and what have you, then we don’t need to listen to what they have to say.  You don’t need an argument.  Call someone an icky name, then avoid them and tell others to avoid them.

The surprising thing is that the name-calling often comes from the mouths of those in opposition to the oppressors. When pro-Palestinian activists call other pro-Palestinian activists these names, then we know the true power of the oppressor. The oppressor controls the language of the opposition.

When I met with divestment activists in the Presbyterian Church (USA) four years ago, I was surprised when one of them told me that we can now use the word “occupation.” When the divestment movement in the PCUSA had begun over a decade previous, calling what Israel was doing to Palestine “an occupation” was not allowed. I asked, “Who makes those rules?” The answer had to do with strategy and who might be offended and who would support and not support their particular goals and so on and so forth.

The rules are self-made and guided by the oppressors.

The oppressors allow the little victories as long as the truth of what keeps the oppressors in power is not allowed to be revealed. When someone like for instance, Gilad Atzmon, starts talking about the ideology behind the oppressors, then an artificial line that has been drawn by the oppressors is crossed. All forces are then unleashed to smear not only Mr. Atzmon but anyone who might even give him space to defend himself against such attacks.

Meanwhile, mass murder continues while churches in America either cheer it on, satisfy themselves with smaller goals that won’t offend the sensitivities of the oppressors, or, as in most cases, remain deadly silent.

palestineI do think people are beginning to awaken to the fact that the name-calling is connected to the violent oppression and that the name-calling says much more about the name-caller than the name-called. The next step is heart or courage. If we are going to dismantle the oppressor by dismantling their control of the discourse, then we must accept that we, too, will be smeared when we give space to those who cross the oppressors’ line.  This may affect our reputations, our jobs, our livelihoods.

But that is nothing compared to what is happening to our sisters and brothers in Gaza on this 70th anniversary of the ongoing Nakba. As Mr. Atzmon writes, “We are all Palestinians now.”