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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Turkey's coup actors

The putative Turkish coup has many potential authors/conspirators among which Fethullah Gulen is one of the more prominent.

Meet Fethullah Gulen, Deep State Plotter by James Corbett
Not only is President Erdogan pointing the finger at Gulen as the mastermind of the coup, so is General Hulusi Akar, the Chief of Staff of Turkey’s Armed Forces and the country’s top ranking general. In testimony to prosecutors in Ankara earlier this week he stated that while he was being held captive by pro-coup soldiers he was asked to speak to Gulen, who he described as their “opinion leader,” but he refused.

Given Gulen's links to the CIA and his living in the USA, it is not surprising that US actors are in the frame. The mysterious report, at the height of the coup attempt, that Erdogan sought and was refused asylum in Germany was claimed to have come from senior sources in the US government. Newsbud has been doggedly pursuing answers from NBC who broke the story in the midst of the coup. Sibel Edmonds is convinced that the goal to remove Erdogan remains intact but as Daily Pickings suggested a few days ago, nothing is certain in the multidimensional chess game of geopolitics.

Turkish Government Issues an Official Request to NBC News Demanding Immediate Public Apology by Sibel Edmonds


Wrestling with who rules and how

Discussion and deliberation on how to create non-hierarchical structures involves groups and individuals who have very different perspectives/world views. In the UK, we pride ourselves on the Magna Carta and the "mother of all parliaments", seemingly blind to the obvious shortcomings of the originating document and the resulting institution. Hence, the debate can, if we're not careful, polarise between establishing fundamental principles to form the foundation of a new political economy and using flawed pre-existing constitutional pillars to attempt to build a better settlement for all.

The email correspondence in the following document is UK-centric but is universally pertinent, not least because so many countries' constitutions have been drafted by British civil servants.

Democracy is the art of thinking independently together

Before we get too bogged down in constructing a "watertight" constitutional framework which may or may not be necessary, we should start from first principles encompassed in five questions:

1) Is there any means by which any number of individuals can delegate to someone else the moral right to do something which none of the individuals have the moral right to do themselves?

2) Do those who wield political power (presidents, legislators, etc.) have the moral right to do things which other people do not have the moral right to do? If so, from whom and how did they acquire such a right?

3) Is there any process (e.g., constitutions, elections, legislation) by which human beings can transform an immoral act into a moral act (without changing the act itself)?

4) When law-makers and law-enforcers use coercion and force in the name of law and government, do they bear the same responsibility for their actions that anyone else would who did the same thing on his own?

5) When there is a conflict between an individual's own moral conscience, and the commands of a political authority, is the individual morally obligated to do what he personally views as wrong in order to "obey the law"?

We are so conditioned to believe in the "state" and "rule of law" that we don't see the contradictions in the religion of "statism".

 The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.

Regulation is displacement therapy

The evidence is overwhelming: politicians and bankers have long colluded against us all. Daily Pickings has cited numerous examples of the revolving door between banking and politics.

Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold by Matt Taibbi
Barack Obama's former top cop cashes in after six years of letting banks run wild

Money corruption is global; in Europe, Goldman Sachs alumnus Mario Draghi presides over the criminal ECB.

How the ECB is Officially Above the Law by Yves Smith
Economists argue that central banks needed to be independent in order to insulate them from political pressure in setting interest rates. There’s no justification for a central bank to be outside the law.

Nomi Prins claims we need to regulate and control such corrupt behaviour, saying we can do nothing about the culture and relationships - wrong! We need to dismantle the political economy which fosters such culture and relationships: ie. remove the incentives to abuse fellow humans. The dark art of money is where change needs to start.

Regulation and the law will never solve our problems - they may make us feel better that we're "doing something" but all the while we are descending further into chaos and helplessness.

Turkey's nuclear weapons

Yesterday, Eddie posted James Corbett's observations on Turkey's nuclear weapons and the recent Porkins Policy Radio (Pearse Redmond and Christoph Germann) analysis of the failed coup.

Turkey has a NATO Nuke Problem  by James Corbett
...there's a whole other aspect of what's happening in Turkey right now that is receiving relatively scant attention. That aspect involves Incirlik Air Base, a 3300 acre base strategically situated on Turkey's southern coast within striking distance of Syria.

Daily Pickings mentioned the 42 helicopters which went missing from Incirlik Air Base; RT reported the disappearance of other equipment and some special forces.

Turkish naval ships & choppers reportedly missing since botched coup, Turkey Deputy PM denies
Turkey’s navy is still unable to account for 14 ships, while two helicopters with 25 special forces troops are also missing since an unsuccessful coup plot against the government. However, Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus has denied any naval vessels are unaccounted for.

It remains to be seen how events Turkey play out but given its strategic importance to NATO and proximity to Russian interests, the ramifications of the coup attempt will continue to reverberate around the region and beyond.