Turkey and the imperialist free-for-all

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Turkey and the imperialist free-for-all
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The recognition of the 1915 genocide by Turkey against Armenians by President Biden late last week is a clear and unambiguous expression of US anger towards the Ankara regime. President Reagan mumbled something about it years ago but no-one took much notice and no US president since has entertained the idea. But this is a completely different situation demonstrating along the way the continuing dislocation of international relations particularly within NATO. Prior to taking up his post as head of the US state department, Antony Blinken called Turkey "our so-called ally". Since taking office Blinken has re-affirmed the PKK as a "terrorist organisation" and has called Turkey, "despite differences", "a long-standing and valued ally". At a meeting in Brussels last week Blinken asked Ankara to give up the Russian S-400 missile system but the Turks flatly refused. Unable to blackmail the US with the threat of refugees, Turkey is using the card of the S-400 system to keep its options open. The recognition of the Armenian genocide by the US has upped the stakes and gives an indication of the continuing centrifugal tendencies of the Middle East with Turkey central to them.

In the meantime Covid-19 deaths have risen four-fold in Turkey in the last month. These are official figures from the Health Ministry so they are likely to be underestimates. Turkey is awaiting the further delivery of a hundred million vaccines from China conditional on the general extradiction treaty of Uighurs being completed.

And further on the pandemic, India demonstrates that this capitalist plague is far from done with. The "economic miracle" of India, such as it was, has been devastated by self-destructive and encouraged infections. A year ago there were arguments on here that were a de-facto defence of a ruling class that was apparantly "doing its best" to combat the virus, that the science was "complicated" and, even, that the pandemic was the fault of nature. A year later those arguments look even more hollow than they were at the time because the pandemic and its consequences are the result and expression of capitalist decomposition and its damage (to the working class and the exploited mainly) has been added to by the wilful actions and negligence of the ruling class - a ruling class that has no morality and whose contempt for human life is limitless.

Up until late last week, by government decree, Indian industry took precedence for oxygen over the health service. Election rallies and religious festivals have been encouraged and some estimates (from gravediggers and crematorium workers) suggest a massive under-reporting of deaths. In the face of the Dante-esque scenes of multiple funeral pyres in the streets, people choking to death for lack of air in hospital grounds, the Indian government have shut down elements of social media and threatened with arrest those reporting "bad news". And while the "world" (India's imperialist allies mainly) come to its aid, its plans to sell Britain ten million vaccines have been quietly forgotten. Now this adaption of the virus is spreading further than India adding to the existing problems in Europe and beyond.