Today I received the following message from The Washington Post: "Thank you very much for sending us this piece, but the Oped page won't be able to use it." Of course, WaPo wouldn't dream of publishing this opinion piece (below), which calls into question the probity of its overseas reporting. Judge for yourself:
What is happening to The Washington Post's coverage of Middle East news? More to the point, why has America's news media failed to address events affecting the safekeeping of America's global stockpile of nuclear weapons?
In July, following the failed military coup against Turkish president Erdogan, Turkish troops loyal to Erdogan encircled Incirlik Air Base, where 1,500 American Air Force troops are posted. The critical importance of Incirlik? US tactical nuclear weapons are stored there, and US air strikes against ISIS in Syria are launched from this base.The Erdogan regime temporarily cut off commercial power to Incirlik following the coup attempt, and generators had to be used by the American air force to provide the base with electricity.
It was widely believed that the actions taken by Erdogan against the base related to Turkish demands that the American government extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. Gulen has been deemed a terrorist by the Erdogan regime, and his Hizmet movement has been accused by the Turkish government of standing behind the recent coup attempt; however, the American government has refused to send him back to Turkey.Furious with President Obama, who had listed Erdogan as one of his five best overseas friends in 2012, the Turkish president met with Vladmir Putin in St. Petersburg on August 8 and declared “the Moscow-Ankara friendship axis will be restored.” Even more worrisome following the St. Petersburg summit, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim suggested this past Saturday that Incirlik could be used by the Russian Air Force for strikes against ISIS.
In response to the crisis, there have been foreign news articles stating that America is secretly removing its B61 tactical gravity nuclear bombs from underground bunkers at Incirlik. It has also been reported that these weapons are being sent to Romania, although the Romanian government is denying these rumors.
On top of all of this, Russia’s air force recently began flying missions against ISIS from Iran’s Hamadan Air Base, and the State Department is considering whether this violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made a surprise stopover in Iran this past Thursday after Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers met in Ankara last week to seek an end to the fighting in Syria. Turkey has been supporting rebel forces in Syria, whereas Iran has been propping up the Assad regime using Hezbollah fighters and its own Quds force.If all of this was not worrisome enough, on Friday American and Syrian fighter jets nearly engaged in a dogfight over Kurdish Hassaka in northern Syria. Needless to say, the Erdogan regime is implacably opposed to Kurdish independence in Syria, which could have repercussions involving Turkey’s restive Kurdish minority. On the other hand, the Middle East's 30 million Kurds have been historically friendly to the US.
So why has America’s news media remained silent in the face of these events? Is it because the Olympics and Ryan Lochte took center stage? Is it because the latest revelations involving Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are more interesting than a threat to America’s overseas nuclear arsenal? Is it because the outbreak of the Zika virus in southern Florida is more worrisome? It’s all possible, however, I would have thought that the breakdown of America’s relationship with Turkey, the crisis surrounding America’s nuclear arsenal at Incerlik, and the threat of Russian hegemony over the Middle East would have deserved more than a passing mention by the press.
I would only add that permission for Russian missions against Syrian rebels out of Iranian air bases has now been withdrawn by Khamenei.