Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to go fishing. He called the royal weather forecaster and inquired about the weather forecast for the next few hours. The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days.
So the king went fishing with his wife, the queen.
On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area”.
The king was polite and considerate, he replied: “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional, and I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.” So they did.
However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.
Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once! Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.
The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.” So instead, the King hired the donkey on the spot.
And thus began the ancient-old practice of hiring asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions…
While France and Russia urged calm, the UK and Germany spoke up for Israel, with the spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May launching an unusually strong defense of the Jewish state.
“We condemn Iran’s attack on Israel. Israel has every right to defend itself,” the spokesman told reporters.
“We call on Iran to refrain from any further attacks and for calm on all sides. We call on Russia to use its influence in Syria to prevent further Iranian attacks,” the United Kingdom said.
The German Foreign Ministry said: “We are deeply concerned by reports about last night’s Iranian rocket attacks on Israeli army outposts.
“These attacks are a severe provocation that we most strongly condemn. We have always emphasized that Israel has a the right to defend itself.
“At the same time, it is a key that the situation not escalate any further. This particularly means we must do everything we can to finally arrive a sustainable poetical solution to the conflict in Syria — it is needed to end the suffering of the Syrian population and to not further threaten stability in the region.”
via UK, Germany back Israeli right to defensive strikes against Iran in Syria – Middle East
On March 19, a group of students at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, Turkey’s leading institute of higher education, demonstrated against an event on campus. The event against which they were demonstrating, organized by the Society for Islamic Research, was to champion the Turkish soldiers who had participated in the Afrin invasion. While the pro-government students distributed Turkish delight sweets, the counter-demonstrators unfolded a banner reading: “Invasions and massacres are not [to be celebrated] with delights.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by having the anti-war students arrested for spreading “terrorist” propaganda. On April 3, a Turkish court jailed nine of them and freed the other six, pending their trial.
To protest what they called a “disturbing trend of criminalizing political speech and dissent in Turkey,” over 1,800 renowned academics from around the world, among them Nobel and Pulitzer Prize laureates, signed an “Open Letter of Support for Students Arrested at Boğaziçi University”. The letter reads, in part:
“The arrests on campus, as well as subsequent police raids of student homes and dormitories, continue a disturbing trend of criminalizing political speech and dissent in Turkey.
“Erdoğan has cynically referred to these students as ‘terrorists,’ vowed to expel them from Boğaziçi University, and to deny them the right to study at any other university. We have heard this kind of verbal attack from Erdoğan before and it was followed by the detention of thousands of academics, journalists, artists, and human rights advocates.
“We call upon the Turkish government to immediately cease all investigations and arrests of students exercising political speech.”
via “Terrorism” Turkish Style
Earlier this week Russian President Vladimir Putin, still beaming from his re-election victory, tried to heighten his global profile with a much-advertised “summit” with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
At the tactical level, Putin and Erdogan need each other.
Erdogan gives Putin, who is asserting himself as the arbiter of Syria’s future, an “Islamic” cover to counter claims that Russia, having bombed large parts of Syria into rubble and killed tens of thousands of civilians, is now at war with Islam. It is no accident that Kremlin’s recent “advice” to Muslim preachers in mosques across the Russian federation includes the claims that Putin’s moves in Syria are backed by Erdogan.
For his part Erdogan, too, needs Putin a tactical level. It was Putin who told his protégé Bashar al-Assad not to press a claim for control of Syrian Kurdish areas annexed by Turkey in recent operations. Russian forces in Syria looked the other way as Turkish forces carved out the Syrian cordon sanitaire that Erdogan wanted.
via Syria: The Putin-Erdogan Summit Was a Missed Opportunity