The Empire of Lies Capitalises on Earthquake Disaster


20-02-2023: A devastating earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria on the 6th of February, triggering a disaster on an unprecedented scale. The first quake measured a magnitude of 7.8, and was followed by a 7.5 level quake nine hours later. The first blow left a 300 kilometre earth rupture in a north-eastern direction from the north-eastern tip of the Mediterranean Sea.[1] So far, official figures say that 37 000 people have lost their lives, but it could be as high as 200 000 . Many buildings in several regions of Türkiye and Syria simply collapsed, leaving many trapped beneath piles of rubble. International aid donations are flooding in to both countries, but the “Empire of Lies” – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s term for the US led Western governments bent on relentless war provocations against others who demonstrate independence – is already blatantly using the tragedy to further their nefarious aims. While Türkiye and Syria struggle to recover, working people the world over need to defend these countries and their allies against imperialist led sanctions, military occupations, political interference and the drift towards a global conflagration.

HAARP attack?

Some have claimed that these earthquakes were not the result of natural causes but were brought about by the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), as punishment by the US government and the NATO countries against Türkiye for blocking the expansion of NATO. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently ruled out voting for Sweden’s accession to NATO after incidents where anti-Islam activists publicly burnt copies of the Quran in Stockholm and also in Copenhagen in Denmark.[2] A legitimate concern for Türkiye is the harbouring of PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party – which, despite its name, is not a workers or left-wing organisation of any sort) members and supporters in Sweden and Finland. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation in Türkiye and also in the US – despite the US government actively arming and funding them with their occupation of North Eastern Syria. Last year, the Turkish government complained that the Swedish and Finnish governments had rejected or ignored extradition requests for people linked to the PKK and the Gulen movement (FETO).[3]

“Fact Checkers” have denied that the US based HAARP system can be used to trigger events[4] such as earthquakes, and much more conclusive research would need to be done. However, Romanian Senator Diana Lovanovici claimed that the February 6 quakes were the result of an attack by geological weapons wielded by the “globalists” who sought to punish President Erdogan for attempting to negotiate peace between Russia and the NATO armed and funded Ukrainian forces – the same ones who used an alleged pandemic to administer “Covid death jabs”.[5] There is little doubt that the Western powers used “Covid” to push dangerous injections, lockdowns and the suppression of democratic rights with an ulterior motive. We cannot know at this stage whether HAARP or similar activity was involved in the earthquakes on February 6. However, the timing of these quakes does appear to be suspicious, and the resulting devastation even appears to benefit the US hegemon.

Unjustifiable sanctions on Syria

The US still has 900 troops[6] occupying North Eastern Syria, where they enlist the terrorist PKK as proxies, given the ludicrous name of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF). These are the remnants of the regime change war against the Syrian Arab Republic waged by the US ruling class together with its allies, which was defeated with the assistance of Russia, Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah. US attempts at regime change in Syria actually date back to 1956,[7] but the funding and arming of ISIS and Al Qaeda mercenaries under the Obama administration represented arguably the worst proxy war in history – perhaps until NATO’s proxy war today in Ukraine. Seymour Hersh, who has recently exposed the US government for its sabotage of the Nordstream pipeline[8] between Russia and Germany, previously exposed the Obama administration for funnelling weapons[9] to ISIS barbarians and other terrorist groups besieging the Syrian government from 2011 onwards. For propaganda purposes, Western media nonetheless still refers to this unspeakable crime as a “civil war”.

To punish Syria for resisting US led regime change, the US government imposes perhaps the strongest sanctions it has ever implemented against any country. The Caesar Act of 2019 is a piece of US legislation which was signed into law by former President Trump but sanctions the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian government.[10] The Caesar Act doesn’t just sanction Syria, but sanctions any country or other body which trades or conducts business with Syria. Under the Captagon Act, signed into law by President Biden, the Syrian government is blamed for an alleged narcotics trade, while giving a 400 million dollar grant to customs and border agencies in US allies Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia. It also gives military aid to the Iraqi government, and further funds the arming and training of the PKK[11] terrorist groups acting as US proxy forces in the North and East of Syria.

As The Cradle reports, Syria is thus caught in a double stranglehold.[12] It is sanctioned both from without and from within. The US has its own troops and PKK proxies occupying parts of Syria, literally stealing Syria’s oil and much of its wheat and grain crops. The sanctions mean that it cannot import food while its grain crops are removed, and the oil theft means that Syria cannot earn income from the use or export of this mineral. The Islamic Republic of Iran does attempt to help Syria by exporting oil to its ally, but the shipments are often harassed by US authorities who can detain the cargo in Gibraltar and Greece.[13] The intent of the US ruling class is not only to starve Syria, but to prevent Syria from rebuilding the damage sustained during the West’s regime change war against it. Workers internationally should resolutely join with a whole host of governments and organisations who are now demanding the immediate lifting of all sanctions on Syria, especially at this crucial time.

Elections in Türkiye

Türkiye is due for parliamentary and presidential elections this year, and in January President Erdogan had announced that these elections would take place on May 14.[14] However, the February 6 earthquake disaster has understandably changed the calculus. Bulent Arinc, a former deputy prime minister and ally of Erdogan, called for the elections to be postponed immediately. He Tweeted that the elections cannot be held in May or June, and that the “state bureaucracy” needs to focus on healing the wounds of Turkish citizens.[15] While opponents of Erdogan claim that he is delaying the elections to avoid a certain defeat, there is some logic in delaying elections while whole provinces are still facing the grim prospect of finding more people who perished under piles of rubble. Some pundits had predicted that Erdogan would use the coming elections to say to the Turkish people – either it is me, or it is US imperialism, and this is your choice.

To some extent this is understandable. It is widely suspected that the US state was behind the attempted 2016 coup against Erdogan, using the followers of Fethullah Gulen – who lives in the USA.[16] The corporate press posits the Gulen vs Erdogan contest as one where Gulen, despite being an Islamic cleric, is supposedly for a democratic state whereas Erdogan is for an Islamic state. Yet it appears that Gulen at some stage broke from Erdogan, and the US state seized its opportunity to undermine or replace Erdogan. Despite being a NATO member, the US was clearly unhappy with an Erdogan led Türkiye at that time, and this sentiment has vastly increased in the last several years. Despite walking a tightrope between East and West, Erdogan has been inevitably tilting Türkiye towards the Eurasian powers of Russia and China, as they rise and the US falters.

After talks between Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan, state-owned Russian firm Rosatom will commence building Türkiye’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. Also, Türkiye is making progress towards adopting Russia’s Mir payment system, which is a relief for Russian tourists after Visa and Mastercard suspended their services in Russia.[17] More than this Erdogan and Putin had reached agreements to begin bilateral trading in Russian rubles, which would mean dumping the US dollar. Russia-Türkiye bilateral trade is currently running at US$23.5 billion with both sides committed to increasing this to US$100 billion by 2030.[18] Needless to say, Türkiye is the only NATO member which is actively seeking to increase trade with Russia.

If this wasn’t enough for Washington, Erdogan brokered the deal for the export of Ukrainian grain during NATO’s proxy war, utilising his good relations with the Russian government to do so.[19] Erdogan was using these diplomatic wins to bolster his election credentials. As late as November last year, Erdogan said that Türkiye will continue to push for peace between Russia and Ukraine, so that there could be a deal like that of the grain corridor. He was also reported as saying that the West, especially the US, is “attacking Russia seemingly endlessly”.[20] Hence, it was half-expected that the US state would carry out some type of sabotage of Türkiye before the elections took place.

UN calls for “ceasefire”

Almost predictably, the United Nations (UN) called for a ceasefire in Syria, ostensibly to allow humanitarian aid shipments. UN “Human Rights” chief Volker Turk called for respect for human rights and humanitarian law “so help can reach everyone”.[21] Testing the outer limits of reality, the Western media refer to “rebel held” areas of Syria, that cannot get aid without the authorisation of Damascus. “Rebels” is a convenient euphemism for ISIS, Al Qaeda and PKK terrorists who are totally reliant on political, military and financial “assistance” directly from US imperialism – which they use to wage an ongoing war against the rest of the country. This war enables the US state to steal Syria’s oil and much of its grain crop. Under these circumstances, a call for a “ceasefire” to allow “humanitarian aid” into US and US proxy occupied Syria – is a call for supplies for imperialist barbarians to replenish their stocks, and wage war against Syria on behalf of Washington.

More than this, imperialism is promoting supremely hypocritical criticism of the UN by the White Helmets to allow the Syrian government a say over aid transfers across additional border crossings from Turkey into ISIS/Al Qaeda/PKK/US held north and east Syria. This was after the Syrian government had already allowed relief supplies into north and east Syria for a period of three months.[22] So, despite ISIS/Al Qaeda/PKK/US forces occupying a third of Syria, stealing its oil and wheat, fighting a war against other Syrians – the Syrian government still allows aid to flow to them – and then is criticised for being approached for authorisation ! Imperialism works in convoluted ways. To be clear, the White Helmets are Al Qaeda fighters themselves, who, despite receiving millions in “charity” donations, in practice carry out such distinctly non-humanitarian acts as assisting public executions[23] in “rebel held” areas. They are not “rebels” any more than NATO backed Nazi regiments in Ukraine today are “rebels” fighting for democracy. Indeed, the US state arguably moved its proxy war against Russia from Syria to Ukraine, switching from ISIS/Al Qaeda/PKK mercenaries to Azov Battalion mercenaries.

It is true that President Erdogan used Turkish armed forces to attempt to overthrow Syria alongside ISIS/Al Qaeda bands until 2015. At the point at which Russia was invited by the Syrian government to intervene, Erdogan eventually switched sides – seeing that the game was up. It is also the case that the Turkish government is arresting some building contractors for bypassing earthquake proofing safety measures to sustain a construction boom – which may have been enabled by the Turkish government itself.[24] Yet working people cannot allow imperialism to get away with capitalising on possibly the largest disaster in history to further fuel their war aims. While offering no expressed political support to the governments of Syria and Türkiye, these countries must be defended against imperialist sponsored regime change and/or orchestrated destablisation and sabotage.

The NATO powers could not win in Syria, and they will not win in Ukraine, despite the incalculable damage they may cause. Despite its losses, imperialism will not let go until it is overthrown. Workers the world over need to defend the non-imperialist allies in the process of forging pro-working class bonds across Eurasia and beyond. Internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties sworn to uphold Permanent Revolution are urgently needed, to lead workers in a struggle for socialism as the only solution to the devastation that late-stage capitalism leaves in its wake.



[1] (15-02-2023)

[2] (15-02-2023)

[3] (15-02-2023)

[4] (15-02-2023)

[5] (15-02-2023)

[6] (15-02-2023)

[7] (15-02-2023)

[8] (15-02-2023)

[9] (15-02-2023)

[10] (15-02-2023)

[11] (15-02-2023)

[12] (15-02-2023)

[13] (15-02-2023)

[14] (18-02-2023)

[15] (18-02-2023)

[16] (18-02-2023)

[17] (18-02-2023)

[18] (18-02-2023)

[19] (18-02-2023)

[20] (18-02-2023)

[21] (18-02-2023)

[22] (18-02-2023)

[23] (18-02-2023)

[24] (18-02-2023)

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