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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does.  As a trial lawyer, its his most important tool.  As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally.  As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated. 

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Entries in turkey (9)

Friday
Dec012017

[I24 International News] November 30th: Russians Expanding Influence

I appear on I24 International News on November 30th. Okay, I have to tell you the truth. This was one of the most enjoyable segments I have done in a really long time. Essentially, the Russians through Russian FM Medvedev and the Egyptians have agreed to share airspace. While this may not seem like a huge deal, it is. It essentially give the Russians enormous latitude to operate in the region.  There have been credible reports that Russian Special Ops troops were operating on the western border of Egypt as recently as March of this year.  Combine these two and it shows just how closely the countries are beginning to cooperate. Understand, Egypt was one of the closest allies the Americans had in the region.  Now?  Who knows.

Combine the relationship with the Russian agreements with the Turks, the Iranians, the Iraqis and what you start to see is like nothing the West has ever seen before. I'm not even talking about the Russians support of Asaad and Syria.  That piece is beyond extraordinary.  Frankly, with the vacuum created by the current U.S. Administration in the region, the Russians are moving in and filling the gap in a big way.  

I was able to talk about history, borders, interests, cold war politics, hot war politics and Putin and Trump. Bring it on.  So so cool.

Tuesday
Oct242017

[Press TV Tehran] October 24th: Jack Talks Delays in Kurdistan Elections and the Treaty of Versailles

I appear on Press TV Tehran on October 24th.  The Iraqi Kurdistan parliament has voted to delay elections by eight months.  There were as lot of countries watching what was happening out of Erbil. Its clear that Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, and the U.S. is not interested in seeing an independent Kurdistan and it potentially threatens that borders of those existing countries and could also create some short term instability on the region.  Let's face it, the fear is a domino effect in which one move could force another, could force another, etc.  is a very real one where we have seen a lot of instability in the last several decades. 

The problem is that millions of Kurds were disenfranchised and marginalized when the Europeans arbitrarily cut the Middle East up into its current scheme at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.  At the point, millions of Kurds were placed into Iraq, with millions more placed in Iran, Turkey, Syria and even the Southern Republicans.  The net result was a guarantee that none of those Kurdish groups would have a majority voice.

This will be a fun conversation.   

 

Sunday
Oct082017

[Press TV Iran] October 8th: Jack Talks U.S. Relations with Turkey Deteriorating

I appear on Press TV Iran on October 8th. The U.S. and Turkey have been allies for a long time but those relations continue to buckle on many fronts. Further, Erdogan's willingness to look to other partners including Iran and Russia are making things even worse for the Americans. This to is particularly thrilling for both the Iranians and the Russians.

Most recently, there were more cuts today in various Visa programs between the countries. And to this the continues abuse of the media and the arrest of more than 100,000 after the coups and the detention of American citizens and the unwillingness of the Americans to deport the one the Erdogan believes is responsible, you have recipe for disaster.

This is fgoing to be an interesting conversation indeed.

Tuesday
Sep262017

[Press TV Tehran] September 26th: Jack Debates Kurdish Independence

I appear on Press TV Tehran on September 26th.  The Kurds in North Iraq held a referendum on September 25th to argue for independence from Iraq. It is an extraordinary move and one that the Iraqi central government quickly rejected. So did the Turks. In fact, the Turks and Iraqis are conducting joint operations along the border to make the point. The Turls have also threatened to cut trade and even slop oil flowing from the Kirkuk to Turkey.  The Iranians have also cut off flight services and aren't happy. 

I try to imagine the Kurdish Peshmerga staring at them across mountains and valleys. Th Kurds must feel somewhat isolated in their desire. After all, it isn't just the Iraqis and Turks who oppose them. Its also the Iranians, the Syrian regime, the United States and even the United Nations.  Everybody.

And yet, and yet, all of these governments are wrong. Each talks at one time or another about freedom, self actualization, and democracy. But none truly care a bout it, at least not from the perspective of the Kurds.  They want their own government and they deserve it.

I will be part of a debate on Iranian Press TV about this issue. If you couldn't guess, you probably know where i stand on it.

Hope you might be able to catch it.

Tuesday
Sep262017

[RTTV Washington DC] September 25th: Jack Talks Kurdish Independence Referendum

I appear on Russian TV Washington DC with Ed Schultz on September 25th.  The Iraqi Kurds are voting unofficially for independence from Iraq.  They want it. They've always wanted it. And yet, the Iraqi central government, if you can call it such, is opposed. So are the Turks, the Iranians, the Russians and the United States. Rarely have so many with different agendas stood in opposition.

And yet, the Kurds are right. They deserve independence. They've earned it. They were screwed by the European powers after WWI with the Treaty of Versailles and have frequently been decimated by the countries in which they have found themselves.

This will be an interesting conversation.

Sunday
Sep242017

[Press TV Tehran] September 24th: Jack Talks Kurdish Independence

I appear on Press TV Iran on September 24th.  The Kurdish people of Iraq are preparing to have a referendum on Monday, September 25th. It is not actually to declare independence but rather a very informal declaration that this is something that they really want to do.  The problem is the the U.S., the United Nations, the Turks, the Iraqis and more are against it because it threatens them.

This will be an interesting conversation because this is a massive issue for the Kurdish people. They were cut into geographic pieces after World War I and decimated by most every country afterward.  They want more and identify themselves as one people.  Will this make a difference?

This will be an interesting conversation as the Iraniangovernment isn't particuarly interested in helping them either.  

Thursday
Jul202017

[RTTV Washington DC] July 20th: Jack Talks Whether Turks Disclosed Classified U.S. Intel

I appear on RTTV with Ed Schultz on July 20th at 8 p.m. e.t.  Its no secret that th realtionsihp between the U.S. and the Turks has deteriorated. Frankly, the relationship between the Turks and the entire EU has deteriorated. Also, President Erdogan currently has sacked more than 150,000 people, arrested or indicted 50,000 and currently has more journalists in jail than any country on the planet.  Frankly, he is a democratically elected totalitarian dictator.  

One of the biggest reasons for the fight has to do with the definitation of a terrorist. The Turks think the Kurds are terrorists. The PKK is considered a terrorist gorup by the Turks and to be honest, the Americans and the EU. The problem is that the U.S.'s closest ally in Syria Turkish organization known as the PYD.  They are a Kurdish gorup whom the Turks also consider terrorists. They work very closely with the U.S.

It has been reported that the Turks released classified info about 10 secret U.S. bases including location, number and makeup of personnel and general operations.  To be specific, a story was released by the Turkish state-run Anadalou News Agency which released all of this information. Reporters from this state-run organizatoin claim this was their own investigation and also from public sources based upon statements from the PYD. However, this would absolutely not been allowed without the consent of Erdogan, who has clamped down on the media more than any country right now and those who don't play by his dictates has been sen tot prison. Also, the ongoing animosity is palpable.

This will be an interesting interview tonight. 

 

Saturday
Jul162016

[MSNBC Appearance with Brian Williams] July 16th: Jack Disagrees with the Former Turkish PM and Talks About the Failed Coup

Thursday
Feb262009

Archive - Watch Jack Almost Get Arrested in Turkey - 2007.

busted Diyarbakir, Turkey - Things have been very tense during my stay in Diyarbakir, Turkey. 100,000 Turkish soldiers are massing on the border. American made F-16 fighters that the Turks use are on the Tarmac here at this military airbase and their cockpits are open. And there are lots of Attack Helicopters as well. The one thing about the Turks, however, is they like to control the story. And that was never my goal.
Watch the raw footage of my starting to do a report from in front of this base on You Tube. As Jay Tamboli, my producer is filming, he suddenly pulls back from the camera and his eyes get very big. He looks me straight in the face and says very quietly and seriously, "the cops are coming." Not long ago, the Turks arrested four French journalists for covering the conflict. Are we next?
Watch as I hesitate in the middle of the report and then start up again. It is a shame we couldn't allow the camera to continue running. You should have seen me turn into Fred Astaire. All I could think was, "Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?"
Watch it on You Tube