Turkey Attacks Russia: Sarajevo 2015?

November 26th, 2015 Comments off

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, may at present be the most dangerous man on our planet. Renowned as a brilliant politician domestically, who skillfully manipulates Turkish public opinion for electoral gains, he has also established a reputation for shooting from the mouth without much forethought when it comes to foreign affairs. On November 24, 2015 Erdogan went beyond words, authorizing his air force to take down a Russian fighter jet.

While some of the facts regarding the shootdown of the Russian Air Force SU-24 remain in contention between Turkey and Russia, what has emerged  is deeply disturbing. Even Turkey admits that the Russian aircraft was in its airspace for a mere seventeen seconds.  American authorities have informed various news agencies that the SU-24 was  in Turkish skies for only a few seconds, and was actually flying over Syria when it was destroyed by a missile fired by a Turkish fighter. These facts would seem to confirm the allegation made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the shootdown of the SU-24 was premeditated. In other words, President Erdogan had apparently ordered his country’s air force to destroy a Russian military aircraft as soon as a pretext emerged. An overflight that may have occurred over Turkish air space for a few seconds provided that pretext.

If Erdogan sought to destroy a Russian aircraft, for what purpose would he have engaged in such a dangerously brazen escalation of the already explosive reality that is the failed and disintegrating state of Syria?

The Turkish president maintains that Russia’s claim that it is fighting ISIS is a canard, and that Moscow is primarily targeting the “moderate” opposition to Assad, which Turkey supports. Until the bombing of a Russian airliner over Sinai, that was certainly true. However, after the Metrojet plane was destroyed over the Sinai desert, Russia began shifting its bombing campaign towards the Islamic State. Furthermore, Turkey has been playing the same game, under Erdogan’s instructions. Also claiming to be fighting ISIS in Syria, the Turkish Air Force has actually conducted far fewer  air strikes on the Islamic State than Moscow’s air force. Instead, Turkish aircraft have primarily targeted the Kurdish militias in Syria, the same force that has been the most effective opposition to ISIS in northern Syria. Erdogan is much more interested in preventing the Kurds from achieving any form of sovereignty in the Middle East than in confronting the Islamic State.

The most likely explanation for Erdogan’s astonishing decision to launch an attack on a Russian aircraft was to thwart and strangle at birth the nascent indications of a possible grand coalition being formed to combat ISIS, involving the United States, France and Russia. After the terrorist attacks in Paris and the destruction of the Russian airliner in Egypt, French President Hollande saw a rare opportunity to bring together those three countries in facing a common danger. It must be noted that the Turks downed the Russian warplane on the same day Hollande was in Washington, meeting with President Obama prior to a follow-up meeting with Putin. The shootdown of the SU-24 probably has doomed President Hollande’s vision of a grand alliance working together in fighting the Islamic State.

Irrespective of Erdogan’s immediate objective, his reckless decision has perhaps put the entire planet on the path towards an unintended but potentially devastating war. President Putin will be forced to act  in some form, not only due to his own personal feelings. No matter how cool-headed and cautiously he may intend  to respond to the Turkish attack, he is not immune to Russian public opinion. Not only the shootdown, but the barbaric murder of one of the parachuting Russian pilots by Turkey’s allies in Syria–an act that is in clear violation of the Geneva Convention–will inevitably stimulate great indignation among the Russian people.

In 1914 renegade elements in a foreign intelligence service orchestrated the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in Sarajevo. In the weeks that followed, miscalculations intersected with a system of military alliances that put the world on the path to world war. Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Erdogan has already called on NATO for full support in the face of possible future Russian military countermeasures in response  to the destruction of the SU-24. Alarmingly, President Obama has already expressed public support for Turkey’s right to defend its airspace.

Before Turkey’s recklessly irresponsible leader drags the United States into an unintended military confrontation with Russia over events in Syria, President Obama should reconsider his blanket support for Turkey’s belligerent and brazen acts of violence against Moscow, and make clear that the United States–and NATO–will not be dragged into a conflict with Moscow over Erdogan’s dangerous adventurism.


DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM


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Bloodbath In Paris: ISIS Ramps Up Its Global War

November 15th, 2015 Comments off

By Allah, we will take revenge!

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi



The attack by battle-hardened jihadists in the French capital on Friday, November 13, 2015 was not the first time terrorism directed at the residents of Paris had occurred. Yet, even in a large metropolis that has experienced urban terrorism with North African and Middle East connections many times before, there was an unprecedented ruthless efficiency  in the barbarism unleashed  on undefended soft targets and the resulting mass carnage. In its impact, the attack on Paris will likely be compared to 9/11 in the United States and 7/7 in London.

The Islamic State, aka ISIS, has taken credit for the mass killings in the French capital. Should the claim by ISIS be proven accurate, it marks a grave–but not unpredicted–escalation in the global jihad being waged by the Islamic State against an enemy it has defined as essentially the entire world that lies outside the boundaries of the nascent caliphate. In the summer of 2014, shortly after the armies of the Islamic State had begun their territorial grab in Iraq and conquered Mosul, the second largest city in that war-torn country, the self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivered a sermon in that town’s  Great Al-Nuri Mosque.  The essence of his proclamation was that the formation of the caliphate was not an end in itself, but a means to an end, which he stated without a trace of ambiguity was perpetual jihad–holy war– against the non-Islamic world. His prose was stark and uncompromising, and for those who listened, al-Baghdadi made clear his intention of utilizing the ever-expanding Islamic State as a platform for unleashing vengeance upon the non-Islamic world.  The appalling slaughter in Paris followed by only two weeks the destruction of a Russian Metrojet airliner over the Sinai desert, which ISIS has proudly claimed responsibility for–and a growing body of expert analysis tends to confirm the connection, which killed 224 passengers and crew. The day before the Paris atrocity, suicide bombs detonated in a largely Shiite neighborhood in Beirut killed 43. Again, the Islamic State identified itself as the force behind the attack.

The French president, Francois Hollande, described the jihadist attack on Paris as an act of war committed by ISIS. For the first time, a Western leader appears to understand that the Islamic State is not a traditional non-state actor engaging in terrorism, but an actual state entity conducting warfare, asymmetrical in character, but with a clear strategic focus. Will President Hollande, along  with President Obama, draw the proper conclusions? Unfortunately, the past year and a half since the emergence of the Islamic State as a regional and now global actor does not give rise to optimism. The U.S. president, in particular, has displayed indecisiveness and a lack of clarity in confronting the challenge of the Islamic State.

Obama, however, is not alone. The Russian president, Putin, has been equally lacking in leadership. While boasting that his military intervention in Syria’s civil war is for the purpose of fighting ISIS, Putin has been using the Islamic State threat as cover for supporting the Assad dictatorship and its Iranian Shiite allies, in the process facilitating support for the Islamic State by Sunni Muslims in the Arab world, who increasingly look upon ISIS as the only force that can protect them against their perceived enemies, especially Iran and “infidel” foreigners conducting air raids on their lands.

In contrast with the confusion and strategic incoherence among his enemies stands the caliph of the Islamic State. However barbarically inhumane he may be, al-Baghdadi is not incoherent in relation to his long-term objective and the tactical and operational means required for its attainment. He wants the world outside the caliphate, including moderate Arab countries, to be struck down with massive social, political and economic chaos. Mass casualty attacks on the civil population of his perceived enemies are the method. The likelihood, in the absence of  coherent and strong leadership in the target nations, are future attacks that unfortunately will dwarf the bloodbath in Paris in their murderous impact.




DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM


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U.S. Economy Hits The Brakes in Third Quarter

October 31st, 2015 Comments off

The U.S. Commerce Department has released GDP growth figures for Q3, and they are not pretty, After a much trumpeted growth figure of 3.9 percent in Q2, the American economy grew only by a lackluster 1.5 percent rate in the third quarter of 2015. This is essentially stall speed, and far below the nation’s economic potential.

The poor GDP data is undoubtedly another excuse that the Federal Reserve will use to continue its indefinite delay in normalizing (meaning raising) interest rates. Monetary policy continues to be the essential life support the U.S. and wider global economy has depended on since the global economic and financial crisis erupted in 2008. Seven years later, the world-and especially the United States-requires money printing to goose up the GDP growth data, with a diminishing level of success.


DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM


Sheldon Filger's photo.


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October 22nd, 2015 Comments off

When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for president of the United States in the 2016 general election, he was immediately dismissed by political pundits and media commentators as a publicity-seeking billionaire, with no chance of ever entering the White House as the nation’s chief executive. The summer of 2015, which would become known as the “Summer of Trump,” would prove them all wrong. With the slogan MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and urging voters to board the TRUMP TRAIN, real estate mogul would quickly emerge as the GOP frontrunner, sowing panic in the ranks of the Republican Party. establishment.

Why did the media experts and political consultants fail so conspicuously in reading the political landscape in America? How was Donald Trump able to connect so effectively with a large part of the electorate? Can Trump win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and prevail in the general election? If Donald Trump is elected America’s 45th president, can he implement his agenda, and how effective a president would he be?

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? offers an objective look at the state of American presidential politics and Donald Trump the candidate. Sheldon Filger provides a fresh perspective on the Trump presidential campaign, avoiding the partisan stereotypes that typically dominate any discussion of Trump and the 2016 presidential election. The author presents the case that America is undergoing a radical revolution in political affairs, and the Trump phenomenon is an inseparable outcome stemming from the growing alienation and disaffection Americans harbor toward the nation’s political elites.

The presidential campaign of Trump has stumped the GOP establishment, with the ‪#Republican Party in near shock over the radical revolution occurring in American presidential politics. The slogans MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN ‪and  TRUMP TRAIN have overwhelmed traditional Republicans. So have Trump’s policy positions, including immigration, taxes, trade and the economy.

In his analysis of Donald Trump and the 2016 presidential election, Sheldon Filger provides the reader with an opportunity to view the real estate mogul’s ascent in political viability within a broader context of national malaise, and crisis within the body politic. DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President? not only explores the vices and virtues of the celebrity candidate running for president; the book is also an indictment of a political culture that across the land, but especially in Washington DC, has evolved into a dysfunctional failure.

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

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Trump Continues To Lead in GOP Presidential Race

October 17th, 2015 Comments off

The “Summer of Trump” is now the “Autumn of Trump.” Donald Trump continues to maintain his lead over all other challengers for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The latest Reuters poll has the following data:

Trump  31%

Carson 21%

Bush  8%

Rubio 7%

Fiorina  5%

Paul  4%

Trump has been the frontrunner in the GOP presidential race since July. Despite many predictions  from pundits, Donald Trump not only has help onto his lead–he is very far ahead of his opposition, with only Ben Carson holding a double digit poll number. Jeb Bush, who was early on predicted to be the early frontrunner, has instead faded into the political sunset.


How Donald Trump shocked the political establishment & media in 2016 election-Amazon Kindle eBook-click: 

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Donald J. Trump-Frontrunner in 2016 Presidential Election

October 11th, 2015 Comments off

The “Summer of Trump” is now the fall, and Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead in the race for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

How Donald Trump shocked political establishment & media in 2016 election-Amazon Kindle eBook-click:


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Global Economy Increasingly Vulnerable To Another Financial Shock

October 4th, 2015 Comments off

Seven years after the outbreak of the global economic and financial crisis, there are growing indications that the temporary solutions that were largely imposed through monetary policy by central banks are becoming increasingly ineffective. In all likelihood, a new global downturn in economic growth is in the cards.

The weakening economic data from China, slowdown in the U.S. economy’s job growth, worsening data in emerging economies and the Eurozone, not to mention Russia, collapse of commodity prices and volatility in the equity markets are all indicators of distress. Furthermore, the continuation of near-zero interest rates by major central banks many years after the “Great Recession” supposedly ended means that there are no more arrows in their quiver when the next major global recession strikes.

One other factor to be assessed are the fantasy employment numbers in the United States. While the official unemployment rate has supposedly been cut in half since the darkest days in 2009, in reality labor force participation is at historic lows (http://www.ibtimes.com/us-labor-force-participation-drops-absence-paid-parental-leave-keeps-women-out-jobs-2124175), revealing that the American economy is functioning well below its potential. In addition wage stagnation, and the latest revelation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that earlier job creation figures were highly exaggerated (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/02/445244030/economy-adds-142-000-jobs-unemployment-steady-at-5-1-percent), demonstrates that even the U.S. economy, supposedly the healthiest on the planet, is manifesting growing signs of structural weakness.

In the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, policymakers in major economies made a bet on the same financial sector that unleashed the worldwide systemic disaster. Their decision was to engage in massive, unprecedented fiscal indebtedness and monetary loosening to prop up the investment and commercial banks, in the hope that this would stimulate reinvestment in the general economy (“main street”) and revive sustainable economic growth. There is growing evidence that this gamble made by decision makers in the world’s major economies is faltering. With staggering levels of sovereign debt, and central banks across the developed world having expanded their balance sheets almost to the point of infinity, the policymakers are left only with hopes and prayers that another massive crisis does not strike on their watch.

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Donald Trump, Presidential Politics and The Art of Disruptive Innovation

September 23rd, 2015 Comments off

In analyzing the unanticipated success of the Donald J. Trump For President campaign–at least in its early phases–I have found far more insight from a Harvard Business School professor than from any of the legion of established political commentators, consultants and journalists. Clayton Christensen, to the best of my knowledge, has never written specifically on American politics. However, the Harvard professor and management guru conceived of the concept of disruptive innovation. It strikes this writer that disruptive innovation is the most cogent explanation for the early and surprising success Donald Trump has generated in the early months of the 2016 presidential election.

In his description of disruptive innovation, Professor Clayton states that it is “a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market , eventually displacing established competitors.” Transferring this theory from the corporate business world to the realm of presidential politics, one can observe how effectively it is being applied by Trump. While the political and media establishment wrote off the Trump campaign in its nascent period as a public relations stunt not to be taken seriously, the Trump campaign organization laid the groundwork and messaging to capture a constituency that was largely ignored by the establishment contenders for the GOP presidential nomination. The development of a simple theme–“Make America Great Again”–was clearly intended to resonate with potential voters who felt alienated from traditional politics, and were receptive to a messenger, especially with a high-profile celebrity brand, who offered the promise of American restoration.

Perhaps the most disruptive element that Donald Trump introduced into the Republican presidential primary was his laser-beam focus on the alleged incompetence and “stupidity” of the political class. While traditionally Republican contenders for their party’s nomination based their campaign on attacking Washington D.C., suggesting they were somehow distinct from the political culture on Capitol Hill, Trump unleashed a “shock and awe” ( to use a Pentagon term) assault that targeted the entire political class, Republican and Democrat. In the face of the real estate mogul’s schadenfreude, the GOP’s perceived establishment frontrunners, in particular Jeb Bush, have been floundering. Their old standby sloganeering, such as railing against Washington, is proving to be both ineffective and irrelevant in the new presidential campaign dynamic that Trump and his campaign organization have facilitated through their successful adaptation of the techniques of disruptive innovation. It is as though Jeb Bush–and also Hillary Clinton–are offering American voters obsolete mainframe computers, while Trump is aggressively marketing smartphones

The history of the 2016 presidential election cycle is yet to written. There remains more than a year of campaigning, and much can still happen that is currently unanticipated. Yet, whatever transpires in November of 2016, Donald Trump has already had a transformative impact on presidential campaigning that will likely endure far beyond the next presidential election.



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TRUMP 2016

September 22nd, 2015 Comments off

DONALD TRUMP 2016:AMERICA’S NEXT PRESTIDENT? is an eBook by Sheldon Filger on the remarkable and surprising presidential campaign of Donald Trump, billionaire businessman and real estate mogul. DONALD TRUMP 2016 is available on Amazon.com (use  Internet address below for more information).

Information on DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President, available at the hollowing Internet address: (http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americas-President-ebook/dp/B0156PAAVM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8)


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September 21st, 2015 Comments off

My new book, DONALD TRUMP 2016, is available on Amazon.com as a Kindle eBook. Trump has emerged as the Republican frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. A major component of the billionaire entrepreneur’s platform is revitalizing the American economy.

DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President? offers an objective look at the state of American presidential politics and Donald Trump the candidate. Sheldon Filger provides a fresh perspective on the Trump presidential campaign, avoiding the partisan stereotypes that typically dominate any discussion of Trump and the 2016 presidential election. The author presents the case that America is undergoing a radical revolution in political affairs, and the Trump phenomenon is an inseparable outcome stemming from the growing alienation and disaffection Americans harbor toward the nation’s political elites. information on

Information on DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President, available at the hollowing Internet address: (http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americas-President-ebook/dp/B0156PAAVM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8)


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