Saturday, 3 September 2011

NATO's Utter Folly: Putting That NATO Shield In Turkey, Not Bulgaria

Turkey announces that it has come to an agreement with NATO about the placement of the defense shield against Iran in Turkey. Some may think this a victory for NATO, a dispaly of Turkish solidarity that at this time is needed.

Why is this interpretation, and this plan of placing the defense shield in Turkey, folly?

For several reasons.

First, this defense shield of NATO, placed just inside Turkey, just 30 miles from the border with Bulgaria, will nonetheless be on the soil of Turkey. And Turkey isa Muslim country which, formerly ruled by secularists, is becoming more dangerously Muslim every day and as a result, behaving hostilely toward non-Muslim countries, including Israel (with which, in the pre-Erdogan period of Turkey's existence, was a most helpful helpful military partner of Turkey) and toward Armenia, which has suffered from Turkish pressure and hostility. At the moment Turkey has problems with Iran, and may at long last be distancing itself from Iran's ally Syria (after close relations had been established), but that is because the Turks are Sunni, and Syrian Alawites, and Iran itself, can be regarded not as oppressors -- Erdogan and his regime are perfectly happy to attack the Kurds in Iraq and oppress the Kurds (and to some degree the Alevis) at home, but do not take kindly to Shi'a (as they may see the Alawites in Syria) oppressing Sunnis. , may one day wish to curry favor with Iran, or other Muslim powers, and to do so demand that the NATO base be removed, or rendered useless against this or that Muslim power. But NATO should not base its plans on a country that is becoming ever more islamic and thus ever more hostile to non-Muslim powers, and ever more demanding and insistent that those powers do what it, Turkey, wants -- the grotesque demand that Israel apologize for defending its men from the Mavi Marmarva setup is only the most obvious of changes in Turkey's tone and attitudes, but the strident, and aggressive tone with which it now addresses the E.U., more or less demanding admission to that organization and insisting that opposition to it, because it is a Muslim state, is illegitimate, is worrisome.

It is crazy for the Americans to build bases, or rely on bases or to have American-dominated NATO build bases, or rely on bases, in Muslim states. They are not to be trusted, They are not to be regarded as stable, or as permanently loyal. The loss of bases or base rights in Morocco, in Libya, in Saudi Arabia, or the compromises required, both moral and geopolitical, to retain the use of bases in Bahrain (where the American government is inhibitied) and Qatar (ditto), should have provided enough evidence of the danger of placing bases in Muslim countries.

What if the non-Musilm members of NATO decide, for example, that it makes geopolitical sense to support an independent Kurdistan, as a way to weaken Arab Iraq, and the axis of Syria and Iran, both of which have Kurdish populations? The government of Turkey would be enraged, and might demand that the NATO defense shield, which might have been placed just a few dozen miles away in reliable non-Muslim Bulgaria, be removed.

No doubt people will worry that "if we change our decision now, the Turks will be mad." So what? The "Turks" involved are the government of Erbakan, the people of Erbakan and Fethulleh Guien's growing pedagogic empire. Why make it seem that the behavior of the Turkish government, its policies, are not to be noticed, are not to be cause for a deliberate rethinking of the West's relation, not to some ectoplasmic shape called "Turkey," but to "the current regime in Turkey," which is a different thing. If it offends that regime, that's a good reason to do it. The Erdogan regime has been behaving intolerably -- think of the Ergenekon farce, the war on university provosts and magistrates, the arrest of army officers and the mass resignation of the generals. The latest, and perhaps its most intolerable act has been the demand that Israel remove its Ambassador because it refuses to apologize for the outrageous behavior of the Turks on the Mevi Marmara.

Second, why should Turkey be allowed to think that it remains as important to NATO, that NATO needs it as it did during the Cold War? Now, with all of southeastern Europe - including Bulgaria, which has its own legitimate distrust of Turkey and of Turks, and hostility toward Islam -- is available for a defense shield against Iran, why should NATO allow the Turkish regime to thing it is indispensable, when it is quite dispensable to NATO and its plans?

Third, the Turkish regime does not take a hint. It thinks it should still be admitted to the EU. And there are some soft-headded people in that EU who don't know how to tell Turkey: NO. By placing this NATO shield in Turkey, the Turks will now be allowed to claim that "a most important NATO defense shield against Iran" has been placed in Turkey, so "why should the E.U. mistrust Turkey, and put up barriers to its admission, if NATO found Turkey worthy of such trust"?

Perhaps none of this has been foreseen -- though it might to you appear as obvious as it does to me -- but now that it has been spelled out, so that even cats and dogs and people who make policy in Washington, London, Paris, and elsewhere can understand, the case against putting the defense shield against Iranian missiles in Turkey is not hard to understand.

Non e finita, la commedia, the greater farce in which a quite different and dangerous Turkey is allowed to remain in NATO.

But it should be.
Source: New English Review

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