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Shame for Israel, Turkish Aggression, Ho-hum in the Aegean

Reader comment on item: Forty Years after the Invasion of Cyprus
in response to reader comment: "It takes a while to unlearn thousands of years of history." Very wise :)

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Aug 22, 2014 at 12:37

Hi, Alexandros

Israel is heading for a crushing defeat in Gaza, far worse than the Lebanon debacle of 2006 (which was actually an Israeli victory that the leaders turned into a defeat). That is foremost in my mind, nowadays. In 2006, there was a picture

http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/070223/070223_binoculars_hmed_315a.grid-6x2.jpg

of Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz trying to survey the battlefield with the lens caps still on his binoculars. I'm afraid the dominant picture from this campaign will be a beaming Khaled Meshaal toasting Tayyep Recip Erdogan in Doha and procaliming total victory for the Turkey-Qatar-HAMAS axis.

You compared the chances of a Turko-Israel war vs. a Turko-Greek war. For the forseeable future, all I see coming out of all three countries are corruption scandals. This war stinks to high heaven; Israel has never performed this poorly against so insignificant a for. In Biblical terms, this is the Battle of Ai -- the first one. There is no excuse for Israel, which destroyed the entire Egyptian Air Force in a few hours in 1967, to be still under fire, after a month of hard fighting, by rockets fired from an insignificant strip of land just four miles wide. When the scandal of this hits the fan, the Israeli government is likely to make the Turkish mess look like a well-oiled machine!

Concerning the Greco-Turkish war, I don't expect it to happen, for the simple reason that Greece is so weak, it is unlikely to provoke such a war. To quote a starry-eyed Israeli article which is otherwise a bit of BS,

Athens also understands the importance of Turkey. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with Erdogan before he met with Netanyahu, and if we go into detail, we see that 25 agreements were signed in Ankara for cooperation between countries that had been once sworn enemies, in contrast with 10 agreements with Israel.

-- http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/greece-israel-turkey-relations-strategic-alliance.html##ixzz3B8ZXJ8mW

That presents Greece as more of a Turkish client state than anything else. Why should Turkey bother to attack a country that is already on its knees to it?

The second reason I doubt a Greek-Turkish war, is that both countries are in NATO. Turkey attacked non-NATO-member Cyprus in 1974, but not NATO-member Greece. In the foreseeable future, likewise, I think it is far more likely to attack non NATO-member Israel than NATO-member Greece. The former is still possible; but it would probably require a Greek equivalent to Erdogan to come to power first -- and at that, for such a demagogue to be counting on a strong Greek-Israeli alliance to back up his boasting.

The third reason is the elephant in the living room: Erdogan's repeated, Hitler-like demagoguery against not just Israel, but Jews in general. Compare his fairly mild anti-Greek comments with the blood-kurdling vitriol he reserves for Jews.

In contrast to the relative calm between Turkey and Greece, I see Turkey's border with Iraq and Syria on the verge of collapse. If Turkey proves to be reluctant to outright annex the northern halves of both countries, I expect the "Islamic Caliphate" to do their work for them and provoke a Turkish invasion. This could well be coupled with a parallel Iranian invasion of Baghdad-Basra and tacit Turko-Iranian agreement to keep Bashar Al-Assad as the ruler of a rump Syria-Damascus. Iran and Hizbullah would then be free to turn their attention against Israel, provoke an Israeli response and voila! Turkey and Israel would face each other off on a battlefield hundreds of miles long!

Do you see any reason, given the past 66 years of history, why that SHOULDN'T happen? By contrast, the only real trouble I see on the Turko-Greek front is a possible conflict over Turkish and Cypriot gas exploration. That sounds, to me, oddly similar to the Spratley and Paracel Islands dispute -- something that's been going on for decades and promises to go on for many more years without a major conflict.

In all this, I count the United States as completely impotent under Obama -- and NATO copying his every limp move.

What do you think?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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