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Turkey's next steps in Syria and elsewhere

Reader comment on item: Criticisms of the U.S.-led Air Campaign against ISIS
in response to reader comment: Cannot Dismiss Syria Altogether - With or Without al-Assad

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Oct 10, 2014 at 17:06

Hi, Tovey. You said,

"the distinction of al-Assad's being it is the most resilient, a peculiarity that has many stumped, especially the current American Administrative Chief Executive; or so we are led to believe."

We double-crossed the Russians in Libya: getting a Russia-approved UN resolution to intervene for humanitarian purposes only, and promising not to push for a regime change. We pushed for a regime change, had Gaddafi lynched; and because the Russians did not have sufficient air and naval power in play to stop us, we got away with it. When it came to Syria's turn, Assad saw that his only real choices were to resist or end up like Gaddafi, so he understandably resisted. Obama should certainly have understood this; but maybe he felt so invincible, that what Assad did wouldn't make any difference. The Russians sent ships and weapons to him full-tilt; because once they understood that he would stick it out, they knew they had to go with him in order to maintain their only naval base in the Mediterranean -- and their only hope to not be humiliated again by the Americans, Libya-style.

"Syria will never be the same, whether the current regime remains or not."

Emphatically so. I expect Syria and Iraq to both be partitioned by the Turks and Iranians.

"...which make empire building more difficult these days is that arms sales knows no allegiance except the prevailing currency exchange rate and more bang for the buck."

Actually, arms sales only fuel empire-building. If a competitor like Russia comes up with a new, advanced system, then Congress will almost certainly give General Dynamics, Lockeed-Martin or Boeing a multi-million/-billion $$ contract to counter it. This creates American jobs and strengthens our economy; and since we are the world's reserve currency, we can always afford it.

"and who remains to fill that vacuum – Erdoǧan? Hmmmm."

...or his successor. He's an excellent fit for the job, though.

"The question for the moment: do we or do we not intentionally or unintentionally assist al-Assad; and what do we do when that fails without a plan B?"

Kobane pretty much tells the story. Erdogan is purposely and visibly standing by, literally watching ISIL destroy his enemies the Kurds. The US, meanwhile, is demonstrating its inability to stop this. Erdogan knows that the Kobane massacre will (and already has) trigger a re-awakening of the Kurdish rebellion in Turkey. He plans to mercilessly crush this; and the world (i.e. the US) will not be able to stop him (Turkey is, after all, a NATO ally; and the Americans themselves have labeled the Turkish Kurds as "terrorists"). Once ISIL has utterly destroyed the Syrian Kurds, Erdogan can move in with his nearly 4,000 German- and American-built main battle tanks and over 400 fighter aircraft against Assad's vastly inferior military, all in the name of "fighting terrorism" for the West.

We will not assist Assad. Obama has made that clear. Iran, on the other hand, has vowed to continue supporting him. Iran wants an accessible front with Israel. It can have this, by continuing to hold Syria and Lebanon, and cutting a deal with Turkey to allow a supply corridor via Iraq. Kurdistan and Iraq (Shi'ite) will probably be Iranian vassals by then, and Turkey will occupy Sunni-Arab Iraq.

The above practically begs to come into being. What then? The money is on Iran using its Syrian and Hizbullah proxies to attack Israel, forcing Israel to retalliate by occupying Lebanon and Syria-Damascus. Turkey will then directly face Israel, with Iran as a new-found ally against it; and Ezekiel 38-39 will be set up. This is close to a re-play of the old Israel-Aram-Assyria days during the reign of Pekah. Damascus was destroyed in 734, and Samaria in 721.

"what does the world expect to happen then?"

I expect they will be too busy buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage (men with men, and women with women) to even notice. If Rome is an example, moreover, they will be engrossed in sports, eating and a welfare state.

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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