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Turkey waiting in the wings... Turkey wings? Yummy

Reader comment on item: Dubious U.S. Mission in Syria
in response to reader comment: Rubber Banding Mapping Boundaries

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Nov 6, 2014 at 00:54

Hi, Tovey

I seem to have missed your post. I like trading views with you, because we seem to click on a core value -- belief in and respect for Torah. You said,

Turkey appears to be 'waiting in the wings,' wanting a fresh perspective as whose side they want to be on when Syria finally implodes

This may have been true when you composed your post; but at present the Turks seem quite adamant in what they want to accomplish: They want to steer the anti-ISIL coalition away from fighting ISIL, toward fighting Bashar al-Assad. They have communicated this to French President Holland; and seem to have won him over to their side. Qatar also seems to be of such a bent, when one considers that ISIL operatives move freely in Qatar.

The French President says that after Kobani, we need to concentrate our firepower around Irbil, against Assad. My gut feeling is that Mr. Obama will not want to go along with this; and in this. The one I am leery of is Republican Sen. John McCain and his comerades, who seem eager to get involved on behalf of the "Free Syrian Army". If Obama were to go along with this, the US would be mired down to fighting on two opposing fronts in the Levant, with no real friends supporting us.

Before going further in this discussion, let me say that I support President Obama in the anti-ISIL struggle, and wish him success. He is pretty much reading out of the book written by his predecessor, George W. Bush, in getting us involved on perhaps the wrong side in a conflict that is not our own; but now that he has made this commitment, we need to hang in there. Turkey and Qatar are probably more an encumbrance upon us than a help; but countries like Singapore are coming on board, and I am sure they are looking for decisive American leadership. Before you know it, moms and dads from Oregon will be called upon to support this venture, and I certainly don't want them to be jerked to and fro by conflicting objectives of the Kurds, the Turks, the Iranians and Sen. McCain.

One project I've been working on, is trying to see where the divide in NATO lies. It's easy to see that Turkey and the US are pulling in opposite directions, and that Israel is pretty much on the same team (despite "Chickensh_tgate") as the US; so Sweden, with its recent hostile diplomatic moves against Israel, falls on the Turkish side of the line. Allies who are genuinely helping us, such as the Brits, are on our side; but there doesn't appear to be any hint of cooperation from countries like Poland and Spain. With France now leaning away, I wonder what will come of all this. Who will end up isolated in NATO? Turkey? or the US. With the Russians, meanwhile, twisting European arms over gas supplies this winter, things might get interesting. You said, moving on,

To be sure, there is no love lost between the Turkish government and ANY associations with the Kurdish ambitions of a reestablishing a homeland (Kurdistan ambitions being discussed elsewhere) that must inevitably involve Turkish territory. Yet ISIS/ISIL/IS is making no such distinctions of frontiers either; that al-Baghdadi's ambitions are every bit as challenging as Turkish PM Erdoǧan's for a new caliphate.

One pundit noted that we are entering into the "Post-Westphalian" era -- which statement got me to doing some lookups. The "Westphalian System", inaugurated in 1648, set up the international order based on territorial uniqueness and national sovereignty that guided Big Power relations until roughly the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.Since that time, some notable events have happened:

1. National sovereignty has been systematically impinged upon by international treaties and supranational organizations such as the UN and GATT.

2. National boundaries have become blurred, with unrecognized states in both Israel and "Palestine", Taiwan, Kosovo, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and now with the physical removal of the boundary markers between Syria and Iraq. The Russians, meanwhile, have been unilaterally re-drawing their border with the Ukraine.

3. The principle of "non-interference in the internal affairs" of one nation by another, has increasingly been assigne to the dustbin, as courts in Belgium assert their jusirdiction over the entire world, and as the entire world has taken upon themselves to micro-manage the State of Israel in place of its legitimate, elected leaders.

Yes, Turkey is as much in danger as other countries of "vaporizing borders"; and they are not helping their own cause at all by coddling ISIL. You continued,

Somewhere in the shadows are the whisperings of strengthening Turkish ties with the Russians...

Don't strain your ears, trying to hear such whisperings. Turkey was flirting with the Shanghai Cooperation Council a few years back; and it may do so again if it is rebuffed to strongly by the EU. It was also toying with the idea of buying missiles from China, but has scrapped that effort. The Turks are unpredictable, and I wouldn't put anything past them.

I believe Turkey will utlimately attack Israel, in concert with Iran and some others in the context of Ezekiel 38-39; and I think this will happen in not-too-many years. That said, I'm still not holding my breath, waiting for it to happen. You went on,

So, in a mapping challenge, where does the ISIS/ISIL/IS expect its 'fertile crescent' boundary to be established if they can repudiate and repulse all other claims to being the reigning caliphate?

They expect to rule the world, but will not. You continued,

And just as importantly, how does the Iranian component fit into all of this. They have thoughts of the Kurdish influences they thought were under their control and now it is not so clear. The location of the 'fertile crescent' buffers the Iranians from their proxy fights they started and now wonder how to finish them.

The Persian Empire once stretched from Kazakhstan to Pakistan to Greece and Egypt. I'm sure there are some in the Persian leadership who dream of seeing a resurrection of this. I don't know exactly how they will fit into all this, but I would love to see "PM Chickensh_t" bomb the h-ll out of them.

After all, isn't of all this about fighting proxy wars in the Middle East..?

Lots of countries would like to think so, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, China and the US; but wars tend to take on a life of their own and get out of hand. I think that is likely to happen in Iraq and Syria.

Nice chat. Later.

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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