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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Erdogan Moves Turkey Closer To The Edge (Part II)

Link: A. Erdogan Blames Europe For Paris Attacks
          B. Troubling Comments By Turkey's President
          C. Turkey Purges The Military
          D. Turkish Intel Arming Al-Qaida In Syria?

I know I'm not making friends by comparing someone to Adolf Hitler, but if I'm anything, I'm honest.  I see too many similarities not to comment.  And while the free world was distracted by the Soviet purges, pogroms and hostile military movement against the Baltic States and Finland, Hitler was able to rebuild his military and remove the last vestiges of opposition.  Erdogan has his Soviet Union, and its calls itself The Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL).  As this first-of-its-kind, terrorist conventional army continues to defy Obama's air campaign, the Kurds, Assad's leftovers, and the newly-minted Free Syrian Army, the west tip-toes around Erdogan because he can be a deal-maker in this conflict, in one direction or the other.  The Turkish military is in a similar position as the Iranian armed forces.  An apparent threat to national security is snuggling right up their ass, and they need to decide to what extent they wish to get involved.  In January, 2014, rumors were circulating that the Turks were providing arms to Al-Qaida through the Turkish border crossing with Syria.  This last week, official documents were leaked that appear to corroborate that accusation.  For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you know I have been on a bit of a rant regarding the media obsession with separating Al-Qaeda and ISIL.  The end-receiver of the weapons and ammunition in question was Al-Qaida.  Well, Al-Qaida in Syria has no need for that type of equipment, but ISIL does.  The bad guys already know that Al-Qaeda and ISIL are two limbs connected to the same body, and the sooner we stop pretending otherwise, the better of we will be.

On the sixteenth of January, Turkish President Erdogan publicly commented on last week's deadly terror-attack in Paris.  The first and second links contain the necessary details.  I'm so offended by what he had to say, that I refuse to repeat it.  But we must keep one thing in mind: Erdogan is a crafty politician.  He has followed some framework up to this point that has left him as a virtual dictator, in command of one of the world's largest militaries.  I know a Cuban leader, a Venezuelan, a North Korean and a crazy Argentinean hag named Christina who would love to be in his shoes.  I believe every step he takes, every public announcement, is calculated.  Hitler would make bold, sometimes irrational claims, just to see how far he could push the envelope.  Erdogan is playing the same game.  What can he get away with?  Its no secret that he wants Assad out of Syria.  Hell, if that's all he wanted in order to be  team player, I'm sure Assad would be on ice by now.  But Erdogan has his sights set higher.  I worry about possession of the NATO weapons in Turkey, and I worry about the potential thousands of hostages our military and their families who are stationed in Turkey, would make.  Erdogan as a wild-card comes at a terrible time for Obama, NATO and the EU.  What they need more than anything is a successful resolution to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.  Until the U.S. decides to fully deploy in those war zones, the conflict will continue to escalate.  The Iranians could be game-changers, if they gambles and fully mobilized into Iraq, but I just don't see it.  I also don't see a way out of this mess for Obama, at least not during his term in office.  As for Recep Erdogan, I believe he supports ISIL at the moment, because he wants Assad removed without having to make a military commitment.  He has surreptitiously allowed arms and supplies to reach ISIL because he sees the organization as his surrogate "for-the-moment". I used to be concerned that Erdogan was a closet Islamist.  I don't believe that anymore, even though it might have been true at one time.  Erdogan has plans for Turkey, and he is in every picture.  The removal of Assad is important because it provides validation of his authority, bona fides of his international influence, so to speak.  I also don't think he is as patient as he once was.  I expect he will lay his cards on the table sometime this year, at least as far as NATO missiles and U.S. bases are concerned.  With the scourge of Terrorism more dangerous than ever, we live in scary times.  Recep Erdogan only makes things scarier.

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