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10 June 2010

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Sim

I have wondered recently, if the US realists (Obama Admin being amongst them) wouldn't actually mind seeing Turkey going rogue vis-a-vis Iran/Israel. Perhaps some even encouraged this behavior (did Obama make secret pact with Erdogan to have his back if he goes rogue on both Iran and Israel?) for reasons a) as to indirectly keep Israeli policies in check - seeing how his hands are more or less tied back home b) to decease Iran's influence in the arab street by giving them a more sensible option to choose from. This in turn could perhaps moderate the behaviour of Iran as it sees turkey gaining the upper hand by having both a decent democracy as well as their own say in international affairs.

Maybe Obama really IS reaching out to the Muslim world, albeit indirectly... via Turkey. Maybe this is the real reason why Obama is getting bad press in Israel / neocon circles.

Patrick Lang

Sim

You are truly a fantasist. pl

Lysander

I wonder how the top brass in the Turkish military view this attack by erstwhile allies? On the one hand, they must hate the idea of leaving NATO (not saying they actually will) And, if very shallow, may feel faltered by the neocon hopes of a coup.

But on the other hand, how do they feel about being set upon by a pack of wild dogs? Are they at all concerned that, when push comes to shove, Turkey is only as important as it advances Israeli interests and not an ounce more? In fact, it seems Turkey's usefulness to American interests is irrelevant (Let's just pick up Incirlik and put it somewhere else!)

Of course, its a given that Turkey has no interests of its own.

DanM

It all begins to remind me of the Randy Newman classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGO42gvCSPI

shanks

At this rate, there are going to be 2 islands for jews or israelis (no pt. in trying to distinguish when AMericans jews have a greater attachment to some other national entity), one israel and the other USA.

In one, you'd live mafia style under perpetual paranoia and in the other, crap on others' livelihood, foreign policy and national interest.

The weird thing is, the USA can do a volte face on a dime and leverage its soft power to come out any time out of the hole from the toxic relationship.

isreal? Combined with the already existing antisemitism in world and the newly created "impressions" around the world, not so much.

So, jews/israelis better keeping paying the patsies in the US congress their yearly tribute in shekels, pay for enough columnists to defend them in papers and press just in case someone decides to think for themselves.

I keep thinking this. There's no way, the defenders of jews/isrealis behaviour believe what they write; no way. It must be for something inane, for money or blackmail.
http://www.counterpunch.org/adlspying2.html
At this rate,they'd need a lot of money to grease things. Lots.

And there are no gaurantees.

Walrus

Truth is stranger than fiction.

I don't think Americas other NATO allies would wish to see Turkey expelled.

It would set a precedent that would not only guarantee that U.S Defence companies were frozen out of the European defence market, but could trigger the break up of NATO itself and the formation of a "Eurozone defence force".

Jackie

The same old "nattering nabobs of negativity" (sorry Spiro if I got that quote wrong) are at it again. Why does anyone listen to them? They are like the boy who cried wolf once too often and they shouldn't overplay their hand.

Grimgrin

How exactly would they go about kicking a state out of NATO?

I'm not aware of any provision exists in the treaty for a state to be removed, except by a declaration by that state that they are withdrawing from the treaty, although there may be supplementary agreements that I'm not aware of.

The big question I have is what happens to NATO if the US does decide that it's relationship with Israel is more important than it's obligations under the NATO treaty?

Canada won't do a thing, mostly because we can't but also because we're as heavily influenced by the Israel lobby as the US.

I don't know the situation in Europe well enough to do more than question whether the former Soviet republics that joined NATO to safeguard their independence will still feel secure in that guarantee if the US reneges on its treaty obligations.

Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

steve

Nothing about the irrationality of the political world surprises me anymore, including this absurd neocon latest on expelling Turkey from Nato.

I do think however that there are at least some rational individuals--perhaps Obama, Clinton, and Gates as you say--who might sufficiently recognize and appreciate America's interests so as to ultimately operate on those interests rather than some crazed Israeli sense of opportunity.

My only sense of optimism stems from my belief that the neocons/Israelis are over-reaching beyond the rational.

My sense of pessmism stems from the fact that they have done it before--successfully.

Medicine Man

Good Lord, this new determination to demonize Turkey from the usual propaganda organs was entirely predictable, wasn't it?

eakens

Well the Turkish operations in this country were handled out of Obama's Chicago as of a few years ago.

The question is whether neocons are still running lobby for the Turks in the US. Sooner or later Israel always shows its "friends" the level of regard it has for the friendship. The Turks got a taste this past few weeks ago.

If the neocons are off the job - and I suspect they are if they are calling for Turkey's removal from NATO - then they are genuinely unplugging themselves from Israel and letting Obama know, "you're either with us, or against us".

Neil Richardson

The Turkish Brigade paid for their NATO membership joining fee with 3000 casualties. I don't remember the IDF shedding blood alongside the US Army.

http://www.korean-war.com/turkey.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Brigade

Roy G

These guys are the happiest people in the world about the flotilla attack, because, prior, they had been reduced to mad ravings about the threat that 'Miss Hezbullah' represented to Western Civilization.

Taken at face value,their mindset is truly paranoid: in re, Islam represents a secret worldwide death cult, which can magically unite Sunni and Shia, Arabs, Persians, and now Turks. When does the Indonesian threat activate?

This bloviation is purely for domestic consumption. These guys don't want to acknowledge that the 'Coalition of the Willing' is down to three (US, Canada and Belgium). I don't know the inner workings of NATO. Does the US have some kind of unilateral power to blackball an existing member? I would bet that the rest of the NATO establishment has a more realistic view of the situation.

Above all, it's a sad indicator of the state of the Bizarro World that has engulfed the US. After the debacles these guys promoted, they shouldn't be seen in public without a suit of tar and feathers and a dunce cap.

J

Don't forget the recent past where Israel's Mossad was caught with their pants down trying to institute a overthrow of the Turkish government. The Israeli Mossad Network/Israeli moles caught were called the Ergenekon Network/Moles working for Israel. The sooner that Turkey can weed out the embedded Israeli moles within its government and military, the better it will be for Turkeys long-term stability.

Redhand

Victor Davis Hanson: (Commenter sighs deeply).

I thought his The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece was a wonderful piece of original scholarship when it came out in 1989, but the gentleman has long outlived his 15 minutes of (academic) fame.

I found Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power to be pompous and unreadable, and its "The West will always win" thesis positively absurd. (Tell it to General Giap and North Vietnam, among others).

Hanson has morphed into a hopeless shill for Western triumphalism, who's gone full-metal-wingnut on Neocon koolaide. His current ravings make me wonder what I ever saw in him, which is a bit of a shame, actually. Too bad he didn't put the pen down in 1989 and go back to his vineyards full time.

clifford kiracofe

I don't see evidence of the "adults" (if Gates, Hillary, and Jones are so considered) in the Administration restraining the ranks of the stupid.

The Administration's reaction to Turkey in the case of the Brazil-Turkey initiative on Iran and its reaction in the case of the Israeli attack on the peace ships illustrates a clumsy and counterproductive diplomacy to say the least. Ms. Rice's behavior at the UN has been dismal to say the least.

Gates's remark about Turkey going east seems to underscore the difficulty the US foreign policy establishment has with the idea that the emerging multipolar world is more complex than the simple bipolar world which ended in 1992.

Other major powers quite naturally are asserting themselves as are regional powers. This is not and will not be another so-called "American Century" as Iraq and Afghanistan adventures illustrate.

The Neocon perspective of the US hegemon "leading" the "international community" permeates the foreign policy establishment, such as it is. There are differences in style, true, but the objective of US "leadership," taken as imposing its will and dictating outcomes, is shared. Obama etal are not so different from Bush etal as the world can assess by now.

It is rather late in the game but before making still more serious mistakes of foreign policy and national strategy the US needs to think through the implications of a changing world for our national security and thus for our national strategy and foreign policy.

The hysteria of the Neocons over Turkey going "east" is amusing though easily predicted. Some of us recall the 1980s when a number of Neocons like Feith and Perle and so on were up to their eyeballs in business deals with Turkey (and Israel and US) involving weapons sales and etc.

The US should be open to working with other major powers, as well as regional powers, on matters of mutual concern. The changed world calls for a more adroit diplomacy than the foreign policy establishment, Republican or Democrat, has been able to muster thus far since 1992 and the end of the bipolar world.

Phil Giraldi

Editorials, op eds, letters and what purport to be news stories have also been appearing in places like the Wash Post and NYT either strengthening the narrative that Turkey is becoming dangerously "Islamist" or calling for some kind of punishment for Erdogan. This is clearly a coordinated effort and I expect that congress will soon join the attack.

In any event, the US cannot unilaterally expel Turkey from NATO, nor can it exclude Turkey from the intel that is shared within the alliance.

jonst

"Let us just hope that between Bob Gates, Jim Jones, and Hillary Clinton, they have enough of a sense of humor, and enough of an appreciation of the Israeli disinformation machinery, that they won’t be lured into buying these tall tales and doing something foolish.".

I would suggest we be clear about the following: a sense of humor, an appreciation of the disinformation machine etc, all these things have little or nothing to do with resisting this kind of thinking. Courage and strength of character is what is needed. And I have my doubts it is present in sufficient quantity these days. That goes for DOD, Foggy Bottom, and the WH. Congress? I won't even address them.

markfromireland

"Has someone dumped a shot of LSD-25 into the water cooler at the American Enterprise Institute? "

Is it not more likely that somebody has taken it out and that this latest lunatic outburst comes under the heading of "withdrawal symptons"?

confusedponderer

That was in the woods since well before the Flotilla thing.

The neo-cons started to object to Turkey's 'slide into Islamism' ever since the spat between Erdogan and Peres and at Davos in early 2009. What started with stark warnings that was Turkey becoming an Islamic state intensified again after the fuel swap deal between Brazil, Turkey and Iran. And now the flotilla.

To the neo-cons chagrin Turkey doesn't behave like the creature that Turkey in their dreams is (the real Turkey).

The call to boot Turkey from NATO is just the start. Expect them to massively push two themes in the coming months in retaliation: (a) Kurds and (b) the Armenian genocide. It's just a question of time until the next genocide resolution aimed at Turkey will pop up, and perhaps an only slightly those extortionist compensation law suits. Not to mention predictable support for Turkish dissidents, who will say, elect, schmelect, Erdogan is evil and thus illegitimate. They will try to intimidate the Turks into compliance. With brute force.

Considering all the work they put into forging an alliance between Turkey and Israel, their frustration is understandable. Not understandable is why they were surprised that the Turks, after talking at deaf ears in Washington for years, just wouldn't behave like they were supposed to do.

Think of their lack of comprehension and anger when Turkey not only dared advise against the Iraq war, but denied the US transit for the attack. They were baffled. They were even more baffled that there wasn't a coup d'etat giving them what they wanted.

confusedponderer

I wanted to write: ... and perhaps one of those only slightly extortionist compensation law suits

Mike

Maybe Turkish politicians should demand that the USA be kicked out of Nato.......

linda

this piece about the uss liberty via brookings(!) would seem an interesting development:

http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/0608_uss_liberty_ebinger.aspx

The Attack on the USS Liberty: Lessons for U.S. National Security
Arab-Israeli Relations, Israel, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Sanctions

Charles K. Ebinger, Director, Energy Security Initiative

The Brookings Institution
June 08, 2010 —
It is ironic that the Israeli Defense forces attacked a flotilla of relief ships bound from Europe to Gaza in international waters in a manner all too similar to its assault against the USS Liberty also in international waters on June 8 forty-three years ago. It is even more tragic and a national disgrace that in the immediate aftermath of Memorial Day there is scant remembrance of the 34 crew members comprising naval officers, seamen, two marines and a civilian who were killed in the attack along with the 171 crew members who were wounded. While the official inquiries by both nations found the attack to be a case of mistaken identity of the Liberty, to this day there is a long record of distinguished officers and journalists who take strong exception to this view believing that the attack was deliberate. Indeed the attack on the Liberty is the only maritime incident in U.S. history where our military forces were killed that was never investigated by the Congress.

Norman Rogers

Could this be one more expression of frustration from Turkey with regards to the U.S. allowing the Kurds to set up shop in Northern Iraq and start making money from the oil infrastructure still intact in that region?

The neocons may complain about Turkey, but Turkey has a much larger complaint--and probably a justifiable one--about what the neocons are leaving behind as their legacy in Kirkuk, Irbil and Mosul.

b

Slightly off topic.

There is now a 16 minutes HD Video cut available from an hour of material filmed on on the Mavi Marmamara and smuggled out.

It is a big download but do it and you can judge for yourself what happened.

Video inside lethal Israeli Gaza flotilla raid on Turkish ship released at United Nations

"The footage shows the mood and the activities on board the Mavi Marmara in the time leading up to the attack, including a walk through the ship, and the immediate reaction of the passengers during the attack."

Lots of shots and blood ...

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