Turkey readies herself for war with Syria: Erdogan primes the gun
By Richard Cottrell
Contributing writer for End the Lie
NATO piled all its eggs into one basket, the basket broke and the end result is a bad case of scrambled eggs. So we are now moving into the next stage of the Syrian end game: an attack by the Turks across the Syrian border, portrayed as the inevitable consequence of hostile Syrian actions.
The inevitable Syrian response will invoke the collective ‘all for one, one for all’ articles of the NATO Atlantic Charter. That’s how modern wars are started these days, and the forthcoming one may well be long and exceptionally nasty.
Editor’s note: I have been raising the prospect of Turkey invoking Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty since February of this year but oddly enough it has never occurred. It will be interesting to see if and when it is invoked since all of the pieces have been in place for quite a while. The real question is, why hasn’t it been invoked already?
The Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has largely given the game away. He’s advising the nation to be ready for war with Syria. He is not able to muster any specific reasons (beyond mysterious artillery bombardments across the frontier, mere pin pricks inflated as invitations to war) as to why his countrymen must fight a neighboring Islamic country, with whom Turkey has enjoyed peaceful relations well, forever. But then, like many others in the long chorus line of belligerent attention seekers, he does not care. He is the man of the hour and he will obligingly kick off NATO’s latest ‘humanitarian intervention.’
The consistent running theme of the Islamic AK (Justice and Development) government that came to power in Turkey a decade ago has been the rousing of the old Ottoman spirit in smart new Ottoman clothes.
Unquestionably, Turkey paid a heavy price for the secularization of the country imposed by the nation’s near Godlike founder, the staunchly secular Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He died in 1938, bequeathing a long train of unfinished business.
Turkey’s unfortunate fate was to become a perpetual playground for foreign powers, notably the United States and her allies, who worked through the powerful secular military, extremist right wingers and unreconstructed anti-Islamic forces in business to crush the plain truth about Turkey: it is, first and foremost, an Islamic nation and always has been since the collapse of Byzantium.
The narrow caste of secular elites, propped up by the whisky generals of the High Command, were never faithful representatives of the devout Anatolians who make up the huge mass of the Turkish population. Sooner or later this glaring deficiency was bound to become the fulcrum of Turkish politics.
This is the truth explained by the AK’s party’s landslide victories in three successive elections, beginning in with the first seminal victory in 2002.
The partnership of Abdullah Gul (president) and Erdogan, the twin drivers of the AK locomotive, has transformed Turkey from a languid backwater, perpetual ward of the IMF, to a humming economy, 17th in the world GDP league. Istanbul looks like Manhattan with minarets.
The economic miracle was just one side of what became a rolling revolution. The other was the resurrection of the old Ottoman spirit as the gleaming New Ottoman Turkey. Turkey was not just a honeypot for hungry western investors drawn by her huge population of seventy-five million, many of them baby boomers with a soaring appetite for consumer wares; she was bent on becoming the dominant military and political wheeler and dealer throughout the Middle East.
That’s exactly where we are today. In the circumstances it is unthinkable that Turkey could allow the resolution of the Syrian affair with herself being the principal player.
The relations of the ‘royal families’ of these two countries, al-Assad and his wife Asma, President Gul and his Islam-cool First Lady Hayrunnisa, had long been recognized as immensely intimate on the personal scale, forever flitting between their respective capitals. More like kissing cousins than friends. All that bonhomie dissipated practically overnight when the trouble started with Syria.
The devil always lurks in the details. So did Erdogan, who is widely suspected of ordering the president to put an end to these affectionate fraternal displays. Certainly no sudden spat between happy families could possibly account for the breach.
Behind the scenes, Erdogan was readying for a war which he had decided – and of which Gul was much less convinced – was inevitable, and moreover, desirable, if Turkey was to fulfill her New Ottoman destiny.
For years the pair played the good guy/tough guy act with great aplomb. All this came to a sudden halt when Gul bridled at the enforced rupture with the Assads. Erdogan responded by threatening to run for president himself, and started to appear at mass rallies reminiscent of Hitler on his finest form. I suspect that Gul is the leader of the peace party so far as Syria is concerned, but does not have sufficient backing either in the rank and file of the party or the cabinet to stop the drift to war.
Erdogan is eminently crafty and cunning, which may in the end be NATO’s undoing in this affair. Over the past three years he has cut a weaving path through Turkey’s relations with NATO and its chief shareholder, the United States.
He wouldn’t let ‘allied’ troops cross Turkish soil to get at Iraq. He broke the long standing alliance with shadow NATO member Israel over the Gaza Convoy affair. He was less than warm about toppling Gadhafi and is said to feel uncharacteristically conscience stricken by the violent outcome. He may have deterred – or deferred – another Arab spring in Algeria. He plays hot and cold with Iran, so that no one can say with any certainty what his position might be on any given day. He is out of humor with the Iraqis, harbors the country’s runaway ex vice-president who is wanted in Bagdad for treason and to cap it all, is playing very complicated games with the pseudo-autonomous northern Kurdish province.
Yet he assures Obama that he is America’s best friend in the Middle East, which of course is a calculated insult to Israel. It reminds me of Churchill’s famous bon mote when told that Hitler was going to ring his neck: ‘Some chicken, some neck.’
But Obama too has sharp teeth behind that disarming smile. The US government is united with the Pentagon regarding the characterization of the creeping re-Islamization of Turkey as a significant threat to long term security in the region.
The emergence of a strong Islamic power when US policy is to undermine and disarm Islamism everywhere sits very awkwardly with Turkey as the sole Islamic member of NATO, moreover one that is now promoted to the front line of the Syrian crisis.
Behind the scenes, the US has been tugging levers to prevent Turkey building nuclear reactors, thus pursuing the same fuel enrichment strategy followed by Iran. In fact Erdogan (and most of his cabinet) recognize the strategic necessity of developing a nuclear capacity in order to face off with Israel.
So far the US has managed to prevent western companies from entering tenders for plants projected for the Aegean coastline, while a deal with the Russians seems to hang on the revenues to be earned when and if the four intended plants are up and running.
A nuclear Turkey is unquestionably a high AK priority, as Erdogan has said many times. Turkey has some limited uranium reserves but she is gifted with perhaps the world’s largest deposits of thorium, a rare alternative in the nuclear cycle, which would allow her to be independent of exterior supply lines.
The strategic lures of Turkey’s position and importance has resulted in the US interfering at least four times in the Turkish political arena since WWII. The coup of 1980, which resulted in the elevation of General Kenan Evren (who, at 95, is now on trial for his actions) led to the vile and unspeakable persecutions and murders of Leftists and Islamists which bore the same horrific stripe of the Latin American dirty wars of the 70s and 80s.
The Evren Coup was mounted by the local branch of the NATO secret stay-behind armies, known as ‘Counter-Guerrilla’ and of which Evren himself was the commander. Four years ago a brief ‘Turkish Spring’ resulted in throngs of demonstrators (mostly off duty soldiers and their families, as it transpired) flooding the boulevards of the main Turkish cities in the secularist cause. But the energy quickly fizzled out when the protestors resumed their uniforms.
Turkey’s forthcoming lunge at Syria has little to with Erdogan’s affections for his present allies of convenience, the United States and NATO. He will of course earn glorious plaudits for manufacturing the incursion which allows NATO’s common defense clauses to kick in. The old no-fly ruse won’t play this time around.
The stamp of ‘legality’ is required, not least because of the sordid mess in Libya. But make no mistake, Syria is intended – post the fall of the Assad regime – to lie within the boundaries of the restored and gradually expanding New Ottoman empire.
Erdogan’s aim (the appropriate word) in Syria is to decide the outcome. He will not permit large contingents of foreign troops to ‘pacify’ Syria. That will be Turkish work and Turkish work alone. Nor will he permit the establishment of a semi-detached Kurdish province, as part of the intended Balkanization of Syria between its various ethnic factions.
The US might stage an entrance from her bases in Iraq, but Turkey seems certain to bear the main ground weight. Thus she cements her own power over the alliance, rather than the other way around. And Syria will become an effective Turkish colony into the bargain.
One of the many weaknesses of NATO lies in the absence of clear strategy. Such as there is emanates from the Pentagon, not the far inferior encampment in Brussels. As Professor John Duffield of George State University has pertinently observed, wherever a group of nations opts for a collective system of defense, then automatically the interests of the largest partner will always come out on top. Richard Nixon famously said much the same: ‘The only military alliance that ever worked was NATO and that was because we were in charge of it.’
But Nixon made the wrong call. The machinations conducted by the US against the French president Charles De Gaulle in the 1960’s resulted in the NATO getting De Gaulle’s marching orders to quit its command HQ, at the time resting on French soil. Korea – a disguised out of theatre NATO operation – was a messy, brokered and unresolved draw. Fraternal NATO allies refused to bloody themselves in Vietnam, despite every begging plea from Washington. The blunders in the Balkans incited genocide. The same happened in Iraq, another shadow NATO war game. What continues in Afghanistan speaks grimly for itself. Libya has been turned over to vicious and sadistic psychopaths, tasked with dividing and ruling to ensure unitary, oil-rich Libya never arises again.
Yet NATO continues to speak of its ‘expanding role,’ north and east, as though it were deaf and blind to all the crimes committed in its name, particularly if Syria is now to be added to the roll-call.
Erdogan is like a hip-hop dancer who can deliver startling performances that bewilder and amaze the audience with his agility. He has neutered the military by incriminating much of its officer corps in plots to overthrow the AK party.
The last prime minister to tease the notoriously short tempered military, Adnan Menderes, ended up hanging from a rope in military prison back in 1961. Instead, Erdogan locked up a former C-in-C, charged with fomenting the Sledgehammer (‘Balyoz’) project, apparently intended to destabilize the government with false flag attacks commissioned and performed by the military themselves.
Yet, even as he hammers the High Command with one blow after another, he buys appeasement by allowing the military a free hand in search and destroy operations designed to root out PKK (Kurdish independence fighters, aka Kurdish Workers Party) roosting in the south east quarter bordering on Syria.
This is a neat call, because it aligns the military and the Islamic authorities in defense of the integral unity of Turkey, the main inheritance of Ataturk. The true nature of PKK is a mystery, but the safest call is that the main body of irredentists is mimicked by copy-cat organizations manufactured in the depths of the derin devlet, the secret state. The Turkish Watergate, the legendary Susurluk Incident of November 3rd 1996, supplies important proofs.
Abdullah Catli one of Turkey’s infamous racketeers and contract killers (and close affiliate of Mehmet Ali Agca, the man charged with trying to kill Pope John Paul II), died instantly when the Mercedes he was driving rammed a tractor in the dusty small town of Susurluk in western Anatolia. The mobster had interesting passengers on board. Another body pulled from the wreckage was that of Huseyin Kocadag, former deputy chief of the Istanbul gendarmerie, an important figure with close links to Counter-Guerrilla. Lucky to survive the smash was a man who knew too much. He was Sedat Bucak, a Kurdish clan leader responsible for false flag attacks aimed at discrediting the PKK mainstream by acts of synthetic violence.
Turks gleaned from Susurluk that their government was hand in hand with the Turkish Mafia, SWAT squads organized by Jitem, an ultra-secret gendarmerie unit, and double agents hired from the ranks of Kurdish separatists. PKK is branded and recognized outside Turkey and by the US in particular as a terrorist organization. Attacks blamed on PKK rose to a new pitch under the AK regime, which suggests the convenience of having a useful distraction – the ‘enemy within’ – to keep the mischievous hands of the soldiers and their friends in the secular camp busy.
Which brings us to the causus belli for war: al-Assad, it would appear, has deserted his senses and decided to bombard the Turks into Armageddon. This is the alleged motive for the artillery fusillades.
Patently these are black flag pin-pricks, nothing more than a warm up act. Something more than a few bazookas is required to promote a decent war. In that respect we should look back to the now famous ‘Turkish Jet Incident.’
Syrian ground artillery was accused of downing an unarmed Turkish reconnaissance Phantom jet supposedly testing Syrian air defenses, but nothing of this account made any sense whatsoever. We still do not know the exact truth. But suffice to say the plane was struck by a massive blow, probably some kind of heat-seeking missile, which broke it up into sections. This is not the mark of anti-aircraft fire, which anyway could not hope to a hit a plane flying at near-Mach 2.
Aside from accusing Assad’s trigger-happy men, the Turks slapped Top Secret on the whole affair. The two pilots died – either in the plane or when it hit the sea – but no post-mortem accounts were made available to the grieving relatives, let alone the public.
A specialist US-captained civilian vessel equipped with state of the art under sea recovery vehicles was sent away from the scene ‘for technical problems.’ Both the Americans and the Russians stated enigmatically that their own radar and satellites told them exactly what happened that day, but they were not going to come out with it. The Israelis came in for the usual ritual pasting. But our strongest chance of understanding the attack is the ‘Balyoz’ (Sledgehammer) plot of earlier mention cooked up by the Turkish High Command.
One element of this called for a Turkish air force jet to be shot down by friendly fire and then fix the blame on the Greeks. Something close to a real time repeat of this scenario is probably the best explanation for this mysterious affair, particularly as it fits the glove of demonizing the Syrians perfectly.
If this was indeed a false flag ‘Pearl Harbor’ attack, then it didn’t serve its purposes only because NATO and the US were still confident at that stage that with the expert skills of Special Forces (infiltrators) the anti-Assad forces could knock over the regime minus a potentially messy and hard-fought full scale intervention.
It is more than interesting that at the time, US diplomats most unusually came with out with anti-Erdogan public briefings, accusing the Turkish premier of jumping the gun to provoke a war with Iraq (which it was hinted, not all NATO members supported in any event). I found that the most convincing clue to a false flag friendly fire affair.
The final element here is timing. We are within days of the allegedly close fought US presidential election. Obama looks more relaxed than a Japanese wrestler who has had all his bones surgically removed. Will Americans find themselves compelled to choose between a tax-averse Mormon and a War President?
We are on the cusp of winter, the war season in Arabia. Now we have the curiously co-incidental factor of Erdogan and his war drums. Taken together, these factors suggest an early start, once the additional stimulus is provided as the final excuse. But the finish might not to be quite so easy or simple to accomplish. If the US, under the cover of NATO, incites a pair of Muslim nations against each other – in effect loosing an Islamic civil war – then given the pressure cooker which the Middle East now resembles, an explosive reaction is inevitable.
Israel would undoubtedly finally seize the hour and go for Iran, which in turn would unleash Iran’s supporters among the Palestinians to counter-attack. It is conceivable that Israel might also invade Lebanon (yet again) to deal with pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah elements lurking there, while Israel herself comes under renewed shell fire from the Gaza strip, provoking another Israel incursion into this impoverished gulag. Anticipate massive anti-US/NATO protests in sensitive countries such as Pakistan.
If history does not always precisely repeat itself, it obligingly offers strong clues. In May 1973 the Bilderberg conclave assembled in the Grand Hotel Saltsjobaden, close to Stockholm. It was a pivotal Bilderberg show, documented by F. William Engdahl in A Century of War.
The US regent Henry Kissinger presented the vassals of Europe with a daring strategy to rescue the imploding dollar: an oil price shock followed up by massive petro-dollar recycling and the abandonment of free markets in favor of controlling economies. The soaring price of oil provided the perfect pretext. A few months later Kissinger instigated the Yom Kippur War, which provided Israel with the perfect excuse to grab more Palestinian territory. The retaliatory OPEC oil embargo gave the Saudis and other producers a splendid excuse for the price of a barrel of crude quadrupling.
We are, I suspect, in familiar territory. Rolling havoc in the Middle East will again send oil prices rocketing skywards and thus permit the US to scatter petrol dollars around like confetti. The over $16 trillion debt will start to melt and the economic disorder will provide the perfect excuse for Wall Street to reap billions while also permitting the European Union to make a final dash for complete fiscal and political union.
After all, why waste a good crisis?
Is it any co-incidence anyway that the so-called ‘austerity crisis’ raging across Europe has led to proposals by Brussels for a gamut of emergency measures to take control of all European banks and the economies of sovereign economies by New Year’s Day 2013? If indeed the above represents roughly the scenario discussed at the Bilderberg meeting at Chantilly, close to Washington, earlier this year, then Erdogan knows all about it. One of his closest confidants, Ali Babacan, the deputy PM for finance and economics, was the senior Turkish guest.
And the Russians? Ah yes, thank you for reminding me. I imagine they are pulling out the best lounge arm chairs in the Kremlin, laying in the stocks of the finest hooch and getting ready to enjoy the spectacle of the World Cup Final.
Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is now available from Progressive Press. You may order it using the link below (or by clicking here – Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis):
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Edited by End the Lie