August 6, 2015

Erdoğan And NATO Have Already Lost...Both On The Battlefield And In The Ballot Box

"You bomb Assad, I bomb the Kurds, and we both sell it to the world as a war against ISIS, which we will secretly continue to prop up. Great plan, isn't it, chief?" Erdoğan to Obama, from one clown to another.

An excerpt from, "Erodoğan and Netanyahu Declare War" by Prof. James Petras, Global Research, August 1, 2015:
At the same time, Turkish President Erodoğan has launched a major war against the Kurdish people and their aspirations for a Kurdish state. This has followed closely on several recent incidents beginning with the bombing (with cooperation from Turkish intelligence ) of a Kurdish youth camp, killing and wounding scores of young secular activists. Within days of the massacre of Turkish-Kurdish youth, Erodoğan ordered his air force to bomb and strafe Kurdish bases within the sovereign territories of Iraq and Syria and Turkish security police have assaulted and arrested thousands of Kurdish nationalists and Turkish leftist sympathizers throughout the country. This has all occurred with the support of the US and NATO who provide cover for Erodoğan’s plans to seize Syrian territory, displace Kurdish civilians and fighters and colonize the northern border of Syria – under the pretext of needing a ‘buffer zone’ to protect Turkish sovereignty. Such a massive land grab of hundreds of square kilometers will end the long standing support and interaction among Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish Kurdish populations who have been among the most effective opponents of radical Islamist groups.

Erdoğan’s newly declared war on the Kurds has complex domestic and regional components (Financial Times 7/28/15, p 9): Within Turkey, the repression is directed against the emerging electoral-political power of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party. Erodoğan plans to discredit or outright ban this political party, which had won a surprising number of seats in the recent parliamentary election, call for new elections, secure a ‘majority’ in Parliament and assume dictatorial ‘executive powers’.

Regionally, Erodoğan’s invasion of Syria is part of his strategy to expand Turkey’s borders southward and westward and to provide a platform from which Turkey’s favorite jihadi clients can launch assaults on the secular government in Damascus and Aleppo. The bombing of Kurdish villages and camps in Iraq and Syria are designed to reverse the Kurd’s military victories against ISIS and will justify greater repression of Kurdish activists backing autonomy in southeastern Turkey.

Erodoğan is counting on Turkey’s agreements with the US and NATO for overt and covert collaboration against the Kurds and against Syrian national sovereignty.
An excerpt from, "Turkey Invades Syria and Iraq: Erdogan’s ‘Erratic’ Behavior" by Andrew Korybko, Global Research, August 6, 2015:
Much to Erdogan’s dismay, the story of his early electioneering and pipeline posturing gambit doesn’t have an entirely happy ending. On the one hand, it’s increasingly likely that his AKP party will attain their fabled parliamentary majority as a result of Erdogan’s political manipulations, but on the other, the cost of doing so has been to hamper Turkey’s negotiating strength when it comes to Balkan Stream. This is largely credited to the Kurdish attack against the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) pipeline, which despite being scheduled to be shut down this month for repairs and thus of negligible impact to Turkey’s energy security (or that of its downstream partners), clearly signals the vulnerability that it and other lines such as TANAP have to militant sabotage. Turkey’s much-hoped-for plan to become the energy crossroads of Eurasia was originally premised on an assumption that the Kurdish-dominated southeast would remain peaceful and secure, but with Erdogan having returned the region to an indefinite wartime environment, such a grand strategic vision is now critically endangered.

Accordingly, this state of affairs makes Balkan Stream even more important than ever for Turkey, since the pipeline’s geographic route immunizes it from the ethnic-secessionist violence that has now been proven capable of negatively affecting the country’s other energy projects. Whereas Erdogan had thought that it was Russia which needed Balkan Stream more than Turkey did, the strategic necessity is steadily moving towards a more equitable balance, since the deteriorating state of security in the country’s southeast could call into question Turkey’s ability to adequately defend the BTE and TANAP lines. It could very well be that the current Kurdish insurgency might end up becoming a prolonged campaign much as its more than 30-year-long forerunner was, which would mean that in an objectively comparative perspective, TANAP would require an incontestably costlier security investment (both in financial and physical terms) than Balkan Stream would. Additionally, there’s more of a practical will for Russia and Europe to continue their decades-established energy partnership (should they be able to weather the US’ destructive intrigues against it) than there is for Europe to bear the destabilizing potential that its Azeri-originated energy imports could fall victim to continued Kurdish sabotage.

All of this comes together to place Erdogan smack dab in the center of a classic dilemma – the longer he continues his War on the Kurds, the more endangered his grand energy transit plans become (and subsequently, the more dependent he is on the creation of Balkan Stream); while any move to cut short his campaign against the Kurds (after having engendered so much supportive nationalism behind it) would be absolutely disastrous for the AKP party’s standing in a forthcoming snap election. Given how obsessed Erdogan has lately become over winning his envisioned parliamentary majority, it’s predicted that he’ll fiendishly continue with his anti-Kurdish offensive no matter what the long-term consequences are, since he sees this as his most surefire way to political godhood. His tunnel vision has shielded him from the wider repercussions of his actions, and he’s oblivious to the fact that his short-sighted electoral strategy has been destructive to Turkey’s eternal geo-energy imperatives. Erdogan is arrogantly wagering that the Kurds would accept a ceasefire of sorts after the probable early elections grant his party the expected parliamentary majority that he craves, but he’s not considering that by then, they might not even want to stop their struggle, let alone without some type of major political-economic compensation that he obviously won’t be willing to provide. The entire cyclical dynamic puts him ‘between two chairs’, as the Russians say, and this completely unenviable position is incredibly all of his own making.