Looking Beyond Our Own Navel

Discussion in 'Political/Religious Topics' started by Kellen, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Kellen

    Kellen G&G Evangelist

    While most Americans continue to focus their national attention on BLM and Antifa rioting, China virus cases, and election year politics, they seem to be losing sight of how dangerous the outside world is becoming. Not good.

    Americans continue to gawp at their own navel while seeming to forget that (a) North Korea advances its nuclear delivery capabilities, (b) the prospect of war between Israel and Iran is growing daily, (c) tensions between India and Pakistan, as well as India and China, are rising significantly, and (d) China is getting far more aggressive against US, Vietnamese, Philippine, Indonesian, and Japanese naval interests in the South China sea. ALL of those growing conflicts have nuclear powers faced against each other.

    Then there is Turkey. Unlike the other conflicts, our deteriorating relationship with Turkey is largely our own stupid fault.

    Turkey has been a key NATO partner since 1952. Turkey lies in one of the most strategic geographical positions in the world, looking: west to Europe; north to Russia; east to Iran and Afghanistan (as well as Iraq and the Kurds); and south to the Middle East, Syria, and Africa. Not to mention that Turkey is absolutely critical to US anti-terrorism efforts.

    Reflecting Turkey’s key strategic importance, and among other assets, we have a European Missile Defense command and two Patriot anti-missile batteries out of southern Turkey; an AN/TPY-2 Surveillance Transportable Radar base out of the middle of the country (working in conjunction with Aegis naval missiles in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf); the 39th US Air Force Tactical Aviation Group from Izmir in the southwest; and the Incirlik Air Force Base (which very likely includes nuclear weapons). Turkey has also served historically as one of our most important locations for gathering military intelligence on Russia.

    You'd think the United States would be bright enough to acknowledge how strategically important Turkey is to our national interests and treat the Turkish people with kid gloves. Think again.

    The deterioration in our relationship with Turkey really started going downhill on a grand scale in 2007 thanks to the Democrat-controlled US congress. Led by that moron Adam Schiff from California, the House passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee a resolution “commemorating” the 1915-1923 Armenian genocide at the hands of Turkey. Meanwhile that other Democrat gem, Barack Obama, stated that he “stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey's acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.”

    How stupid can American leadership get? Yes, the Armenian genocide was a terrible thing, but did we really have to rub Turkey’s nose in it almost 100 years after the fact?

    Russia, of course, gleefully supported the stupidity of the Democrats knowing full well it would lead to destruction of our relationship with Turkey. Thankfully, not everyone in the US was as stupid as the Democrats. To their credit, then President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice actively opposed the congressional resolution. Additionally, eight former U.S. Secretaries of State, both Republican and Democrat, clearly recognized how strategically important Turkey was to US security and signed a petition calling for congress not to pass the resolution.

    During the Obama administration, particularly during his second term, our damaged relationship with Turkey got worse as US financial assistance to them dropped precipitously. Then, in one of the greatest diplomatic blunders in US history, Obama’s State Department managed to leak embassy cables which characterized Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan as “relying on his charisma, instincts, and the filterings of advisors who pull conspiracy theories off the web or are lost in neo-Ottoman Islamist fantasies.” Doesn’t that sound just like how the arrogance of the Obama administration looked down on others?

    Following that embarrassing State Department fiasco, then-Vice President Joe Biden accused Turkey of funding the al-Nusra and al Qaeda terrorist organizations, to which Prime Minister Erdogan angrily and indignantly responded, “Biden has to apologize for his statements” and that if no apology is forthcoming, Biden would become “history to him.” Sleepy Joe subsequently apologized like a good little boy, but the damage was done.

    As if the damage with Turkey in 2007 was not bad enough, the Democrat-controlled House again sought to ruin our relationship with Turkey by passing resolution 296 on October 29, 2019. That resolution stated that “denouncing” the Armenian genocide at the hands of Turks was “a matter of American foreign policy.” Nancy Pelosi said she was “honored” to join with her colleagues by denouncing the Turks. Not surprisingly, a survey of attitudes toward the US subsequently found that 73% of Turkey’s people held a negative view of America and a mere 20% had a positive view. Lovely.

    All this led to collapsing military cooperation between the US and Turkey. In a stunning move for a NATO partner, Turkey acquired the advanced Russian S-400 Triumf air defense system from Moscow in July 2019 in a $2.5 billion deal. In retaliation, the Trump administration immediately cancelled the sale of F-35 Lockheed-Martin Lightning combat aircraft to Turkey. Citing Turkey's integration of the S-400 system, the US said the "F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform." Turkey then warned that it will take further retaliatory steps against the US. This is not how key NATO partnerships are improved.

    In an effort to heal the bleeding relationship, in November 2019 Prime Minister Erdogan visited the the Trump White House. But too much damage had been done. Our now thoroughly pi$$ed-off NATO partner arrested and convicted a US Consulate employee in Istanbul, Metin Topuz, sentencing him to nine years in prison on June 11, 2020. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was forced to call the conviction of Mr. Topuz “baseless” and “undermined the critical trust” in the US-Turkey relationship.

    We may be nearing the point of no return. If the hated Biden gets elected then that may be the last straw for Turkey. The US has so stupidly screwed up its relations with Ankara since 2007 that Turkey very well may feel forced to exit NATO. If that happens and the US loses its military presence in Turkey we will only have ourselves to blame. And the security position of the United States will be undermined significantly. Very significantly.

    Meanwhile, the American people keep gawping at their own navel.
  2. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    Kellen: Sir; cool relationship?


    Donald Trump's mixture of threats and locker-room banter infuriated Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His staff told the BBC that he threw the letter into the bin and launched the Syrian operation the same day. That could be proof there was no Trumpian green light.

    But ever since President Obama partnered up with the Syrian Kurds of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the jihadists of IS it was clear the arrangement would lead to problems with the Turks. That's because the SDF is very close to the Turkish Kurds of the PKK. Turkey says they are two halves of the same terror group.

    Presidents Erdogan and Trump discussed military action last December. Diplomatic sources here in Ankara suggest that Turkey's broader strategic objective was to detach the Kurds and the Americans.

    That, at any rate, has happened.

    The diplomatic debacle that has surrounded events in and around Syria is the background to President Erdogan's meeting in Ankara with a US delegation headed by Vice-President Mike Pence, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It is hard to find common ground between the two sides.
    TXplt and Huey Rider like this.

  3. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ G&G Evangelist

    Im pretty sure the reason Russia is in Syria today goes back to Obama treating Turkey like a chump, poisioning the well by the time Trump comes on the scene.
    By then USA is allied with Kurdsģ.
    So we were at odds with Turky and Syria.

    Iran is trying to wear bigboy pants, Im thinking Iran might be the next big noise.


    South America is quiet so we can expect something to blaze out in that direction.
    Im betting this seldom reported area will host a rather explosive flareup.

    Hong Kong will be annexed by martial law soon as pressure mounts for Congress to pass safe-harbor legislation to let Hong Kongers escape China’s newest police state.


    Expect more in the South China Sea.

    Chinese are trying to get a lock on Greenland's Mineral Wealth.


    China on the high seas winning hearts and minds?

    Russias North sea.



    Well when has Africa ever really been peacefull?
    Africa bears watching all the time.

    Quite a few european nations have contempt for our President Trump.
    Its a very real possibility something will ignite an a ultra liberal nation lie Germany , Great Brition or Sweden.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  4. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    Turkey really isn't our friend, though. They are no better than our other "ally", Pakistan.

    I may have shared this, but we have a regular who was Force Recon in Afghanistan. He jokes that he basically spent his time over there as the Ranger Smith of Jellystone Park.

    His job was to guard a massive, ancient forest on the southern border. One of the biggest cash cows for terrorist groups in the region, after drugs and human trafficking, is actually lumber - specifically high-end lumber.

    Poachers would come into the forest and fell a 1000 year old hardwood tree worth enough to feed their family for a year.

    Sensors and cameras were set up in the forest to notify the Marines when this was happening so they could respond. They would take out the poachers, and then guard the felled tree because they knew someone else would come back for it.

    If the poachers were successful, the lumber would be shipped from Afghanistan through Iran, and ultimately to Turkey. Turkey then sells the wood to the West as either "Turkish walnut" or "European walnut" or "European hardwood."

    Pretty much all of the money earned went back into ISIL.

    We know Turkey is supporting our enemies.
    BigEd63, TXplt, Jaison and 1 other person like this.
  5. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ G&G Evangelist

    What is Nato for?
    Trump: What does the US contribute to Nato in Europe?

    From its inception, Nato was a defensive military alliance intended to deter any attack by the then Soviet Union.

    Once the Cold War was over, Nato set about what it saw as its new tasks: an attempt to spread stability across Europe by welcoming in new members, by establishing a wide range of partnerships with other countries but also by using force on occasion - notably in the Balkans - to prevent aggression and genocide.

    But the alliance has always been more than just a military organisation.

    It is one of the central institutions of "the West", part of a whole range of international bodies through which the US and its allies sought to regulate the world that emerged from the defeat of Nazism in 1945.

    But fundamentally, Nato is an alliance of shared values and transatlantic unity. And this is why Mr Trump's arrival in the White House is proving so disruptive.

    The debate focuses around the target agreed by all Nato members that defence spending should reach 2% of GDP (gross domestic product, the total value of goods produced and services provided) by 2024.
    Spending is certainly up in many countries.

    Mr Trump can take some credit for that.

    But many allies may still struggle to reach the benchmark target.

    For President Trump, Germany, one of the richest of Washington's partners, is the greatest offender.
    Earlier this month, in remarks directed at the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, he said: "I don't know how much protection we get from protecting you."

    Noting that Germany negotiated gas deals with Russia, he added: "They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we're the schmucks paying for the whole thing."

    Questioning the value of Nato to the US itself is something new and deeply worrying to many of Washington's partners.


    US to withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany in 'strategic' move


  6. mitchr

    mitchr G&G Evangelist

    I remember a story of the Commandant of Ft. Bliss, in El Paso, threatening to put El Paso off limits to all military personnel & El Paso squealing like a stuck hog, because it would cripple the town's economy. I'm sure that is Germany's thought right now.:p
    Huey Rider and blaster like this.