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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up (122 comments)

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  •  What is the reaction in Turkey? (4+ / 0-)

    on the Damascus strike?  

    •  "It's just Israel being Israel." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whizdom, skohayes, happymisanthropy

      "One day Lebanon, another day Gaza,  today Damascus, tomorrow probably Gaza again."

      is the general reaction.

      But it does put PM Erdoğan in a bit of a bind for making nice with Israel again. He's going to go to Gaza this month, I think, to try to balance that out.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:59:52 AM PDT

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      •  I wonder what this might mean (0+ / 0-)

        for the Israel/Turkey rapproachmont initiative the President was pushing.  

        Syria post Assad will necessarily involve regional cooperation, Turkey is our only major ally in the region with constructive relationships with the principal actors (Russia, Iran, Lebanon).

      •  Doesn't Turkey view Assad with dismay? (0+ / 0-)

        Don't they view Iran's shipping of arms with some discomfort? If so, I would think that Turkey is not greatly displeased by Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons being destroyed. Syria is, despite Turkey's remarkable passivity, a huge security problem for the Turks. That their moment to act passed them by quite some time ago is all too obvious now. Back when protests first started, Turkey had its moment, but a lack of courage in Ankara sidelined the only force that could have fundamentally altered the path Syria is now on. But history is littered with missed opportunities. Indeed, one might almost say that history is nothing but.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:49:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See below (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          whizdom, aufklaerer
          Doesn't Turkey view Assad with dismay?
          - No. What is there to be dismayed about? The government saw an opportunity, tried it, it didn't work out and became a liability, and they moved on.
          The people of Turkey were never interested in getting involved in Syria, and even in the beginning there was not much public support for the opposition. There is essentially none now.
          The people in Turkey never swallowed the 'pure, noble, innocents who only want to be free' line that the opposition pushed so hard.
          Don't they view Iran's shipping of arms with some discomfort? If so, I would think that Turkey is not greatly displeased by Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons being destroyed.
          - No. The government and people of Turkey do not think Iran or Syria are threats to them. And Turkey's being a member of NATO adds a level of security.
          There is actually displeasure with Israel attacking Syria. Just as there is when Israel attacks Gaza and Lebanon.
          Syria is, despite Turkey's remarkable passivity, a huge security problem for the Turks.
          No, it isn't. 1 - See the answer above. 2 - Turkey has a large military. 3 - There are more than 600,000 land mines along the Turkish/Syrian border.
          The possible security problems for Turkey are that thousands of armed rebel fighters might try to escape to Turkey if the current string of rebel losses continues, and a small possibility that the PKK will be able to use northern Syria as a base, but the flatness and openness of most of the border makes that unlikely.
          And what passivity? Do you really think that Turkey should have sent it's military into Syria on its own just because they felt like doing it? Turkey isn't Israel.
          That their moment to act passed them by quite some time ago is all too obvious now. Back when protests first started, Turkey had its moment, but a lack of courage in Ankara sidelined the only force that could have fundamentally altered the path Syria is now on.
          - What is most obvious is that Turkey had no business getting militarily involved in Syria and didn't. That's not a lack of courage.
          I have no idea which force you are referring to, but if you are referring to the Turkish military I can only say again that Turkey isn't Israel who 'courageously' tried to 'fundamentally alter the paths' of Gaza and Lebanon several times. That worked out well, didn't it.

          Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

          by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:56:59 AM PDT

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          •  Thanks for your point of view. (0+ / 0-)

            It's comforting to hear from someone who can speak on behalf of Turkey. I was wondering what the official position of the Turksh government was. So thanks for communicating that.

            I do remember that, back in 1982, when Hafez Al Assad massacred almost 20,000 people in a single town, Turkey amassed troops on its border with Syria and made it pretty clear that this wouldn't be tolerated. Times have changed. Maybe Turkey just doesn't care about chaos and murder right across its border, but it used to.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Sun May 05, 2013 at 03:44:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think that is correct. (0+ / 0-)

              When the Hama massacre occcurred in Feb., 1982 as the culmination of the 1976-1982 period of unrest in Syria, Turkey was just beginning its transition back to civilian government (in 1983) following the military coup of 1980.

              You may remember that at that time (Feb. 1982):

              the Reagan phase of the Cold War was in full swing,

              the Soviet war in Afghanistan was in full swing,

              the Iran-Iraq War was in full swing, and

              the Lebanese Civil War was in full swing.

              In 1982 Turkey was mostly just trying to keep itself secure in a very insecure region, and the military/civilian ggovernment was trying to rebuild and liberalize the economy and to open the economy to foreign trade and investment.

              I have not heard of any massive military buildup on the Turkish/Syrian border or of any attempt by the Turkish government to try to intimidate the Syrian government at that time.

              If there was a military buildup it was probably preparation for any possible influx of refugees.

              I also know that at that time the Turkish government was trying to improve relations with Syria and in March, 1982 two Turkish/Syrian trade and cooperation agreements were signed.

              Two years later, in 1984, Turkish/Syrian relations began to seriously deteriorate.

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:18:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Probably too early to know Turkey's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, whizdom

      reaction to this particular strike, but Turkey has made known its fears relating to the spread of the conflict in the area.  A couple days ago, Juan Cole included in his blog an article entitled Syria's Neighbors Have Rising Anxiety about Crisis that included three Aljazeera videos, one of which focused on Turkish concerns.

      Turkey is strategizing how to limit the impact of the Syria war on Turkey. Ankara is particularly concerned by the emergence of a relatively autonomous Kurdish area in northern Syria, fearing that PKK guerrillas might find refuge there. Turkey is also deeply worried about chemical weapons falling into hands of various sorts of guerrillas. Turkey would like the conflict to end sooner rather than later.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:03:19 AM PDT

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      •  The Aljazerra video about Turkey (0+ / 0-)

        is a steaming pile of bullshit - but it is Aljazerra doing what Aljazeera does - and I am surprised that Juan Cole would use it.

        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

        by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:14:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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