Jim Carey | The Pontiac Tribune
Focused on Assad since 2011, Erdogan in Turkey quietly revealed himself as the tyrant Washington was looking for in the Middle East all along.
THE MIDDLE EAST’S ACTUAL TYRANT
This week US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss solutions to the crises in Syria.
The end result of the talks was a potential beginning of a joint effort between the US and Russia on combating ISIS and other “radical islamist” groups in Syria and Iraq.
The biggest question that has been asked since ISIS was made the top priority of US policy in Syria was of course: what should be done about the tyrannical Bashar Assad regime in a new Syrian state?
After the talks in Moscow the most unbelievable answer was presented in agreement by both leaders — Assad can remain in power — only “for now” and of course, by US terms.
In this conflict, nothing has played out how our leaders predicted it would.
So now the “tyrant;” who’s removal was the stated US objective in Syria (according to Obama ISIS could not be defeated with Assad in power) will be allowed to remain in power for the time being. So after all the lives lost, the wealth squandered, millions displaced and the rise of a whole new breed of terrorism — Assad is finally being viewed in a more realistic manner.
While the Western world was endlessly engaged in attempting to remove Assad from power in Syria, opening the region up to scores of foreign interests, Erdogan in Turkey seized power through non-democratic means, censorship and suppression of dissent.
FOCUS ON ASSAD CREATES NEW DICTATOR
Syria’s neighbor is the formerly “western styled republic” of Turkey. Once considered to be the most moderate region in the nation since founded when it broke away from the Ottoman Empire after World War One. Turkey was considered a crossroads between the Middle East’s cultural heritage and imported democratic values from the West; yet in the past several years the government has turned more conservative, religious, deceitful and oppressive.
Turkey’s current president is Recep Tayyip Erdogan who rose to political prominence as a founding member of the Justice and Development Party; a self proclaimed “conservative democratic” group but they are also known to push conservative Islamic policies. Erdogan formed this party after he had been formerly banned from Turkish politics and even imprisoned four months for disruptive protests (the irony in this will be clear in a moment) after being on the wrong side of a failed coup attempt and then found guilty of “attempting to subvert Turkish secularism” by the Turkish Constitutional Court.
If you think maybe Erdogan was possibly being unfairly targeted when he was arrested; let’s add some context.
Erdogan was arrested for violating laws written into the Turkish penal code concerning the risks of violent Islamic extremism in the region.
He was accused of “inciting violence” when his readings at protests included gems such as: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…”
Now consider the panic Americans go into when groups like ISIS use lines like that in their propaganda.
That kind of rhetoric would send US corporate media into a 24 hour fear cycle but it’s never mentioned when it’s uttered by our closest allies like Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The worst part is that despite an electoral blow to Erdogan in June of this year his party managed to regain the lost ground and then some.
Erdgoan’s party full of Islamic conservatives has managed to secure their dominance and turn Turkey into a single party state.
The story of a formerly strong republic falling to Islamic conservatism is by no means new. Erdogan’s stranglehold over the Turkish political system has lead to exactly the type of behavior you’d expect from an Islamic ruled nation as compared to a Western liberal democracy.
1 Journalist Dead, 3 More Arrested After Exposing Turkey Arming Syrian Extremists
Domestically there has been massive disturbances inside Turkey that have been fairly well concealed by Western media sources and the Erdogan regime itself. The crimes range from violent crackdowns on peaceful protestors, suppressing free speech (including banning Twitter), and waging political battles against racial and ethnic minorities engaged in Turkish politics.
Turkish foreign policy has been no better with the NATO member pulling strings all over the region. Erdogan has made several overtly hostile moves towards both allied groups of confirmed moderates (i.e. Kurds) fighting ISIS on the ground and towards the rival power in the area: Russia.
The intentional attacks on Kurdish forces fighting ISIS may have been ignore but the recent downing of a Russian jet in airspace that is still disputed is amping up tensions to a whole new level. As a NATO member Turkey is under presumed protection from the west but the current shake up with Russia has left them with weak support from western allies.
Add to that opposition members of the Turkish parliament stating their willingness to work around Erdogan in cooperation with Russia and you see a different picture of the “model Middle Eastern republic.”
The narrative of the boogeyman in Syria is gone but the mishandling of the crisis there and the previous obsession with toppling Assad at all costs has led to a rise of a new monster right next door.
The problem is this time the monster is our ally and seems to be ready to bite off more than the US is ready to chew.