Noble side of Syria alliance?
On one side, there is a creature trying to show off his strength, superiority and perhaps determination by pulling out the heart of a captured soldier and eating it in front of an “amateur” camera. On the other side, there is a ruthless dictator mercilessly bombarding a town, killing civilians in the hundreds while trying to exterminate the rebels. Is there a noble side to align with in such a civil war?
Those who say Syria ought to have been provided a resolution while rebel activities were confined to demonstrations in city squares are of course perfectly right. But what to do when and if a country believes it is faced with a conspiracy? What if that conspiracy is designed in some comfortable rooms thousands of kilometers away? What if that conspiracy is a part of a program to reassign “national” roles and reshape “national” borders in a manner to accord with global designs, as well as the security of a regionally tiny state that happens to have immense international clout?
The dictator killing his people cannot be defended even if the tall, bold, bald and ever-angry absolute ruler in Turkey, probably because he is as tall as he, considered the dictator until the other day as his brother. The families going on vacation together or watching football matches cheek and jowl can be no excuse either for the atrocities committed in the neighboring country. Still, is it possible to condone Turkey’s continuing provision of “logistical” supporter to those heart-eating beasts? Worse, is it possible to align with one of the two ruthlessly warring factions of a civil war in the name of good neighborliness and brotherhood between the two nations?
Naturally, from Washington to London and beyond, people with brains are asking the obvious question about the day after. What will happen if the ruthless dictator falls tomorrow and his stockpile of chemical and biological weaponry, the scud missiles and the Russian-made sophisticated arms systems fall into the hands of zealots like al-Nusra or even worse? Can Turkey’s most lectured foreign minister or the neo-sultan guarantee to Turks and others that there is no such grave danger? Would that heart-eating Islamist terrorist think for a second about the consequences of firing such weapons at a nearby country considered by such zealots as having no right to a place under the sun?
As expected at the White House, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came out of the talks empty-handed and with the stern warning that he was expected to lend a second chance to the U.S.-Russia brokered Geneva process. He might have obtained Washington’s blessings on some other issues – for example the Kurdish opening or Erdoğan’s urge to become the elected sultan of the country – but on Syria the message was rather plain: No intervention.
Indeed, Erdoğan and his men must have forgotten one key detail. U.S. President Barrack Obama was elected on a disengagement pledge. He withdrew – as much as possible – from Iraq, disengaging from Afghanistan. The cost of those adventures has been immense, of course not only to the U.S., but more so to those countries and neighbors. Why should Obama get involved on the side of a live-heart-eating beast in a war of attrition between two beasts? For humanitarian reasons?
Well, humanitarian considerations are, were and will be very important in the conduct of politics. But is it really so in Realpolitik? Iraqis were saved from Saddam Hussein. Right, but at what cost? How many Iraqis lost their lives; how many Iraqi women were raped ruthlessly by their liberators? What about the Abu Ghraibs or the Guantanamos?
Anyone questioning why Turkey is so buried in the Syria quagmire is immediately labeled as pro-al-Assad by the allegiant media and the government. Come on, be honest. Turkey should of course provide all possible humanitarian assistance to the refugees as well as the displaced persons inside Syria. But, this is a war of attrition between two beasts, and if we do not want to see new Reyhanlıs, if we do not want to be dragged into the mire, Turkey ought to stay away. This is not our war.