Syria quicksand

Syria quicksand

Years ago pundits warned Western inciters of the so-called Arab Spring, that if the fire of that “spring” was carried to Syria, not only would Syria catch on fire but the consequences of such a development would be felt all over the world. There were even some people who warned that Syria was neither a Libya, nor an Iraq or Tunisia. No one was of course trying to humiliate any one of the three countries that suffered at various degrees from the “democracy nourishing program” of the “Western World.”

Over 1.5 million Iraqis died since the father and son Bush periods and in between them the Clinton administration tried to save the Iraqis from ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein and push that country into an era of democratic governance. What a big success? The world is still battling the consequences of the failed Iraq campaigns of the Americans. The Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse saga testified bitterly to the status the saviors considered best fit the people they saved from a ruthless dictator. Guantanamo Bay stories, likewise, demonstrated how highly Muslims and Islam’s holy book, the Quran, were appreciated. Mind you, most of these stories were written by the American media, demonstrating the existence of democratic norms, including press freedom and tolerance of “nasty” journalists investigating the dirty laundry of the “most powerful ones.”

In any case, when people started saying the time had come for a change of regime or war drums started to beat for Syria, some went to the extent of warning that such a development would be no less that stirring up a hornet’s nest and the resulting colossal impact on global security of such an adventure might carry the world to what French apothecary and reputed seer Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus) predicted back in the 1500s as the “Great War” that started in the east.

For the past almost four years, at varying degrees, everyone has been suffering from the consequences of the Syria “democratization program.” Of course the biggest price is paid by the people of Syria. Is it over? Unfortunately more is in the pipeline, as not only has Russia become entangled militarily in the Syria quicksand, the Americans and the Turks, of course with some other “local” allies like the Saudis and the Qataris, are reported to be in preparation for an enforced aerial campaign on the remaining military muscle of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and of course the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist gang.

There are even claims that Turkey has stockpiled a huge armored presence on the border with Syria and is pondering a land operation simultaneously or immediately after the new U.S.-led aerial enforced campaign. The fundamental aim of Turkey is unfortunately not to battle ISIL terrorists but to create a “safe haven” in Syria, long and large enough to prevent a Syrian Kurdish self-rule area from coming into “physical contact” with the Iraqi Kurdish region. The aim of this policy is obvious… Turkey is scared of the prospect of Kurds acquiring some sort of statehood with American-led international backing. The Americans, to soothe Turkey’s objections, declared last week that they stopped providing arms and ammunition to Syrian Kurds and their contributions would be directed to “mild” Arab elements, but everyone dealing with these issues knows well that Americans “never ever” provided arms, ammunition or food to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) either. Americans have always been trustworthy allies of Turkey on this issue.

In Turkey, people sometimes joke, saying, “Who died of telling lies?” Turkish-American relations are just in that mood on the anti-terrorism business. Probably Turkey’s terrorists and America’s terrorists are not the same.

Turkey’s obsession with the prospect of creation of a Kurdish state, its persistent demand of declaration of a no-fly zone and creation of a safe haven which could host millions of new Syrian refugees of course are all based on some legitimate fears. A country that already has over three million Syrian refugees, who spent over the past years more than $8 billion because of the massive refugee problem it was almost left alone to deal with, has the right to be worried of the consequences of a prolonged civil war in Syria. As a country suffering from PKK terrorism for many decades and seeing how the gang has been using the Syria situation to consolidate itself and the abetting of Syrian Kurds by the Americans and the others as “partners” in the fight against ISIL, as if those arms don’t end up in the hands of PKK attacking Turkey, Turkey has all the right to demand “swift and result oriented action” on Syria.

But, a land war might end up triggering something so far unthinkable. What if Iran or worse Russia takes action on land as well in support of their ally Syrian regime? What will happen if body bags start flooding Turkish streets?