This past weekend, I spoke at a retreat sponsored by the Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute in the beautiful Colorado mountains in the town of Silverthorne. We covered many topics, one of which, of course, was the current crisis with ISIS. One of the attendees lauded the vote that had just been held in the Turkish Parliament approving their assistance in the “very significant counter terrorism operation with many moving parts conducted over a period of time” – as John Kerry called it — I call it a war.
Anyway, in responding to the inquiry of the retreat attendee, I cautioned him because nothing is as it seems on the surface. Let’s not forget the current Turkish leader, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, is a dedicated Islamist who has been supporting Islamic terrorism and jihadism all while suppressing freedoms and stressing sharia law as a guiding principle.
As a matter of fact, we shared this recent video of Erdogan displaying his anti-Semitism and hatred of our ally Israel — perhaps not considered an ally by Obama either.
But I’m not the only one with concerns about the Turkish vote. As reported by Newsweek.com, “After a long period of hesitation, a bit of American arm-twisting and a fierce war fast closing in on its borders with Syria and Iraq, Turkey has finally joined the U.S.-led coalition against the extremists of the Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS.”
“Or has it? Turkey’s goals in joining the fight differ from what American officials say they are. In some cases, the Turkish aims may even create friction with other essential components of the coalition, pushing the U.S. to finesse those differences or make stark choices.”
“The parliament in Ankara voted on October 2 on a motion, pressed by the new president (and longtime prime minister before that), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that authorizes the government to order military incursions into Syria and Iraq. The measure would also allow Turkey’s allies to operate from Turkish soil and use its military bases. Erdogan easily got his way. The 298–98 vote was warmly welcomed by Washington, which for weeks had been coaxing Turkey to join the widening coalition against ISIS as Erdogan remained conspicuously aloof from the U.S.’s efforts.”
The real desire behind Erdogan’s intent, and that of Ankara, is to offset any strengthening of the Kurdish Regional Government — i.e. the Kurdish Peshmerga Army. We’ve written here about the Kurds and their struggles against Turkey and the continuing strife regarding the Kurdish PKK and the Turks. What the Turks fear – along with Iran and Iraq — is an independent Kurdish State. Don’t be fooled, Turkey has been supporting the Sunni jihadist terrorists operating in Syria for the entire time. This is the movement that spawned what was once al-Qaida in Iraq — now ISIS — so Turkey is completely complicit. However, Erdogan and Turkey are caught in an interesting dilemma — NATO membership and the drive to restoring Turkey as a major dominant player in the Islamic world — an ideologically reshaping Islamic world. Erdogan doesn’t want a secular Muslim nation as the father of the modern Turkish state, Kemal Ataturk, desired and established. Yet neither does Erdogan want to lose the masking of his intent while seeking NATO recognition and membership.
Newsweek says, “Turkey is anxious that the fight against ISIS will help the PKK and its ultimate aim: to establish a separate Kurdistan. “Turkey is concerned about the diplomatic and military boost the PKK received due to its effective fight against ISIS,” says Gonul Tol, director of the Washington, D.C.–based Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies. “There has been a lot of talk in Western capitals about removing the PKK from the terror list. The arms the U.S. sent to Peshmerga reportedly ended up in the hands of the PKK and Ankara raised this issue with Washington on several occasions. And it is important to know that the PKK is not only listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey but by the U.S. and the European Union, too.”
So, did Erdogan leverage this factoid as a rallying cry not just to win the Parliamentary vote, but also to fool us in the West?
So in the short term, Turkey will support a fight against ISIS just to get “Frankenstein’s monster” back under control, but in the long term it’s about degrading and denying Kurdish military strength and independence. Turkey’s little monster ISIS has done a very good job of almost accomplishing the goal for them. The Kurds, who live in the areas ISIS contests, suspect that beyond fighting ISIS—who are, like the Turks, Sunni Islamists—Erdogan’s hidden aim is to stem the growing importance of Kurdish fighters and politicians in the coalition.
As Newsweek reports, “while President Barack Obama announced his intention to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, the Turkish authorities continued to allow Islamists from the rest of the world to freely cross the Turkish border to join forces with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. And the Turkish authorities seemed happy to turn a blind eye as oil from areas captured by ISIS was smuggled through Turkey to be sold for hard cash to fund their reign of terror.”
So we shouldn’t believe there are any good intentions behind Turkey’s vote. Here we go again, an Islamist sympathizing administration, including Obama himself — will align with the Islamist-supporting Turkey and throw the pro-West, pro-Israel, and pro-America Kurdish people under the bus — quite typical and expected from ol’ Barack who called Erdogan one of his best friends — don’t think I ever heard him speak of Bibi Netanyahu with such admiration.
And don’t think Obama will only align the U.S. with Turkey in his “leading from behind” dealings with ISIS — be wary of Obama weakening any sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program in order to enlist the support of the largest state sponsor of terrorism, Shia Iran, to assist in the fight against ISIS — the defense of Baghdad with its Iranian Revolutionary Guard-supported militias.
Secretly — well, not to those of us paying attention — Obama is once again aligning with the states who are the largest supporters of Islamic terrorism, Qatar, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Our headlines should show our alignment with Egypt, Jordan, UAE, and the Kurds to degrade, defeat, and ultimately destroy this global scourge.