Some of you may recall how earlier this month President Trump was beating the war drum to encourage protesters to overthrow the Iranian government in the name of freedom, democracy and human rights. The Iranian regime had arrested hundreds of people in a crackdown and had invaded Syria in the name of fighting terrorism … oh wait, that’s Erdogan’s Turkey:
“More than 300 people have been arrested in Turkey after posting messages online criticising the country’s military offensive across the border in Syria.
The messages condemning the Turkish military operation to push a Kurdish militia out of Syria’s northern region of Afrin were posted on social media.
The users were detained for spreading “terror propaganda”, officials said.
Turkish authorities warned they would prosecute individuals opposing or criticising the Afrin offensive.
On Monday, Turkey’s interior ministry said that a total of 311 people had been held for “spreading terrorist propaganda” since the operation began 10 days ago.
Detainees, it added, included politicians, journalists and activists. …”
Remember our allies in northern Syria? The gallant Kurds who had fought ISIS? What has happened to those guys now that ISIS has been defeated?
“AFRIN, Syria — For more than a week, my home in northwestern Syria has been under a full-scale assault by the Turkish Army and thousands of Turkish-aligned Islamist jihadists.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been threatening this invasion for a very long time. The Turkish Army has been targeting our villages with mortars and artillery for many months now.
I and my fellow members of the Kurdish Women’s and People’s Protection Units, often known as the Y.P.J. and Y.P.G., have fought hard for years to keep the Islamic State out of this autonomous region of Syria known as Rojava. We endured Turkey’s barrages and avoided returning fire, even after civilian casualties, so as not to provide a pretext for this invasion.
But Mr. Erdogan has nevertheless unleashed airstrikes, tanks and troops on this area that was once a relative island of peace in this war-torn country.
One would imagine the international community and especially the United States, which has been more than happy to partner with us in the fight against the Islamic State, would firmly oppose such an unprovoked attack executed in the name of racial hatred — Mr. Erdogan has stated his intention to commit ethnic cleansing of Afrin’s Kurdish population, or, as he says, to give the region to its “real owners” — but instead, it has been greeted largely with silence, and therefore tacitly condoned. …”
Turkey has launched a race war against the Kurds in northern Syria. The Kurds have been ethnically cleansing the Assyrian population. It is a real mess.
“When Taha Mustafa al-Khatr, his wife Amina, his two daughters Zakia and Safa and son Sulieman went to bed in the tiny village of Maabatli, they placed their shoes outside the door. Most Middle Eastern families do the same.
It’s a tradition and a sign of cleanliness in the home. The cheap plastic slippers were still there, of course, when the Turkish shell hit their house at one in the morning – and when I arrived a few hours later, I found the same shoes, a few blown down the stairs but most still neatly lined up next to each other. Did one of the daughters choose the slippers with the plastic bows? Even the rescue workers – such as they are in the Kurdish province of Afrin – didn’t touch the shoes. They left one of the blood-soaked bedspreads where it was in the rain under the collapsed roof of the cheap breeze-block house. The bodies, of course, had gone. …”
“Turkey’s formal status as a “democracy” is a joke: Turkish despot Recip Erdogan has just gotten through purging the country of any and all critics – newspaper editors and reporters are rotting in jail, dissident political parties are banned, recalcitrant judges are dismissed and arrested – after phony claims of a “coup” by the military against his increasingly authoritarian rule. There actually was no such coup: the whole thing was staged for the sole purpose of exposing his enemies so he could either jail them or kill them.
After canoodling with the jihadists who were trying to take over Syria, giving them sanctuary and financing them by buying their oil, he’s now taking credit for their defeat – which was actually accomplished by the Kurdish forces of the YPG – and declaring that he intends to march his US-financed army to the Iraqi border. In order to facilitate this, he’s commanded the US to step aside so as to pave the way for his triumphal march.
In short, Erdogan is a madman.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proclaimed that we intend to stay in Syria “indefinitely,” in order to prevent a nonexistent threat from Iran. But what this really means is we’re there for as long as it takes the Turks to realize that their annexationist agenda in Syria is a nonstarter. US forces are in Syria to keep the Turks and the Kurds – deadly enemies – separated. That task, however, may very well stretch into infinity as long as Erdogan remains in power.
What is becoming increasingly is clear that Erdogan’s rule is definitely not in American interests, nor is it in the interests of his long-suffering people, who are being subjected to a slow Islamization campaign. He aims to be the new Caliph, and to fulfill the expansionist dreams of the Pan-Turkic movement, which claims hegemony over all Turkic-speaking people, i.e., territory extending all the way to China.
While I’m not advocating that the US launch another one of its infamous regime-change operations in Ankara, one way to delegitimize Erdogan in the eyes of his own people – and especially in the eyes of the Turkish military – would be to get him kicked out of NATO.
That Erdogan is a dangerous loon is exemplified by what he has the gall to call “Operation Olive Branch” – his current all-out invasion of Syria. He is not only attacking the Kurds, who are US allies, he is actually threatening the American troops currently embedded with the Kurds in Manbij – the pivot point where Turks, Kurds, and the US meet. …”
Erdogan’s Turkey is bold enough to tell the US military to get out of Manbij. As Justin Raimondo notes, it would have been much easier to wash our hands of this mess. Call it “America First.” We can’t do that though because “America First doesn’t mean America Alone.”