Turkish President Recep Erdogan is a curious case. Having rebelled against the obvious love affair of the Obama administration with the real Islamic state –terrorist Shia Iran, and the associated duplicity of the Western ‘liberal’ establishment (the same Deep State that is now going after President Trump), Erdogan pushed the Neo-Ottoman Empire into the open and welcoming arms of Russian Presdient Putin, a historical enemy, even buying the Russian S-400 air defense system and losing Turkey’s bid for the American F-35 stealth multi-role fighter in the process. It seems Erdogan, and Putin, sensed the disingenuous of the Western ‘liberal’ (read globalist) mind when it came to their own nation’s self interest.
But with a religious crusade by Christian Russia and Shia proxy armies on its southern border, Sunni Turkey has reconsidered and launched a military offensive to create a ‘safe zone’ on the Syrian border to guard against the growing threat.
Israel is also launching airstrikes repeatedly against the Russia-Syria-Iran alliance to prevent the exact same thing on its northern border with Syria.
The historical threads are interesting to say the least. The three Abrahamic religions (including the two Islamic branches) are once again fighting for control of the Levant, a thousand years after the original Crusades.
Meanwhile, Russia is doing its propaganda level best to break up the alliance that has caused every Russian/Soviet leader to lose sleep for the last 80 years. This was the real agenda behind Russia’s desire to sell the S-400 to Ankara — to push a wedge into the crack between Turkey and the West.
With Turkey’s move towards Islamization, the old secular NATO state of Kamal Ataturk in the 1950s is long gone, replaced with a full push for Jihad and Sharia law by Erdogan and his cronies, a weak so-called coup by whatever was left of the Turkish military’s original mandate for separation of church and state, not withstanding.
So what’s the Trump administration supposed to do with this morass? It seems The White House has made the decision that keeping Turkey close is better than letting it drift all the way into someone else’s less friendly arms. Trump has reached out to Erdogan and attempted to form a man-to-man relationship, letting Ankara know they have a BFF now in Washington, but also drawing bright red lines as to what behavior is acceptable and what will bring real negative consequences for Turkey.
The administration has reportedly agreed to sell ammunition to Turkey as it ramps up military operations in Idlib, Syria, taking major casualties in the process from Syrian (supported by Russia) aircraft. By the way, the kill ratio between NATO F-16s and Russian-made fighter aircraft seems to be weighted heavily against Assad’s pilots, but that’s for another column.
What I find fascinating is the obvious knack Donald Trump has for dealing with this type of situation. POTUS has walked a tight line between bringing Turkey back into the fold, confronting but not alienating Russia, and bringing down the Iranian regime — all really positive for the national security of the United States, despite what the Deep State talking heads say on CNN.
Secretary of State Pompeo obviously deserves credit for any positive outcome as well, as he skillfully implements the orders from his boss.
So on the big issues, Trump is winning in the Middle East; notice there are no American troops being killed in Syria anymore. Afghanistan of course is another story.
We only hope that Trump and Pompeo can root out the other Deep State actors inside the State Department globally who daily work against the agenda of this president.
Trump is betting that Erdogan will not last in Turkey, and eventually there will be a new regime in power that will be more friendlier to the United States — the relationship is in caretaker mode and worth saving.
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