A Wider Siege of Israel?

Beyond Cairo, Israel Sensing a Wider Siege by Ethan Bronner, New York Times. BLUF:

“With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nations, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor.”

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Not going to get into the whole Kurdish debate thing. I'm more concerned about Turkey's threat to provide military escorts for the Gaza "peace flotillas". What happens if Israel and Turkey somehow get in a shooting war and Turkey invokes the mutual assistance provision (article 5 I think?)from the NATO treaty? Anybody want to discuss the ramifications of that??? It could potentially destroy the NATO treaty if members had to choose between upholding the treaty and assist the Turks in a fight with Israel or support Israel in their fight with a fellow NATO member.

NATO Treaty Articles – From the internet. They don’t appear to cover any Turkish attempted move into the Med far south of their country. That would be aggression, not an attack on their country, which interestingly does not appear to be covered by these treaty articles, or at least the Anatolian Peninsular part of it which is in Asia.
Article 5
“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Article 6
“For the purpose of Article 5 an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian departments of France, on the occupation forces of any Party in Europe, on the islands under the jurisdiction of any Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer or on the vessels or aircraft in this area of any of the Parties.“

CBCalif,

"FDR - "there is nothing to fear but fear itself," a statement he did not repeat after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Statements such as that by FDR only apply on a situational basis, not generically.

Why would FDR have to, the actions through Eisenhower and MacArthur pretty much validated the statement.  Then he died before he saw the successful conclusion of WWII.

 I'm tracking U.S. strategic interests.  Unfortunately, one of those has to be oil.  I guess?  You would think that western civilization would have created another source for moving motorized vehicles from point A to point B.  Would be nice to get out of the Middle East over that one.  Maybe that's a bridge too far for "western civilization"?

"destruction of anti-western terrorist groups located there". Sure, got it.  Took ten years to get bin Laden, that was post 9/11.  There were also the 90s escapades to try and get him.  So, what, 20 years to get one dude.  Zawahiri "The Dr.", what another ten years.  By that time we will more than likely have multiple bin Laden types.  The reality is you can throw all the clandestine CIA covert assets, or DOD SOF assets at surgically removing these leaders/cells, but they continue to spawn/mutate.  The populace, pick what ever Arab country, harbors them, tolerates them, is sympathetic to them, provides them freedom of movement, is fearful of them (Like the Saudi Royal family with bin Laden) etc etc.  Our interests are only effective when we can leverage the governments and the populace.  Right now, it seems, we are losing that strategic aspect of what ultimately makes us effective.  Egypt, and now Turkey seem to be moving away from helping us.  

"not a chance" Zero?  I did say "may" reduce.  Given the growing issues in the Middle East, especially with Turkey now jumping into the fight, it seems to me we need to change something to calm the emotions.  Why not work with the Palestinians on what they are asking for with regards to "pre 1967 borders".  We give them what they are asking for, and see what happens.  What if (key word) it reduces (key word) the growth of the terrorist groups.  Then good.  If not the we continue the same old same old ball game.  Less groups = less strategic surgical strike efforts.  

This is the ultimate reality that has been going for thousands of years - "Yes the Arabs, Turks, the British, and other previous conquerors who forcefully laid waste to ancient Jewish lands are angry because the Jews forcefully took it back, not were resettled there." Forcefully took it back?  When?  With what force?  Pre 1917 or Post 1917?  1800s battle that I'm missing here?  I was tracking that in Dec 1917, British Troops began the military enforcement for the initial resettlement of Jews.  And this is when the modern day Israeli military was birthed.  Am I missing something?

"Soothing...feelings". Not wanting to sooth feelings, just trying to figure out where to gain greater successes.  It seems like the feelings that are being soothed the most are Israel's.  All other players are at varying degrees of irrelevance. How much ancient land does Israel need?  Was not pre 1967 land good enough?  Why can't Israel keep pre 1967 and be happy since they were happy with it prior to 1967?  Are we willing to die on our sword so to speak over this issue which seems to be driving many Arab countries/groups in a state of increased aggressive behavior?

"Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are going to continue to sell this country all the oil we need, that is in their ruling classes strategic and economic interest.". If this is the case, why on earth are we wasting our time with Libya?  It seems like chaos is ruling our strategic interests. 

"Your statement that "Hamas and Hezbollah are realities because of ... Chaim Weizmann (1917 and 1948) and Gaza since 1967 is similar to blaming Allied victory in World War One for creating Nazis and Fascists instead of looking to Prussia's historic culture of militarism and perceived need for European domination and an Italian cliques fanciful attempt to recreate the Roman Empire.". Nazism and Fascism were not religious realities.  They were atheistic ideologies, with no written doctrine, that did not come about because of WWI, that have since died off.  Islam is a religion.  Hamas and Hezbollah are made up of Muslims who see the perceived persecution of other Muslims in Palestine at the hands of another religion, Judaism.  I can see a link for their existence.  We had U.S. Army leaders who saw WWII coming.  COL Conner took young Eisenhower under his wing in order to prepare him for the eventual failure of the Treaty of Versailles.  Many knew the Prussian history and were prepared.  What did Conner tell Eisenhower, 'We cannot escape another great war. When we go into that war it will be in company with allies...We must insist on individual and single responsibility—leaders will have to learn how to overcome nationalistic considerations in the conduct of campaigns. One man who can do it is Marshall—he is close to being a genius.'  Yep, Marshall, the SECSTATE that told Truman not recognize the State of Israel because it would start a war.  Not too "crazy" because as far as I can tell we are still at war.  Truman did not get Marshall's "vote" or 2nd term.  Eisenhower did, as well as his own second term. 

The Balfour Declaration - See SECSTATE Marshall.  And he was not about appeasement or sympathetic bias, just cold hearted sound reason.  Crusades?  Like the ones from a thousand years ago?  Or "Bush the Lesser" "Crusade".  I'm still trying to work with the last 100 years.

"Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qeada, the Taliban, and all the other Islamic fundamentalist groups and their supporters want a return to Islamic domination in a land governed by strict Muslim beliefs in their extended part of the world." Hmmmmm not really seeing that becoming a reality.  However, more nation building, manipulation of dictators could push the region in that direction.  If I recall, Kabul was a pretty moderate city prior to 1973. But here come the Russians wanting to install their own Marxist leaders.  Then boom scorched earth invasion and the birth of the modern day Taliban.  That's how radical Islam starts.  The Taliban and Al Qaeda did not exist prior to the overt Russian Invasion.  
The reason that the Taliban had such a hard core dark ages approach to Afghanistan is because they hated Marxism because Russia invaded to give them "secularism". Afghanistan was doing fine prior to cold war involvement. 

"Bin Laden and Company's anger was / is against the Christians nations involvement in / and presence on the soil of the Arabian Peninsular. That is what birthed Al Qeada."
Russian scorched earth invasion of Afghanistan gave birth to bin Laden, and bin Laden created the Arab Jihad base in Peshawar, Pakistan in order to fight the Soviets.  Only later did he have issue with the Saudi Royal family for basing Christian U.S. Forces to support the Gulf War.  Something about Mecca and Medina.  That's when we became a target.

"Hezbollah was a reaction to Palestinian encroachment into Southern Lebanon...Our only strategic interest vis-a-vis Hezbollah is to repay them for the bombing of the Marine barracks, at least ten fold in a language people of that part of the world understand.". Wasn't it Israel in 1982 that invaded Lebanon which gave birth to Hezbollah?  Reagan pulled practically everything U.S. out of Lebanon over that bombing. He was not going to get more U.S. Marines killed with any nation building approach there.  

"Hamas is a reaction to the Jews return to Israel" - Yep.

" Who cares if Arabs or Turks in certain countries riot in the streets over Gaza, that affects this country in what strategic manner? Answer: None.". Well for one it now involves Turkey.  I think it is a strategic game changer.  

"Regardless of any statement otherwise, you can rest assured the Egyptian army generals and most of their political leadership do not want a thriving Islamic radical state on their border."  What is Egypt even evolving into when they just expelled the Israeli Ambassador? A little chaotic right now. If our strategic interests are to sow the seeds of chaos then I guess we are a T.

"Point to the Arab state that has developed a modern intellectual and industrialized society allowing both men and women to thrive.  If dictators were the cause of such a limitation, then China would not be industrializing and neither would Vietnam. Singapore is another example of a controlled state that has modernized."  Hard to compare China or Singapore with Arab countries because they are just not middle eastern. They have not had the decades long behind the scenes foreign influence of leaders.  They have not had the terrorism that has risen up due to overt foreign influence within their respective countries.  They have been allowed to peacefully, methodically modernize without foreign interests disrupting their efforts.  Vietnam would be much further along if it was not for French colonialization which Eisenhower wanted no part of when the French came a calling in 54'.  It seems like sovereign countries just don't like overt foreign influence in their way of life, or their political / economic processes. The Arab nations have had too much foreign influence compared to China, Vietnam, and Singapore.

" It is their dark ages culture which embodies their men with a need to demonstrate unquestioned and absolute power over someone (children, women, etc) that creates (in part) their problems. Their culture is not that which breed the "founding fathers" of this nation. It is a control based culture which does not allow for free thinking. But again, who cares." Part of the issue with the Middle East is how we perceive them.  If we perceive them as modern day "Samaritans" then how are we going to accomplish any strategic objectives.  Typically more is accomplished through friendship ("your neighbor") than with a lack of trust built upon biased attitudes of your country, culture, and religion sucks. We just want more oil and cells.  Squanto is what breed the founding fathers.  I'm tracking that.  

 Ottoman Empire exists in this conversation because it was brought up by someone by the name CBCalif. But I think regardless of Sunni Wahhabi Saudi or Shiite Iran or Turkey, they are not looking for their respective empire/caliphate or what ever.  These empires stopped their advances and died off hundreds of years ago.

"As a final thought, never believe that other cultures view or value life on this earth as westerners do.". When does life begin, inside the womb or outside the womb?  What did James Wilson (Founding Father) say?  We might have our own bias going on with life.

"The fact that Iran would be eradicated in the event of a nuclear attack on others may frighten westerners, I wonder how the Mullahs feel about that view. Perhaps the probability of living in the hereafter with all those ghostly virgins has an attraction to them not present in western minds.". India has Nukes and Pakistan has Nukes.  They know the realities of their use and have not used them.  Many countries like Iran know the realities as well but like to play mind games with others, like with the international community.  Virgins, with burkas, will be in heaven too, I guess.  Do female suicide bombers get male virgins?  Funny how logic can be sometimes.  Just don't think heaven will be as physical as some may perceive it to be.  

"Like Clausewitz's post 1830 published writings, this is becoming far to lengthy and repetitive. Clausewitz, Book One, Chapter Two, The enemy’s fighting forces must be destroyed: that is they must be put into such a condition that they can no longer carry on the fight." 

And,

"If the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.". War is not just about random destruction of "forces", especially in the Middle East.  "The inner light which leads to truth" is about seeing all of the chaos, information, miss information, historical context - past/present/future, and making the right decisions for how to effectively be successful. Not sure we are doing this.

"Sun Tzu, Chapter Three: In general … Preserving their [the enemy’s] army is best, destroying their companies second best. Which one is correct?". No doubt.  We sure have some of the highest rates of suicides because of baboonery logic of running an "All Volunteer Army" through the war gauntlet.  Powell was a voice of reason, and knew when to apply action and non action - Wei bu Wei.  Nothing like a country with 14 trillion in debt to further degrade our own forces.  Nothing like being a "slave to your debtor" especially to China.  Sun Tzu would be proud to see that war without fighting.  He would also be proud of this - Surgically destroy a 100 cells, and lose the Middle East, is not the acme of skill.  Bending a little with 1967, and saving the Middle East, is the acme of skill.

This debate has been good.  Really had to dig deep.  I appreciate that aspect of it.  But I have got to move on.  We will see what the future holds with Israel, Palestine, and Turkey.  We need all three.  Take care.  Cheers.

SHAZAM

KABLOOEY

Take a breath Batman.

Clausewitz2011:

"FDR - "there is nothing to fear but fear itself," a statement he did not repeat after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Statements such as that by FDR only apply on a situational basis, not generically.

Once again, the US needs to involve itself in an location or conflict only when it is in our national strategic interest. Our strategic interests in the Middle East are the free flow of oil and the destruction of anti-western terrorist groups located there, or keeping them in that area so they can wreck local havoc and by so doing turning the local rulers against them, a la Saudi Arabia.

That argument ignores this nation's strategic goals and is summed up in a fanciful single sentence: "If we can fix the Gaza/Palestine phenomenon then we may reduce Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and all of the other numerous Islamic Fundamentalist groups." In sum, not a chance.

It is the time worn and absolutely fanciful and incorrect belief that all the ills of the Middle East will go away if only Israel and the Palestinians were at peace, or more appropriate, or if the Jews hadn't done the impossible and took back their ancient homeland from the many European and Islamic conquerors who once forcefully stood on it. Yes the Arabs, Turks, the British, and other previous conquerors who forcefully laid waste to ancient Jewish lands are angry because the Jews forcefully took it back, not were resettled there.

Again, who cares. Soothing Arab and Turkish (Ottoman) feelings of defeat and insecurity at the expense of their enemies is not in this country's strategic interest. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are going to continue to sell this country all the oil we need, that is in their ruling classes strategic and economic interest.

Your statement that "Hamas and Hezbollah are realities because of ... Chaim Weizmann (1917 and 1948) and Gaza since 1967 is similar to blaming Allied victory in World War One for creating Nazis and Fascists instead of looking to Prussia's historic culture of militarism and perceived need for European domination and an Italian cliques fanciful attempt to recreate the Roman Empire.

Defining by inference the Balfour Declaration and the re-birth of Israel and the resulting return of the Jews to their previously conquered homeland as a "crazy decision" simply repeats the anti-Jewish Israel and anti-western bias that so many of the appeasement / surrender types in western society attempt to apply in Middle East dealings, especially given the European's willingness to sacrifice the Jews on the alter of appeasement after their Roman cousins brought all this about. If the European Crusades had only been smart and civilized enough to not have slaughtered their Middle Eastern fellow Christians, their population would have been large enough to have defeated the invading Muslims. Oh, the Muslims forcefully invaded the Levant and Israel, lest we forget.

Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qeada, the Taliban, and all the other Islamic fundamentalist groups and their supporters want a return to Islamic domination in a land governed by strict Muslim beliefs in their extended part of the world. They may be (are) anti-Israeli, but they are even more anti-Western and anti-Christian, other than when they are using Westerns and Christians to further their own goals.

Bin Laden and Company's anger was / is against the Christians nations involvement in / and presence on the soil of the Arabian Peninsular. That is what birthed Al Qeada.

Hezbollah was a reaction to Palestinian encroachment into Southern Lebanon and a reaction against Western and French assistance to the undeserving and weak Maronite Christian community. Our only strategic interest vis-a-vis Hezbollah is to repay them for the bombing of the Marine barracks, at least ten fold in a language people of that part of the world understand.

Hamas is a reaction to the Jews return to Israel and to their dislike of the penuriousness and embezzling of the PLO /Fatah. All they have done is defeat the PLO in Gaza and seize control of it. Israel's reaction to them had noting to do with their extreme Islamic fanaticism, it has to do with their incessant rocket attacks on the Jewish State. Who cares if Arabs or Turks in certain countries riot in the streets over Gaza, that affects this country in what strategic manner? Answer: None. Regardless of any statement otherwise, you can rest assured the Egyptian army generals and most of their political leadership do not want a thriving Islamic radical state on their border.

Point to the Arab state that has developed a modern intellectual and industrialized society allowing both men and women to thrive. If dictators were the cause of such a limitation, then China would not be industrializing and neither would Vietnam. Singapore is another example of a controlled state that has modernized. It is their dark ages culture which embodies their men with a need to demonstrate unquestioned and absolute power over someone (children, women, etc) that creates (in part) their problems. Their culture is not that which breed the "founding fathers" of this nation. It is a control based culture which does not allow for free thinking. But again, who cares. Of what strategic interest is it to this country how those people think and act, so long as we obtain the needed amount of oil from that area?

No one claims the Ottoman Empire is about to be restored, but never underestimate the goals of other nations. Erdo the First most certainly has the dream that he can re-establish Turkish control over the Middle East, i.e. the old Ottoman Empire. Some of the current Persian ruling class have the same dream about recreating the Persian Empire. Although Erdo I should have learned from the recent Iranian and Syrian rebuffs that his attempting to have Arab or Persian vassals, that is impossible, his visit to the recent Arab minister's gathering shows he is either a slow learner or ignorantly persistent. Arabs and Persians despise the Turks, but will take their support so long as they rebuff the Turks when they are through using them.

Again, from the strategic perspective of this nation, who cares. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Kuwait and their type want any interference from Turkey in their royal families life style and Erdo I's dreams will not impact the flow of oil westward.

As a final thought, never believe that other cultures view or value life on this earth as westerners do. Any of us who had the experience fighting the North Vietnamese, those previously contesting the Chinese, or I presume now Al Qeada and the Taliban know better and respect and fear that difference. The fact that Iran would be eradicated in the event of a nuclear attack on others may frighten westerners, I wonder how the Mullahs feel about that view. Perhaps the probability of living in the hereafter with all those ghostly virgins has an attraction to them not present in western minds.

Like Clausewitz's post 1830 published writings, this is becoming far to lengthy and repetitive. Clausewitz, Book One, Chapter Two, The enemy’s fighting forces must be destroyed: that is they must be put into such a condition that they can no longer carry on the fight. Sun Tzu, Chapter Three: In general … Preserving their [the enemy’s] army is best, destroying their companies second best. Which one is correct? European logic for the European culture, Asian logic for the Asian culture. What was the land area on the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea called before the American descendant of Europeans, Captain Alfred T. Mahan, U.S. Navy, solidified the western use of the English (?) term Middle East for that continental slice? Ask the ghosts of Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits or Agathie Christie, or perhaps the residents of the town of Batman.

Did you know that The Batman area of Turkey was once populated by Syriac Christians and had a significant number of Pontic Greeks, Assyrians, Baghdadi Jews and Armenians from 500 BC to the late 19th century when they were massacred or driven out by the Turks and then there was a large. relocation of Turkish people into what had been a mostly Kurd-populated Batman Province? So, to Erdo and Company, what’s good for the goose is perhaps not good for the gander?

Holy Shazaam Batman.  Thought that would only be appropriate since there is a city in Turkey called Batman. Funny if there was an actual district called Gotham.  I think the Joker is the leader of the PKK.  He's such an atheistic Marxist, just like the subversive PKK in the 70s, 80s, 90s, to now.  Marxism sucks, and it's very foundation is Atheism which is along the same Paleolithic lines of "whoooo look we created fire."
So no wonder the predominately democratic Turkish society/government has had to deal with their subversive, over throw elected governments type approach to politics.

Seems like Erdogan is a fairly decent dude.  Gets elected, and the very first thing that he does is lift the restrictions on freedom of speech and the press.  Wow, what more could you ask for from a Muslim, democratically elected official, of a NATO country.  Is this not the truth with regards to him. You would not get that from the PKK jokers.  Also, right off the bat, Erdogan even lessened the penalties for some of the captured PKK Marxist terrorists.  

Not sure where the truth is being distorted, but it seems like he started off on the right foot and has been elected, what, three more times.

The whole issue with Israel and Turkey is Gaza.  That's the major issue with practically the entire Middle East.  An issue they have had for decades, based off of perceived unjustified violence. Is that the truth?

The U.S. needs Turkey, and Batman (Constantine)

 

Let us not first forget that Hitler was freely elected as were the Hamas leaders in Gaza; second, that Turkish occupied Kurdistan is the last vestige of the Ottoman Empire over which control has been maintained only by "Turkish" army and police murdering over 40,000 ethnic Kurds during the past three decades while destroying over 3000 of their villages; and third, 1950's+ style railing against a liberation movement because some of its members have a socialistic or Marxist bent reminds me of this nation's leaders condemning the Viet Minh leaders and their progeny, because after all God cannot be on their side which standard must, of course, apply to our relationship with China (opps).

The fact that Turks elected a Turkish leader has no meaning to one of the areas forcefully occupied by that nation's military, be it part of Cyprus or Kurdistan. A movement to remove rule by an oppressing conqueror is not an attempt to overthrow a freely elected government, it is instead a movement by a people to assert their national right to freedom.

The issue between Turkey and Israel is not far more than Gaza. Erdogan is attempting to recreate the Ottoman Empire and to reestablish Turkish control over the Arab states and over their former colony of Palestine. Israel is viewed by him and his Islamist clique as a convenient vehicle for expanding influence in that area. Such was their attempt by opposing the US policy towards Syria and Iran and their blocking the movement of American troops into Western Iraq.

The US needs Turkey like we need today's Islamic ruled Iran or Hezbollah Land. Turkey was only interested in an alliance with the US (NATO) due to their post WWII fear of the Soviet Union and now against pending nuclear armed Iran -- one of their opponents for Middle Eastern rule. The other being a perennially weakened Egypt, which Erdo the First is trying (oddly) to co opt into a more aggressive anti-Israel stance.

America's interest in the Middle East is only the free flow of oil westward and especially into this country in the amount s currently needed. The Arab spring is a mirage that will lead nowhere and be relegated to the dust bin of history. One dictator will eventually be exchanged for another. To presume that Arabs will suddenly become oriented towards the secular society required to develop a modern day economy and the liberal education that environment requires is a pipe dream. Religious radicalism at any level is not compatible with economic advancement. They will only find themselves exchanging one group of rulers for another while some dictators in countries without natural resources such as the King of Jordan struggle to hold on to their yachts and palaces.

Gaza would not be a problem to Israel or to any nation were it not a Islamic terrorist / bandit enclave and were it a struggling or thriving economic entity. Certainly anyone of intelligence would realize that fact, intelligence such as that we presume leaders of a state such as Turkey possess. If Erdo's interest was the welfare of the people of Gaza he would have acted in concert with Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian government to remove Hamas and replace them with a peaceful, intellectual, and economic interested leadership and made the corresponding investment into the area. One to which Israel would open their borders.

Eventually Iran will test a nuclear weapon, establishing its political sustainability in the Islamic world struggle, relegating Turkey to at best second place status. Turkey's debt based economy will in all likelihood by then have deteriorated and due its lack of natural resources available for sale it will once again be the odd (sick) man out. At that time Israel will be forced (policy wise) to publicly advise the world of their far more massive nuclear weapons capability and note that its nuclear armed missiles are pointed at all Muslim nations and more, including Turkey and Iran, and that a WMD attack by one Muslim nation on its lands will be treated as an attack by all such nations and responded to appropriately. That part of the world will then settle into a cold peace. Turkey will then be viewed most deservedly at best as the third rate country it has been for many centuries.

Perhaps by then Gaza will have bethe economic oasis it could become, but that is not part of the Arab mentality, so in all likelihood it will continue as a modern day Barbary Coast without economic objectives and continue to be motivated by Islamic idiocy.

Turkey under the rule of Islamic leaders such as Erdo the First is of no strategic benefit to the US and of temporary benefit to other countries. A current benefit only due to Turkey's ever growing trade imbalance--presuming that nation will be forever able to pay for those goods and not default. Instead of just keeping their powder dry, investors supporting investment in / or sales to Turkey had better maintain a form of credit derivative insurance or someday face the forthcoming negative consequences.

Batman, like Superman, Robin Hood, Dick Tracy or the like will remain a comic book or movie character worthy of attention by children or those of us adults seeking occasional mindless entertainment and, of course, in true American spirit those monetarily benefiting from that viewing audience.

FDR - "there is nothing to fear but fear itself"

CBCalif, dude, you sure can sling some words around in blogging cyberspace.  That's for sure.

As for comic book analogies, there is a method behind the supposed surface madness.

It is comical to think that Turkey, through Erdogan is going to reestablish the Ottoman Empire.  That is fearful thinking.

Israel has been a target since Chaim Weizmann (1917 and 1948).  Gaza since 1967.

Those dates have deep meaning to the predominately Muslim Arabs who view the whole reality of the forceful resettlement of the Jews back into Palestine as unjustified.  Many Muslims and some Christian Palestinians just were not happy about that decision because it became a reality through the use of force.

Hamas and Hezbollah are realities because of the above stated issues.  Did those groups exist prior to 1917 or 1948.  Not that I know of. It seems that the massive growth of Islamic Fundamental Terrorist Groups spawned because of those crazy decisions of the past.  And they still exist, and still seem to be growing, because they perceive injustices caused against fellow Muslims in Palestine.  We can't change decisions of the past.  Got it.  

Iran.  I'm sick of the fear of Iran and the constant they have NUKES ranting.  Nukes are a strategic deterrent.  Have not been used since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but boy they are good at keeping governments at bay through the scary realities of their use.  Iran will never use NUKES against little Israel or Turkey.  They know they would be wiped off the face of the planet if they did.  They are only playing with peoples emotions by stating that they will.  North Korea is good at that tactic as well.  Fear is a dominating force if you let it dominate you.

"The Arab spring is a mirage that will lead nowhere and be relegated to the dust bin of history.". Nice sentence, reminds me of the one that the Taliban used the other day.  Afghan people have "an endless stamina for a long war" and could rise up as a nation "to send the Americans to the dustbin of history.". So are we equating the Taliban statement with the Arab Spring.  Are we now at war with the Arab Spring?  We need to be careful with how we are saying things, or insinuating certain perceived realities.  The Arab Spring is much bigger than the Taliban, but like the Pashtun Taliban, it is very much Muslim dominated because the Middle East is predominately Muslim.  There have been formidable invaders/ invasions of Afghanistan who did not fare to well.  Our mistake will more than likely be another nation building approach to a county that is of a different culture consisting of a different language and religion.  Hard to bridge that cultural gap since the days of the Tower of Babel. 

"To presume that Arabs will suddenly become oriented towards the secular society required to develop a modern day economy and the liberal education that environment requires is a pipe dream.". Wow, that is a huge statement.  So Muslim Arabs have no potential to be a "modern day economy".  Not sure that is accurate.  Does Islam restrict a human from achieving prosperity and economic development within a society?  Careful. It is governments that hold back society or propel them to greatness.  The U.S. Founding Fathers were pretty squared away in looking at the past and understanding human nature, so they put the necessary checks and balances in place to limit the mistakes of the past.  Power corrupts, in the U.S., as well as the Middle East.  If we the people find out we made a mistake we can elect someone new.  The Middle East has not had that type of luxury because of decades of manipulated governments, and dictators who have controlled a lack of economic prosperity.

Hitler.  Just another atheistic leader who staged a mock military confrontation with Poland in order to start his genocidal conquest of the world.  Deception is a very nice tactic in war.  Been around since the Trojan Horse or Gideon and his Lamps.  Not a good tactic when using it to make people believe that the Ottoman Empire is about to be resurrected.  It is in the dust bin of history, so to speak.  Just more captivating fearful rhetoric with no quantifiable evidence to justify it's existence. 

The existence of this debate though, is the reality that Israel is pissed at Turkey for the flotilla.  The flotilla was about Gaza.  And Gaza is about a lot of tension in the Middle East and the world.  If we can fix the Gaza/Palestine phenomenon then we may reduce Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and all of the other numerous Islamic Fundamentalist groups.

Sawbuck:

Your assertions are simply incorrect and reflect buying into Turkish lies and propaganda. I have deep ties into well educated members of the the Kurdish business population and not a one of them agree with you. The fact is that almost, if not all, Kurds hate the Turks, are oppressed by them, and the Turkish government has made move after move through legislation and force of arms to eradicate that culture and people. They have attempted to ban their language and randomly killed them over the last several decades. The random murdering of civilians by the Turkish army and police was used to (temporarily) crush the earlier uprising by the Kurds in Turkey and was only effective due to the then state of communications. Today, it would make front page news.

Anyone who paid attention to the recent Turkish government and military reaction to their army's recent losses in the area of occupied Kurdistan would have noticed their military's dismay that their soldiers responded so ineffectively and were cut to pieces. Like the American draftees in Vietnam and the French draftees in Algeria, forced military combatants have no long term interest in sustaining occupation of a land where they are not welcome,are disliked, and where they do not live. The Turkish military brass is slowly beginning to understand their predicament and their reactionary response was the time honored (ridiculous) application of ineffective random bombing. That is, unless you believe all villagers or those on the roads are guerrillas or their supporters. Sound familiar? The absurd Turkish response of bombing into what they view as an insurgent sanctuary is effective as all such ridiculous anti-guerrilla air power assaults have been everywhere else in the past. Those attacks merely kill civilians and further anger the ethnic group that is being battled against.

Once again, some Americans are falling into the trap of believing the lies of an imposing central government and backing who will eventually be defeated. If (actually when) the Kurdish guerrillas obtain shoulder fired surface to air or anti-tank weapons then the Turks will get cut to pieces in the mountainous areas of Western Iraq. If the Turkish military is foolish enough to follow "Erdogone the First's" dreams of a military confrontation with Israel, and I doubt they will, they will not only be defeated on that front, their army will themselves fighting an effectively armed Kurdish force that will manhandle their draftees just as the Afghans did to similar sourced Russian (draftee) soldiers in similar terrain.

I know the Turks did not commit genocide against the Armenians, did not kill the Greeks living on the Anatolian Peninsular and steal their property, invaded Cyprus to rescue part of the Island from the 80% of the population that are murdering Greeks, and Turks most certainly do not oppress and murder the Kurds.

And, yes, I know who the Turks employed to drive out the Armenians, but it was the Turkish government which ordered that action. Which Turkish lie are we to believe: that the Armenians died a natural lead poisoning death by the hundreds of thousands; that the Greeks willingly left their property to the Turks and died of natural causes; that the Cypriots of Greek descent are killers of Innocent Turks, that the Kurds love the Turks and are dying at the hands of their own criminal elements; that the United Nations is wrong in their (amazingly honest and correct) finding that blockades such as Israel's of Gaza are legal because the Turkish government so declares them illegal when carried out against their allies in Hamas; or perhaps that the Turkish civilians, members of a group of known terrorist supporters, filmed initiating an iron piped based attack on paint gun armed Israeli police really didn't happen.

Enough said, the long list of Turkish lies and myths, such as the effectiveness of their paper (civilian killing)army would fill a rather large book. My point has been made, Turks lie far to often to be believed on any matter. This country needs to understand that Erdogone I and his ilk wish to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and are anti-western; therefore, we ne need to end our alliance with that nation and move our support elsewhere to the benefit of the West such as into the Kurdish lands.

P.S. Has anyone notice how harshly the Egyptian military is cracking down on their population and the rioters / protesters catalyze by the incident against the Israeli embassy? Also, has anyone noticed that they will not allow Erdogone (intentionally misspelled) into Gaza?

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/12/world/europe/AP-EU-Turkey-Kur... - This link is from today's SWJ Daily Wrap-up.

More propaganda I guess.

CBCalif wrote: "Their military may be large, but it is a short term draftee based force used primarily to murder 40,000 Kurdish civilians over the past several decades and to occupy part of Cyprus."

90%+ of the Kurdish civilians killed since 1979 in Turkey have been killed by the PKK/KGK. Yes, they are Turks, but they are also Kurds, not part of the Turkish military. Are the Kurdish people treated differently than other ethinic groups in Turkey, yes. Do they have legitimate complaints, yes. Is the Turkish military murdering them, no. That was done in large part by their own seperatist group, in the 80s and 90s, that claimed they were fighting to free them. The Kurdish people being killed today are the PKK/KGK members that are considered combatants, not civilians, attacking and being attacked by the Turkish troops.

Sawbuck:

I am missing your point. As the article notes: The Kurdish rebels, who are fighting for autonomy from Turkey, have stepped up attacks on Turkey's military and police, killing dozens of security forces since July, but this was the first civilians deaths in the conflict in recent months." Further, the article notes that the Turkish Governor claims the civilians were in a building fired upon, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency, however, said the civilians were killed by shots fired by the police, and, contrary to the Turkish Governor, Dogan reported that the attack touched off a two-hour-long clash with the security forces and that the civilians died in the crossfire. Dogan is a news bureau based in Istanbul.

So your point is that Kurdish guerrillas are attacking occupying Turkish police and troops in Kurdistan and that some civilians are killed in a cross fire. Sounds like a normal war, just like occurs in US attacks against the Taliban, et al where bystanders in the area are often killed.

The Turkish Governor, "Turker" said the military immediately launched an operation to catch the rebels, which the private Dogan news agency said was being backed with attack helicopters. Good Luck on for your sides tactics, so to speak.

My only concern would be the US official’s statement that the US is considering supporting the Turkish military, i.e. oppressors of the Kurdish people. A military that appears to be supporting the Islamic radicals now ruling their country, Islamic radicals who are clearly anti-western other than when it suits their needs and until they can replace that effort with other sources.

Hasn’t this country learned not to support oppressive and anti-American governments, when there is no economic or political gain for this nation? Regardless of how one feels about the Iraq invasion. Let us not forget just how helpful were the Turks led by Erdogon. A few more friends like that and we can really benefit from a mutual relationship??

The Kurds are a secular in nature, pro-western ethnic group whose independence could provide us with a trading partner in that area of the world and a location for secure bases from which troops could hunt down terrorists or move to secure the flow of oil if necessary. Our benefits from a relationship with a Turkey ruled by the Islamic radical (and nut case) Erdogon who does not support any US effort other then wanting protection against the pending Iranian nuclear weapons systems is exactly what?

US strategic interests lie with developing a Kurdish nation in the heart of Islamic radical land, not with a one-sided relationship with a radically Islamic ruled Turkey attempting to intervene throughout the Middle East in a manner contrary to our country's and Western needs.

America needs to focus on its national strategic needs and interests when addressing the so called (Mahan entitled) Middle East, or any part of the world. Our strategic Middle Eastern interests are twofold, and any involvement we have in that area should be structured to support those interests. The first is economic and the second is military. Our economic interest is to insure the free flow of oil into the western industrialized nations, particularly to this country, in the volumes needed and at the timing needed. Our second interest is to take the necessary steps to deprive the anti-American (or anti-Western) terrorist organization(s) such as Al Qaeda, of a safe haven from which to operate. Nation building is not in America’s interest and we should neither be expending massive funds nor tying down large bodies of troops in those efforts. Both of our national strategic interests in the Middle East can be achieved without engaging in costly nation building which will never provide our country with an acceptable level economic or political Return on Investment (ROI). Any on-going efforts of this nature should be scaled back and ended.

To quote a moderate, well educated, Muslim woman recently appearing on C-Span, Arabs and most other peoples of the Middle Eastern Muslim World live culturally in the Dark Ages ─ and, based on a lengthy direct close relationship with that culture, it is this writer’s belief they will continue to do so for decades, if not centuries, to come. A Dark Ages culture sadly permeating the Christians residing in that area whose society has been, in the words of one of their own more enlightened female members, culturally co-opted by their over powering Muslim co-resident neighbors and therefore, the Middle Eastern Arab Christians have no deep or direct cultural connection with Western ideals.

The two pro-western ethnic groups in the Middle East whose culture is secular, who prize economic development and cultural freedom, and who prize democracy, are the Kurdish people and the Israelis. Both have suffered from foreign conquerors and occupiers of their land and experienced the need to re-assert their control over their historical territory. The Jews of Israel have succeeded while the Kurds are only beginning to do so in the face of Turkish, Arab, and Iranian massacres and oppression of their people and culture. In fact, the Turkish Army continues its multi-decade slaughtering of the Kurdish people, act unfortunately ignored by Western governments and their people and by the United Nations.

To insure the free flow of oil westward this nation should limit its involvement in the Middle East to insuring the oil providing nations on which we rely remain stable, regardless of the type of government in control and insure that we have bases in that area for our Naval, Ground, and Air assets enabling them to deploy rapidly to intervene against any attempt by any group or local entity to block our interests.

Riots in the streets, uprisings, civil wars, government changes in that part of the world are meaningless to our national well being if they do not affect the production and flow of oil from the countries on which we rely and / or negatively impact the base areas we need.

The US should indirectly intervene in so-called Arab Spring uprisings only when and where it facilitates our strategic interests. The Libyan involvement was not one of those situations, unless punishing Kaddafi rises to that level. We should provide for the flow of arms to Syrian rebels, not because that country will become pro-western in the event of a governmental change, but because the current (minority) ruling party, the Alawite Shiites, are allied with Iran and support the overland arms flow link to Hezbollah ─ which could be broken if the Sunni elements currently in revolt can take over the country, and their military alliance with Iran broken. This country owes Hezbollah payment for the bombing of the Marine Barracks, and this would be a step in achieving that result.

The US should support the Saudi’s and the Bahraini ruling Sunni family, however indirectly, in their effort to maintain stability and eliminate potential Shiite uprisings in their areas. The radical nature of the Shiites is not compatible with western needs, as demonstrated in Iran. We should exploit the difference, i.e. hatreds, between Shiites and the Sunnis to our advantage.

The countries in the (ever politically expanding) Middle East where this country can obtain secure base and supply storage locations, in return for the security and some economic support we can provide local governments include Kuwait, Bahrain, perhaps other Gulf States, Jordan, Israel, and Kurdistan ─ whose status as an independent nation we should economically and militarily (through weapon sales, advisors, and air power) we should facilitate and support.

Contrarily, there are nations in the Middle East with whom we should reassess our relationship, as they either currently have hostile intent towards our interests, or they are moving towards establishing themselves as the local controlling power, and, if successful, the result would be inimical to US interests. Obviously, Iran is the nation currently acting in manner hostile to American interests in the Middle East. The second country in this category is current day Turkey.

The US needs to awaken to the fact that their Islamic oriented ruling party is moving Turkey fa away from the secular society envisioned and established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkey now occupies part of Cyprus, is (or may be) threatening Israeli and Cypriot exploitation of undersea natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea, is attempting to co-opt Egypt into its sphere of influence, attempting to crush the Kurdish culture and people, and was attempting to establish an alliance of mutual interests with Iran. The only reason Turkey is permitting the US to base anti-Missile weapons installation in their country is because they now fear the pending nuclear armed power of Iran. Regardless of one’s view on the need to invade Iraq, never forget that Turkey refused to allow US troops to cross their country into Iraq identifying the true nature of any relationship with their current Islamic government. Turkey only entered into NATO because of their post World War II fear of Russian (Soviet) expansion and believed an alliance with the US would block the possibility of that movement.

Islamic governments never bode well for the west, and Turkey will prove no exception to that rule. They are of no strategic value to this country. Their military may be large, but it is a short term draftee based force used primarily to murder 40,000 Kurdish civilians over the past several decades and to occupy part of Cyprus. Its true combat capability is all likelihood similar to the Argentinean Army at the time of the Falklands War. Poorly armed Kurdish guerillas manhandle that force which then responds by bombing civilians living in the bordering mountainous area of Iraqi or by murdering Kurdish civilians in Turkey. Provide the Kurdish guerillas shoulder fired surface to air and anti-tank missiles and observe the outcome. It would parallel that of the Russians in Afghanistan, especially when the Turks attempted to enter into Western Iraq. Their draftee Army would collapse.

The US should withdraw from its air bases in Turkey and move them to Jordan or Israel, cancel the placement in Turkey of anti-missile systems meant to defend against Iranian attacks and move those into Jordan or into the Kurdish areas of Iraq. The message to the secularists and military in Turkey would be clear.

This country should also assist the Egyptian Army in maintaining its control over their country and not risk the imposition of a radical Islamic government through the guise of free elections. Remember what happened in post-Shah Iran. The Egyptian Army can achieve that result by establishing economic barriers between its military and police forces on one hand and their general society on the other. That result can be achieved by increasing the salaries of all levels of the military and police perhaps three fold and moving their families into separate living areas and stationing soldiers in areas other than where their overall families reside. The later is a technique used very effectively by the Chinese and the salary differential is one used by the Burmese. The amount of aid to affect that result should not be substantial. The Egyptian Army needs few modern weapons as they have no natural enemy given the continuation of a stable relationship, of sorts, with Israel ─ their only possible enemy. The Egyptian military realizes they have nothing to gain from a war with Israel.

Simply put, this country needs to move away from its simplistic and non-profitable attempted relationships with the Arab, Iranian, Turkish and other Islamic masses. We will gain nothing of value from those relationships and suffer no loss whatsoever should those masses riot in streets. Who cares if they destroy their own neighborhoods or attack a few Embassies? There simply is nothing to economically gain from a relationship with those masses or their governments. Any attempt by them to facilitate anti-western terrorism can be offset through minimal military means, be it through bombing, drone based attacks, fomenting local rebellions, employment of Special Operations Groups, etc.

It is time for a pragmatic and cost effective change in American Foreign policy towards Middle Eastern countries. We need to proceed from a foreign policy based on foolish academically oriented and impractical diplomatic beliefs based on so-called humanitarian goals to a policy that economically and militarily benefits the US and the West. We need a foreign policy which minimizes our involvement in that area of the world and correspondingly reduces the monetary costs to this nation of that involvement while increasing our economic and military benefits. We need to implement a foreign policy which supports our strategic national interests and cease engaging in non-productive nation building.

"Traditionally, many Arab leaders have used Israel as a convenient scapegoat, turning public wrath against it and blaming it for their problems. The faint hope here was that a freer Middle East might move away from such anti-Israel hostility because the overthrow of dictators would open up debate."

Need to be careful with this statement, and the perception backing it.  The "Arab Spring", call it what you will, is about wide spread poverty.  To a certain extent the Arab leaders are right.  Many Arab governments have been supported by foreign aspirations which have dictated certain "dictators" to do what they have wanted.  In many cases it seems that "the people" of those particular countries were left behind, so to speak.  The "overthrow" is about getting those leaders who seem to be more supportive of foreign influence, as opposed to supportive of domestic issues, out of office.  The people are taking over their respective countries, so that they can have leaders who are more about their interests, versus some other country's interests. 

Israel, unfortunately, is stuck in the middle, because they are democratic, and were not naturally a Jewish State until 1948.  But because the U.S. (us) supports them, the U.S. and Israel have worked hand in hand to protect both interests in the region, which leads to perception/reality type issues with the Arabs.  The Arabs know this, and know that dictators have been part of (not all of) the problem.

What may be the most least talked about component to what is going on with the Arabs, is Turkey.  Turkey probably ranks above all other Islamic countries, other than Jordan, that is the most moderate. Yet here they are throwing their diplomatic weight around with regards to Israel.  Not good.  Then the Egyptians throwing out the Israeli Ambassador.  Not good.  

Lots of Not Goods going on right now.

Suggestion - Emergency meeting calling in all players that govern in the Arab World. 

An unprecedented / outside-the-box / historic, call it what you will meeting to find out how to temper the rampant frustrations that are spreading in the Arab World. 

Or, do nothing, and continue to read articles of things getting worse.  

Maybe there is nothing really to worry about.  No sky is falling thinking here.  Maybe the Arab World is not important anymore.  Maybe that's the real perception for why there seems to be a lack of concrete leadership to resolve issues as they continue to get worse.