SOS: Stay Out of Syria

Beware The Fog

Unwittingly, Turkey and Syria collaborated to give the west more reason to stay out of the Syrian civil war.

Syria, accidentally, deliberately or in outright blunder shot down a Turkish jet fighter that entered its airspace last Friday. Turkey is a NATO member and is entitled to call upon its partners to respond to an attack against one as an attack against all. A NATO conference has been called to craft a response to the incident.

Harbouring defectors leaving the Syrian regime, Turkey may have presented itself as a provocateur. Syria was entitled to engage an aircraft entering its airspace, but the response at least appears to have been hasty, aggressive and in the end, somewhat of an overkill.

Turkey is not the same secularist country it was 60 years ago when it became a member of NATO. Islam had almost disappeared from public life. Now, it is rapidly becoming an Islamist regime since bringing the so-called Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power in 2002 and 2007 elections.

The Islamists in Turkey chose the stealth route to their goal of establishing a theocracy with Sharia law. The weakness of democracy is that inappropriately employed it can eliminate political and economic freedom altogether.

So, beware the motivations of Turkey’s leadership these days as it competes with Iran for regional supremacy and influence. NATO members should not be drawn into this situation too deeply and the west generally needs to stay out of an Iranian-supported Syria.

There is little the western nations can do that will help anyone in Syria without inadvertently advancing the goals of competing interests. There is no justification based on rational self-interest that could impel the west to intervene. Only an altruist motivation can be appealed to and the ugly consequences of that are spread all over the Middle East and elsewhere.

©Copyright 2012 Edward Podritske

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