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Sunday, December 09, 2012

How is Turkey getting away with it?

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan is playing everyone in the Middle East off against each other (except for Israel which he despises). He's financing Iran by transferring gold to it in exchange for discounted oil. He has convinced the US and NATO to station Patriot missiles on his border with Syria. Those missiles are likely to shoot down Russian aircraft and ammunition despite the fact that his country borders on Russia. So how is he getting away with it, especially while his country is an economic basket case that is being kept afloat by the Saudis, who hate Iran and Erdogan's other ally, the Muslim Brotherhood? Spengler's David Goldman explains.
The Saudis, who continue to paper over Turkey's enormous current account deficit, have many small reasons to wish ill on Mr Erdogan. He is keeping their adversary Iran in business; he is promoting the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria as an alternative to the al-Assad regime (and the Saudis hate and fear the Muslim Brotherhood, with good reason); and Erdogan harbors neo-Ottoman ambitions that offend the Saudis, who consider themselves the moral leader of the Sunni world.

Nonetheless, the Saudis have one big reason to continue supporting Turkey. There are only three big Sunni armies in the world that can stand up to Iran. One belongs to a failed state, namely Pakistan; a second is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; and the third, and most powerful is Turkey's. Whatever side games Turkey might play with Iran, it does not want Iran to become a regional hegemon. That is why Saudi Arabia is paying protection to Erdogan.

Russia, which has enormous leverage over Turkey through its position as the country's main energy supplier, finds itself on the opposite side from Ankara in Syria's civil war. The Patriot missiles that Erdogan has requested from NATO are likely to shoot down aircraft that Russia is supplying to the Syrian regime.

Nonetheless, Russia has good reason to hope for Turkey's stability. During the past three months, Russia claims to have killed over 300 Muslim terrorists in the Caucasus. Note that Russia has not announced the capture or imprisonment of any terrorists, only kills. Despite its suspicions of the Turkish regime, Russia continues to hope that Turkey will help stabilize its southern border. And with more than 10 million guest workers from Turkey or the Turkic republics now working in Russia, Moscow has a stake in Turkey stability.

The Obama administration continues to view Erdogan as America's key ally in the region, despite Erdogan's annoying support for Hamas. Despite minor differences, Obama and Erdogan agree on a fundamental point of strategy, namely that the Muslim Brotherhood represents the future of the Arab world. 
What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.


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1 Comments:

At 5:55 PM, Blogger foxmuldar said...

At least the Russians are not yet taken over by the Politically correct fools who think Islam is a wonderful religion instead of what it really is, a sick evil ideology. How many prisoners have the Muslim Militia taken alive. We see photographs of dead Russian solders with their heads cut off. I just wish America had the ball to treat Islam in the same way instead of pandering to these savages.

 

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