19.10.17

Saving NATO from Turkey (Διασώζοντας το NATO από την Τουρκία) - It’s Time to Kick Erdogan’s Turkey Out of NATO

ΣΧΟΛΙΟ "ΙΣΧΥΣ": Η ΑΠΟΜΑΚΡΥΝΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΒΟΜΒΩΝ ΠΥΡΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΟΜΩΣΗΣ ΔΕΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΤΕΧΝΙΚΑ ΕΦΙΚΤΗ ΚΑΙ ΕΠΙΠΛΕΟΝ ΠΑΡΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΕΠΙΚΙΝΔΥΝΗ. ΤΟ ΝΑΤΟ ΕΠΙΣΗΣ ΜΠΟΡΕΙ ΝΑ ΒΟΗΘΗΣΕΙ-ΙΣΧΥΡΟΠΟΙΗΣΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ ΜΕ ΠΡΩΤΟ ΣΟΒΑΡΟ ΒΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΑΚΗΡΥΞΗ ΤΗΣ ΑΟΖ ΤΗΣ, Η ΟΠΟΙΑ ΕΠΙΠΛΕΟΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΗ. ΤΟ ΛΙΓΟΤΕΡΟ ΠΟΥ ΜΠΟΡΕΙ ΝΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΝΑ ΣΤΑΜΑΤΗΣΕΙ ΝΑ ΤΗΝ ΥΠΟΣΚΑΠΤΕΙ ΚΑΙ ΝΑ  ΤΗΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΑΘΕΡΟΠΟΙΕΙ, ΥΠΟΣΤΗΡΙΖΟΝΤΑΣ ΑΛΛΕΣ ΧΩΡΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΙΣ ΕΠΙΔΙΩΞΕΙΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΕΙΣ ΒΑΡΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ.
ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΑΥΤΟ ΕΧΕΙ ΕΝΑΝ ΚΑΙ ΜΟΝΟΝ ΣΚΟΠΟ. ΝΑ ΤΡΟΜΑΞΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΤΙΠΟΛΙΤΕΥΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΕΡΝΤΟΓΚΑΝ. Ο ΕΒΡΑΙΟΣ ΑΡΘΡΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ ΔΕΝ ΕΠΙΧΕΙΡΕΙ ΝΑ ΠΕΙΣΕΙ ΓΙΑ ΑΛΛΑΓΗ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΝΑΤΟ, ΠΑΡΑ ΜΟΝΟΝ ΝΑ ...ΣΥΝΕΤΙΣΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΤΟΥΡΚΙΑ.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, (NATO), faces an existential problem. No, it’s not about getting member states to fulfill agreed-upon spending levels on defense. Or finding a role after the Soviet collapse. Or standing up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Rather, it’s about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist, dictatorial ruler of Turkey whose policies threaten to undermine this unique alliance of 29 states that has lasted nearly 70 years. Created in 1949, NATO’s founding principles ambitiously set out the alliance goal “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of [member states’] peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” In other words, the alliance exists to defend Western civilization. For its first 42 years, until the USSR collapsed in 1991, this meant containing and defeating the Warsaw Pact. Today, it means containing and defeating Russia and Islamism. Of these latter two, Islamism is the deeper and longer-lasting threat, being based not on a single leader’s personality but on a highly potent ideology, one that effectively succeeded fascism and communism as the great radical utopian challenge to the West.

Some major figures in NATO appreciated this shift soon after the Soviet collapse. Already in 1995, Secretary-General Willy Claes noted with prescience that “Fundamentalism is at least as dangerous as communism was.” With the Cold War over, he said, “Islamic militancy has emerged as perhaps the single gravest threat to the NATO alliance and to Western security.” In 2004, Jose Maria Aznar, Spain’s former prime minister, warned that “Islamist terrorism is a new shared threat of a global nature that places the very existence of NATO’s members at risk.” He advocated that NATO focus on combating “Islamic jihadism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” and called for “placing the war against Islamic jihadism at the center of the allied strategy.” But, instead of a robust NATO on the Claes-Aznar model leading the battle against Islamism, it was internally hobbled by Mr. Erdogan’s opposition. Rather than assert the fight against Islamism, the other 28 members dismayingly deferred to the Islamist within their ranks.

The 28 stay mum about the near-civil war the Turkish regime wages in southeastern Anatolia against its own Kurdish citizens. The emergence of a private army (called SADAT) under Mr. Erdogan’s exclusive control seems not to bother them. Likewise, they appear oblivious to Ankara’s unpredictably limiting access to the NATO base at Incirlik, the obstructed relations with friendly states such as Austria, Cyprus and Israel, and the vicious anti-Americanism symbolized by the mayor of Ankara hoping for more storm damage to be inflicted on the United States. Maltreatment of NATO-member state nationals hardly bothers the NATO worthies: Not the arrest of 12 Germans (such as Deniz Yucel and Peter Steudtner) nor the attempted assassination of Turks in Germany (such as Yuksel Koc), not the seizure of Americans in Turkey as hostages (such as Andrew Brunson and Serkan Golge), nor repeated physical violence against Americans in the United States (such as at the Brookings Institute and at Sheridan Circle). NATO seems unfazed that Ankara helps Iran’s nuclear program, develops an Iranian oil field, and transfers Iranian arms to Hezbollah. Mr. Erdogan’s talk of joining the Moscow-Beijing dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organization ruffles few feathers, as do joint exercises with the Russian and Chinese militaries. A Turkish purchase of a Russian missile defense system, the S-400, appears to be more an irritant than a deal-breaker. A mutual U.S.-Turkish ban on visas fazed no one.

NATO faces a choice. It can, hoping that Mr. Erdogan is no more than a colicky episode and Turkey will return to the West, continue with the present policy. Or it can deem NATO’s utility too important to sacrifice to this speculative possibility, and take assertive steps to freeze the Republic of Turkey out of NATO activities until it again behaves like an ally. Those steps might include:
• Removing nuclear weapons from Incirlik.
• Closing NATO’s operations at Incirlik.
• Canceling arms sales, such as the F-35 aircraft.
• Exclude Turkish participation from weapons development.
• Refuse to share intelligence.
• Refuse to train Turkish soldiers or sailors.
• Reject Turkish personnel for NATO positions.
A unified stance against Mr. Erdogan’s hostile dictatorship permits the grand NATO alliance to rediscover its noble purpose “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization” of its peoples. By confronting Islamism, NATO will again take up the mantle it has of late let down, nothing less than defending Western civilization.

Daniel Pipes. (president of the Middle East Forum)
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/16/nato-must-be-saved-from-turkey/

Ο Οργανισμός Βορειοατλαντικής Συμμαχίας, γνωστός ως NATO, αντιμετωπίζει ένα υπαρξιακό πρόβλημα.  Όχι, δεν έχει να κάνει με την εκπλήρωση από τα κράτη-μέλη των συμπεφωνημένων περί αμυντικών προϋπολογισμών. Ή με την εύρεση ρόλου μετά τη σοβιετική κατάρρευση. Ή στο όρθωμα αναστήματος στο Βλαντίμιρ Πούτιν. Περισσότερο έχει να κάνει με τον Ρετσέπ Ταγίπ Ερντογάν, τον ισλαμιστή, δικτατορικό εξουσιαστή της Τουρκίας, του οποίου οι πολιτικές απειλούν να υπονομεύσουν αυτή τη μοναδική συμμαχία των 29 κρατών που έχει διαρκέσει σχεδόν 70 χρόνια.  Ιδρυθέν το 1949, οι ιδρυτικές αρχές του ΝΑΤΟ έθεσαν φιλόδοξα ως στόχο της συμμαχίας “να εξασφαλίσει την ελευθερία, την κοινή κληρονομιά και τον πολιτισμό των λαών των μελών κρατών, βασιζόμενη στις αρχές της Δημοκρατίας, της ατομικής ελευθερίας και του κράτους δικαίου.” Με άλλα λόγια, η συμμαχία υφίσταται για να υπεραμυνθεί του δυτικού πολιτισμού.  Κατά τα πρώτα 42 της χρόνια, έως ότου η Σοβιετική Ένωση κατέρρευσε το 1991, αυτό σήμαινε την ανάσχεση και την άμυνα έναντι του συμφώνου της Βαρσοβίας. Σήμερα, σημαίνει την ανάσχεση και την άμυνα έναντι της Ρωσίας και του Ισλαμισμού. Από τα δύο τελευταία, ο ισλαμισμός είναι η βαθύτερη και μακροβιότερη απειλή, βασισμένος όχι στην προσωπικότητα ενός ηγέτη, αλλά σε μία πολύ δραστική ιδεολογία, αυτή που διαδέχθηκε αποτελεσματικά το φασισμό και τον κομμουνισμό ως την μεγάλη ριζοσπαστική ουτοπική πρόκληση στη Δύση.

Κάποιες ισχυρές προσωπικότητες στο ΝΑΤΟ διείδαν αυτή την μετατόπιση αμέσως μετά τη σοβιετική κατάρρευση. Ήδη το 1995, ο γενικός γραμματέας Willy Claes σημείωνε με ακρίβεια ότι “ο φονταμενταλισμός είναι, τουλάχιστον, τόσο επικίνδυνος όσο ήταν ο κομμουνισμός”. “Με τον Ψυχρό Πόλεμο λήξαν”, είπε, “η Ισλαμική στρατικοποίηση έχει προκύψει, πιθανώς, ως η μόνη βαθιά απειλή για το NATO και τη Δυτική ασφάλεια”.  Το 2004, ο Jose Maria Aznar, o πρώην ισπανός πρωθυπουργός, προειδοποίησε ότι “η ισλαμική τρομοκρατία είναι μια νέα κοινή απειλή παγκόσμιας φύσης, που θέτει σε κίνδυνο την ίδια την υπόσταση των μελών του NATO”. Συμβούλευσε την επικέντρωση του ΝΑΤΟ στην καταπολέμηση της ισλαμικής Τζιχάντ και της διάδοσης των όπλων μαζικής καταστροφής” κι έκανε έκκληση για “την τοποθέτηση του πολέμου εναντίον της ισλαμικής Τζιχάντ στο επίκεντρο της συμμαχικής στρατηγικής”.  Όμως, αντί ενός εύρωστου ΝΑΤΟ του Claes-Aznar μοντέλου, που θα ηγούνταν της μάχης εναντίον του ισλαμισμού, υπονομεύτηκε εκ των έσω από την αντιπολίτευση του κυρίου Ερντογάν. Αντί να υποστηρίξουν την μάχη εναντίον του ισλαμισμού, τα υπόλοιπα 28 μέλη σεβάστηκαν απογοητευτικά τον ισλαμιστή ανάμεσα στις τάξεις τους.

Oι 28 έμειναν σιωπηλοί για τον εμφύλιο πόλεμο του τουρκικού καθεστώτος στην νοτιοανατολική Ανατολία εναντίον των Κούρδων πολιτών του. Η δημιουργία ένος ιδιωτικού στρατού, ονομαζόμενου SADAT, υπό τον αποκλειστικό έλεγχο του κ. Ερντογάν, δεν φάνηκε να ενοχλεί κανέναν.  Ομοίως, φάνηκαν επιλήσμονες στον ξαφνικό περιορισμό πρόσβασης στην νατοική βάση στο Ιντσιρλίκ, στην επιδείνωση των σχέσεων με φιλικά κράτη όπως η Αυστρία, η Κύπρος και το Ισραήλ και στον μοχθηρό αντιαμερικανισμό, όπως αυτός συμβολίστηκε από τον δήμαρχο της Άγκυρας, ο οποίος ήλπιζε να προκαλέσει μεγαλύτερη ζημιά στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες.  Η κακομεταχείριση πολιτών χωρών του ΝΑΤΟ δεν ενόχλησε ιδιαίτερα τις νατοϊκές αξίες: ούτε η σύλληψη 12 Γερμανών (όπως ο Deniz Yucel και ο Peter Steudtner), ούτε η απόπειρα δολοφονίας Τούρκων στη Γερμανία (όπως ο Yuksel Koc), ούτε η κράτηση Αμερικανών στην Τουρκία ως ομήρων (όπως ο Andrew Brunson και ο Serkan Golge), ούτε η επαναλαμβανόμενη σωματική βία εναντίον Αμερικανών στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες (όπως στο στο Ινστιτούτο Brookings και στο Sheridan Circle).

Το ΝΑΤΟ φαίνεται να μην ενοχλείται από το ότι η Άγκυρα βοηθά το πυρηνικό πρόγραμμα του Ιράν, αναπτύσσει ένα ιρανικό πετρελαϊκό κοίτασμα και μεταφέρει ιρανικά όπλα στη Χεζμπολάχ. Η ομιλία του κ. Ερντογάν για την ένταξή του στην οργάνωση συνεργασίας της Σαγκάης που κυριαρχείται απο Μόσχα και Πεκίνο, ταράσσει κάποια λιμνάζοντα ύδατα, όπως και οι κοινές ασκήσεις με το ρωσικό και τον κινεζικό στρατό. Η τουρκική αγορά ενός ρωσικού συστήματος αντιπυραυλικής άμυνας, του S-400, φαίνεται να είναι περισσότερο μία πρόκληση, από ό, τι μία εμπορική συμφωνία. Μια αμοιβαία αμερικανική και τουρκική απαγόρευση των θεωρήσεων (visa) δεν αναστάτωσε κανέναν.

Το ΝΑΤΟ έχει μια επιλογή. Μπορεί, ελπίζοντας ότι ο κ. Ερντογάν δεν είναι παρά μία επώδυνη παρένθεση και η Τουρκία θα επιστρέψει στη Δύση, να συνεχίσει με την παρούσα πολιτική. Ή μπορεί να θεωρήσει ότι η χρησιμότητα του ΝΑΤΟ είναι πολύ σημαντική για να θυσιαστεί σε αυτή την θεωρητική πιθανότητα και να πάρει δυναμικά μέτρα για να παγώσει τη Δημοκρατία της Τουρκίας από τις δραστηριότητες του ΝΑΤΟ, μέχρι να συμπεριφερθεί ξανά σαν σύμμαχος. Αυτά τα βήματα μπορεί να περιλαμβάνουν:
- Την απομάκρυνση των πυρηνικών όπλων από το Ιντσιρλίκ
- Την διακοπή των νατοϊκών επιχειρήσεων από το Ιντσιρλίκ
- Την ακύρωση πώλησης όπλων, όπως των αεροσκαφών F 35
- Τον αποκλεισμό της τούρκικης συμμετοχής από ανάπτυξη όπλων
- Την άρνηση κοινοποίησης πληροφοριών
- Την άρνηση εκπαίδευσης τουρκικών στρατευμάτων
- Την απομάκρυνση τουρκικού προσωπικού από νατοϊκές θέσεις
Μια ενιαία στάση εναντίον της εχθρικής δικτατορίας του κύριου Ερντογάν θα επιτρέψει στην μεγάλη νατοϊκή συμμαχία να ξανα-ανακαλύψει τον ευγενή της σκοπό “να εξασφαλίζει την Ελευθερία, την κοινή κληρονομιά και τον πολιτισμό” των λαών της. Αντιμετωπίζοντας τον ισλαμισμό, το ΝΑΤΟ θα ξαναφορέσει των από καιρού απολεσθέντα μανδύα της υπεράσπισης του δυτικού πολιτισμού.

It has always been a matter of historical curiosity that one of the American diplomats who was deeply involved in the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was named Achilles. As the head of the State Department’s Office of Western European Affairs after World War II and the eventual U.S. Vice Deputy of the North Atlantic Council, Theodore Achilles played a lead role in drafting the treaty that was designed to deter an expansionist Soviet Union from engaging in an armed attack on Western Europe. With 11 European nations joining the U.S. as founding members in 1949, the alliance quickly grew to include two other countries - Greece and Turkey - by 1952 and today encompasses 28 members. It’s a reflection of how difficult it was to imagine that any member of the organization would betray the rest of the alliance that to this day, NATO has no formal mechanism to remove a member in bad standing or to even define what would constitute “bad standing.” Yet, nearly three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO members still make the same solemn vow to one another, known as Article 5, that they made in 1949: that an attack against any member state will be considered an attack against all member states, and will draw an immediate and mutual response.

For nearly seven decades, this combination of factors has been the potential Achilles heel of NATO: that one day, its members would be called to defend the actions of a rogue member who no longer shares the values of the alliance but whose behavior puts its “allies” in danger while creating a nightmare scenario for the global order. After 67 years, that day has arrived: Turkey, which for half a century was a stalwart ally in the Middle East while proving that a Muslim-majority nation could be both secular and democratic, has moved so far away from its NATO allies that it is widely acknowledged to be defiantly supporting the Islamic State in Syria in its war against the West. Since Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2003, Turkey has taken a harshly authoritarian turn, embracing Islamic terrorists of every stripe while picking fights it can’t finish across the region - including an escalating war with 25 million ISIS-battling Kurds and a cold war turning hot with Russia, whose plane it rashly shot down in November. With those fights coming home to roost - as bombs explode in its cities and with enemies at its borders - Turkish leaders are now demanding unconditional NATO support, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declaring on Saturday that he expects “our U.S. ally to support Turkey with no ifs or buts.”

But it’s too little, too late. NATO shouldn’t come to Turkey’s defense-instead, it should begin proceedings immediately to determine if the lengthy and growing list of Turkish transgressions against the West, including its support for Islamic terrorists, have merit. And if they do - and they most certainly do - the Alliance’s supreme decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, should formally oust Turkey from NATO for good before its belligerence and continual aggression drags the international community into World War III. This is an action that is long overdue. As I argued five years ago, “Erdogan, who is Islamist to the core, who once famously declared that “the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the faithful our soldiers”—seems to see himself as the Islamic leader of a post-Arab-Spring Muslim world.” He has spent the past 13 years dismantling every part of Turkish society that made it secular and democratic, remodeling the country, as Caroline Glick of the Center for Security Policy once wrote, “into a hybrid of Putinist autocracy and Iranian theocracy.” Last fall, he even went so far as to praise the executive powers once granted to Adolph Hitler. Under Erdogan’s leadership, our NATO ally has arrested more journalists than China, jailed thousands of students for the crime of free speech, and replaced secular schools with Islamic-focused madrassas. He has publicly flaunted his support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood while accusing long-time ally Israel of “crimes against humanity,” violated an arms ban to Gaza, bought an air defense system (and nearly missiles) from the Chinese in defiance of NATO, and denied America the use of its own air base to conduct strikes during the Iraqi War and later against Islamic terrorists in Syria.

As Western allies fought to help repel Islamic State fighters in the town of Kobani in Western Syria two years ago, Turkish tanks sat quietly just across the border. In fact, there is strong evidence (compiled by Columbia University) that Turkey has been “tacitly fueling the ISIS war machine.” There is evidence to show that Turkey, as Near East Outlook recently put it, allowed “jihadists from around the world to swarm into Syria by crossing through Turkey’s territory;” that Turkey, as journalist Ted Galen Carpenter writes, “has allowed ISIS to ship oil from northern Syria into Turkey for sale on the global market;” that Erdogan’s own son has collaborated with ISIS to sell that oil, which is “the lifeblood of the death-dealing Islamic State”; and that supply trucks have been allowed to pass freely across Turkey in route to ISIS fighters. There is also “evidence of more direct assistance,” as Forbes puts it, “providing equipment, passports, training, medical care, and perhaps more to Islamic radicals;” and that Erdogan’s government, according to a former U.S. Ambassador, worked directly with the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusrah Front. While Ankara pretends to take military action against ISIS, with its obsessive view of the Kurds, it has engaged in a relentless series of artillery strikes against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that are routing ISIS troops in northern Syria.

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group on earth without a homeland - 25 million Sunni Muslims who live at the combined corners where Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey meet. Turkey has waged a bloody, three-decade civil war against its 14 million Kurds - known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK - claiming more than 40,000 lives. The most recent peace process failed when Turkey again targeted the PKK, plunging the southeast of the country back into war while increasingly worrying Erdogan that Syrian and Turkish Kurds will join forces just across Turkey’s border. The Kurds, like the Turks, are sometimes seen through the lens of who they used to be, and not who they are now. In 1997, Turkey convinced the U.S. to put the PKK on its list of terrorist organizations, and Erdogan claims Syria’s Kurds are guilty by association. But in fact, the YPG has worked so closely with the U.S. against Islamic terrorists that the Washington Post recently referred to its members as “U.S. proxy forces.” The Kurds - whether in Syria, Iraq, or Turkey - are, by all accounts, the fiercest and most courageous fighters on the ground in the war against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria. What’s more, the group represents a powerful alternative to the apocalyptic vision of Islamic jihadists, embodying what has been described as “a level of gender equality, a respect for secularism and minorities, and a modern, moderate, and ecumenical conception of Islam that are, to say the least, rare in the region.”

The Turkish government has tried to lay blame for recent bombings in Ankara at the feet of the YPG in an attempt to sway the U.S. to oppose the Kurds. An exasperated Erdogan railed about the loyalties of the West, accused the U.S. of creating a “sea of blood” in the region by supporting the Kurds, and issued an ultimatum: he demanded that the time had come for America to choose between Turkey and the Kurds. I couldn’t agree more: the time has come for the U.S. to choose the Kurds over Erdogan’s Turkey. Critics argue that the Kurds are unwilling to take the fight to ISIS beyond their borders, but this actually presents the U.S. with an opportunity. In exchange for fighting ISIS throughout the region, an international coalition can offer the Kurds their own state. A Kurdish state would become a critical regional ally for the US and play an invaluable role in filling the power vacuum that has emerged in the Middle East. With the help of the U.S., a Kurdish state could also help to accommodate Syrian refugees that have overwhelmed immigration systems in Turkey and Europe. In the long term, it would serve as a valuable regional partner to stabilize the region, and it would set a strong example of successful democracy. In other words, Kurdistan could play the role that Turkey used to play. It’s been said that the difference between being Achilles and almost being Achilles is the difference between living and dying. NATO can do without an Achilles heel: It’s time to kick Turkey out for good.

Stanley Weiss. (Global mining executive and founder of Washington-based Business Executives for National Security, has been widely published on domestic and international issues for three decades.)

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/

ΣΧΕΤΙΚΟ: How is Turkey still a member of NATO?

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