To Throw Up or Not To Throw Up …

What my Hufvudstadsbladet is reporting about events in the Near East is neither very detailed nor very up to date, but a few facts have come to me even via this channel (in addition to what is reaching me anyway every day via email): we are informed about Erdogan’s grab for absolute power, we know about his tendency to take the fight against the Kurds more seriously than any action against ISIS, we know that he has meanwhile sent a number of tanks of the Turkish army into Syria (there was no mentioning that he had been invited by anybody in Syria to do so), we also know that he is an enemy of the Syrian government. Altogether, he is using ISIS as a pretext to expand his fight against the Kurds and to invade Syria.

We also know that Turkey is a member of NATO. Of course it is far from the North Atlantic, nor does it have any common border any more with Russia, nor is it any more a democracy (thus, for what does NATO need Turkey any more? – anyway NOT for anything like “the defense of Western values”). Of course, as Turkey is still a member and the other members have signed the contract, it would at least be logical to defend Turkey if it were attacked, but there is nobody visible who would be inclined to do that. – Interesting question: if Turkey should begin a war with Syria and Syria would cross the border into Turkey, would that be a case when NATO would be obliged to come to the aid of Turkey?

In this situation, what is NATO doing? Well, it gives its full support to Erdogan. Among the reasons given (there are not many given) there are such admonitions that “one should not drive him into Putin’s arms”. Which I think is a gross underestimate of Putin’s intelligence (what would he do with an obviously pretty tricky/dishonest dictator whose army has still vivid memories of belonging to NATO and is anyway since centuries a traditional enemy of Russia?). But the whole line of NATO is a continuation of (a) the tradition that Russia is “the enemy” (presumably blindly cultivated in all western military academies), and of (b) the tradition that democracy is not really any serious concern (in Europe, NATO did not mind at all that it had among its members dictatorships like Salazar’s in Portugal and the military dictatorship in Greece, and otherwise it lives by the belief that the USA can do no wrong – and never mind what the USA have a tradition of doing to democracy in its own so-called backyard …).

Thus and altogether, what should we now consider to be the function of NATO? Beyond enlarging the market for the US military industry (and presumably at the same the US banks) and cultivating hostility against anybody whom the USA might consider an obstacle to the expansion of their power? But don’t you expect any of our politicians to say anything about this in public. Or even that the NATO-eager ones among our political parties would stop wishing to get Finland into NATO. Because (seemingly) it is simply POLITICALLY CORRECT to think that Putin is our enemy and Erdogan (obviously) our friend (same as our friends in Hungary, Poland, and soon perhaps also in Ukraine). From where then the question whether to throw up or …

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