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US Powerless Versus Turkey

Submitted by Steve Brown…


In a grim new stark reality reminiscent of “The Twilight’s Last Gleaming” the US military establishment now laments its own inability to forcibly corrupt the world – or in this case Turkey – to purchase its weaponry.

In a bizarre release, author Phil Stewart speculates that the impotence of US power to force Erdogan to purchase the expensive and highly over-rated Patriot missile system relates to the failed US-engineered coup attempt of three years ago.

Citing unknown and vague sources within the US military, author Stewart speculates that the failed US coup prompted the Turkish leadership to make its S-400 decision. Now prepare for the reason:  That mysterious and ‘unnamed sources’ within the US Pentagon (known only to Stewart? …. or only to the CIA?) believe that Erdogan could shoot down Turkey’s own US-made warplanes more easily with Russian S-400’s than with the US-made Patriot in another coup attempt.  Yes, you read that right!

Stewart thus quotes the ‘unnamed officials’ in the Pentagon: “There’s some talk that he wants the (Russian) system just to protect himself. He doesn’t want a NATO-integrated system.”

There is no doubt that the US-attempted coup in Turkey, and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia in its embassy in Istanbul, has given second thoughts to Turkey about the value of its western alliance. Possessing S-400’s will leverage Turkey’s ability to diversify its own air force beyond NATO equipment, and shift its focus from west to east.

And the idea that Erdogan is only worried about the threat from Turkey’s own air force is beyond absurd, especially since the shake-up in the Turkish AF ranks since the attempted coup; also the clear threat from Israeli air strikes in Syria (where Turkish forces are present) while the US defends the YPG around Manbij and Deir Ezzor.

Trump said Turkey’s S-400 decision is all Obama’s fault and that, “I’ve had a good relationship with President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan,” which of course makes sense as they are similar personalities. Trump continued, “It’s a very tough situation that they’re in and it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been placed in…. With all of that being said, we’re working through it, we’ll see what happens.”

On July 18th however, the US announced its decision to bar Turkey from the F35 program. Trump said, “Because they have a system of missiles that’s made in Russia, they’re now prohibited from buying over 100 planes. I would say that Lockheed isn’t exactly happy. That’s a lot of jobs.”

The move limits Turkey’s warplanes to its ageing fleet of existing US F4 Phantom’s and F16’s. Thus, the logical conclusion is that Turkey will purchase new military planes from elsewhere, pushing Turkey further to the east, logically to Russia and China. Russia has already offered its advanced SU-57 fighter, a warplane which competes directly with the F35’s.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s S-400’s will provide a defense versus Israeli aircraft and attacks in Syria, in regions where Turkey has an interest such as Afrin, when the Patriot missiles won’t. Recall that Erdogan is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, so relations between Turkey and Israel are not the best. Turkey has interests in offshore oil around Cyprus too, in opposition to the Israeli’s, and has pipeline interests in the Middle East that conflict with the Israeli agenda.

Israel has deferred its air attacks in Syria for now, while Syrian security forces clean up in the Northwest. Syrian forces are being upgraded with S-400’s too, which will make Israeli air attacks on Damascus far riskier than in the past, and Israel is certainly risk averse where its IAF is concerned.

Another factor is the stalemate in Syria. The United States wants Turkey to maintain its support for the NLF in the northwest, to keep pressure on the Syrian leadership and assist with continuing US efforts for regime change. The United States wants some form of control around Manbij too, to prevent a Turkish assault on the YPG and SLF forces there.  In other words, the US wants to maintain its position in Manbij for its continuing efforts for Syrian regime change.

So the US needs Turkey’s support in Syria, and cannot afford to impose sanctions over the S-400’s that would further drive Turkey toward Russia, while the US must retain Turkey within NATO too; thus the US is powerless to take any substantive action versus Turkey over the S-400’s, besides the rather minor action of barring Turkey from purchasing US F35’s, as it has done.

Although the US has no power to affect the Libyan conflict other than to sell weaponry to both sides, the US does have some interest in supporting Turkey in keeping Sarraj and the GNA afloat. That’s because the US opposes a Haftar win in Libya, and the US wants Turkey to continue to rely on Misrata oil, and not turn back to Iran for cheap oil imports.

Finally, we must watch the war theaters in Syria and Libya, and the new US tensions with Iran, for tactical developments regarding Washington’s own ageing hegemon, as traditional alliances rapidly morph and diversify.


Steve Brown is the author of “Iraq: the Road to War” (Sourcewatch) editor of “Bush Administration War Crimes in Iraq” (Sourcewatch) “Trump’s Limited Hangout” and “Federal Reserve: Out-sourcing the Monetary System to the Money Trust Oligarchs Since 1913”; Steve is an antiwar activist, and a published scholar on the US monetary system.

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Walter Clemsy
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Walter Clemsy

Unfortunately, there are still many people who believe Erdogan orchestrated the coup himself, despite solid evidence to the contrary.

Platon
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Platon

I have come around. I thought so at the time but realize now that the idea was implanted by the masked media of the West.

SteveK9
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SteveK9

It seems surprising that Russia cannot get Turkey out of Idlib. Russia is building the Turkstream pipeline, the Akkuyu nuclear plant, and selling the S-400. That is a lot of favors for Turkey.

Since Turkey cannot purchase the F-35 (lucky Turkey), they will almost certainly buy Russian fighter planes. I doubt it will be the SU-57 … too soon for that, but Russia has a number of other very capable jets to sell.

cynic
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cynic

It’s about more than selling weapons. This is a chance to tip Turkey towards seizing southern Cyprus and more Greek islands. The US and EU will complain but do little. The Sultan gains more power and loot. He can afford to ignore Syria for a few years, so Russia and Syria can slowly grind down the terrorists there with less Turkish concern. Russia gains strategic depth as NATO has to become more cautious. The Greeks gain an opportunity to again reflect on the wisdom of Thucydides that the strong do what they can and the weak acquiesce and suffer what… Read more »

Ray Joseph Cormier
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This World is not the same World that existed in 1962. What caused the Cuban Missile Crisis was the US putting missiles in Turkey aimed at Russia. Admitting Turkey into NATO was the last link to encircling the Soviet Union. Naturally, the Soviets didn’t like that aggressive US action at all and responded in kind by putting their missiles in Cuba. Naturally, the US didn’t like that aggressive Soviet act either. The Resolution to the conflict was the Soviets would withdraw their missiles from Cuba, and the Americans withdrew their missiles from Turkey. Naturally, Russia would be suspect of US… Read more »

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

“Attorney General Robert Kennedy then met secretly with Soviet Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Dobrynin, and indicated that the United States was planning to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey anyway, and that it would do so soon, but this could not be part of any public resolution of the missile crisis. The next morning, October 28, Khrushchev issued a public statement that Soviet missiles would be dismantled and removed from Cuba.” https://history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/cuban-missile-crisis The Jupiter missiles were replaced with others, aimed at Russia, so the US lied again. JFK was planning to take out the Jupiters anyway and replace… Read more »

AM Hants
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AM Hants

It is interesting what is going on. The US needs Turkey, more than Turkey needs the US. When you look at the ‘Operation Gladio’ exercise, when Turkey invaded Cyprus, it was with full support of the characters behind ‘Operation Gladio’, including Kissinger. Nuland left Ukraine for Cyprus, with orders for the Cypriots to turn away from their friendship with Russia and handover Cyprus to Turkey. Turkey, with it’s military base in the North. Cyprus, a non-NATO nation, with two UK military bases, owing to the UK , (Cyprus became a British protectorate in 1912; by 1922, it was a crown… Read more »

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Kissinger – ‘Who controls Cyprus, Crete and Malta, controls the world’. Operation Gladio, one of the exercises was the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Victoria Nuland, on leaving Ukraine, with an empty basket of GM toxic cookies, went to Cyprus. Telling the Cypriots they had to cut links with Russia and hand over the Island to Turkey. How did that go down? With May willing to give one of the UK military bases in Cyprus to Turkey, under the guise of NATO. Despite Cyprus being a non-NATO nation? Geoffrey Pyatt, the other end of the Nuland ‘FU EU’ phone call, went… Read more »

Platon
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Platon

You have delineated some rich ‘pickings’.
A good short list for a Rogue’s Gallery even if they do not manage to start WW3, in which case I trust they will be hunted down and given justice.

Platon
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Platon

Turkey leaving is like NATO walking out on itself. Comical but good for the world all the same.
I wish someone would do something about that real-life Smeagle, Stoltzehoffer or Katzenjammer or whatever that Judases name is who has been installed to say ‘yes master’ on behalf of the diabolical Western cult called NATO.
NATOOTAN – Satan loves a palindrome.

John
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John

Our Australian subservience to Washington can do with growing balls, learn from Turkey’s example. Consider USA meddles in Oz more years than one could count. Abandon the F35 for superior Russian equipment at lower cost, abandon Oz military providing blind Freddie insane support to Washington’s imperial overreach. As sure as god made little apples, if Oz were attacked (damned if I know whom by) Washington would not back the ANZUS Treaty to Australia’s defense.

BobValdez
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BobValdez

” As sure as god made little apples, if Oz were attacked (damned if I know whom by) Washington would not back the ANZUS Treaty to Australia’s defense.”
Good to know someone else here in arse-tralia knows the truth.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

What happens to all the nukes that the US has in Turkey? Finders keepers.

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