Turkey’s Erdogan, a Regional Menace

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Turkey’s Erdogan, a Regional Menace

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Erdogan operates like Washington. He has interests, not allies, seeking whatever he can gain from dealings with other countries in return for empty promises – the way all rogue state leaders operate.

He used a NYT op-ed for managed news disinformation he wants spread around. He lied saying “Turkey became the first country to deploy ground combat troops to fight the so-called Islamic State in Syria.”

Throughout most of the war, he supported its scourge, along with likeminded terrorist groups, giving them safe haven in Turkey, letting them move freely back and forth cross border.

He allied with Washington’s regime change campaign in Syria, refining and selling stolen ISIS oil. He and his family profited hugely from the arrangement, smuggling stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil into Turkey.

It’s unclear to what extent he still supports anti-Assad terrorists in northern Syria, failing to remove them as agreed on from Idlib province’s demilitarized zone, arranged with Russia last September.

He’s part of the problem in Syria, not the solution to endless years of war, Assad’s enemy, not ally. His troops illegally occupy northern Syrian territory.

He lied claiming “Turkey is committed to defeating the so-called Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria, because the Turkish people are all too familiar with the threat of violent extremism.”

The jihadists aren’t defeated in Syria or anywhere else, largely because of US support. Greatly aided by Russian airpower, Syrian forces liberated most areas they once occupied.

Much more than just ISIS remnants remain to be eliminated, as Erdogan claimed. “Turkey proposes a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the root causes of radicalization,” he declared.

He’s a sworn enemy of Syria, its people and Assad. Saying he wants “to create a stabilization force featuring fighters from all parts of Syrian society (to) bring law and order to various parts of the country” ignores the illegal presence of his forces, along with no right of a foreign power to dictate to or otherwise meddle in the internal affairs of another country.

He lied saying he has “no argument with the Syrian Kurds,” waging war on them, along with Turkey’s Kurdish population.

He blasted John Bolton for saying Ankara’s security guarantee for Syrian Kurds is a precondition for withdrawing US forces from the country – at a time Bolton and Pompeo effectively overruled Trump on Syria, both saying there’s no timeline for withdrawal.

Both stressed US forces will stay until ISIS is eliminated – the scourge the US supports, pretending otherwise.

The remarks by Bolton and Pompeo provide a pretext for endless US occupation of northern and southern Syrian territory.

US forces came to stay, not leave. Erdogan claimed he only intends to kill “terrorists” – meaning elements opposing his regional hegemonic aims, not jihadists he supports, including mercenaries used by Turkey’s military.

With friends like Erdogan, who needs enemies. He pretends to want diplomatic conflict resolution while illegally occupying northern Syrian territory.

He wants permanent control over  territory east of the Euphrates River. Earlier he turned truth on its head, falsely accusing Assad of “kill(ing) nearly one million of his citizens,” adding he’s “not someone who we hold in high esteem.”

Like Washington, he seeks regime change. Allying with Russia and Iran on resolving conflict in Syria was always suspect.

Both countries know the risks of dealing with a ruthless despot – concerned only about his own self-interest, adversely affecting regional stability.

He’s an enemy of regional peace, stability, equity and justice – a figure never to be trusted.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.