*Update of original article from Nov. 2015.
Erdogan and Turkey continue to be embarrassments to both Angela Merkel and NATO. Instead of providing stability, Erdogan is threatening Europe and Syria. He uses the refugees as cattle/bargaining chips to get his way in Syria and the EU.
However,the EU has economic leverage on Turkey and could break Erdogan’s ribs with hardball economic body blows. NATO also needs to have a quiet chat with him. A typical bully like Erdogan does not respond to roses and candy. Character and attitude adjustments can only be achieved through strength and resolve. Stand up to him and he will get the message.
Enjoy the original article:
The UN has long ago lost all respect and credibility. They are feckless, unrealistic, and tend to discriminate against Christians and the West. No one respects the UN anymore due to their behavior and actions. They are irrelevant.
Is NATO becoming the new UN? Obviously, NATO was founded for noble purposes and Turkey may have made sense in 1951 as the Cold War raged. But circumstances change…should we be committed to defend a rogue nation because of a pledge made 64 years ago under very different circumstances?
I find these automatic alliances a dangerous idea. Look back to World War I and how casual pledges led one country after another into conflict without a true purpose of what they were fighting for. It’s called “mobilization without thought”.
What were they fighting for? They were fighting because outdated treaties forced them to. (Obviously, I simplify here, it goes a little deeper, but that discussion is for another time; the point here is that many countries did indeed mobilize based on past committments.)
The Cold War is history, so why NATO? I understand the arguments for and against, but if the US, for instance, wants to defend Slovakia or Czech republic (two of my favorites), we should do so based on the merits and congressional authorization, not automatic triggers. Obviously these two countries are solid partners and are not shooting down Russian planes or supporting Islamic radicals….but another NATO country, Turkey, is. There is strong evidence that Erdogan is directly or indirectly supporting ISIS, al-Nusra and various other Islamic extremists in Syria.
Behind closed doors, NATO officials clearly believe Erdogan’s actions were both provocative and unwarranted. But it’s certainly a dangerous game they are playing, being held hostage by the actions of Erdogan, based on outdated committments made decades ago. In addition, how can NATO’s reputation as a responsible organization not suffer when one of their members has gone rogue?
Here lies the problem with NATO. There is nothing in their charter about dropping a NATO member, it can only be done on a voluntary basis with one years notice. I find this astonishing, if not maddening. Turkey can hold NATO hostage to their actions. Erdogan knew exactly what he was doing when he shot down that Russian plane in very disputable circumstances. He wants to punish Putin for his success against Turkey’s extremist allies in Syria and wants to use NATO as his buffer to prevent Putin from striking back.
We may never know if that plane violated Turkish airspace or not, after all, it’s Putin’s word vs Erdogan’s word. However, we all know Turkey was in no danger and Erdogan acted in a provocative and desperate manner. Now the “little tyrant” talks tough knowing he has the big guy (NATO) at his back.
NATO needs to come clean to uphold their integrity. This was not a defensive move on Turkey’s part. Therefore, NATO must make it clear that this attack on a Russian plane was not defensive in any way and does not commit them to come to the aid of a conspiring member nation.
In addition, NATO must have a mechanism to remove member nations; it cannot allow itself to be enslaved by a nation that abuses its membership and carelessly, for their own purposes, puts the security of other member nations at risk.
Are Americans ready to fight and die for Erdogan and Turkey, the allies of radical Islamists in Syria? The question for today: If one is only as good as its weakest member…has NATO’s association with Turkey allowed themselves to become just another discredited international organization like the UN