Obama and Erdogan on the Road to Damascus
Some days ago President Obama submitted to Congress his proposal for a five hundred million dollar package designed to finance the actions of the “moderate Syrian opposition,” against the regime of President Bashar Assad. President Obama's aim in this is unclear, because it doesn’t provide any clue as to precisely who the United States is supposed to finance. The truth is that the camp of the enemies of President Assad is completely dominated by the Jihadists.
There is another rather important and also quite odd moment involving the role of the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, in the handling of the Syrian crisis. Since the beginning of the turmoil, the Turkish leader has expressed the same attitude as President Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the situation in Syria. This concept was deprived of any specificity, because it didn’t go beyond the formula “Assad must go.”
As far as the relationship between the United States and Turkey is concerned, according to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ankara is amongst the best and staunchest allies of America. On the one hand, Ms. Clinton was so excited about the idyllic relations between Barack Obama and Erdogan’s Turkey that she gave a joyous high five to the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davitogly, during their meeting in Abu Dhabi back in 2011.
On the other hand, in one of his statements Mr. Obama indicated that he considers the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Tayyip Erdogan, as one of the five international leaders he considers to be his best friend.
The most important part of the problem is that while the prime minister of Turkey is playing a shrewd politically correct game with his influential American friend, who hears from him everything he would like to hear, Erdogan’s strategy in Syria is completely different.
The prime minister of Turkey is undoubtedly a hard core Islamist, and a firm supporter of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. During the Syrian conflict Turkey took the side of the Jihadists.
Small wonder then that there was a constant traffic of Islamic terrorists and supplies coming across the long and indefensible Syrian border with Turkey -- the silent but effective support of the Erdogan government.
The Jihadists are in complete control as well over the refugee camps for close to a million Syrian refugees uprooted by the war. The unconditional support of Ankara for the Islamic participants in the conflict, has reached the point where ambulances are crossing the border back and forth in order to bring wounded Jihadists to Turkish hospitals for treatment.
Regardless of the magnitude of the hidden, multidimensional assistance for the Islamic enemies of the Syrian government so far the Turkish strategy has turned out to be a failure for Erdogan, who is accustomed in winning all of his battles.
According to one of the polls, 68% of the Turkish participants expressed a negative view of the very idea of any military or financial support to the Jihadists who are fighting the Syrian army.
Facing an extremely important presidential bid scheduled for August 10, Erdogan has decided to turn his Syrian defeat into a victory. Taking advantage of his belonging to the elitist club of one of the five best friends of President Obama, the Turkish leader has evidently managed to convince his most important friend to play rough in Syria.
Considering that the Turkish statesman maintains perfect relations with the Jihadists under the pretext of trying to get rid of the bad leader of Syria, Erdogan hopes to turn the tide of Syrian bloodshed in his favor with the weaponry provided by the generous President of the United States.
In the event that the not so complicated strategy of Mr. Erdogan works out, and President Obama falls into the trap called “a support for the moderate Syrian opposition,” the consequence would have a tremendous negative impact on the national interests of the United States and Israel. Last but not least, the consequences of American assistance for the intensification of the war in Syria will have a devastating effect on the entire region. An interesting question would be: What will happen if the Syrian dream of Mr. Erdogan is about to be turned into reality by Mr. Obama and his faithful Secretary of State, Kerry?
First of all, the next round of the Islamic assault on Syria will produce a new level of devastation and new waves of refugees that will flood into the neighboring countries. Particularly affected will be Jordan which is the next victim on the list of the Jihadists.
The secular Syrian state will disappear, most probably by its inclusion into the rapidly expanding Islamic formation encompassing territories belonging to Syria and Iraq. Such a development will produce a massive genocide of those ethnic and religious groups for which there will be no place in a region completely dominated by the Islamo-totalitarian fanatics. The Alawite, the Kurdish, and the Christian communities will disappear. Then the time will come for the new extension of the Islamic Caliphate of Aby Bakr al-Baghdadi into Jordan and Lebanon, provoking a war with Israel.
The problem is that in case Mr. Obama is able to figure out the essence of the strategy Mr. Erdogan strictly followed for years, then the president is conducting a deliberate policy directed against the national interests of the United States.
On the other hand, if the competence of the President Obama in the area of international politics is somewhat limited, then he has to change his entire body of advisors.
Or, possibly, Mr. Obama considers the secular Syrian regime as a more serious danger to the national security of the United States than the new Jihadist formation that stretches almost to the outskirts of Baghdad?
Most certainly Mr. Obama wouldn’t cover those important issues during his rather irregular press conferences, and if by some miracle he does, most certainly the meaningful questions will remain unanswered. What is far more important is to hope that somebody more competent in international politics than Hillary Clinton or John Kerry would be in a position to explain to the evidently deeply confused Commander in Chief the huge negative consequences if Erdogan’s Syrian design materializes.
The most important thing Mr. Obama must learn is that the crazy idea of wasting half a billion dollars in order to finance the Syria related strategy of present day Turkey, would not serve the national interests of the United States, but rather the Islamic agenda of Mr. Erdogan.
Georgy Gounev teaches and lectures on the ideology and strategy of radical Islam. His book The Dark Side of the Crescent Moon will be published on August 31, 2014 by Rutgers University Press, and is available on Amazon.