Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's not about NATO, stupid

The NY Times has a typically Washington-centric piece about the disarray in the Turkish army.

So it's time for RtO to do what it does and state the obvious:

1. The army is an uncertain fighting force. Pictures of its generals show chests full of campaign ribbons, but the army hasn't fought overseas since the Korean War (where MacArthur maneuvered the Turkish Brigade to annihilation). Those ribbons represent nothing more than Zippo raids against defenseless Kurdish villages, hundreds of whose burned remains mark the army's pacification methods in southeast Turkey.

(Kurdish sources say the army has lately resumed Saddam's pacification program, setting fire to the forests where the Kurds live. This has been going on, off and on, for a long time.)
Medals for murdering children

2. Erdogan is no democrat and no friend of europeanization, so whether the army is effective or not, it has for a long time not been available for NATO purposes. The Times' fretfulness about the coup's effect on NATO is quaintly out-of-date:

That is a blow, not only to the country, but also to NATO, of which Turkey is a member. The Turkish military is a crucial ally in fighting terrorism, reining in the Islamic State, and in controlling the migrant tide that has overwhelmed Europe. Chaos within the military symbolizes not only its waning power in the country — and the rise of the police, which Mr. Erdogan built up as a bulwark to the military — but its diminished reliability as a partner to the West.

3. After the Germans and the Croats, the Turkish army has the worst record for atrocities against civilians of any regular army, worse even than the Sudanese.This has been the case under the Ottomans and under the republic..

Turkey was never a democracy, only a disguised military despotism. Erdogan has brilliantly taken over the despotism intact by replacing the army with his own party.

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