Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dani Rodrik — Is the U.S. behind Fethullah Gulen?


Backgrounder on Gullenism, and analysis of the Turkish coup and US involvement. Important if you are following this.

Dani Rodrik's Weblog
Is the U.S. behind Fethullah Gulen?
Dani Rodrik | Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

18 comments:

Bob said...

Analysis of the coup:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/08/01/turk-a01.html

Analysis of anti-Putin rhetoric:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/08/01/pers-a01.html

Bob said...

Perhaps it is time to carve out a large Kurdish state in the region with help from the US military. The US would get a staunch ally and the other regional players would get a bloody nose.

Tom Hickey said...

Perhaps it is time to carve out a large Kurdish state in the region with help from the US military. The US would get a staunch ally and the other regional players would get a bloody nose

Is the American public ready to fight Turkey, Russia and Iran to do it?

BTW, this is what "removing Assad is really about. It's about carving up Syria, giving the southern corridor to Israel, the middle to Saudi backed Wahhabis, and the north to the Kurds.

Russia and Iran are opposing and now apparently Turkey, since the Kurds are their mortal enemies.

This is basically a fight over who controls the Middle East going forward.

Bob said...

The American public has no role to play in this. That's one of the benefits of having an all volunteer military. Erdogan has got to go if the Kurds are to be betrayed in favour of Turkish interests. The message to the Turks in light of a Kurdish state could be "Don't thank us, thank your president."

Bob said...

This is what I believe Hillary would do, not Trump.

Tom Hickey said...

The American public has no role to play in this. That's one of the benefits of having an all volunteer military. Erdogan has got to go if the Kurds are to be betrayed in favour of Turkish interests. The message to the Turks in light of a Kurdish state could be "Don't thank us, thank your president."

Erdogan is meeting with Putin and undoubtedly this will come up as a key issue that concerns both parties. Erdogan has already mentioned an alliance with Russia and Iran publicly. Like it or not, Erdogan is the democratically elected leader of Turkey and the majority of Turk are backing him.

Russia has already committed to the present Syrian boundaries, as has Iran.

They are willing to fight over this. It is a red line.

Is it a red line for the US? The US would have to not only win the war but also control the area, or the American public would react to they another failed adventure. The US has not been able to do this with Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya.There is no reason to think any different with Syria. Moreover, it would also result in a greater flood of refugees to Europe.

I don't see the US and NATO making a big ground commitment in Syria under lane duck Obama.

Would HRC go for it? Probably. If so, there would be a reaction in the US and perhaps a belated rise in anti-war sentiment and a reinvigoration of the anti-war movement.

Tom Hickey said...

Trump is already on record as favoring an anti-ISIS coalition including Russia. I haven't heard him mention the Kurdish situation yet, but that would be key in forming an anti-ISIS coalition that includes Turkey and Russia, who are vital players and sine qua non for success.

Bob said...

Like it or not, Erdogan is the democratically elected leader of Turkey and the majority of Turk are backing him.

They don't like recent developments. They want him dead.

Is it a red line for the US? The US would have to not only win the war but also control the area, or the American public would react to they another failed adventure. The US has not been able to do this with Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya.There is no reason to think any different with Syria. Moreover, it would also result in a greater flood of refugees to Europe.

None of these considerations has deterred them in the past. Some of these may even be taken as green lights. It could go as far as booting Turkey from NATO.

Would HRC go for it? Probably. If so, there would be a reaction in the US and perhaps a belated rise in anti-war sentiment and a reinvigoration of the anti-war movement.

Let us hope so. The current anti-war movement is useless and has been safely ignored for decades.

If I were the Russians, I'd try to win the proxy war in Syria before Hillary is elected. Making a deal with the Kurds within Syria may also be in their interests even if it angers the Turks.

Bob said...

Trump is already on record as favoring an anti-ISIS coalition including Russia. I haven't heard him mention the Kurdish situation yet, but that would be key in forming an anti-ISIS coalition that includes Turkey and Russia, who are vital players and sine qua non for success.

ISIS' days may be numbered. The US is increasingly active in both Iraq and in areas where Kurdish forces are operating.

Tom Hickey said...

They don't like recent developments. They want him dead.

Evidence?

Tom Hickey said...

ISIS' days may be numbered. The US is increasingly active in both Iraq and in areas where Kurdish forces are operating.

Like in Afghanistan 15 years on?

Bob said...

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/08/01/turk-a01.html

It is now being reported that Ankara received warning of the coup and Erdogan escaped assassination only because of reports from Russian forces that US-linked assassins were on the way to kill him.
Russian forces at the nearby Khmeimim airbase in Syria reportedly intercepted coded radio signals containing information about preparations for a coup and shared them with the Turkish government. Erdogan left a hotel in Marmaris only minutes before 25 rebel soldiers descended on the hotel and began shooting. Ultimately, hundreds were killed and thousands wounded as rebel army units bombed the Turkish parliament and attacked pro-Erdogan protesters and loyal military and police units.
A pro-coup officer captured by the Turkish government, Lieutenant Colonel Murat Bolat, told the conservative Yeni Savak newspaper that his unit was designated to detain and possibly murder Erdogan after receiving precise information on Erdogan's location from US sources.
“A person in the meeting, whom I guess was an officer from the Special Forces, said, ‘Nobody will be allowed to rescue the president from our hands,’” he said, indicating that this meant Erdogan was to be shot after he was captured if the forces who had arrested him faced any counterattack.


Like in Afghanistan 15 years on?

How will ISIS re-supply without Turkey?

Erdogan has done a 180, jeopardizing if not dooming the US proxy forces. Is it surprising that they would want him dead?

Tom Hickey said...

The looming alliance of Turkey, Russia and Iran will crush ISIS without US involvement.

The US is supplying and supporting AQ, which is the driving force behind the "moderate" rebels. Russia and Iran are opposing AQ on the battlefield, but Turkey has been cooperating with the US on this as well as supporting ISIS against the Kurds.

Now Erdogan has made his peace with Assad and is against any US plan to remove Assad and carve up Syria.

Bob said...

The US has had 'boots on the ground' for months, with operations in Iraq and with the Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. Erdogan's switch has the potential to finish off AQ and ISIS before the US can grab a larger foothold in the region. But it is up to the Russians to provide the support for a quick victory.

Tom Hickey said...

Read Moon of Alabama that I linked to today. It's complicated.

Bob said...

A last gasp attack before re-supply from Turkey becomes an issue?

Russia on the other side has now to decide if it wants to escalate enough to create more than the current stalemate. Over time a stalemate becomes expansive and it may, at any time, suddenly turn into defeat. The U.S. negotiation positions so far were obviously not serious. The U.S. delayed to allow for further large attacks on the Syrian government. The alternative for Russia is to either leave Syria completely or to escalate enough to decisively defeat the Jihadis. That is not an easy decision.

The US will continue to delay, yet even they cannot guarantee the participation of forces that are proxies. That is a limitation in this type of conflict. If the Russians play this right, they could get the support of the Kurds as allies. It would carve Syria up in a limited way, but it would also lock out the US. The AQ and ISIS will never be US allies.

The Turks will press the Russians et. all to betray the Kurds, because that is their all consuming obsession. Relations between the US and Turkey are very bad, due to Erdogan's flip-flop, which the Russians can capitalize on. But the Russians shouldn't give this loose cannon everything he asks for.

Another consideration for the Russians are the atrocities that will no doubt occur once AQ and ISIS are defeated. They may not wish to be associated with it, as their domestic terrorism problem is much greater than that faced by the US.

Tom Hickey said...

The Russian plan is to keep Syria intact as a sovereign state and broker an agreement among the different interests. Under Assad, different interest groups were supported. Under a Wahhabi or Salafi administration they would not be. A big reason that Russia is involved is to ensure the continued survival of Christianity in the region. In fact, Acts 11:26 records that Damascus was the first place that followers of Jesus were called Christians.

Bob said...

That is the usual plan - to preserve the borders no matter the death toll. It didn't work for the US in Iraq. In the long term partition is for the best even if it's a de facto arrangement.

Incirlik air base is in lockdown, surrounded by Turkish troops. Will the American contingent be asked to leave?