Saturday, June 23, 2012

Imperialist War on Syria: 'This Won't Be Another Libya'

‘This won’t be another Libya’ – Today’s World News

Publication Date 23 June 2012

Saturday 23 June 2012 6:10 pm

On the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul on Wednesday afternoon, delegates, gathered from around the globe, suddenly received a shock.

Here were some of the biggest global retailers and manufacturers gathered for their annual trade conference, keen to hear about Euro-trade from Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s EU Minister and Chief Negotiator.

In the audience, the likes of Carrefour, Unilever, Nestle, Tesco, Coca Cola, Pepsico, and Marks and Spencer…polite…besuited…expectant and waiting to hear a tale of trading optimism from Turkey’s boom economy.

But Mr Bagis had other ideas. It soon turned out he’d hoofed it that day up to Istanbul from Turkey’s southern border with Syria, and Chief Negotiator Bagis was emotional and moved deeply by what he’d seen down there.

He’d visited some of the 30,000 or so refugees from Syria, driven out by the fighting and given shelter in camps by the Turkish authorities.

“So ladies and gentlemen my message is simple – the killing has to stop.”

He would make his case for Turkey’s EU membership. He would praise Ankara’s driving forward of the economic boom here. But all in due course.

For now, at the top of his speech and again later on, he would return to the Syrian theme. Turkey is getting sore. Not long ago there were personal friendships between Syria and Turkey at Prime Ministerial and Presidential level. Not now.

Though Turkey cannot credibly play the aggrieved innocent over what has happened these past 24 hours.

Turkey pleads for the killing to stop but allows the Free Syrian Army to have training camps on Turkish soil.

Equally, the President’s claim that it’s tricky to avoid flying your fighter plane into someone else’s airspace because they fly rather fast looks absurd.

It’s like claiming your tank shelled the school because the big gun on top is tricky to point the right way. President Abdullah Gul – an economist – should perhaps venture off the military stuff.

Likewise, you shouldn’t make excuses on the one hand whilst telling the world you can’t say or do anything until the facts are known.

Then there’s a senior official close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported as saying it looks like “a declaration of war”. But the PM’s been careful not to say this.

However, he did say Syria had “apologised”. Then he appeared to retract that, according to subsequent reports.

On both counts a mess.

But that’s just news-management. What action will come of it? I suggest probably not a great deal. Stronger hands than Turkish ones will be counselling Ankara hard not to retaliate militarily in any way that might escalate matters.

The USA does not wish to start World War Three in Syria – a remarkably conducive place for that to happen. And not at all when the White House is in election mode.

Ditto NATO, in or out of elections, and the EU? Well, none of them can think about anything much these days except their currency potentially going over the falls.

This will not be Libya. There will be no great reaction. The fighter probably did stray into Syrian airspace and Turkey probably will be kept on a long leash by Washington.

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