An Alliance That Never Was

An Alliance That Never Was

TEHRAN (FNA)- The so-called alliance between the United States and Turkey is under threat after the first batch of equipment of Russian-made S-400 missile defense system arrived at Murted Air Base in Ankara on July 12.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has decided to slap sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition. Washington plans to announce economic sanctions against Ankara at the end of next week, pendingTrump’s final confirmation.

Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act and after Monday’s anniversary of a 2016 coup attempt against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump and his necon team plan to swiftly put Ankara’s head in vice and “inflict varying degrees of pain” for receiving the Russian missile defense system.

NATO has also said it is concerned: “We are concerned about the potential consequences of Turkey’s decision to acquire the S-400 system, which is not compatible with allied weapons.”

We have no reason to assume it is any more substantial than the rubbish to declare Russian-made S-400 missile system incompatible or that it puts at risk the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program, the F-35 fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp. But there is more to this new Mideast saga.

The truth is Turkey’s alliance with the US is written in the sands because of their differences in Syria and the fact that the US supports and arms separatist Kurds. As well, the delivery of the missile system will continue because Turkey says it is a strategic defence requirement. Ankara complains that Europe did not present a viable alternative either.

Translation: Sanctions – and not diplomacy – is still Washington’s usual mantra, a timeless American tradition. If we do that most difficult thing, stay back and take a cold, hard look at the White House, we will find that most US presidents do more or less the same thing to appease the cult of military-industrial complex. This is commonly done by way of scapegoating, sanctions, arms race and regime-change conflicts. The new Turkish case is not extreme, but it must not be seen in isolation.

It is true that Republicans and Democrats are a divided people in many respects. But let us not make too much of this, for they also display a striking unity in their tendency to blame Turkey, Russia and Iran for their difficulties, shortcomings and failures in Syria and the Middle East. It is that easy to extend their current outburst of frustration to their tweeter-in-chief too.

On balance, almost everyone on Capitol Hill gives in to flinching from failures that are all their own. Sooner or later, President Trump will sign off the new sanctions regime against Turkey, and will also assert that the decision to receive the advanced missile defence system from Russia has driven a wedge into the heart of the NATO military alliance.

We are on notice now. Just like Noble Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, the so-called “anti-establishment” Trump has failed to hold his ground and prevail in this ferocious fight of sanctions and who knows what else. Elements within the Pentagon, the CIA, the national-security apparatus, the NATO bureaucracy, and the military-industrial complex have apparently gone to any lengths to prevent whatever kind of détente with Turkey.

The War Party and the mere extras need a hostile world and the 45th president of the United States will also live in one until the American people and the international civil society insist otherwise. He will make a clear choice to destroy his diplomatic position in this regard. We will be watching this choice being made soon when he signs off sanctions against Turkey.

As is often the case, people like Obama and George W. Bush ran the US into the ground after invading Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, while levelling the guns and sanctions at Iran and Russia. Trump should read the clock on history’s time. Close he is once again to this self-defeating trope and timeless tradition.

The only difference this time is that by failing to forge a diplomatic solution he is having it backwards. He and party officials at the White House might as well put the last nail in the coffin of the old alliance by sanctioning a NATO ally.

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