Turkey Shoot

The great and the good are suggesting that Turkey cool its jets and allow the Syrian civil war to continue on its bloody course. 

In fact, Turkey is stepping up to do what the West is far to timid to do; get on with the job of taking out Assad. He’s going, the only question is whether he will be pushed by jihadis or by marginally more respectable people.

Turkey has the great advantage of being a Muslim country and, at the same time, no friend of Iran. It has a serious army and fairly advanced weapons systems. It is not the implacable foe of Israel. For the Turks to take down Assad would, in a certain sense, be a largely safe outcome. The potential for big time genocide as Sunnis scrap with Alawis and the assorted branches of Shi’ite militias would be muted, if not silenced, by a Turkish incursion. There is nothing particularly sacred about Syria as a nation state. It did not exist until 1916 when a couple of chaps named Sykes and Picot divided the spoils of the collapsing Ottoman Empire. No one would mourn the end of the Syrian experiment a little before its hundredth birthday.

Russia would mourn the loss of a client and Iran the loss of a proxy. There are chemical and biological weapons which need to be rounded up. But a Turkish re-occupation would not be the worst outcome in the world for the Syrian civil war.

What is needed, of course, is the tacit agreement of the US, the UK, France and Israel as well as the various Sunni nations currently financing and arming the rebellion That is not impossible. But it needs to come quickly and it needs to bypass the UN.

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