Friday, October 12, 2007

Caution, Turkey

Trukey's not reacting well to the House committee vote to bring the Armenian genocide resolution to a vote of the full body. Couple that with rising tensions on Iraq and you don't have a good situation.

But Ankara also needs to be very careful in how it chooses to react. It can express its disappointment and frustration, sure. But making threats against its leading ally could be very counterproductive. It is not wise to throw around talk about leaving NATO--membership in which, after all, is one of Turkey's cornerstone arguments for why it should be considered part of the West.

Turkey is an important country for the U.S., but it is not indispensable. Not having a northern front for Iraq in 2003 was an irritant, but the current problems we face in Iraq are not caused by the fact we didn't have a northern front. Turkish influence isn't that critical for advancing the U.S. agenda in the Arab world nor is Turkey playing a critical role in either helping to broker settlements either for Iraq or Iran.

Turkey could find that other countries in the region would be more than happy to try and make up the "slack"--in terms of offering access to facilities or advancing the U.S. agenda--which would over time weaken the U.S. committment to Ankara.

Turkey needs to take a page from Croatia. The Croatians got a rude awakening a few years back from the EU with regard to some of their own less than exemplary record during the Yugoslav wars. They dealt with it--and got the issue off of the table.

Or perhaps learn how Beijing blows off steam. The Dalai Lama, who in Chinese eyes is a dangerous separatist rebel--is going to get a Congressional Medal of Freedom and speak on the Hill. Beijing will complain, make a great deal of protest--but keeps trade and business and the North Korea separate and compartmentalized.

Other countries know that there is a certain give-and-take in their relationship with the U.S. and that dealing with Congressional resolutions is part of that. Russia still has to endure a resolution that calls on the president each year to recognize that Russia is responsible for holding Poland, Tibet, and Yugoslavia, among others, as "captive nations."

Perhaps Ankara should take a bit of Reagan's counsel (referenced in TWR earlier this week).

"Turkey needs to take a page from Croatia" are you trying to be provocative and enrage Turks?

Why does not US behave more like Mexico?
More like Mexico, anonymous 11:31? Mexico exports its excess population across the border, facilitates a drug trade and has high rates of anti-Americanism.
First anonymous, well, maybe turks better swallow some pride. after all croatia is going to get into the eu much sooner. so maybe they shouldn't get on a high horse about being compared to them.
Are you people daft?

Why do you comapre a former Imperial power with a two-bit fief? Why go out of your way to insult a proud and resourceful people by comapring them with a lesser people and a lesser state? The kind of deal that you can offer Croatia will be considered an insult to Turks.

I would not go out of my way and comapre UK to Portugal either; when trying to make a deal with UK.
An apt comparison will be US and Puerto Rico; a suitable deal to Puerto Rico is an insult to US and a provocation.

[Croatia was a former Ottoman province.]
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