Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our Friends the Turks

Turkey under the tame Islamists has been a particular focus of President Obama's outreach to the Islamic world.

I'd like to point out that our manned air sorties in northern Iraq seem to have all come from Navy aircraft in the Gulf, Air Force planes apparently based along the Gulf shores, and even Marine Harriers flying at what must be extreme range from the Gulf.

Turkey, I read (sorry, can't find it now), is not allowing us to use our bases in Turkey to strike nearby targets inside northern Iraq.

Remember we contributed Patriot missiles to defend Turkey as the Syria Civil War expanded.

And remember that President George W. Bush got the Turks to allow airbase use and even the deployment of some ground units (although not 4th Infantry Division, at the last moment) from their territory.

Ah, outreach. It really is all different with a president who ate dog meat in Indonesia as a child and whose middle name is Hussein.

But I'm sure John Kerry will clear this all up.

UPDATE: Ah, here's the link for the Turkish refusal to let us use airbases now (other than for drones). And I may be wrong about 2003. Our ground forces may have come direct from Europe and perhaps we only had access to Turkish territory for support.

At best, we can only hope that Turkey will stop making the ISIL problem worse by actually controlling their border with Syria to halt the flow of recruits and weapons to ISIL in Syria.

UPDATE: I stand corrected. I rechecked and the Turks in 2003 not only denied us the use of their territory for any of our ground units, but they prevented the British from deploying a division in the north.

And Turkey did not let us use their air space at all, requiring long flights in through Jordan and into Iraq to bring in our forces by air.

We'll see if Turkey does any better this time. NATO ally, indeed. Perhaps if Russia looms over them enough they'll remember they are a NATO ally.