Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I'm Sure There's Nuance in There Somewhere

It is common to argue against taking action to deal with a problem by claiming unanticipated "blowback" could harm other interests. This is a true enough caution, but should not be an excuse for inaction that could cause blowback, too. Is Turkey suffering blowback from the Western failure to address Syria's civil war?

Turkey is a problem:

Only a few years ago, Turkey seemed well-entrenched as a flourishing democracy and well on the way to joining the European Union. It has huge potential with Europe’s youngest population: 19 million of the 75 million people are ages 15 to 29.

Today, it stands accused of human rights abuses that have included imprisoning more than 45,000 people, among them the leaders and nine other legislators from the second-largest opposition party in parliament, for alleged links to Kurdish terrorists. ...

The once-vibrant media have seen their freedoms severely curtailed, with many of journalists jailed. The judiciary’s power has been eroded. Unemployment is at 10.7 percent and up to 25 percent among the young who embody the future.

A shift from America’s sphere of influence to Russia’s seems possible, and the prospects of joining the EU are stalled, if not dead.

Would Turkey be under such a threat to rule of law and in danger of abandoning its alliance with the West if the Syrian civil war hadn't been raging on Turkey's border for over 5 years with jihadis flocking to the region to establish and defend their caliphate, Russians and Iranians dug in to the south, and refugees flooding Europe and Turkey?

All I know is that I remain grateful for the wisdom of the Obama administration which did not want to risk "further militarizing" the conflict by providing decisive aid to rebels about 500,000 or so dead ago.