By Edmond Y. Azadian
After the fall of the Soviet Empire, very few analysts anticipated the resurgence of the Cold War, nor its intensification to its present level. President Ronald Reagan had assured everyone that NATO would not expand and further threaten Russia. But that reassurance did not last long and NATO not only integrated the former Soviet bloc nations in Eastern Europe, but also began installing missile defense bases on Russia’s border in Poland “to defend European allies from rogue countries;” this was despite the fact that Tehran had cut a deal with the West to eliminate its lethal arsenal of nuclear weapons.
For 70 years, the international political game was to contain the Soviet Union and today it has become the containment of Russia to forestall its potential growth into a superpower again. But common sense indicates that any country under existential threat would certainly resort to rearmament. And that is what is happening in world politics, with the resuscitation of old Cold Warriors like Turkey.
Whenever the West needs to commit a provocation, it will undoubtedly need a country like Turkey. And that commission will be rewarded by a well-timed look away when Ankara is engaged in foreign adventures or domestic repression.
By definition and treaty agreement, NATO is a defensive structure. But, somehow, that principle is defined too loosely for Turkey. The US and Europe warn and remind Russia that as Turkey is a NATO ally, the three-minute incursion of its war planes over Turkish air space is a violation of the NATO border. On the other hand, Turkey occupies 39 percent of Cyprus using the 1960 Swiss accord as a legal fig leaf, but no NATO principle question that move. Similarly, 2,000 Turkish officers are illegally stationed near Mosul in Iraq and the latter country’s prime minister calls that invasion a violation of his country’s sovereignty, yet no NATO rule is cited.
The same story is repeated in Syria and even some politicians in Europe consider that crime as a “liberation” of a part of Syrian territory.