Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
July 31, 2012
PressTV has conducted an interview with author and historian Webster Griffin Tarpley from Washington to further discuss the issue. What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Looking at Turkey’s role…. I will just bring you a quote here now from Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Davutoglu, I am quoting him; he says, “we will not allow the formation of terrorist structuring near our borders, no matter if it is al-Qaeda or PKK”.
Now that was when he was speaking about the threat from the Kurdish rebels, but is Turkey now practically hosting and assisting al-Qaeda when it comes to the fight against Syria, because as our guest in London [Charles Shoebridge] was also saying that al-Qaeda is also now getting involved in that fight?
Tarpley: Well, al-Qaeda was an integrated part of this from the very beginning and they have been there because they have been brought in by NATO.
Think of al-Qaeda as the NATO irregular infantry, a guerilla force if you will, that works for NATO and this structure is already existing on the Turkish territory.
Just some examples, the New York Times tells us that the CIA is present in southern Turkey as a traffic cop to direct weapons flows, paid for by Saudi Arabia and the other feudal monarchies of the Persian Gulf to direct those weapons toward certain groups inside Syria.
We had reports previously of a large airlift and sealift of terrorists, I would say, from Libya, the people who overthrew Gaddafi, who had been shipped into Libya by NATO.
They were then shipped into southern Turkey, Iskenderun is the place that was mentioned, and then they were moved into northern Syria.
We even had examples of guests in tourist hotels, along the Turkish Mediterranean coast complaining that al-Qaeda terrorists had moved into the same hotels and were showing the al-Qaeda flags.
And then most recently the Reuters dispatch that shows connection with the incirlik NATO air force base, US air force base, that there is a kind of logistical hub there, which is in the place called Adana which is directing these weapons flow.
So it is too late to make these statements, I think you have to look, though, behind this. Turkey has obviously been conned, they have been manipulated, the ambition and the vanity of Erdogan and Davutoglu, it seems to me has been played on systematically by Obama.
The word here in Washington for the last year or so, has been that Obama’s favorite telephone partner, the person in the world that he calls more than any other is Erdogan.
And he is promising to make Erdogan great, he is saying, ‘play my game and you will become the dominant satrap of the US empire in the Middle East and I am sure that Erdogan is also getting assurances from Saudi Arabia, ‘become the base for the attack on Syria and you will reap all kinds of benefits’ and of course he is not reaping benefits. He is putting his country at tremendous risk.
Press TV: Mr. Tarpley would you say that Turkey is not seriously considering any kind of military intervention in Syria? We know of course that there has been a lot of news of its deploying missiles, troops, armored vehicles along the border [with Syria].
What is it preparing for, through these deployments?
Tarpley: Well, most observers would have regarded the current state of Turkish policy as impossible.
People have been told two or three years ago that Turkey would abandon the ‘Zero Problems’ foreign policy, ‘Good Neighbor’ [foreign] policy and now engage in flagrant intervention and interference in internal affairs of Syria for the purpose of stoking a civil war on their own doorstep. That would have been considered crazy.
So I do not know what the limit is. This is something that is inherent in Hubris and megalomania. The idea that you are going to become a regional hegemon; seems to be the idea.
I would also say that they are disregarding the lessons of history, if you look back to Ataturk, at the end of the first world war, Ataturk’s basic idea was valid and he said we can not survive here as the Ottoman empire, we can, however, survive as a Turkish national state in the Anatolian peninsula and in that form we can thrive, we can do very well; and Turkey was doing very well, in terms of development and progress, until this current troubles began.
I had a chance to talk to General Auon, Michel Auon of Lebanon, who last November, in his little fortress above the Mediterranean, said, ‘Turkey is the last country that should become involved in these adventures, because they are split, they have got secularists and Islamists, they have got a Kurdish minority’ and by meddling in this way, they are getting themselves into big troubles.’
Let us look at this PKK, Erdogan has brought this up. Erdogan is complaining, he says that the PKK has taken over certain parts of northern Syria and they are going to operate into Turkey and he wants the right of hot pursuit back into Syria.
Well, Erdogan you should have thought of that, right? The great principal of international relations is reciprocity.
If you foment troubles in Syria, then you are going to sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, when that comes back to hurt you.
And the hot pursuit doctrine would work both ways, but by doing this, Erdogan has really created his own greatest nightmare which is the general uprising of the Kurds, which I think, under these circumstances would certainly have tragic aspects for many people in the region.
Press TV: Mr. Tarpley, if you could quickly also tell us. Would you say there is a connection between the sudden surge in violence as Syria says, with for instance, Kofi Annan’s visit in any effort for a peaceful resolution or political resolution to the crisis?
Tarpley: Well, we have two waves of foreign fighters being brought in. one wave was brought in during this past winter into the spring and that is what has been active over this past months and then more recently, for July, for ‘Operation Damascus Volcano’, which was the attempt to …the Syrian state.
As Hillary Clinton said, the ‘catastrophic assault’, they brought in another wave of foreign fighters from all over north Africa, and the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Now Turkey claims that they sealed their borders, they did not. It would be good if they did; but they are still allowing illegal border crossings to function.
My advice to Turkey would be, pull back from this while you still can, seal your border; if Turkey cuts off access to foreign fighters, if they just take refugees but not allow weapon ships to go in, the rebellion in northern Syria will die down in short order.
Turkey says they want to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, they will never get in the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] at this rate.