Spanish Civil War as Prelude to World War II; Will Turco-Syrian Conflict Set the Stage for a New Global Conflict?

Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
October 6, 2012

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that his country is not far from war with Syria amid intensified tensions fueled by fresh cross-border attacks.

The remarks came as the Turkish military continued pounding targets inside Syria for the third day, claiming the attack was in response to a mortar shell that crashed into a village in Yayladagi town in the southern province of Hatay.

Moreover, the Turkish parliament approved a motion on Thursday that authorizes military operations outside the country’s borders “when deemed necessary.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and historian from Washington, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: The UN has, after quite a while, condemned the recent bombings in Syria. How much action can we expect from the UN?

Tarpley: I’m afraid this step, positive though it is, comes about a year and a half too late because we would have needed systematic condemnation, exposure and publicity for the fact that you’ve had these NATO death squads operating in Syria, really, starting in March of 2011.

From the very beginning, if not in the first hour of the first demonstration and maybe in the second hour of the first demonstration, armed terrorists were present. Simply by virtue of the fact that they were there and they were shooting, they began to take over.

It’s good that the United Nations has finally recognized what many of us have seen for, again, more than a year and a half.

But the problem we now have is that this, like the Spanish Civil War, has gone very far towards an international conflict. We’ve been watching in the last 48 hours, 72 hours, the very disturbing developments between Turkey and Syria.

I think right now, we would need something more to be able to cool that off. In other words, I don’t think this UN step will be enough and it’s not clear what will come after it.

Press TV: At the same time, we have the Turkish prime minister saying that his nation should go to war with Syria if it wants to have peace. Should we be bracing ourselves for an all-out war?

Tarpley: I would first of all say that General Firouzabadi of the Iranian Armed Forces is absolutely correct, that the US desire is to embroil both Turkey and Syria in a fratricidal, pointless and destructive conflict. That is certainly true. That has been clear for quite a while.

I think it’s also important to see where the impulse towards conflict is coming from; I think it’s coming from Washington and London.

Here in Washington last night, there was a reception at the Kazakhstan embassy to mark the departure of the Kazakhstan ambassador who is already now the foreign minister of Kazakhstan. He’s going to be on his way to Moscow tonight.

Talking to his Excellency, Ambassador or Minister Idrisov and also to the Turkish ambassador who was also there, Mr. Namik Han, and the military attachés of Kazakhstan, Russia, a couple of other countries, you get the idea that people at that level are not pushing war. They’re trying to avoid war. The diplomats and the military men would like to avoid war.

Where I see the impulse for war coming in is the Anglo-American media and, I think, Obama and Hillary Clinton.

What you hear coming from the top levels of the Turkish government, unfortunately from President Erdogan and from the prime minister, seems to me to be inspired by the messages that they’re getting from Washington and probably to some extent from London. We know that that line from Obama to Erdogan is the one.

I myself have written two books about Obama, and the one thing that I can certify to Turkey, a country that I certainly admire and like, is that the promises made by Obama are generally lies, and any action based on those promises is going to be a tragedy for Turkey.

It’s not too late to pull back. There’s plenty of time to pull back. The people on the ground are not pushing for war.

There’s also the other question which I mentioned in some of these conversations. What about the possibility that the Free Syrian Army operating in Syria decides that they’re going to shoot some shells into Turkey and try to heat things up that way?

Turkey seems to be aware of that and they simply limit themselves to saying this time around it looks like Syria has actually apologized for what happened, that is was a mistake. But they’re also very much aware of the possibility of having these death squads provoke something.

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