Posted by: quiscus | August 8, 2012

August 8, 2012

1. “Turkey: NATO’s Neo-Ottoman Spearhead in the Middle East

Turkey already has troops in Syria and has threatened military action to protect the site they guard.

A 1921 agreement between Ottoman Turkey and France (the Treaty of Ankara), the latter at the time the colonial administrator of Syria, guaranteed Turkey the right to station military personnel at the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah (Süleyman Şah), the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I (Osman Bey).

Turkey considers the area adjacent to the tomb to be its, and not Syria’s, sovereign territory and late last month reinforced its 15-troop contingent there.

In bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria, Turkey provides NATO – and through NATO the Pentagon – direct access to those three nations. The final stage in the West’s Greater Missile East Initiative is now well underway, as is a new redivision of the Levant modeled after the Anglo-French Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.”

2. “Unintended causation

Is there a causal link between racially-motivated violence by individuals and U.S. foreign policy?

Is that perception on the part of white supremacists irrational: that joining the U.S. military is an optimal way to engage in, or train for, “conflict with various races”? It’s very hard to make the case that it is. There is ample evidence both of white supremacists’ encouraging adherents to join the U.S. military as well as those groups targeting service members for recruitment. It goes without saying that the vast, vast majority of members of the U.S. military are not members of white supremacist groups (indeed, only 62% of enlisted service members are non-Hispanic whites, though minorities are seriously underrepresented in the officer class). If anything, the attempt to Christianize the U.S. military is a greater problem than avowed members of racist groups joining the military (though those problems are arguably related). But whatever else is true, even the U.S. military’s own publication has recognized that “white supremacists have a natural attraction to the army.”

There are some significant, obvious differences between state-sanctioned violence in the name of war and the rogue, indiscriminate killing by individuals, and it’s best not to ignore those differences in order to try to equate these acts. But Sheth’s primary point — that it’s difficult and perhaps even inconsistent to so righteously condemn things like the Sikh shooting or mosque burning while cheering for endless violence by the U.S. government against other nations filled with innocent people of races and religions different than one’s own– is not one that is easily dismissed. If the Military Law Review is willing to examine the attraction the U.S. military holds for white supremacists, the rest of us should be willing to do so as well.

And whatever else is true, it’s impossible to evade the fact that Endless War will inevitably degrade the citizenry of the country that engages in it. A country which venerates its military above all other institutions, which demands that its soldiers be spoken of only with religious-like worship, and which continuously indoctrinates its population to believe that endless violence against numerous countries is necessary and just — all by instilling intense fear of the minorities who are the target of that endless violence — will be a country filled with citizens convinced of the virtues and nobility of aggression.”


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