Our Turkish Nightmare

Our Turkish Nightmare

I have joked (?) around about Trump’s bullying as being pre-kindergarten, and his vocabulary being at about the same level.  I had even speculated that that was the age that Trump’s brain froze at.  Today, Trump called the highest political ranking Democrat in the country a third-grade politician.  With self-dignity, she walked out.  But it means that I have to re-evaluate that maybe I had been underestimating Trump, and that his brain actually froze at the third grade level.  How else would he remember what children were like in the third grade.  Also, Trump is still picking on girls or women.  Trump also called some in ISIS as Communists, and said that Pelosi might like that, continuing such an attack on Democrats.

Mitch “stone-wall” McConnell played the part given by the added nickname, and made no comment in the meeting, or afterward.  Today, the House voted to condemn Trump’s withdrawal from supporting our valuable allies, the Kurds.  129 Republicans voted with the Democrats to pass this, by 354-60.

I’m not militarily educated, and got poor grades in two years of mandatory ROTC at UCLA, but I can count.  The drawdown of US troops to 1,000 in northeastern Turkey already determined the outcome, and we will be lucky to just withdraw our troops without harm.  There are now an estimated 160,000 Kurdish refugees.

The Turkish military is the second largest in NATO next to ours.  They have 400,000 men under arms, and another 400,000 reserves.  They make their own F-16s, and have 240 of them.  They also make much of their own weapons, and are a net exporter of them.  Their Air Force has 635 aircraft and 60,000 personnel.  They have also purchased the advanced Russian S-400 interceptor systems, although not delivered yet.  Turkey is now manufacturing it’s own low altitude interception system.  The Turks are also using unregulated and brutal military militias to kill and remove the Kurds.

The Turkish Army has, adding up Wikipedia units, 2,451 tanks, 9,885 armored vehicles, and 2,451 anti-aircraft weapons.   Not the push-over that Romney implies.  A lot of the older units have been updated, which doesn’t even matter if they are facing unarmored soldiers.

The way the US military operates is to first build up massive air and land dominance, and then attack.  We don’t have massive air dominance, and they have recent SAMs.  We don’t want to use our new stealth F-35s lest the Russians will gain experience with the SAMS to learn to nullify F-35 advantage.  We are outnumbered 400 to 1 in ground troops.  Just look on the map.  The strip being attacked is right on the Turkish-Syrian border, and we are 5,000 miles away.

Plus, Turkey is a NATO member, and we don’t attack them.  So Trump was really boxed in, as were our troops, and I don’t see other realistic options.  Trump may be right that we had only aided the Kurds to oust ISIS from its’ territory, and not to defend them otherwise.  How would we, the public, know?  It may be that we spotted Turkish troop movements, and could do nothing about it.  We did bomb our base that we had just abandoned.

The sad action is that Trump has pushed several insults and depredations about the Kurds, rather than just admit that his own withdrawal had boxed him in, and ethnic cleansing is resulting, rather than saying that everyone is happy.  Trump’s sanctions are minuscule, and he is not organizing or cooperating with the EU to put in effective sanctions.

The US is only 5.5% of Turkish exports, and the best we could do is to call off a small amount of military equipment imports.  The 28 EU countries have done much more by stopping their military shipments, and hopefully their 48% share of Turkish imports, as well as tourism.  It’s not clear what Trump’s sanctions could be, other than the ones on a few individuals.

Why did it take Trump a week to meet with Congress, and then turn it into and insult session?  Trump also awaited until the Democratic debate to Veto the Senate bill removing his National Emergency to divert funds to his wall.

Yesterday, Trump bragged about the greatest economic factors ever.  Today, I gave the economy my own gasoline test — I paid $4.25 a gallon, and it cost me almost $50 to fill 3/4 of a tank.  Why didn’t Trump send the 2,000 troops to presumably man our anti-missile systems earlier to Saudi Arabia?

We can’t possibly follow the Medusa headed Giuliani scandals, even in shorts.  Other’s in the know must have suspected that Rudy was high on pot during his interviews, and Ukraine-American pot farms are now part of the scandal.  Tonight, we find out that Rudy was also lobbying Trump for Turkey’s Erdogan, without registering as a lobbyist.  This is starting to read like a Dan Brown novel, along with Rudy’s “Raiders of the Lost Server” in Ukraine.  Now Trump implies that the corruption starts with President Obama.

VP Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo are going to Turkey to try to get a cease fire.

Sounds like a Turkish Baklava, or dough layered with sugar syrup, pistachios, and flaky filo.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2020 Election, 2020 Primaries, Affairs of State, Donald Trump, Trump Administration, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink.

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