Sunday, August 19, 2018


SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Turkey wants to buy 100 F-35 joint fighter strike planes from the United States. The Administration, however, has discovered that not everyone in Washington thinks this is a good idea. There are many reasons to oppose this sale.
First, Turkey has also decided to buy S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia. The contract has been signed. The first missiles for Turkey have gone into production in Russia. Turkey is doing this despite American warnings that such a purchase could make the sale of the F-35 less likely. American officials worry that if the F-35 and S-400 are both being operated by Turkey, then the Russians would be able to gauge their system’s performance against the F-35, which was designed precisely to evade Russian defense systems. Russia would be able to obtain through the Turks data about how the American fighter jet can, or cannot, evade the Russian air defense system, and thus learn of the capabilities and vulnerabilities of both the fighter plane and the missile system.
Such concerns about the purchase were expressed last November by Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the US Air Force for international affairs:
“It’s a significant concern, not only to the United States, because we need to protect this high-end technology, fifth-generation technology, but for all of our partners and allies that have already purchased the F-35,” she told Defense News.
The Administration had, as noted, previously warned Erdogan that if Turkey bought the S-400 surface-to-air missiles from the Russians, that might endanger the sale of F-35 planes. But Erdogan brushed aside the warning, and called what appears to have been a bluff, for he has not backed down from trying to acquire the S-400, and the Trump administration nonetheless is still in favor of the sale of F-35s.
That is the first objection to the sale — that the Russians will obtain data on the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the F-35. This threatens both American security, and that of those allies, such as the U.K., that have bought the F-35.
Second, Erdogan will use the sale of F-35s, if it goes through, as a vindication of his bullying diplomacy. He can point, rightly, to the fact that Turkey has opposed Russian interests in its support for Sunni Arab opponents of the Assad regime, and opposed American interests in its attacks on the Syrian Kurds, who have been America’s most reliable military allies in Syria. Yet Erdogan can crow, despite this, that the Russians have sold Turkey their most advanced technology in surface-to-air missile defenses, and the Americans have sold Turkey their most advanced fighter plane. Do we want to help Erdogan become the Ottoman Sultan he aspires to become, or do we want to teach him a lesson?
Third, Turkey has been a member of NATO, a military alliance of nations created to defend Western democracies against Communist dictatorships, since 1952. But Erdogan is no democrat, and his Turkey does not belong in NATO.
Ever since the attempted coup of July 15, 2016, he has become ever more dictatorial in his rule. He had 70,756 people arrested just after the attempted coup, with some being released later, and still other thousands arrested in the two years since. These include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, policemen, teachers, professors, military men, and, of course, journalists. The Turkish military has always been the guardian of and protector of Kemalism, and it is not surprising that Erdogan, the anti-Ataturk, came down hard on that military. By late 2016, 7,028 members of the Turkish armed forces had been arrested. Among them were 164 generals and admirals, 287 colonels, 222 lieutenant colonels, 351 majors, 471 captains, and 1,091 lieutenants.
As for the silencing of journalists opposed to Erdogan, Turkey now imprisons more journalists than any country in the world.
Erdogan does not try to hide or minimize these arrests of so many people. Rather, he trumpets them, as a sign both of the danger supposedly posed to the state by the “plotters” he claims are being directed from Pennsylvania by Fethulleh Gulen and, at the same time, to show the reassuring ability of Erdogan’s men to find and arrest all these traitors to the Turkish state.
By the latest vote in Turkey, the President — that is, Erdogan — has now been granted sweeping new powers that bring the country ever closer to one-man rule.
Now it is the president who will form the Cabinet. That authority used to belong to the prime minister.  That post no longer exists. Erdogan alone has named his 16-member Cabinet and his vice president as well.
In the old system, a new Turkish government had to receive a vote of confidence from parliament to assume office. Lawmakers could also initiate censure motions against the government and individual ministers. These parliamentary checks on the executive have been abolished. The authority to appraise and remove ministers now rests exclusively with the president.
Budget-making is another key authority that has been partly transferred from parliament to the president. The president has obtained the power to spend 25% of the national income as he likes without consulting anyone.
The president is also entitled to legislative powers through his authority to issue decrees. These have the force of law, and cannot be undone by the parliament. The only limit on the  decrees is that they cannot be used to restrict basic rights and freedoms. However, economic rights are exempted, so that the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike can be affected by presidential decree.
The president now has more control of the judiciary as well. He can now appoint, without any interference from anyone, half of the Constitutional Court, as well as the members of the Higher Board of Judges and Prosecutors, which is the backbone of the judiciary. An independent judiciary no longer exists in Turkey.
What checks and balances Turkey once had are now largely gone. The president can issue laws (called “decrees”), draw up the country’s budget and the programs of all ministries, appoint the members of the top courts, the heads of  the intelligence service and the military, and even issue the press cards of journalists. The entire state system will be run from the presidential palace, with Erdogan wielding greatly enlarged powers.
This is not quite a dictatorship, but it is certainly not a democracy of the kind NATO was formed to defend. Should the sale of F-35s go through, Erdogan and the Turkish people will interpret it as a sign of American approval. He will become even more set in his authoritarian ways. Do we want that to be the message? Do we even want to allow Turkey to remain in NATO, when Erdogan has clearly shown  that in the contest between Islam and the West, he is on the side of Islam? Do we want Turkish F-35s bombing Greek Cypriots, or Serbs, or Israelis?
Fourth, Erdogan has repeatedly denounced Israel, America’s chief military ally between Europe and India. This past March, an article in Yeni Safak, the paper regarded as Erdogan’s mouthpiece, appeared and — clearly indicating that it was expressing Erdogan’s views — called for an “army of Islam” consisting of the united militaries of the Muslim states, to simultaneously attack Israel “from all sides.”  The article noted that the combined forces of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) could form a joint army:
If the member states of the OIC unite militarily, they will form the world’s largest and most comprehensive army.
The number of active soldiers would be at least 5,206,100, while the defense budget would reach approximately $175 billion (£124 billion).
This was accompanied by an interactive map providing formation of military forces for a joint Muslim attack on Israel.
Do we want to supply our most advanced fighter planes to a man who calmly contemplates a future pan-Islamic war to destroy Israel?
Supplying F-35s to Turkey will:
1) Threaten our own security by potentially alerting Russia, which has sold Turkey its S-400 missiles, and has now started to produce them, to the vulnerabilities and the capabilities of the plane. It will further threaten the security of those of our allies that have bought the F-35.
2) Strengthen Erdogan, who will have managed to be supplied with advanced weaponry by both Russia and America, despite Turkey opposing both Russian and American policies in Syria.
3) Be taken as a sign — if not of approval, then at least of non-disapproval — of Erdogan’s ever-more authoritarian rule, as he now has been endowed with vast new presidential powers.
4) Be taken as a sign that despite Erdogan’s threat of a future war between “the cross and the crescent,” America is still willing to appease Turkey by supplying it with its most advanced fighter. Shouldn’t Erdogan’s threat have been enough to cancel that sale?
5) Be taken as a sign the West remains unperturbed by the detailed plan set out by Erdogan’s men for an Islamic war to destroy the state of Israel. The failure to call off the F-35 sale following the publication of this plan semaphores the West’s seeming indifference to this threat, and does nothing to discourage Erdogan in planning a violent Jihad against Israel, a campaign that he appears to be itching to lead.
In conclusion, Erdogan should be made to feel, and fear, the displeasure of the American government. Even if it did not pose a security risk, the sale of F-35s should not go through. Erdogan should be given to understand that if he continues in his Islamizing and dictatorial path, Turkey will be expelled from NATO, a move which by any reasonable calculation ought to have happened several years ago. After all, NATO is no longer most needed t to defend democracies from Red Army tanks rolling westward. The chief threat to the peoples of Europe and North America comes now from the forces of Islam, both those outside, and those already within, our countries, engaged in whatever forms of jihad — stealth jihad, diplomacy, demography, propaganda, economic warfare, conventional combat, terrorism — prove at a particular time and place to be most effective. And the would-be leader of the Islamic countries, that Ottoman sultan issuing his directives and threats from his 1,100 room presidential palace, needs to be given his comeuppance.
Denying him the F-35s he is counting on is a good place to start.