News that my fellow American, Paul D. Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary will soon arrive in Ankara for consultations about (what else?) the coming war in with Iraq alarms me. Will he perhaps wear that ridiculous shoulder holster presumably with a real gun inside that he wore earlier this year in the US base in the Phillipines? Presumably he knows which end is the business end, for Mr. Wolfowitz is yet another of the high-level officials of the Bush administration yawping for war who managed to slither out of military service in Vietnam: Bush and Cheney, of course, being the most famous examples of these “chicken hawks.” Wolfowitz has bounced around between the State and Defense departments for years. A few years ago, while at the State Department, he wrote a 46-page memorandum envisioning America as world-empire, ever-ready to go to war because its vital interests are, well, everywhere. In other words, be real careful, Turkey, when dealing with this guy. Be aware of your own “vital interests.”
Wolfowitz’s one-note claim to fame over the past decade has been an unrelenting cry for war with Iraq. Bush’s so-called War-Against-Terror has provided perfect cover for Wolfowitz’s oily scheme to bubble to top priority. And now he comes to Turkey with a deal. Be extraordinarily careful, Turkey, lest your feathers get plucked. It seems the US wants to take no chances, particularly regarding American casualties, so it needs an active northern front in Iraq. This is where you, Turkey, comes in. Of course, this solves, to a degree, the “Kurdish problem,” and reinforces your “special relationship” with the United States. Beware of this honor, Turkey, for you will share this pantheon with Israel and Great Britain, dubious company, at best. Surely as additional compensation you will be offered US dollars. And debt-forgiveness, and military weaponry credits. After all, so far, America has lots of money. But perhaps it’s a wiser course for you to remember Ataturk’s question to his fellow officer in Damascus when captured Druze gold was offered to them as a bribe?
“Do you want to be today’s man or tomorrow’s?” he asked.
Not surprisingly, Ataturk chose tomorrow, adding later that, “The idiots thought they could buy me, but they got nowhere.”
So now the deputy Chicken Hawk is trying to buy (bribe) Turkey into a highly dubious war with Iraq. Does the greatness of Turkey entail being always linked with the actions and needs of United States? Or any other country or organization? Or does Turkey have ideals and needs unique and overriding those of any other foreign power or potentate, like even the European Union, for example?
“Don’t fall into the temptation of trying to please pea-brains,” warned Mustafa Kemal. And then he elaborated, “Greatness means that you won’t try and please everyone, that you won’t deceive anyone, that you will discern the true ideal for the country, that you will strive for it, that everyone will turn against you and will try to make you change your course.”
So Turkey, who among you will stand unwaveringly for the true ideals of the country? Who will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk against the idiots, pea-brains and, yes, chicken hawks?