Thursday, March 01, 2012

cure to greece debt crisis: war with turkey

JohnGalt |As the strain in relations expands between Israel and Turkey, the Israeli government has sought out closer relations with Greece and by default, the Greek government in Cyprus. The story from the Jerusalem Post on February 7, 2012, Israel to ask for military facility in Cyprus (click title to read the article in full), has further antagonized the Turkish government as word has spread throughout Turkish Cyprus and the nation of Turkey that Israel my ask to deploy as many as 5,000 troops to protect the pipelines and energy infrastructure being developed in the Eastern Mediterranean and on the island itself. A commentary from the Hürriyet Daily News on February 24th, “We May Shoot Turkey“, expresses the concerns from the government in Ankara and within the Turkish Cypriot population quite clearly:

For the protection of the “gas plant,” Israel will need to deploy up to 5,000 armed personnel. Thus, the area to be allocated to Israel for the gas plant will be large enough to construct the plant and a town for the Israeli workers to be employed at the plant as well as the around 5,000 armed personnel deployed on the island. If there are only a few settlements with a population of more than 10,000 or so on the island, it might be said that the new Israeli base will indeed be a new high-security base city.

Israelis, as a result of the fashionable “kick me and I will kick you” antagonist play between Turkey’s Islamist government and the rather standoffish nationalist administration in Tel Aviv, appear willing to go to bed even with the devil if that would hurt Turkey. But not all Greek Cypriots would be carried away with aloof romanticism. A participant in the meeting asked the million dollar question: If Turkey is sincere that it would protect its and Turkish Cypriot interests at any cost, and some sort of hostile attack was directed at the gas plant, what would happen?

The answer was reportedly abrupt: We shall then retaliate with bombardment.

But, bombardment of what? Turkey? The answer was even colder: We shall teach the Turks they ought to have limits. The facility will be Israeli territory, we shall not leave any hostility unanswered.

NATO is in no position politically or militarily to deal with a renewal of the decades old conflict between Greece and Turkey and the involvement of Israel should that arise. However the German government as well as the bankers of the European Central Bank desire to see their losses mitigated and erased with an expanding Greek economy and hydrocarbons flowing from Greece would prove far more palatable than a dependency on the Russians. When one considers the Russian defense contracts and pipelines that have been in development with the nation of Turkey over the past five years, the realization that a conflict with Greece, Turkey, and Israel would have far greater implications than the historic regional flare ups and could easily spread into a direct NATO-Russian confrontation where member nations may have to declare war on one of their own members.

This cure to the Greek debt crisis and economic issues would resolve many of the issues the nation faces but at what cost? The Europeans are split over this issue and as usual dependent on a bureaucratic analysis while the nations of Greece and Israel accelerated the development of the natural gas fields already discovered while further exploration continues. In the interim, Turkey is developing closer ties to Russia and Iran and drifting further from the NATO sphere in no small part thanks to the incompetent diplomatic efforts of the Obama administration. The table is being set for a solution to the Greek financial crisis but a large regional conflict will only spawn further complications for world economies as a consequence.


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