The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949, over the objections of conservatives like Sen. Robert A. Taft, as a supposed bulwark of “democracy” against the allegedly rising tide of totalitarianism, which the American people were told was about ready to cross the stormy Atlantic and land on our shores. Bolsheviks in Brooklyn! Well, we have them there today, but they’re the homegrown variety: the old-fashioned Soviet types are long gone: another fake “threat” that enriched the panic-mongers and robbed the rest of us.
In voting against the NATO treaty, Republican leader Sen. Taft foresaw with Cassandra-like accuracy the dangers it would conjure: it would involve us inevitably in the intrigues of Europe, usurp the power of Congress to declare war and give that power to the President, and have us as the arbiter of conflicts thousands of miles from our shores that we had no business interfering in.
It’s all come to pass, and even worse – some new problems have arisen that not even the prescient Senator from Ohio could see from his vantage point at the dawn of the cold war. For far from being an umbrella under which the democracies of Europe could shelter, NATO has become the instrument of tyrants and warmongers, war profiteers and their sycophants, whose “democratic” credentials are nothing but a joke.
I won’t bother describing Poland’s slide into authoritarianism, even as NATO conducts military “exercises” on the Polish-Russian border a few miles from the gates of Moscow. Nor will I detail the depredations of the Albanians (yes, they’re a member!) against the unfortunate ethnic minorities who must live in their midst. Let’s just concentrate on the most egregious violator of democratic norms, and the biggest threat to American interests in the region: Turkey.
Turkey’s formal status as a “democracy” is a joke: Turkish despot Recip Erdogan has just gotten through purging the country of any and all critics – newspaper editors and reporters are rotting in jail, dissident political parties are banned, recalcitrant judges are dismissed and arrested – after phony claims of a “coup” by the military against his increasingly authoritarian rule. There actually was no such coup: the whole thing was staged for the sole purpose of exposing his enemies so he could either jail them or kill them.
After canoodling with the jihadists who were trying to take over Syria, giving them sanctuary and financing them by buying their oil, he’s now taking credit for their defeat – which was actually accomplished by the Kurdish forces of the YPG – and declaring that he intends to march his US-financed army to the Iraqi border. In order to facilitate this, he’s commanded the US to step aside so as to pave the way for his triumphal march.
In short, Erdogan is a madman.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proclaimed that we intend to stay in Syria “indefinitely,” in order to prevent a nonexistent threat from Iran. But what this really means is we’re there for as long as it takes the Turks to realize that their annexationist agenda in Syria is a nonstarter. US forces are in Syria to keep the Turks and the Kurds – deadly enemies – separated. That task, however, may very well stretch into infinity as long as Erdogan remains in power.
What is becoming increasingly is clear that Erdogan’s rule is definitely not in American interests, nor is it in the interests of his long-suffering people, who are being subjected to a slow Islamization campaign. He aims to be the new Caliph, and to fulfill the expansionist dreams of the Pan-Turkic movement, which claims hegemony over all Turkic-speaking people, i.e., territory extending all the way to China.
While I’m not advocating that the US launch another one of its infamous regime-change operations in Ankara, one way to delegitimize Erdogan in the eyes of his own people – and especially in the eyes of the Turkish military – would be to get him kicked out of NATO.
That Erdogan is a dangerous loon is exemplified by what he has the gall to call “Operation Olive Branch” – his current all-out invasion of Syria. He is not only attacking the Kurds, who are US allies, he is actually threatening the American troops currently embedded with the Kurds in Manbij – the pivot point where Turks, Kurds, and the US meet.
Bob Taft was right: NATO membership has us embroiled in the intrigues not only of Europe but of Asia Minor and beyond. NATO is neither a defender of “democracy” nor is it a US asset in any way, shape, or form. It is, instead, an alliance of freeloaders who depend on the US to supply their military needs while we stand by and rubberstamp their depredations against their own people and their neighbors. The original reason for NATO’s existence – the alleged Soviet “threat,” which was always exaggerated – is gone: so we should be gone from NATO. Let the Erdogans of this world, fourth-rate would-be Napoleons that they are, pay for their own schemes of bloodstained “glory.” It’s time to really start putting America first: it’s time to get Turkey out of NATO and get the US out, too.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO MY READERS: As many of you know, I am undergoing treatment for cancer. This has affected my writing schedule: my old routine of Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays has gone by the wayside, out of unfortunate necessity, and I’m down to twice a week: Mondays and Wednesdays. However, the vagaries of my treatment – and of the cancer itself, that tricky old devil – don’t always make even that possible. So please bear with me: this week it looks like I’ll be able to keep to my schedule, but it’s always good to check. If I’m not there when you expect, well – keep checking back. I’m beating this, I will beat it, and I’ll be back to normal as soon as humanly possible – because you, my readers, mean the world to me.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.