By Rebwar Rashed:
Back in November, 2014, Mr. Michael Rubin explained wisely, “Here’s why training moderate Syrian rebels in Turkey is a bad idea”. The article is still good reading for those who need a better understanding of Turkey, the so-called “Moderate Islamists” and how to ensure a Syria without dictatorship.
On October 9th 2015, Michael D. Shear, Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt reported in The New York Times that, “The Obama administration on Friday abandoned its efforts to build up a new rebel force inside Syria to combat the Islamic State, acknowledging the failure of its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters”.
Between the period when president Obama decided to trust Turkey and let the Turks supposedly train “capable, indigenous forces” and freedom fighters that can show that they are a much better alternative to a totalitarian regime, and the decision to scrap the program, we saw emerging almost 100 different, small, radical and extremist Islamist groups, as much terrorists as ISIS, Boko Haram or Al Qaida.
Why have things gone so wrong?
Turkey under the AKP party and Erdogan had already started to show its real face of dreaming to revive the Ottoman Empire, “liberate” Jerusalem, crush the Kurdish liberation movement once for all and to build a Sunni Empire, not for religious reasons, but rather to use it as a political tool to blackmail the EU, US and NATO.
There was plenty of evidence that Turkey was supporting ISIS. There were also amateurish scenarios, for example, the scenario of ISIS taking 49 Turks at the Mosul consulate on June 11th 2014 and then releasing them in a performance like a delicate circus show. Erdogan and Davutoglu were praising themselves once again for using “proper diplomatic language” with ISIS. A month later, in a similar scenario, ISIS released 32 Turkish lorry drivers who had been seized in Mosul on 6th June 2014. Or there were incidents of the Turkish army “liberating” a few town/villages from ISIS in a couple of hours and so on.
Almost all the ISIS attacks inside Turkey have happened in the Kurdistan area of Turkey and/or against Kurdish activists and some Turkish democrats.
The Free Syrian Army has never consisted of “capable, indigenous forces” of normal people wishing and striving after a secular, democratic and pluralistic government with good neighbourly relations. These people were instead from Turkey, Arab countries, the Moslem world neighbouring the Russian Federation, Chechens and so on. They are anti-Semitic, anti-democratic, anti-Western values and, probably above all, anti-Kurdish liberation movement. They are brought up to hate secularism, pluralism and women’s emancipation and homosexuals. They really are uncivilized beasts who act as killing machines and can never be an alternative to a dictatorship. There is no fundamental difference between ISIS and the FSA. Turkey’s agenda, beyond the usual, is to destabilize Syria and Iraq so that it can suppress the area both politically and economically. The Turks have never had the intention to use the US$500 million program to organize a political, democratic-minded opposition and they will never do.