Turkey, NATO and the Enemy Within
Does a country where 1 in 20 support ISIS belong in Europe?
By Daniel Greenfield
Much like in the last world war, Europe faces a choice of invasions. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has become an ad for NATO membership with Finland and Sweden joining up. Turkey’s dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan however announced that Sweden’s membership in NATO would be conditional on his backward Islamic tyranny joining the European Union.
Europeans face a choice of invaders: on one side there’s Russia and on the other is a hellhole where the government and much of the country support Islamic terrorism. 1 in 10 Turks didn’t believe ISIS was a terrorist organization, over 1 in 20 supported it and 3% knew someone who joined it.
European Union membership would allow free movement across borders from a country that is already overrun with armies of Muslim migrants. Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe by migrants who made their way through Turkey have already claimed lives. A recent poll found that 73% of young respondents in Turkey want to move. And that would put an end to Europe.
Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to unleash a migrant invasion of Europe. “We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way,” the tyrant had threatened in 2019.
While Erdogan put roadblocks in the way of Sweden’s NATO membership, he met with Zelensky and declared that, “Without a doubt, Ukraine deserves to be in NATO.”
A military conflict between Europe and Russia serves Erdogan’s interests. No single non-NATO nation has done as much to undermine Europe’s security as the Turkish regime. Erdogan believes that the more he causes chaos and undermines Europe, the more it will turn to him.
And so far his strategy has paid off.
Europe bribes Erdogan to keep migrants from overwhelming it. Now it’s bribing a non-European nation to allow European nations like Sweden to join NATO. This farce is playing out even as the majority of Turks have made it clear that they distrust and are hostile to NATO.
Why is Turkey in NATO? It’s the same question as why does NATO still exist. The answer is that despite the failures of the League of Nations and the United Nations, Europeans are still putting their faith in collective security. Rather than affirmatively taking steps to deal with conflicts, they are relying on alliances to do for them what they cannot and will not do for themselves.
Unwilling to seriously think ahead, America and Europe were dragged into the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and even with the war underway refused to develop a strategy for what will happen next month so that Putin and Zelensky have set the tune to which everyone else dances. The retreat into the collective alliances of NATO is, like most forms of international bureaucracy, a way for countries to shift responsibility and to avoid making any decisions.
But the inertia of NATO membership comes at a high price. Turkey is willing to sign off on an expanded NATO as long as it also gets inside the EU. That choice of two invasions, Russians in the east and Turks in the west, is a catastrophic disaster that need not be happening. It is happening only because no one in Europe has learned any lessons from the past century.
Western European nations refused to believe that Hitler and Stalin intended to carve up Eastern Europe no matter how obviously they expressed their intent, let alone that war would then come into the civilized heartlands of their own borders. Their infamous appeasement was just a result of letting Germany and the Soviet Union call the shots for what the coming war would look like.
European nations retreated into diplomatic passivity, holding worthless meetings, negotiating nonsense, which reached its nadir in Chamberlain’s famous promise of “peace for our time”, but pervaded the general response to a war that seemingly everyone except the elites saw coming.
World War II was not the result of warmongering, but of the refusal of the winners of the last catastrophic war to come to grips with another war on the horizon. Western Europeans leaders like Chamberlain all too often spoke of peace as a general principle rather than a specific goal. The League of Nations by envisioning peace everywhere ensured that it would exist nowhere.
The United Nations and modern diplomacy have recreated the same feckless folly on a larger scale. Rather than define specific national interests, set firm borders and build up military capabilities to protect them, Europe has outsourced the problem to NATO which has outsourced it to an America that is as tired of wars as the Europeans were in the 30s and whose capabilities, as witnessed by the speed with which Ukraine has emptied our stockpiles, are not up to a major conflict anyway.
European leaders have come to depend for their security on nations like the United States and Turkey that they despise, that they accuse of blackmailing them, and that they need because the alternative would be to realize how bad things have become and to take responsibility for them.
NATO offers only the illusion of collective security. And the illusion will only hold until it is tested. If Ukraine were to join NATO, Russia could end the illusion in a matter of hours. And then European nations would have to decide whether to go to war or let the illusion die. Those are difficult decisions and there is no sign that any adults in the room are ready to address them.
European nations have shrunk, not only in birth rates and capabilities, but in spirit. It’s a shrinkage that has long been underway. That is why the migrant invasions have succeeded so well. It’s why Turkey remains in NATO and Putin and Zelensky are pushing and pulling Europe.
The continent that once gave us Talleyrand, Metternich, and Disraeli, now gives us bureaucrats in grey skirts who skitter about international conferences at which they conclude nothing except their mutual boredom before they convene for an evening of dancing at the local club. Churchill was Europe’s last gasp of strength and indecisiveness has become foreign policy. Asked to assert national interests, they take refuge in international generalities that require them to take in every migrant boat as the highest expression of the principles of universalism.
WWII was a painful lesson in the superiority of particularlism to universalism. No one in WWII fought for the principles of the League of Nations or the future United Nations. They fought to preserve, protect or avenge their own peoples. That included the United States on whom Hitler had declared war in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. It’s a lesson that has once again gone unlearned as European politicians assert universal principles over the war in Ukraine.
The Ukranians and the Russians aren’t fighting each other over universal principles, but the familiar particular ones of nationalism, ethnic resentments and imperial grandiosity. As much as progressives like to fly the Ukrainian flag under their pronouns and ‘Refugees Welcome’ hashtags, their cause, like the Russian cause, the Polish cause and all the other national causes is a specific expression of the assertion of a people to its identity and independence.
Whether the rest of Europe chooses to participate in this cause or any other is not a universal question, but a particular one of their own national interests. There is a case to be made here both ways. Europe may wish to head off Russian expansionism or it may want to gamble that unlike WWII, Russian expansionism without the ideological fuel of Communism and with only a decrepit nation to work with does not pose a threat to the heartlands of Western Europe.
Either one would involve defining national interests and asserting them. And such an exercise would also boot Turkey from any relationship with Europe while closing the borders to the mobs of invading migrants that have devastated, robbed, raped and terrorized Europeans.
Europe does not have to choose between invaders. What it has to choose is whether to set a positive course or to let its national defense be someone else’s problem. NATO is an outdated relic being used by an enemy nation to blackmail its way into Europe. No concept of national defense can ever be used to justify allowing Europe to be invaded by millions of migrants.
A NATO that has Turkey in it is not defending Europe, it’s threatening the destruction of Europe.