So I imagined myself to be a politician of sorts to see what I would do. What I imagined frightened me.
Here. Now. This is what I would do if I were a Turkish politician:
I would send warships and probes in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, off its shores, in violation of international law, and provoke the anger of Cyprus and its EU allies.
I would claim that Turkey has a share in the natural gas reserves that have been located in the Cyprus EEZ, inviting the indignation of Cyprus. I would welcome the irk of those annoying EUropeans and their annoying policies on human rights, free speech, freedom of religion and international law, their hypocrisies on all these issues and their war with the Islamic State, a bunch of righteous hoodlums who are eliminating the Kurds for me and selling me cheap oil, which the Europeans don’t approve of, damn them, annoying bastards, with their highbrow attitude and their exclusive club, with all their prissy entry quali cations and etiquette that are so annoying. I would irk them so much that they would condemn my actions and demand that I abide by international law regarding international waters and other issues.
I would persist in provoking them, knowing they are too weak to do anything about my actions, especially after Crimea’s annexation by the Russian, after the ongoing irregular warfare in the east of Ukraine that the Russian is fomenting. They are deeply involved in that conflict with their own surreptitious forces and are too jumpy to deal with more crises. They are too nervous to add to their already full itinerary, especially after the Islamic State mess they got themselves tangled up in.
So I don’t worry about them. I would keep violating the Cyprus EEZ, circling its shores with my warships and probes, forcing Cyprus to take matters into its own hands and use the only weapon it has against me: a veto on Turkey’s negotiations for entering the EU. I would make Cyprus veto my country’s negotiations for EU entry and watch the Europeans breathe a sigh of relief that Cyprus is getting its hands dirty, doing what many of them are aching to do but can’t do, because they’re weak and confused.
Why would I do such a thing, provoke an EU veto against my own country? Because I don’t really care so much about Europe anymore. My prospects to enter the EU aren’t really going anywhere, so I might as well blame someone else for the failure. I will blame Cyprus and its weak allies for it while I create my own legacy as a regional superpower. I will create my own club of states in my own sphere of influence and dictate my own club rules.
So I will force Cyprus to veto me and then watch the weak Europeans throw all the blame on Cyprus for this dramatic development.
I will watch the Europeans use this opportunity to start decoupling themselves from the atrophied south-eastern states of Europe, on account of these states having landed Europe in hot water with my strong and aggressive Turkey. The Europeans will then start negotiating with my Turkey on better terms, pretending it’s all Cyprus’s fault, which suits me fine, so long as they suck up to me. Meanwhile, tired as they are from the chronic ails of the south, the big European nations will use this shakeup as an excuse to punish the south for its bankrupt nances and culture, for its stubbornly intransigent and non-reforming nature, demanding it does as it’s told, or starve AND face my belligerence. Starving alone doesn’t seem to put any sense in their heads, no reforms in their agenda, so they will utilize my threats to get their ship in order, as if it can ever be put in order. When everyone under the sun has the right to an opinion, states get weak and ineffective, but they pretend not to know this, or have forgotten it.
Which is why I need to remain strong. I don’t want to make any reforms, and no one will be able to force me to reform, not now, not ever. I will make myself strong and watch the feeble West try to deal with its self-inflicted woes and amuse myself.
I will watch the West squabble among itself and erode its many parts and its many standards.
I will watch the West demand that Cyprus stop handling Russian business and money, which Cyprus will have a hard time walking away from, because it’s a huge amount of money for that small and ailing economy (unlike the Russian money in the UK, or Germany, which is an even larger amount, yet not large enough to a ect the German and UK economies should it fly, or be further regulated). Poor little Cyprus won’t be able to give up Russian business so easily, not in the wake of austerity, not with my troops already occupying a third of the island, and certainly not before the Greek Cypriots and their allies get their hands on the natural gas reserves, which I will prevent them from exploiting by surrounding it with trouble.
I will simply push the envelope and act with further impunity in Cyprus and in the Aegean, pushing my way through the area’s weak structures.
I will scream bloody murder at having been unfairly targeted because of my Muslim religion and my Turkish identity and accuse Cyprus and the West of cultural racism, and rattle my saber and even use it if I have to in and around Cyprus and the Aegean, and surely on the Kurds, who are annoying me with their talk of autonomy and their oil elds, which they want to keep for themselves. I will do all of this while also bombing the Islamic State, just to confuse everyone, showing the world that I can do whatever I want. That my country is strong and ready to do battle. That the builders of the world’s greatest presidential palace on earth, with its one thousand rooms and its 380-million-pound structure, is a force to be reckoned with.
That’s exactly what I would do if I were a Turkish politician.
If I were an American politician, I would do none of that.
I would let the Turkish politician do it and watch from the side, and when the time were right, I would pressure Cyprus to hand over control of its nances and banks and funds to American institutions in return for protection from the belligerent Turk. I would thus gain control of another area where Russia does business and the contracts for the natural gas in the Cyprus EEZ would fall in friendly hands.
I would also let Europe deal with a bitter Turkey, which it will have to please and suck up to, because Turkey is willing to wage war in the area again, which Europe can’t a ord. I can’t a ord it either, but then again the only thing that will mask my unsustainable and unpluggable debt and deficit — and my toxic local politics — is perhaps another war in the area. A real war this time, a big war, one that will absorb the economy and mindset of my people, like the previous two big ones did, out of which I came up aces. So why not? Let the dice roll.
Thank goodness I am neither a Turkish nor an American politician, right? Keep my sick mind off the world’s politics and let the world function in peace.
Sadly, there are sicker minds than mine out there, in rm power, doing their thing as we speak.
From your Machiavellian Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.