Saturday, July 26, 2008

Turkish Theater for WWIII

Here's a nice rosy piece from The Asia Times on the coming WWIII in the Middle East. I'm skeptical, but this is interesting.

Here's a taste (read the rest!):
As the price of oil increased rapidly in the past three years, Saudi influence has grown. The rapid decline of the US into a credit crisis has also prompted the need for rich friends in high places, particularly to rescue moribund banks and continue buying bonds issued by bankrupt federal agencies. It now appears that instead of a share of US banks or its corporate that "lesser" Arab rulers may be happy with, Saudi Arabia has been slowly pushing the US to capitulate its Turkish fiefdom.

After stabilizing the Islamist government, the true costs of this bargain for Turkey will become more visible. As the US Army plans to leave Iraq, it will leave in its wake an independence-seeking if not functionally autonomous Kurdistan that embraces territory in the north of Iraq and Iran as well as the eastern part of Turkey. On its western front, Turkey has already been outmaneuvered by Greece on its claims on Cyprus by using the illusory carrot of potential European Union membership.

Turkish nationalism will thus receive two severe blows in the next few years. Coalescing at the center, it is likely that Turks will turn to religion for succor, much as Pakistanis did after the creation of Bangladesh. That they will become cannon fodder in the age-old conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite forces is another matter.

In perhaps less than a decade from now, Saudi Arabia could well control and call on two Wahhabi-inspired armies on either side of Iran, and seek to deal a death blow against the Shi'ites when a convenient excuse presents itself. It is only after Islamic forces consolidate around the Wahhabi establishment that the next phase of the civilizational war against the West will begin.

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