Politics

The RUSUK view of War in the Med

No gas, No conflict!.….

It’s complicated. Ostensibly, it’s about a rivalry in the eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey, over disputed energy sources.

But it goes far deeper than that; there’s the long-standing conflict between those two nations, going back to even before modern Turkey was founded almost a 100 years ago, and now other nations are becoming involved.

Map credit: TRT World

Basically, there’s gas to be found in that part of the Mediterranean, around Cyprus and many of the Greek islands. Both sides strenuously dispute the other’s maps showing the extent of their “economic exclusion zones.”  Both sides think they have legitimate claims in what is a very complex and developing law of the seas.

Turkey’s supporters will say their troubles started back in the time of colonial powers, like the very pro-Greek prime-minister David Lloyd George. Turkey was forced to sign a treaty in the 1920s, at a time of weakness and without a naval force that effectively trapped it into a completely landlocked nation, despite having thousands upon thousands of miles of coastline. I’m no fan of the way Turkey is being led right now, but you can understand the idea that its continental shelf was “stolen” by Greece and Cyprus.

If it were a football match, it would be a boring 0-0 draw, and the match would go to a penalty shoot-out. Three players would be sent off for violent behaviour, and another nineteen would feign injury. In real life, there may well be a spat or two, a little aggravation here and there, but I think it’s unlikely that there will be all out war.

Of course, countries are starting to take sides, as happens with most conflicts; Macron has already increased the French naval presence in the area, and apparently has sent a few war planes to show his nation’s might. He likes to sit beside Athens. The conflict in Libya has also created tensions between various countries. Russia and Egypt are against Turkey’s backing of Libya’s Government of National Accord, while Germany is trying to take the heat out of the crisis.

Britain, of course couldn’t give a shit. They didn’t give a shit in 1960 when they ran away from Cyprus despite knowing all about the Greek’s plan for genocide of the Turkish Cypriots; besides, if there’s nothing in it for Boris or his bubble of public-school cronies, why should they?

So what’s the solution? Easy. Here’s my motto: No Gas, No Conflict. 

Think about this – gas is a fossil fuel – how can drilling for that be even the slightest bit environmentally sustainable? Is the UN Paris climate treaty already dead? How the hell can it be considered a decent business proposition for the region, when most developed countries are soon to become bankrupt, with Covid-19 showing no signs of disappearing, and keeping the price of gas at rock bottom? Loads of the Med already sees oil and gas exploration banned, so what’s the problem? 

This could all be sorted so easily, but several generations of mutual loathing and hate, and more recent coalitions of loathing and hate will see the tensions rise, not fall. But all out war? Who can afford it? Just ban the drilling. Simple. 

And The Winner Is….

Mehmet The Conqueror @ Constantinople

First, you need to know that the descendants of the Ottoman and Hellenic Empires hate each other and have since before the fall of Constantinople. This is a deep, glowing hatred that has resulted in ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide on both sides, right into living memory. 

Second, you need to know that there are no angles in this fight. The West and the EU in particular have become complicit in the crimes. They feed their people one-sided propaganda, all the while ignoring attempted genocide. In other words, most of what you think you know is most likely wrong.

Let’s add some spices into this toxic brew, because what the hell, they don’t want to kill each other enough already. Here’s a recipe:

  1. Take one Strongman and put him in charge of the biggest nation in the region.
  2. Add a smaller country that is happy to start some stink, then scream victim to the biggest kid on the block. If they have to lie to make it sound good; no problem.
  3. Mix in several heaped tablespoons of unsettled, old scores.
  4. Now, blend a few barrels of Natural Gas and have the smaller nation claim it all.
  5. Bake at high temperatures until the whole dish becomes so hot nobody dares touch it.

Now you have a recipe for war.

I remember our very first Blog was about North Korea and America going to war. We all three said no way. This time, I’m not going to say that. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan absolutely will pull the trigger: Ask Putin. Yeah, it was dumb but Erdogan did shoot down that Russian Bomber and I have no doubt he will go for Greece too. The fact that he would suck France into the fight is not a factor in Erdoğan’s mind… yet.

As for Greece, I have no idea what those cone heads are thinking. OK, I know exactly what they are thinking but that doesn’t stop my dismay at the stupidity of it all. They think the EU and the US will come running when they claim to be innocent victims. And they will.

I obviously have no way of knowing this but I think the Secret American Intelligence Assessment is that there will be war. Why do I say that? Because the Americans are looking to close their big Turkish airbase, Incirlik, and move it. Perhaps to Crete, which is a Greek Island (hello?). 

Turkey has already been kicked out of the F35 fighter program. They were going to make the landing gear and a few other parts. Now they will not even be allowed to purchase any.

The US is also relaxing a weapons embargo on the Republic of Cyprus, a Greek vassal state on a small Island off the Turkish coast. Only non-lethal supplies at this time. Clearly the Americans are quietly moving a few chess pieces around and it doesn’t look good for Turkey.

My prediction: War @ 50/50 and if it happens it will be short and sharp with Turkey getting more or less run out of the Mediterranean but not before they smash the Greek navy. They will get to keep North Cyprus but the UK will be the only armed Guarantor.

Like the coup, this loss will become a gift to Erdogan, allowing him to radicalize the population and create unity through anger. We are good to go another thousand years.

The shattered Turkish economy will be forced to turn to Russia. They will no longer trade with Europe and they are going to be kicked out of NATO. And the big winner in this war will be: Putin.

Don’t fight. Talk. 

So, two neighbours and NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been locked for weeks in a tense standoff in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey currently is prospecting the seabed there for energy reserves: exactly in an area Greece claims as its own continental shelf.

With Turkey and Greece’s economic zones overlapping each other (with Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, plus Cyprus, involved), only recently it seemed that the conflict could have escalated to some, probably limited, hostilities between two auld enemies – enemies since ancient times. 

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is basically in the epicenter of the conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean, supported by Turkey. 

But, truly, who will believe that those countries would now really go to war with each other? The NATO powers, such as Germany and France, were quick enough to diplomatically intervene to hold off the sides. 

Today, with the tensions going down and both countries getting into technical negotiations, it is clear that no urgent military conflict is in sight anymore. 

However, the fundamentals are not solved: the giant gas reserves are still there. Turkey and Greece didn’t move out, either.

Will there be a war in the future? Possibly, yes, no one could rule it out. I personally believe that cooperation will finally be considered by all sides as the most beneficial option. Those natural resources might mean sustainable economic development. The war or even a slightest military conflict would freeze the situation for a very long time with all the benefits for all sides blocked. Who needs this? 

Let’s see if the Turks and Greeks are wise enough to understand it. I think sharing and compromising is more profitable for them than fighting. 

To read more reviews on RUSUK click here  –  One Story… Three Tales, Three Friends, born thousands of miles apart

Editor’s note: The views and opinions shown here are not those of Cyprusscene.com.

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