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Connecting dots: Turkey, U.S., Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, ISIS

Time to connect the dots from Turkey to the U.S. to Libya to Syria to ISIS?

As conspiracy theories go, this one appears to have some real merit. Let’s follow a few bread crumbs through the forest of modern international politics and see if we can understand just a few elements of this complex situation.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were once very close friends. Obama routinely held up Turkey as a shining example of democracy operating well in an Islamic setting, despite Erdogan’s condemnations of Israel. It is important to remember that Turkey is the largest purchaser of American weaponry. The Turks buy about $2.3 billion in weapons annually from the U.S.*

In recent months Turkish/U.S. relations deteriorated with the ever atrocious and destabilizing situation in Syria. Obama’s inaction, and his reluctance to consult Erdogan, resulted in Erdogan expressing distrust, even accusing Western players of working to overthrow him. Given Obama’s pattern of overthrowing governments, or demanding that people leave office, Erdogan’s suspicions might have carried weight. All this was going on as Erdogan was being criticized for increasingly dictatorial measures against Turkish opposition internally.

But roll the clock back a little further, and recall that a serious allegation involving Turkey was made almost two years ago concerning Benghazi and alleged arms shipments from Libya to Syria. After the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 by Al Qaeda and others in the jihadist movement (many connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo) it was learned the Turks had been coordinating with the U.S. to move weaponry from Libya to Syria. Speculation abounded such arms shipments may have had something to do with the attack: that some agreement between the U.S., shadowy groups, and the Turks had gone south, sparking violence.

Reports proliferated that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of four Americans killed during the Benghazi attack, had been a principle player arranging arms deals in association with the CIA, elements within Libya, and the Turkish government, all in an effort to supply groups fighting Assad in Syria, among them, jihadists, including ISIS, it is alleged.

And now we have reports ISIS has actively recruited Turkish fighters while operating training camps within Turkey, and that the Turkish government has actually provided material support to ISIS.

If this is true and U.S. officials knew about it or actually assisted in some way, the level of corruption and treason goes up several points, casting a pall on the most transparent administration in history, and its relationship with Erdogan.

One thing is for sure: if anyone can get to the bottom of Benghazi, the allegations of illegal weapons sales, and the role of Turkey in promoting ISIS, it’s Rep. Trey Gowdy, head of the select committee investigating all these matters. Little wonder Obama and Hillary Clinton have done everything in their power to throw Gowdy off the trail.

Once again, it would appear Obama has us in bed with the enemy, in this case an enemy slaughtering Christians, using our weaponry (stolen from the Iraqis) while enjoying funding from America’s so-called allies. In fact ISIS has been so viciously successful, Obama will likely reverse course and re-enter actual combat in Iraq to address a situation he created in many ways, not the least of which was his refusal to leave a residual force in Iraq in 2011 as urged by all his principle military and intelligence advisors at the time.

*Qatar also buys a lot of our military technology. Eleventh on the list, Qatar pays $500 million for U.S. weapons each year. Qatar also condemns Israel, supports Hamas, and has friendly ties to ISIS and Turkey. Qatari officials by agreement with Obama are supposed to be keeping an eye of the five Taliban terrorists released in order to free Sgt. Bergdahl.

Note: Saudi Arabia is sixth on the customer list, buying about $1 billion per year in military weaponry and equipment from the U.S. Saudi Arabia has supported moderate resistance in Syria but is accused of helping ISIS there and elsewhere, an allegation Saudi officials reject, although official voices in Qatar and in Iraq have accused the Saudis likewise.