In 1944, as the Soviets surged westward chasing the remnants of Germany’s beaten army out of Russia and into Poland, the long-dreamed-of anti-Nazi teamwork shifted into high gear. The Polish Home Army rose up to paralyze the Nazi defenses and make the job of Poland’s Russian “allies” even easier.
Abruptly the teamwork ended. The Red Army, which was expected to storm across the Vistula River and annihilate the Germans, instead found parking space on the east side of the river and just sat there. The Nazis could now turn their full attention to quashing the Polish uprising. The horrified Poles could see the Russian troops sitting on their tanks drinking tea. Or something!
Stalin was as crafty as he was cruel. He knew the Polish patriots in the Home Army would oppose any kind of Communist government for Poland after victory. So the Russians were ordered to sit there and let the Nazis and anti-Communist Poles kill off one another while the Russians and their Polish Communist puppets calmly prepared for the new Communist Poland without any pesky anti-Communist patriots with guns who could mess things up. The Polish troops were annihilated. The Polish Communists moved in without getting their boots muddy.
Though far from an exact comparison, those were the memories re-emblazoned at the sight of Turkish tanks just sitting there, yards from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, as the head-hunters of ISIS gradually took the town away from out-manned and out-gunned Kurdish forces trying desperately to hang on. The Turks were there strictly to keep ISIS from getting any big ideas about taking any territory from Turkey. The heartless Turks cared not a hummus-dipped turnip about headless Kurds. Please don’t come back with any of that highly educated revelation that the Turks hate and fear their own Turkish Kurds above all. Next, Turkey wants the overthrow of Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad. All concerns about ISIS and the Syrian Kurds of Kobani finish third. All true. But when all survivors of a captive town are facing beheading, decent countries should ignore their priorities and save lives.
If Sweden in World War II, completely surrounded by Nazi power, could infuriate the Nazis by admitting thousands of Jewish refugees into Sweden, and if meanwhile little Albania could tell its Nazi masters to go to hell and rescue every single Jew in the country as well as Jews from outside Albania who’d heard about this rare bit of Balkan bravery, and if defenseless Austria in late 1956 could defy an infuriated Soviet Union and admit 200,000 anti-Communist refugees from Hungary into Austria – then today’s Turkey could damn well postpone its domestic Kurdish anxiety and Bashar Assad long enough to rescue tens of thousands of endangered Kurdish lives on its border.
Those Turkish tanks of yours are indeed impressive, Mr. Erdogan. But they’re about as helpful as a milk bucket under a bull.
Turkish shame, however, is a pale fraction of America’s shame. It’s one thing to criticize a foreign policy if it fails to engender respect for America along bayonet-borders across the world or maintain that respect owing to weak and flawed foreign policy. But when that flawed weakness threatens and subsequently claims thousands of lives, it’s time to do more than comment on Sunday morning TV shows. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Maybe Lady Eleanor never heard Jews, Kurds, Hungarians and others curse the darkness! The weakness, ineptitude, incompetence, cowardice and cosmic stupidity of our president’s foreign policy is epic. Many who permit themselves sterner profanity than I do here have failed to portray sufficiently the depth, vacuity, irredeemable failure and breathtaking danger of this country’s conduct of its foreign affairs.
I once interviewed a macho-radiant, shameless male chauvinist, whose hairy chest may not have sufficiently served as a mattress factory, but was easily sufficiently hirsute to conceal the shape of the doo-dads on his gold chain lost amidst the underbrush. I questioned him, “Do you bring up the subject of sex over dinner on the first date?” He sneered back, “If sex isn’t guaranteed over cocktails, there ain’t gonna be any dinner!”
I’ve got a five-minute lecture for young daughters urging them to listen to such bird calls and take counter-measures. We heard how ill-equipped Obama was in his debates with Hillary in 2008. Hillary said she would demand pre-conditions before any talks with Iran. Obama, in a flourish calculated to win over every sophomore class in the English-speaking world, said something like, “I’ll talk to anybody at any time if it might bring peace.”
I’m experiencing a deep out-of-body right now carrying water for Hillary, but at least her answer was professional. Obama’s arrogant naiveté should have warned us. It warned me, all right. Where were my political betters who should have liquefied the Chicago “community organizer” for such prattle?
Who was it who said in 2012 that foreign policy was Obama’s “strong suit”? Sure, just like synagogue architecture was Adolf Hitler’s strong suit!
Thanks, Mr. President, for reminding us of the angry student who told the teacher, “I don’t think I deserve zero on this test.”
“I don’t either,” replied the teacher. “But it’s the lowest grade I’m allowed to give.”
Media wishing to interview Barry Farber, please contact [email protected].