One year ago today, I was treated to the kind of physical assault one has nightmares about, but rarely experiences personally. I am speaking, of course, about my traveling from Tel Aviv back to the United States after a 12-year hiatus.
Due to the fact that I was traveling with three cats (two of whom were sent in the cargo hold due to their size), and one of whom was in a carry-on with me, I was subjected to a humiliating physical search of my body once I landed at my American destination. I pre-warned airline security of the sensitive device I had had implanted in my chest in Israel, hardly debatable as the scar was fresh from the preceding month. The explanatory letter from the hospital went ignored by the security team. This seemed to single me out as some kind of security scofflaw which sadly, the airline abused in its entirety. I was taken to a private room and stripped and was — for lack of a better expression — “felt up” by TSA agents who stood there smirking at my predicament.
Why am I bringing up an incident that occurred a year ago? Because today, the European Union negated every single American or international security measure installed after 9/11 by agreeing to let Turkey send her citizens into their midst on accelerated visas. Why should anyone care who Turkey approves for air or sea or land travel? The answer is a simple one. Every nation should care, because this is the same country that permits the unfettered travel into and away from her borders of any and everyone who is a member of Daesh.
Turkey treats wounded Daesh fighters in Turkish hospitals when they aren’t themselves busy surrounding, brutalizing and destroying Kurdish towns inside Turkey and Syria, indiscriminately murdering her own citizens with tanks, banned chemical weapons and guns. Since Turkish policemen, troops and members of their security branch, the “MIT,” love to take “selfies” of themselves next to dead, dying and injured Kurdish men, women and children, they can’t now claim they are the subject of Kurdish “propaganda.” Sadly, Turks appear very fond of their mayhem.
Since earlier in the week when the Turkish government took over the offices of The Daily Zeman, even propaganda seems unnecessary. Images of the destruction in Cizre in Turkey eerily resemble towns such as Aleppo demolished by both Daesh, al-Nusra Front and Bashar al-Assad in Syria or Daesh in Iraqi towns. I defy anyone to be able to tell me the difference between the wholesale destruction in the once-beautiful Kobani, Syria and Cizre, Turkey. These thugs don’t even bother to hide their faces, thinking they are now above international law. In this regard, they take their cue from their leader, Tayyip Recep Erdogan, who similarly believes no one cares to stop him on his way to trying to rule the Middle East singlehandedly, or even alongside his newfound lover, Iran. The inherent danger of being fast friends with Iran means that the Turks already have passed onto the ayatollahs very fine satellite and photographic images of every single American jet parked at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. It is not a stretch of the imagination to suppose Turkey also passes along intelligence to Iran in a never-ending stream, much as the Shiite groups who are loyal to Iran do from inside Iraq.
For some odd reason, Erdogan has taken EU and American silence on his brutal treatment of his Kurdish population as permission to continue the ethnic cleansing of his country of Kurds by any means at his disposal. He actually had the temerity to invade Syria, ostensibly to fight Daesh, but in reality, to attack the Kurdish PKK and YPG who are having great success removing al-Nusra front and al-Assad fighters from Syria.
The fact that Turkey managed to con six billion Euros out of the EU in order to promise to keep a lid on the refugee problem spreading all over Europe may be the most amazing chutzpah ever seen in the history of Europe since Neville Chamberlain’s reign. Remember that this refugee problem began with al-Assad’s war on his own people five years ago this month and spread to Turkey who opened her borders to Daesh fighters leaving Iraq and entering Syria via Turkey meanwhile happily accepting God knows how many millions of dollars’ worth of their illegally obtained oil for the privilege of moving materiél and men to the frontlines in Syria.
To outward appearances — as seen often in Western media, Turkey allows Syrian refugees over her borders — although her recent threats to close the borders led to this EU deal of the century for Erdogan. What is not seen in any Western media is the indiscriminate shooting gallery Turkey engages in with refugees from Syria. It is estimated that four million Syrians are now refugees. They are in well-managed camps in Jordan or hectic miserable conditions along Turkey’s or Iraq’s borders. They cannot return to their homes or businesses or farms. Those are piles of rubble. Yes, America could accelerate the entry of thousands of Syrian refugees and probably would if she was not in the middle of an election cycle filled with racist oratory not seen since the 1920s. It appears not to have occurred to anyone in the EU or rest of the world that having millions of unsettled and miserable refugees in their midst and letting Turkey abuse their own citizens are precisely the kind of destabilizing influences that will lead to war.
If American air carriers think a dying woman with cats is such a threat to national security, what will they do when thousands of former Daesh fighters sporting Turkish and EU passports start flooding into JFK?