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More on Turkey and Syria

Turkey has authorized cross-border action against Syria if need be. This according to Al Jazeera.

The mandate, valid for one year, was passed by 320 votes in the 550-seat Turkish parliament, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.

Besir Atalay, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said authorising the use of force in Syria was not a declaration of war but was intended as a deterrent.

The vote came as Turkey resumed shelling Syrian government military positions on Thursday morning in retaliation for a mortar attack which landed over its border in southeastern Turkey killing five of its citizens – a woman and four children from the same family.

“The Syrian side has admitted what it did and apologised,” Atalay said.

Turkish state media said that the attacks by artillery units based in the border town of Akcakale were continuing.

NATO wasn’t happy, according to early reports on the shelling. Turkey gave approximately no damn whatsoever what they thought, which I am okay with. Defending oneself is what a country should do, but it does show a weakness in the NATO and U.S. goals for a stable Middle East. That dream was a distant one, but it’s now gotten further away.

Syria is in chaos as it is. Turkey and Syria, surprisingly (read: sarcasm) don’t like each other. If (and that’s a very big if) this were to escalate, the Syrian situation might actually get worse. And if it escalated within the next 30 or so days, it would play an interesting effect on the presidential race.

No one, when this campaign started, expected foreign affairs to get much, if any, recognition this campaign season. Then the 9/11 riots in North Africa, and the death of the U.S. ambassador at our consulate in Libya. With the information slowly coming out that this was a botched policy of no extra security, the insistence that the murder was part of the riots over a YouTube video and the revelation that the U.S. government was tipped off a day before, suddenly things look grim on that front for Obama.

I cannot wait for the first debate to feature foreign policy. I want to know what will change in the candidates’ demeanor because, again, this wasn’t supposed to be a major thing. Now, though… it has to potential to decide a little, but not much. The economy and jobs are still the biggest factor on everyone’s mind. The stuff going on overseas doesn’t mater nearly as much as what’s going on at home.

 

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See this post and others of mine here. Follow me on Twitter: @joec_esquire

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