McCain Grills Bass And Something Fishy Is Going On
I thought it would be helpful to post this article, as it gives a different perspective on a number of aspects concerning what is happening in the Middle East. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
Author: Seth Ferris
Like any prospective new Ambassador, the much-travelled John Bass has to have his nomination confirmed by a Senate Committee. As he has now been nominated to serve in Turkey, he has had to face the usual questions. Unfortunately for him, and the rest of the world, one of the committee members is Senator John McCain, who represents either Arizona or the manufacturers and suppliers of illegal arms to terrorists, depending on whether you have read the list of his campaign contributors or not.
As an ambassador, Bass is obliged to foster good relations between the US and the countries he serves in, not foment hostility. Yet Senator McCain repeatedly asked him whether or not Turkey was drifting towards authoritarianism, in order to give him a stick to beat Turkey with. Bass did his best to be diplomatic and evade the question, but McCain continued to press for a direct answer.
This is the same John McCain who appears in all the world’s trouble spots saying how much “we” (he is a Republican and not a member of the US Democratic Party government) support the struggle of one armed group or another. Strangely enough, those groups then start using American weapons, made and supplied by people who fund McCain’s campaigns, which they have no legal right to obtain.
It is therefore obvious why McCain wants something to use against the Turkish government, with the PKK and many similar groups pursuing separatist causes in various parts of that country. Seeing he had no way out, Bass did eventually suggest that Turkey might be drifting towards authoritarianism. He will therefore be going there to take on the authoritarian Turkish government, regardless of the official US position on Turkey. But should he have been put in such a position, by someone who isn’t part of the US government, before he has even taken office and seen conditions on the ground for himself?
What McCain won’t say
Ambassador John Bass knows only too well than there is more than a drift towards authoritarianism in Turkey today. He is also aware thatthe US-created ISIS, the brainchild of former Vice President Dick Cheney and the JSOC, Joint Special Operations Command, plans to destabilise the region and set up a Kurdish State in Northern Iraq with US support. This will obviously impact upon Turkey, whose own Kurdish minority has been demanding a similar state for several generations. Any US criticism of Turkey is encouragement of its internal separatist groups, and Bass knows this.
The US has supported the PKK for a number of years, collecting intelligence and waiting for the time it can use a trusted friend in the region to fulfil its objectives. The Kurdish army, the Peshmerga, are well-trained but doesn’t have friends in Iraq proper:it has been protected until now in its own enclave, set up with the help of the Americans.The no fly zone established prior to the invasion of Iraq was an attempt to keep suspicious planes away from this enclave, because that is where the zone was. Exactly the same support has been given to ISIS, which is now slaughtering Kurds and Christians in northern Iraq.
At the end of June ISIS declared the establishment of the Islamic State, which does not only include parts of Iraq but also Syria. As the US is losing ground in Syria this divides that country and enables US forces to withdraw to the new state with some dignity, sending troops to die for the US fighting troops inserted and trained by the US.
Drawing the Turkish Kurds into this equation would stabilise this new country as a truly representative Kurdistan. But the US needs an excuse to steal territory from an ally to suit itself, and accusing the Turkish government of authoritarianism is the start of one. When such accusations come not from the government itself, but an opposition Senator, this makes them not political but an expression of common knowledge, making it all the easier to lop off chunks of Turkey in the name of democracy.
John McCain is known for objecting to what he sees as political appointments to diplomatic posts. Back in February he objected to the appointment of Ambassador to Norway, George Tsunis, who exposed his ignorance of Norway by praising its non-existent president and agreeing with the non-existent US denunciation of the Progress Party, which is part of the Norwegian government. He also objected to Colleen Bell, Obama’s nominee as Ambassador to Hungary, who is best known as a TV soap opera producer.
However none of this applies to John Bass. He is a career diplomat who has worked in the region before and knows better than McCain what is going on there. The problem McCain has with him is exactly the opposite: not that he knows too little, but that he knows too much.
If roles were reversed, and Bass was on a committee approving nominations for Senator, he might well ask McCain about the abundance of photographs, videos and other evidence which shows himhanging out with groups he now calls terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Much of this evidence is mysteriously disappearing from Youtube and other sites, and is not being removed by the users who put it there. This is somewhat ironic, given that restricting access to social media is one of the Turkish government actions John McCain described as authoritarian.
Whether McCain is a fit and proper person to be a US Senator in the light of this evidence, which could easily see him prosecuted under a raft of security and anti-terror legislation, is rather more of a concern than what Bass thinks about the Turkish government. The attempt to put Bass in a corner is an attempt to both deflect such questions and prevent Bass answering them by attacking McCain’s own credibility.