Analysis: Syria Attacks Turkey and Wins—and You Lose

Is Turkish leader protesting too much? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

Is Turkish leader protesting too much? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

Two cars reportedly blew up in Turkey on Saturday, killing dozens. And you should care, because it is increasing the chance for Middle East war, all while helping the bad guys win. It’s true, we don’t want terror to succeed, but sometimes terror wins. On Saturday, Syria managed to use terror to create real second-guessing by Turkey of their support for the Syrian rebels fighting a brutal dictator. And that’s bad for all of us.

The goal, it appears, of Syria’s minions setting off car bombs in a Turkish town is to turn the Turks against the Syrian rebels. It’s bringing the fight from the frontlines to the front porch, and it’s not really Turkey’s fight. Would you back and support others in their war if it meant you taking needless bullets on their behalf?

The rest of the world has lots of reasons for wanting the Syrian civil war to end and the regime deposed as quickly as possible. The longer the Syrian war continues, the more your tax dollars are going to deal with a humanitarian catastrophe, the more the concerns grow about advanced missiles or chemical weapons reaching terrorists, and the more worries for the oil market and gas prices.

But Saturday’s Syrian car bomb attack in Turkey is aimed to prevent the regime’s defeat and in effect prolong this war. Turkey is a crucial ally in for the West in trying to topple the Syrian regime and restore general peace to the Middle East. By targeting Turkish civilians, Syria wants them to turn against their government and stop helping the rebels.

It looks like it’s working. The Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman said that after the blasts, Turks in the town reportedly attacked Syrian refugees, adding fire to an already tense situation. One political opposition movement in Turkey took the chance to critique the Turks’ opposition to the Syrian regime. And the Syrian news agency SANA reported a Syrian official tried to blame the attacks on Turkey helping “terrorists”—the regime’s code word for the rebels, all while claiming Syria had nothing to do with it.

Now you won’t read the Turkish leadership is second-guessing their stance on Syria. But often times, as Shakespeare says, one can “protest too much”—the more you try to defeat an argument, the more weight and power you give it. And the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News quoted the Turkish Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister as trying to defend the Syrian refugees in Turkey, saying they are not a part of this bombing, don’t attack them, etc.

Suddenly they felt the support for the refugees and the rebels is slipping. They felt the need to say what they did because there are Turks who are opposed to involvement in someone else’s war.

But the truth is the Syrian civil war isn’t really someone else’s fight. It’s affecting Turkey as the violence spills into their country, its affecting Americans who are paying to help the devastated Syrian civilians, it’s affecting Europe and the US as they consider launching another Middle East war to stop the fight before it really spreads.

And Syria’s success in this terror attack means the regime will be inclined to try again. The Syrian civil war just moved from local conflict to a regional war—and that impacts you, too.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 12, 2013)

What do you think?