In 1916, the Sykes-Picot Agreement between the UK and France to establish spheres of influence in Southeast Asia was assented to by the Russian Empire. Today, the Russian Federal Republic is trying to find something to assent to. The offer made by Israel, the United States under Donald Trump, and the UAE, is apparently not as appealing as that of other potential friends. China, hard line Europe, and Iran seem a more potential entente. In 1907, things looked even simpler: just Britain and Russian against the Austria-Hungarian-Ottoman.

Turkey seems someone that everyone always hates. Lawrence of Arabia was certainly no friend of his torturers. He was, some say, quite angry that the Foreign Office had made him an instrument of betrayal to the Arabs who had trusted his promises. Those promises were of a national homeland in Greater Syria in exchange for supporting the British against the Ottoman Empire. Whatever the case; someone, he himself or his betrayers, seem to have wished him as dead as his motorcycle.

It is Donald J. Trump who may be the Lawrence of his day. Greater Syria certainly has a place for the Arab, as long as it is not an anti-Israeli one. Iran is the scourge. This time Lawrence is the Foreign Office! This time our Lawrence is the absolute leader of the new free world. If anyone betrays the Arab friends that have put their trust in him, the great I AM will be furious.

Turkey may become the pivotal ratchet that turns the tables in Syria. As a matter of fact, Russian and American army chiefs conferred urgently today (Saturday, Jan. 20). Assad himself seems ready to let the Kurdish reinforcements pass through.

Operation Olive Branch was launched against the Kurd as if an operation of NATO. This puts an even greater strain on ties between Turkey an Washington with NATO allies wondering how NATO assets can be so misused. Does the Olive branch include olives picked from the garden of Incirlik?

The name Incirlik means olive garden in Turkish. This is appropriate. As the base grew more important during Operation Inherent Resolve, German aircraft regularly refueled. Then, on November 24, 2015, a Turkish controlled F-16 shot down a Russian jet. Germany responded by sending Tornado war planes to Incirlik.

All this led to the failed coup attempt which caused Turkey to try to seize the base from US control. Why is Turkey a NATO member?

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