Neither S-400 Nor F-35: The Budget for Laborers Not for Guns!-Emre Güntekin
Despite the AKP government satisfied with the meeting with Trump in Osaka, the news that follow the G-20 Summit does not seem very good for the government. After the Osaka meeting, Trump put the blame on to Obama administration, expressing that Turkey had been let down before. Moreover, Erdogan announced that the US would not impose any sanctions. However, signals from the US are in the opposite direction. The Congress, which has not a positive attitude about Turkey, is the only authority about sanctions.
According to US officials speaking to Reuters, Trump administration plans to impose sanctions on Turkey and take Turkey out from the F-35 project, in case Turkey insistents on S-400. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said:
“Our position here at the State Department as it relates to Turkey and the S-400 has not changed. We – again, everybody knows – the Turkish authorities know – the legislation that has been passed in Congress as it relates to CAATSA, and all of that remains the same. We have said that Turkey, as you pointed out, will face real and negative consequences if they accept the S-400. Those consequences include participation in the F-35 program.”
At the Pentagon, spokesperson Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews said “Nothing has changed” in reply to Erdoğan’s statements. “Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air and missile defence system is incompatible with the F-35 programme. Turkey will not be permitted to have both systems,”
The statements made by Senator Lindsay Graham on July 1st are similar. Graham, if Turkey’s S-400 missiles are activated, announced that Turkey would be removed from the F-35 program. In the Senate she also reminded the provisions of the budget bill of Ministry of Defense , which prohibits the sale of F-35 aircraft to Turkey.
Turkey has been a NATO member almost for 70 years. Purchase of S-400 is seen as an important paradigm shift in Turkey’s foreign policy in the Western world. In addition, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Vietnam and Iraq are also interested in the procurement of S-400. The fact that the US government tries to deter them from S-400 procurement through sanctions has come to the agenda in the American media. Therefore, if Turkey procures S-400, it is predictable to have a ripple effect throughout the world in case it does not apply any sanctions from the US front. In short, it is a high possibility to impose sanctions on Turkey in such a case. We can predict such a sanction can bring devastation to the economy of Turkey which is already in decline.
The AKP government has pursued adventurous dreams in foreign policy for years, and Erdoğan nurtured his power with the enthusiasm of this adventures. In fact,every step in the foreign policy moves were used to serve Erdoğan’s short-term interests: Syria, creating the excitement of the election agenda, finding prescriptions for the economic downturn, taking advantage of international balances to pose as “a world leader”, etc… The cost of all this was heavy. The people have paid too much!.
In the first years of AKP rulership, both the division among the ruling classes and the power of the street opposition could prevent the AKP from attempting imperialist adventures. For example, in 2003, the Iraq memorandum came to the parliament in order to authorization for use of Turkish military force to Iraq was prevented by a strong anti-war opposition and Turkey was saved from being an accomplice of the war. But with the strengthening of the one-man regime, the government served the small and daily accounts of the regime in foreign policy. The AKP regime has always been loyal to US imperialism. Erdogan, who took on the role of “the caliph of the Muslim world”, gave intensive military-logistical support to radical Islamist gangs (such as Libya and Syria) for being one of the effective imperialist leaders. ISIS and al-Nusra ran wild and they have made organized bloody massacres in Turkey. On the other hand, refugees were used as a means of blackmail in the relations with the Western world and those relations used as material for domestic politics. The Russian plane was shot down in Syria, Erdoğan said “I gave the order” and these words were swallowed, and the price of the this imperialist adventure had been paid heavily.
Now, it is the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya… Soon, Turkey will have to face with the cost of the power’s imperialist adventures in both areas. The working class in Turkey needs neither F-35 nor S- 400 or imperialist adventures. Even though, they call these war policies as country defense, we know that this war policies do not serve anyone except a bunch of capitalists and their collaborator powers. Wars are the most barbaric method of the capitalists to solve the crisis.
Billions of dollars are transferred to the war industry while the laborers, the youth, the women of this country are struggling with unemployment and poverty. On the other hand, the government wants the people to be a partner of its dirty policies with the nationalist- chauvinist discourse. However, when it comes to paying the price, the only ones who pay the price is always the poor workers.
Stop war provocations and adventurous foreign policy!
We do not need the war policies, which do not bring anything but tears and bloodshed, spend the wealth that the workers. We must keep in mind that wars bring us only blood, tears and increase in state oppression and poverty. We do not have common interests with neither capital nor its power AKP.
The laborers have urgent vital needs not S-400 or F-35! Today, the need a budget for the basic rights of education and health and for the livable wages instead of paying billions of dollars to armaments. What we strongly need is an immediate solution for unemployment. What the country needs is equality, freedom and justice. It is very clear that these cannot be created with Erdogan regime which is the locomotive of capitalists and the collaborator of imperialists. For a humane life, there is no option expect for struggling against imperialism and bourgeoisie powers.