The Turkish crisis and the threat of world war
15 August 2018
The Trump administration Tuesday issued a threat of a further escalation of US economic sanctions that have already tipped Turkey into an economic meltdown.
Last Friday, Washington doubled US tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, to 50 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The action led to a precipitous 20 percent fall in the value of the Turkish lira, which had already been declining for months, triggering a bout of inflation that has eviscerated the living standards of Turkish working people.
The pretext for the punishing attack on Washington’s erstwhile NATO ally—Turkey has the most troops of any member of the military alliance outside of the US itself—is the continued detention of the evangelical American preacher Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016 on charges of complicity with the organizers of an abortive military coup in July of that year that sought the overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The administration is going to stay extremely firm on this. The president is 100 percent committed to bringing Pastor Brunson home and if we do not see actions in the next few days or a week there could be further actions taken,” a senior White House official told the Reuters news agency.
While public agitation over the fate of Brunson serves Trump’s domestic political agenda, appealing to his Christian right base, the real motives for the drive to bring the Turkish economy to its knees lie in the bid by US imperialism to shift its own crisis onto the backs of both its enemies and supposed allies by means of trade war, economic sanctions and direct military confrontation.
Trump, the American bully, is attempting to threaten and intimidate every government of the world to bow to the interests of…