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Great post -- however, a correction is due: greeks are generally very supportive of Turkey's membership to the EU


I, too, thought this column was a pathetic exercise, even for Will. He can barely muster a solied effort anymore, given his disdain for the Bush administration. If anything, Will ought to be overjoyed at the Kerry team's professed embrace of realism. But perhaps Will is just an old-fashioned Taft isolationist after all. If that's true, this column is just a sorry attempted hack job on a mythical position.

As for your point about the Bush administration, I think it's clear that whenever Powell isn't involved, oafish diplomacy results. Bush was clearly trying to shore up our relationship with the Turks, but it didn't seem like his remark was well thought-out. These kinds of expressions of support tend to be negotiated and carefully worded -- see, for example, Kissinger's public support for MFN status for Russia in exchange for a cooperative attitude during the Yom Kippur War.


The only reason why the EU member states are considering EU membership for Turkey at all is US pressure. You may wish that they supported this for other reasons, but this is not so. This holds true in the past too, the original mention of possible EU membership for Turkey way back when also being made under US pressure, widely seen as a disastrous move in retrospect. If the US were to say that they did not mind whether the EU admitted Turkey or not, the EU would turn them down within 24 hours (and offer some sort of enhanced cooperation non-membership permanent alternative). After all, it's not going to be a panacea for the West-Islam relationship, and it will be wildly unpopular with the average citizen. Think NAFTA with constitutional rights for Mexicans to immigrate to the US (even if delayed in implementation for a couple of years).

That doesn't mean that going about it the Bush way is better than the Kerry way. But the US screws need to stay on the EU if Turkey is to be admitted.

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