The Best Cyprus Community

Skip to content


A few thoughts

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:05 am

observer wrote:
Tim Drayton wrote:One point worth considering is that America kept flashing a red light at Turkey every time she wanted to intervene in Cyprus up until 1974, when Kissinger suddenly turned the light to green.


Is there any real evidence for Kissinger giving a green light? Without convincing evidence, I'm more inclined to think that as Washington was at the height of the Watergate scandal at the time, with President Nixon within days of resigning, the US State Department just had other, more important things on its collective mind, than a little problem (as seen from Washington) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The failure to stop Turkey (or Greece) was more likely to have been a case of indecision rather than switching on a light of any colour.


I can only refer you to 'The Cyprus Conspiracy' by Brendan O'Malley and Ian Craig. There can be little doubt - as the famous 'Johnson letter' shows - that America previously stopped Turkey from intervening. At the very least, we can say that the USA was in such turmoil that they forgot to keep the light switched on.
User avatar
Tim Drayton
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 8226
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 am
Location: Limassol/Lemesos

Postby observer » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:41 am

Tim Drayton wrote:
observer wrote:
Tim Drayton wrote:One point worth considering is that America kept flashing a red light at Turkey every time she wanted to intervene in Cyprus up until 1974, when Kissinger suddenly turned the light to green.


Is there any real evidence for Kissinger giving a green light? Without convincing evidence, I'm more inclined to think that as Washington was at the height of the Watergate scandal at the time, with President Nixon within days of resigning, the US State Department just had other, more important things on its collective mind, than a little problem (as seen from Washington) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The failure to stop Turkey (or Greece) was more likely to have been a case of indecision rather than switching on a light of any colour.


I can only refer you to 'The Cyprus Conspiracy' by Brendan O'Malley and Ian Craig. There can be little doubt - as the famous 'Johnson letter' shows - that America previously stopped Turkey from intervening. At the very least, we can say that the USA was in such turmoil that they forgot to keep the light switched on.


I agree with you about the US stopping Turkey intervening before 74. That's fairly well documented.

I have always believed that the claim that Kissinger gave a green light to the Turkish intervention of 74 is no more than the usual GC response of finding outsiders to blame rather than looking at their own part. The Watergate Scandal caused the US to take its eye of the ball to the extent that it is at least likely that the Greek colonels chose that time to launch the coup, which started the whole ball rolling. A case of while the cat is away ... or at least otherwise engaged.

No criticism of yourself, Tim, I was only interested in seeing if you knew of any real evidence as opposed to conspiracy theorists with their own interpretations of ambiguous statements.
observer
Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor
 
Posts: 1663
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:21 am

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:00 am

observer wrote:
Tim Drayton wrote:One point worth considering is that America kept flashing a red light at Turkey every time she wanted to intervene in Cyprus up until 1974, when Kissinger suddenly turned the light to green.


Is there any real evidence for Kissinger giving a green light? Without convincing evidence, I'm more inclined to think that as Washington was at the height of the Watergate scandal at the time, with President Nixon within days of resigning, the US State Department just had other, more important things on its collective mind, than a little problem (as seen from Washington) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The failure to stop Turkey (or Greece) was more likely to have been a case of indecision rather than switching on a light of any colour.


I find the evidence, circumstantial as it is, presented in the book I have mentioned quite compelling. When I hear that one of the ministers in Saddam Hussein's government at the time claimed that, prior to the first Gulf War, America assured Iraq that it would look the other way if they invaded Kuwait - and, in hindsight, this invasion was an act of lunacy - I can't help wondering if Kissinger's people followed a similar strategy and told the Greek junta that if they staged a coup in Cyprus America would stop Turkey from intervening just as they had done with the Johnosn letter, only this time they had set them up to take a hammering. The modus operandi fits.
User avatar
Tim Drayton
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 8226
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 am
Location: Limassol/Lemesos

Postby Kikapu » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:53 am

Tim Drayton wrote:
observer wrote:
Tim Drayton wrote:One point worth considering is that America kept flashing a red light at Turkey every time she wanted to intervene in Cyprus up until 1974, when Kissinger suddenly turned the light to green.


Is there any real evidence for Kissinger giving a green light? Without convincing evidence, I'm more inclined to think that as Washington was at the height of the Watergate scandal at the time, with President Nixon within days of resigning, the US State Department just had other, more important things on its collective mind, than a little problem (as seen from Washington) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The failure to stop Turkey (or Greece) was more likely to have been a case of indecision rather than switching on a light of any colour.


I find the evidence, circumstantial as it is, presented in the book I have mentioned quite compelling. When I hear that one of the ministers in Saddam Hussein's government at the time claimed that, prior to the first Gulf War, America assured Iraq that it would look the other way if they invaded Kuwait - and, in hindsight, this invasion was an act of lunacy - I can't help wondering if Kissinger's people followed a similar strategy and told the Greek junta that if they staged a coup in Cyprus America would stop Turkey from intervening just as they had done with the Johnosn letter, only this time they had set them up to take a hammering. The modus operandi fits.


Tim, it was April Glaspie, the US Ambassador to Iraq who told Saddam that the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait was basically an "Internal Affair" and that the USA had no position on the matter which basically gave Saddam the "Green Light" to invade Kuwait. Little did Saddam know, that soon after that, USA and allies would mass 500,000 troops and equipment in Saudi Arabia to kick his ass from kingdom come. What are friends for, right.??

'No Opinion on Arab-Arab Conflicts' - Glaspie tells Hussein: “We have considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with Kuwait.… We know you need funds. We understand that, and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your other threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship—not confrontation—regarding your intentions: Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait’s borders?” Hussein answers that he intends to try to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Kuwait; Glaspie asks what solutions Hussein would find acceptable. Hussein wants to keep the entire Shatt al Arab [a strategically important waterway] under Iraqi control, and if given that, he is willing to make concessions to Kuwait. However, if he has to give up some control of the Shatt, he will renounce all control in favor of bringing Kuwait back under Iraqi dominion. Glaspie replies: “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary [of State James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” Reportedly Hussein takes this as a green light from the US to proceed with the invasion. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/23/1990


http://www.historycommons.org/context.j ... aq_80s_807
User avatar
Kikapu
Leading Contributor
Leading Contributor
 
Posts: 13541
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:18 pm

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:30 pm

Kikapu, another little thing that I cannot get my head round is that the rationale for the second Gulf War was supposedly that Saddam was such an evil man that he had to be removed from power at all costs. However, at the end of the first Gulf War they had him whipped and could easily have marched in to Baghdad and hanged him then, if this was such a vital thing to do. But they didn't!
User avatar
Tim Drayton
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 8226
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 am
Location: Limassol/Lemesos

Postby Jerry » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:08 pm

Tim Drayton wrote:Kikapu, another little thing that I cannot get my head round is that the rationale for the second Gulf War was supposedly that Saddam was such an evil man that he had to be removed from power at all costs. However, at the end of the first Gulf War they had him whipped and could easily have marched in to Baghdad and hanged him then, if this was such a vital thing to do. But they didn't!


Tim, Bush senior had a little more foresight than his stupid son, he was aware of the consequences of occupying Iraq, Bush junior found out the hard way at the cost of tens (hundreds ?) of thousands of lives.
Jerry
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 4638
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: UK

Postby Jerry » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:18 pm

observer wrote:
Tim Drayton wrote:One point worth considering is that America kept flashing a red light at Turkey every time she wanted to intervene in Cyprus up until 1974, when Kissinger suddenly turned the light to green.


Is there any real evidence for Kissinger giving a green light? Without convincing evidence, I'm more inclined to think that as Washington was at the height of the Watergate scandal at the time, with President Nixon within days of resigning, the US State Department just had other, more important things on its collective mind, than a little problem (as seen from Washington) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The failure to stop Turkey (or Greece) was more likely to have been a case of indecision rather than switching on a light of any colour.


There is certainly evidence that Kissinger could have but did not prevent the second part of the invasion according to Jim Callaghan. The US wanted a strong anti communist presence on the island, at first it was to be Greek but when the Junta fell Kissinger settled for Turkey.

Extracts from,
http://web.archive.org/web/200710181006 ... laghan.htm

Hartman added that the Secretary of State would react very strongly against any further announcement of British military activities, because it would have an adverse effect on his tactics with Ecevit.

….the Turks would at the last moment back off. They had done this in earlier years and once again within the previous few days, when they had been faced by the 16/5th Lancers at Nicosia Airport.

Kissinger told me that he would give every support to British efforts to save the crisis by diplomatic means, but he did not consider threats of military action either helpful or appropriate, as they distracted attention from the political options. I recognised both Henry's ability and the influence of America, which had been very considerable in securing the cease-fire on 22 July, but I was convinced that more would be needed on this occasion. The only thing that might deter the Turks was the conviction that they would face military opposition if they attempted to advance further.

I continued with our diplomatic efforts, but with every hour that passed our team became more gloomy. There were flashes of common sense. Acting President Glafkos Clerides and Rauf Denktash, the leader of the Turkish Committee, both brought intelligence and genuine concern to the discussion on the future of their country. If it had been left to them it is conceivable that they might have hammered out an understanding. But Denktash was not a free agent, and confessed to me that in the last resort he was obliged to obey his masters on the Turkish mainland.

Despite this, the death throes of the conference continued for several hours, Clerides and Mavros repeated once again that they must have time for consultations in Nicosia and Athens. They were ready to return to Geneva within thirty-six hours. I asked Denktash if he would agree but he replied that he was bound by the Turkish Government; he would attend a further meeting only if the Turkish Foreign Minister would do so. I appealed to Gunes to accept the time that Clerides and Mavros had asked for. Once more Gunes refused. There was no formal end to the proceedings. Gunes rose from the table at which we sat, ungracious as ever, and departed, followed by his aides. The time was 2.25 a.m. on the morning of 14 August. The rest of us shook hands and filed out wearily. I gave a press conference in which I did not spare the Turkish tactics. Even while I was speaking, the Turkish Army was advancing once more, breaking the cease-fire. Gunes had played out time
Jerry
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 4638
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: UK

Postby observer » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:39 pm

The testimony of Tariq Aziz ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... ziz/1.html ) who was Iraq's foreign minister at the time, seems to indicate otherwise.

: Q. So you knew from the beginning that America was likely to take action?

Aziz: Yes, we had no illusions about that. We thought that attacking them in Kuwait would change the balance in our favor because Kuwait was still being used against us. Why not attack that which was being used against us? That could change the balance of power, at least slightly for our favor.



There is much more.
observer
Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor
 
Posts: 1663
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:21 am

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:13 pm

Jerry wrote:
Tim Drayton wrote:Kikapu, another little thing that I cannot get my head round is that the rationale for the second Gulf War was supposedly that Saddam was such an evil man that he had to be removed from power at all costs. However, at the end of the first Gulf War they had him whipped and could easily have marched in to Baghdad and hanged him then, if this was such a vital thing to do. But they didn't!


Tim, Bush senior had a little more foresight than his stupid son, he was aware of the consequences of occupying Iraq, Bush junior found out the hard way at the cost of tens (hundreds ?) of thousands of lives.


You don't think that perhaps the Americans still felt that they had a use for Saddam, do you?
User avatar
Tim Drayton
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 8226
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 am
Location: Limassol/Lemesos

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:17 pm

observer wrote:The testimony of Tariq Aziz ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... ziz/1.html ) who was Iraq's foreign minister at the time, seems to indicate otherwise.

: Q. So you knew from the beginning that America was likely to take action?

Aziz: Yes, we had no illusions about that. We thought that attacking them in Kuwait would change the balance in our favor because Kuwait was still being used against us. Why not attack that which was being used against us? That could change the balance of power, at least slightly for our favor.



There is much more.


This quote certainly puts a very different light on matters.
User avatar
Tim Drayton
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
 
Posts: 8226
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 am
Location: Limassol/Lemesos

PreviousNext

Return to Cyprus Problem Solution Proposals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests