By: Melinda Taub

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The US is Tom Sawyering Turkey Into Fighting ISIS

The United States has pledged not to commit ground troops to fight ISIS, but we would love for Turkey to do that. I imagine those conversations resemble Tom Sawyer tricking his friends into whitewashing a fence.

“Say, Turkey, wouldn’t you like a turn fighting this jolly war with ISIS?”

Turkey: Hey, United States. What’s new?

US: Not much, Turkey. Just having a great time leading air strikes against the Islamic State.

Turkey: Yeah. It’s great that you’re doing that. They’re really menacing our border. It’s important work.

US: Work? This is fun!

Turkey: Uh ‘ OK.

US: Almost as fun as it would be to commit ground troops to fight ISIS. We sure are jealous of whoever gets to do that.

Turkey: Well, you do have the most powerful military in the world, so that actually seems like a job for you guys ‘

US: Job? This is fun!

Turkey: Oh boy.

US: Say, Turkey, don’t you share a contentious border with Syria that’s bleeding refugees and contains a threatened town?

Turkey: Kobani, yeah. But it’s a complicated –

US: What lucky fellas you are! You could commit some jolly ground troops and impose just the swellest buffer zone!

Turkey: Maybe we could, if the United States also committed to –

US: *whistles elaborately*

Turkey: Look, we are plenty scared of ISIS and we know something has to be done. But we don’t want to invade Syria on our own.

US: But it would be so swell!

Turkey: Then why don’t you want to do it?


Turkey: Stop that.

US: Are you sure you don’t want to commit troops against ISIS? We will give you this bottlecap.


US: And several billion dollars.

Turkey: Fine. We’ll think about it. That is a pretty nice bottlecap.

Along come France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

US: Oh hey, allies in the coalitions against ISIS! Good to see you guys!

Turkey: Hey.

United Kingdom: Did you trick Turkey into –

France nudges the UK.

United Kingdom: Uh, I mean, did you tell Turkey how jealous we all are that they get to invade Syria?

France: What a lucky NATO nation you are!

Saudi Arabia: What fun you shall have!

Turkey: Forget it. You guys are creeping me out. Maybe if the rest of you would get as serious about fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad as you are about ISIS, Turkey would be willing to commit our troops to help.

The US, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia: *whistle*

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