News Analysis from Israel: Life Imitates Art - Talking Turkey About the Flotilla Fallout
Copyright © R. Kossover, 2010
Part I - We Con the World
Life Imitating Art
Life has a funny way of imitating art. Caroline Glick, a prominent Israeli news commentator who produces "Tribal Update" as part of her "Latma TV" satires on YouTube, featured a "Captain Stabbing", the "Love Boat" captain of one of the "Free Gaza" flotilla ships from Turkey, as part of Tribal Update #53. In the scene, Captain Stabbing is being interviewed by the Tribal Update news anchors, and one of them calls attention to a long knife or machete in his hand. He drops the machete on a table and describes it as a cat, a different kind of cat from Turkey. Then he calls for one of the crew members to take the "cat" away.
This morning, an Arab was caught with a knife having a 25 cm blade at a checkpoint east of Ramallah. But life is usually less artful than art. The 25 centimeter knife was confiscated by the IDF, and the Arab who possessed it was taken in for questioning. Captain Stabbing, on the other hand was allowed to launch into a song, "We Con The World", with his crew on the ship. Tribal Update #53 has gotten 46,000 hits so far on You Tube (as of 12:00 on 7 June). But Ms. Glick edited the song as a stand-alone feature, and it has gone viral on You Tube, getting 1,310,000 hits (as of the same time of day on 7 June). A second stand-alone of the same song, also edited by Ms. Glick, has gotten some 110,000 hits. When the mass media lies through its teeth, other means of getting the truth out must be found.
The Lying Mass Media
And the mass media has been lying through its teeth, doing all it can to delegitimise this country and its efforts at self defense, puny as they are. This story, distributed by the Associated Press, is written in a way designed to inflame anti-Israel sentiment. When the AP puts out something, thousands of other media vehicles, members of the Associated Press, put it out as "news" as well. Then there is this story, a BBC whine about the murder of Hamas "operative", the terrorist, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. While the BBC manages to forget the British calling Israel "that shitty little country", they do manage to note that they were called "dogs" by an Israel member of the Knesset. When the left hates, they are petty and spiteful - and they never shut up. Perhaps it ought to have been Jews instead of Irishmen trying to blow up the BBC building a few years back. If anyone deserves a Jewish terror attack, the BBC certainly does. The problem is that if we Jews were to blow up all the anti-Jewish media out there, or hack it so it were crippled, there would be few newspapers or media sources at all. And, the mainstream media are just the tip of the iceberg. Then there are the lying anti-Israel bloggers who stain the blogosphere like pigeon feces on a statue.
Bil'am said of the Children of Israel: "For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." [b'midbár/Numbers 23:9] This means, among other things, that the rest of mankind will lie about the Children of Israel. And they do. This too, is part of being alone. But the most important thing to do here is not to whine about the blathering media. The most important thing to do so as to understand what is going on is to talk Turkey.
Part II - Talking Turkey
What is going on with Turkey right now is that they are pretending to be the "heroes" of the "poor 'Palestinians'". Why? Why did the régime there abandon its strategic alliance with Israel to throw in its lot with the mad mullahs of Persia and the Wahhabi murderers backed by the United States (the PLO), and by the Egyptian Brotherhood (Hamas)? Why do such an idiotic thing? A little background is required.
Fall of an Empire to Founding a Modern Nation
Way back around 1908, there was a revolution in Turkey that effectively stripped the Sultan of his power, as a group very concerned with the tailspinning decline of the Ottoman Empire took over. This group was known as the Committee of Union and Progress. The original revolution did not stop this decline, as the Italians annexed Libya in 1911, and the Serbs, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and Greeks all ganged up on Turkey in 1912 and effectively drove the Turks out of Europe altogether. By 1913, a triumvirate of men had taken over Turkey who were known as the three pashas, and they attempted to rectify the situation in the country. Their policies were doomed to failure.
When the Great War broke out in 1914, and the Turks joined the Central Powers against the Entente Cordiale, as the Western Allies were originally known, the most successful fronts for the Turks were the Sinai and Gelibolu - Gallipoli. At Gelibolu, Australian and New Zealand soldiers fighting for the British Empire faced up against Mustafa Kemal, the Turkish commander - and were soundly defeated. After his victory over the ANZAC troops, he was sent to the Eastern front to deal with the Russians. And he defeated them as well, so that in 1917 when the Czar's régime fell, he was able to be sent to the problematic Syrian Front, to attempt to save the collapsing Turkish forces, who had been driven from Gaza and the Sinai by General Allenby. He fought at Megiddo, and managed an orderly withdrawal north through Syria to a line that became the armistice line.
When the Allied powers tried to slice up Anatolia the way they had sliced up the Middle East, and when the Greeks invaded Turkey, Mustafa Kemal had had enough. He was the leader of the Turkish soldiers who fought to preserve Anatolia as the Turkish homeland, and to stop European imperialists from oppressing Turks the way they were already oppressing Arabs.
In a series of sweeping reforms carried out over a number of years, the Sultanate was abolished, the Caliphate was abolished, the use of Arabic letters to write Turkish was abolished, the Ottoman legal system was replaced with the Swiss Civil Code, as Mustafa Kemal, who had renamed himself Kemal Attatürk, pushed his fellow Turks towards westernization. He wanted his fellow Turks to stop seeing themselves as subjected to a Khalif, or a Sultan, and to start seeing themselves as intelligent people who could reach into their traditions to improve and develop their nation.
It's worth noting a few lines from this tradition to understand some of the Turkish actions:
...by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence.
Gerd Nonneman, Analyzing Middle East foreign policies and the relationship with Europe, Published 2005, Routledge, p. 204-ISBN: 0714684279
The present leaders of Turkey are acting in manners that are antithetical to the secularizing Attatürk - but the nationalism they draw on is directly from Kemal Attatürk. This is the first point to keep in mind in analyzing events in Turkey today.
What we see in Turkey today is a movement to reverse the secularization of the country accomplished from the third to sixth decades of the 20th Century. The present régime, the AK, is the descendant of a number of political parties that have been pushing the re-Islamization of Turkey. They are allied with the Egyptian Brotherhood, which is a Wahhabi based organization, and they follow loosely the ideas set down by the Saudi thugdom. Therefore, they are also allied with Hamas. They see Turkey today as Egypt was 40 years ago - and their goal is to move it to the Saudi Arabia or Persia of today.
The AK party is opposed by the many of the country's generals and much of the military - which is strongly secular in the Kemal Attatürk tradition. The AK has done what it could to weaken the military, and to strengthen the police, which it controls. The Kemalist Europeanizing efforts were carried out at a time when much of Europe was under dictatorships, so the murderousness of the Turks towards the Armenians and their suppression of Kurdish culture within Turkey was not an issue while Attatürk was alive. But in the decades after he was dead, when the Europeans began to shed those dictatorships, the smellier aspects of Turkish "democracy" became more bothersome. As the Europeans became more foppish, dandified and politically correct, their willingness to have non-Christian Turks in their Christian European Union got smaller and smaller. And the Turks, who are sensitive to these snubs, voted in the AK as a result. Europeans, whose genocides and massacres make the Turks look like nothing worse than strict schoolmarms, forget their own sins and do not want to allow the Turks entry into their "civilized" European Union. So, a political party that turns its back on Europe, and embraces Muslims instead, had gained widespread sympathy in Turkey - for the time being, anyway.
And Now to the Present
Several experts have gone over the events of the last week or so and discovered that the Turkish involvement has little to do with "Palestinian" Arabs, for whom Turks have little use, and for all of the bluster and threats they have little to do with Israel either. They have to do with securing the position of the AK party in Turkey, as the government of Erdogan is in political trouble domestically. In essence, what the Erdogan régime has done is very clever. They have wrapped themselves in the Turkish flag, using Kemalist style nationalism to force the military to go along with a foolish campaign of foreign adventurism designed to take the average Turk's mind off of corruption and abuse of civil rights. According to Ephraim Inbar, of the Sadat Begin Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, "Erdogan has decided to exacerbate his relations with Israel in order to gain public support."
Further analysis along these lines can be found from Barry Rubin, here, and speculation over what the deal is with Persia cozying up to Turkey can be found from Persia expert, Michael Ledeen here. Caroline Glick, writing in the Jerusalem Post, points out:
Since the radical Islamic AKP party took over Turkey in 2003, its leader, Prime Minister Recip Erdogan, has presided over the thorough brainwashing of the Turkish people. According to repeated polling data, the majority of Turks believe that Israel and America are demonic, murderous nations that kill innocent people for entertainment. Erdogan has cultivated anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism for two reasons. First, doing so enables him to divert his people's attention away from his government's economic failures. Stirred into frenzies of hatred, the Turks willingly rally behind their leader, who is saving them from the Jewish and Yankee beasts.Ledeen's analysis also makes sense. If the Turks do go to war against Israel, HizbAllah could serve as a vital back-up, rather than having to bear the brunt for the the Persian war effort. Ledeen's comments are telling.
Then there is Erdogan's goal of reasserting Turkish regional dominance and reclaiming the lost power of the Ottomans as the leader of the Islamic world. His decision in 2006 to be the first world leader to host Hamas terror masters on an official visit after their victory in the Palestinian elections was a clear bid to win popularity for Turkey among the Arab masses.
Iran and Turkey understand that attacking the Jewish state is the fastest
route to the top of the Muslim world.
What about the Turks? Daniel Jackson thinks Erdogan is serious about using the flotilla incident as causus belli and that Turkey is preparing to go to war against Israel. I am no expert on Turkey, but I am prepared to consider the possibility that the Iranians have urged him to attack, and that they swear to Allah that they’ve got his back. It would be folly to believe the mullahs, who love to gull others into doing their dirty work, but Erdogan might be dreaming crazy dreams about being the great liberator, taking back the Holy Land, and reconstituting the Empire/Caliphate.Such crazy dreams might well be the stuff over which war is fought in the next few weeks or months.
And we can never forget those "peace activists" from Gaza. This morning (7 June 2010), four of them, divers in wet suits, were seen by Israeli naval soldiers and shot dead, foiling a major attack via infiltration. The last time someone succeeded with such a stunt, 37 Israelis were killed.