To sara: Pass the bill. The Turks are going to do what they want, anyway. The truth matters.
Submitted by Doc Tater (United States), Oct 30, 2007 at 18:53
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, sara.
sara wrote: "What exactly is your expectation and hope for an outcome from passing such a bill, strictly in terms of short term success in Iraq?"
Response: What it does, and this is highly controversial, is that it can be part of a diplomatic posture that ultimately enables the US to "step aside" and allow Turkey to establish a military presence in Iraq, which would be the start of a process of dividing up Iraqi territory between the nations that border Iraq. If that fragmentation occurs in a way that results in parity, without giving any one nation a portion that overwhelms the balance of power in the region, it is in America's best interests. If that fragmentation process results in Turkey clashing with Iran over territory in Iraq, with America withdrawn to the sidelines, that could be in America's best interests. If Saudi Arabia lays a claim, and we step aside, and Saudi Arabia clashes with Syria over territory, it could be in our best interests. If Jordan claims Iraqi land, and clashes with Syria and Iran, it could be in America's best interests.
This fragmentation has been inevitable, in the opinion of many people on all sides of the issue, for decades. When factions within Islam are warring against other factions within Islam, fighting over land and sectarian dogma, it creates the circumstances that history teaches us have been associated with victories by the Judeo-Christian West over Muslim opponents.
We have been able to defend ourselves from jihad when Islam caved in from internal conflict, and this has been the case for 1400 years. Muslim historians know this fact, which is why al Qaeda (think Sunni, Wahabbi) has maintained a strict public relations policy of openly calling for Muslim unity, and for avoiding open clashes with Shia Muslim groups.
America must wake up to the true nature of Islamism as a political, trans-national ideology bent on bringing the entire globe under the Ignorant, oppressive yoke of sharia in a relentless, bloodthirsty, global jihad. I believe the Armenian Genocide bill actually figures very little in terms of short term outcomes in Iraq, because Erdogan's Turkey is going to do what they're going to do, regardless of what rhetoric opportunities their PR wonks can come up with from data-mining on the internet and scheming with cronies inside the beltway, but it has vast meaning to ethnic and religious minorities in the US and overseas who will be encouraged by our national recognition of the truth.
The only influence we might have had, before the most recent Turkish elections, was with the traditionally secularist military, but it seems too late for secularist Turkish generals to oppose the momentum for an incursion into Iraq, and those same secularist generals were publically in favor of such a military action even before the elections.
This American legislative issue is being watched closely in the American Jewish community, and in Israel, and by Greek and Central Asian Christians and by Arab Christians (check out Brigitte Gabriel, think Lebanese Orthodox Christians). These people either are loyal Americans (though liberal American Jews suffering from Oslo Syndrome haven't been much help recently), or they are America's friends and loyal supporters. The Turks aren't our friends, and haven't been close to acting like friends since the mid-1990's.
I have an Armenian-American friend whose father survived the Armenian Genocide, and believe me, passing this bill matters to him. He found it almost incredible that the US Congress had sufficient moral courage to even consider such a bill, and found it almost too good to be true when it passed the Senate. It is time we started valuing moral courage, and spending less time worrying about the results of polls and the ranting of posturing Turks and Iranians.
The Turks need to be much more concerned about whether we approve of what they do. After all, we can disable their military and collapse their government in less than 48 hours, without nukes, and it would be refreshing to fight an enemy with a real army and a real government for a change, after all these years of fighting a sneaky, cowardly enemy dressed in civilian attire where we always have moral uncertainty and fear of collateral casualties. We need to be less concerned about Turkey approving of what we do, especially when it involves our own internal affairs. We are a sovereign nation. If today's Turks had no part in the Armenian Genocide, they shouldn't care if we finally have a legislated justification for correcting several generations of errors and omissions in history books.
I can't believe the brash, unmittigated gall of the Turks to state that we should support them and accompany them on an incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan. They can be expected to mow down any Kurds in their path, without even pretending to try determining if they are PKK. Iraqi Kurds have been our allies, in spite of what the PKK does, and I doubt that the legitimate public Kurdish leaders have any influence with the PKK. While it is stupid of the Kurds in the PKK to behave with pugnacity towards the Turks, we can't really side with the Turks on this one.
sara wrote: "I think that one of the achilles heels of the US, and the west in general, has been to attempt to negotiate with Muslim cultures with a western mindset. We must begin to address and manipulate their anticipated reactions from an Islamic standpoint, not how we would react as westerners. This is crucial. Deterrence has always worked for example. A strong US is the best negotiating tool we have."
Response: Absolutely true. Most Americans don't have a clue what you're talking about, but you've figured it out. Bravo! We started our current pattern of negotiating stupidly with Islamists during the Tehran hostage situation during the Carter administration, when young Iranian Islamist hostage holders were approaching the negotiating table using Iranian boys' verbal jousting gambits (think: "your mama wears combat boots"..."yea, well your mama only got one boot and thought it was a great deal", only it was all couched in the culture and language of Iran), which was entirely misunderstood by American negotiators, who looked like fools to the Iranians and who were pitifully inadequate in their role as the protectors and saviors of the American hostages. Thank God Ross Perot had some brains and guts and money, in contrast to the US government, or the hostages might have all died there.
The Islamists value words only for the power those words exert, and for the results those words elicit. Truth and factual accuracy matter little to them. They lie to us because the Quran teaches them that war is deception and tells them to lie, and that it doesn't matter if they lie to us because we're non-believers with the same unclean status of swine and dogs. It's also a trait of pre-Muslim Arab culture.
Personally, sara, I prefer the company of dogs: dogs are loyal and love unconditionally and purely. If you take in a homeless, starving dog and feed him and treat his wounds, he will love you and protect you with loyalty forever. That has been my experience with dogs for many years, with many rescued dogs, and even my dress clothes have dog hair on them (though I try and use those sticky-tape roller thingees that pull off the dog hair from my clothes before I go anywhere important). I cannot trust any culture that hasn't learned to hold dogs in high esteem, and I've yet to discover any Muslim dog lovers.
Having never participated in The Age of Reason, having no reason to have embraced Empiricism or The Scientific Method, verifiable facts and moral truth matter very little to Islamists. As you state, "I do not trust any of them anyway (grew up knowing the mindset all too well)". They understand and respect sheer power, brute force, ruthless determination, and delight in intricately deceptive strategies that are pieced together many moves ahead of time... after all, they gave the world chess.
If they were capable of effective, modern, worldly functioning, they'd be designing and manufacturing the world's best air conditioners and refrigerators. Instead, they can't even maintain and repair the world's best air conditioners and refrigerators, made elsewhere by pesky non-believers and infidels, which they buy with petro-bucks from the only profitable resource they have.
sara wrote: As for your comment about my patriotism and fervor, thanks, but I see it as a given that any American should be concerned about the success and status of the US in the ME. We ignore it at our own peril.
Response: Any American should indeed be concerned about the success and status of the US in the ME, and we do, repeatedly, ignore it at our own peril, because Americans have little understanding of world history, little understanding of geography, and think surviving in the world is best done by employing strategies that would be best applied to getting elected captain of a highschool cheerleading squad. It isn't about popularity. It isn't about a big friendly world community. It's like Mark Steyn wrote in "America Alone", we are the last stronghold of western civilization, and we'll have to get used to a lonely, long struggle with very little moral or material support from other countries. You distinguish yourself, sara, by not being an apologist for Islamists, and for not claiming they embrace the one true religion of peace and love.
What we will have, and this is why I want the Armenian Genocide bill passed now, is the love and respect of little pockets of people all over the world who know the truth and who look to America as the last, best chance for civilization. Those are our allies, our future next door neighbors (if we're lucky and if they're lucky), our future intelligence operatives, and our future covert operations resources.
You seem to have your head and your heart in the right place, sara. Internal Turkish events and trends are rarely revealed or exhibited to the rest of the world. If you go to Turkish websites, they're mostly aimed at promoting a positive impression for tourism, or slanted towards making a positive impression in the world of international finance because Erdogan's Islamist party has figured out how to be the champions of Turkish business opportunity. There's a very good review of internal Turkish political and cultural evolution in Dr. Pipes' articles "A Critical Moment For Turkey", "A Million Moderate Muslims on the March", "Is Turkey Going Islamist?", and "Turkey's Radical Turn". There is also some good, though sometimes less optimistic, information in some of the comments written in by some of the more well-informed readers on this website, among them a person who goes by the nom-de-blog "Ianus" who seems to have a peculiarly detailed and intimate knowledge of Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (262) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes