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Armenian Genocide bill timing and other political observations

Reader comment on item: A Critical Moment For Turkey
in response to reader comment: To sara: Pass the bill. The Turks are going to do what they want, anyway. The truth matters.

Submitted by sara (United States), Oct 31, 2007 at 17:27

My my Doc, divide Iraq amongst them and let them fight it out, kind of like throwing red meat into a pack of wild dogs. That is a controversial and extreme strategy... I kind of like it... As my father (z"al) used to say way back in 1970's "If the Arabs ever unite, we are in big trouble", knowing of course that it would never happen. That, as you point out, is the reason for the repeated failure of Islamists to achieve their goals these past thousand years. There are so many of them, yet they are so fractured (mostly tribal clans) and fanatical towards each other, they can never be effective in their goals ( sounds like the current political climate in the US, and for that matter, the west in general...).

To digress a bit off topic, I have been thinking a lot about the left mentality vs the right, how it is mirrored in most western countries and that it basically comes down to mass hysteria about different perceived threats. The left are hysterical about global warming and anti-war at all costs, while the right are hysterical (certainly in the left's view) about Islamofascism. They think we are just as crazy as we think they are. Idealism vs. Realism.

Anyway, although your Iraq strategy bears analysis, I cannot see it ever happening with the blessing of a US administration, much less the EU or UN. That being the case, we must focus on what is doable and winnable. There is also the fact that Shia Iran has been cooperating with Sunni Hamas, which flies in the face of that theory. The Arab world has been able to have a outward semblance of unity in their quest to conquer their shared enemy, and you are proposing a way to take them back to their old ways. As an old arab saying goes "Me against my brother, my brother and I against our father, my brother, father and I against the infidel" (paraphrased).

You said (in italics):

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.

Despite this, Turkey is motivated first and foremost by a nationalist agenda. They do not like to think of themselves as Islamist and like to remind everyone that they are not arabs. Their relations with other Arab countries are strained (due to their perceived alliance with the US), and we should keep it that way.

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.

Agreed. Brigitte Gabriel is doing great work, but remember that the Orthodox Christian community has dwindled severely in Lebanon, and that Michel Aoun has allied himself too closely with Hezbullah. As for Jewish liberals, I will not go into my feelings about them (I am Jewish), but they suffer from the same malady as the left ex-communist/socialist/utopians. It is a truly ironic fact that Russian Jews were involved in Communism (Marx) and believed it would protect them from further persecution.

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.

Agreed. It is a very delicate situation, but I doubt that Erdogan will go ahead with any full fledged attack against the Kurds, though he may posture.

Response: Absolutely true. Most Americans don't have a clue what you're talking about, but you've figured it out. Bravo!

I grew up in Israel. My father dedicated his life to making peace with the Arabs. It turned both of us into right of center realists.

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.

Methinks you give them too much credit. The strategies they use are static and antiquated, and naked to the learned eye of those who understand the bluster, propaganda, posturing (think how predicatble of Saddam to pretend he had WMD when he did not - unless they are somewhere in Syria now. You would think that we would have learned to see through their rhetoric by now, claiming the 'Mother of all wars" as we entered the streets of Bagdad... but we have not), though they have become adept at using the west's political divisiveness against us, not to mention our civil liberties and humanitarian concerns. I can't describe how much that infuriates me. To see OBL quoting democratic candidates turns my stomach. In the end, just as our current US political divide, the arabs understand us as little as we understand them.

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.

I adore Mark Steyn, and I have never, ever been an apologist for Islam. I try to stay reasonable and fair, but it is hard when you know what you know. I see a glimmer of hope in the recent trend of governments in EU, first Germany, now France, Poland. The people may have finally figured out that their utopian socialist dreams have ruined their economies and are threatening their lifestyles. There are news items every day that give me hope, the latest is the German govt criminalizing forced Muslim marriages. The danger, on the other hand, is the pendulum swinging too far to the right, but who was listening when I was talking about this years ago... Who knows, maybe we can even hope that Netanyahu will be elected in Israel and a Republican will stay in the White house to further this recent trend.

...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.

Here I disagree. The small pockets of people unfortunately have little effect, and even those we help are easily brainwashed by the Islamists. They may like what is done for them on an individual level, but it does not translate to any advantage for the US. See today a ridiculous article in the UK about a shark found 200km from sea in Bakuba. The Iraqi locals firmly believe that the Americans planted sharks in the water to eat their children, taking the blame America game to new heights. The Indonesians helped by the west with Tsunami relief have not changed their ideology. In the end, they see it as weakness and side with those they fear, not those who help. I wish it were otherwise.

Also, there is no consistency with the moral actions of the US unfortunately. Look what is happening in Darfur. No one defends suffering people, much as we hope to claim otherwise. We wish we had acted during Hitler's deathcamps, or Rwanda, or any of the atrocities committed in the past decades. I hate to be so cynical, but the US acts when it is in her interest. We cannot apologize for that.

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.

Yes, I have enjoyed reading Ianus' posts.

I thank you for taking the time to respond and I will think about your argument regarding the genocide bill. Unfortunately, in the end, it will not matter much what we think. Perhaps if Giuliani wins and Dr. Pipes' ideas are given a voice, we will see a long overdue change.

Submitting....

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