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TX, Erich, I certainly understand your concerns, however, consider our own ideological tides

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey vs. Secular Iran?
in response to reader comment: Thanking Michel Zala

Submitted by Michel C. Zala (Switzerland), Dec 10, 2010 at 09:30

Within only two short years, the Obama Administration has managed to fundamentally change the political and structural landscape in the US towards, what we in the Tea Party Movement call "Nanny State". Sadly those changes in America must be called historical, as no President in history, not even Roosevelt, was able to restructure the foundation of American prosperity to that extent.

Remember, how Obama was hailed as a "Messiah", the post racial president. With 75% Approval rates, carried by the enthusiasm usually seen with rockstars, globally celebrated as the solution to world peace, this fanatic ideologue in his own right seemed to be untouchable. Only two short years later, a much more sober picture presents itself and it seems to be more than likely, that Obama will be a one-term president and become a footnote in history.Many amongst his changes will undoubtedly be repealed. In 8 out of 10 key topics, he has lost the American People already.

Using this example, I feel optimistic that Erdogan will experience the very same faith at some point. As Turkish Democracy isn't yet as vibrant, it just may take a bit longer. You mention the process, how he cements his position by replacing secularists with islamists in key positions. The very same could be said in Russia with its Putin regime. However, most political observers do not see Russia in danger of abandoning the admittedly still fragile achievements of western style individualism, democracy and capitalism.

It is my strong conviction that human beings are by design egocentric, egoistic and foremost driven by individual prosperity. The Turks, quite close to any western nation in this regard, have already enjoyed too much of it to allowing for a indefinitely continued trend in reverse.

No matter, if my assessment is right or wrong, while a strong, decisive approach to Iran seems to be warranted, a careful, considerate policy vs Turkey must be chosen, as this nation even in your or Dr. Pipes' view is not yet completely lost. He deplores a dangerous trend and issues stern warnings for the consequences. Albeit, he has not yet written the country off. Thus, you will certainly agree with me that an aggressive, patronizing diplomacy vs Turkey will only strengthen reactionary trends in Turkey proper.

In the classic sense of a prisoner's dilemma, , we have nothing to lose, but much to gain.

Losing Turkey to Islamists, will not make much of a difference to the West in its struggle against radical Islam, but winning this nation as a true ally, a bridge-head in the Muslim world and perhaps even the incubator for reform from within, could prove to be priceless.

But please do not misunderstand me. I do not advocate for appeasement or denial, but only for a bit of differentiation and consideration. As much, as it hurts my personal feelings, Cypress should be tabled for the moment and Turkey should be allowed to join the EU. IN so far Europe could in fact exercise influence and hold back the tide of Islamism. Standing aside, will cost us and the Turks decades, let alone the nightmare of an islamist nation of the likes of Iran with millions of their people living amongst us. Clumsily alienating the Turks, may end up causing an even greater explosion of homegrown terrorism, which already must be seen as the main foreseeable threat to our stability, as the increasing number of (foiled) terror attacks in America, UK, France etc. already seems to manifest.


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