69 million page views

While we evidently must agree to disagree....

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey vs. Secular Iran?
in response to reader comment: no agreement

Submitted by Michel C. Zala (Switzerland), Jan 10, 2011 at 10:14

well ı tell you very honestly. ı really dont want my country to follow usa like its watch dog.ı dont want my country support israel, ı dont want my country to join eu and ı certainly dont want to see my country in the hell of middleeasts either.ı want independent turkey. ı dont want militarily too strong Turkey.ı dont want nuclear power. ı only want full human rights in my country and ı want my country to be rich,strong economy and ı dont want to loose any part of my culture including islam the most. ı dont want wars, ı only want economic ties with every body.in todays world you invade the countries economicly not militarily.

If a majority of your people indeed wish for the above, it must be respected and it will be accepted. I am optimistic however that the natural, independent development and evolution of Turkey will lead the Turks eventually away from leaning on the East with all its inherent problems. I admit that at present neither pragmatic arguments nor logic nor heavy -handed diplomacy will work and will only be considered as pressure. You will have to find your way by yourself.

I just saw an advertisement for a VW yesterday, where this Passat will run 1000 miles on one single fuel tank. Considering the effort in the West to become independent on fossile fuels, towards alternative energy, there is a significant chance that within the next 20 years the middle east will become irrelevant, as oil is their only source of trade and income.

Secondly I also can somewhat understand the argument of economical imperialism. In a global economy America can only prosper, if her trade partners prosper. That naturally leads to Dysneylands and McDonalds, Coca Cola and Pampers showing up in every country. What you however forget is that also Turkish goods are being offered in American shops. Also, the attribute of economical imperialism should be used rather in context of China, than America.

China currently enjoys a trade deficit of >1 Trillion Dollar per year with the USA alone. They swamp the world with cheap consumer goods, manufactured by slave labor and utter negligence of environmental considerations. They do not know of any ISO2000 Quality control methodologies, social and trade regulations or legal limitations, under which the western economies must produce, so competing with them is almost impossible. It resulted in an economical boom as opposed to the West which currently experiences a downturn, but, this boom is also a fata morgana, a house of cards, as the boom comes with a heavy price the Chinese will eventually have to pay.

I could go on and on, why it is way too early to put a wager on the Chinese or the Russians. Yes. at present, it seems that America is in trouble, and it certainly is. But, what people tend to forget is, that even under current trends, it would take the Chinese 50 years to catch up with the Americans (GDP). When talking economics with my friends I usually mention that, while China is at present trying to put satellites in orbit, 40 years ago (!!!) the Americans put a man on the moon. There isn't a single key good the Chinese produce and export. Their entire economy is based upon cheap manufacture of consumer goods and copies of technology invented in the West. And without the American consumer market, China's economy would collapse today, which is by the way the reason, why they buy our debth. Without us, they implode.

As far as the Russians are concerned, the real possible competitor of the future, if they actually learned from their own history, I am even less fearful. After promising developments after the fall of the Sovjet empire, their political system has deteriorated to an oligarchy with a lifetime president (Putin) and his people on every key position within government and military.

Not that long ago I have travelled China, Russia and India, the so-called economical powerhouses of the near future.....50 miles outside the major cities, you feel as if you were in a third world country. I came to realize, how wide the gap in fact still is. You have to see it yourself. These nations are in fact a century behind. What people do not understand is, that America is currently facing and addressing challenges (strategic, econmical, socio-demographical, societal, scientific, technological) these other nations do not even see yet on their horizon. Also, ask yourself, where the truly important thinkers, inventors, nobel prize winners originate from to a vast majority. Look at the list of the 100 best universities of the world and you'll find 60 American institutes on that list.

All I try to say is, that America, while at present facing some serious challenges indeed, is way from collapsing or imploding. Let alone from being threatened by nations such as China, Russia, India or Brazil. It is way too early to write her obituary.

but when it is our neighbours like syria,iran,ıraq it matters a lot. because we have commerce with them, we buy oil ,we sell everything. we also have blood relation with these people. and may be you dont know but except iran all this area was our lands for 500 years until 1900 s.

I understand your point of view. Since you trade with your neigbors, you must somewhat be much more careful. We on the other hand can not allow for destabilization of this region, where we still (much to my own personal chagrin) import our oil from. America has no intentions to attack Iran or Syria, but , if they continue to create turmoil in the region via proxy (Hamas, Hezbolah etc.) or directly (Iran plus effort to have nuclear bomb), we can not let it happen, as it violates our direct self-interest and national security. A (nuclear) war in the region would result in the collapse of the world's economy with dire consequences on every individual people. If iran or Syria and their proxies would just recognize and acknowledge ISR s right to exist and work towards cohabitation and cooperation, stop the terror and pursue peace, we would not have this debate.

Lastly, you mention that these were your lands for 500 years. Yes, inasmuch as Germany or Switzerland was for a few hundred years part of the Roman empire. Conquered, invaded and occupied, suppressed for a long time. There are however no historical origins or justifications in terms of that territory. It was purest imperialism. Let us not go there and simply respect the resulting ties and connections. And, by the way, as my father came from Hungary, where the Turks still are hated as brutal invaders, thanks nevertheless for the Paprika.

turkey never aproved americas invasion of ıraq. because we know this area and we knew this disaster would happen. saddam like all other arab leaders was a heartless dictator. but he was able to keep the country together. he was friend of turkey. he was enemy of kurds because they were rebelling all the time. america only succeeded to form a friendly state kurdistan here like israel .but kurds are minority there. the rest big majority of ıraq is in caos. baghdat was a beautiful city, ıraq was a rich country. now 1,000,000 peeople died and americans can shamelessly be proud of this situation.also america suceeded to provocate the turkish kurds . and you wonder why we are angry to you. why we object attack on iran. but you have easier answers, calling everybody against your politics, evil muslims.

This heartless dictator was one of the worst of the 20th century. Being responsible for some of the worst atrocities yourself and experiencing your cultural and religious environment, he may not have been estimasted as monster, but believe you me, he was terrible in the eyes of the rest of the world and had to be eliminated. Also, let us not forget that it was him, attacking our ally (Kuweit) and threatening others (SA), while issuing pensions (10000 Dollars for every suicide bomber's family in ISR or funding a botched assassination of Bush the elder). Apart from millions of deaths he caused, he attacked us, not the other way around.

Secondly, ask the Iraqi People today, as the latest polls show clearly that they are already much better off than under Saddam. Considering the history of the tribes and lands of the middle east, the everlasting wars and conflicts between different factions of Islam, I myself am pessimistic for the long run after the Americans have left. Let us not forget, that most current bombings and attacks in Iraq are being conducted by Muslims against Muslims (Shia against Sunni). It is not an insurgency against "American Oppressors", but against Muslims and muslim institutions of the current Iraqi government. Much of that terror is also imported from Syria and Iran with insurgents of non Iraqi origin.

Bagdad was not a beautiful city. Iraq was a silent prison camp under Saddam. The opposition was chemically eradicated, put in gulags of the worst kind or simply executed. Rich? Only a few were rich, the Baath party was rich. The rest was oppressed. To excuse this regime is to excuse the brutal efficiency of the Nazi Regime in Germany. Your position here, Havas, is appaling. Ironically, Havas, this was not a war against muslims, but a war against a muslim massmurderer killing muslims. As a true Muslim you should be grateful to us.

provocations about islam is white western christian imperializms invent. ı dont believe that 9.11 such a huge attack to americas heart can be done by stupit ,powerless clumsy al qaida or arabs. ı dont know who orginesed it but some powerful people did it may be oil mafia , not saddam,not stupit al qaida.

Even in the West entire websites have been spawned, subsrcibing to that ludicrous conspiracy theory. Not only is the evidence overwhelming, the corresponding evidence stems from intelligence gathered by British, German, US, French and middle eastern agencies. This would mean that literally dozens of nations would have conspired to put the guilt on Al Qaeda. It is ridiculous. Do you also believe that the moon landing was staged in a Hollywood Movie studio?

why america is so good friends with the rest of the arab dictators like king of saudi arabia. do you plan to attack saudi? no. as long as they share the oil money with you ,no problem.

Many amongst us deplore that terrible macchiavellistic almost sado-masochistic relationship between our government and SA, which in fact is solely based upon our dependency on their oil. I consider SA as possibly the nastier threat than Iran, as they use their petrodollars to fund many centers of indoctrination in the west, used to recruit home grown Islamists and to spread Islamism throughout the west. It is indeed a nasty example for pragmatism and opportunistic politics. Without their oil, America would never entertain such a close relationship with this oppressive regime. The Americans admit a moral dilemma here, knowing full well, that we call someone an ally who is bent on undermining our values and discretely funds even terror networks. The relationship with SA has possibly resulted in the most painful cognitive dissonance in the recent American history. We need them, close both of our eyes and hate ourselves for it, which is another reason, why so many among my political party (Republicans and Tea Party ) call upon the American government to aggressively pursue the Strategic Energy Initiative, a full out mission to become fully independent from SA oil within 10 years, so we can finally correct this grave moral error to call this regime which violates all our principles every single day an ally and friend and finally will become enabled to walk away from them for good.

armenian genocide lie is also western white imperialist christians slogan. we turks lived in balkans,caucasia ,europe for 500 years.(america is not even 300 years old) christians killed us. but you dont count dead 5 million turks because we are considered as the invaders there even after 500 years.. and we didnt let anatolia become the land of christians, we beat you here. but you couldnt forget it and started to call the winners of war as genociders. tell me,what happened to turks in europe. was that not a genocide.nobody talks about this. nobody talks about just recently in 1960 s what france has done to algerians and to all africa before. did france apologise? no.this is disgusting.this is your civilization.

That is indeed tragic. The French very much dealt with their Algerian trauma and acknowledged their own dark times ( also the Vichy regime during WWII). They have in fact apologized. While I admit that the Ottomans have indeed ruled much of Asia minor and the balkan for a long time, does that excuse the genozides? Stalin ruled Russia, but did that excuse his crimes against humanity? Just because one occupies a territory does not mean that the ruler shall behave as massmurderer. The Turks killed 1.5mio people by ethnic cleansing and direct killings. All history books of the world put that genocide in to the list of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. This was not a war with vicims of war. This was ethnic cleansing, which is why victms of war are not listed under genocide. There is a difference between the battle of the Somme and the killings in Srebrenica, Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in Halabsha or the killings in Darfur. There is a difference between war and the systematic eradication of an indigenous people. If you cannot see that difference, I cannot help you. If indeed a majority of the Turks do not acknowledge their own responsibility for atrocities of the past, you are indeed not ready yet to join the civilized world.

ı really believe that western white imperialist christianity is dying.you keep on insulting muslims and keep on racizm and insults.east is rising. china,india,brazil,indonezia,russia and turkey are the futures powers.

The fact that you respond emotionally and evidently offended by my many questions with regard to Islam, resort to the usual propaganda in return, was not intended by me. Why these honest and respectful questions, so many in the West ask themselves in the context of Islam, are being perceived as insults, is for me, the Infidel, hard to understand, as we grew up in the tradition of asking questions.

You responded to not a sinlge question I asked about what is wrong with Islam. Sometimes questions are just questions and require an honest simple answer.

We question our own religion, most of all our own religious institutions and oftentimes do not agree with many ancient notions of our own churches. The same freedom we apply to criticise the Pope, the clergy and their many shortcomings, we understand as given and granted, when questioning other religions. Because we brought pedophilia within the catholic church to light, against much resistence from them, we enable them to improve and address their issues. The people become in some form the conscience of their own church, as the church should be the conscience of the people. Thus the church, even though slowly, evolves too. Nothing is set in stone, nothing is sacred, everything can be debated.

IN my culture, I can ask my clergy why they are so stupid to promote the creationist notion that human kind was created by God 6000 years ago within a week, while antropologists have found human remains 5 mio years old in Tansania. Believing in God, who created in my mind the entire universe with all its wonders, evolution included, I am empowered to go against my own church, which in time will recognize that God is way much bigger than they themselves believe. I am neither persecuted for that, nor villified, but will be simply debated.

Ask yourself, why no such questioning, evolution, development, dissent or debate exist within the muslim world? Why is it that we learn so much, progress in every arena, while only religion can not evolve, is static and immovable. What will happen to Christianity and Islam, when we in fact find signs of life on another planet, which is considering the teramillions of such planets in existence, only a matter of time? How will these ancvient scriptures, written in a time of donkey chariots and dark ages of human misery, ever compute such realities? How is it, that muslims react insulted, if I innocently ask, why Islam condones treatment of women as inequal or why you arrange marriages between 12 year old girls and 60 year old geezers? Just because it was okay 1000 years ago, does this one notion, still in play according to muslim scripture, not offend your modern mind? Why is it a crime or an insult against muslims to ask, if this still makes sense and maybe revise the scripture accordingly?

Why is it so insulting to you that I ask such simple questions? Mohammed lived obviously in a much different world from today, as Moses or Abraham did. The question is, how would these holy men adress todays world. That is what we need clergy and theologues for to help us translate the ancient text according to modern frame conditions. Such efforts exist in the Christian world. but Islam remains static, which is why it is perverted and abused by your own muslim kind and why it indeed threatens the free world.

While I am saddened by your response, I am nevertheless optimistic for muslims, as the needed reformation will eventually come from outside the rigid confines of the middle east. A new breed of muslims will emerge from Europe and America and will eventually challenge the traditional doctrine. Once the hold of the oil expires, which is ony a matter of time, the middle east will again descend into the dark ages of third world countries, will lose any importance and become irrelevant again. The once so powerful clergy will become lone voices from the desert, while western muslims will dominate. Only the oil has kept these stagnant societies alive, but that infusion will dry up and these nations will become footnotes of history, ......unless they find a way to connect with the free world.

China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil? Not in our lifetime.

we turks realised how to play the game just recently,10 years ago.you ridiculed my previous information about turkish economy,saying that we are still far behind. but ı advise to check google better and you can see wher we came.how rapidly we are improving . and you must know that we turks dont have a tradition of industry at all.we are barbarians. we just started.

I myself applaude the effort and the accomplishments of the Turkish people. But, as you said it yourself, you just started. Albeit, look at the absolute numbers in terms of GDP, per Capita income, export, then assess the standard of life qualitatively in roads, infra structure, power grids, data networks, technology, on every dimension, Turkey still ranks far below any average European nation. No reason for arrogance or hubris. No reason above all, to endanger your progress by falling back to Islamism, which by nature and history alone is contra-productive to progress. You are where you are not because of leaning on muslim nations and Russia, but because of your ties to Europe. Severing such ties and seeking your fortune in the arms of Syria, Iran or Russia, will quickly become your downfall.

But that is just my opinion.

IN the end, our debate has clearly demonstrated, how wide the gap between us still is. We found some common ground in our adversity to terrorism, but stand opposed in all matters of trust. We agree to disagree. At least, our discussion was respectful and polite. I enjoyed it tremendously.

I love Turkey and wish you and your people the very best. I leave you with one of the best prayers I encountered during my lifetime... it is called the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

I wish the Turkish Nation and all Muslims courage and wisdom.

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to While we evidently must agree to disagree.... by Michel C. Zala

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)