69 million page views

Strategic nihilism

Reader comment on item: A Million Moderate Muslims on the March
in response to reader comment: Moderate Moslems

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), May 27, 2007 at 18:49

Dear Guy Teven-Torres , mi amice Agricola !

I read your post with incredulity and grave doubts. I can only hope that what you wrote serves just the purpose of arousing more discussion and is not your ultimate opinion.

> Saddam was moderate in Islamic terms! Saudi Arabia is moderate in Islamic terms! Syria is moderate in Islamic terms ! Perhaps the question should be what end of the spectrum of Islamic moderation do all these regimes exist at? The Russian invasion of Afghanistan was a 'progressive' step since it freed women from the religious fanatics for a while!

Now keeping the Russians and Moslems apart , I think that it is the intrinsic extremism of official Western ideology (call it PC if you wish) which sees moderacy in Islam where there is no structural moderacy possible and which oppresses and ostracises anyone who prefers to use his own eyes and mind in assessing Islam . Moderacy is incompatible with Islam. How can you be moderate towards Allah ?

As long as the 40th Soviet Army stayed in Afghanistan , Kabul remained intact , bamyan statues stood safe. The US preferred to ally itself with Islam to defeat the 40th Army. The victory was achieved , the Moslems served the Western interests well . But the self-defeating result was manifest on 9/11 2001.

> The result of the NATO invasion has pushed the Taliban back but it still exists, treating women like rodents! So what is moderate in Islam then? women burning themselves to death to escape rotten husbands they are forced to marry? The destruction of art and archaeology. Is that moderate Islam?

It is traditional, normal, common, usual, habitual , historical Islam. Back to Islamic normalcy .

> Turkey is schizophrenic; she cannot make up her mind.

Are you sure ? I think the Turks only pretend to do that. They want an empire again.

> She is a police state while she pretends not to be, she persecutes Christians in order to whip up nationalist feeling. She wants to join the EU, or at least the AKP Party in Parliament does, because it means that jilbabs and the veil will be allowed under EU law. Ironic isn't it that the Islamists want to join while the nationalists feel the EU is playing games?

Turkey will be a huge Trojan horse of Islam in Europe if it joins the EU. Moslems want that. The militarists seem to me to be closer to "Islamists" than the appearances suggest. Nortehrn Cyprus and Kurdistan show they are unanimous on principal issues.

> As I said before, we need Turkey on side as a foil to Iran and the other fruitcakes in the region like Iran and Syria.

I don't think so, dear Guy. Turkey is a dangerous ally. At heart it is Europe's and the West's traditional and revengeful enemy.

> If Turkey leaves NATO the eastern Mediterranean will become a 'no go area' for the West.

Don't exaggerate ! A great pro-Western Kurdistan could be created. Asia Minor regained for Hellenism...Many useful things could be created by imaginative and determined politicians on the ruins of the Kemalist prisons and genocides.

> Turkey has always been the key to the Eastern Question since Persia invaded Greece in 490BC and was defeated by Athens at the Battle of Marathon. So vital to Persian interests was Asia Minor and Greece, because she wanted her as a client buffer state to prevent barbarian tribes infiltrating her empire, she invaded again in 480BC when Leonidas died with his 300 Spartans and a few hundred others at Thermopylae.

I am not sure if this example is valid in this case . Asia Minor' coasts were e.g. Greek and at first Hellenic rebellions there had to be suppressed before the failed conquests of Darius and Xerxes could be attempted. In modern times ever since Mazikert (1071) Asia Minor was the heart and home of an aggressive anti-European empire.

> Real Politik recognises inconvenient facts like the above. Today Turkey is a vital piece in the grand strategic jigsaw in the region. She is a US client state keping her eyes on a Russia seeking a warm water port.

Come on ! This was true of the 19th century. After 1991 Russia is a broken , torn apart , weak , successive country that emerged from the ruins of the Soviet Union. The Caucasus and Central Asia are lost to Russia. How can she suddenly overjump the vast space of Asia that don't belong to her to have a "warm water port" ? To use Russia as a scarecrow of the West is unjust and misleading ! Russia is potentially the most valuable ally of the West in the struggle against Islam. And yet all is being done to estrange her and push into the Moslem anti-Western camp . This country is more European and enlightened than Turkey will ever be and yet you treat Turkey as an "ally" and Russia as a foe . Again it is unfair and harmful in the long run. With such "allies" as Turkey the West needs no more enemies. Least of all Russia.

> Her position on the Bosphorous is vital to prevent or monitor Russian attempts to pursue such policies. This has always been the Russian way since the days of the Tsars, when she tried to infiltrate the British Raj stretching rom Egypt to the Far East across India, or Hindustan if the purists would like us to call it. New Rome or Constantinople was founded by the late Romans on the Bosphorous for the very same reasons that it was a vital strategic key to control of the East!

You want the US to enter the fateful path of the failed British Empire and protect the sick man on Bosporus ? To achieve what ? The US has no India to be obsessed about and all Moslem countries are gainst America ? What the Brits achieved by estranging Russia in the 19th c. ? Did they got Turkey's friendship and gratitude ? Russia is a European , Christian nation. She shares basically the same vaules as the West . Dear Guy , in your concept common civilizational values seem to play no role . If this is true , then yours is a very dangerous and self-defeating concept in the long run. That sort of thinking led to 9/11 and if continued it will lead to even more disastrous results. I can't but call it strategic nihilism. It flows from tactical opportunism to my mind . You get short-terms gains and profits . But the strategic losses are disproportionate to the the tiny tactical gains.

> Britain annexed Cyprus as an important jigsaw in the regional grand strategy. That is why today Britain maintains a colonial presence within the Sovereign base areas. Turkey is vital to ours and the interests of NATO. With the rise of Iran with nuclear weapons (that she already has by the way but not the delivery systems), Cyprus and Turkey must be kept on side !

For similar reasons -to keep Turkey pro-American- the US provoked the invasion of 1974 and blackmailed Greece to stay aside while the "brave" secularists were exterminating (with American napalm) the small Cypriot National Guard. And what did the Americans get as a result ? Anti-Americanism in Turkey is extreme .

> The whole of the Fertile Crescent is so vital to western interests as the source of oil but more importantly because it is the bridging point between East and West. It is vital for trade, and excahange of ideas. It was through herein that metallurgy and writing came from India. This was why persia wanted Asia Minor as did the Romans, who incidentially combined Cyprus and Asia Minor into one province for exactly the reasons described above!

Yes, but the Romans conquered Asia Minor and Cyprus not from the Parthians but from the Seleucids and Ptolemids and never faced anything called Islam.

> In 1956 general Greevas of Eoka was funded by the Russians and the Moslem Brotherhood to kick the British out of Cyprus, in order to deprive NATO of an important part of its key stategy in the area.

Actually "Enosis"(unity with Greece) would have solved the alleged NATO dilemma . After the civil war which the Brits unleashed in Greece in 1944 and the British intrigues during 1941 to make Turkey enter the war against Germany in exchange for Greek islands and continetal territory , few Greeks could trust the British politicians and their promises . For quite opportunistic reason Turkey was the mignon of the NATO. Cultural interests , Hellenism were dead words for Western strategic nihilists. They fawned on Turkey and now harvest the fruit of their opportunistic acts.

> My own father an RAF officer designed and built the listening devices placed on Mount Olympus

Isn't it Mount Ayos Nikolaos , a major British radio espionage centre still in operation on Cyrpus ?

> to 'listen in' on Russian radio traffic and missile launches. We were their during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when we were informed that Cyprus was a key nuclear target. I even remember doing nuclear attacck preparation drills at school.

Russians were tough players. It is true. But as Europeans they are incomparable to moderate Moslems who hope to go in corpore to paradise for killing infidels and/or themselves in the process . But which politicians care about civilization nowadays ? They all speak of oil , strategic resources , commerce , investments , banks ...

> Today Cyprus and Turkey continue to play the same role as they did in the past. Cyprus and Turkey are also the bases, from which any strike will be made by NATO against any attempt to destroy Israel by the Moslems surrounding her! Israeli aircraft have often used US bases in Trkey to attack her Moslem neighbours from an area they do not expect to be, namely the North.

Actually with the deveopment of strategic intercontinetal submarine-based missiles such bases as Incirlik or Cyprus have lost their significance. And relying on Turkey in an hour of need is like entrusting to a notorious thug one's security and wealth .

> So there we have it, at least in my humble opinion.

> Any Moslem is moderate as long as it serves our strategic interests!

I am sorry to say that this is a very dangerous, self-defeating and nihilistic concept , dear Guy. This way of thinking led to the massacres of 9/11 and many other crises and bitter disappointments across human history .

Defending and promoting one's civilization is the most important , paramount strategic interest any self-respecting and rational political power can persue . The Byzantines knew that spreading Christianity among the Slavs . This policy after many centuries saved Hellenism from total destruction at the hands of the Turkish barbarians who turn in your exposition into new pillars of Western security. Thinking that harming and disarming nations with similar cultural heritage and mentality by arming and reassuring Moslem nations can be useful as serving "our strategic interest" is the biggest and most dangerous self-deception I can imagine. It serves not ours but barbarians' strategic interests.


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 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.)