The Corner

Hardly Turkish Delight

I thought (and wrote to that effect) that both the gratuitous and toothless Senate resolutions calling for the de facto trisection of Iraq, and condemnation of Turkey for the century-old Armenian holocaust were unnecessary barbs that would only inflame an already anti-American Turkey.

BUT we should confess that much of Turkish anti-Americanism is ill-founded and derives from their own ongoing fights between Islamists and Attaturk Secularists and has nothing to do with anything the United States has done. Recent polls reveal that Turks are among the most anti-American and anti-Christian peoples in the world, the latter fact not surprising to anyone who reads deeply of the 500-year history of Hellenic-Ottoman relations.

A second point: by and large the United States has treated Turkey well. We support its entry into the EU; we tried to be fair in the Cyprus dispute (despite the Turkish brutal invasion in 1974); we offered a lot of money to use bases to supply the invasion of Iraq; we advise the Greeks patience in the face of constant Turkish overflights in the Aegean. We were a good ally in the Cold War, and kept the Soviets doing to Turkey what it did to Eastern Europe.

Again, nothing really justifies the elemental hatred that the present generation of Turkey seems to exhibit for America, or the perverted manifestations of anti-Semitism or things like the mega-hit, anti-American film and subsequent TV series Valley of the Wolves (replete with murderous American soldiers and an organ-harvesting Jewish doctor).

Where does that leave us? I believe we need to cool the resolutions, continue to talk nicely to Turkey, send out diplomatic peace-feelers, assuage Turkish wounded pride, hope for the best–and start making immediate contingency plans for a possible dramatic break from this erstwhile critical Nato ally.

And that would mean backup plans should it become necessary to abandon facilities inside Turkey, and seek closer relations with Armenia, Kurdistan, Greece, Cyprus, and other regional neighbors. Perhaps both sides have been clumsy, but there are developments going on in Turkey that are far larger than inept diplomacy, and we should quit denying the danger, or despair that without the old Turkey we are adrift in the Eastern Mediterranean. We are not.

We should never promote such divides, but recognize the current course of Turkish politics is not necessary ahistorical, but may in fact be a natural reaction against the historical aberration of Attaturk’s secularism, as European Turkey begins to become overwhelmed, demographically and culturally, by anti-Western, anti-globalization Anatolian Islamism, and thus begins to replay the historical role of the Ottomans-whom, contrary to current orthodoxy, I don’t find to have very been positive for civilization as a whole.

Most Popular

Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing. Foreign policy Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation. But who exactly, according to Biden, is ... Read More

Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing. Foreign policy Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation. But who exactly, according to Biden, is ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Some Counterfactual Thinking

Election Day is one week away. Can you believe it? On the menu today: contemplating what would be different, and what would be the same, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg had retired in 2013 instead of staying on the Court until her death earlier this year; a couple of flubbed words on the campaign trail; yes, people really ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Some Counterfactual Thinking

Election Day is one week away. Can you believe it? On the menu today: contemplating what would be different, and what would be the same, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg had retired in 2013 instead of staying on the Court until her death earlier this year; a couple of flubbed words on the campaign trail; yes, people really ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Whose Seat?

Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. And I think there are two little things to say about it. The first is that we very likely have in Barrett the true successor to Antonin Scalia on the Court. Barrett clerked for Scalia and her articulation of his philosophy is probably the most faithful on the court. Justices ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Whose Seat?

Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. And I think there are two little things to say about it. The first is that we very likely have in Barrett the true successor to Antonin Scalia on the Court. Barrett clerked for Scalia and her articulation of his philosophy is probably the most faithful on the court. Justices ... Read More