Monday, August 1, 2011

Bad News From Turkey

The Islamist Turkish government continues to consolidate its power over the military, which has long been a force for secularism in the country. Top military leaders resigned en mass to protest the ongoing purge being conducted by the government.
the country’s top military commanders resigned in protest over the detention of comrades facing coup conspiracy charges. ... [There are] about 250 officers now jailed on charges linked to various alleged anti-government plots dating back to 2003.
Christopher Hitchens has an article about this at Slate. He sees it as the end of an era. As he puts it, the "long, uneven symbiosis between state and nation and army and modernity has now run its course." Regardless of some of the issues regarding the Turkish military, for the most part it has been a friend to the U.S. since the outbreak of the Cold War. Its decline, and the rise of Islamist democracy has been nothing but bad news for the U.S.


  1. Do you ever consider whether military meddling on the part of America is the cause of the rise in extremism in some Muslim nations?

  2. I've heard that argument of course, but reject it as extremely simplistic and a gross exaggeration of American influence. Large movements almost always have a variety of causes.

  3. Variety a causes, yes, but sometimes there's a primary cause, or even a sole cause for certain circumstances.

    Would there be violent, radical Islamic groups and attacks if there was no US military intervention? Of course. Would they attack us? I have to wonder... why would they?

    What's more, many places where we had little or no influence experienced "spontaneous" revolutions (though ultimately triggered by many different causes), of which some may be for the better and some may be for the worse.

    My point, though, is this: US actions, and also our choice of allies, has quite plainly caused us more trouble than it has been worth, if only because nothing has been accomplished on our wild good chases or funding of foreign allies who commit war crimes on our dime.