THE SPINE JUNE 3, 2010
I am sorry to break the gloom, but I don’t think that the death of nine highly aware intruders into a war zone is actually a tragedy. The death by suicide bombing of an old woman in a mosque in Iraq or of more than 75 people at a volleyball game in Pakistan … these are true human catastrophes. But the fate of the Islamic jihadists was a mishap, nothing more than a mishap, and the relatives who love them should have kept them at home and on a short leash.
Nothing untoward occurred on the first five ships in the flotilla that were captured by Israeli commandos. A dispatch by Chip Cummins in today’s Wall Street Journal gives us salient details about the two different results. What happened on the flotilla’s largest vessel, the Mavi Marmara (chartered by the Turkish extremist group known as IHH), was that the passengers were heavily seeded with men who wanted to kill or at least hurt, be hurt or be killed. Unless you grasp this pious desire for heaven, you cannot actually feel the yen for blood. Nobody at all reliable, on the other hand, has charged that the Israelis who descended from helicopters onto the deck with paintball guns began the fighting. Nobody.
Presumably, when the Israeli commandos meet the coming Irish ship, now on the high seas with its symbolic offerings for Gaza, a slightly different scenario will ensue. Israelis learn.
But, for the moment—the long moment—the story is Turkey and its prime minister, the more-than-nutsy Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is dragging his country backwards, backwards, backwards. To long before the Ataturk era. Robert L. Pollock has a devastating column, “Erdogan and the Decline of the Turks,” also in this morning’s WSJ.
You may think that “backwards” does not mean the Islamic orbit. But I do. In any case, it means the route away from reason and scientific civilization. The road to darkness, where the Muslim world has been stuck for centuries.
Barack Obama put his trust in Erdogan on his first trip abroad. Two days in Turkey. What a waste.
P.S.: The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger has assembled a chrestomathy of nuggets called “Beating Up on Israel”