Sorry for the bad pun. But it's 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. Turkish political culture is now in tatters. Or, rather, its sensible political culture is in tatters. But the sensible Kemalists were no longer so sensible. They were corrupt, they were very authoritarian, they exported what some of them explicitly called their "surplus population" to Europe. These were mostly Kurds with Turkish passports. Now, some of them are called "Germans." But the reality is that many of them are internal Kurdish exiles.
“For The First Time I’ve Not Been Asked About Human Rights:” Auguries From Obama’s Egypt.
June 27, 2010
A vivid report by Ashraf Khalil in Friday’s Wall Street Journal and an AP dispatch on the same day evoke a moribund Egyptian politics coming to life because of the death of a 28-year old in Alexandria. The murder—and it was a murder!—was committed by the police. Out in the open or, to be precise, down the alley from an internet cafe out of which Khaled Saieed was dragged. Saieed’s face was shown on web sites, and the image was not pretty: a battered face and broken teeth. The police attributed his death to resisting arrest. Of course. Not surprisingly: ‘We are all afraid for our children.
June 25, 2010
The Obama administration has signaled in word and deed that a policy change is in the offing, a change that would accommodate the Syrian regime and normalize relations with it. The notion of autocracy as a guarantor of stability is back in vogue after the Bush years, and so the policy is being bolstered by a chorus of analysts and academics. The Syrian regime, the thinking goes, is as good as it gets for helping to keep simmering regional tensions under a tight lid. But this change would be a bit of a gamble.
Turkey Is Now The Key To Arab Politics. Beware: Built Up By Obama, Erdogan Is Playing The Wild Card
June 22, 2010
From the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Executive Director Robert Satloff comes this analysis: The Gaza Flotilla Incident: Impact on Three Key Arab Actors By Robert Satloff June 22, 2010 The Gaza flotilla episode pitted Israel versus Turkey, with Arabs as bystanders and observers. Yet reverberations of the incident have had a keen impact across Arab capitals. Egypt: Policy Adrift The country most negatively affected has been Egypt.
They're in Damascus, two State Department techies, at the head of a delegation of commercial techies representing American computer combines (Microsoft, Cisco, Dell and some others) in an effort to lure the ophthalmologist Dr. Assad away from the Islamist camp. You see: Bashar al-Assad loves computer games (sort of like my grandson) and the idea is to entice him into playing with our software and networking eqiupment which he can't have unless he behaves. The effort would have normally been led by Robert S. Ford, whom the president tapped as ambassador to Assad's court early in the spring.
Better A Bad Press Than A Good Epitaph
June 13, 2010
Actually, the hysteria about the Israeli encounter with the Turkish goons has abated. And it has probably come to the attention of some reasonable people that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working the seas not exactly for the interests of the Turks but for the Islamic crusade being led by the Iranian clerisy and secret police. I know little about Erdogan but something more about Turkey. The last century of its history is being betrayed in an avalanche of thuggish holiness. Its economy is not doing as bad as that of Greece. But just wait. Tourism is going down, down, down ...
And Now That The Security Council Is About to Do Almost Nothing About Iran's Nuclear Adventures, What Will Syria Do About Its Own?
June 09, 2010
Bennett Ramberg is one of those (few) nuclear strategists who does not shy from telling the truth. He's been telling the truth, the difficult truth, about what will not stop Tehran from pursuing nukes...and what will. Here he confronts Iran's little partner, Syria, and tells us what Dr. Assad--welcomed as a rational scientist upon his ascent to power after the death of his tyrant father--plans. The nuclear order is unraveling, and it is the timidity of the Obama administration that is responsible.
A seven-member United Nations panel—yes, even a U.N. panel—without stammer and without dodging yesterday accused North Korea of providing banned nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Iran and Syria. The news was reported by the Associated Press, Ha'aretz, the Global Security Newswire of the NTI (an outfit founded by Sen. Richard Lugar and former senator Sam Nunn) and Reuters. The U.N.
John Brennan, Obama’s (Alas) Nitwit Counterterrorism Adviser, And His Plans To Make Hezbollah Moderate. He’s Also The Inventor And The Watchdog Of The Watchlist. My, My.
May 20, 2010
The dispatch is from Reuters. And the dateline is Wonderland. Flush with success in turning Iran away from nukes and Syria away from Tehran, the administration seems to be setting its sights on turning Hezbollah away from Hezbollah. If this is truly the goal of the administration, look for an another spectacular humiliation. No, worse: It will be a spectacular self-abasement. After all, there’s no evidence that the Lebanese terror fraternity is looking to become mild and modest.
More On Syria, If You Can Stand It
April 29, 2010
This is real inside stuff. No commentary from me. Except to say that this is more proof that American diplomacy is going nowhere.