Orientalism, the globalist variety: Notice how Tom Friedman, now in Istanbul, goes from describing as insane a conspiracy theory that on its face is plausible– the shocking possibility that the enemy of Israel’s new enemy is Israel’s friend– to mounting his own (mildly interesting) theory of why Erdogan used the flotilla as a radical raid on Israel.
Moreover, Erdogan has evolved from just railing against Israel’s attacks on Hamas in Gaza to spouting conspiracy theories — like the insane notion that Israel is backing the P.K.K. terrorists — as a way of consolidating his political base among conservative Muslims in Turkey and abroad…
Only two weeks before the Gaza flotilla incident, a leading poll showed Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., trailing his main opposition — the secularist Republican People’s Party — for the first time since the A.K.P. came to office in 2002. That is surely one reason Erdogan openly took sides with one of the most radical forces in the region, Hamas — to re-energize his political base. But did he overplay his hand?
I never forget that Friedman also dismissed as insane and conspiratorial the theory that American Zionists had anything to do with the decision to invade Iraq. Then a year or two later he essentially conceded the point to Haaretz (not his large American audience).