Neo-con view (this time on Turkey) still heard loud and clear in Washington

on 19 Comments

Barack Obama may have taken the helm of the White House, but neo-conservative influence, disastrous as it was during the Bush years, has certainly not been swept away in Washington, D.C. This fact was on display yesterday morning at a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing titled “Turkey’s New Foreign Policy Direction:
Implications for U.S.-Turkish Relations.”

Two of the four testimonies were given by representatives of hawkish, pro-Israel neo-conservative groups: the “AIPAC cutout” (as M.J. Rosenberg put it) group called the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the American Enterprise Institute.

Not surprisingly, given that the Committee on Foreign Affairs head is Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, a self-professed Zionist, a good portion of the testimonies focused on Israel/Palestine and Turkey’s role in the Gaza aid flotilla. The fact that Turkey is asserting its independence from Western hegemony and taking a stand in support of the Palestinians is worrisome to pro-Israel neo-cons. The hearing follows a stampede of anti-Turkish sentiment expressed by neo-conservatives and by mainstream media stories that have demonized Turkey and the Turkish aid group IHH.

In prepared testimony, Berman said:

Is Turkey moving away from the West?… And how crucial is Turkey to us as an ally?… although we can’t compel Turkey to view Hamas as a terrorist group – Prime Minister Erdogan has labeled it a ‘resistance’ group – we should expect Ankara to respect the terrorism list of an important ally, namely, the United States.

After Israel killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American aboard the Mavi Marmara, Turkish-Israeli relations hit a new low, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted Israel for committing a “bloody massacre.” Turkey has threatened to cut ties with Israel unless it issues a public apology for the killings, agrees to an international investigation into the incident and changes its policy towards Gaza.

Soner Cagapty, the director of the Turkish Research Program at WINEP, used alarming language on Turkey and called on the U.S. to “deny the Erdogan government the influence and prestige that comes with being promoted as a regional mediator."  Cagapty also said:

Now, with the EU pushing its boundaries into the Balkans up to Turkey, and with Al Qaeda pursuing a war between the "Muslim world" and the West, a gray area in which Turkey can position itself no longer exists; it must become an EU member and part of the West, or else fold into the Muslim world, as per Al Qaeda’s vision.

But suggesting that Turkey is about to align itself with “al Qaeda’s vision” seems particularly strange given that Turkish police recently arrested 120 suspected members of al Qaeda.

Then there was Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq during the Bush administration who has called for the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who told the committee:

Prime Minister Erdoğan, and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have changed Turkey fundamentally. They do not simply seek good relations with their Arab neighbors and Iran. Instead, they favor the most radical elements in regional struggles, hence their embrace of Syria over Lebanon and of Hamas over Fatah, and their endorsement Iran’s nuclear program.

What’s it going to take to throw the dangerous neo-con worldview out of positions of power and influence? The disaster of the Iraq War should have, but apparently Rep. Berman, who invited discredited neo-cons to testify, hasn’t learned that lesson.


19 Responses

  1. Leper Colonialist
    July 29, 2010, 8:58 am

    Yep, Americans should be prepared to “learn” more than they ever wanted to know aboutthe perfidy of Turkey.

    Can likening Attaturk to hitler and Stalin be far behind?

    Not to mention the Armenian Genocide.

    Hey, and what about four centuries of Oriental Despotism as practiced by the Ottomans?

    And what exactly did that Turkish colonel in Derra do to Lawrence of Arabia that unhinged Lawrence so badly?

    No doubt the fall of Constantinople will be revisited, and the ill fate which befell it’s Byzantine defenders will be examined in minute detail.

    The Seljuks and the Il-Kans will no doubt come in for their share of abuse as well.

    ALL in the service of one extremely dubious cause.

    And all of exactly no relevance to the national iterests of the USA. But when was the last time that the US position re the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had anything to do with an appreciation, let alone a pursuit, of US national interests?

    • sherbrsi
      July 29, 2010, 10:36 am

      And all of exactly no relevance to the national iterests of the USA

      There you have it. The “shared values” nonsense has perpetuated to such a degree that Israel/US interests have blurred and become indistinct.

      In the Clash of Civilizations, carefully engineered to market Israel as the democratic outpost in a sea of hostile nations to be subdued as needed, Turkey is the latest target.

    • Berthe
      July 29, 2010, 11:37 am

      We’ll be hearing that old song from my childhood with the line, “Istanbul or Constantinople. Is it Istanbul or Constantinople? Why did Constantinople get the works? Its nobody’s business but the Turks!” with the very oriental kazoo-like stuff playing behind the main melody. Members of Congress swaying to it.

  2. Citizen
    July 29, 2010, 9:00 am

    Yep, Turkey is either with “The West” (aka Israel) or with Terrorists. White & Black. Why look at Turkey’s geographical position or any of Turkey’s stances that the West has greatly appreciated over the years?

    • sherbrsi
      July 29, 2010, 10:41 am

      Why look at Turkey’s geographical position or any of Turkey’s stances that the West has greatly appreciated over the years?

      All in the service of Zionism. With the blink of an eye, Turkey is suddenly Al-Qaeda’s pawn and, gaining Israel’s ire, in the black when it was first prior in the white.

      Who is to blame? Those who will profit from Turkey’s neutralization, the same ones pushing for Iran’s destruction.

  3. potsherd
    July 29, 2010, 9:06 am

    Zionist Jews in the US Congress, with their non-Jewish supporters, have packed themselves into the committees, like the foreign affairs committee, where matters relevant to Israel are decided.

    Yet if anyone ever mentions or alludes to this fact, they are pilloried.

  4. hayate
    July 29, 2010, 9:14 am

    “Barack Obama may have taken the helm of the White House, but neo-conservative influence, disastrous as it was during the Bush years, has certainly not been swept away in Washington, D.C.”

    There’s no change from obama. He’s the “telavivian candidate”. The neocon nazis may have been disastrous to the usa, but for ziofascism, inc., they’ve been the best thing since viagra. And that’s what matters in zionist occupied territories like the usa. As for berman and Turkey, that’s a sick joke. Turkey was the closest american ally in the Mideast, after apartheid israel, and the zionists, and their neocon nazis, killed that. The fact that neocons are doing anything but swinging from light posts shows how deeply zionism, inc. controls the usa. These zionists are driving every country away from america that is not a fellow colony of israel. The american politicians work for zionist and israeli interests first, then for “pork”, their supposed constituents needs come at the very last.

  5. Citizen
    July 29, 2010, 9:19 am

    This article indicates how important Turkey is to the USA, both in the past and currently; however the recommendation is totally one-sided:
    link to

    Turkey is striving to be an independent state in its own region. This was fine until Turkey castigated Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians and the flotilla, and of course, when Turkey did not agree to more boycotts of Iran, the first deal-breaker. Who is the more strategic US ally, Turkey or Israel? Why on earth is it being dealt with in such a one-sided way by our

    • potsherd
      July 29, 2010, 9:23 am

      Turkey will probably end up being the next Iran, after Iran is destroyed.

      No nation is allowed to become a regional power in the mideast except for Israel, and Israel always needs an enemy to justify its aggressive policies. Iraq can no longer fill this role, Iran will not be able to if destroyed, so Turkey will have to suffer.

      • Mythbuster
        July 29, 2010, 9:29 am

        Iran and Turkey are the two most interesting countries in the world today for the reason you identify: independence.

        I have always wondered if the West would allow a Middle Eastern, an African, or even a South American nation (like Brazil) to truly develop “without supervision.” We will have our answer soon.

        Notice that America has been pressuring South Korea since they showed the gall to contract to build nuclear reactors in the Emirates…without American involvement.

      • Berthe
        July 29, 2010, 11:45 am

        Erdogan did a very smart thing to take on the leadership of the Turkish military by going at the “Sledgehammer plots.” Or there’d have been a (US and Britain behind the scenes) military coup by now. He’d be dead like Mossadegh in Iran in the early 50’s. He wouldn’t let the US use Turkey to attack Iraq in 2003 and our SOBs at the top would have taken him out. It was at that time that the Sledgehammer plots were revealed to the Turkish public.

        Turkey has had a lot of military coups over the years and the Turkish public respected their military as a safeguard when the elected government was ineffective but now, the military has lost prestige in the wake of stories that they were planning false flag attacks to harm Erdogan’s government and that the top generals are corrupt.

      • annie
        July 29, 2010, 12:09 pm

        don’t forget the neocon ‘new middle east map’ chips off a chunk of turkey for kurdistan to reach all the way up and barely touch the black sea.

        i want to visit turkey, my european friends like to vacation there. we could probably have many more friends in the world if we hadn’t signed a deal w/the….hmm.

      • lysias
        July 29, 2010, 12:54 pm

        That map would also have set up a new Gulf state encompassing the southernmost part of Iraq (Basra province), the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia that has all the oil, and the southwestern part of Iran — again the part with the oil.

        Those geniuses did not stop to consider that such a state would be heavily Shiite. So it would almost certainly ally itself with what’s left of Iran sooner or later.

        Way to go, take the oil away from the Saudis, and put pretty much all the Gulf oil together inside one Shiite State!

  6. Mack
    July 29, 2010, 9:29 am

    These back stabbing Berman types must be purged from our govt.

  7. Chaos4700
    July 29, 2010, 9:48 am

    You know, we’re really going to regret it if we choose Israel over NATO.

  8. traintosiberia
    July 29, 2010, 10:33 am

    Anything that can be used to promote Israeli causes is kosher. Now some are vomiting on Mel Gibson’s garbage againts Jewish/Lation/Blacks only to swallow the remnanst of that hatred against Iran for Iran is ” Ammaleks” per Simon Peres.
    There is an article in Chicago Tribune by Jane Hughes -“From Gibson to Ahmedinazad” where author uses one set of hysteria to hype another hysteria on Iarinian behavior.Like Indyk and other neocons , he has to fabricate,juxtapose.suppress.highlight,and plain ignore a lot of important facts and use racial-ethnic cards to propmote his vision of what US interest ought to be both in private and in governemnt level.

  9. Leper Colonialist
    July 29, 2010, 11:47 am

    Will it come to this: Thnaksgiving turkey will be renamed “freedome fowl’?

    • Sand
      July 29, 2010, 1:32 pm

      That made me laugh…

      We had ‘freedom fries’ — yeah I think the turkey could be next. lol

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