Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Our non-Friends the Pakistanis, Saudis, and Turks

        An interesting analysis at Dhimmi Watch.
        During the Cold War, this inability to see Islam for what it was, is, and will be -- a totalitarian threat at least as great, and probably a good deal greater, than Communism -- led to certain obvious failures, and certain failures that remain unobvious.  Among the obvious failures was the CENTO military organization, with Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan enrolled in a supposedly non-Communist military alliance meant to mimic NATO, under American (and British) leadership.  It came to nothing, for it was nothing -- except that the Americans were locked into the myth of stout Muslim allies.

        The second was the firm entrenchment of the myth of a benevolent Saudi Arabia, our "staunch ally" -- a notion promoted by ARAMCO in its official publications and through a powerful network of Washington agents.  This began in the 1950s, and the power of this myth only grew. No one knew much about Saudi Arabia, and Islam itself was hardly understood; in the State Department, it remains [mis]understood. . . .

        Still another country misperceived was Turkey. Turkish troops performed bravely in the Korean War.  Turkey was a member of CENTO, so temporary and so silly as it was. Turkey was a place that supplied airbases and listening posts.  And Turkey was both “secular” and straightforward, just like those mustachioed Pakistani generals who were so much more pleasing than the messy, fussy, dangerously leftist Indians (so they were perceived) in the 1950s and 1960s.  So Turkey became a “staunch ally.”  There was certainly more truth to this than in the same label affixed to Saudi Arabia.  But it depended on Kemalism, on the constraints on Islam.  And as we now know, when Islam came back, and it has come back (or rather, since it had never left, but had been tied down) to Turkey, that inevitably means the kind of anti-Infidel (i.e., anti-American) attitudes that can be seen in the Turkish press, and in the Turkish government, and among the Turkish public.

        Read it all.  And reflect on the difference between allies of convenience and real friends.

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