Over the course of the first half of his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Trump and the Sultan," would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman disparages Turkish President Erdogan. On the heels of the failed military coup in Turkey, Friedman writes:
"Anyone who has been following Turkey closely knows that Erdogan has been mounting a silent, drip-by-drip coup of his own against Turkish democracy for years — jailing reporters, hounding rivals with giant tax bills, reviving an internal war against Turkish Kurds to stoke nationalist passions to propel his efforts to grab more powers — and by generally making himself into a modern-day sultan for life."
I have no argument with Tom regarding any of the above. But hey, didn't Obama declare Erdogan to be one of his five best overseas friends? And didn't Obama attempt to force Turkish mediation upon Israel during its 2014 war with Hamas?
By the way, as reported today by DEBKAfile in an article entitled "Erdogan locks US airmen, nuclear arms in Incirlik":
"Some 1,500 US airmen and their families have been locked in the southern Turkish air base of Incirlik together with a stock [of] tactical nuclear bombs since President Reccep Erdogan crushed an attempted coup on Saturday, July 16. In the four days up until Wednesday, July 20, therefore, no air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq have been staged [from] that Turkish base."
Is this indeed an attempt to force the US to extradite Fethullah Gulen, as suggested by DEBKAfile? Why is this not headline news in The New York Times or The Washington Post?
Erdogan is indeed a monster. Where were you all this time, Tom?
In his opinion piece, Friedman next compares Erdogan with Trump:
"Trump relies on the same tactics: He fabricates facts and figures on an industrial scale. He regularly puts out conspiracy theories — his latest is that President Obama’s 'body language' suggests that 'there’s something going on' with the president — hinting that Obama is not comfortable condemning the killing of cops by African-American gunmen and has sympathy for radical Islamists."
"If you like what’s going on in Turkey today, you’ll love Trump’s America."
Trump's nomination makes me want to retch. On the other hand, I don't think that I'll be that much happier with the US of Hillary, who is in full blown denial concerning FBI Director Comey's conclusions.
Back to my garden and my dogs.