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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thomas Friedman, "Trump and the Sultan": Obama's Best Friend Erdogan?

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."

Friedman's conclusion:

"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.


  1. It is Obama's America that muzzles free speech.

    The fundamental transformation of American media into an echo chamber of state-propaganda since 2008 is now terrifying.

    The prospect of the new democratic party platform having any chance of winning is deadly.

  2. J.E. Dyer always has better sources than Debka:

    "...The Pentagon isn’t going to be explicit about its plan for the nukes at Incirlik. The latest reporting seems to indicate that there are no plans to move them. It would be surprising if we heard that there were such plans, given that the U.S. is officially silent on the topic of where the nuclear-sharing warheads are kept. Such plans would in any case be both sensitive and disruptive, especially if forced on NATO by instability in the member state.

    NATO will have to take this under advisement right away as an alliance problem. That’s the only responsible course. If our national leaders are not doing that, they should all be impeached and removed from office immediately.

    This situation is vulnerable and delicate – in the extreme – and is therefore a really bad situation to have Barack Obama in charge of. Frankly, the right thing to do is exercise U.S. leadership and get the nukes out of Turkey forthwith. The niceties of NATO consultation can (and should) be tended later. But no one in this scenario has reason to expect Obama to do the right thing – not NATO, and not the American people. ..."

    [meanwhile the media still dissecting Melania Trump's "crimes" & completely ignoring Donald Trump, Junior's speech because it was not plagiarized;
    but a few in media have taken notice of Erdogan bombing Iraqi Kurdistan.

    and Obama will appease his mentor Erdogan by shutting down Gulen's charter schools in the USA whilst the U.S. military insures sex change operations - today's priority.]

    1. correction: Gulen's charter schools are in Turkey.

      Claire Berlinski on the coup & purge, not the nukes:

      "...Tuesday’s announcement that the licenses of 21,000 private schoolteachers have been suspended brings the total number of those suspended or detained to about 60,000. The so-called “parallel state” seems to be almost as large as the official one—and this isn’t counting all the suspected followers of Gülen in the Turkish civil service, judiciary, and police who had already been purged over the past two and a half years. ..."