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      Wall Street & US Finally Realize Turkey Is No Friend of America

Wall Street & US Finally Realize Turkey Is No Friend of America   24/02/2005

Wall Street & US Finally Realize Turkey Is No Friend of America

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

The Wall Street Journal unleashed last week a devastating "shock and awe" attack against Turkey. The commentary titled, "The Sick Man of Europe – Again," caused shock waves in Turkey as well as the United States. This opinion column was not written by someone who had an axe to grind against Turkey, but by Robert L. Pollock, "a senior editorial page writer at the Journal." In fact, in a subsequent interview with Voice of America, the writer described himself as a friend of Turkey.

The Wall Street Journal is not just any newspaper that happened to publish an unfavorable piece on Turkey. As the unofficial mouthpiece of US big business and military interests, the Journal has been staunchly defending Turkey for the better part of the past 50 years. When this publication makes such an abrupt shift in course and attacks its long-standing "protégé," that can only indicate a major transformation in American attitudes toward Turkey. In fact, Pollock told Voice of America that his article reflected Washington’s current views on Turkey, and that many U.S. officials shared his concerns.

Pollock starts his lengthy commentary by recalling an art exhibit in Istanbul that featured "fat capitalists with Uncle Sam hats and emaciated workers…. " The exhibition indicated to him "that a 50-year special relationship, between longtime NATO allies who fought Soviet expansionism together starting in Korea, has long had to weather the ideological hostility and intellectual decadence of much of Istanbul’s elite. And at the 2002 election, the increasingly corrupt mainstream parties that had championed Turkish-American ties self-destructed, leaving a vacuum that was filled by the subtle yet insidious Islamism of the Justice and Development (AK) Party." Pollock says, "it’s this combination of old leftism and new Islamism -- much more than any mutual pique over Turkey's refusal to side with us in the Iraq war -- that explains the collapse in relations. And what a collapse it has been."

During his early February visit to Ankara with Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith, Pollock found "a poisonous atmosphere -- one in which just about every politician and media outlet (secular and religious) preaches an extreme combination of America- and Jew-hatred that (like the Turkish artists) voluntarily goes far further than anything found in most of the Arab world's state-controlled press. If I hesitate to call it Nazi-like, that's only because Goebbels would probably have rejected much of it as too crude." Pollock points out that the Turkish press didn’t miss the opportunity to note that the US Undersecretary of State, Douglas Feith, was "another Jew."

He relates the anti-American and anti-Semitic articles found in the Turkish press such as "the Islamist newspaper Yeni Safak, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's favorite. A Jan. 9 story claimed that U.S. forces were tossing so many Iraqi bodies into the Euphrates that mullahs there had issued a fatwa prohibiting residents from eating its fish. Yeni Safak has also repeatedly claimed that U.S. forces used chemical weapons in Fallujah. One of its columnists has alleged that U.S. soldiers raped women and children there and left their bodies in the streets to be eaten by dogs. Among the paper's ‘scoops’ have been the 1,000 Israeli soldiers deployed alongside U.S. forces in Iraq, and that U.S. forces have been harvesting the innards of dead Iraqis for sale on the U.S. ‘organ market.’ "

He then quotes from the mainstream Hurriyet newspaper which "accused Israeli hit squads of assassinating Turkish security personnel in Mosul…. At Sabah, a columnist last fall accused the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, of letting his ‘ethnic origins’ -- guess what, he's Jewish -- determine his behavior…." Pollock reports that in the Turkish view, "almost everything the U.S. is doing in the world -- even tsunami relief -- has malevolent motivations, usually with the implication that we're acting as muscle for the Jews."

The Wall Street Journal editorial writer reports that Turkish parliamentarians have accused the U.S. of "genocide" in Iraq. And Prime Minister "Erdogan (who we once hoped would set for the Muslim world an example of democracy) was among the few world leaders to question the legitimacy of the Iraqi elections."

Without mincing words, Pollock calls the Prime Minister of Turkey "a prize hypocrite for protesting to Condoleezza Rice the unflattering portrayal of Turkey in an episode of the fictional TV show ‘The West Wing.’ The episode allegedly depicts Turkey as having been taken over by a retrograde populist government that threatens women's rights." The writer sarcastically adds, that "sounds about right to me."

Pollock then points out the various favors that successive U.S. administrations have done for Turkey:

"Entirely forgotten is that President Bush was among the first world leaders to recognize Prime Minister Erdogan, while Turkey's own legal system was still weighing whether he was secular enough for the job.

Forgotten have been decades of U.S. military assistance. Forgotten have been years of American efforts to secure a pipeline route for Caspian oil that terminates at the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Forgotten has been the fact that U.S. administrations continue to fight annual attempts in Congress to pass a resolution condemning modern Turkey for the long-ago Armenian genocide. Forgotten has been America's persistent lobbying for Turkish membership in the European Union." As a noteworthy sign of the growing anti-Turkish mood in Washington, the Wall Street Journal, for the first time in memory, uses the words Armenian genocide, without qualifying it as "alleged."

Pollock ends his column with an ominous warning: "Turkey could easily become just another second-rate country: small-minded, paranoid, marginal and -- how could it be otherwise? -- friendless in America and unwelcome in Europe!"

Such an outcome would be welcome by all those who have been trying to show the true face of the Turkish regime for so long!


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