Glick on Erdogan’s Neo-Ottoman Islamism

Horrifying… http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/49178/

There are two explanations for Erdogan’s behavior. First, there is the issue of honor, which plays such a prominent role in Islamic society. He views the Mavi Marmara incident in the context of honor politics. And he demands an apology from Israel in order to increase his honor and diminish Israel’s.
Most of Israel’s objections to Erdogan’s demand to date have centered around this issue. Foreign Minister Avogdor Lieberman and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon have cited this as the primary reason for refusing to apologize.
But while unpleasant, honor is probably not Erdogan’s main rationale for pursing his demand for an Israeli apology. Since he was reelected to serve a third term as prime minister last month Erdogan has been openly seeking to establish a neo-Ottoman Turkish hegemonic position in the Arab world.
To this end he has been actively interfering in the popular revolt against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. The IHH has been hosting Syrian opposition leaders in Turkey. Erdogan’s clear aim is to replace Iran as Syria’s overlord in a post-Assad Syria.
Erdogan has also been actively engaging Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in February. Erdogan plans a high profile visit to Egypt in the near future. And he plans to end his visit to Egypt by crossing the Egyptian border with Gaza. There he will become the highest-level foreign leader to visit Gaza since the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood Hamas took over in 2007.
As far as Erdogan is concerned, if he gets the U.S. to force Israel to apologize, it will be a massive public relations coup in his bid to convince the Arabs to accept his leadership. After all, Israel would be apologizing for having had the temerity to oppose the aggression of IHH terrorists engaged in an act of war against Israel. An Israeli apology would serve as proof that his double game of remaining a NATO member and carrying out aggression against Israel is the winning formula. If Israel apologizes for defending itself against Turkish aggression, Erdogan will have succeeded where the Arabs have failed.
Obviously, on the merits, Israel has no reason to apologize. And Turkish promises not to file lawsuits and war crimes complaints against Israel will have no legal weight. The Turkish pledge will not bind the relatives of the dead. And an Israeli apology and compensation will provide them with a prima facie claim that Israel admits culpability.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and senior IDF officers reportedly argue in favor of an apology, claiming the strategic alliance with Turkey is so important that Israel must be willing to swallow its pride in order to rebuild it.
This argument has apparently won over Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor. It has also caused Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to temper his honor-based rejection of the Turkish demand.
The problem with this argument is that it fails to take address Erdogan’s second, and more strategically significant motivation of using Israeli humiliation to strengthen his image as a pan-Islamic leader.
That motivation gives lie to the notion that Erdogan has any interest in reinstating Turkey’s strategic alliance with Israel. The man who is cultivating Hamas in the PA, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, is not going to permit the Israeli Air Force to renew its training flights over Turkish airspace.
Erdogan is not going to share intelligence with Israel on Iran. He will not cooperate with Mossad agents along Turkey’s border with Iran or Syria.
Instead he will use his ability to humiliate Israel and curb its military operations to demonstrate to the Muslim Brotherhood that it should accept Turkey’s role as regional hegemon and operate under its wings.

On the limits, if any, of state power

notes from DP Jones, NRO today:

…that same week brought unexpected news of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy. In May 1941, Hess flew to England on a mission that has never been fully explained. Captured, he was held for the rest of the war and tried at Nuremburg…. He spent the rest of his life in a Berlin prison. I once interviewed Frau Hess, herself an unrepentant Nazi, and she proudly showed me among other memorabilia a specially printed copy of Mein Kampfwith Hitler’s dedication. Fanatics never give up.

Those executed after the Nuremburg trial were cremated and their ashes scattered. Hess was buried in a family grave at Wunsiedel, in Bavaria. Over the years neo-Nazis have treated Hess’s grave as a place of pilgrimage. Thousands of them parade there, sing their Party songs, give their Party salute, and threaten the peace. At last, the church authorities have cancelled the rights of the Hess family to their plot, and the corpse has been removed and cremated, the ashes now scattered in untraceable water.

So the state intervened in sacrilege against the dead man’sbones, and the family’s filial rights, for the public good. Where does that power end?

 

Taranto on Obama’s “Bipartisanship”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903461104576462142788961966.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Green’s entire account of Obama’s presidency is as removed from reality as “Star Trek.” By what conceivable standard can one claim that the president has “governed in a manner largely consistent” with the “ideal” of “a postpartisan era”–much less that he has been “unlike Bush” in doing so?

Consider the two most controversial legislative initiatives of George W. Bush’s first half-term: the 2001 tax cut and the 2002 authorization to use military force against Iraq. Both had substantial bipartisan support: The former passed with “yes” votes from 28 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats; the latter had the backing of 81 House Democrats and 29 Senate Democrats.

By contrast, Obama’s two biggest legislative initiatives, the so-called stimulus and ObamaCare, had the support of a grand total of three Republicans in both houses combined (all senators who voted in favor of the stimulus).

Now, Obama backers might argue that these were just “practical, long-term reforms,” which the Republicans were partisan for opposing. One’s own side, after all, is always principled where the other side is partisan. But the majority of voters did not seem to see it this way. The most modest interpretation of the 2010 election results is that Americans thought Obama had gone way too far and wished to restrain him from going further.

Which brings us to the current impasse involving the debt limit. The so-called mainstream media is engaged in a bizarre propaganda effort, aimed not so much at persuading voters to agree with Obama but at convincing politicians that voters agree with Obama

Steyn on Gang of Six, 7.20.11

 …the Gang of Six “plan,” which even by the standards of “bipartisan” deal-making is a total joke.

Even if you take seriously their figure of $3.7 trillion in savings over ten years, that represents a clawback across a decade of about two years of current deficits.

If you take Jeff Sessions’s figure of $1.2 trillion in savings over ten years as being closer to the mark, that takes a decade to reverse about three-quarters of the 2011 deficit.