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In Speech to Turkey, PM David Cameron Goes Full Idiot

Cameron gives a begging, blubbering pander of a speech in Turkey. (Also read Claudia Rosett: "Prime Minister, It’s Not a 'Prison Camp'”

by
Barry Rubin

Bio

July 28, 2010 - 12:00 am
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He continues:

Which Muslim majority country has a long-established relationship with Israel while at the same time championing the rights of the Palestinian people? Which European country could have the greatest chance of persuading Iran to change course on its nuclear policy?

Now this is after the Turkish regime trashed the relationship with Israel and stabbed the United States and the UK in the back by cutting its own deal with Iran and even voting against sanctions at the UN. This is the policy Cameron praises! And then after all these things, he adds:

Whether in Afghanistan or the Middle East, Turkey has a credibility that others in the West just can’t hope to have. So I’ve come here to make the case for Turkey to use this credibility, to go further in enhancing our security and working for peace across our world.

Does this include Turkish regime support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and alignment with Iran and Syria? He should be hinting gently that Turkey is losing its credibility because of the regime’s behavior. And therefore Turkey needs to change its behavior, a point that the opposition will be arguing in the next election. By this time I can see the opposition tearing their hair out as another Western leader heaps praise on the regime. And have no doubt the regime will use all this in next year’s elections:

Extremist? Transforming Turkey toward Islamism? What do you mean? The West loves us!

Cameron then goes on and makes it clear that Turkey would be doing the EU a favor by joining it, not the tiniest hint of leverage that Turkish membership might depend on the regime’s behavior. He could have said:

While I, of course, support you, the path would be easier if …

Followed by some polite and proper hints done with full British charm.

But it gets worse. Cameron is about to insult several of Britain’s closest allies, including Germany and France, by making opposition to Turkey’s entrance into the EU a form of racism and Islamophobia. For example, he says that opponents are:

The prejudiced. Those who willfully misunderstand Islam. They see no difference between real Islam and the distorted version of the extremists. They think the problem is Islam itself. And they think the values of Islam can just never be compatible with the values of other religions, societies, or cultures.

All these arguments are just plain wrong. The problem precisely is the version of Islam embodied in the current Turkish government. There could be other perfectly pious Muslims ruling Turkey (and Iran, Syria, or the Gaza Strip for that matter) who would interpret Islam in a way relatively compatible with the values of other religions. But not the Islamists!

He also complains of those who:

… see the history of our world as a clash of civilizations, as a choice between East and West. They just don’t get the fact that Turkey can be a great unifier. Because instead of choosing between East and West, Turkey has chosen both.

But he doesn’t comprehend that the current government of Turkey does see the world as a clash of civilizations. Its foreign minister even wrote a book to that effect, which has never been translated and which the regime is doing its best to conceal.

If I were a German or French journalist, my headline would be: “Cameron Calls German (or French) policy bigoted and anti-Islamic.”

Yet Cameron sails on into even worse grounds. He actually praises a Turkish policy which has gone to the brink of war with Israel, sponsored a flotilla run by radical Islamists intending to create a violent confrontation, and is allied with a revolutionary terrorist group. One has to quote it to believe he actually said the following:

Turkey’s relationships in the region, both with Israel and with the Arab world, are of incalculable value. No other country has the same potential to build understanding between Israel and the Arab world. I know that Gaza has led to real strains in Turkey’s relationship with Israel. But Turkey is a friend of Israel. And I urge Turkey, and Israel, not to give up on that friendship.

Let me be clear. The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable. And I have told PM Netanyahu, we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous. Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.

But as, hopefully, we move in the coming weeks to direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians so it’s Turkey that can make the case for peace and Turkey that can help to press the parties to come together, and point the way to a just and viable solution.

In other words, Turkey is 100 percent right, I have no criticism of Hamas’s behavior, but Turkey can still play a productive role. This is the diplomatic equivalent of insane behavior on Cameron’s part.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time but I cannot let this gem pass. True, Cameron urged Turkey to continue internal reforms. But there’s no hint of the anti-democratic nature of the regime’s manipulation of such reforms (for example, to seize control of the courts) and the massive repression of dissidents. He suggests that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and he even criticizes the Turkey-Iran deal. But note the illogical leap:

Even if Iran were to complete the deal proposed in their recent agreement with Turkey and Brazil, it would still retain around fifty percent of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. So we need Turkey’s help now in making it clear to Iran just how serious we are about engaging fully with the international community.

We hope that the meeting held in Istanbul between the Turkish, Brazilian and Iranian foreign ministers will see Iran move in the right direction.

That meeting is a conference of Iran’s supporters! Why would it lead Iran in the right direction? How about Turkey’s opposition to sanctions? And again note the beggar’s worldview: “We need Turkey’s help.”

Why should Turkey help? What will you give the regime in exchange for its alleged help?

This regime wants to help Iran, not work against Iran.

Finally, remember that Cameron is a Conservative, the successor of Winston Churchill. That’s how deep the appeasement disease has penetrated the Western ruling class.

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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition, Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth about Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). The website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.
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