Some people think that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a humorless harridan. (“How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?” “That’s not funny!”) I confess I used to harbor that suspicion myself. But I am man enough (if one is still allowed to say that) to acknowledge contravening evidence. And today, I freely admit, Hillary demonstrated that she has, if not a warm and fuzzy side, at least a sense of humor.
You remember that a couple of days ago President Obama said that all American troops would be brought home from Iraq by the end of the year. Madame Secretary did not want the Mullahs in Iran to get the wrong idea. The fact that we decided to cut and run (that’s not how the President put it, but that’s what it amounts to) is not a sign of weakness. Oh, no. Not at all. “Iran would be badly miscalculating,” said Clinton, “if they did not look at the entire region and all of our presence in many countries in the region, both in bases, in training, with NATO allies, like Turkey,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“NATO allies, like Turkey.” Doubtless that has the Mullahs trembling in their sandals. As for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, I suspect he is chuckling softly up his sleeves. “These Americans, they’re such cards!”
“The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.”
Reassuring, what? And in case our Secretary of State were about start talking about “moderate Islam” herself, it’s useful to remember what the Prime Minister himself said in 2007: “Moderate Islam,” he said, is a “very ugly” term, “it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”
I’ve been saying that myself, though I’m not confident Madame Secretary is a regular reader of Roger’s Rules, so perhaps she hasn’t caught up with my statements agreeing with the Prime Minister of Turkey. Be that as it may, the reality in Turkey, the thing that makes Hillary Clinton’s invocation of NATO allies “like Turkey” so droll, is that even as she is “warning” Iran against adventures in Iraq, Recep Erdogan is systematically pursuing the re-Islamization of Turkey, which entails the systematic dismantling of the secular, pro-Western country that Kemal Ataturk forged in the 1920s. Turkey really was a staunch (though often under-appreciated and under-recognized) Western ally. Is it still? I wonder what Hillary Clinton really thinks.