Erdogan Has Good Reason To Be Crazy
Not the U.S. Congress, for that matter, nor the hard-pressed Europeans, who have their own problems, nor the Saudis, who can be counted on for a few billion here and there, but not $20 billion a year. I reiterate: Egypt will make Somalia look like a picnic.
It doesn't occur to liberals that there are problems for which solutions might not exist; the notion that cultures and countries may suffer from tragic flaws does not enter into consideration, because if that were true, there would be no need for liberals. That is why Friedman, the bellwether of liberal opinion, sounds stupider than anyone else when he describes Israel as "alone and adrift at sea." If only Netanyahu had offered his own peace plan, complains Friedman...to Hamas? A news analysis in the Times meanwhile reports the Obama administration's consternation that every pillar of its foreign policy is crumbling at once.
If the Obama administration and the New York Times are pulling their hair out over the disintegration of Arab society, consider how Tayyip Erdogan must feel. His economic boom is about to come to a crashing end, and his country is doomed demographically to split up when Kurds outnumber Turks not long from now, as I argued here recently. And his ambitions for Turkish hegemony in the Muslim world have run directly into an existential crisis that is long past solution. That would make anyone crazy. Don't think of the Turkish leader as an outpatient who lost his meds. In the spirit of political correctness, we might call him "existentially challenged. "
It would be easy to overestimate just how dangerous Erdogan might become. The estimable David Warren calls him "the man who could trigger a world war." That seems alarmist. Whom is Erdogan going to fight? Any military provocation would lead to a further collapse of the Turkish currency, and a deep setback for the Turkish economy.