- The Washington Times - Monday, March 7, 2005

No one noticed as Turkey, an erstwhile ally, nabbed the gold medal recently in the global anti-American stakes.

Those with the most negative views of the Bush administration’s policies are (1) Turks with 82 percent; (2) Indonesians, 81 percent; (3) Lebanese, 80 percent; (4) Argentines, 79 percent; (5) Brazilians, 78 percent. Mercifully, half the 22,000 people surveyed in 21 countries by the BBC around the world did not agree, “America’s influence on the world is very negative.”

For those who see thousands of demonstrators in Beirut excoriating Syria as pro-American voices for freedom, think again. In Egypt, far more people are angry with President Hosni Mubarak for his close alliance with the United States than for denying them their political freedom.

After reading a long list of lies and distortions published by the Turkish media, the gold medal is hardly surprising. From left to right, and from centrist to Islamist, the United States is raked over hot coals with odious comparisons to Nazi Germany.

The Middle East Media Research Institute has once again scored in bringing to our attention trends our mainstream media have ignored. It is difficult to detect the difference between what Osama bin Laden said in his 19 audio and videotapes since September 11, 2001, and what some Turkish journalists write. If anything, the Turks outvenom bin Laden.

Columnist Suleyman Arif Emre wrote in the pan-Islamist daily Milli Gazette: “As we know, Germany’s Hitler started World War II, and about 50 million people perished because of his ambitions. Bush is America’s Hitler. Like Hitler, he too has become a curse for the world. If the world’s sensible leaders don’t unite against Bush to stop him, a great number of people will die because of his ambitions.”

“Bush,” the venomous Turk continued, “who is an ally of the Zionists, belongs to the racist philosophy too. The beliefs of Bush’s evangelical church coupled with Jewish racism, which exceeds Hitler’s, are sufficient proof that the ‘Sharon-Bush duo’ is militants of the same fanatical philosophy. Hitler said he would establish a new order if Germany won. Bush is after similar invasions.”

Following Afghanistan and Iraq, President Bush’s map of invasions, Mr. Emre says, includes 22 additional Islamic countries. How did he reach this figure? Because Mr. Bush is carrying out a 5,000-year-old Zionist dream to conquer everything between the valleys of the Nile and Euphrates. Mr. Bush has already “blurted out the names of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”

Nuray Mert, another columnist for the center-left liberal daily Radikal, described Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as “one of the leading architects of the American project to push the world into chaos and carry it out in the most barbaric way.” Burhan Bozgeyik, in Milli Gazette, added the Bush administration is in the hands of the worst enemies of Islam. Their hate is so deep no amount of Muslim blood (spilled by them) satisfies them … even hundreds of thousands of dead seem little for them.”

The “evil triangle” — the U.S., U.K. and Israel — whose “hatred for Muslims has reached the point of madness, pretends to be Turkey’s ally, but in fact it is weakening her foundations and planning to destroy her. … The so-called ‘elections’ were nothing but the first step toward dividing Iraq.”

This would be hilarious if not for the incontrovertible fact it is believed not only by Islamist extremists but by countless millions of Muslim fundamentalists, including all who subscribe to Wahhabi tenets. And we only have ourselves to blame.

America’s public policy voice is pathetically defensive. It lacks credibility. Even Al Hurrah, the federally funded U.S. satellite feed to the Arab world has at times sounded too critical of the Bush administration. This, monitors reported back to Pentagon inquiries, was “to gain credibility.”

Burhan Ozfatura, a former mayor of Izmir and a columnist for the business daily Dunya, writes, “It is my sincere belief … the U.S. is run by an incompetent, very aggressive, true enemy of Islam, brainwashed with evangelical nonsense, a bloodthirsty team that is a loyal link in Israel’s command-and-control system.” The United States, he concludes, is the “biggest danger for Turkey, today and in the future.”

Anti-Americanism is a relatively new phenomenon in Turkey. Throughout the 1990s in Turkey, 60 percent of the people had favorable views about the U.S. and its policies. The 2003 Iraq war closed many minds. The mood began souring with the advent of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-leaning ruling party.

The low point came when the Turkish parliament rejected the U.S. plan to open a northern front against Iraq. A $6 billion sweetener plus more billions in credit didn’t change any minds. The U.S. 4th Infantry Division that was to spearhead the northern offensive was confined to the troopships offshore. Eventually, they sailed around the Arabian Peninsula and entered Iraq from Kuwait.

Turkish paranoia fed suspicions the United States wishes to create an independent and oil-rich Kurdish state. Turkish journalists convinced themselves, in turn, that Turkey’s restive Kurds would then try to secede.

Mr. Bush has reassured Mr. Erdogan time and again the United States is firmly committed to Iraq’s territorial integrity. But time and again, disinformation about U.S. intentions resurfaces courtesy of the wild bunch in the Turkish media.

Turkey’s bid to join the European Union has also lost momentum over Ankara’s reluctance to recognize Cyprus, an island nation Turkish troops invaded in 1974 to block a Greek Cypriot coup that sought union with Greece. EU says it’s a sine qua non. The Turks still occupy the northern third of Cyprus.

Negotiations for EU membership are expected to take 10 to 15 years — and the first session isn’t scheduled till next Oct. 3.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide