In praise of a pundit who isn’t just talking out of his keister


After all my complaining, I thought I’d point to an example of a pundit who seems really to understand Turkey well. Harold Rhode’s assessment of the mood of the Turkish public tracks closely with what I’m sensing from talking to people here. He’s noticing just the right things to notice.

So, who is this guy? I’d honestly never heard of him before. Someone sent me the link; I opened it. I was impressed that he seemed to know what he was talking about, so I Googled him. Turns out I really should have known his name, because apparently, he’s

a long time Pentagon employee who is almost certainly a Mossad Spy/Agent of Influence. Rhode is a protegee of Michael Ledeen. Through Ledeen’s machinations Rhode and Larry Franklin represented the Office of Special Plans in a series of meetings with former SAVAK/Mossad double agent Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian who is widely considered close to and or working for MOSSAD. To make the meetings even more bizarre is that any Pentagon Official would do anything that involved Ledeen and Ghorbanifar since their last joint project was the Iran Contra scandal that divided our nation.

No, no, I don’t vouch for that at all: It comes from a source called Persian Carpet Guide, which does not appear to be, shall we say, fact-checked very scrupulously.

Further Googling reveals an article about Rhode titled, Another person whose name certainly deserves to be better known is Pentagon official Harold Rhode. So I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t know his name.

Anyway, whoever this sinister Rhode figure is, I give his views the official Claire Berlinski imprimatur.

There are 2 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Thatcher

    Fascinating stuff – thanks for posting this. Living and working in and around the UK, one’s Turkish friends tend to be part of a westernised, secular bent, and I’ve always been cautious of extrapolating this rather limited sample. If Rhodes’ perception is right, things are a little less disturbing than at first sight.

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  2. Profile Photo Editor

    It’s my perception too, Robert–I’m noticing all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle signs of this. This, in particular, is a very important point:

    How do we know this? Turks rarely confront others directly: doing so means shaming others, which can lead to disastrous consequences. They prefer to make opaque statements which do not directly question their opponents. It is often difficult, therefore, for non-Turks to realize what is actually taking place.

    Another cultural point that’s relevant here is the tendency for moods to shift extremely quickly–furious one moment, all forgotten and in the past the next. These two aspects of the culture make it almost impossible for most Westerners to figure out what’s going on here. I still can’t, certainly not at the personal level. I have very close Turkish friends, but basically, the way they deal with life remains utterly alien to me.

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