The Great Game: News You Might Miss

Ricochet, Ricochet. I take a day off, and you forget completely about Turkey. Hey, what you’re reading in the American news about this region, as far as I can see, is hogwash. And I don’t know what the Israelis are thinking; they seem to be working themselves into a lather because Erdogan delivered some tub-thumping speech in Cairo (toward which the Muslim Brotherhood was distinctly cool: Welcome to the real world, Tayyip. Didn’t do much good for Obama, either, and remember how I warned you: Turks aren’t Arabs?) And Israelis, chill! That’s just Tayyip. He flies in, makes a lot of noise, the ladies faint; he flies out, nothing changes. I promise. Just ask the Somalians. Or the Syrians. Or the Turks, for that matter.

The most astonishing thing of all is that everyone in the West–and Israel!–suddenly seems happy to accept two incompatible propositions simultaneously: 1) Erdogan defanged the military and 2) Turkey is a threat to Israel. No recognition that to the extent the former is true, the latter must be less true, so maybe it would be worth asking–which, exactly, is more true? By the way, did anyone in the US media notice who they locked up yesterday? The head of the navy’s southern command. I’m serious. Doesn’t sound to me like they’re planning a full-on naval assault just yet, so sit back, grab a beer, and wait for it all to blow over. 

And hey, anyone notice this story? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Go ahead, America, meditate on the essential nature of Islam.  When you’re done with the panicky debate about how many angels can dance on the severed head of an infidel, I’ll be happy to point out what’s really going on. You too, Israelis, put out some more cartoon videos for the benefit of the American viewing public–I agree that that’s about all they can handle. When you feel like talking to Turks, Israel, give me a call; I may be able to give you some advice about the language people speak here. Oh, wait, I gave it to you. Well, I did my best. 

So: Bushehr’s on line, Russian subs are in the region to defend their commie client regime, and Tayyip’s in Egypt, or maybe it’s Libya today, and that’s pretty convenient for him, because it means he won’t have to face any awkward questions about all these secretly taped recordings involving the head of the Turkish intelligence service and the PKK. (Oh, the irony of that last column! A man who really believes all of his own bull-honky. We’ve always tried to make peace with Oceania!) 

Anyway, that’s it for me on Turkey. I’m happy now to write about anything else, but frankly, I’ve been telling the world to pay attention to Turkey for years, and no one wanted to pay me to write about it. I’ve got a mile-high stack of rejection letters from editors who told me that they just weren’t that interested in Turkey–maybe I’d like to write about a more interesting place, like a country where the names aren’t so hard to pronounce? Now, suddenly, people are all worried about Turkey and they want to know what’s going on. Well, editors, I’m a professional. Anything you want to know, it’s a dollar a word, no negotiations, that goes for interviews, and I don’t give it away for free on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else. And if no one wants to pay me, to hell with it. I can’t keep defending democracies where no one is interested in the world as it really is, as opposed to their fantasies. That goes for you, Turkey, you, America, and you, Israel. I just can’t take the hysteria about Turkey all that seriously if you don’t believe it’s important enough to pay me to report on it.