The Kurdish Issue and Turkey’s Future

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(Photo Credit: Svenwerk’s Photostream)
Ian Lesser‘s most recent “On Turkey” brief for the German Marshall Fund raises a number of important issues surrounding the United States’ relationship with Turkey.
Most importantly, Lesser notes that those seeking to understand Turkey’s emerging regional role should examine Turkey’s internal political dynamics more closely.
The most significant risk to Turkey’s ability to serve as a stabilizing influence in its neighborhood is not its support for a diplomatic track with Iran or its frayed relations with Israel (though the rhetoric concerning the latter case is concerning), but rather its fragile domestic political system and the threat of a vigorous Kurdish insurgency that could push Turkey back toward its isolationist posture of the 1990s.
As Lesser explains:

Turkey faces the prospect of renewed internal security challenges, and these will be consequential for Ankara’s relations with the West. The upsurge in attacks by the PKK and related groups and the renewal of Turkish military operations against Kurdish guerillas in northern Iraq raise the specter of a return to the turmoil and conflict of the 1990s. This time around, the PKK will not have a sanctuary in Syria, and will have very insecure bases, at best, in Iran and Iraq. But recent attacks in Istanbul and elsewhere suggest that Turkey could face a new challenge of larger-scale urban terrorism.
Unlike the rural insurgency and counter-insurgency of past decades, an extension of Kurdish violence to urban areas could have more serious implications for a Turkish society and an economy increasingly dependent on foreign investment. Experience in many settings tells us that terrorism can have an isolating effect. In the worst case, urban violence could lead to something Turkey has so far been spared — inter-communal conflict between Turks and Kurds. To be clear, this is an unlikely prospect, but no longer an inconceivable one.

Turkey’s future impact on American interests in the Middle East will depend first and foremost on its ability to reach a stable political equilibrium between the AKP government and the secular elite led by the military, while at the same time crafting a political solution to the Kurdish problem.
Whether Turkey can resolve these internal issues will ultimately be much more significant for the United States than Turkey’s present policies toward Iran and Israel.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

39 comments on “The Kurdish Issue and Turkey’s Future

  1. Cee says:

    THE FIVE 9/11?s
    Life is a funny thing. I am still waiting for Spielberg to make a movie called Lavon. This was back during the 1950s. Israel didn

    Reply

  2. Cee says:

    And here is the paradox: Though support for Israel among Americans, and especially Jewish Americans, remains high according to recent Gallup polls, historical evidence says the answer to The Question is

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    “”If you are another country watching this, what do you conclude? That Obama wants to jettison Israel? or that Obama is not to be trusted, period?” — if this ‘other country’ is Israel then perhaps yes, but I’m sure the rest are no doubt just watching to see who is going to blink first. ” (rc)
    No need to wait. Obama already blinked when he deplored his own action. He is already a laughingstock.
    Bibi’s not going to give Obama anything but gestures. Bibi will stall until the midterms cut the knees out from under Obama. Nobody else will give Obama anything either. Wait and see.
    That’s what happens when you are Freddo.

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  4. Cee says:

    W.E.B.
    The neo-cons are still trying to sway people. I was reading something about Patraeus and Max Boot over at Mondoweiss.

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  5. nadine says:

    “He’s not going to make any progress with Iran until he dissolves this NPT issue with Israel. ” (rc)
    I have a news flash for you rc: Obama is not going to make any progress with Iran, period. Ahmedinejad is laughing at him and spitting in his face and boasting of his nuclear prowess and making new friends. Obama’s not going to make any progress with Syria either.
    Obama has merely convinced the entire Middle East that he’s a “weak horse”. He only gets tough with Israel, which is like trying to scare an enemy by kicking your own dog. Your enemy will just think you are a doofus. Obama thinks he’s some kind of grandmaster when he’s actually playing checkers instead of chess.
    Did you hear what King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia said to him in the White House the other day? “You are a good and honorable man”. I bet Obama is so stupid he thinks that was a compliment! If you don’t get what it really means, let me translate it into Godfather terms: “You’re a real nice guy, Freddo, and everybody likes you.” It means, “you are such a weakling even the camels laugh at you.”
    As for your al Jazeera mouthpiece, he has the usual Arab definition of human rights: dead Arabs bad. Dead Jews good. Dead Americans good. You can enlarge it to Dead Muslims bad (unless in service of jihad, in which case, Dead Martyrs good). Dead infidels, good, very good.
    Once you understand the definition, all the wailing about everybody else’s “double standards” makes sense: They have the standard reversed! how dare they defend themselves when we attack them! Their duty is to die!

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  6. rc says:

    This article covers many points on this issue:
    —-
    The roots of Israeli exceptionalism
    By Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti
    http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/06/20106146372913751.html
    An American academic once told me: “Many people in the Islamic world think America does not believe in human rights, but they are wrong; America believes in human rights indeed, the problem is the American definition of human.”
    In other words: the American definition of ‘human’ is not a universal one. This is not purely an American characteristic; every culture faces the challenge of broadening its cultural limits and universalising its moral norms.
    But among all human cultures and ideologies, the Israeli case is unique in its double standard.
    Criminality wrapped in self-righteousness and aggression immersed in victimhood are a few striking characteristics of the Israeli reality and discourse. . . .
    A moral burden
    Many political thinkers and politicians have recently realised that Israel is becoming a liability and a strategic burden for the US. It has always been a strategic burden. But the problem is much deeper. Israel is becoming a moral burden on all those who have an ethical conscience, including Jews who value human dignity and social justice.
    Even those who spent their lives advancing the Zionist cause are today realising the moral paradox of their life’s achievement. Henry Siegman, a German-born American writer who served as the executive director of the American Jewish Congress from 1978 to 1994, wrote in Haaretz on June 11, 2010: “A million and a half civilians have been forced to live in an open-air prison in inhuman conditions for over three years now, but unlike the Hitler years, they are not Jews but Palestinians. Their jailers, incredibly, are survivors of the Holocaust, or their descendants.” . . .

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  7. rc says:

    To ‘Team Nardine’…
    Your analysis is all a touch too complex … I’m sure Obama would just like to move things along a bit and try and separate out Israel from NPT recalcitrant Pakistan, India and North Korea.
    He’s not going to make any progress with Iran until he dissolves this NPT issue with Israel.
    “If you are another country watching this, what do you conclude? That Obama wants to jettison Israel? or that Obama is not to be trusted, period?” — if this ‘other country’ is Israel then perhaps yes, but I’m sure the rest are no doubt just watching to see who is going to blink first.
    And without an apology to Turkey for assassinating nine Gaza blockade busters it is going to be hard to find any local meaningful friends when the crucial decisions come to a head — as they will do eventually.
    As for any comment by the Saudi dictatorship: when I hear they are going to let women drive, have elections and introduce representative democracy, then I’ll listen to their comments.
    No doubt Obama’s bowing to the Saudi monarch showed due respect to the majority owner of the USA, well at least until China opened an account in bonds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Israel’s Netanyahoo is serving the coffee behind closed doors to this son of Ham!
    I’d suggest you and your team all stop with the personal attack and start addressing the issue: Israel does not need atomic weapons. Period.
    Drop the stiff neck crap and bow to world opinion! You might actually get some of the real respect you desperately crave.

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  8. nadine says:

    “Some NPT arm twisting going on?” (rc)
    More like Obama trying to vote “Present” again.
    Here’s the order of events:
    1. Obama promises Israel he won’t sign an NPT document that singles out Israel.
    2. At the NPT review, the other countries insist the document should single out Israel but not even mention Iran. At the previous NPT review, Bush refused to sign such a document, so there was no document produced. But Obama signs the new document, which singles out Israel.
    3. The American representative to the review “deplores” the document Obama just signed.
    So first you promise, then you break your promise, then you deplore your own action. I think Obama thinks this is clever, or balance, or some such thing. I call it weak and ridiculous. If you are another country watching this, what do you conclude? That Obama wants to jettison Israel? or that Obama is not to be trusted, period?
    Barry Rubin cited this private quote from a senior Saudi diplomat: “From our perspective, America and Israel are like two members of one family. If you are willing to treat them like this, what are you ready to do to us?”
    I can’t say I blame the Saudis for thinking like this. I would too, in their shoes.

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  9. rc says:

    Some NPT arm twisting going on?
    —-
    “WASHINGTON

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  10. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    The Turkish Felicity Party is a far right group with no seats in the Turkish Parliament. They have no credibility.
    Your claims about Bush and Chechnya are questionable, but more importantly they are irrelevant as Bush is no longer the President and the neo-cons are no longer in power.

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  11. Cee says:

    W.E.B. writes:
    I wonder if the Turkey-Kurd situation will become like the Moscow-Chechnya situation.
    If certain people have anything to do with it.
    The leader of Turkey’s Felicity Party (SP) says US and Israel are main financial and military providers of the Kurdish terrorist group PKK.
    “Not a single day passes without Turkish soldiers being killed in attacks by the PKK terrorist organization which is funded by US, Britain and the Israeli regime, “said Recai Kutan on Saturday during a visit to Malatya in the eastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir.
    The Turkish politician further warned of plots by the US military services to split up the country and added some documents belonging to the US army proved such schemes existed.
    The recent killings of Turkish military forces by the Kurdish separatists in the eastern Anatolia has frustrated Turkey’s military that at one point ordered its troops cross into the Iraqi territory which it claimed was used as a hideout by the Kurdish rebels.
    This from the Guardian
    The Chechens’ American friends
    The Washington neocons’ commitment to the war on terror evaporates in Chechnya, whose cause they have made their own
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/08/usa.russia

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  12. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    “WEB, your own words support me”
    – nadine
    Nothing supports you but your fellow hate mongers who are obsessed with fighting about Israel on the internet.
    ———————-
    “Russia got peace and quiet, i.e. its policy worked.”
    – nadine
    Russia, did get peace and quiet, i.e. its policy worked. That in no way supports you.
    ———————-
    “Not a word about “unrestrained Russian aggression.”
    – nadine
    Not the words “unrestrained aggression.” The fact that I don’t repeat myself like a robot does not support you.
    ———————-
    “Not a peep of condemnation.”
    – nadine
    The point of my post was neither to condemn nor praise Russia.
    ——————–
    “Just a dry “killed many tens of thousands” (most estimates are over 100,000)”
    – nadine
    So which is my comment, “dry” or “praise”? Also, you cropped my comment.
    ———————
    The only player you have condemned for “unrestrained aggression” is Israel.
    – nadine
    “Condemned” is a bit of a distortion. Regardless, the thread is not about Israel, so your bringing it up merely shows that you are angry about your drubbing in that thread and lack the respect for this blog to stay on topic.

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  13. nadine says:

    WEB, your own words support me: “They killed many tens of thousands of Chechens over land which Russia invaded in the past, and Russia was able to get the peace and quiet it wanted. ”
    Russia got peace and quiet, i.e. its policy worked. Not a word about “unrestrained Russian aggression.” Not a peep of condemnation. Just a dry “killed many tens of thousands” (most estimates are over 100,000). But hey, whatever, it worked.
    The only player you have condemned for “unrestrained aggression” is Israel, which could have used Russia’s methods to obtain “peace and quiet” but never did. Speaking purely from a realpolitik perspective, I think Israel would have greater peace and quiet if it had leveled Jenin or Khan Younis with heavy artillery (which would have been extremely easy for the IDF to accomplish, and would have kept Israeli troops safer than sending them in on foot).
    In the Mideast, civilized restraint just makes you look soft and emboldens your enemies. Not that I wish Israel abandon its restraint; I just wish the rest of the world to stop scapegoating Israel and judge it fairly.

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  14. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    “Paul, WEB explicitly praised Russia’s results as “being able to get the peace and quiet they wanted”, after condemning Israel for “unrestrained aggression”. Russia by implication just did what they had to do. So a hundred thousand died, or maybe two hundred.
    I was merely pointing WEB’s hypocrisy and double standards. By any objective measure, Israel has been far more restrained and made far more of an effort not to kill non-combatants.”
    -nadine
    You lie again, nadine. I by no means praised Russia. My comment was: “They killed many tens of thousands of Chechens over land which Russia invaded in the past.” In your hate-filled mind, burning to get revenge on me because I call you out on your bigotry, you somehow interpret being an invader who “killed many tens of thousands of Chechens” as “praise.” Your bigoted rabies is blinding you.

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  15. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    @ Paul
    lol Yeah, I pretty much knew from the posters on this blog that every single issue is going to be turned into an Israel vs Arab blog. nadine is merely one internet warrior on the Israeli side. I’m sure that most of the thread is already about Israel now. :p

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  16. nadine says:

    Martin Kramer has a good summation of the current state of the Mideast:
    ” In the Middle East, power is a zero-sum game, domination by a benevolent hegemon creates order, and the regional balance of power is the foundation of peace. It

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  17. nadine says:

    “Yes, obviously the Russian leveled Grozny as everyone knows that the majority of victims were civilians.” (WEB)
    Paul, WEB explicitly praised Russia’s results as “being able to get the peace and quiet they wanted”, after condemning Israel for “unrestrained aggression”. Russia by implication just did what they had to do. So a hundred thousand died, or maybe two hundred.
    I was merely pointing WEB’s hypocrisy and double standards. By any objective measure, Israel has been far more restrained and made far more of an effort not to kill non-combatants.

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  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Du Bois,
    what Nadine (and WigWag) tries to say here is that
    if you don’t write 1 000 000 posts in advance at
    TWN, explicitly condemning Syria, Lebanon, Saudi
    Arabia, Al Quadea, Hamas, Hizbullah, Allah,
    Muhammed, The Quran, Barack Hussein Obama, North
    Korea, Myanmar, Egypt, Zimbabwe, The Devil,
    Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Turkey, and so forth in a
    very passionate voice, as well as China vis a vis
    Nepal and Taiwan; what the Russians did in
    Grosny;, what the Srilankese government did to the
    civilian population during their attack on the
    Tamil Tigers what Teheran does to it opponents;
    and finally Norway’s and Japan’s brutal treatment
    of the whales and the seals in the oceans and on
    the polar ice etc. etc………..
    … if you don’t write this MILLION of post
    unrelated to Israel BEFORE criticizing anything
    the Israeli government does – and if you forget to
    mention every single issue mentioned above WHILE
    criticizing Israel, well, then you are a damned
    hypocrite and you have no right to criticize
    Israel and if you do so you are in bed with the
    Jew-haters or most likely an Anti-Semite.

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  19. rc says:

    Without discounting the geo-political issues, I think one can also dig a bit deeper for Kurdish exceptionalism which has led to hostilities with surrounding peoples.
    Suggest researching into the Yazidi sect — often described (rightly or wrongly) as devil worshipers.
    e.g. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazidi
    “The tale of the Yazidis’ origin found in the Black Book gives them a distinctive ancestry and expresses their feeling of difference from other races. Before the roles of the sexes were determined, Adam and Eve quarreled about which of them provided the creative element in the begetting of children. Each stored their seed in a jar which was then sealed. When Eve’s was opened it was full of insects and other unpleasant creatures, but inside Adam’s jar was a beautiful boychild. This lovely child, known as son of Jar grew up to marry a houri and became the ancestor of the Yazidis. Therefore, the Yazidi are regarded as descending from Adam alone, while other humans are descendants of both Adam and Eve.” (Ibid.)
    One might also consider the Stoning of Du’a Khalil Aswad ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning_of_Du%27a_Khalil_Aswad ) as an example of the primitive justice system in place there today. However, they are not alone in this fundamentally misogynous honor killing behavior which runs through most of the ME.
    Why would Israeli interests would be involved? Apart from the general anxiety exhibited since the formation of the State of Israel in 1948 about the legitimacy (or otherwise) of their origin myths, one could simply assume the age old axiom: “the enemy of one’s enemy is a friend”. In any case they both share some wacko ideas if looked at from a modern scientific perspective.

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  20. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sand, Jul 02 2010, 12:06AM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The Kurds have been a big issue since we invaded Iraq. A few things.. they were repressed by Saddam, they always wanted an independent Kurdish state, and control of over their oil resources, and they also think that parts of Turkey and Pakistan belong to them and should be in their desired Kurd State.
    Going to back to “The Clean Break” written for Netyanhau..the idea there was 1) remove Saddam and “break-up” (turn it into something like statlets) Iraq as any kind of power center in the ME and for use as a launching base for eventually taking down Iran and 2) even possibly install one of the US friendly Jordan ruling relatives or minor princes as ruler of Iraq and 3) the Israelis would help the Kurds get their own state then Israel would get a gas and oil pipeline thru Turkey or Jordon straight from the Kurds.
    The Israelis were in Iraq arming and training the Kurds all along during our invasion and occupation of Iraq. But…in 2004 Turkey and Pakistan both finally took exception to Israel aiding the Kurds who were crossing their borders and carrying out attacks and bombings. Then also Turkey in 2005 began to take a stand on Gaza and the Israeli occupation which Israel didn’t like either. The real Turkey- Israel split has been simmering for a long time. Only Turkey’s relationship with the US prevented it from erupting sooner.
    The Kurds PKK is a listed terrorist group and it’s no secret that the Israelis have given them help in exchange for…the usual. Also according to news reports the US had a ‘camp” in the Kurd sector where they ‘held” the MEK, another terrorist group dedicated to overthrowing Iran, oddly enough supported by the Israelis and neos in the US like Bolton and Feith who tried to get the MEK taken off the US terrorist list. Exactly why the US set up a day care center for the MEK instead of prosecuting them as terrorist since they have killed a bunch of civilians including Americans is well..guessable…wink, wink.
    The Kurds are important because they are shit stirring in Turkey and Pakistan, hand in hand with the Israelis. Because Iraq is still unstable as hell and because the PKK + the Kurds + Israel + Turkey will for some people hopefully result in a big blow up or ‘incident’ that will draw in Iran and other axis of evil errant countries like Syria so Uncle Sugar Daddy can be induced to get involved in another war in the ME.
    Chaos, shit stirring,terrority and resources grabs and populations transfers in the ‘fog of war’.
    The Clean Break” was to “Realign” the ME where Israel would become both the dominant military and ‘economic’ power and “be equal” to the US power in the ME…..to do that they wanted to go at each target, Iraq, Iran, etc courtesy of the US military, like felling domino’s …but that hasn’t worked.
    The Israelis like to “piggyback” ..as in,use some group with a goal and hitch a ride with that group to accomplish their own goal…with the usual quid pro quo…the Israelis run interference and promote the group to it’s US superprotector and the group in turn helps the Israelis get what they want.
    The Israelis did this with India, using the Jewish lobby to help them get the US to send them industries and jobs and to approve them for nuclear energy plants in exchange for allying with Israel…but somehow the Israeli ‘friendships’ don’t seem to last long and go sour. The ago old frog and the scorpion problem no doubt.

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  21. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    “Well, yes, after they leveled Grosny with heavy artillery, and sent special forces killing and torturing across the province. You know that “unrestrained aggression” you accused the Israeli of? The Israelis don’t deserve it, but the Russians do. Read up on both conflicts and count the casualties – estimates are up to 200,000 for the two Chechen wars of the last 20 years, the vast majority civilians.”
    – nadine
    Yes, obviously the Russian leveled Grozny as everyone knows that the majority of victims were civilians. If this is all you can share, then you have much to do to improve your ignorance of both this conflict and the Israeli conflict you dragged into yet another thread.

    Reply

  22. rc says:

    Concerning times …
    I recommend this (below) — it may appear off-topic, but (a) Ralston Saul has a good thinking mind that can deal with complexity; and (b) he sets out a sound hypothesis on the changing times with us today — which includes the emergence of Turkey and Brazil as much as Canada and Australia which he specifically refers to. It deserves its own thread but I’ve submitted it here because of the serendipity principle. He starts speaking about at about 7:00 into the video.

    John Ralston Saul: Freedom and Globalisation
    (08 Jun 2010)
    Longtime outspoken critic of globalism and what he calls the “rationalist elite”, John Ralston Saul argues it’s time for a big shift in our political and corporate thinking. Despite the promise of a shiny new world order of globalism for the past forty years, he argues, 19th century European ideas of progress borne out in the industrial revolution continue to dominate the direction of the world.
    To a packed house at Melbourne’s RMIT Capitol Theatre, Ralston Saul argues that the worldwide reliance on and faith in globalism has led to war, financial meltdown and a failure to find solutions to important challenges such as climate change.
    Along the way, he disputes some of the fundamental tenets of globalism such as the diminution of the nation state. He asks why, despite the promise of a global community, nations such as Australia and Canada have only survived the GFC on the back of national industries such as mining, and questions the culture of managerialism promulgated by universities worldwide.
    The event was hosted by Melbourne Writers’ Festival in association with The Sydney Writers’ Festival and Melbourne PEN Centre.
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2010/06/08/2919936.htm

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  23. Carroll says:

    Yes indeed.
    JULY 2, 2010
    Are scholars becoming too scholastic?
    Posted By Stephen M. Walt Thursday, July 1, 2010 – 1:38 PM
    I’m back from my mini-break and digging out emails and correspondence, so I don’t have an extended commentary today.
    One piece in my mailbox did catch my eye, however, from the June 2010 issue of Perspectives on Politics. For those of you who aren’t political scientists, PoP is a relatively new journal, founded eight years ago by the American Political Science Association. It was created in part in response to a bottom-up protest movement within the discipline known as the “Perestroika” movement (“Perestroika” was the pseudonym of the anonymous list-server who got it started). Although primarily motivated by a desire to defend methodological pluralism, one of the movement’s related concerns was the “cult of irrelevance” within academic political science. In my judgment PoP has, been a partial corrective to that tendency, and it often features articles that engage big political issues from an academic perspective.
    In any case, the current issue has a provocative article by Lawrence Mead on “Scholasticism in Political Science.” Mead argues that academic writings about politics are increasingly “scholastic,” which he defines as being increasingly specialized, preoccupied with methods, non-empirical, and primarily oriented to other academic literature instead of engaging real-world issues. In his words:
    Today’s political scientists often address very narrow questions and they are often preoccupied with method and past literature … Scholars are focusing more on themselves, less on the real world. … Research questions are getting smaller and data-gathering is contracting. Inquiry is becoming obscurantist and ingrown.”
    This sort of complaint is hardly new, of course. Hans Morgenthau offered a similar critique way back in the 1950s, when he warned of a political science “that is neither hated nor respected, but treated with indifference as an innocuous pastime, is likely to have retreated into a sphere that lies beyond the positive or negative interests of society. The retreat into the trivial, the formal, the methodological, the purely theoretical, the remotely historical — in short, the politically irrelevant — is the unmistakable sign of a ‘non-controversial’ political science which has neither friends nor enemies because it has no relevance for the great political issues in which society has a stake. History and methodology, in particular, become the protective armor which shields political science from contact with the political reality of the contemporary world. Political science, then, resembles what Tolsoi said modern history has become: ‘a deaf many answering questions which no one has asked him.'” (Dilemmas of Politics, 1958, p. 31).
    Morgenthau’s Olympian denunciation was offered without a lot of supporting evidence, but Mead’s warning is accompanied by an analysis of every article published between 1968 and 2007 in the American Political Science Review. You might get different results if you looked at different journals (i.e., the “scholasticism” of the APSR was one of the complaints of the original “Perestroikans”), but Mead’s complaints are consistent with a lot of my own impressions of how the field is evolving. As Mead shows, the issue isn’t method per se; it’s the tendency of many scholars to ask smaller, less significant, and less controversial questions and to produce what he describes as “analyses of jewel-like precision that … generate only minor findings and arouse little interest beyond specialists.” This is accompanied by an aversion to topics that might make a scholar visible outside the academy — or god forbid, controversial — because that might screw up your shot at tenure or get your criticized in print.
    This tendency is not universally true, of course, and I’d argue that the willingness of younger scholars to take up blogging as a form of public engagement is a prominent counter-tendency. Could it be that younger scholars are just as bored producing “scholasticist” works as many of us are reading them, and that they find blogging far more fulfilling than adding another (largely) unread article to the catalog of academic journals. And if that’s the case, what does it tell us about the priorities and values of contemporary academe?

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  24. Paul Norheim says:

    I think your question is valid, Sand.
    Why the Kurds right now? Only weeks after the
    flotilla incident and the Turkey/Brazil/Iran
    agreement?
    As for Turkey’s relation with Israel, Ben Katcher
    confirmed in his post that “the rhetoric
    concerning the latter case is concerning”.
    My concern is that also the Brazilian-Turkish
    agreement concerning Iran is “concerning” in
    Washington DC.
    We live in concerning times, concerning the Turks,
    and we should especially be on high alert
    concerning the Kurds.

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  25. Sand says:

    I’m sorry I should be responding to the article above.
    Question. Why all of a sudden are the Kurds such a huge issue? I’m trying to search for some article in the international press or even a heads up from ‘Patrick Cockburn’ on why I should be especially concerned about the Kurds at ‘this’ point in time?

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  26. ... says:

    johnh – i think jewish supremacist is a good description for nadine and captures the same insane mindset of the white supremacists… of course they had a much position 60 years ago then today, and the same situation is what israel is facing until it comes to terms with its own version in the jewish supremacist ideology…

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    I have no problem in Jews being proud of their accomplishments. And I won’t quarrel even when they exaggerate. However, there is a more general phenomenon whereby minority groups sometimes outperform the dominant culture, not just Jews, but also Sikhs, and others as well. East Asians and Armenians, for example, have done pretty well in America, too. So “Jewish genius” is not unique, nor is it indicative of a “chosen people.” But if they want to believe that, I’m more than happy to humor them. Everyone should feel good about themselves and their culture.
    But I draw the line when pride crosses into supremacy, a feeling of superiority and a sense of entitlement to dominate, deprive and oppress others based on race, ethnicity or religion.

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  28. Sand says:

    “…I use the phrase “Jewish supremacist,” which evokes White supremacists, people who were also driven by racial and ethnic venom and hostility…”
    ——————
    Hmmm… it’s also been evoked by the Jewish ‘media’ establishment too… ‘gleefully[?]’ published in the Commentary Magazine for — [I hope NOT] — the justification of “…domination and oppression…” wars?
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/jewish-genius-10855

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  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Just ignore Nadine”
    On this blog??? Thats like trying to ignore a fart in a phone booth.

    Reply

  30. ArasA says:

    “nadine” back on the business 🙂
    I thought she/he would make better statements after
    she made non-sense statements last time in another
    topic. Looks like not! Just ignore Nadine

    Reply

  31. JohnH says:

    …: I use the phrase “Jewish supremacist,” which evokes White supremacists, people who were also driven by racial and ethnic venom and hostility. It also alludes to “chosen people,” the meaning of which has been perverted by the supremacists to justify domination and oppression.

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  32. JohnH says:

    Yes, Nadine, there is evidence. Israel is working with the PKK to conduct terrorist raids inside Iran. Seymour Hersh and Reese Erlich reported that.
    Now that Israel has taken umbrage at some of Turkey’s positions, it would be very easy to retaliate using the PKK to conduct terrorist attacks on Turkey. After all, one of the attacks occurred the same day as the Mavi Marmara hijacking.
    Coincidence? No, a message being sent.
    In any event, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to inflame Turkish public opinion against Israel, another deft move by Jewish supremacists to insure Israel’s self destruction.

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  33. ... says:

    what does one call someone who has whipped up nothing but hostility and venom towards erdogan and turkey to a great extent? is there a word as openly hostile as ‘anti-semite’ that can apply to nadine here, as its certainly applicable…

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  34. nadine says:

    Having whipped up anti-Semitism, Erdogan is now claiming the Israelis support the PKK. He’s also calling his CHP opponent a Jew-lover.
    This is no more evidence for anything than Hitler’s accusations in Mein Kampf.

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  35. JohnH says:

    Israeli terrorists being used as proxies against Turkey? Could be.
    “Last weekend, in what seemed to be a thinly-veiled reference to Israel, Erdogan declared that ‘the Turkish nation knows very well on whose behalf the terror organisation works as a subcontractor.’ Sedat Laciner, head of a Turkish think tank, the International Strategic Research Organization, was quoted by Turkey

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  36. nadine says:

    “They killed many tens of thousands of Chechens over land which Russia invaded in the past, and Russia was able to get the peace and quiet it wanted. ”
    Well, yes, after they leveled Grosny with heavy artillery, and sent special forces killing and torturing across the province. You know that “unrestrained aggression” you accused the Israeli of? The Israelis don’t deserve it, but the Russians do. Read up on both conflicts and count the casualties – estimates are up to 200,000 for the two Chechen wars of the last 20 years, the vast majority civilians.
    The Turks killed about 40,000 in their last round of fighting with the PKK, and have a similar “peace and quiet” for the moment. By all accounts, Turkish Kurdistan needs a helluva a lot more humanitarian assistance than Gaza. But it all goes to Gaza of course, where the NGOs are reduced to claiming that people are suffering “food insecurity” because they receive aid.

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  37. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    This is an excellent blog post and I was thinking the same thing.
    Ideally, Turkey, Iran and Iraq would all let their Kurdish populations secede on their lands and merge into a Kurdistan nation. That’s not going to happen in Turkey though.
    Turkey’s second best option is to have an extremely adept spy program that infiltrates and destroys the PKK. I am by no means an expert in this area, but it seems that there will always be a large amount of the Turkish Kurds who want to secede and that failing to get it, they will always resort to force. So force will have to constantly be applied to prevent them from leaving.
    I wonder if the Turkey-Kurd situation will become like the Moscow-Chechnya situation. Moscow took heavy losses with the apartment blasts, but they did eventually get peace and security. They killed many tens of thousands of Chechens over land which Russia invaded in the past, and Russia was able to get the peace and quiet it wanted.

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  38. nadine says:

    An Open Letter to Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdo?an
    Special to IPT News
    July 1, 2010
    Editor’s note: The writer is a Turkish-American citizen and a tenured academic. He submitted this column to the Investigative Project on Terrorism to express his frustration over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s movement away from the West and toward Islamist influence. That includes his work with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to avoid sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program and Erdo?an’s aggressive leadership on the recent flotilla designed at breaking the blockade on Gaza.
    Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister. You have accomplished in eight years what no other contemporary Turkish politician could achieve. You have successfully entered the final stages in your efforts to transform Atat

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