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Total number of comments: 48 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:45)


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  • An Islamic Reformation? There have been Many
    • That view is very bizarrely stagist. So you think if Islam disappears, the region will go fascist? Modernity is not separated from the stranglehold of Islam in the region. You have Islamist regimes armed with exactly those fascistic tools of surveillance.

      And there is slavery-like conditions in Qatar and executions in Saudi Arabia.

      You seem to suggest mercantilism happened because Christianity disappeared? So do you think the medieval culture was the idyllic time in European history?

  • Turkish Pres. Erdogan cites Hitler in case for Presidential System
    • Dear Professor,

      I understand the intellectually aloof style that is necessary in your field. However, Erdogan doesn't want a US Presidential system.

      The man is the sole decider in the country. The prosecutors are his paid men. There is absolutely zero independence for the judiciary. Corruption cases cannot be brought against him or his cronies. His son if law is the Energy minister.

      Turkey looks more like Azerbaijan or Tukmenistan than anything. Iran has more contention for power than Turkey does.

      We all know elections are better for dictators than outright one party dictatorships. They are more stable.

      Ultimately Erdogan doesn't want anything like a US presidential system. That would take too much power away from him.

      So why don't we call a spade a spade for once?

  • Putin: Turkey supports Radicalism & We may have to Respond, hence Tourism Ban
    • Krmcn, I almost always agree with your comments a 100%.

      What I cannot figure out is what the end game might be. Is it the overthrow of Assad? And if it is... What is the purpose?
      Is this another "only Israel matters" move where that little country's interests are furthered at all costs? Is the whole thing just to cut the aid to Hezbollah?

      Why work so hard just to push Russia and Iran out of the region while risking the deaths of 1000s of Western civilians by maintaining a territory of terror?

  • Turkish Elections: Will the Country go Full Putin?
    • Weak article. Offers no real insight into the developments in the country...

  • Defying Turkey, US airdrops arms to Kobane Kurds
    • Richard... Guess I was reading the signals correctly. Apparently the pashmarge plan is collapsing.

      I'm from Turkey and I know Kurds are as divided as Turks when it comes to major issues.

      How bizarre is this situation? Kurds in Turkey protest and die for Turkish intervention. Turks don't want to intervene. Kurds in Kobane don't want the Turks to intervene.

      US pushes Turkey to allow Barzani's troops help out. Turkey agrees and now Kobane is refusing it.

      Middle East is a hard place to understand isn't it? :)

    • It isn't surprising that Turkey prefers Barzani to the PKK/PYD. Barzani is ultimately a tribal leader. His nationalist aspirations will be limited.

      Dear professor... What is your sense about how willing the Iraqi Kurds are about sharing their oil wealth with their poorer neighbors in Turkey and Syria?

      My guess is Turkey keeps playing the divide and rule game wirt the Kurds that it has always played. Support the Islamist Kurds against the PKK in the 80s and 90s... and now support tribal Barzani against the nationalists again in the 2010s...

      Different players, same game. :)

  • Turkey's Caution on ISIL War: "It's far away for them but very close to us"
    • Complete BS. Turkey supported Al-Nusra just to take out Alawite Assad. Countries foreign policy became an extension of Erdogan's Sunni bias.

      Turkey became Arabized and tribalized in the AKP years. Everybody knows this.

      Don't forget that the idiot government allowed for 10s of diplomats be captured by IS in Iraq. We don't know what happened to them and the government BANNED MEDIA from reporting on it.

      Worse is to come for my dear idiotic country.

  • Arabs without God
  • Turkish Court asks Interpol to arrest 4 Israeli ex-Generals for Gaza Aid Ship Murders
    • Unfortunately Turkey does not hold the moral high ground in anything anymore.

      We know these cases are always politicized. However, when you have a prime minister who calls out to protestors "Come back you spawn of Israel," your intentions as a country become clear.

      Israel is a politically disgusting country... but so is Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. I don't think anybody is any better than one another in the whole region.

      Governments attacking their own people, economics systems based on modern day slavery, apartheid... you can find all despicable human behavior in the region. I'm not even getting into the religious idiocy of the majority of people in the region and how it affects the politics...

  • Anthony Bourdain on Palestinians: "The World has visited many terrible things on" them, robbed of their Humanity
    • What a great man. Enjoys life and its simplest pleasures. And he has a conscience.

      How many people on TV can you say that about these days?

  • Mass Protests, Strikes in Turkey over Erdogan's Neoliberal Response to Miner Deaths
    • Moving to Turkey where workers protest these outrages?

      Don't get me wrong. I think Americans are too docile. Sure. But at last big mining disaster the families of dead American miners got about 1.5 million dollars each.

      In Turkey families will get around 500 dollars per month as compensation. Turkey is cheaper but believe me that is not a lot of money for some of the widows who need to bring up their kids etc...

      Oh and Erdogan's words to a protester running away was "Come back where are you going you semen (son of ) of Israelites?"

      I'm surprised he hasn't blamed the mining disaster on US or Israel yet...

    • Needn't have become a political issue? Well you are wrong on that point. The opposition party CHP tried to bring the issue to the parliament last year and it was refused by government MPs.

      It is EXACTLY what politics should be about. This is about extreme exploitation and wild capitalism.

      But the response is not only neo-liberal. It shows the primitiveness of Turkish political culture. In what country do you see a PM punching people in the face after a mining disaster distresses a town?

  • The Paradox of Turkey's Victorious Erdogan: Authoritarianism burnishes his 'democratic' credentials
    • Could we get a little deeper commentary on Turkey here?

      "Cemaat is the perfect specter of this threat; a shadowy organisation using parts of the state to undermine the elected government."

      Cemaat was AKP's ally and its "modern" face in the West. The English speaking representatives in DC try to make Gulen look like a Civil Rights leader while in truth he was always more akin to Jerry Falwell.

      Turkey suffers from experts who were paid to support AKP in writing and well-meaning idiots in the West who never got the true nature of Islamism.

      The basic truth is AKP and G├╝len have been very successful about curtailing media freedom. When they could they bought media organizations. When they couldn't they extracted massive fines from those who criticized them.

      All along leftists, Kurds and secular who warned about Gulen and Erdogan got jailed or fired from their jobs.

      And few really gave a damn in the West.

      These articles are too shallow to get the true gist of the situation. Perhaps Dr. Cole, you could get commentary about Turkey from Turks themselves?

  • Top attempts by Dictators to Shut down Twitter in Mideast (including Turkey's PM Erdogan)
    • Travis,

      The problem is in Turkey the military shut down left wing movements with each military coup and while the governments failed to take care of the trauma of urbanization the Islamic sects helped out the urban poor.

      Much like Korea, Turkey used religion as the opium of the masses until... that religious feeling started dominating politics.

      And don't forget... educated people become somewhat secular in the Middle East. And Muslims are self-righteous.

      In Turkey if you are successful and don't pray you're evil.
      If you are a beautiful woman and don't cover your hair you are a whore.
      If you resist the government and protest it is because you haven't been brought up with Islamic values and you're an atheist/terrorist.

      This is how Islamists think... and "think" might be too much a verb for these masses.

      So yes you are right... Turkey is not ready for a democracy. Democracy undermines progress in Turkey. Unfortunately the military was problematic as well. But at least their fascism was limited to security affairs.

      With Erdogan it is about whether you should drink, how many kids you should have, whether you can defend a park, whether a woman should kill herself for wanting an abortion etc. etc.

      Oh and this leaving aside a dependent judiciary, corruption, allowing Syrian terrorists into the country... The list is endless.

      That's what you get when an ignorant bully and his crew rules a country for 12 years.

  • The Decline and Fall of the Turkish Model
    • "A decade ago, AKP opponents warned about this and were damned as white Turks, Kemalists, and crypto-fascists. Perhaps they were, but they now also appear prescient."

      Bravo KRMCN,

      The so called Turkish model and its success depended on the flow of money into the Turkish market. That's why the country leads the world in largest current account deficit/Total GDP.

      A country that doesn't produce much, leave aside culture and civilization had been duped by cheap credit and all the success was attributed to a semi-educated idiot that is the Prime Minister.

      Primitive political cultures hold individuals solely responsible for success and failures. The country used to be obsessed with a dead man, not it is obsessed with a live one of a much much inferior quality.

  • After Defending Pot, Obama has to Pardon Medical Marijuana Growers He Jailed
    • Mr. Indecisive in Chief.

      Very good point Dr. Cole.

      This seems in character for Mr. Obama though... He doesn't believe in Guantanamo but doesn't bring that up anymore.

      Believes in healthcare for all but botched it up after years and years of preparation... and we have no price controls.

      Pretends to be a liberal but has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any president and is dying to prosecute Snowden...

      After 6 years of his rule I still have no idea what he stands for...

  • Turkey Purges Officials in Bid to Quash Corruption Probes
    • Within this fight between the Islamists, the secular, modern voices are the true loss of the country.

      Women, children, minorities will suffer as we go down this road.

      Erdogan looked like a hero to minor issue loving Europeans when a few legal changes allowed non-Muslim minorities certain rights. But how about the police wearing those white berets this weekend in imitation of the murderer of Hrant Dink?

      Can you imagine the French police going to a protest with NAZI flags after a Jew is killed in a racially motivated crime? Because that white beret stands exactly for that.

      And the "white" Turks... I'd be considered one. My grandpa was an orphan and had 5 siblings brought up by his poor mom.

      It is not like Turkey had a landowning aristocracy (not possible in Islamic land ownership) but middle classes are called "white" Turks somehow. This is not hatred of the elite. It is hatred of meritocracy and education.

      If Turkey keeps going down this route we'll be the Pakistan of the 21st century...

  • Turkey's Fierce Battle on the Religious Right
    • JTMcPhee,

      You're absolutely right. We all live under problematic regimes to varying degrees. Unfortunately it is the responsibility of the people to wake up.

      I think the US government has become largely dysfunctional when it comes to dealing with big problems. (healthcare, education, infrastructure) However, there is at least some push back from the people.

      Today Obama sort of/kind of back away from giving NSA his total support (my guess is not much will change).

      In Turkey, most people don't protest unless they are getting really really poor.

      No liberties? Fine.
      Are armed foreign men walking around in Antioch? Fine.
      Is violence against women getting worryingly high? Fine.
      Are prosecutors asking for Al Qaeda related arrests fired? Fine.

      How can we trust the electorate who currently seem to care about nothing but economic stability??? The country that attacks its own middle class becomes a joke and there is nothing to do about it.

      The masses will keep voting for this autocrat unless he becomes completely cuckoo. Why? Because he monopolized the media and most people don't go as far as educated people do to search for information...

      But I become the elitist, anti-democrat when I point out these very obvious facts...

    • It is tiring to see journalists to ask questions as if they are idiots... Will Turkey be run by Sharia? No. Anybody should know that. Of course the problem is Sharia means "the law". So it doesn't matter what you call it.

      Here is my problem with these hopeful academics...
      "one whose identity and culture are not Western imports"

      Please explain to me from a cultural point of view what do we mean by a "Islamic democracy"?

      Here is my logic...
      Democracy is a method of ruling a population. Religion in the modern sense if a collection of beliefs and rituals that organize societies.

      But of course we know Islam is more than that... Historically there is no clear separation between state and religion in the sense it existed between Vatican and European rulers.

      Islam is a religion. If Islamic democracy means a place where women inherit half as their brothers do, a place where adultery is a punishable crime etc... Well then that does not fit the definition of modern democracy.

      If these do not happen and individual rights are fully respected... Than where is the "Islamic" part of this democracy? It simply will be a modern democracy!

      In that sense Islamic or Christian or Jewish democracy are idiotic definitions. We try too hard to categorize countries and make models out of them.

      In Turkey almost every threat to individual rights comes from the Islamist discourse. Separation of girls and boys schools and dorms... Highest alcohol taxes in the Europe (except Sweden) and punishing the middle class in any way the government can.

      - Can I openly protest the prime minister? No.
      - Can I say religion is a travesty? No.
      - Can I challenge government's plans for urban areas? No.
      - Can I ask where my taxes go in a transparent manner? No.

      And when I do what do I hear? We are foreign agents in the hands of Israel... OK sure... Turkey looks like a great candidate for an "Islamic democracy," whatever that means...

      Turkish middle class is under attack by a populist tyrant who will feed the poor with bread, circuses and propaganda while at the same time enriching himself and his ministers.

  • Turkey's Secretive Gulen Movement Challenges its Prime Minister as Religious Right Splits
    • 1) Yes. Although the 1980 coup was directly supported by the US.
      2)Secularize meaning what? You mean they got an education? What does it mean to be forced to secularize? They were banned from praying? They couldn't go to Mecca? This is just silly.
      3) Yes. Are you American? Have you heard of state churches? Because they have one anywhere from Russia to England.
      4) What is Kemalist ideology exactly? Not very analytical if you're just gonna throw concepts out there.
      5) Basic access? It was the state that forced families to send girls to school. Headscarf ban? Yes.
      6) Not quite. At least not at all periods. But the army was drastic about secularism.
      7) In the 1980s. Not before. So you think you can blame all Kemalists (which I am not) for the military coup then?
      8) Examples???
      9) Yes... It's not like the Fez was the national attire in Turkey. Read your history it came to Turkey in the 19th century.

      Seyh Sait rebellion was a separatist incident. Check out the role the English played. Oh and do you really want to judge the events of pre WWII by today's standards? Because if you do maybe we should take a look at... Britain, France, Russia, United States against... well Indians, Maghreb, Muslim minorities and native Americans respectively.

      State is a organization of violence. However, I agree the treatment of Kurds under the Turkish Republic is a long one of oppression.

    • Oh sorry! I didn't mean to defend them in that way. Many of my dad's friends lost hearing in their ears due to beatings and another disappeared.

      I was born in 1981 and I never experienced anything like I did during the Gezi protests. So I am a a little annoyed when someone says Erdogan is better... It depends on who is at the end of the stick...

    • Well, everyone including you Dr. Cole was excited about AKP in the beginning.

      We, seculars, always said people who shouted damnation to West and liberal values every day since they woke up cannot change overnight.

      But he was a useful tool for Western capital.

      And we should gently remind ourselves CIA officers were present at the Green Card application of Fethullah Gulen. One wonders why...

    • Really? What is the track record of Kemalists?

      I don't remember them gassing me on the streets when I tried to save a park is all I'm saying.

  • The End of the Turkish Model? Erdogan's Paranoia and Authoritarian Streak Threaten his Legacy
    • Great post Dr. Cole.

      Here is my problem with it. What exactly is the Turkish model? Western media kept talking about this for years and made the AKP popular.

      Are we supposed to be a model for capitalism to the region because the population is majority Muslim? You must understand that most educated Turk have no aspirations to be BIG BROTHERS or MENTORS to anyone.

      This is a mission that Western thinkers have bestowed upon us without us ever asking for it. Frankly USA wants to use Turkey as mini-empire tool because it doesn't know what to do about the ME. Our answer before the AKP was "Thanks but no thanks. This is way too messy for us."

      I wish we could still stay out of it.

  • Pakistani family testifies to empty room on Hill about US Drone that killed Granny
    • This is great GrumpywithoutCoffee.

      I should brush up on my Greek Mythology :)

  • No Woman, No Drive (Saudi Satire Video)
    • Brian,

      Trying to make a snark comment but sadly.... yes they were pretty much locked in their houses.

      Athenian women were clearly second class citizens and were though to be boring/ lesser human beings by men. Thus the pederasty and male to male love.

      In fact men who were not interested in homosexual love used to get mistresses from Ionia across the Aegean.

      Hope this helps your dichotomous world of East vs. West.


  • Sanders: Climate Change more Menacing than Terrorism (Germanos)
  • Iranian President Rouhani acknowledges Holocaust as Crime against Jewish People
    • The day any mollah or President or any of the Arab leaders can add atheist, Buddhist etc. into those remarks about killing of any human I will start taking them seriously.

      The New Pope is a step ahead of all these folks.

      Let's hope we get some leaders who represent individual rights in the ME as well.

  • Has Military Suppression of Political Islam ever Worked?
    • Thanks for that comment. Of course since I don't speak Arabic I cannot know the discourse in those countries.

      And I can tolerate AKP's conservative politics to the extent that they do not infringe on individual rights.

      And considering the lack of free speech, the submission of the legal class to the AKP etc... there is much to be worried about in Turkey.

      What became intolerable was the brutal suppression of very peaceful protesters around the country.

      AKP might be modern in some ways but its cadres are so full of primitive minds that their gut reaction is not much different than Ghaddafi or Saddam's.

      That's what we get for being ruled by rude high school graduates...

    • While the analysis is correct one has to point out a few things...

      1) Unlike Soviet Union, the Arab regimes in the ME never had an atheistic plan. In fact if I am not mistaken (And Dr. Cole please correct me on this) Turkey was the only country in the ME whose laws were in no way connected to Sharia. The family law was taken from the Swiss code etc.

      2) The ME leaders used religious rhetoric whenever it fit their needs.

      3) Even Turkey after the death of Mustafa Kemal they made a big deal about the religiosity of the man. He was a deist at most and a freemason. Yet propaganda about his religious beliefs goes on. Turks were never pushed to question the silliness that is organized religion either.

      4) And as another example from Turkey... It was the military coup of 1980 that tried to increase the role of Islam in the country by controlling it more tightly. This was part of American plans of creating pro-Western Islamists across the region... the so called "Islamic Green Belt Theory".

      So what did the so called oppressive military do in Turkey? They opened 1000s of state run religious schools. What did the graduates do in 20 years? They took over the system, imprisoned the generals and created a country that many educated Turks started to see as intolerable to live in.

      We saw this discontent at the Gezi protests.

      So the problem is perhaps not that the military could not control Islamists but they tried to pacify them too peacefully. That fascistic Turkey under the generals still had a country where the education system created the minds that run the economy. Exclude the gas and oil exports Turkey exports more commodities to the world market than the totality of Middle Eastern countries.

      But hey maybe political Islam will create a wonderfully creative societies! Allah willing!

  • A Tale of Two Bombings: Libya too Weak, Egypt too Strong
    • I don't deny any of that. The army ruled the country indirectly in the 90s.

      By displacing a lot more than 900K (Some say 2-3 million) Kurds they created an underclass whose labor could be exploited.

      I also agree about the Armenian issue. All nations should talk about the crimes in their past.

      The problem is... The army's collective dictatorship is now replaced by the dictatorship of AKP.

      In 2002 we were hopeful that EU talks would lead us to a move positive democratic outcome... Unfortunately Merkel and Sarkozy killed those dreams to a large extent.

      And I am sorry to say but I care more about what I can do and say in my country today than what happened to the Armenians 100 years ago. We cannot prefer to talk about the pains of the dead while the very much alive are suffering.

      AKP has used these little democratic improvements to please the Western media while they created a very hostile environment against doctors/lawyers/unions/women/the secular/the military/journalists... etc...

    • We live in a country where calling the other side "infidel terrorists" since they defend the separation of mosque and state gets you a minimum 20%.

      Sounds rational to you?

      If Bush got votes by scaring Americans that "the terrorists were going to get you," Islamists in Turkey kept scaring people by saying seculars wanted to get their daughters naked. (And they scared people of communism earlier in the 70s by telling them all communists wanted was to sleep with their wives or take their cows away)

      And don't forget that sometimes when you vote for your interests the end results are not optimal in the long run. Everybody enjoys low taxes when they are supported by privatizations that destroy the future budgets of the country.

      Americans have had no problem with massive government indebtedness as long as they paid low taxes.

      So no... I don't believe in the rational voter.

    • I surely hope so. Yet we are ruled by a government that thinks doctors should not take care of anti-government protesters when they are wounded. They call protestors terrorists.

      And considering what the democratically elected BJP did to India'a Muslims... again I would suggest democracies don't work well in very uneducated countries.

      I am not even considering the democratically legitimate governments of Israel who have been torturing Palestinians for decades.

      Yet, I don't know what the alternative is...

    • Dr Cole,

      While I respect your ongoing belief in parliamentary elections do you believe that people in the ME, as rational voters choose their leaders in consideration of the long term well being of their countries?

      In Turkey, the average education is 6.5 years. It is slowly improving but any statistic you get from the country will show you how much civil rights and liberties were hurt by the Islamist AKP.

      Just today Reporters Sans Frontiers report shows Turkish press freedom is down again. Our press is number 154 out of 179 countries surveyed. That is down from 98th is 2005.

      I never liked our coup prone military. Yet, between two evils I am not so sure anymore.

      Care to comment?

  • Dear Royal Baby: We Americans apologize for our Revolution; please be our Absolute Monarch
    • Great!

      I don't always agree with you about the ME Dr. Cole but this is very close to my heart. Thank you heartily.

  • Learning the Wrong Lessons from Tahrir Square: Erdogan Assaults Taksim in bid to break up Protests
    • My problem with your analysis Dr. Cole is different.

      I always ask myself why American liberal find it so hard to openly support pro-freedom movements in the Middle East. Or do you want us to smoke tobacco, pet our camels and go pray?

      The urban youth in Turkey want Erdogan's hands off women's bodies, they want to romance freely. They want to have fun, be free.

      They also want decent paying jobs. They want everything and they should. Some that I spoke to are 17 and 18.

      -Erdogan's cops killed 4 people
      -They covered their helmets so that their murders cannot be brought to court
      -Erdogan constantly threatened peaceful protestors. He said "I can barely keep my 50% at home."

      If the US government killed its own citizens and the President threatened Civil War while at the same time curtailing civil liberties would you be so cool and calm in your analysis?

      Or would you give a little more voice to these concerns?

      I know you are passionate about American domestic affairs. Be a little more supportive of our fight against Islamo-fascism. (No I'm not a neo-con but the term fits the mindset of AKP)

  • Egypt's War on Satire: Prosecutor Summons Cairo's Jon Stewart
    • Egypt is on the first steps of what has happened in Turkey in the last decade.

      In that country AKP was never called fundamentalist. After all they are a member of NATO and peddlers of Western interests in the region.

      However, it is a country where hundreds of students were arrested and their academic careers brought to an end for peaceful protest.

      It is a country where the Prime Minister regularly sues cartoonists for criticism.

      It is also a country where veteran journalists can no longer write for mainstream media because at some point anybody with any guts left criticized the government and lost their jobs as a result.

      Wait for 5 years and the same will happen in Egypt. The police will be brought under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Students and workers will be regularly beaten and arrested.

      This is not a question of whether Islam and democracy can coexist. However, in no Islamic country has there been social structures that limit the power of elected leaders. As AKP limited checks and balances in Turkey so will Morsi in Egypt.

      Humorless and fascistic days await the Middle East. So more the things change, the more they stay the same.

  • What Would a Rand Paul Libertarian Foreign Policy Look Like? (Cole @ Truthdig)
    • "he defines radicalism as support for traditional, if Draconian, laws such as the death penalty for apostasy (a law to which evangelicals with missionary ambitions in the Muslim world particularly object)."

      I am sorry Dr. Cole but this is the problem with American liberals.

      Dr. Cole, Did you ever consider that most educated, smart people in the ME would also consider death penalty for apostasy "draconian". Or are we all pro-death blood suckers with no notion of tolerance.

      It seems to me that you would be the racist in your pretense "tolerance of the other" because you see the masses in the ME as unchanging, stagnant. Surely apostasy laws affect more than the missionaries no? How about that little Christian girl in Pakistan? Or people killed for criticizing apostasy laws who are Muslim? You must surely know that an extensive take on freedom is speech including on religious affairs in on the wish list of most educated Middle Easterners.

      Not that I like his vision of America but you keep calling Rand Paul racist but would you not agree that most smart people in the ME will prefer an aloof American President to your smart looking imperial presidents.

  • Republicans Promise to take US Health Care in Direction of Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Just a quick note here from my country.

      Turkey has passed a universal health care law 3 years ago. I live in the US but I was pleasantly surprised by how it works when I went for a visit.

      It seems any smart developing country government knows that taking care of the population pays dividends in the long run. What a sad society the US is to be brainwashed to act against its own interest all of the time.

      For reference:
      link to

  • Greek Lessons for the Arab Spring: Majid
    • I don't mean to defend Western civilization whose superiority to the rest of the world came through the use of better organized violence...

      However, the ancient Egyptians were an incredible civilization did not leave us a philosophical school as did ancient Athens. What political culture do you think we inherit from Ancient Egypt?

      At the height of Islamic civilization Greek philosophy and thought were influential. I think the author brings and important point to attention when he argues that such sources need to be revisited if we ever hope for inspiration for democracy in the Middle East as well as anywhere else in the world.

  • Lyons: Islam, Women and the West
    • I don't agree with the writer of the article at all. Islam in principle limits rights of women much like Christianity does. It is only through questioning religion that real equality can be achieved.

      That being said genital mutilation predates Islam and is more about traditions in the Middle East than Islam. In Egypt it is common. In Turkey it is non-existent.

      Much in practice in the Middle East can be dated back to Babylonia or Assyria.

  • Washington Actions on Palestine don't Differ from Gingrich's Words
  • Theocratic Dominance of the New Egypt may be Exaggerated
    • Super390,

      I am a socialist. My father's friends were tortured and made deaf, blind by the military regimes in my country. Who was that army supported by? (Answer: Cold War US)

      If you spoke my language and saw what is happening in Turkey however, you would see how ALL NEWSPAPERS shy away from criticism today. In that past we could not criticize the MILITARY POLICIES. Today we cannot criticize ANY POLICIES of the government.

      I would never defend the army. However, things are getting worse, not better. So the Turkish model is unfortunately a joke. Until we can get true separation of power in my country, nothing can get better. Free judiciary! Free media!

    • Turkey used to have a relatively free media. Now there's barely anything left. What you have to fear is not ISLAM but the use of Islam to pursue fascistic policies. Turkey's become like Russia except it produces wealth rather than digging it up. People are satisfied with the economy but human rights have barely gotten better. There is more journalists in prison per capita in Turkey than anywhere else.

      Ignorant people are easy to fool. The average education in Turkey is still 5 years. I suspect it's worse in Egypt.

      Egyptian revolution is a massive failure in the making for human rights and democracy.

    • Dr. Cole,

      The question is can you expect a true revolution from these people elected? Will these people change the power structures in society? Will they care about outrageous levels of female circumcision in the country? Allow more union right?

      Won't a revolution without a social revolution just recycle the people in places of power without changing the structures? Do you truly believe these people will make things better for women, students and workers of Egypt?

      If not, was a secular dictatorship any worse?

  • Top Ten Myths about the Libya War
    • For the first time in a long while I disagreed with you about the intervention in Libya professor. I don't disagree that Qaddafi could be brutal in the East but it shouldn't have been the imperial West who tried to assassinate him in the past decades that deposed him.

      Unlike Egypt where a pro-Western dictator was deposed it seems by an active youth that included workers and students, I am still unsure of who it is that will be replacing Qaddafi and his sons in Libya. I suspect it will be another corrupt regime that will possible be less stable until it can buy enough tribal alliances in the country. If that will be the case I will be able to say it was no business of anybody to replace Qaddafi. I hope I am wrong and this operation deposed the world of an aging and brutal dictator.

  • Eissenstat: Libya and Turkey
    • Dear Super,

      I really doubt you have any idea what you are talking about. I am from the country and for your information Erdogan is not a socialist. He is not Chavez or Morales. He has enriched his cronies in the last decade while finding legal and illegal ways of suppressing people who defined themselves as secular. There has been a university rector who committed suicide in prison. There are hundreds of people in prison for the last 3 years awaiting a trial that cannot begin.

      You think Turkish economic success is thanks to this government? No. It is due to inflow of capital from the Gulf region following 9/11, a cheap but disciplined labor force with very little rights.

      Turkey should not submit to the US, but democracy and individual rights cannot be overlooked in the name of anti-imperialism. If it served his interests be sure Erdogan would be sucking up to Pentagon on a daily basis.

    • While I also disagree with the analysis I am dumbfounded by your comment about ataturks vanities. What does that mean? Do you have any idea that todays strong economy depends on the education investment and state building of that period? Islamists are only usurping the natural growth of a vibrant society that turned into a lackluster democracy. In reality the real strength of the turkish bourgeoisie still lies in istanbul.

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