Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Mirror Image Of A Certain Hairstyle

My intuition was piqued after a Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Russian fighter-bomber within Syrian airspace.  As I read about the Turkish response to the downing of the Russian jet, and to Moscow's protest of the incident, a pattern began to emerge.  For Turkey refused to apologize for the incident, insisting instead that the Russian jet had violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds without identifying itself.  But along with that excuse came a few Freudian slips as Turkish President Recep Erdogan revealed some of the true reasons for his anti-Russian animosity (and his probable true motives for downing the jet), namely, that he is upset that Russia is helping Syria oust foreign fighters who are being financed by the West to overthrow the government of Syrian President Assad.  It appears that when Washington enlisted Turkish help to cannibalize Syria, Erdogan was promised a rib or a thigh from the cannibal feast, and now he is seeing his chances of chowing down evaporating before his eyes.

Erdogan's response - his dishonesty and the impunity of his actions - reminded me of none other than Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination to represent the Republicans in the next presidential election.  Both men are narcissistic, reckless and impulsive, men of very strong ambition who boldly assert their right to do whatever they please and who show utter disregard for any possible consequences of their actions.  In this they are like the heads of many nations which have been Murdochified, NATO-ized, or neoliberalized by the West.  Men like Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott also come to mind.  But when I heard of what Erdogan had done, I immediately thought of Trump.  It seems that I am not the only one who sees similarities between the two.  Certainly, I am not the first.

So if anyone is wondering what life in the U.S. might be like under a Trump presidency, he or she would do well to study what's been happening in Turkey over the last several years.  Note especially the ways in which President Erdogan has tried to amass unilaterally overwhelming state power to himself, as well as his extreme intolerance to criticism.  Note also how in letting his grandiose self run amok, he has brought on himself consequences which he refused to foresee.  One of those consequences may be that Turkey faces a very cold winter without access to Russian gas.  Another consequence may be that the southern part of Turkey becomes a no-fly zone - as in, any unidentified Turkish aircraft that gets too close to the Syrian border may be standing into danger, even if it's still inside of Turkey.  Alternatively, consider that, with people inside of Turkey comparing Erdogan to Gollum, a wise and skillful agent outside of Turkey (such as another nation) could easily win the hearts and minds of Turks who are finding Erdogan to be rather burdensome just now.

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