FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Erdogan Directed His Goons To Beat Up Protesters In Broad Daylight and America is Fine With That

Video from Voice of America surfaced midday on May 18th, showing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan watching his armed security detail attack peaceful protesters in Washington, DC from the safety of his black Mercedes.

As some outlets have reported, the order of events suggest Erdogan probably ordered the violence himself. Well, yes, of course he did.

Erdogan is the same would-be autocrat who ordered Turkish security forces to put down protesters trying to save a popular park in the middle of Istanbul during the summer of 2013. (Erdogan, a diehard fan of Joni Mitchell and Robert Moses, wanted to bulldoze Gezi Park and turn it into a shopping mall.) The aftermath of that crackdown left 22 dead and nearly 9,000 injured–many seriously.

The bloodletting during the Gezi Park protests sort of assured Turkey was nervously laughed out of consideration for EU membership. But Erdogan genuinely believes he’s on-track to oversee the reconstruction of the Ottoman Empire with himself as some kind of hybrid sultan-caliph-vizier–able to effortlessly liquidate any pesky Kurds and usher in the 21st century’s first eternal state. So losing Europe was really just a minor setback.

This isn’t the first time Erdogan’s crew has incited violence in the United States.

In 2016, while on another official visit, his intrepid security detail took turns assaulting and battering pro-Kurdish protesters outside the Brookings Institution. Erdogan’s goon squad also roughed up reporters who were dumb enough to try and do their jobs around the leader of a country ranked dead last in press freedom.

It’s also possible, as some have alleged, that Erdogan’s well-dressed hockey-brawlers belong to Turkey’s Grey Wolves–a super-nationalist group of terrorists and paramilitary fascists who delight in murdering Kurds, marching in support of their man, and who happen to have stolen their name from fans of the podcast Chapo Trap House in what appears to be a Machiavellian attempt at sowing confusion among easily-stoked leftists and other enemies of Turkish nationalism.

But, let’s try not to miss the Belgrad forest from the selvi trees here. Western governments allow violence from partisans of their client states as a matter of course–and America is no exception.

Here’s the archetype:

The Persian Shah’s personal shock troops attacked protesting West German students during a state visit to Berlin in 1967. When the West’s brutal BFF arrived, he was met with cries of “Shah, Murderer!” and chants in support of Mohammed Mossadegh, the former president and social democrat who was knocked off by the CIA and replaced by the Shah in 1953. The cops watched for quite awhile before finally intervening–on the Shah’s behalf.

Here’s what happened just a few months ago:

Outside of AIPAC‘s yearly confab, members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), an FBI-designated terrorist organization, beat progressive Jewish youth with flagpoles while calling them “kapos” and “Nazis”. The cops looked on for awhile, but eventually pulled the JDL away. AIPAC attendees, for their part, were horrified by what was happening outside. So down they came, lanyards dangling, to cheer the violence and join the chorus of slurs before returning to watch a keynote address from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Now, let’s be clear, the events above don’t take any of the heat off Erdogan. Rather, they prove a particular appetite for street violence that can’t simply be attributed to foreign ultras. Yet just because the West has a terrible track record of standing up to their client states and aircraft carriers doesn’t mean it should remain what we accept as normal.

But let’s not act too surprised if and when Erdogan ditches this diplomatic row all but unscathed. He’s America’s man in Ankara. And his single-minded penchant for power-by-bloodying-up-his-enemies is known and accepted by the shot-callers in both parties–John McCain’s latest act of kayfabe notwithstanding.

The semi-sultan will ultimately hide his stooges behind diplomatic immunity. The Trump administration, unable to ignore the violence, will act as weak as Democrats and issue a few sternly-worded memos filled with empty disapproval. But it ultimately won’t amount to anything.

This is who Erdogan is–America, too. And after a few news cycles, all the relevant players will be back in each others’ good graces. Jimmy McNulty’s famous axiom holds true: ‘[E]verybody stays friends. Everybody gets paid. And everybody’s got a fucking future.’

In any event, those horrified or surprised by Erdogan’s conduct would do well to remember what Asma “Desert Rose of Damascus” Assad once said after a harrowing vacation with the Turkish President:

Erdogan is just an “uncouth thug” who has only read one book in his entire life.

Hmm. Kind of sounds familiar.

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

April 22, 2019
Melvin Goodman
The NYTs Tries to Rehabilitate Bloody Gina Haspel
Robert Fisk
After ISIS, a Divided Iraq, Wounded and Grief-Stricken
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange as Neuroses
John Laforge
Chernobyl’s Deadly Effects Estimates Vary
Kenneth Surin
Mueller Time? Not for Now
Cesar Chelala
Yemen: The Triumph of Barbarism
Kerron Ó Luain
What the “White Irish Slaves” Meme Tells Us About Identity Politics
Andy Piascik
Grocery Store Workers Take on Billion Dollar Multinational
Seiji Yamada – Gregory G. Maskarinec
Health as a Human Right: No Migrants Need Apply
Howard Lisnoff
Loose Bullets and Loose Cannons
Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
Dreaming in Miami
Graham Peebles
Consuming Stuff: The Polluting World of Fashion
Robert Dodge
Earth Day: Our Planet in Peril
Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
T.J. Coles
The Battle for Latin America: How the U.S. Helped Destroy the “Pink Tide”
Ron Jacobs
Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street
Dean Baker
Fun Fictions in Economics
David Rosen
Trump’s One-Dimensional Gender Identity
Kenn Orphan
Notre Dame: We Have Always Belonged to Her
Robert Hunziker
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.
Paddy Wagon
Brett Wilkins
Jimmy Carter: US ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’
John W. Whitehead
From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State
Nick Pemberton
To Never Forget or Never Remember
Stephen Cooper
My Unforgettable College Stabbings
Louis Proyect
A Leftist Rejoinder to the “Capitalist Miracle”
Louisa Willcox
Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the Need for a New Approach to Managing Wildlife
Brian Cloughley
Britain Shakes a Futile Fist and Germany Behaves Sensibly
Jessicah Pierre
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
George Burchett
Revolutionary Journalism
Dan Bacher
U.S. Senate Confirms Oil Lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary
Nicky Reid
The Strange Success of Russiagate
Chris Gilbert
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Todd Larsen
The Planetary Cost of Amazon’s Convenience
Kelly Martin
How the White House is Spinning Earth Day
Nino Pagliccia
Cuba and Venezuela: Killing Two Birds With a Stone
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Guadalcanal and Bloody Ridge, Solomon Islands
David Kattenburg
Trudeau’s Long Winter
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail