Thursday, May 15, 2003

Marshall on Turkey

How does Josh Marshall know that Paul Wolfowitz wanted the Turkish military to subvert civilian rule? That is what Marshall claims Wolfowitz said recently regarding the recent debate in Turkey over whether to allow the U.S. to use Turkey as a staging ground in the war with Iraq. Although Wolfowitz wanted the Turkish military to press the U.S.'s case harder, I can't find anything in the remarks that Marshall quotes indicating support for military subversion.

In his article to which his blog post links, Marshall also blanches at Wolfowitz's statements to the effect that if Turkey wishes to get back in the good graces of the U.S it should apologize for not letting us use its bases. However, in a more recent blog post, Marshall holds out hope for a new policy organization that will help make the Democrats more serious about national security.

How can one believe the Democrats when they say that they want to get more serious, but cringe when we take a disloyal ally out to the woodshed?

Update, 11:50PM -- A kind reader has brought to my attention some pieces indicating that Wolfowitz indeed hinted at subversion. Greater historical understanding of Turkey and its military's role as a liberal-secular force against Islamism would have helped me see that. However, perhaps an argument may be made for such subversion in a time of crisis, given the military's historical role in Turkey. The question is whether Marshall is correct in thinking that the periodic control of the military, which he admits has served rather than subverted democracy in Turkey in the past, will continue to do so. Marshall doesn't provide much of an argument that it won't; he merely seeks to appeal to liberal suspicions of military authority.


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