Monday, November 09, 2009

Resurrecting the Caliphate

Due to some scheduling and technical difficulties, my regular Friday column on Antiwar.com appeared today.

In it I touch on the recently begun - and adjourned - show trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić in light of the disturbing initiative by the Turkish government to engage in neo-Ottoman foreign policy aiming to "reintegrate" the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. I understand why many in Ankara may wax nostalgic for the times of Mehmet II or Suleiman, but there is much less enthusiasm for this in either of those three areas.

Unlike Turkey's FM Ahmet Davutoglu, I think it's precisely Ottoman rule that is to blame for many conflicts and hatreds in these regions over the past century or so. Even if we take that out of consideration, any sort of Ottoman revival clashes directly with the Kemalist ideology that underpins the modern Turkish republic.

Finally, making Davutoglu's vision a reality is impossible without the force of arms. But if he believes that modern Turks are the military equivalent of the Ottomans, he's sorely mistaken. And if the neo-Ottomans honestly think that Turkey can fill the vacuum that is likely to appear with the withdrawal of the American Empire, they are putting the cart before the proverbial horse, and forgetting where their own power and influence came from.

14 comments:

Firefly said...

Keep going...

Where did the Ottoman's power and influence come from?

Did you mean slavery? Religion?

Gray Falcon said...

Erm, no, sorry I left that unclear. I was referring to the power and influence of modern Turkey, which derives solely from its position as the principal U.S. ally in the region.

Suvorov said...

So, how many identified bodies from Srebrenica are there?

Gray Falcon said...

Good question. A book was published last week that purports to list every victim of the war by name and location, but I haven't been able to obtain it and I haven't heard anything about its treatment of Srebrenica. I'll keep my ears open, though.

Suvorov said...

Thanks. Could you name that book please? Sorry, I hope I am bombarding you with questions too much. I was just following the discussion under Wilcoxon's article and there were two very different figures used. Obviously, the "official number" is far off, but I just wanted to know what the latest REAL count is. Also, is it correct that 3,000 or so bodies of Serbs murdered around Srebenica are identified by name? Thanks again.

Gray Falcon said...

Of course I can. I'm just surprised, since you of all people don't usually derail my topics :)

The book that was scheduled for a November 4 debut was "Bosanski Atlas Zlocina" (Bosnian Crime Atlas), published by Mirsad Tokača's research center.

As for the Serb victims of the war in that area, one source I've heard of is "Lična karta Srebrenice" (Srebrenica's ID Card), written by Milivoje Ivanišević. Regretabbly, I haven't been able to obtain a copy of either.

Suvorov said...

Thanks. Not to derail the topic again, here is an article precisely on it:

http://rs.fondsk.ru/article.php?id=2569

Gray Falcon said...

Thanks - I missed that one somehow. Glad to see it confirms some of my hunches.

Suvorov said...

Can I ask you to do something? Under Andy Wilcoxson's article which you cited, you will see some comments posted by James Luko. Please google his name. The first link you should see will be the Srebrenica Genocide Blog, where you will see the following about James Luko:

"It is important to note that James Luko does not posses academic skills, experience and credentials that would enable him to judge..."

Now return to the discussion under Wilcoxson's article, where a certain person who claims to be a Serb from Krajina named Branko Zivanovic writes:

"...is an opinion of Andy Wilxocson - who, by the way, has no academic backing and no experience of an international judge"

Finally, please recall your face being placed next to a pile of skulls, and tell me if it's just me or are we thinking the same thing? Thank you.

Gray Falcon said...

Definitely thinking the same thing.

Suvorov said...

Have you seen James Luko's recent response? But, once again, that kind of behavior should remind you that you became too important to ignore. They know their case is FACTUALLY weak, and thus they feel the necessity for ad hominem attacks.

Gray Falcon said...

Suvorov, this "Branko Zivanovic" appears to be the alias of the proprietor of SGB. I'm glad to see that Andy and James both debated him on his own terms, and absolutely destroyed his "arguments", quickly reducing him to ad hominem invective that is his standard fallback position.

Suvorov said...

I take it he is also the troll "Editor" you were responding to recently.

Gray Falcon said...

Indeed.