Friday, July 5, 2013

Turkey's Erdogan Fearful of Morsi Ouster

Although Mohammed Morsi did take steps to consolidate control of the Egyptian army - he forced a few senior commanders out, he apparently did not go far enough.

For moderate Egyptians, Copts, the Israelis, and world in general, his failure to sack enough generals and replace them with a functional commissariat is a stroke of good fortune.

It also leaves Turkey's Islamist Prime Minster Erdogan hoping that his past moves have been sufficient to prevent the same thing from happening to him. He, however, may be OK.

Ergdogan has been busy purging the Turkish military since he came to power in 2002. I believe that it was 2007 when he had several senior commanders charged with plotting a coup. Turkey's military, a body steeped in the secular and conservative outlook of Kemal Ataturk, had deposed previous governments, and Erdogan was not about to risk having history repeat itself.

I personally strongly prefer that  the military of any country allow the people to make at least the first real moves to contest the destruction of their nation. Having the military take the first step sets an ugly precedent. Sulla's march into Rome was a portent of the far worse violence that would come to the Republic. Washington, no doubt well-read in Roman history, move decisively to head off the Newburg Conspiracy even though he knew that the Congress would not be able to appropriately compensate the veterans. In the case in which the destruction is being committed by elected officials that have the support of a dangerous majority though, there may unfortunately be no other viable option.

 Hugo Chavez, being a bizarre combination of true dolt and evil genius, knew that he had to get the Venezuelan military in line with his ideology and doing so was probably his only non-electoral success. Obama has been just as careful. He has promoted those who have agreed to acquiesce to the gutting of the US military and and forced any recalcitrant general and admirals out.

The twin Achilles heels of democracies are ideology and dependence. If the people can be subjected to  financial dependence on the government, encouraged to adopt an dysfunctional ideology (Dressed up as being for the benefit of the people), or a combination of the two, the result can be a long night of elected governments that do far more harm than good. In the case of Turkey, a resurgence of Islam (A true socio-political ideology as much as it is a religion) among the people served to set that nation on a dangerous path.

For example, there have been calls for the restoration  of an Islamic (Neo-Ottoman) world lead by Turkey and the return of the once- Byzantine Basilica Hagia Sophia to Mosque status.

Time will tell of Erdogan did a through enough job of making a fully-compliant Turkish military.

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