Archive for February, 2011

  Observing the Re-Ottomanization of Turkey

Posted by Chris van Avery on 28Feb11.

Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute is always worth reading to keep a finger on the pulse of changes in Turkey. In today’s Op-Ed he describes the man-on-the-street attitudes which represent a sea change from those of Attaturk’s secular republic.

In the past, actions considered offensive to Turkish national identity, such as support for outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, terror attacks, would have been a virtual casus belli for the Turks. Not anymore. Recent WikiLeaks reports have disclosed that Russia has been helping arm the PKK, producing barely a raised eyebrow from the Turkish public — a far cry from the angry protests that would have been expected in years past.

Today’s Turks are focused on taking issue with people and ideas they consider offensive to Muslims. While a negative reaction to perceived anti-Muslim sentiments is understandable from the Turkish people’s perspective, this new morality is based on a la carte morals and selective outrage: Turks take issue with perceived offensive behavior by Westerners against Muslims, but they give carte blanche to similar behavior by Muslims against Westerners or even against fellow Muslims.

The roots of this new selective morality lie in the transformation of the Turkish identity under the AKP. In decades past, the Turks considered themselves both Muslim and Western simultaneously, for they saw no conflict between these identities. Now, however, many Turks view the two identities as being mutually exclusive. Increasingly, many are siding with a politically defined “Muslim world” as opposed to the West.

Students of Turkey’s history will recognize this change not as something new, but a return to something old. Perhaps secularism was indeed a transient deviation from the norm in Turkey.

  Who’s Tackling Unemployment, Again?

Posted by Chris van Avery on 28Feb11.

The Las Vegas Sun runs a puff piece on the White House’s attempt to tackle America’s unemployment problem, and opens with this paragraph :

President Barack Obama has shown he is serious about wanting to find ways to create jobs, this time by recruiting an impressive roster of corporate and union executives to serve as nonpartisan advisers on the new President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Members include top executives from General Electric, Xerox, American Express, Citigroup, Boeing, Intel, Facebook, Comcast and Eastman Kodak to name a few, along with leaders of the AFL-CIO and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Why am I reminded of this?

  Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 28Feb11.

Libyan rebels gear for fight near capital
Anti-Gaddafi forces take control of northwestern Libyan city
Resigned Libyan Minister: We Will Establish an Interim Government in Benghazi
Security Council slaps sanctions on Gadhafi
Doctors report 256 died in Benghazi violence: ICRC
100,000 have fled Libya, UN refugee agency says
Libya escapees tell of looting in the oilfields
Clinton: US ‘reaching out’ to Libyan opposition groups
Libya: neither tribal nor Islamist
Arab League boss Moussa to run for Egyptian president
Egypt’s generals unveil reform package
Yemen’s parties to join anti-president protests
President Ali Abdullah Saleh vows to resist Yemen protests
Saudi King Orders Up Jobs
Why a king’s ransom is not enough for Saudi Arabia’s protesters
Oman police fire rubber bullets at protesters, two dead
Iraq PM gives govt 100 days to improve — or else
Iranian Protest Movement Calls for Demonstrations on March 1; Mousavi, Karroubi Reportedly Detained in IRGC Facility
Iran: Removal of Fuel Rods from Bushehr Reactor Unrelated to Stuxnet Virus
Jordan to give priority to peace process despite regional turmoil
Lebanon’s ‘sectarian’ govt flayed
Egyptian editor: Israel-peace treaty will likely be revised
Vogue fawns over the wonderful Assads
Tunisian PM resigns over protests
Six killed in DR Congo ‘coup bid’
China’s ‘jasmine’ revolution: police but no protesters in Beijing
China’s working poor not yet ready to revolt
Russia ready to hold drills with Ukraine in any format – defense minister
French foreign minister resigns
Silvio Berlusconi sex case witness has car torched
14 killed in Mexico bar attacks

Ruthless new breed of Somali pirates craves riches, not revenge
Preventing Piracy Begins on Land
Russia, Ukraine to sign deal on Russian Black Sea Fleet rearmament

Japan’s output up for third month

  Weekend News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 27Feb11.

Rebels lay siege to Gaddafi stronghold
Libyan gov’t announces increase in wages, food subsidies
Gaddafi’s son talks of negotiation, ceasefire in Libya
Ferry with Americans aboard finally leaves Libya
Russia condemns Libya over use of force against civilians
UN orders Libya abuse investigation
West to Isolate Gadhafi
Benghazi ‘caretaker’ government to prepare democratic election in Libya
Libya’s entire Arab League mission resigns over Gaddafi violence
Libyan ambassador pleads to UN: Save our country
Libya Power Void Raises Terror Fears
Egyptian demonstrators return to Tahrir Square hours after violent crackdown
Egyptian army apologises for beating Tahrir Square protesters
Egyptian constitutional committee proposes shrinking presidential term
Egypt proposes competitive presidential elections
Muslim Brotherhood Reject U.S. Intervention In Libya
After Mubarak: Egypt’s Islamists Respond to a Secular Revolution
Analysis: The plagues of Egypt
Yemen Protests Reach Largest Numbers To Date
Protests grow as bomb boosts Yemen tension
Two more die after protests in Yemeni city of Aden
Two tribal chiefs desert Yemeni president
Iraq ‘Day of Rage’ protests followed by detentions, beatings
Attack shuts Iraqi oil refinery
Policy Alert: Protests in Iraq
Bahrain king dismisses three Cabinet ministers
Bahraini protestors demand more rights, king slow on concessions
The Battle for Bahrain
Jordanians protest slow reform, warn time running out
Oman king reshuffles Cabinet
Explosion Of Gas Pipelines Threaten Explosion Of Iranian Regime
UN Concerned About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Ambitions
Iran to remove fuel from its first nuclear power plant
Iran Poised to Dominate New Middle East
Erdogan speaks out against UN sanctions on Libya
Three killed in clashes in Tunisia’s capital: Ministry
If the Saudis Revolt, Buckle Up
‘Syria evades IAEA request for access to nuclear site’
Israeli jets hit militant camps in Gaza
115 die in gov’t offensive on Somali militants
Man blows himself up with grenade outside Moscow supermarket
Russia to deploy units on Iturup, Kunashir Islands – defense minister
Why Russia Is Pressing Japan
Russian Rearmament: Moscow Fears China And Islamist Insurgents
Pakistan tells CIA it’s had enough
Pak arrests another US national, now on suspicion of espionage
Maoists Bring India to Her Knees
Smelling salts for China’s Jasmine dream
Pro-democracy leaflets released in North Korea
North Korea threatens to attack South Korea, US
Dozens injured as police, youths clash in Croatia
The price of food is at the heart of this wave of revolutions
The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world
How to bankrupt terrorism

Military Officials Dispute Claim Army Unit Was Directed to Manipulate Senators
In one of final addresses to Army, Gates describes vision for military’s future
Russian Duma ratifies U.S. Afghan transit deal

Russia confirms plans to supply Syria with Yakhont missiles
Syria and Iran agree to cooperate on naval training

US growth estimate revised down
Rising Oil Prices a Threat to US Recovery
Russia raises rate amid inflation

More than 200 certain to have died in New Zealand quake

Two-week measure may avert shutdown
States Should Use Constitutional Amendment to Rein in Federal Government

Islam and Politics in Egypt
Egyptian kiddie show: “Liberate Jerusalem from the disgusting Jews”
Islamic Jihad starts a full-time satellite channel today
With Libya in Turmoil, Concerns Grow Over Christian Minority
Gaza’s Islamist rulers hounding secular community
Rival clerics battle for control of seminary that inspired Taliban
Report: Indian Government Responsible for Attacks against Christians
Italy arrests 6 for stirring hate vs pope

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