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Apr 6

Written by: Diana West
Monday, April 06, 2009 6:56 AM 

If you want to know why US policy, from Bush to Obama, is cataclysmically wrong on pushing the European Union to make Turkey a member, you couldn't do better than by reading this excellent book, A Bridge Too Far, by Philip Claeys and Koen Dillen. The authors, members of the European Parliament from the Vlaams Belang party in Belgium, make the compelling historical, religious, cultural, and economic argument against Turkish membership in clear and logical prose.

Hint: It all has something to do with the fact that Turkey is a part of Islamic civilization, not Western civilization. If it joins the EU, it becomes the largest EU state, suddenly adding 70-plus million Muslims--presto--to "Europe." In other words, Creeping Sharia becomes Leaping Sharia.

My suggestion for a sequel: A Bridge Withdrawn: Why Turkey Should No Longer Be in NATO. Daniel Pipes, amplifying Carolyn Glick, broaches this novel notion, which makes perfect sense--if, that is, survival of Western civilization is the goal. Discussing the "steep price" Turkey has extracted in exchange for its backing of Danish prime minister Rasmussen's candidacy to become secretary general of NATO, Pipes writes:

The Dane won the job only after engaging in intensive negotiations with Turkish president Abdullah Gül hosted by Barack Obama. Fogh Rasmussen promised to appoint at least two Turks and publicly to address Muslim concerns about his response to the [Danish Mohammed] cartoons. More broadly, Erdoğan announced. Obama "gave us guarantees" concerning Turkish reservations about Fogh Rasmussen.

The hoops that Fogh Rasmussen had to jump through to win Ankara's support can be inferred from his cringe-inducing, dhimmi-like remarks on winning the appointment: "As secretary general of NATO, I will make a very clear outreach to the Muslim world to ensure cooperation and intensify dialogue with the Muslim world. I consider Turkey a very important ally and strategic partner and I will cooperate with them in our endeavors to ensure the best cooperation with Muslim world."

We appear to be witnessing the emergence not of a robust NATO following the Claes-Aznar model, one leading the fight against radical Islam, but an institution hobbled from within, incapable of standing up to the main strategic threat for fear of offending a member government.

Nor is Islamism NATO's only problem with Turkey. In what is emerging as a Middle Eastern cold war, with Tehran leading one faction and Riyadh the other, Ankara has repeatedly sided with the former – hosting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, advocating for Iran's nuclear program, developing an Iranian oil field, transferring Iranian arms to Hezbollah, openly supporting Hamas, viciously condemning Israel, and turning Turkish public opinion against the United States.

Noting these changes, columnist Caroline Glick urges Washington to "float the notion of removing Turkey from NATO." The Obama administration is not about to do that; but before Ankara renders NATO toothless, dispassionate observers should carefully think this argument through.

5...4...3...I've thought it through. Turkey Out of NATO. Not happening today? Oh well. In the meantime, be sure to read A Bridge Too Far.

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