The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka’s bizarre book we had to read in high school, back in the olden days, where a man awoke one morning as a cockroach – I know, a weird analogy, but the evolution of Turkey from a modern secular country to an Islamic dictatorship did not happen overnight.
Sometimes revolution is sudden and violent and sometimes it is a gradual slide always couched in terms of national security and preserving the nation.
Turkey has followed the latter. For the past five years or so, my colleague Kimberly Dvorak (links here and here), has been chronicling the metamorphosis of Turkey from NATO member and EU applicant to an oppressive, Islamic dictatorship. The very event Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, feared the most.
Turkey’s evolution from a secular to Islamic state was gradual, at first, a move against
journalists that published “lies” about Erdogan’s private wealth, a preemptory strike against the military to prevent a coup d’état, imprisonment of attorneys and judges who would question the legality of Erdogan’s methods, police who would enforce judicial decrees, and academics who would protest against the regime. Erdogan even went so far as to frame a false flag coup d’état to justify the final consolidation of power against the military and Kurdish party.
Then along came the Syrian insurrection. Erdogan quickly dumped his old friend, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, and embraced the refugees of war as he allowed the US to export weapons from Libya to arm al-Qaeda’s fight to overthrow Assad. Even the original “Arab Spring” rebels abandoned their fight to prevent Syria from becoming the apocalyptic Sunni-Shia battleground.
But Syria offered Erdogan the perfect excuse to consolidate his power by using the fight against ISIS as a means to crackdown on the Kurds within and without Turkey.
But Turkey matters to the West because it is the gateway to Europe, which has been the targeted prize of the Ottomans for a thousand years and opens Europe’s 300 millions of Christian Europeans to Islam.
Turkey is a NATO member, possessed of the battle plans and secrets that protect Europe from attack from the East but not from within. Turkey has demonstrated its intent by demanding billions of Euros to stem the tide of Muslim refugees from flooding an already staggered Europe.
Turkey is now partnering with Russia to turn the Black Sea into a Russian lake and to build the South Stream gas pipeline to provide Turkey with a Russian gas supply – a powerful tool for political posturing for Turkey against the EU.
Is all this hype about Russian hacking just a move by the US government and the Department of Homeland Security to gain control over US elections to “protect us” from hacking? Ever wonder how dictators always have such convincing margins of victory?
Of course, Russia, China, Iran and even our allies are hacking into our systems just as we are hacking into theirs, just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel who had her private cell phone hacked by the US. Spying has a long-standing history in statecraft.
Indeed, news reports surfaced prior to the election of concerns over widespread voter fraud and hacking, but thankfully the Department of Homeland Security stepped up and said it would assume responsibility for elections across the US. That’s reassuring!
But there has been no credible evidence that anybody hacked into our voting machines or systems, despite many of them being purchased from George Soros’ owned companies. If hacking were truly a concern then voters have many options available to secure our electoral processes.
The best way to prevent hacking of elections is to use paper ballots that are sequentially numbered, hand count ballots with verifiers, and a really novel idea – require voter lists that are vetted against multiple sources and require IDs at the polling place. Sure it will take longer to count ballots, but the integrity will be validated. Of course, ballots can be counterfeited but diligence in registration and balloting at local polling places is the best safeguard. Verifying voter tallies at each level would make hacking obvious.
The counter-ID arguments are smokescreens for the disestablishment of the poor. The poor, even homeless, have ATM cards, ETF deposits, and ID to enter the systems. It is not undemocratic to ensure the people voting are entitled to vote. Anything else is ballot stuffing.
So the lesson learned from Turkey is that a secular country can be transformed into an authoritarian dictatorship through the implementation of the tools of the state.
But can you imagine the lunacy of the people ceding control of our right of electing our leaders to the very government our Constitution was crafted to protect us against the imposition of dictatorship? Voting is the final check and balance on the direction of our government.
The last three national elections have shown that 60% of the people believe the government is on the wrong path and the elections demonstrated the commitment to changing that course.
Let Turkey serve as a wake-up call for us all that revolution can occur in a modern republic when the people lack diligence over the actions of the state. We must insist our elections are controlled at the local and state levels if we are to have any hope of preserving our Constitutional republic.
Semper fi, Colonel sends