Haaretz noticed Rick Perry’s idiotic comments on Turkey in last night’s debate:
Presidential hopeful Rick Perry questioned Turkey’s place in NATO, on Monday, claiming it is “being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists.”
Perry has become irrelevant in the presidential race, but his recent statements in the debates in favor of sending troops into Iraq and denouncing the Turkish government as an Islamic terrorist regime are significant in that they show how completely ridiculous conventional Republican arguments about Iraq and Turkey are when taken to their logical conclusions. For most of the last year, many Republicans had been arguing against withdrawal from Iraq, and when the withdrawal happened on schedule they were gnashing their teeth over the terrible mistake that had been made. Perry heard all of this, and he concluded in his inimitable way that the right policy must be to send U.S. forces back into Iraq. He was fairly early on the anti-Turkish bandwagon after the flotilla incident in 2010, and his remarks last night represent the natural evolution of the anti-Turkish hysteria that has gripped a significant part of the right since then. Many Republicans have become fixated on Turkey’s supposed “turn” away from the West since May 2010, and it is just a few short steps for them from knowing that the AKP are Islamists and Turkey is on relatively good terms with Iran to concluding that they must be Islamic terrorists. Republican rhetoric about Turkey for the last year and a half has been blurring the lines between the Turkish government, Hamas, and Iran, but it takes someone with Perry’s special, er, gifts to express such nonsense so bluntly.