Hitler’s Turkish Role Model

March 10 2015

In Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination, Stefan Ihrig explores how Mustafa Kemal (known as Atatürk), who seized power in Turkey after the 1924 collapse of the Ottoman empire, became an inspiration for the German right in the aftermath of World War I. William O’Connor writes:

Hitler’s obsession with Turkey was strategic, [but] it was also deeply personal. While Ihrig does a thorough job of detailing Germany’s historic ties to the Ottoman empire—and even potentially its involvement in the Armenian genocide—it’s the Nazi leaders’ personal attachment to Turkey and Atatürk that is especially fascinating. Hitler, for instance, considered a bust of Atatürk by Josef Thorak to be “one of his cherished possessions.” . . .

The most obvious connection to make between the Nazis and Atatürk’s rule is, of course, the tragedies of the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide, which took place before Atatürk came to power. . . . [The Nazis] believed that Armenians were the “Jews of the Orient” and that their deaths and suppression played a key part in the emergence of modern Turkey. In speeches, Hitler would consistently refer to Armenians as being on the same level as Jews, and in one article he declared the “wretched Armenian” to be “swine, corrupt, sordid, without conscience, like beggars, submissive, even doglike.” Nazi texts proclaimed that the annihilation or expulsion of the Armenians was a “compelling necessity.”

Read more at Daily Beast

More about: Adolf Hitler, Armenians, History & Ideas, Nazism, Ottoman Empire, Turkey

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy