For political writers, there's a balance between the joys of being shown to be a successful prophet and the anguish of a Cassandra whose warnings are ignored - the more so since Scragged's predictions for the future are not usually terribly optimistic. A hard-left turn towards economically-devastating socialism in America; the creeping Islamization of Europe; an apocalyptic Iran and an exhausted, self-doubting Israel; none of these will bring about any good.
Every individual day seems much like the last, however, as we write about impending doom and then sit down to dinner with the kids.
Once in a while, though, there are times when our predictions come crashing home more vividly than we ever imagined. A little more than a year ago, we wrote on "Turkey, Islam, ACORN, and the Death of Democracy," exploring the history of the Turkish nation, its strong secular-democratic tradition, and its recent slide towards Islamism.
We worried about the fate of Turkey's non-Muslim minorities after the constitutional powers of the secular military had been stripped away as the Turks yielded to European pressure leaving the generals no longer able to prevent Islamist hegemony:
What will become of Turkey's secular, Christian, Kurdish, Armenian, and other minorities? Well, for now, they've nobly continued to struggle via the political process (some Kurds excepted). Turkish law now permits headscarves and Islamic garb, but it doesn't require them. What, though, will happen as the years pass, the rules and expectations grow tighter, and those who would not live as Muslims find themselves being pressured to do so? What will happen as their free participation in the political process grows more difficult? How about when restrictions are placed on women, such as are common in so many other Muslim countries?
Our vision was far too small. We were looking inward - that is, we anticipated that Turkey's Islamist government would oppress its own non-Muslim citizens. Instead, we see that Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan has far bigger game in mind: He wants to join the global jihad and take on the eternal Jew.
The ongoing furore over Israel's violent response to the so-called "Freedom Flotilla" which attempted to run the Gaza blockade has been falsely depicted as Israeli overreaction to a well-meaning gesture by international humanitarians. It has become clear that the flotilla was intentionally assembled and staffed with thugs by the Turkish government allied with Turkish Islamic terrorist groups that masquerade as charities.
The international anti-Semitism expressed by what is, after all, a member of NATO and a decades-long American ally has even the Washington Post concerned:
The Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan ... since Monday has shown a sympathy toward Islamic militants and a penchant for grotesque demagoguery toward Israel that ought to be unacceptable for a member of NATO...
All of the violence occurred aboard the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, and all of those who were killed were members or volunteers for the Islamic "charity" that owned the ship, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).
The relationship between Mr. Erdogan's government and the IHH ought to be one focus of any international investigation into the incident. The foundation is a member of the "Union of Good," a coalition that was formed to provide material support to Hamas and that was named as a terrorist entity by the United States in 2008. In discussions before the flotilla departed, Turkish officials turned down offers from both Israel and Egypt to deliver the "humanitarian" supplies on the boats to Gaza and insisted Ankara could not control what it described as a nongovernmental organization.
The violence came as no surprise - violence was intended all along as we've previously noted. Now there's evidence that Erdogan knew of the thugs' violent plans before the ships even left. Given that Israel's blockade of Gaza is a legal action under the international laws of war and given that Turkey sponsored an attempt to run the blockade, Turkey has now perpetrated an act of war against Israel - one which would only get worse if the Turkish navy escorts another flotilla as Erdogan has suggested.
Nor is Turkey merely making trouble with Israel. In a stunning act of betrayal of both NATO and the United States, Erdogan declared Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be "a friend" despite his oft-stated threats to eliminate Israel and his long-term pursuit of nuclear weapons - which Turkey denies, and recently supported by voting against additional anti-Iran sanctions.
Does Erdogan not realize that Iranian nuclear weapons would be a threat against Turkey too? Does he, perhaps still count on American and NATO defenses, no matter how many times he slaps us in the face?
Or does he share, with Ahmadinejad, the dream of a global Islamic caliphate, in which the borders between Muslim states are of no consequence?
For centuries, the Ottoman empire symbolized the Eastern principality and the Muslim world. In the 1920s, Kemal Ataturk dragged the slimmed-down nation of Turkey into the modern world - or, at least, he pulled his ruling elites that way. Unfortunately, while Turkey's cities became modern, secular, and free, the rural spaces retained both their traditional fundamental Islam and their far higher birthrate. "Demography is destiny," and Turkey's destiny has made itself manifest despite Ataturk's heroic efforts.
The end of Turkey as a free, Western, secular, liberty-loving nation and its replacement by just another violent, anti-Semitic, terrorist-supporting member of the Muslim ummah must count as one of the sadder failures in the saga of human liberty. The people of Turkey were offered the path to freedom and development by their Founding Father; but they've used their very freedom of the vote in order to reject it, much like the Gazans voted to be ruled by the terrorists of Hamas.
Israel and its supporters have realized the changed status of Turkey; where once Jewish PACs on Capitol Hill worked to shield Turkey from embarrassment, they'd never do so now. Both Democratic and Republican congressmen have realized that Turkey is no longer an ally either of America or of Israel.
So the only question left is: when will our President figure it out? And when he figures it out, will he even care?