Robert E. Kaplan has written an incredibly salient and dead-on-target article about the coming resurrection of the Ottoman Empire, as well as America’s complicity in it. An interesting starting point for when Kaplan says this movement started in the United States was smack dab in the middle of the Bill Clinton administration.
Since the mid-1990s the United States has intervened militarily in several internal armed conflicts in Europe and the Middle East: bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of Izetbegovic’s Moslem Regime in Bosnia in 1995, bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of KLA Moslems of Kosovo in 1999, bombing Libya’s Gaddafi regime in support of rebels in 2010. Each intervention was justified to Americans as motivated by humanitarian concerns: to protect Bosnian Moslems from genocidal Serbs, to protect Kosovo Moslems from genocidal Serbs, and to protect Libyans from their murderous dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Other reasons for these interventions were also offered: to gain for the United States a strategic foothold in the Balkans, to defeat communism in Yugoslavia, to demonstrate to the world’s Moslems that the United States is not anti-Moslem, to redefine the role of NATO in the post-Cold War era, among others.
Each of these United States military interventions occurred in an area that had been part of the Ottoman Empire. In each, a secular regime was ultimately replaced by an Islamist one favoring sharia law and the creation of a world-wide Caliphate. The countries that experienced the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s without the help of American military intervention, Tunisia and Egypt, had also been part of the Ottoman Empire, and also ended up with Islamist regimes.
A little bit later…
Just as the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s considered in historical perspective suggests that Turkey might be attempting to recreate its former empire, consideration of the Turkish Empire in historical perspective suggests the possible partnership of Germany with Turkey in the project given that, from its creation in 1870, Germany viewed Turkey with its empire as a most valuable client and ally. In the view of the leaders of Germany, Turkey was controllable through a combination of economic intercourse, gifts of educational opportunities, provision of technical expertise and administrative aid, as well as bribes to Turkish officials. Germany saw influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Moslems worldwide for its own interests. Thus as the German scholar Wolfgang Schwanitz has shown, during World War I Germany employed the Turkish Caliphate to promote jihad – riot and rebellion – in areas where Moslem populations were ruled by its enemies Russia, France, Britain and Serbia.
So the Ottamans and the Germans were in bed with each other during WWI and the early successors to the Ottomans – the Muslim Brotherhood – was allied with Hitler in WWII.
Beginning with the Clinton administration, it seems that the U.S. has been following a similar pattern.
You just gotta read it all.
Incidentally, Turkey’s Islamist Imam, Fethullah Gulen, fled Turkey for the U.S. in 1998 – during the Clinton administration. In 2000, he was indicted by the pre-Islamist Turkish Government for promoting insurrection and convicted in absentia. Gulen was then acquitted in Turkey in 2008 – after the Islamist regime, led by Erdogan, came to power. Later that year, a U.S. judge ruled Gulen could remain in the U.S.
Gulen still resides in the U.S. and his charter schools in this country number in the hundreds. Here is Bill Clinton in 2008, praising Gulen:
In essence, the Clinton administration got the ball rolling when it comes to America’s involvement in resurrecting the Ottoman Empire, the Bush administration ultimately furthered the effort by not confronting the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., and the Obama administration has kicked the entire thing into overdrive.