Monday, December 26, 2011

How About Some Islamophobia for Christmas?

The xenophobia, anti-Muslim Party for Freedom in the Netherlands has recommended kicking Turkey out of NATO for its lack of support for France and Israel.  This would be funny if it were not so full of hate and political opportunism.

I am not surprised to see this party take such a stance, as it is very hostile to Muslims, and Turkey is, well, full of Muslims.  But the irony here is so very painful--this xenophobic party did not support the Netherlands' participation in the various NATO missions because its isolationism trumped its hatred of Muslims.  So, it is more than a bit strange to see this party criticize a country that has been a key NATO ally when the party has not been willing to support NATO in its most costly conflict. 

The Netherlands had trouble getting enough support in 2005-2006 to send troops to Uruzgan and then could not extend the mission in 2010 because there was not enough support.  Why? Because the Party for Freedom, otherwise a natural ally for the center-right coalition, would not support the mission.  Much haggling ensued in 2005 and again in 2011 to get support from left of center parties to approve the mission.  You would think that a party that has not been supportive of NATO efforts might just restrain itself from judging the NATO-worthiness of other countries. 

But then again, xenophobic parties are not known for their restraint.  Indeed, hypocrisy tends to be an essential element for such folks.  The Party for Freedom might be the third largest party in the Netherlands, but that does not mean that the entire country supports each and every contradictory element of the party's stances.  I just hope that the Dutch eventually realize that supporting a hateful party is an incredibly poor response to the economic crises of the day and that there are better ways to deal with immigrants.


Chris C. said...

Turkey is also pretty hostile to its ethnic minorities, its professors, and more recently any dissenters in general. Moreso than any other current member of NATO, I'd say.

So I'm genuinely curious here: what's the military worth of Turkey in NATO? What's Turkey provided recently to the rest of NATO? And what effect does it have on how NATO acts in the Eastern Med. in areas where Turkey has its own interests (i.e. Cyprus, Israel/Gaza, Syria, etc.)?

Steve Saideman said...

Will reply at length in a day or three