By Sajjad Shaukat for Veterans Today
Despite some dissimilarities, the Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan share several similarities. Having lack of political wisdom, both the leaders are wavering between fact and skepticism. Hence, in one way or the other, even their dissimilarities show similarities.
Renowned historians opine that William II and Adolf Hitler were impulsive rulers, guided by ungoverned temper. Particularly, Hitler’s character and adverse circumstances in Germany helped him to come to power. Hitler was a great orator and his techniques of propaganda helped him to influence millions of people. The more Hitler manipulated the injustices of the Treaty of Versailles, the more he became popular with the public.
Imitating William II and Hitler in the modern era, Donald Trump promised to make America great again. In order to win the presidential race of the Republican Party, Trump had started exaggerating the threat of Islamophobia by manipulating each terror attack in Europe and the US, including shooting at the night club of Orlando, (Florida) and left no stone unturned in fueling anti-Muslim racialism in America and to get the sympathies of a majority of the ordinary Americans.
While addressing a rally, Trump had called for a ban on Muslims, entering the United States. Trump’s opposition to Muslim refugees, especially from Syria is very well known. During his appearance with the National Border Patrol Council’s Green Line radio show on May 15, 2016, Trump has predicted that refugees with ISIS-funded cell phones will conduct another 9/11-like terrorist attack in the US.
In this regard, Khaled A. Beydoun pointed out on the Aljazeera multimedia network on March 13, 2016, “The world brand Trump is becoming synonymous with expansion of racism and incitement of Islamophobia…I think Islam hate us, said Donald Trump, 24 hours before the Republican presidential debate in Miami…is a call to his voting base, to further galvanize them around a disdain for Islam that not only heightens hateful fervour at his rallies, but incites violence on American blocks and pushes bigots to the ballot box…the statement is rooted in the very ignorance and hate which made him the darling of bigots and surged him up the polls…Islamophobia—the suspicion and fear of Islam and its 1.7 billion adherent-is political ideology for Trump.”
Regarding shooting at the night club in Orlando, on June 28, 2016, The New York Times wrote, “The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12 included a curious phrase: false flag…the victims in the shooting? They were “crisis actors” hired to promote the story as a pretext to impose tighter gun restrictions, the theory goes…the term false flag relates to naval warfare when a ship would fly a flag that would conceal its true identity as a way to lure an enemy closer. Today, it is commonly a shorthand for an act of deception…conspiracy theorists have applied the label to high-profile attacks, including the shootings by a husband and wife last year in San Bernardino, Calif, that killed 14…the phrase has even been used to doubt the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”
The Washington Post wrote on June 13, 2016, “Trump’s standards, his comments about the Orlando shooting have been reckless and self-serving. They are also dangerous for the country…the strongest remaining force that propels the Islamic State is the Islamophobia of Trump and his European counterparts, argue senior intelligence strategists for the U.S.-led coalition. Inflammatory, xenophobic statements about Muslims reinforce the jihadists’ claims that they are Muslim knights fighting against an intolerant West. Trump unwittingly gives them precisely the role they dream about.”
Like Hitler, Trump succeeded in mobilizing the electorates and despite the resistance from his own party, he won over his fellow candidates in the nomination race.
On the other side, as a harbinger of ideological revolution in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who rose to power by the virtue of Justice and Development Party’s Muslim backgrounds, assumed the office as the prime minister of Turkey on March 1, 2003. Like Hitler and Trump, though in some other way, the more he spoke against the Westernization and secular status of his country, the more popularity he gained among the general masses. He became very popular in the Muslims countries due to various decisions and measures such as veto of a proposal to allow the US to use Turkish territory to open a second front against Iraq in order to topple Saddam Hussein, defiance of the US by receiving Khalid Meshaal, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, rejection of an invitation from former prime minister Ariel Sharon to visit Israel, refusal to meet Ehud Olmert, the then Israeli minister of labour and trade’s visit to Turkey, strong stand for the Palestinians during the war on Gaza in 2008 and accusing Israel of committing war crimes.
In January 2009, while addressing Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Tayyip Erdogan told the Israeli president, “President Peres, you are old, and your voice is loud out of a guilty conscience. When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill. I know well how you hit and kill children on beaches.”
When Israel started the blockade of Gaza in 2007 by preventing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, in May 2010, Israeli navy stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara—the flagship of a flotilla of vessels, which was carrying humanitarian aid and thus, killed nine Turkish citizens. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan told the Turkish parliament, “Turkey’s friendship is strong; and all should know that our hostility is strong too…the international community has to say to Israel enough is enough.”
The Arab world defended the Turkish prime minister who withdrew his ambassador from Israel. Besides, Erdogan was considered by the Western countries as a devoted Muslim whose wife Emine wears a headscarf.
However, Tayyip Erdogan who emerged as leader of the Islamic World surprised the Muslims when his own dual approach and secret strategy was exposed when on September 30, 2015, the Russian-led coalition of Iran, Iraq, the Syrian army-the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Lebanon-based Hezbollah started attacking the US-CIA-Mossad-supported terrorists of the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS or ISL) Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and the rebel groups who have been fighting to oust the Syrian President Assad’s regime and against the current Iraqi regime as part of America’s double game to secure the Israeli illegitimate interests in the Middle East. Turkish President Erdogan’s real face was exposed. Covertly, he acted upon the policies of the US, Israel and Western Europe, and distorted the image of Turkey in the eyes of the Islamic World, because he was assisting the rebel groups and the ISIS militants.
In the recent past, by setting aside the Palestinian issue and showing silence over the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkish president Erdogan has reconciled country’s relations with Tel Aviv.
Notably, Trump who is staunch supporter of Israeli policies, in an interview with the Daily Mail on May 2, 2016, stated that Israel should continue construction of illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank. In an interview with the Fox news on September 20, this year, while talking after the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey and a multiple stabbing at a Minnesota mall, shortly before New York police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized US citizen born in Afghanistan in connection with the bomb attack that injured 29 people in Manhattan on September 17 for which ISIS claimed responsibility, the Republican nominee Donald Trump praised the Israeli authorities for their “unbelievable” anti-terror policing, and “profiling.” He elaborated, “Our local police, they know who a lot of these people are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of racial profiling” of the terror suspects…the Muslim refugees…they stay together. They’re plotting.”
Nevertheless, overtly and covertly, both Trump and Erdogan are favoring Israel and double game of the US in relation to ISIS and Syrian war.
In October 2014, US Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard gathering that Erdogan’s regime was backing ISIS with “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons.
On April 26, 2016, RT (Russian TV Channel) documentary with exclusive eye witness reports and documents, abandoned by retreating jihadists and found by RT documentary crew members in a region liberated by Syrian Kurds, pointed to commercial scale oil smuggling operations and cozy relations between ISIS and Turkey. A teenage oil refinery worker told RT, “Of course, they wouldn’t get any weapons from Turkey if they didn’t ship them oil…they…go with the oil and come back with the guns.”
Besides RT, Sputnik, some other analysts and especially the Veterans Today have also shown solid proof by pointing out, “While we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore commodity trading middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State’s terrorist oil-that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s son Bilal Erdogan…who owns several maritime companies has signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different countries…ISIS is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. ISIS militants were trained by US, Israeli and now it emerges by Turkish Special Forces at secret bases in Konya Province inside the Turkish border to Syria.”
The billionaire businessman Donald Trump is also like Tayyip Erdogan. As regards Trump, while mentioning Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, golf courses in New York and his chain of hotels, violation of the US tax laws, tax-evasion and payment of penalty-taxes, The Washington Post wrote on September 20, 2016, “Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses. Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.”
In this respect, on May 31, 2016, nearly 400 pages of a US court documents disclosed, “Trump University instructed employees on how to play on peoples’ emotions to get them to buy more expensive seminars for succeeding in real estate…it is our job to rekindle peoples’ motivation…to make them once again see the potential of achieving their dream…the documents unsealed in San Diego were part of a lawsuit by customers who say they were defrauded…a judge who has earned Trump’s scorn agreed with attorneys that the public had a right to know what was previously confidential.”
Speaking to The New York Times on July 20, 2016, Donald Trump stated that under his leadership, America would not necessarily come to the aid of a NATO ally under attack, saying he would first consider how much they have contributed to the alliance. Trump also warned that if elected, he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies to end crackdowns on political opponents or the suppression of civil liberties, following the failed coup.
Trump continued move against Muslims. In this regard, toughening immigration checks for the French and Germans in the US and hinting at an exit from the World Trade Organization, Donald Trump said on July 24, this year, “We have problems in Germany and we have problems in France…they have totally been compromised by deadly Islamist attacks in Nice and last year in Paris…you know why? It’s their own fault…because they allowed people to come into their countries.”
On June 24, 2016 when Britain voted to leave the EU, Donald Trump stated, British voters just shattered political convention in a stunning repudiation of the ruling establishment in a referendum…in November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first…people want to see borders. They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”
On the other side, taking note of Turkey’s pro-Israeli policies and against the Syrian refugees, Muslim analysts and a number of human rights groups, particularly Amnesty International in its press release on April 1, 2016 criticized, the controversial Turkish-EU refugee deal by indicating, “Large-scale forced returns of refugees from Turkey to war-ravaged Syria expose the fatal flaws in a refugee deal signed between Turkey and the European Union…all forced returns to Syria are illegal under Turkish, EU and international law.”
Confused owing to his own double game and that of the US-led West, on May 8, 2016, Turkish President Erdogan has kept up his rebuke of European nations, accusing them of dictatorship and cruelty for keeping their frontiers closed to migrants and refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict. He clarified that “Turkey would not meet a EU demand for his country to reform its anti-terrorism legislation.” As Erdogan has become target of his dual strategy, hence, a rift has been created between the West and Turkey, the close ally of NATO. On February 10, 2016, President Erdogan lashed out at the US over its support for Syria’s main Kurdish group, saying, “The failure to recognize the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist group is creating a “sea of blood”. He explained, “The PYD, on which the US relies to battle so-called Islamic State in Syria, is an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party.”
Following ambivalent policy, in the pretext of fighting ISIL and Kurds, the Turkish military has continued shelling and interference in Syria.
As regards the propaganda techniques, one can easily witness resemblance between Trump and Erdogan who follow Hitler’s tactics. They misguide the general peoples of their countries, who did not have much time to go into depth-analysis to know the double game and have been impressed by emotional speeches, stereotype-statements and false hopes of Donald Trump and Tayyip Erdogan who keep on exploiting the threat of Islamic militants, ISIS and Syrian refugees.
During their emotional speeches, the body language and way of speaking of Trump and Erdogan are not less than those of Hitler. Like Erdogan, Trump managed to consolidate popular support among Republican voters, despite the resistance from his own party. He won over his fellow candidates in the nomination race.
One can note many self-contradictions in the statements of Trump and Erdogan. And Turkish President Erdogan has also been implementing contradictory policies and ambivalent strategy. When on June 28, 2016, more than 42 persons were killed in the simultaneous terror attacks at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, by neglecting American pressure; President Erdogan improved relations with Russia, and stated that the attack at the Istanbul airport should serve as a turning point in the global battle against terrorism.
Report suggests that Moscow had already informed Erdogan about the failed coup of July 15, 2016. Turkey’s President Erdogan and top officials of his government held the US and CIA responsible for the failed coup to topple his regime by replacing Erdogan with the CIA’s “designated figurehead”, cleric Fethullah Gülen, currently living in Pennsylvania in the US.
Criticizing non-cooperation of NATO and Western allies with Turkey in connection with the failed coup, Ankara is also considering a military agreement with Moscow and Russian-Turkish joint operation against ISIS in Syria. Russian President Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on August 9, 2016 in St. Petersburg to bolster their governments’ ties.
Turkish media reported that the Erdogan told journalists on September 7, this year, that he had agreed with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in China—Ankara to work together to push Daesh terrorists out of their de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. President Erdogan explained that Turkey would join any future operation proposed by the US to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Nonetheless, Erdogan decided to join Russia to fight ISIS militants, while he also ensured Washington to eliminate ISIS terrorists jointly. It clearly displays political follies of the President Tayyip Erdogan.
We can also note self-contradictions in the statements of Donald Trump. In an interview with the Fox News, Republican presidential nominee Trump signaled a reversal on one of his key policy issues on August 23, 2016 by suggesting that he would be open to a “softening” of his positions on illegal immigration. He said, “I had a great meeting with great people, great Hispanic leaders, and there could certainly be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people. We want people—we have some great people in this country. We’re going to follow the laws of this country and what people don’t realize.”
Earlier, Trump stated tough immigration stance which includes deporting all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US and building a wall along the US-Mexico border, while calling the Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists”. Trump is fueling racism between the Muslims and Christians—the black people and the white people. And like Erdogan, if he becomes American president, he is likely to move America towards autocracy, while American public is already protesting against the curtailment of liberty.
When President Obama hosted the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on March 31, 2016 to check the spread of nuclear weapons, showing concerns about the ambitions of terrorist groups such as the ISIS in acquiring a nuclear weapon or radioactive material, Donald Trump had taken a different stand in his interview with the CNN by saying, “More nuclear weapons could make the world safer…US can no longer afford to bankroll the defense of its allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East…Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia may need arsenals to confront threats in their region on their own.”
At the same time, by pursuing the US double standards, Trump also intends to favour India, while opposing the nuclear weapons of Pakistan. He has brushed aside the ground realities that Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi led by the ruling fundamentalist party BJP has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda, while encouraging Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). He is also silence over the fact that Indian rulers have created a war-like situation against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri base terror attack in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, which was, in fact, arranged by the Indian secret agencies to deflect the attention of the recent uprising in the Indian held Kashmir. Therefore, if elected, as the US president, Trump’s flawed strategy could result into atomic war between India and Pakistan in wake of the unresolved dispute of Kashmir.
There are several other statements which display Trump’s cognitive dissonance. For instance, on September 14, 1987, he stated, “I have no intention of running for president,” while on June 16, 2015, he said, “I am officially running for president.’
In the recent months, political character of Donald Trump has become more controversial and dangerous for America, especially, after Trump’s statement against Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim soldier-US Army Capt. Humayun Khan who was killed in 2004 by a car bomb in Iraq, President Obama stated on August 3, 2016, “Republican nominee Donald Trump is unfit to be president, and questioned why his party still supports the New York billionaire’s candidacy… he is woefully unprepared to do this job.”
Noting Donald Trump’s discriminatory speeches and statements, several prominent Republicans and Democrats, including some congressman have decided that they will not vote for Trump by arguing that “he is unfit to serve as president of the United States.”
Taking cognizance of Trump’s political follies—terror-hysteria, religious bigotry and racialism which are well-penetrated in his personality, some writers and researches, including American politicians call him a “crazy person” and some call him, a “mad man.”
So, if succeeded in the forthcoming presidential election, the fundamentalist and impulsive politician Trump will not bother for dangerous implications of the US flawed strategy—America and its Western allies have already been entangled in a prolonged war in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries as part of the phony global war on terror. While, double game of American military and CIA has badly failed in Syria, and Russia is in best position, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has proved his leadership qualities in relation to domestic policies and international strategy, especially by thwarting the sinister designs of the US-led entities in Syria.
In case, Trump is elected as American president, his impulsive and racist approach could cause a civil war in the US.
In May 21, 2016, Kevin Barrett, while giving a wake-up call to the Americans, wrote on the Veterans Today, “Donald Trump’s terror hysteria, combined with the ever-growing terrorist attacks around the world means that a dark future awaits America in case the presumptive GOP nominee becomes president.”
Likewise, in the recent years, if we note several acts of terrorism in Turkey, being committed by the militants of ISIS, PYD and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party-PKK, we can see that Turkish President has become target of the US-Israeli double game and his own duplicity.
In this connection, The World Beast Com wrote, “If we take cognizance of the perennial wave of terror attacks in Turkey and failure of country’s security agencies in thwarting these subversive acts…Turkey will surrender to the terrorists.”
Both Donald Trump and the President Tayyip Erdogan lack leadership qualities such as decision-making power in accordance with the situation, cool-mindedness, tolerance etc., as they are guided by emotionalism, ungoverned temper, irrationalism, rashness, self-egoism and unrealistic idealism. Having religious prejudice, they are staunch conservatives, who lack pragmatism, as they have ignored ground realities. They are creating obnoxious chauvinism in their peoples like the Indian Prime Minister Modi. They are power-hunger and wants fame by keeping them in the limelight through media.
Famous thinker of international relations, Hans Morgenthau points out that external policy of a country should be moulded in accordance “with the exigencies and circumstances of time and place” otherwise, there will be “failure of the foreign policy.” It is quite true in case of Erdogan who has already destabilized Turkey owing to his failed external policy, while Trump will further thwart the American foreign policy goals, because, he does not have political wisdom.
Political characters of Donald Trump and Tayyip Erdogan are amalgamation of the traits of Rasputin, Russian spiritualist, Germany’s rulers William II (Kaiser) and Adolf Hitler who brought about unrest in their own countries and also devastated Europe through World War I and World War II.
We can conclude that Trump and Erdogan who shares a number of negative similarities may bring about a nuclear war between Russia and America in wake of the unresolved issue of Syria. Both can further divide the world on religious lines, culminating into major war between the Western Christians and the Muslims, involving other religious communities. They will take the world to the ‘state of nature’ when there was a war of “all against all” in the sense of Thomas Hobbes.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
Email: [email protected]