Brunson alive or Raisuli dead! Really?


"Ankara is going to respnose to symmetrically to US sanctions imposed on Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

On August 4, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country will freeze assets of the US “justice and interior” secretaries in Turkey.

“I am instructing my friends today. We will freeze assets, if there are any, of the U.S. justice and interior secretaries in Turkey,” the president said speaking at ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s Women Branch congress in Ankara.

He emphasized that the Turkish nation will not step back because of “threatening rhetoric and silly decisions” of sanctions.

“Especially the latest step by America regarding pastor Brunson issue in Izmir, is an ill-fitted step for a strategic partner,” Erdigan said.

An August 1 decision by the US to impose sanctions on two Turkish top officials were justified by Ankara’s refusal to release US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey. This decision was the latest in a series of diplomatic and political incidents between the sides.

The US-Turkish relations are slowly deteriorating."SF


 Slowly deteriorating?

Ion Perdicaris was a Greek immigrant to America resident in Tangier who was kidnapped in 1904 by one Moulai Raisuli one of the claimants to the sultanate of Morocco.  When informed of this President T. Roosevelt  sent the South Atlantic Fleet of the US Navy toward Morocco with a few hundred hard bitten US Marine veterans of various banana war expeditions on board.  Roosevelt's intention was clear.  "Perdicaris alive or Raisuli Dead?" was the meme of the day in the yellow press.   Hysteria ran high then as now in the "Speak softly and carry a big stick" segment of the population.  TR's enthusiasm abated when John Hay, then SECSTATE informed him that Perdicaris had renounced his US citizenship some time earlier to avoid taxation.  Nevertheless, Roosevelt supposedly said that so long as the sultan THOUGHT Perdicaris was an American that was enough reason to "go for him."

Perdicaris was eventually released when his relative the Sultan of Morocco decided to negotiate with Raisuli rather than have all this annoyance and fuss from the infidels.

Perdicaris had become a great admirer of Raisuli whilst a captive.

I suppose you could call that the first instance of the "Marrakesh Syndrome."

John Milius (one of my favorite film makers) turned this non-crisis into a fun film in 1975.  It was called "The Wind and the Lion."  It had little to do with the Perdicaris Incident but it was gorgeous, especially just as the debacle in VN was ending.  In the film the aged former American Perdicaris is played by Candace Bergen and Raisuli by Sean Connery who has a great Scottish Moroccan accent.  Candace?  Well, she had a lot of things going for her.  In the film the marines do land in Morocco, storm the "bashaw's" (governor's) palace in Tangier and end up fighting to save Raisuli who is revealed as one of "the good guys."  I have an unfair suspicion that DJT has seen this movie.

 Now we have Sultan Tayyip Erdogan in the role of Raisuli.  He is afflicted with the traditional weakness evident in many potentates of the past.  He believes that what Churchill called "The Great Republic."  is a trivial and weak willed enemy. 

Amusingly, Tayyip says he will sanction the US Attorney General and the Secretary of the Interior.  Well, pilgrims,  Jeff Sessions would like nothing better than to be thought to be a protector of a minister of the Gospel and the US Secretary of the Interior is not the police minister as in Turkey.  No.  He is the person who runs the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, etc.

And Americans are accused of not understanding foreign countries?   Oh well!

Will the US go to war with Turkey over Brunson?  We might.  pl

This entry was posted in Current Affairs, History, Middle East, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink.