December 27, 2013

Breaking news: Politics in Constantinople remain byzantine

Fethullah Gülen of
of Saylorsburg, Penn., leader
of the shadowy Gulenists.
In the United States, few ploys are more effective at deflecting media interest from a line of inquiry than to label it a "conspiracy theory." In much of the rest of the world, however, with Istanbul traditionally leading the way, conspiracy theories are cherished as the most plausible way to understand political and legal events. After all, what else are politicians, generals, government officials, religious leaders, business magnates, and journalists paid to do other than to conspire over small cups of strong coffee? And why wouldn't you want to know who is conspiring against whom?

A New York Times op-ed illustrates this American-Turkish gap in worldview: Andrew Finkel, author of “Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know," explains in the NYT:
ISTANBUL — A wave of early morning police raids in Turkey on Dec. 17 gave the world a sudden glimpse into the murky inner workings of the country’s ruling elite, pulling back the curtain on astonishing scenes of bribery and graft. 
The head of the state-controlled financial giant, Halkbank, had $4.5 million secreted in shoe boxes in his study. Istanbul’s best-known real-estate developer was interrogated over bribes to evade zoning restrictions.

I am shocked, shocked to hear that Istanbul's best-known real-estate developer is under suspicion of paying bribes to evade zoning restrictions, and that high ranking government officials appear to be skimming cash from gigantic construction projects such as the city's new international airport.

In Turkey, however, the locals have a different reaction to the news from these police raids on Turkey's rich and powerful: they want to know who is behind these audacious attacks on the power structure. After all, it takes more than a little bravery to attack a national leader's confidants.

In contrast, Westerners like New York Times' readers are annoyed by Turks' interest in behind-the-scenes machinations. Instead, Turks should just focus on what has been presented to them in the media and not try to figure out why it's suddenly in the media. Speculating about what's going on behind the curtains is downright un-American. Finkel goes on:
...Mr. Erdogan does not know how to play defense. Last weekend, he addressed rally after rally and cursed the “international groups” and “dark alliances” trying to undermine Turkey’s prestige. Newspapers tied to his government named the culprits: Israel and the United States. One pro-Erdogan broadsheet demanded that the American ambassador, Francis J. Ricciardone Jr., be declared persona non grata for trying to punish Halkbank for its dealings with Iran. 
... Absolute power corrupting absolutely tells only part of the Turkish story. ...
Many commentators have framed the raids as evidence of an escalating row between Mr. Erdogan and the religious preacher Fethullah Gulen, who controls an influential network of adherents from a self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. 
It’s true that the Gulenists were natural allies of the A.K.P. when it first came to power in 2002. Zekeriya Oz, the prosecutor who initiated last week’s investigation, is the same official who launched the Ergenekon trial — a successful criminal action against the top brass for plotting a military coup (he is believed to have Gulen connections).

Ergenekon was a giant conspiracy theory propounded by Erdogan's elected government alleging that out-of-favor Kemalist generals and other lifetime members of the deep state were formulating a giant conspiracy to overthrow the government to prevent the government from conspiring against the deep state out of its fear that the deep state was conspiring against the government and so forth and so on.

To the American mind, this hall of mirrors set of conspiracy theories seems alien -- after all, we've been conditioned by extensive campaigns going back to the Warren Report to never believe in conspiracy theories. But to the Turkish mind, an infinite loop of conspiracy theories seems obvious; moreover, the average American strikes the average Turk as a naive dupe too obtuse to notice how he is being manipulated by powerful interests in America and abroad.
The speculation is that many of those police officers who lost their jobs in the last 10 days had Gulen affiliations. A recent brimstone sermon webcast by Mr. Gulen fueled speculation that new revelations about A.K.P. wrongdoing are in the pipeline. 
But blaming the Gulen movement is a bit like blaming Zionists. It’s a sad commentary on contemporary Turkey that people have to reach for conspiracy theories to explain why public officials are doing their job to prosecute corruption.

In contrast, we don't have to reach for conspiracy theories in contemporary America to explain why public officials are doing their job to prosecute corruption in, say, the mortgage mess. Instead, almost nobody gets prosecuted.
... The government is treating the crisis as nothing short of a coup by those jealous of its success.

Similarly, the American government doesn't have to worry about a coup by those envious of its success.
This is nonsense. 
The opposition it faces has emerged because of the A.K.P’s own lack of respect for the rule of law and a cynical disregard for public accountability. It can no longer hide behind conspiracy theories and bluster. 

95 comments:

mmarkus said...

It's about time Gülen showed his hand, he's getting old. I expected this sort of action to happen way earlier. The Wikipedia article talk page archives on Fethullah Gülen make great reading for those who enjoy Byzantine wars and their present-day PR-methods http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fethullah_G%C3%BClen/Archive_2

Anonymous said...

""""
...Mr. Erdogan does not know how to play defense. Last weekend, he addressed rally after rally and cursed the “international groups” and “dark alliances” trying to undermine Turkey’s prestige. Newspapers tied to his government named the culprits: Israel and the United States.
""""

Erdogan has made noises about joining the SCO and maybe the Eurasian Union... he's probably right.

Anonymous said...

Erdogan has made noises about joining the SCO and maybe the Eurasian Union... he's probably right.

Yes, good point. Turkey is a NATO member but has been cozying up to Russian and China and buying weapons from them under Erdogan.

Anonymous said...

Every Turkish is a proffessional conspiracy theorist. The problem is that even the prime minister uses that and even if he leads the country for 11 years.
His ministers were accused of bribery and their defense is the same conspiracy theories they use for a decade, instead of answering to criminal accusations. They even invented some strange lobby names that never exist, for example "interest lobby", a lobby supposedly trying to increase interest rates globally, this is just because interest is forbidden in Islam. All their world view is islamic oriented, and therefore is doomed to fail, just a matter of time...

The thing with Gulen movement is that even if they are few, they are much more intellectual than the average AKP fan. Thats why they are powerful. By intellectual I mean at least they concentrate on writings, and they are smart, even if religious. You could compare them to talmudic scholars of 19th century, being a self selection of smart people.

Sulla said...

Turkey was always a bad fit for the EU. Asia to the Asians!

Simon in London said...

"the average American strikes the average Turk as a naive dupe too obtuse"

I can understand why the average Norwegian doesn't give much credence to conspiracy theories; chances are his leaders aren't being particularly conspiratorial (even if they have decided to replace him with a bunch of third world immigrants, they don't make a secret of it). But Americans seem particularly unfortunate in that they have almost Norwegian levels of trust combined with a fairly high degree of conspiratorial behaviour by their ruling class, and a media incredibly* deferential to that ruling class, so they are more easily taken advantage of than most.

*From the outside the deference of the US media is very striking. France, Germany, Britain etc all have much less deferential media, which takes real courage in countries like France where the ruling class will happily jail uppity newspaper editors. Whereas the free US media consistently shills for the Powers-that-Be.

Simon in London said...

Anyway, getting back to the conspiracy - I get the impression that the US is now backing Gulen's Islamists against Erdogan's Islamists, as punishment for Erdogan going soft on Iran? Even though Erdogan's govt has backed the Sunni rebels in Syria enthusiastically? The NYT is a pretty reliable mouthpiece for the American Deep State. >:)

Simon in London said...

"But blaming the Gulen movement is a bit like blaming Zionists. "

I'm sure the Zionists would rather have the Kemalists/Donme back... but if they have to settle for more reliably anti-Iranian Islamists, then that will do.

Talking of Zionists, Israel's bleakly hardheaded policy on Syria seems to be to keep the war going, so nobody wins. Whereas New York's policy (NYT, Neocons et al) seems to be to overthrow Assad, in the insane belief this will result in Liberal Democracy rather than in an Al Qaedist state. Or maybe they're ok with an Al Qaeda state.

Steve Sailer said...

"Whereas the free US media consistently shills for the Powers-that-Be."

Consider how little attention the U.S. mainstream media has paid over the last 30 or so years to Noam Chomsky. He has his obvious biases and weaknesses, but to the rest of the world he seems like a great man. In the U.S., however, he's a fringe figure.

Whiskey said...

I am sure the Gulenists are behind the investigation.

But Erdogan's big weakness has been morality. Like all Islamists he preaches public morality and particularly, sexual and alcohol related morality. While being himself incredibly corrupt. It was no doubt an open secret that his government was skimming cash off construction projects and dealing direct in gold with Iran.

As for the US and Israel, well Israel doubtless has used whatever influence it can to bother a regime hostile to it and conspiring with the Iranians. But the US? Erdogan is Obama's best buddy, and since the Iran deal (we OK their nukes and abandon the ME) the idea that the US has influence in Turkey or anywhere else is laughable.

The key is Iran. Turkey has traditionally been hostile to Iranian/Farsi/Persian power, and sees itself as the bulwark of Sunni Islam in the ME and Central Asia. Against what Sunnis feel is a "not real Muslim" Persia with lots of Zoroastrian fire-worshipping Manichean Islamic heresies.

Its not just the military. Lots and lots of urban businesses and exporters to the EU are threatened by an overt tilt to Iran that benefits only the inner circle of Erdogan. My cynical side says his error was not in spreading the Iranian gold-dealing, construction graft goodies around enough so other people were raking it in.

Nevertheless the piles of cash, gold, and such by senior Minister relatives is proof beyond a doubt that Erdogan is just as corrupt when it comes to money as the military and secularists. Maybe more.

Whiskey said...

Steve, Chomsky is a hard Marxist crackpot. His linguistics research is probably good. But his political theories are as insane as the late Eric Hobbsbawm, or other hard-core Marxists. I.E. Royalists who like their royalty pseudo-scientific.

The closest analog is Arthur Conan Doyle going off the deep end after his son died in WWI, believing in fairies and spirits and sceances. Its as lunatic as spiritualism.

Yes, the investigations were politically motivated. Likely because the Erdogan government was a juicy target, like say Bill Clinton's horn-dog behavior made him a "target rich environment" for Republicans looking for scandal.

Lesson: if you have hard core political enemies, be straight edge in everything. No weaknesses allowed.

Anonymous said...

"To the American mind, this hall of mirrors set of conspiracy theories seems alien -- after all, we've been conditioned by extensive campaigns going back to the Warren Report to never believe in conspiracy theories."

Actually, Americans are as susceptible to conspiracy theories as anybody else. Conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination are still a cottage industry 50 years after the fact. And the Democrats have been campaigning and raising funds for years by fulminating that all opposition to their agenda is some sort of plutocratic/racist/sexist/neocon conspiracy (at the same time, of course, that they connive with the same plutocrats to flood the country with more immigrants, to destroy health care, etc.). It is only conspiracies in which the Left is implicated that the politically-correct mind does not believe in.

Remember, it was not so long ago that Hillary Clinton herself branded opposition to her husband as "a vast rightwing conspiracy." The Democrats seem to believe that if they just fine-tune campaign finance laws enough, all opposition to them will vanish into thin air.

Anonymous said...

There's probably some social benefit to mocking conspiracy theories. Even if there are some conspiracies that could be exposed, the general idea that the powers-that-be have everything rigged would make people fatalistic and discourage risk takers.

Anonymous said...

It was no doubt an open secret that his government was skimming cash off construction projects and dealing direct in gold with Iran.

Maybe an open secret to you, but not to most Americans, who don't give a shit about what happens between Turkey and Iran.

Anonymous said...

Simon in London is pretty smart.

Taki's Filthy Foreign Lucre said...

In the U.S., however, he's a fringe figure.

Can't imagine why.
http://www.paulbogdanor.com/200chomskylies.pdf

anony-mouse said...

1/ To put $4.5 million in shoe boxes in your study shows a lot of trust, at least in people who have (or could have) access to your study.

That's the opposite of what you'd find in the society you've described.

2/ Naive Americans seem to be doing much better than those worldly knowledgable Chomsky-reading Turks. If only those wily Anatolians could find out who's behind all that obvious hidden transfer of wealth.

I'll even go farther-the larger the portion of a country's intelligensia that follows Chomsky, the poorer that nation is. But at least they know what's REALLY going on.

Spare some change, sahib?

Henry Kissinger is 90. David Rockefeller is 98 (allegedly)

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Corruption in Turkey, gambling in Vegas, chicanery on Wall Street--what's the world coming to?

Seriously, who pays this guy to live in Istanbul and agonize over Turkish politics in the NYT?

Here's what I want to know: what is this Turkish Islamic scholar who's still hip-deep in Turkish politics doing in my country? Why can't he practice his hugely prolific Muslim scholarship in any of the 50+ countries run by and for Muslims?

Incidentally, somewhere on the internet, there's a video of a big pro-Assad demonstration in some US town. I think half the bloody Middle East is already over here. Things should get really vibrant in a few years when the Sunni-Shia conflict starts playing out in US and Canadian suburbs. Car bombs at Little League games! Automatic rifle fire at ethnic food festivals! Dick Florida and Tyler Cowen can hardly wait.

Dave Pinsen said...

Any chance the prosecutor Oz is related to Dr. Oz?

Anonymous said...

To the American mind, this hall of mirrors set of conspiracy theories seems alien -- after all, we've been conditioned by extensive campaigns going back to the Warren Report to never believe in conspiracy theories. But to the Turkish mind, an infinite loop of conspiracy theories seems obvious; moreover, the average American strikes the average Turk as a naive dupe too obtuse to notice how he is being manipulated by powerful interests in America and abroad.

There's also the highly legalistic way of looking at things. In the US, a government regulator or politician can be guaranteed highly lucrative private sector jobs and speech money if he does things and behaves in certain ways conducive to certain private sector interests while in government. But if there's no explicit quid pro quo or paper trail or sacks of money, this kind of arrangement can be protected from charges of corruption. To the Turkish mind, this is clearly corruption and an example of elites pulling a fast one over Americans.

Anonymous said...

2/ Naive Americans seem to be doing much better than those worldly knowledgable Chomsky-reading Turks. If only those wily Anatolians could find out who's behind all that obvious hidden transfer of wealth.

Naive Americans have not been doing "much better" considering demographic and economic displacement. Naive Americans have been declining much more than Turks over the recent decades.

TGGP said...

The Ergenekon conspiracy sounds a bit like framing guilty men (well, some of them at least). The actual frame-up was laughable in parts, but you just know Turkey's Kemalist military old-guard is stewing over the AKP and trying to think up ways to get them out of power again. That's how they've always been, and their opponents have just managed to prevent being overthrown for an unusually long amount of time. Putting the fright into them with even bogus conspiracy accusation charges likely frightens them away from dissenting/conspiring with insufficient discretion. At least that's the rationale behind all the agents provacateur we use to entrap idiot wannabe terrorists.

Simon in London, interesting point. I'm often surprised by how daring (even reckless & dishonest) British journalism can be considering their horrendous libel law vs our first amendment.

Whiskey, Chomsky is actually an anarcho-syndicalist rather than Marxist. Although he's hostile enough to our government that he'd tend to side with communist regimes against it.

TGGP said...

Wasn't there a recent worlwide online poll of the most influential people, where a whole bunch of Turks flooded in to vote for Chomsky and some other folks no American had ever heard of?

Simon in London said...

anon:
"Anonymous said...
There's probably some social benefit to mocking conspiracy theories. Even if there are some conspiracies that could be exposed, the general idea that the powers-that-be have everything rigged would make people fatalistic and discourage risk takers."

It's definitely beneficial to avoid the Arab route of assuming all-powerful, all-competent conspiracies.
Renegade Arab princess to me, in a London pub: "Of course Arabs couldn't possibly have done 9/11..."
Me: "What? They're not competent enough to pull it off?"
Renegade Arab Princess: ~ANGRY FACE~ >:)

OTOH, a realist approach would recognise that people do plot and scheme, within the limits of their limited competency. Conspiracy in America is probably more like Ireland than Byzantium - mostly fairly grubby and straightforward, small to medium scale corruption. But Washington DC is the centre of global power, and OF COURSE the centre of global power will attract plotters and schemers.

TGGP said...

This looks like the list I was thinking of, from 2008.

Simon in London said...

anon:
"Naive Americans have not been doing "much better" considering demographic and economic displacement. Naive Americans have been declining much more than Turks over the recent decades."

Hm, I suspect the relative decline in numbers of 'white' or 'Bosphorus' Turks relative to Anatolian Turks may well look a lot like the decline in US whites vs Mestizo and other non-white immigrants. Of course all these Turks are the same race, but culturally the Bosphorus ones are very much European (moreso than Greeks IME! - Greece is much more alien than people realise); the Anatolian ones are Middle Eastern.

Anonymous said...

To the American mind, this hall of mirrors set of conspiracy theories seems alien -- after all, we've been conditioned by extensive campaigns going back to the Warren Report to never believe in conspiracy theories.

I think the campaign against "conspiracy theories" dates back to the pro-Communist counterattack during the Second Red Scare at the beginning of the Cold War.

FredR said...

"but to the rest of the world he seems like a great man."

By saying all the nasty things about America they wish were true.

Hepp said...

A five minute discussion with any Middle Easterner should be enough to convince anyone that the dangers of having a population that is too naive is less than the danger of having a society where people never take responsibility for anything because everything is a conspiracy.

Finkel writes:

"But blaming the Gulen movement is a bit like blaming Zionists. It’s a sad commentary on contemporary Turkey that people have to reach for conspiracy theories to explain why public officials are doing their job to prosecute corruption. It doesn’t seem to have crossed people’s minds that disunity within the A.K.P. coalition has given wiggle room to those who actually believe in the rule of law and want to enforce it."

That seems pretty reasonable to me. It seems much more likely than the idea that some Imam in Pennsylvania is the one pulling all the strings.

Anonymous said...

Hm, I suspect the relative decline in numbers of 'white' or 'Bosphorus' Turks relative to Anatolian Turks may well look a lot like the decline in US whites vs Mestizo and other non-white immigrants. Of course all these Turks are the same race, but culturally the Bosphorus ones are very much European (moreso than Greeks IME! - Greece is much more alien than people realise); the Anatolian ones are Middle Eastern.

That would be like northern whites declining relative to southern whites in the US. That's not the analogous situation in the US.

Anonymous said...

First time I've seen somebody make a smiley face typo.

Anonymous said...

"The government is treating the crisis as nothing short of a coup by those jealous of its success. This is nonsense. "

I know very little about Turkey, but every time the NYT has said something is nonsense about stuff I do know about, it's turned out to be true. They usually try to fake impartiality. If the NYT is so exercised about something as to drop that pretense (This is nonsense!), you've got to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey:

"Steve, Chomsky is a hard Marxist crackpot. His linguistics research is probably good."

This is so funny. Chomsky isn't a Marxist and most of his linguistics is nonsense. Whiskey, any thoughts on gold prices in the new year?

Anonymous said...

Steve, Chomsky is a hard Marxist crackpot. His linguistics research is probably good.

His linguistics is nonsense. It's up there with Marxism and Freudianism:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/865339/posts?page=151

Anonymous said...

culturally the Bosphorus ones are very much European (moreso than Greeks IME! - Greece is much more alien than people realise

I realise it. My Greek neighbours invite our family to their family functions. It's interesting sitting at a table with the old Greeks, talking conspiracy theories about Obama grasping to rule the world. Somehow they can tie the actions of some tin pot despot in their home towns to Obama's desire for world dominion through a Byzantine chain of relationships and events that would challenge the analytical skills of an All-Star team of the finest systems analysts. I find it as interesting as my wife finds it irritating, but women aren't invited to join the conversation so who cares?

Anonymous said...

"Similarly, the American government doesn't have to worry about a coup by those jealous of its success."

I noticed the US military had to be dragged into the Libya thing.

I personally think they were not happy with the Syria armada attack. While it is tempting to think the British parliament rebelled, my guess is the equivalent of the deep government made sure there was not a confrontation between Russian and Anglo-American navies off Syria. I am personally surprised that very little official media coverage discussed the possibility of firing missiles over the Russian navy's head, and why that might be a bad idea.

mmarkus said...

"Gülen lives in the United States, and he has received praise and support from high-level figures in the American government. Bill Clinton and James Baker have delivered encomiums to his contributions to world peace, for instance, and President Obama has made an admiring visit to the Gülen-inspired Pinnacle School in Washington, D.C. Former CIA officer Graham Fuller—also former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council and the author of The Future of Political Islam—vouched for Gülen personally in his green-card application process, as did former CIA officer George Fidas and former ambassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz."

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_fethullah-gulen.html

by Claire Berlinski. Long and VERY informative article. All one needs to know.

Jeffrey S. said...

Turkish politics comes to Chicago:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/24480273-452/cps-says-no-to-charter-schools-but-michael-madigan-says-yes.html

We know a thing or two when it comes to conspiracies here in Chicago...

Baloo said...

If Chomsky isn't a Marxist, he'll do till one comes along. I think it's interesting that he advocates both anarchism and gun control, which makes even less sense than green ideas sleeping furiously.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

There's also the highly legalistic way of looking at things. In the US, a government regulator or politician can be guaranteed highly lucrative private sector jobs and speech money if he does things and behaves in certain ways conducive to certain private sector interests while in government. But if there's no explicit quid pro quo or paper trail or sacks of money, this kind of arrangement can be protected from charges of corruption."

The American form of corruption is much more efficient. You don't pay the whore (i.e. politician or official) until after he or she has put out. Plus you get them to compete with one another to do your bidding, and then you only have to pay out big to the few who deliver.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Chomsky is a hard Marxist crackpot.

No whiskey, Chomsky is a 'post-Christian'.

RKU said...

Look, it's really gotten pretty obvious that the difference between a real-life conspiracy and a ridiculous "conspiracy theory" is that one is promoted on TeeVee and the other isn't. After all, that's how we decide what's really happening in the world.

Suppose the TeeVee people decided to play a little joke on everyone and suddenly switched things around, presenting all the silly "conspiracy theories" as factual reality and all the factual realities of our world as silly "conspiracy theories." Obviously, people would be a little confused and discombobulated for a few days, but within a week or so, things would have settled down and everyone would say they'd always really suspected that the UFOs had faked the JFK Assassination in order to install him as the long-lost Emperor of Mars while the Warren Commission Report was so totally ridiculous that nobody could have ever believed it.

After all, that's why television networks have always been so valuable---they create Reality. Though Google's getting pretty good at doing the same thing these days...

Steve Sailer said...

And you know who Graham Fuller used to be the father-in-law of, don't you?

PapayaSF said...

If I were in charge of the NSA, and wanted to destabilize a country that was causing the US some problems, it wouldn't be too hard to use NSA resources to snoop on some emails and phone calls and bank accounts, figure out where the corruption was, leave a few anonymous tips, and let nature take its course.

Black Sea said...

I was about to post the link to the Claire Berlinski article on Gülen, but mmarkus beat me to it. If you're interested in the Gülen movement, it's an excellent place to start.

I think that for a lot of Americans, it's difficult to fathom what's going on among the Gülenists because -- first of all -- Gülen's followers are very adept at projecting a favorable image abroad, much more so than is Erdoğan. But there is a deeper issue at play.

When Americans read about someone like Gülen, they immediately try to analogize him to some roughly comparable American figure. An expat Billy Graham whose followers are directed to enter fields such as education, law enforcement, and government service in order to shape the direction of the country does seem pretty far-fetched. But Gülen isn't Billy Graham, the Turkish legal system is not the American legal system, and Turkey isn't America, not even Bible-thumping America.

I'm reminded of a conversation some years ago with a Turkish student living in the States who worked an evening job at nearby mall. He commented on the greed exhibited even by affluent Americans. Why, he himself knew of well-to-do kids who were made by their parents to work at the mall. I tried to explained that if their parents encouraged them to work such jobs, it was probably to help them learn about responsiblity and the value of a paycheck. He then gave me one of those smiles that suggest, "OK, OK, now you're lying to me."

At first, I was taken aback that he had so misjudged a situation that seemed obvious to me. After all, I came from a middle class family, worked a variety of jobs in high school and college, and was never expected to give my parents a dime. But this guy came from a culture where there is a significant class stigma associated with teenagers working. It imples that the family is poor-ish, can't support itself adequately, and must turn to the kids for income.

Well-off Turkish kids don't work at Burger King to earn spending money and learn about responsibility. Period. He was just applying the lens he knew to what he saw at the mall.

Anonymous said...

Stating the obvious:

Isn't the foisting and imposition of massive, uncontrolled immigration upon the British people - a people who have again, again and again expressed their disapproval and anger at this imposition - an example of an elitist conspiracy?

If it isn't an elitist conspiracy, how elese would you describe it?

Anonymous said...

>> Noam Chomsky. He has his obvious biases and weaknesses, but to the rest of the world he seems like a great man.


Perhaps you'd like to contribute to building his memorial statue. Where do you want it, right next to the statues of similar world-lauded greatnesses? A spot RIGHT NEXT to the statue of Mandela is available, Steve. Act quickly before the spot is given to Evo the Bolivian, Steve.

Anonymous said...

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/12/27/mob-of-teens-cause-disturbance-at-kings-plaza-mall/

"After a flash mob in a Brooklyn mall, you must be 18+ or accompanied by an adult to enter."

Steve Sailer said...

This Gulen stuff is great. It's a giant mashup of iSteve obsessions.

Farang said...

Simon in London wrote: countries like France where the ruling class will happily jail uppity newspaper editors

I'm a Frenchman living in France and I'm rather surprised by your statement. Can you give even a SINGLE example of such a thing?

Simon in London said...

anon:
"I personally think they were not happy with the Syria armada attack. While it is tempting to think the British parliament rebelled, my guess is the equivalent of the deep government made sure there was not a confrontation between Russian and Anglo-American navies off Syria."

The British Parliament rebelled - they didn't want us in another Iraq or Afghanistan. The British public was hugely against attacking Syria, and even government ministers were willing to abstain rather than do their political duty to vote us into another disaster.
BUT liberal interventionists certainly did/do want us to attack Syria, and it was a close run thing. The Neocon-friendly politicians (Tory & Blairite), the Left-media (BBC, Independent etc), the Neocon newspapers (esp the Murdoch papers), and the Sunni Muslims (eg the Pakistani Deobandi, who are the dominant Muslim group) all wanted the attack. I'd say it was a damn close run thing. The media campaign to propel us into war failed, because the British people were not willing to be fooled again as we were in 2003 over Iraq. From what I've seen of US polling data etc it was similar in the US - strong media support for attacking Syria, strong public opposition unaffected by that media campaign.

The Deep State doesn't always win. The people running it are no more competent than the rest of us, nor are they all-powerful. And, frankly, Barack Obama & Hilary Clinton are not mindless shills of the Powers That Be (John Kerry seems to be, mind you), they do have ideas and concerns of their own.

Simon in London said...

>> Anonymous said...
Stating the obvious:

Isn't the foisting and imposition of massive, uncontrolled immigration upon the British people - a people who have again, again and again expressed their disapproval and anger at this imposition - an example of an elitist conspiracy?

If it isn't an elitist conspiracy, how else would you describe it?<<

Yes, it's certainly a conspiracy. In that case we know there was an actual top level conspiracy by the Blair government to replace the native population, as accidentally revealed by Andrew Neather in 2009, as I recall.

More important is the diffuse conspiracy between the Capitalists and the Marxists to foster mass immigration at the expense of the native population, under cover of cultural Marxism/Political Correctness. From what I've seen this involves frequent low-level conspiring between supposed foes - eg the recent attempts in the US at 'immigration reform' - but not a single vast centrally directed conspiracy. When the pigs and the farmers all get together round the same table like the end of Animal Farm it's over specific goals like passing a particular Immigration Reform Bill.

The goals are different; the cultural Marxists want to destroy the West, and settled on immigration as the way to do that. They're like a predator devouring its prey.
The capitalists want to make lots of money, and are more like parasites whose behaviour eventually kills the host - for them the Death of the West is a side-effect, not a goal, and one that would harm the parasite itself, so they can sometimes be persuaded to moderate the disease load so the host doesn't keel over too fast.

SFG said...

"There's also the highly legalistic way of looking at things. In the US, a government regulator or politician can be guaranteed highly lucrative private sector jobs and speech money if he does things and behaves in certain ways conducive to certain private sector interests while in government. But if there's no explicit quid pro quo or paper trail or sacks of money, this kind of arrangement can be protected from charges of corruption. To the Turkish mind, this is clearly corruption and an example of elites pulling a fast one over Americans."

True, but I get the sense most people know we have 'the best democracy money can buy'. Even liberals who believe in government want to free it from the corporations.

Anonymous said...

Simon in London:
I suspect the relative decline in numbers of 'white' or 'Bosphorus' Turks relative to Anatolian Turks may well look a lot like the decline in US whites vs Mestizo and other non-white immigrants. Of course all these Turks are the same race, but culturally the Bosphorus ones are very much European (moreso than Greeks

All Turks are not one race. Some Turks are actually Turks. The remainder are Turkified natives of Thrace and Anatolia. After Mazinkert in AD 1071, and the Fall of Constantinople in AD 1453, its not as if all the natives of the East Roman Empire suddenly fled or were killed. Many, if not most, stayed right where they were and gradually adopted a new nationality, just as they had previously given up being Lydians, Hittites, and Galatians to become Hellenized Romans. This process continued for the entire period from Mazinkert to the defeat at Bithynia in AD 1302. In betweeen that time there was much back-and-forth on the borders of Turkish control and Roman control.

The end result post AD 1453 was that actual Greeks were to be found right where they had been for 2000 years and where they would remain until 1923 on the Aegean and Black Sea littorals, in a few inland cities and inhabiting Constantinople in huge numbers, the non-Greek native Anatolians took on Turkish nationality and religion and intermarried, and the inhabitants of the east - Armenians, Assyrians, and Kurds also remained, but were now sprinkled through with Turks.

Anonymous said...

"His linguistics is nonsense. It's up there with Marxism and Freudianism"

I'm curious if there are other areas of academia besides the obvious ones (what you mentioned plus Boasian anthropology) that are nonsense for the same exact reasons. For example, I'm not qualified to judge whether string theory belongs on that list. Ayn Rand and Richard Stallman didn't work in science, but in every other way their movements fit the same pattern. It's obvious that this pattern recurs naturally. The idea that numerous areas of science could be nonsense without me knowing it is troubling.

Anonymous said...

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/12/a-testament-to-economic-resilience-world-trade-and-output-both-reached-new-all-time-record-highs-in-october/?utm

Simon in London said...

Black Sea:
"But this guy came from a culture where there is a significant class stigma associated with teenagers working. It imples that the family is poor-ish, can't support itself adequately, and must turn to the kids for income. "

I've seen New York Ashkenazi journos make similar comments - we need mass immigration so our kids won't have to mow the lawn or work in McDonalds. Outside New York many US Jews seem to have more or less generally assimilated to Protestant 'nobility of toil' norms, though.

Luke Lea said...

Come to think of it, wasn't Adam Smith a conspiracy theorist? I seem to remember something about businessmen men seldom coming together that they do not conspire to raise prices.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/ddUnm1uXlcY

'US, UK media are slaves of security apparatus'

Anonymous said...

There was obviously a massive conspiracy involved in the JFK assassination.

Consider the evidence:

.Oswald was trained in Russian by the military before defecting to the Soviet Union.
.When Oswald did defect, the military and US govt permitted him to leave the US. When Oswald returned back to the US, he was never debriefed. Every year thousands of American tourists were being debriefed after visiting Soviet Union, but not Oswald.
. The exact timing of the gunshots, according to the Warren commission, has never been replicated with the necessary accuracy.
.Oswald supposedly shot officer JD Tipitt, but the only witness (Domingo Benavides) couldn't identify Oswald as the shooter. Only after Benavides' twin brother was killed, in a mysterious bar incident, did Benavides identify Oswald.
.JFK's head snaps back and to the left during the assassination, not forward. Yet the Warren Commission claims Oswald shot from behind.
. Witnesses heard gun shots from the grassy knoll.
.Acoustics tests have proved there were gun shots from multiple guns.
.Johnson had the JFK car washed clean and Governor Connally's suit sent to the cleaners after the assassination
.JFK's body was snatched from Dallas, against doctors' wishes, and taken to Bethesda. There the autopsy was completely bungled and, afterward, a doctor burned his notes. The findings of the Bethesda autopsy contradicted the observations made in the Dallas hospital.
.JFK's brain went missing in 1966 and has never been found, despite being locked up in tight security.
. Oswald claimed he was a pasty after the assassination of JFK.
. After murdering Oswald, mafia man Ruby makes claims about LBJ being responsible for the JFK assassination and claims the govt injected him with cancer.
.A huge number of JFK witnesses died mysteriously during the investigation.
.After Judge Jim Garrison put Clay Shaw on trial, he was the target of two attempts. The first was an indictment on taking bribes, which he beat. He later was charged with child molestation, but beat that too.
.Jim Garrison was derided by the media as a crank, but the Grand Jury agreed with his indictments of Clay Shaw and David Ferrie. Later, his chief witness David Ferrie died and another witness, Dean Andrews, committed perjury. Clay Shaw lied too during the trial and said he wasn't a CIA informant, but later the CIA admitted he was (after Shaw's death).
.CIA officer E Howard Hunt confessed to planning the assasination.
.LBJ's mistress also claims that LBJ told her he had a hand in killing Kennedy.
.LBJ was being investigated for bribes shortly before the assassination, when the chief investigator died under mysterious circumstances - multiple gun shot wounds to the head. Then LBJ becomes president and the investigation is shut down.
.LBJ's lawyer Barr McClellan claims that LBJ is guilty.
.The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations in 1979 wrote a report claiming multiple gunmen shot at JFK. For some reason, this has been ignored.

d.... said...

"Of course all these Turks are the same race, but culturally the Bosphorus ones are very much European (moreso than Greeks IME! - Greece is much more alien than people realise); the Anatolian ones are Middle Eastern."

My sentiments exactly, but my sentiments are based on a couple of weeks' visit to both countries, back in the late 90s.

Educated Western Turks are completely Western. Mind you, I realize they are not the Turkish masses. But compared to educated Greeks, much more Western -- and Americanized, obsessed with b-ball, etc.

Not saying this is good or bad, just saying.

Istanbul was terrific, Athens a sh*tty mess. Athens was much more Asian. Again, just my observations.

Also, Istanbul is a much more romantic town than Athens, or for that matter, NYC or London. Lots of boy/girl* couples canoodling on benches, and a lot of the girls wore headscarves.

If Erdogan is failing, perhaps it is because he is being too hardcore puritanical. The Muslim thing we will always have with us. But with Turkey's population, which is firmly Muslim but made of up the kind of Muslims who are fine with boy/girl PDA, maybe he has overstepped it?

*I feel the need in this day & age to specify what kind of couple I am talking about.

d.... said...

Somewhat OT, what about this Weinstein fellow who AQ has taken hostage?

Isn't it kind of risky to send a guy named Weinstein to Lahore?

Does the CIA think that Pakistani Muslim fundies don't know that Weinstein is a very Jewish name? I mean, geez, the least they could do is give him a cover name like Robert Smith.

Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky imagines that the US ruling class is engaged in a conspiracy against the world outside the US and has caused all of the world's problems. This silly notion is wildly popular outside the US, which is why Chomsky is considered a "great man." In fact, the US elite is engaged in a conspiracy against American society, and, in particular, middle class white American society.

Anon from Turkey said...

> The Anti-Gnostic said...
>Here's what I want to know: what is this Turkish Islamic scholar who's still hip-deep in Turkish politics doing in my country?

CIA. Invade the world, invite the world.

> Simon in London said...
>Anyway, getting back to the conspiracy - I get the impression that the US is now backing Gulen's Islamists against Erdogan's Islamists, as punishment for Erdogan going soft on Iran?

No. Gulen/US have always had good relations, so to speak, since 70s. Erdogan was drifting away from US for some time. I know for a fact that Erdogan and Gulenists had a falling out under the surface since, at least, 2009. And since for the last couple years Ergogan's govt has been pacifying the Gulenists in bureaucracy. Erdogan was planning to move openly against the Gulenists, probably after the soon-to-be-held elections in which he expected a landslide victory, everything finally melted down.


>Even though Erdogan's govt has backed the Sunni rebels in Syria enthusiastically?

It's all Syriana in Syria. Erdogan went neck deep in Syria for whatever reason, and was expecting US intervention. But then was hung out to dry, when Obama backed down from intervention.

Anon from Turkey said...

>I'm sure the Zionists would rather have the Kemalists/Donme back

Donme political influence are a thing of early twentieth century. Trying to explain Turkish politics by referring to donmes are like talking about papist conspiracies to explain london mayoral elections.

PC Makes You Stupid said...

You can't understand the history of the last 100 years without thinking intensely about jewish concerns.

Anonymous said...

which makes even less sense than green ideas sleeping furiously.

That's colorless green ideas sleeping furiously, an example of form without content.

Anonymous said...

Nyt article on the undeserving poor in Israel. Term borrowed from you?

Anonymous said...

http://badassdigest.com/2013/12/28/another-open-letter-to-the-makers-of-the-wolf-of-wall-street

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

Turks have some of the weirdest names in the world.

I mean what the hell is 'Gulen'?

Sulla said...

Turkey and the West were far better off under the secular military regime set up by Kemal Ataturk. Bring back the Kemalists ASAP!

Sulla said...

According to Chomsky he was raised most definitely as a "pre-Christian." After all, as a child he went to Hebrew school.

Simon in London said...

An article on one part of what passes for the Deep State in Britain:
http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9034691/daniel-finkelstein-lord-of-journalism/
It's all very cosy and collegiate - BBC, Conservatives, New Labour, Murdoch press, all chummily working together. The US looks similar; substitute the NYT for the BBC.

Anonymous said...

Do not underestimate the power of the Gulen Movement. They are everywhere in the world, they have companies, hospitals, ngos, bureaucrats, media power and especially schools which are quite succesful compared to the local ones even in places like Western Europe and North America etc. It looks like they managed to create an Islamic version of the Protestant work ethic. This last fight they get into with Akp is very dangerous though. They look like they try to pull the strings in Turkey by conquering the bureaucracy, judiciary with the people they produced and Akp seems to be fed up with this and trying to stop or even purge them.

venus envy said...

"Similarly, the American government doesn't have to worry about a coup by those jealous of its success."

'Envious' is the right word.
'Jealous' involves a third party.

You are envious of someone's talent, wealth, or power.

You are jealous of someone because he/she has the attention of whom you love.

Anonymous said...

When Americans read about someone like Gülen, they immediately try to analogize him to some roughly comparable American figure.

Americans analogize someone like Gulen to whomever they're told to analogize him by the media. Ordinary Americans only even ever get exposed to someone like Gulen through the media. Ordinary Americans don't spend their free time actively seeking out information about world political and religious leaders. If they media analogized him to Hitler or bin Laden, that's the analogy most Americans will accept.

Johnycomelately said...

For a newbie, could someone explain the difference between Gul and Erdogan?

If both sides are Islamists then what are the issues, I'm aware the CIA is behind Gul and that he has his finger in the pie globally but who are Erdogan's backers?

Is it a case of the nationalists versus the internationalists?

Simon in London said...

anon:
"All Turks are not one race. Some Turks are actually Turks... "

I just meant 'race' in the broad American sense of a major population group - black/white/east-Asian/Amerindian etc. Pretty well all Turks are Caucasian/white; some have Turkic east-Asian ancestry but it's very diffuse at this point - Turks are much less east-Asian than are Finns; Finn-Finns (as opposed to Swede-Finns) show up about 20% east-Asian on gene profiling, but no one doubts they're 'white'.

Simon in London said...

Farang said...
>>Simon in London wrote: countries like France where the ruling class will happily jail uppity newspaper editors

I'm a Frenchman living in France and I'm rather surprised by your statement. Can you give even a SINGLE example of such a thing?<<

Probably just my British bias... >:) People seem to get prosecuted all the time in France for political stuff, but thinking about it it's private prosecutions like the Union of Jewish Students prosecuting Yahoo for auction sales of Nazi memorabilia. Then there was the French paper that published the Mohammed cartoons, but the editor was only fired, not jailed. No UK paper dared do it, a real miserable low point of the New Labour years.

SFG said...

"Noam Chomsky imagines that the US ruling class is engaged in a conspiracy against the world outside the US and has caused all of the world's problems. This silly notion is wildly popular outside the US, which is why Chomsky is considered a "great man." In fact, the US elite is engaged in a conspiracy against American society, and, in particular, middle class white American society."

Why not both?

The elite, whether Texan cowboys or NYC cosmopolitans, wants to enrich itself at the cost of Americans and foreigners. That's why the country is rich and the people poor.

Simon in London said...

>>Anon from Turkey said...
>I'm sure the Zionists would rather have the Kemalists/Donme back

Donme political influence are a thing of early twentieth century. Trying to explain Turkish politics by referring to donmes are like talking about papist conspiracies to explain london mayoral elections.<<

Ah, so that's why Ken Livingstone was reelected! And you know Boris is part Turkish?!
The Donme comment wasn't entirely serious, it's an iSteve thing. >:)

Anonymous said...

Turks are Middle Easterners who speak a Turkic language but aren't really Turkic. Just like Jamaicans are blacks who speak English but aren't English.

Anonymous said...

Donme political influence are a thing of early twentieth century. Trying to explain Turkish politics by referring to donmes are like talking about papist conspiracies to explain london mayoral elections.

Ah, but thats what they want you to think. ;-)

Anonymous said...

OT, hilarious: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/12/28/Teen-mob-overruns-mall-in-New-York-Citys-Brooklyn-borough/UPI-63611388247604/?spt=mps&or=4

Not too hard to read between those lines...

Black Sea said...

"For a newbie, could someone explain the difference between Gul and Erdogan?"

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think you may be confusing Gül and Gülen. Abdullah Gül, the president of Turkey, is an AK Party member, former Foreign Minister, and one-time political ally of Erdoğan. Both Gül and Erdoğan are believed to have been "students" (followers?) of Fetullah Gülen, who is the founder of the Hizmet (Service) movement, the guy in Pennsylvania who is reputedly pulling the strings at the moment.

Erdoğan is clearly in a feud with Gülen. At this point, neither Erdoğan nor Gülen is trying to conceal this. For example, Erdoğan recently tried to abolish dersanes, which are essentially private cram schools or language schools. Dersanes are a huge business in Turkey, and a large source of income and support for Gülen's Hizmet movement. Why would the PM of a country embroiled in a corruption scandal suddenly decide to outlaw cram schools? Everyone already knows the answer.

Erdoğan and Gül, despite their leadership in the same party, have also broken ranks, though more quietly. Erdoğan has been clearly the more dominant political figure, a populist who knows how to rouse the party's base. Unfortunately, to more moderate Turks and to the Western world, Erdoğan can appear unhinged, ignorant, and delusional.

From a Western perspective, Gül is a much more appealing figure. The son of a working class family in Central Turkey, he went on to do graduate study (in Economics, I think) in the UK, and holds a PhD from Istanbul University.

He's probably smarter than Erdoğan, or, certainly better educated in a formal sense. He speaks English, which Erdoğan doesn't, he doesn't shout and rave in speeches, which Erdoğan does, he doesn't have the popular support, which Erdoğan has, at least for now, but he understands the outside world in a way that Erdoğan doesn't, and he plays much better abroad.

Having said all of this, secular Turks generally consider him even more dangerous in his Islamist views than Erdoğan, and claim that he's just a lot smarter about muting their public expression. In othe words, his approach seems fairly Gülenist, and one could say that his break with Erdoğan is a facet of the larger feud between Erdoğan and Gülen.

Hunsdon said...

Sumdood at 7:21 said: Turks are Middle Easterners who speak a Turkic language but aren't really Turkic. Just like Jamaicans are blacks who speak English but aren't English.

Hunsdon begged to differ: The Turks got to the Middle East just a little while before the Jamaicans got to Jamaica. If you want to stick to the analogy of the Jamaicans, you could call them Central Asians who profess Islam but aren't really Middle Eastern.

Anonymous said...

Turkey and Turkish news is hardly ever reported in the UK.
The BBc hardly mentions it, and even the so-called 'quality' papers barely cover it in a few odd columns of the foreign news pages. Which all seems rather a shame to me, since it appears - as far as I can make out - that Turkey is a rising industrial power, a rare success story of an under-developed naion that has managed to break out of the traps and mires of perpetual middling status - something that Latin America has signally failed to do, and only east Asia has seemed able to accomplish.
In contrast to te bombed-out, stagnant decining EU - which has contemptuously thumbed its nose at Turkey for the past 50 odd years, Turkey is fast growing and actually going somewhere. Furthermore, its growth sectors are in manufacturing industry, technology, electronics and the like, independently developed, industries that are the hallmark of a nation that's got it's act together and not merely another one of the wannabe also-ran middling states.
I would go as far as to say that the serious pundit should ignore the EU - a busted flush whose dumb, hidebound politicians are intent on destroying - and study Turkey instead.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

Speaking of Chomley the Khmer Rouge apologizing freak, shouldn't he be more worried about the phenom of MANUFACTURING DISSENT?

With boomer radicals and their teachers' pet minions having taken over elite positions, they are now passing off their own form of consent as the new dissent. Notice that so many 'progressive' policies really serve the elites, especially the Jewish and homo ones.
Notice how the 'gay' stuff is being used as a battering ram against Russia.
This whole 'gay' movement has been funded and spread by Jewish power.

Notice how all this 'compassion' for 'undocumented immigrants' is used to increase diversity so that Jewish elites can play divide-and-rule among the goyim.

Consent may always have been manufactured, but look all around and so is most dissent today. It is owned by the likes of George Soros who fund groups like thinkprogress. Or look at the likes of Lawrence O'Donnell the proud 'progressive' who dumps on Edward Snowden while covering up for Obama, the stooge of Jewish elite power.

A typical example of manufactured dissent: the hysteria about KKK at Oberlin; the notion that white conservatives who disliked Diana Ross and the Supremes destroyed Detroit; NYT venom that Dallas is responsible for the death of Kennedy; invoking the trope of KKK to explain the murder of a black by a black in Mississippi.

All such views pass themselves as daring and 'progressive' but they are the same ole homilies and cliches recycled by the powers-that-be(mostly Jewish) to make whites feel forever evil and bad, therefore easier to manipulate and control by the hostile elites.

Anonymous said...

Hunsdon begged to differ: The Turks got to the Middle East just a little while before the Jamaicans got to Jamaica. If you want to stick to the analogy of the Jamaicans, you could call them Central Asians who profess Islam but aren't really Middle Eastern.

Turks aren't really Central Asian genetically. They're Mideastern genetically.

Anonymous said...

Turks aren't really Central Asian genetically. They're Mideastern genetically.


Turks are about as "Middle-Eastern" as Greeks. Not terribly, though somewhat.

Of course "Middle-Eastern" and "Central Asian" are both sub groups of the "Caucasian" galaxy, and they are much closer genetically to Germans than to sub-Saharan Africans or Chinese.

Black Sea said...

AK Party asks for a summit meeting with Fetullah Gülen in order to beg for mercy:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-calls-on-gulen-movement-for-dialogue-to-find-way-out-of-political-crisis.aspx?PageID=238&NID=60299&NewsCatID=338

Anonymous said...

In contrast to te bombed-out, stagnant decining EU - which has contemptuously thumbed its nose at Turkey for the past 50 odd years, Turkey is fast growing and actually going somewhere. Furthermore, its growth sectors are in manufacturing industry, technology, electronics and the like, independently developed, industries that are the hallmark of a nation that's got it's act together and not merely another one of the wannabe also-ran middling states.
I would go as far as to say that the serious pundit should ignore the EU - a busted flush whose dumb, hidebound politicians are intent on destroying - and study Turkey instead.


So when can we expect the Turks in Europe to move back to Turkey?

Turkey, BTW, has a smaller economy than Mexico. And outside of the open border supporters, no one believes Mexico will be a world beater, or that Mexicans will ever not want to come to the USA. Likewise, I doubt the mass of Turks will ever not want to move to Europe. Good to the Europeans for snubbing their noses at Turkey. Bringing Turkey into the EU would surely be the kiss of death to Europe.

Johnycomelately said...

Thanks Black Sea.

"Good to Europeans snubbing Turkey".

I dont think the Europeans snubbed Turkey at all, I think Turkey was left out of Europe so it could become the centre and power house of the future Middle East Union or Mediterranean Union.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the Europeans snubbed Turkey at all, I think Turkey was left out of Europe so it could become the centre and power house of the future Middle East Union or Mediterranean Union.

The ghost of the Ottoman Empire strikes back?

David said...

Chomsky tends to see himself as a prophet upholding Jesus's Golden Rule. In actuality he simply has a monomaniacal thesis (American foreign policy = evil). But he hits as often as he misses. He has told us some hard useful truths. And it's a good bet he's more lied about than lying.

I wouldn't build a shrine to Chomsky but to pretend he's some kind of nutty communist spy is dumb.

Pinker offers an insightful criticism of Chomsky in this YT vid. Mr. Pinker is playing for our team here and it's interesting to hear what he has to say (cf. Sowell's "Conflict of Visions").

Chomsky's linguistics? It seems like unremarkable common sense dressed up in jargon. What I most appreciate is how he annihilated the sinister pretensions of B.F. Skinner, a true service to mankind.