Ataturk’s Example is the Only Real Hope for the Arab World

Monday, July 31, 2006
Much of the Muslim world is royally screwed. It is backward, reactionary, and hopelessly anti-intellectual. The only people of this civilization who have their act together were educated in the West. Their own cultural ethos has essentially nothing to offer them. This is especially true for those born female. And this must be clearly understood: it is their problem and nobody else's. Outsiders do not owe them a thing. Some 400-500 years ago their ancestors soundly rejected the modern project. We of the West did nothing to them.

Ataturk refused to lie to himself. Around a 100 years ago, this great leader of Turkey embraced the West. He knew there was no other choice. Men and women began wearing western clothing and even abandoned the Arabic alphabet. Women obtained a secular education and served as judges and other top governmental positions. Take a look at this website.

There is no hope for peace with the Islamic militants unless they cease feeling sorry for themselves and scapegoating the West. Nothing less will suffice.

---Should radical Muslims even join some sort of 12 step program? And no, I’m not joking. These folks have serious troubles. In many respects, they have a lot in common with drug addicts and alcoholics.


terrye said...

Ataturk actually outlawed Islamic dress, including the veil. Of course there was no stopping the traditions in more remote areas but he was quite brutal about it all.

David Thomson said...

Ataturk may have had a few flaws---but he was still the only game in town. No other leader so clearly comprehended the absolute necessity of abandoning the old ways of Islamic society. His ancestors were losers. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s the brutal truth of the matter. Only the advanced cultures of the West were worth emulating.

terrye said...


He felt he had to go after the dress because he thought it was one of the things that held them back. He had a lot of flaws, but he saved Turkey.

David Thomson said...

"He had a lot of flaws, but he saved Turkey."

And today, Ataturk's example may very well save this planet. There is no hope unless the radical Muslims say something like the following to themselves:

"My ancestors really messed up. I've got to honestly deal with this fact. It’s admittedly tough, but it has got to be done. This is what the Germans and other Europeans had to do when Western secular values reached their shores. Hey, the same holds true for me. Why should I perceive myself to be an exception?”

nomdeblog said...

I was in Ephasis Turkey a few weeks ago. I mentioned to my tour guide, a Muslim, that Iran needed an Ataturk. He quickly said America needed an Ataturk. Then he was almost embarrassed that he said it.

I don’t know about Turkey anymore, I used to be confident about it, now I’m not, for a whole bunch of reasons.

Did it stay secular only because the Army enforced it?

Also like Indonesia, there’s the sophisticated urban areas Jakarta and Istanbul and then there’s the rest. What’s to keep them from backsliding?

The answer has to be economic. We have to help make sure they prosper. As Giuliani can tell us, young male youths unemployed are dangerous … because they lack self esteem. I think we should send Ophrah over .. and like you, I’m not joking either. Better still Dr Phil.

terrye said...


Maybe they ned a booster shot.

David Thomson said...

“The answer has to be economic.”

Islamic radicalism is antithetical to building a viable economy. These folks don’t have a prayer until they abandon the values of their ancestors. At his very moment, the Muslim world is still bogged down by its ludicrous usury laws---which Christianity abandoned some 350-400 years ago.

A Free Man said...

I dunno about Attaturk, under his leadership and inspired by him millions of Christians were murdered, this followed the Armenian genocide of 1917-1920 in which at least 2 million Armenian Christians died.

Almost a million Assyrian Christians were killed by the Kurds in what is now Iraq, the entire population of Smyrna, consisting mostly of Greek and Armenian Christians were slaughtered in an orgy of violence as American, British, French and Italian war ships were moored in it's harbour in 1922, they did nothing to help!

Attaturk oversaw and/or ignored the cleansing of Anatolia of it's Christians, not a great example!

Syl said...

The answer is not economic. It's education.

I just read about a survey of muslims in Indonesia. 40% are more than willing to attack any non-muslim.

And it's not what America does that causes this, it's the Islamic schools and the emphasis on teaching the Koran over everything else.

Those who say the world hates us because of what we do are wrong. Most of the muslims of the world haven't a clue what we do.

Which makes my laughing at Peter Beinart even louder. I heard him on C-SPAN say the answer to our problems is to be morally the best we can be. We must set an example for the world by living up to our high moral standards.

Well, Peter, the world isn't paying the slightest bit of attention to our so-called standards and they could care less.

In fact they're in their own bubble. The only way to solve the problem is for the muslim world to wake up to the fact they are their own worst enemy.

Syl said...


and that's exactly what Ataturk did.

nomdeblog said...

Agreed, that simple things like property ownership, usury laws etc are the key to 3rd world problems generally – as expressed by Hernado de Soto. Added to that in the ME there is the tribalism that would fail except the Islamofascists are funded by oil.

Turkey and Indonesia are part way down the path to success. I think maybe Ataturk’s genius was in the military enforcing secularism. Therefore possibly a bit of an illusion there.

But if the camel drivers in the back end of Turkey – who are allowed to vote in a democracy – are going to get assimilated into a modern world, then jobs are needed. Giuliani understood that when dealing with Harlem. Maybe we should send him over … :>)

terrye said...

a free man:

I have read about some of the massacres that took place between 1914 and 1922 in Europe and Russia. Sometimes I wonder if part of the problems today are can be traced from some of that.

The Turks took virtualy no prisoners in the war either and that meant that thousands of soldiers were executed.

Knucklehead said...

I just picked up and began reading The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, The First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805. The Islamic world was heavily influenced, if not completely under the control of, murdering thugs those 200 years ago when what the United States had no influence and precious little ability to act beyond our own borders. It was thus hundreds of years prior to that.

Their actions are not about us, it is about them and their relentless need to kill and steal from anyone and everyone for whatever strikes their fancy as an excuse.