Y’all know that political grapevine thing, right? Now it’s sayin’ our esteemed elected-official people in the Louisiana legislature just got invited en masse (that’s French for all of ‘em) to take a trip to Turkey.
That’s right, Turkey. Not the Thanksgivin’ kind. The whirlin-dervish, Sick-Man-O’-Europe kinda Turkey.
Before we get into just whether a Louisiana legislator should go to Turkey in the first place, it’s worth pointin’ out the details of this proposed junket:
Legislators will have to fork over for the airfare and an additional $300 for the trip. Get THIS: that $300 pays for NINE days of accommodations in 5-star hotels plus all meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners and guided tours.
Not bad for $300, eh?
Do you reckon that all of this will be provided without any requests or solicitations down the road?
No. You don’t. You know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Even if it’s dolma or kebabs.
But from whom?
To answer that, we oughta start off by pointing out that this invitation ain’t just for Louisiana leges by any means. Actually, politicians from 35—THIRTY-FIVE—states have been invited on these trips.
That’s a whole shrimpboat load of money here to send politicians from around the USA on 10-day tours of Turkey, no? Them’s a lotta liras.
Who’s ponying up for all this?
A group called the Gulenists, that’s who. If you look at the invite that was sent around to our elected officials, one of the recommended books on the list is all about the Gulen movement.
You remember the Gulen movement, right? All them knowledgeable people on this site have written up those guys.
They like to portray the head of that movement as a warm and fuzzy character, but he ain’t so warm. Fuzzy, maybe, but he’s written some really disturbin’ stuff and all indications are his guys control the national police in Turkey that used water cannons against demonstrators there not all that long ago.
Why do you suppose that guy is spending boatloads of money to bring American politicians to Turkey at deep discount rates that you and I could never get?
They say they want to promote cultural and commercial ties between Turkey and Louisiana, but ya’ gotta wonder why they’re willing to spend all this money to do that. Cuz no other foreign outfit in the world pays for bunches of trips like this. Only the Gulenists do.
The invite to our legislators lists “topics of interest” on the trip, including the “democratization process in Turkey, Turkey’s entry into the European Union (and) its role in…the peace process…in the Middle East.”
Except none of that stuff is actually happening, mainly because of Turkey’s ruler, a guy named Erdogan. If you look at what’s been going on in Turkey, you can’t help but realize that Turkey is no friend of ours since the Islamists took over. Here are the details from a white paper published by one of them think tank outfits:
TURKEY’S TROUBLING TIES
The nation of Turkey has been conducting a very sophisticated, expensive outreach program to elected officials across the United States, bringing many of them on trips to Turkey. American elected officials may not be aware of the troubling policies and international ties and activities of the Islamist regime of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey may be a beautiful country with many great people, but before anyone accepts a trip to Turkey, there are some facts they should know:
- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy vision is “Neo-Ottomanism,” the policy according to which Turkey should maintain and increase its presence in the lands formerly ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was the final manifestation of the Islamic caliphate, which was dissolved by Kemal Attaturk in 1924. In recent years, there have been dramatic shifts in Turkish policy are part of Erdogan’s goal of steering Turkey away from its century-long secularism and turning it towards a new model in which Islam trumps democracy and Turkey moves from being not simply one more member of the NATO alliance but a major Islamic world power.
- The Erdogan regime has become more and more authoritarian since he assumed power in 2003. In the spring and summer of 2013, Erdogan brutally and violently put down peaceful protests in Turkey. The protesters were concerned with issues of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the government’s encroachment on Turkey’s secularism. Amnesty International reported thousands of injuries and a number of deaths among the peaceful protesters and numerous human rights violations by Turkish authorities.
- In January 2012, the Associated Press reported that Erdogan stated that the Islamic Jihadist terrorist organization HAMAS were not terrorists, but “freedom fighters.” HAMAS is designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US State Department and has claimed responsibility for no fewer than 90 suicide bombings targeting civilian targets in Israel resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.
- In May 2013, Erdogan pledged to travel to Gaza to meet with HAMAS. HAMAS is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The HAMAS charter calls for Islam to “obliterate” Israel and “raise the banner of Allah.”
- In October 2013, Erdogan hosted the leader of HAMAS, Khaled Mashaal.
- Erdogan has repeatedly demonstrated public support for the Muslim Brotherhood by openly making the ‘Rabaa’ gesture, a gesture used as a symbol by the Muslim Brotherhood, in speeches. The Muslim Brotherhood is the original Jihadist group founded in 1928.
- According to The Telegraph and The Washington Post, Erdogan deliberately tipped the Islamic Republic of Iran off about Mossad agents working in Iran. Mossad is Israel’s intelligence service. It is believed that as many as ten Mossad operatives inside Iran were executed as a result.
- Under Erdogan, Turkey is growing closer and closer to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is considered by the US to be the world’s most active sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s official Fars news agency reported in November that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani would visit Turkey in 2014 and Erdogan would pay a return visit to Iran later.
- In 2008, Erdogan’s regime signed several cooperation agreements with the Islamic Republic of Iran, including an exchange of information and intelligence on any group or individual deemed a terrorism security threat to both countries. Given Iran’s role as the world’s most active sponsor of Jihadist terrorism, including Hezbollah, HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, this pact is curious at best, but perhaps even troubling as it appears to commit Turkey to helping Iran against opposition groups.
- Most troubling of all, in January 2012, Erdogan pledged support for Iran’s nuclear program: “The government and nation of Turkey has always clearly supported the nuclear positions of the Islamic republic of Iran, and will continue to firmly follow the same policy in the future.” In a meeting with Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani, Erdogan expressed his country’s readiness to improve ties with Iran in all fields, particularly in economic and trade sectors.
Clearly, Turkey’s outreach to US politicians on cultural and economic ties are not the only such overtures by the Erdogan regime. While contemplating accepting such invitations, US elected officials should be aware that their counterparts in the Islamic Republic of Iran are receiving similar overtures.
Here’s a copy of that invite, by the by. A few state reps freaked out when they saw this thing going around. But apparently a bunch of ’em are going.
One thing interesting about all this is that there was a bill voted on in the House yesterday that woulda made those Atlas Foundation people playin’ travel agent for the leges none too happy. The bill is HB 1282, by Rep. Valerie Hodges, and it flew through on an 89-0 vote.
The deal with the bill is that it would ban any kinda discrimination in the hiring of teachers for charter schools. Well, yeah, you say. No kiddin’. Discrimination’s bad.
Why this is a thing is that when the Atlas Foundation runs charter schools, they bring in a bunch of Turkish dudes to teach in ’em. And the Turkish dudes all get those H-1 visas to come teach in those schools.
The charter school these cats operate in Louisiana is Kenilworth Science and Technology School in Baton Rouge. Which got raided by the FBI in December, and we still dunno why. There’s some speculation that what’s goin’ on is the Turkish dudes they’re hirin’ are happy to make 15K a year but the state is payin’ for charter school teachers to make 45K a year or thereabouts, so the racket is that the Turkish dudes gotta kick back half their salary to Atlas, or whoever else.
We dunno whether that’s the case, but to attack that you pass a bill which says you can’t discriminate in hirin’ teachers at charter schools. And that means no hirin’ Turkish dudes when perfectly good Louisiana dudes – or Louisiana chicks – will come work for you.
And what this means is you got a buncha leges who just voted to make it harder to bring in the Turkish dudes, and now they’ll be doin’ Turkey for $300.
You might wanna be uncomfortable about this, but on the other hand ain’t nobody better at stickin’ a fork in somebody than a Louisiana lege. They oughta remember that when they’re stuffin’ these guys full of baklava and kibbis next month.