ISIS Truthers
Calling Out Conspiracy Theorists in Turkey
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  • On the bright side, Mustafa Akyol is probably more influential than any of the writers he cites (in Turkey and in the United States).

  • S.C. Schwarz

    And Turkey is far better than most Middle Eastern counties where a majority still believe that 9/11 was a joint CIA/Israeli plot. This is why our involvement in Syria, or further involvement in Iraq, to choose two current examples, is hopeless. We just can’t help people who believe such things.

    • Fred

      No, but we can kill enough of them and destroy enough of their societies (such as they are) to break their will to do us harm.

  • lukelea

    “American diplomats and policymakers need to understand that people around the world don’t all live in the same mental universe and don’t all see things through the same lenses.”

    True statement. Something else they don’t understand: a lot of this has to do with population genetics and what modern geneticists are starting to call “gene-cultural co-evolution.” It turns out that a society or civilization’s culture is part of the environment in which we evolve, and that evolution occurs rather rapidly (on a scale of centuries) in large populations. This has all kinds of real world policy implications, which WRM & Co. might start to grapple with.

    And no better place than in the Middle East:

  • Loader2000

    The explanation for this is probably rooted in the fact people will do anything to avoid shame, particularly shame associated with their own culture. One thing American’s just don’t get (because we have been so successful for so many decades) is what it is like to be part of a culture that ‘feels’ like it is under attack and in decline. It is extremely painful and produces extreme anxiety. The last time this happened in the West was Germany after WWI (and think of all the crazy conspiracy theories the Germans invented about Jews) and before that, the religious wars (which were in a very real sense both culture wars and power struggles) in Western and Northern Europe in the 17th and 16th centuries. The bottom line is that many people would rather believe anything, than that their culture is in decline and the cause is rooted in their own culture. It is much less painful for those in Turkey to believe that those murderous psychopaths in ISIS are a results of a CIA conspiracy than a result of their own Islamist culture (or what they perceive as their Islamist culture).

  • Andrew Allison

    All the more reason to support the Kurds (since we’re already being branded as evildoers, what do we have to lose)?

  • Breif2

    “It is sometimes hard for people to understand just how delusional the thoughts of even leading thinkers and commentators in some parts of the world can be.”

    Foremost among those sorely lacking in this understanding are people who generally prattle on about diversity and multiculturalism. But dare suggest that other cultures might have significantly different ways of seeing and thinking about the world (if only I knew the word “Weltanschauung”!) and they will cluelessly accuse you of racism.

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