NEW YORK – Is Obama helping advance a grand plan by Turkey, with the support of Germany, to restore the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic caliphate that controlled much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa for more than six centuries?
That is a question posed by historian Robert E. Kaplan in an article titled "The U.S. Helps Reconstruct the Ottoman Empire,” published this week by the international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute.
Kaplan, a historian with a doctorate from Cornell University, specializing in modern Europe, says history suggests a possible partnership between Turkey and Germany, which has seen influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Muslims worldwide for its own interests.
He asks why the U.S. government "would actively promote German aims,” including the destruction of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the re-creation of the Ottoman Empire through the "Arab Spring.”
Kaplan points to Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ultimate victor in the "Arab Spring”; the U.S. backing of radical Islamic "rebel” groups in Libya with ties to al-Qaida; and current support for similarly constituted radical Islamic "rebel” groups in Syria aligned with al-Qaida.
Each of these U.S. military interventions occurred in areas that were under the Ottoman Empire.
Bring back the Ottoman Empire?
Kaplan sees a similarity between the Clinton-era attacks against the Serbs and the Obama administration hostility to well-established regimes in Libya and Syria.
Since the mid-1990s the United States has intervened militarily in several internal armed conflicts in Europe and the Middle East: bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of Izetbegovic’s Moslem Regime in Bosnia in 1995, bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of KLA Moslems of Kosovo in 1999, bombing Libya’s Gaddafi regime in support of rebels in 2010. Each intervention was justified to Americans as motivated by humanitarian concerns: to protect Bosnian Moslems from genocidal Serbs, to protect Kosovo Moslems from genocidal Serbs, and to protect Libyans from their murderous dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Kaplan observes that neither President Clinton nor President Obama ever mentioned the reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire as a justification for U.S. military intervention.
The U.S. offered other reasons for intervening in Serbia, including a desire to gain a strategic foothold in the Balkans, to defeat communism in Yugoslavia, to demonstrate to the world’s Muslims that the U.S. is not anti-Muslim, and to redefine the role of NATO in the post-Cold War era.
At its height in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire stretched from its capital in Turkey, through the Muslim-populated areas of North Africa, Iraq, the costal regions of the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Balkans.
Kaplan points out that since the 1990s, "each European and Middle Eastern country that experienced American military intervention in an internal military conflict or an ‘Arab Spring’ has ended up with a government dominated by Islamists of the Moslem Brotherhood or al-Qaida variety fits nicely with the idea that these events represent a return to Ottoman rule.”
In these conflicts, Kaplan sees recurring patterns employed by Clinton and Obama to justify U.S. military intervention.Read the full story here.