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October 2, 2013 8:00 am

U.S.-Turkey Partnership is a Gigantic Blunder

avatar by Daniel Pipes

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: World Economic Forum.

A headline declaring “U.S. and Turkey to Create Fund to Stem Extremism” may look like a parody headline but it’s the entirely serious title of a New York Times article by Eric Schmitt. Some details: John Kerry and Ahmet Davutoğlu announced recently at a meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum

the creation of a $200 million fund [over a ten-year period] to combat violent extremism by undercutting the ideological and recruiting appeal of jihadists in places like Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. …

The new fund, formally called the Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience, will for the first time combine financing from both government and nongovernment entities to identify credible local organizations; develop, monitor and evaluate programs; and channel funds to local projects that target groups and individuals vulnerable to appeals from terrorist groups. It is expected to be operational by mid-2014, officials said. …

Grants from the fund would provide vocational training to youths at risk of being recruited by terrorist organizations; new school curriculums that teach tolerance and problem solving; and Web sites and social networks to educate youth about the dangers of violent extremist ideologies.

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So, Washington will partner with the government of Turkey, arguably the most consequential Islamist organization in the world after the Islamic Republic of Iran, to combat the radicalization of Muslim youth. Put differently, American taxpayer dollars will help members of a non-violent extremist ideology to educate youth “about the dangers of violent extremist ideologies.”

To make matters worse:

  • The Global Counterterrorism Forum that was opened in Istanbul by Hillary Clinton and Davutoğlu in June 2012 included 30 founding members, but excluded Israel. (State Department officials argued, of course, that this actually benefits the Jewish state.)
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the prime minister of Turkey, in recent days conspicuously avoided condemning the Nairobi mall attack that killed 67 civilians and soldiers.
  • Note the totally euphemistic name of the new organization, the “Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience.” As I keep saying, you can’t defeat an enemy if you dare not mention its name.

This whole things sounds really smart to me. Just the sort of thing the Obama administration geniuses would come up with.

This article was originally published by National Review Online.

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