The Plaid Avenger

Plaidcast  |  European Eurasia

Rage against the Recep Machine

What the heck is happening in Turkey with all these protests? A revolution? An Arab Spring style uprising? A call for democracy? Nah, it is not really any of those things at all. What we have here is an actual demonstration of democracy at work, not a call for it. It seems that the sizable minority of liberal-left folks in Turkey are expressing a reaction against center-right conservative Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s prime ministerial high-handedness and decade-long rule, which has seen a slight eroding of the divisions between religion and state politics. He will likely survive this bout of political expression against him, but at what costs to his role, and to Turkey itself? Dig this informal rant and let’s start a conversation.

Related Stories:
Q&A: Protests in Turkey
Turkey’s Growing Pains
Turkey's AK Party Still Defies Easy Categorization

Keywords: Turkey, protests, political expression, journalists, conservation, liberal, AK Party, Justice and Development Party, parliamentary democracy, democracy

Reasserted Russian Role into Mid-East Region

Russia just agreed to ship the S-300 missile defense system to Syria, and has also pledged to support the Assad regime of Syria to the bitter end. Damn! Why they gotta be like that? Just being haters to Team West and freedom in general?
Not really. These moves are actually an extension of hundreds of years of Russian foreign policy in this region, and also are indicative of a re-assertive Russian entree back into Middle Eastern affairs in general…a move that counters the influence of their adversaries, strengthens the hand of their allies, and attempts to keep a lid on Islamic extremism and/or sectarian independence movements that might spill over into Russia itself. Putin power ain’t done in the Middle East just as yet….and it actually may be on the rise.

Related Stories:
Russia tries to reassert itself in Middle East
Syria 'receives' Russian S-300 air defense system
Syria's arms race has accelerated through international pressure

Keywords: Russia, Syria, S-300, missile defense system, Turkey, USA, Israel, Arab, Saudi Arabia, GCC, Black Sea, Crimean War, Russo-Turkish War, Iran, Chechnya, Dagestan, Caucuses, Islam, extremism, terrorism, Muslim Brotherhood, Arab Spring, Cold War

Punished Pianist a Sign of Turkish Shift?

A Turkish court just sentenced a concert pianist 10 months of jail time for ‘insulting religion.’ Say what? I thought Turkey was a total secular society and well established democracy where such things are unheard of? Indeed! Thus my interest in the story! Is this ruling a sign that Turkey’s ruling AK Party is moving to make the country “more religious”….or is it just an example of a typical conservative issue that occurs in societies the world over? Hmmm…maybe a little of both, but in Turkey’s case the outcome of such a shift will have influence in other Islamic states across the region, and the world.

Related Stories:
Turkish pianist Fazil Say convicted of insulting Islam
Opinion: Turkey's Shameful Prosecution of Pianist Fazil Say

Keywords: Turkey, AK Party, pianist, secular, democracy, free speech, conservative, liberal, Arab Spring, Muslim, Islam, Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt

Geography of Pope-Picking

Holy Ghost! We got a new Pope in the Vatican Cit-izzle! And he ain’t an old white European dude! How the heck did that happen, and why? WHere are the Catholics at, and what is the future of the geo-location of the faith? The Professor aims to explore the mysteries and methods behind the picking of this new Papa, one Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina aka Pope Francis….the first leader of the Catholic Church from the New World! In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

Related Stories:
Cardinals Pick Bergoglio, Who Will Be Pope Francis

Keywords: Pope, Catholic, Christianity, Vatican City, Bergoglio, Argentina, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Byzantine Empire, Roman

Is the EU becoming E-Useless? The EU-3 on Diverging Paths….

While the main stories out of the European Union center on the economic and financial fiasco that the block has been suffering through for years, the Professor actually sees a much bigger issue forming behind the scenes: a true ideological division of the EU, epitomized by the diverging roles of the 3 biggest players in the bunch…the EU-3! France suddenly has a new-found military leadership prowess; the Germans remain the bank and fiscal boss of Europe; and the Brits (who have never had a leadership role in the EU) are seemingly ready to bail out of the union altogether! This is much more than the standard disenchanted disagreements….this smells more like a devolution!

Keywords: EU, European Union, France, Germany, UK, US, Mali, devolution

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Issue 2: Battle For Burma

Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?

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