Chair Force Engineer

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Real Turkey of a Movie

Apparently, the Turks are going wild over a movie which depicts American soldiers in Iraq as baby-killers and villifies Jewish doctors. The fact that such a movie could be made, let alone gain widespread popularity, speaks volumes about the poor standing of the US in the Islamic world.

The linked article references the popular Turkish novel "Metal Storm." I remember hearing about the book from another Air Force officer who was just coming back from Incirlik AB in Turkey. His reports about Turkey were very interesting. He made it clear that Turkey, in many ways, is a very modern country, and quite distanced from the fundamentalist Islamic beliefs that fuel the Jihad Joes of the world. Nevertheless, there is great resentment of the US in Turkey.

At the same time, Americans should do whatever they can to stop fueling the fires of anti-Americanism. Americans should be appalled that American actors like Billy Zane and Gary Busey would appear in a movie that villifies America and the American soldier. At the same time, Americans living abroad should try to respect the local customs and avoid being the 'ugly Americans."

The best advice I can give to American service persons traveling to Turkey is to lower their expectations for how they will be treated, and they won't be disappointed. At the same time, they should learn whatever they can about the land and the people, and avoid doing anything that could bring discredit to the US of A. As individuals, we may not be able to heal the cultural rift, but we can at least stop it from getting worse.