01 February 2013
Ankara embassy bombing: countdown to conspiracy theory?
No Americans were killed in today's terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The Turkish government has identified the suicide bomber as a member of a Marxist revolutionary group, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Front. The DHKP/C apparently aspires to liberate Turkey from its NATO membership, which symbolizes, for them, the country's subjection to U.S. imperialism. So today's incident might be described as a blast from the past. But now we've reached a point when news that someone other than a Muslim extremist has resorted to suicide bombing will be met with surprise if not skepticism. How long will it take before someone in America questions the Turkish government's story? The government itself can be described as moderate Islamist, paying heavy lip service to religion without necessarily pursuing a theocratic agenda. It's the sort of government hard-line Islamophobes might accuse of covering up an attack by a Muslim terrorist. It may be the sort of government hard-line Obamaphobes might accuse of covering up an attack by a Muslim terrorist in order to spare the Obama administration an embarrassment similar to what followed last year's incident in Libya. Some people will consider the Ankara incident an embarrassment regardless of who did it, since those people want above all to embarrass the President. But the pathological element in some of the opposition to Obama may feel compelled to see Islamic extremism, toward which they deem him soft if not sympathetic, in every incident of international terrorism. Since I'm writing immediately after reading news of the attack, and haven't had a chance to check out comment threads, this new strain of conspiracy theory may be breaking out already, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.