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George Friedman

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Excerpts from Two Recent Books

July 2015


George Friedman, founder and chairman of Stratfor think tank which specializes in political, military and economic intelligence, has a new book titled "Flashpoints" where he focuses on the dangers Europe faces. Friedman, a neo-con who fled Hungary during the 1956 revolution, is a long-time Turcophile. The Austin, Texas-based Cold Warrior promotes Stratfor as "the world's leading private intelligence company." Below are typical paragraphs from the chapter titled "Turkey on the Edge". Upper case by

"Kurdistan is not Turkey's only flashpoint in the east. The other is Armenia. We visited a PLACE called Ani on the Turkish side of the border. It was the medieval capital of Armenia, the first Christian country in the world, and one that occupied eastern Turkey in the MIDDLE AGES. Ani sits on a flat, dry, and windy plateau across a river from Armenia. Turks are excavating the site, much to the anger of the Armenians. When the Ottoman Empire fell AND THE TURKS HAD TO DEFINE DEFENSIBLE BOUNDARIES, there was INEVITABLY ETHNIC CLEANSING, in which vast numbers Armenians were killed. The Armenians have not forgotten it. The Turks will not admit it, and THEY MAKE CLAIMS OF THEIR OWN ABOUT ARMENIAN BEHAVIOR. As in Europe, memories are long and a hundred years hardly counts. The ancient capital is in Turkish hands and Armenia can't do much about it."

A paragraph later, Friedman says: "A cousin of a friend in Istanbul met us in the town of Gole (pronounced Gole-ee), about an hour's drive from Kars..."

Throughout the chapter, Friedman tries to convince the reader that Turkey is a European country and has shaped European history as much as any European power did. "Its history was as much European as anyone else's".

In recent years Friedman has visited Azerbaijan but not Armenia.