Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 3, 2010 in Breaking News, International, Law, Media, Places, Politics, Society, War | 0 comments

Turkish-American Teenager Killed By Israelis Was Not “Really” American

You know, it actually shouldn’t make any difference to this unmitigated horror that one of the 10 or so activists killed by Israel while bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza was an American by birth. It shouldn’t matter. Every single one of those human lives snuffed out on the flotilla ship deserves to be mourned and remembered, no matter WHAT country they come from.

However, given that the media IS reporting that one of the people killed on that ship was a young man who was born in the United States but had lived in Turkey from the age of two, I think it’s worth noting the depths of callousness and immorality to which some on the far right have descended in this matter.

The facts are not entirely clear, but it appears that Dogan was born in the United States to Turkish parents who returned to Turkey not long thereafter. (The ABC story says he was two years old.) Apparently Dogan had lived in Turkey with his family since that time. He apparently was, in other words, a “birthright citizen,” solely by virtue of the fact that his parents were residing in the U.S. when he was born.

If that is the case–and, again, the facts are not yet entirely clear–it is silly to call him an “American of Turkish descent.” He, like the other members of his family, was a Turk. The idea that his presence among the dead raises a special diplomatic problem is absurd; if it does, it shouldn’t.

Shorter Hinderaker: If this guy were a REAL American, I might care that he was killed, but since he’s not a real American, not at all.

And then there’s this final paragraph:

As for Dogan, it is reported that he was shot five times at close range, four times in the head. If that is correct, it is reasonable to infer that he was one of those attacking Israeli soldiers with a club, knife or other weapon and was shot in self-defense. …

John Hinderaker is famous for his, how shall I put it? I guess obtuseness would be the kindest way of putting it — but even taking that into account, the above two sentences are cause for marvel and wonder. Being shot five times at point-blank range, four of those shots directly to the head, should logically lead one to conclude that the shooter was acting in self-defense? What fact set would fit with cold-blooded murder?