Rick Perry claimed yesterday that Turkey "is being ruled by what many consider to be Islamic terrorists." Anyone taking 30 seconds to look over the AKP's Wikipedia article could quickly evaluate the validity of this claim.
Problem: Wikipedia is down today in protest against SOPA. This protest has a silver lining however. Namely, it affords students of Middle East foreign policy like Rick Perry and this blogger to say literally anything about Middle Eastern politics without fear of being fact-checked.
For example, now that Wikipedia is down, it would be much harder to evaluate the claim that many people believe Rick Perry was himself educated at a secret madrassa in Sri Lanka alongside Abd-el Rahman al-Rahim, the uncle of the cousin of the son of Al-Qaeda Number Two Ayman Zawahiri. It would also be difficult to deny that many people believe Perry knows the words to not only America The Beautiful, but also the Star Spangled Banner, in Arabic (Yemeni dialect) and recites them regularly in that language.
Additionally, since the claim is only that many consider the statement to be true, the tidbit itself need not be what social scientists refer to as "accurate." So while it would be accurate to say that one time the Turkish government supported a flotilla operated by the IHH which has links to Islamist groups with members who some people consider to have been engaged in some activities which are terrorist in nature, such a claim would be an unnecessarily precise one. Besides, nuance in foreign policy is overstated. What, should we spend our entire day reading Wikipedia, that great bastion of substantiated and fact-checked nuance?
Perhaps though, Perry ought to be admired for his consistency. Once Wikipedia comes back online, made-up, offensive, and unsubstantiated claims about madrassas and Arabic lyrics would quickly undermine the credibility of this blog.
Perry, in contrast, will retain the support of his followers.