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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Obama bows to Erdogan

If President Obama actually bowed to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on Monday, he at least managed to keep it out of the news media's site. But Obama's treatment of Erdogan was befitting of a fawning apprentice - the type of treatment that American allies never get from the Obama administration.
In a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday, US President Barack Obama called Turkey an "important player" in keeping Iran's nuclear energy program peaceful despite his recent criticism of the Western approach towards Teheran.

Speaking beside Obama at a White House press conference, Erdogan said that the two leaders discussed what could be done "jointly in the region with regard to nuclear programs."

He also stressed that "we stand ready as Turkey to do whatever we can do with respect to relations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Israel and Syria."


US officials said they would like to see Turkey return to such a mediation role, though none is currently on the table, but indicated they understood Israeli discomfort with the idea given Turkey's rhetoric on Gaza.

Obama also praised Turkey for helping stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, and concluded his remarks, which followed a lengthy Oval Office meeting ahead of a working lunch, by calling Turkey "a great country" and Erdogan a personal friend.

It was the prime minister's first trip to the Obama White House, and the two leaders extended their tete-a-tete to review an "enormous agenda" of issues, as one US official put it.

The meeting came amid growing disagreements between Washington and Ankara over a slew of policies, notably Iran and Israel.
We could smell that rhetoric here in Israel. It's just plain false, and one cannot help but wonder what Obama hoped to accomplish by adopting it.

In the Los Angeles Times, Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the author of "Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey: Who Is a Turk?," argues that Turkey's anti-Western foreign policy, which Obama and Erdogan glossed over in Monday's meeting, actually hurts Muslims.
A comparison of the AKP's Israel and Sudan policies helps define Turkey's Islamist foreign policy. Since coming to power, the AKP has not only built a close political and economic relationship with Khartoum but also defended Sudanese leader Omar Hassan Bashir's atrocities in Darfur.

Last month, Erdogan said: "I know that Bashir is not committing genocide in Darfur, because Bashir is a Muslim and a Muslim can never commit genocide." What? The International Criminal Court indicted Bashir and has called for his arrest for war crimes in the Darfur conflict, in which 300,000 Sudanese -- mostly Muslims -- have died.

The AKP's Sudan policy stands in stark contrast to its Israel policy. At a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in January, Erdogan chided Israeli President Shimon Peres, Jews and Israelis about the Gaza war, for "knowing well how to kill people." Erdogan then walked off the panel. Days later, he hosted the Sudanese vice president in Ankara.

This is an ideological view of the world, guided not by religion but by a distorted premise that Islamist and anti-Western regimes are always right even when they are criminal, such as when they are killing Muslims. And in this view, Western states and non-Muslims are always wrong, even when they act in self-defense against Islamist regimes.
Cagaptay argues that Turkey's foreign policy hurts ordinary Muslims in Sudan and elsewhere. And indeed it does.

What can be said of Obama? Perhaps he too is indifferent to the suffering of ordinary Muslims and reflexively favors anti-Western regimes. That certainly would appear to be the case based on Obama's treatment of former allies like Israel, Honduras, Georgia, India, South Korea and other countries, as compared with his treatment of former enemies like Iran, Venezuela, Russia and North Korea. He has lashed out at countries that were squarely in America's court when he took office, while coddling dictatorships (under the rubric of 'engagement') with whom the United States has (or had) deep disagreements.

Obama and Erdogan are birds of a feather. No wonder they got on so well on Monday.

What could go wrong?


At 6:25 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Obama's foreign policy might be aptly summarized as: keep your friends away and bring your enemies closer.

By that light, no wonder Obama and Erdogan are so chummy. What could go wrong indeed

At 6:50 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

As opposition within Europe to Turkey joining the EU continues to strengthen, United States President George Bush has given a much-needed boost to Ankara's accession bid. "I think it is in the US' interests that Turkey join the EU," Bush said after a long meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on 2 October. President Bush congratulated Erdogan on his economic reforms, adding that "I consider the prime minister a friend and a man of peace".

"S President George W. Bush expressed his gratitude to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by saying that Turkey is one of the countries, which understands the US best."

What can we expect from Obama the appeaser?

That filthy Antisemitic Israel hating Erdogan whose Islamic terrorist whore country have committed some of the worst atrocities of all time, is excepted everywhere by every head of state....

Lies are indisputably the new truth while truth has been carefully vanished to the dustbin of history.


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