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Monday, March 26, 2012

Obama's BFF

President Obama got together with his BFF is Seoul this weekend, and Barry Rubin has the miserable results.
What did the two men talk about? Well, they first discussed Syria, an issue on which Obama praised Erdogan’s “outstanding leadership.” In fact, Turkey has helped to engineer an Islamist leadership in the Syrian National Council that wrecked any chance for opposition’s unity. Turkey’s rulers did this not to promote democracy but to promote the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now, according to reliable sources, Obama is discouraging Erdogan from advocating a no-fly zone and safe haven in northern Syria because the U.S. government has basically decided not to help the opposition, which will ensure that the Syrian dictatorship crushes it and continues to be Iran’s main ally in the region.

Instead, Obama is opting, in his words, for “a process whereby a transition to a representative and legitimate government in Syria takes place.” In other words, Obama advocates a deal between the opposition and the dictatorship of President Bashar al-Assad If this sounds like a contradiction, remember that this is also the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood line but is opposed by both the Free Syrian Army and the moderate oppositionists.

Of course, however, this strategy will merely buy time for the regime to achieve a bloody victory. Erdogan is now headed to Tehran where he will try to convince his friends there to stop helping their friends in Syria. Does that sounds like a mission likely to succeed?

Erdogan and Obama also discussed Iran. While Obama kept up his superficially tough language (“I believe there is a window of time to resolve this question diplomatically, but that window is closing”) he also indicated his strategy on that issue. In exchange for assuring Iran “the right to engage in peaceful nuclear power,” he thinks that Tehran will give up its ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons. He thinks it is possible to negotiate a deal with Iran.

And how can Obama use Erdogan as his intermediary with Iran when the Turkish ruler made an unauthorized–according to administration officials!–deal with Tehran in 2010 that sabotaged the delicate U.S. drive to toughen anti-Iran sanctions? Indeed, Obama gave Turkey a waiver on implementing the sanctions and Turkish trade with Iran keeps growing, in direct contradiction to Washington’s supposed strategy! For Obama to use a man who is, in effect, in cahoots with the Iranian regime, who has said that he doesn’t believe Iran is building nuclear weapons and stressed his friendship toward that dictatorship, is remarkable.

Erdogan is totally indifferent to U.S. interests over Iran while, regarding Israel, he sounds more like Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the issue than like any past American president.
But where is the Republican candidate who will tear Obama apart on this. Americans don't like Assad and they don't like Ahmadinejad. Do they like Erdogan?

What could go wrong?

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At 10:54 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

"But where is the Republican candidate who will tear Obama apart on this."

His name is Newt Gingrich. Unfortunately, his campaign seems to have floundered. We're likely to get another McCain-like RINO, Mitt Romney, as the Republican candidate.

Honestly, I'm of the Anybody-But-Obama school of thought. But I just wish that admittedly not flawless Newt Gingrich were the front-runner. Mainstream America would have enthusiastically united behind him.


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