As a candidate for the White House, when it was easy to throw rocks at the Bush Administration from afar, Barack Obama falsely attributed international disaccord to Bush’s policies. Obama famously raised eyebrows in 2007 when he promised to meet such leaders as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il “without preconditions.” As he sanctimoniously put it, “the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous.”
At approximately the same time, Obama predicted that not only would Bush’s troop surge strategy in Iraq not succeed, it would somehow make things worse.
The scorecard three years later is not kind to Obama. The Iraq surge has succeeded beyond anyone’s most optimistic expectations, while Obama’s doctrine of “peace through apology” is failing miserably.
Turkey now provides another vivid illustration of the continuing failure of this Obama Doctrine.
Not long ago, Turkey stood as an important pro-American ally. Indeed, Turkey was Israel’s most friendly neighbor, and the site for one of Obama’s more disgraceful “Apology Tour” speeches. Today, however, Turkey has shifted its friendly gestures from Israel to Iran. Turkey also sanctions the militant group IHH that attacked Israeli commandos and attempted to run the Gaza blockade, and lectured Obama that his condemnation of Israel’s act of self-defense wasn’t strong enough.
Along with North Korea, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Syria, Turkey provides another instructive illustration that Obama’s spineless foreign policy has degraded, not improved, international relations.