Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’
June 4th, 2010 at 9:39 am
Turkey Illustrates the Obama Doctrine’s Failure
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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.

June 3rd, 2010 at 7:04 pm
Jim Woolsey Warns of an Iranian Moment

With all the attention focused on the aftermath of the Turkish flotilla incident, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey enlarges the picture to encompass Israel’s most lethal foe: Iran.  He pens a sobering essay outlining the similarities between the rise of the Nazis in Germany to the increasing power of Iran’s mullahs.  Both faced restrained opposition from the West due to domestic economic concerns, and elite opinion that a civilized culture cannot produce a totalitarian, neighbor-terrorizing regime.  They’re too smart for that.

Maybe not.  Or rather, perhaps elite opinion shouldn’t run the risk of assuming that all governments represent the will of the people they govern.

So, what’s America to do?  According to Woolsey, there isn’t much time left.

But now, as was the case in the mid-1930s, we may have very little time left. There still may be a chance for the U.S. and at least a few of its allies to do something effective: to impose on Iran crippling economic sanctions orders of magnitude more severe than the modest ones used to date, to provide substantial and effective aid to the Iranian reformers, or otherwise to help bring about a tectonic shift in the nature of the Iranian regime. We may still have an opportunity to keep “engagement” from becoming the “appeasement” of our time, a synonym for “weakness leading to war.” The key determinant is whether our leaders decide to use Chamberlain or Churchill as their model of statesmanship.

Much will hinge on their choice.

Hopefully, President Obama won’t need a Bay of Pigs disaster to serve as a rehearsal for his own Cuban Missile Crisis.

H/T: National Review

May 17th, 2010 at 5:35 pm
“The Triumph of Hope over Experience”
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That’s how Samuel Johnson defined a second marriage. But it applies with equal force to nearly every pronouncement that the international diplomatic community makes about Iran.

With news that the Islamic Republic has struck a fuel-swapping deal with Turkey, the hallelujahs are coming fast and furious. However, the subtle undercurrent for those who pay attention to such things is that this will only chink away at UN efforts to impose harsh sanctions (not that there’s much hope there — but even failure on such an incremental step redounds to Iran’s favor).

The less subtle upshot, however? Well, I’ll let the Iranians tell you themselves:

“There is no relation between the swap deal and our enrichment activities … We will continue our 20 percent uranium enrichment work,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.

On a good day, the West’s diplomatic strategy towards Iran is “pray”.  On a bad day, it’s “duck and cover”.