Read also my article, U.S. Political Engineering in the Middle East: Its Already Created Disaster Once Before
Not today it isn’t. President Barack Obama can’t stand Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a recent statement to French President Nicholas Sarkozy, caught by a microphone both men thought was off, Obama said: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
There is, however, a man who Obama loves to deal with, if not every day at least as often as possible: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
As Turkish expert Soner Cagaptay put it, “The United States and Turkey are on a honeymoon, with President Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan having formed what is probably the best relationship between a U.S. president and a Turkish prime minister in decades…. Obama and Erdogan seem to have really hit it off…. The two leaders speak often… and frequently agree on policy.”
I would also stress that Erdogan is Obama’s tutor on Middle East affairs:
–When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama Administration officials claim that Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood are really moderate and will be further moderated by being in power, the only example provided was that Erdogan’s regime is moderate.
–The U.S. government announced last September 11 its self-described main initiative for the tenth anniversary of the attacks on America. It was an international counterterrorist organization with Turkey as the sole co-chair. Israel was not invited to join.
–When the Turkish regime has engaged in anti-Israel tirades–which Turkey’s opposition leader has called going to the verge of war with Israel–no U.S. criticism, pressure, or lessening of the Obama-Erdogan love affair has taken place. By acting in this way, Obama has licensed Erdogan’s anti-Israel policies and his regime’s at times antisemitic rhetoric.
–Despite the Turkish government’s opposition to additional sanctions on Iran last year and Erdogan’s effort to sabotage U.S. efforts by cutting a separate deal with Tehran, Obama was not perturbed.
–Erdogan’s close and supportive relationship with Hizballah and Hamas have not brought any U.S. negative reaction.
–The U.S. government and mass media have systematically avoided talking about this regime’s ties to terrorist groups, including its sponsorship of the Gaza flotilla which was organized by the IHH terrorists. The Turkish regime has also been involved in antisemitic actions, like an antisemitic website sponsored by the Turkish Education Ministry.
–Erdogan has publicly stated that he believes Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons and that Iranian President Ahmadinejad was his friend. Lately they haven’t been getting along so well. Why, Turkish moderation? No, Erdogan wants a Sunni Islamist regime in Syria; Ahmadinejad wants the current Damascus government which is his ally.