March 26, 2012
ABC’s Jake Tapper has a stunning report out of Seoul, South Korea this morning. According to him, President Obama was caught on a hot mic telling outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that if given “space,” he’ll have more flexibility “after my election.”
Here’s how Tapper puts it:
At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
And here’s the exchange:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
This isn’t the first time Obama has been caught on a hot mic. In November he was overheard blasting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to French President Sarkozy. Additionally, Vice President Joe Biden was heard telling Obama the health care bill was a “big fu**ing deal” after that legislation passed.
In Obama’s discussions with Turkey’s President Erdogan, what was discussed?
Obama’s “Love Affair” With Islamist Turkish Tyrant
By Barry Rubin
March 28, 2012
President Barack Obama is continuing his love affair with Turkish Islamist leader Recep Erdogan. As Erdogan continues to undermine Turkish democracy, throw hundreds of moderates into jail, destroy the nation’s institutions, help Iran, throw hysterical tantrums about how much he hates Israel, promote Islamism in the region, and is fresh from still another meeting with Hamas leaders, Obama continues to use Erdogan as his guru.
When the two men met at the Seoul, South Korea, Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, Obama practically slobbered over the anti-American ruler, calling Erdogan his “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.” [Emphasis added]
When Erdogan goes to elections or is criticized by the opposition he uses statements like this to “prove” that his policies aren’t radical or anti-Western at all. Here’s a man whose regime can help terrorist groups organize a violent confrontation with Israel, preside over a virulently anti-American media, insist Iran isn’t seeking nuclear weapons and has a wonderful government, and then be lionized by the president of the United States.
“I think it’s fair to say that over the last several years, the relationship between Turkey and the United States has continued to grow across every dimension. And I find Prime Minister Erdogan to be an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues.”
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. [Emphasis added]
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. [Emphasis added]
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. [Emphasis added]
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.
Obama’s policy toward Iran will also inevitably fail, merely giving Tehran more time to build nuclear bombs. And as Obama appears weak, he encourages Iran to be more aggressive, thus making an eventual war more rather than less likely.
Obama did chalk up one small achievement, getting the Turkish regime to reopen the Eastern Orthodox seminary at Halki. Yet on everything else—including Erdogan’s dreadful human rights’ record—Erdogan gives nothing while getting everything. And, as we’ve seen previously, Obama apparently said nothing to encourage Erdogan to ease his regime’s passionately anti-Israel policy that has periodically crossed the line into open antisemitism.
In the end, Erdogan gloated:
“A very, very important point has been that from the moment Barack became President we upgraded the status of our relations from a strategic partnership to a model partnership, which he also placed a lot of importance on.” He will again meet Obama in June and that “will also lead to a significant increase once again for those relations.”
Reiterating from the above piece:
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.
“U.S. government has basically decided not to help the opposition”
US to give “non-lethal” aid to Syrian opposition
By Niall Green
26 March 2012
US President Barack Obama pledged Sunday to deliver “non-lethal” supplies to Western-backed anti-government insurgents in Syria. The announcement came as Kofi Annan, due to head a United Nations mission to Damascus, was in Moscow for talks with the Russian government on the crisis in Syria.
Obama’s announcement was made following talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the nuclear security conference taking place Monday and Tuesday in Seoul, South Korea. Turkey has played host to Syrian opposition forces, including the main opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council (SNC), and its military wing, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The US president stated that he and Erdogan agreed that foreign assistance to these armed opposition groups would aid the transition to a “legitimate government.”
The SNC and the FSA have been promoted in the West as the official representatives of opposition to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, the leaderships of these organizations have little popular backing inside Syria, where there are a large number of disparate and fractious armed groups, including Sunni Islamist fighters.
Backed by the Western powers and the Arab monarchies, especially Washington’s allies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, these opposition forces have failed to win broad support across Syria, especially in the capital, Damascus, and the main economic hub, Aleppo. Rather, the opposition militants resort to terrorist methods and sectarian violence has allowed Assad to present himself as the defender of stability and the rights of non-Sunni minority groups.
Following Obama’s announcement, White House spokesman Ben Rhodes indicated that “strategic communication” equipment would be provided by the US to opposition forces. “It is important to the opposition as they’re formulating their vision of an inclusive and democratic Syria to have the ability to communicate,” Rhodes told reporters traveling with Obama.
The clear purpose of this type of “non-lethal” materiel is to allow the Syrian opposition to more effectively coordinate its attacks on government forces and institutions. High-tech communications equipment will also enable insurgents operating inside Syria to receive orders from their headquarters in neighboring Turkey and Jordan.
In the event of an international military intervention against Syria, such communication devices will provide the link between fighters on the ground and the warplanes and missiles of foreign armed forces. This would allow a replay of the tactics used during the NATO-led war against Libya last year, when local fighters called in Western air strikes to incinerate the Gaddafi regime’s army.
Obama’s announcement largely undercuts the mission of former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to Syria before it has started. Annan, who has already held talks with the Assad government on behalf of the UN, is due to leave for Syria this week with a team of international observers to study and report on the conflict.
This push for regime-change against Syria has been opposed by Russia and China, who view the US-led charge to refashion the energy-rich Middle East as a direct threat to their interests. Russia, in particular, has close economic and security ties to Syria, including billions of dollars in trade and arms deals. The Syrian port of Tartus is home to Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean, and Moscow has deployed several warships to the Syrian coast.
The Russian government had presented Annan’s mission as a diplomatic coup for its position. Speaking in Berlin last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that he was “very glad” that the Security Council had backed Annan’s assignment to Syria, adding that it was a sign that the Western powers and the Arab League had “abandoned ultimatums, abandoned threats and have abandoned attempts to address the problem by making unilateral demands.”
Russia has increased pressure on the Syrian regime to come to a compromise with elements of the opposition, with Lavrov telling the Russian parliament last week that Assad had been too slow to implement reforms. In addition, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov recently announced that talks would be held in Moscow with Syrian oppositionists, including the National Coordination Committee, the second largest opposition bloc in Syria.
The US and its allies viewed the mission by Kofi Annan as a means to get Russia and China to back a non-binding Security Council resolution calling for Assad’s forces to withdraw from centers of fighting while monitoring takes place, a measure that Washington hopes will provide breathing room for the divided and beleaguered opposition militants.
November 4, 2011
So who is the man who got the “hug treatment”? Erdoğan has shown a commitment to Islamist politics, has demonstrated hostility toward Israel, recently downgrading relations and expelling its ambassador, and says he doesn’t believe Hamas is a terrorist organization. These views have increased his stature across the Middle East.
Michael Rubin reveals in Commentary that the Obama administration is showing Turkey love not only with hugs and high fives:
On October 28, at Obama administration behest, the Pentagon officially notified Congress of its intention to sell Turkey three Super Cobra helicopters. In the past, officials rebuffed such Turkish requests because those helicopters were needed in Afghanistan. Frankly, they still our and American lives depend on them. Senators now have 15 days to object to the sale; the Obama administration, however, hopes that their request will slip through unnoticed.
STAND WITH ISRAEL!
Secretary of State John Kerry and wife dining with Assad of Syria and his wife
Yet Assad is being “labeled” by the Obama Administration as a tyrant/dictator?