CSP, By Frank Gaffney:
For nearly five years, this column has described the Obama Doctrine with nine words: Embolden our enemies. Undermine our friends. Diminish our country.
Virtually everything President Obama has done since coming to office falls into one or more of those categories. He promised to fundamentally transform America, and he is doing so with a vengeance by adhering to policies that conform to those nine words.
So imagine our surprise when Mr. Obama denounced his political opponents in Congress with the following words: “…Probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we’ve seen these past several weeks. It’s encouraged our enemies, it’s emboldened our competitors, and it’s depressed our friends, who look to us for steady leadership.”
Now, this is hardly the first time President Obama has tried to shift the blame for his myriad failures onto others. But it is especially important in this instance that he not be allowed to get away with it because we have plenty of reason to believe that the predictable – and predicted – repercussions of the Obama Doctrine are about to come due, big time. Worse yet, the associated costs are likely to be sufficiently high, in both blood and treasure, that Team Obama must not be permitted yet again to obscure or deflect its responsibility.
The truth is that Mr. Obama has throughout his presidency confused our enemies with America’s friends, and vice versa. A case in point has been his strategically ominous transposing of the character and actual status two of the Eastern Mediterranean’s most strategically important states: Turkey and Israel.
Barack Obama has treated Turkey as a reliable partner even though, for the better part of a decade under its Islamist Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, this nation that is supposedly a NATO ally has been aligning ever more palpably with our adversaries. Among the symptoms of this trend: the fomenting of rabid anti-Americanism by the Erdogan regime and its increasingly state-controlled media; Erdogan’s promoting of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Libya and Syria; and his assistance to Iranian efforts to circumvent U.S. and international sanctions.
By contrast, notwithstanding President Obama’s occasional gestures and rhetoric to the contrary, his administration has behaved towards Israel as though it were, at best, a country in which we have no interests. At worst, Mr. Obama seems to consider the Jewish State as a hostile power. He has: repeatedly demeaned its leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; contributed to its international isolation (for example, by demanding at one point an end to settlement expansion as a precondition for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations); and subverted its vital interests (notably, by declaring that Israel must withdraw to the indefensible pre-1967 borders).
Particularly reprehensible has been the Obama administration’s indifference to Turkey’s serial acts of aggression against Israel. Notably, it effectively sided with the Turks when Erdogan sponsored an effort to violate the Israeli blockade of Hamastan in the Gaza Strip, a provocation that resulted in the loss of life of nine Turks. In due course, Team Obama insisted that Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly apologize for the deaths of the provocateurs, then seemingly did nothing when Erdogan contemptuously dismissed Israel’s gesture.
Even more worrisome, Turkey reportedly recently compromised an Israeli spy-ring in Iran by blowing the cover of Iranian operatives who had met with their handlers on Turkish soil. The disclosures have evidently led to the liquidation of at least some of those agents working behind enemy lines, and the loss of a precious human intelligence capability at a most sensitive time. Now, more than ever, we need the ground truth about what is going on with respect to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, not just the disinformation being served up by the mullahs and their apologists.
The question occurs: What else is the Turkish regime prepared to jeopardize to curry favor with America’s enemies at the expense of U.S. friends – or perhaps our own, even more immediate and direct security interests? For example, thanks to its status as a putative NATO ally, Turkey has access to some classified U.S. intelligence and even our state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter jet. Isn’t it realistic to expect that such sensitive items will be compromised, too?
We persist at our peril in ignoring the untrustworthy nature of Recep Erdogan’s agenda – to say nothing ofabetting it by construing him, as President Obama does, as one his closest associates among foreign leaders. Ditto Team Obama’s practice of subverting our one, true ally in the region: Israel. Should we not change course, you can bet we will have more enemies and fewer friends. And the blame for the mayhem that ensues will lie squarely with our Commander-in-Chief.
If President Obama is really worried about our diminished standing in the world and really wants to establish who’s responsible for it, he needs to look in the mirror. And whether he chooses to do so or not, the rest of us had better make it much harder, not easier, for him to perpetrate this sort of reckless and dangerous national security fraud. After all, with friends like Barack Obama’s, America neither needs nor can afford more enemies.