The continuing political problems for President Obama are three-fold. First, the American public has begun to simply tune him out. In response to the overexposure he has received by the national media coupled with a visible and undisputable level of underachievement, he’s become background noise causing the American public to simply ignore him. Second, to a degree The Democratic Party did not likely expect that Republican presidential contenders would enjoy such a large and decisive audience that is receptive to the Republican core message: President Obama's policies have failed. And, finally, there is no chance that Obama can affect key indicators, most especially unemployment, meaning that on Election Day millions of Americans will continue to be unemployed. Obama is, therefore, left to complain and cast blame on Republicans. The American public is in no mood to hear Obama's unpresidential whining, a kind of immature blaming game that is reminiscent of speeches made by failed third world leaders. The American public wants results. The American public wants confidence in their President to be restored, and Obama is unable to deliver this basic political commodity. Obama's recent attempts to have it both ways, shifting from one political position to the next based on short-term political gains, the jobs program being only the latest example of this mindset, can only ensure that the American public will not and cannot bear another 4 years of incompetence.

 

 

To our dismay here in Israel, President Obama's domestic underachievement is only surpassed by the strategic damage he has caused by seriously eroding the relative stability that the Middle East has enjoyed over recent years, mainly in regard to Egypt and Turkey, till recently, both at peace with Israel. All this has changed in response to Obama's leading from behind and lack of Presidential leadership. Obama has failed the test of Eli Wallach's infamous line in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; "if you want to shoot, then shoot, don't talk". This is critical here in the Middle East where posture and perception is everything, and manufactured sound bites mean nothing.Turkey, one of the few countries in the world that most Americans do not visit, probably in response to the 1978 movie "Midnight Express" , portraying Turkey for what it is, a backward, sadistic, and corrupt nation.

 

 

  Despite its 80 million citizens, Turkey has failed to position itself as an influential regional power. The current Islamist government’s new policy, which is premised on Neo-Ottomanism (a return to the Ottoman Empire’s glory days,) registered a series of stinging diplomatic failures in recent years. Yet Prime Minister Erodgan and his party have reinforced their political status within Turkey through the daily scapegoating of Israel in the "best" of Islamic tradition. Only recently Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador, suspended defense contracts with Jerusalem, announced legal action against senior Israeli figures in European courts, threatened to bring the dispute before the international court and “take measures for freedom of maritime movement in the Mediterranean” including positioning her Navy so as to interfere with the free movement of Israeli shipping and mining expeditions in the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

 Only recently there have been reports emanating from different sources in Washington DC that Turkey has accompanied its hostile acts against Israel with swift permission for the deployment of NATO and American electronic warning stations on Turkish soil. These warning stations can be used as a kind of remote "observation point" in the current design of the architecture of the new U.S. ballistic missile defense.  In this case, the radar can be used for the early detection of ballistic missile launches, and for tracking their trajectories, mainly from Iran. Turkey, while quietly agreeing to station Western anti-ballistic missile defense system on Turkish territory is actively linking this cooperation at Israel's expense. Turkey has in recent months been publicly attacking and humiliating Israel on a daily rate so as to strengthen her Islamic credentials despite her cooperation with the West.

 

 

              Turkey's goal in cooperating with Nato and the Obama Administration may very well be to close down  the shared ballistic missile defense facilities the US established with Israel in recent years. Turkey's Prime Minister will most likely warn the Obama Administration that it will not allow the data incoming to the Turkey-based stations to be relayed to Israel thereby driving a hole in the missile shield America is building, and weakening Israel's deterrence again Iran, thereby increasing the likelihood of an Israeli "First Strike". Turkey's aim is to drive a wedge between Washington and Jerusalem, derail their close military and intelligence collaboration and cast Israel out of the collective missile shield. The Obama's Administrations withdrawal from this strategic partnership with Israel under Turkish pressure would leave Israel vulnerable to Iran's ballistic missiles.

 

President Obama would be wise to remind Turkey that American strategic interests are not subject to Turkish bizarre (shuk) negotiation tactics. Building a strategic partnership with another Islamic nation that can be overthrown at anytime similar to Egypt, not only reeks of strategic incompetence and weakness but endangers Israel's standing as the only dependant ally that American has in the Middle East.

 

2011 Articles