Accordng to the Turkish Daily News, most of their nation’s diplomats and high-level offiicials “generally favor leading candidate Senator Hillyary Clinton over her chief rival Senator Barack Obama.” Many Turkish leaders regard the 1990s under President Bill Clinton as the highest point in positive US-Turkish relations over the past four decades. They fear Barack Obama represents a figure who wants “change” and there is uncertainty regarding exactly what change he would seek in relations with Turkey. They are all worried about Obama’s foreign policy figures such as Samantha Power, an academic on ‘genocide.’ who is regarded as having unfavorable views toward Turkey. Since Hillary Clinton’s advisers date from her husband’s era, they are viewed as being more positive toward Turkey.
Part of the difficulty for Turkey in evaluating benefits or deficits of a new American president is viewing the issue through the lens of the Armenian genocide controversy. Hillary Clinton did sign on the Senate resolution about the Armenian genocide and Barack Obama did send a letter to Bush a few years ago raising the issue. However, neither is really known as a firm advocate of the issue and will most probably cast it to the side as a major issue if elected president. Turkish leaders too frequently ignore the real impact in America of the Armenian issue. It is a minor topic for American political leaders and they usually sign on to resolutions to please a few constitutents, but would not expend political energy on the topic.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democrats, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Liberals, Military, Politics, Republicans, Turkey, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Armenian genocide, Bill Clinton, Obama, Turkey-Clinton
Robert Fisk, writing in England’s The Independent, blasted President Bush as a craven coward who gave in on the issue of the Armenian genocide because he feared Turkey’s generals. “How the mighty have fallen! President Bush,” writes Fisk, “the crusader king who would draw the sword against the forces of Darkness and Evil, he who said there was only ‘them or us’, who would carry on, he claimed, an eternal conflict against ‘world terror’ on our behalf, he turns out, well, to be well, wimp. A clutch of Turkish generals and a multimilion-dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish Holocaust deniers have transformed the lion into a lamb.” The Turkish government has blackmailed the United States and other western nations into either accepting their version of the truth or face the consequences–exactly which ones?
General Yasar Buyukanit, head of Turkey’s armed forces warned if the Congressional resolution was passed it would end the “strong links” to Turkey and have dire results. At no point, have these consequences or results been described other than that Turkey would have to turn away from the west. America was frightened by General Petraeus warnings and the words of Ryan Crocker, US Ambassador to Baghdad that the resolution would “harm the war effort in Iraq.” Bush is ready to threaten war against Iran for the atomic weapons it doesn’t possess just as he initiated war for WMD that never existed. He has consistently boasted that America will go down any road in pursuit of peace and justice and to protect its way of life, but apparently going down the road of truth was not part of any voyage he is willing to undertake. Bush, it turns out, has the backbone of a chocolate eclair when it comes to quavering before threats that have nothing behind them other than words. The bottom line is Turkey needs the European Union and the United States more than it needs to defend an atrocity that did exist. As Fisk puts it, “Who would have thought that the leader of the Western world– he who would protect us against ‘world terror’–would turn out to be the David Irving(famous Holocaust denier) of the White House?