By Michael Collins
It appears that the United States is winning friends and influencing people all over the world. This exchange is not acknowledged by either government, but the report has the ring of truth to it. The US is the world’s leading arms exporter and the president is, alas, the arms pusher in chief. Now we’re trying to shove around a NATO ally, the second largest armed force in that alliance, and an emerging world power. Why is it that our leaders are so different than the citizens? I don’t know any business people who would take such an arrogant approach to a friend and excellent customer. Amazing, as the fools lead us to decline.
Turkish officials have angrily denied a news report that President Barack Obama has personally warned PM Tayyip Erdoğan that Turkey stands little chance of getting weapons it wants to buy from the US unless it changes its stance on Iran and Israel.
“No country can issue warnings against Turkey. No one, particularly, can talk to the prime minister in such a tone,” said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu of the report, which appeared in the Financial Times on Sunday. Citing an anonymous US official, the daily reported that Obama has told Erdoğan that some of Turkey’s actions have “caused questions to be raised” in Congress and thus Turkey’s weapon requests could be harder to move through Congress.
The warning came during the two leaders’ meeting on the sidelines of a G-20 gathering in Toronto in late June, according to the report.
“The president has said to Erdoğan that some of the actions that Turkey has taken have caused questions to be raised on the Hill [Congress] … about whether we can have confidence in Turkey as an ally. That means that some of the requests Turkey has made of us, for example in providing some of the weaponry that it would like to fight the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK, will be harder for us to move through Congress,” a senior US administration official told the daily.