İlter Türkmen - English

Obama and Turkey

11 Kasım 2008
A couple of days ago while I was watching a televised debate over the newly-elected president of the United States, Barrack Obama, I heard the following conversation; "Question: Is the election of Obama a part of a project? Answer: No doubt about it." Yes, we saw a unique reaction in Turkey when he won.

Our professional conspiracy theorists came up with a scenario; even if it seems Obama has come to power through a democratic election process, it is in fact nothing other than an implementation of a project by the deep state! Meaning, the deep state, from the beginning, had prepared Obama as the Democrat candidate and then brought Hillary Clinton up as his rival. But in the race, the deep state supported Obama and preferred John McCain as Republican candidate.

In order to weaken McCain, the deep state pushed Sarah Palin in as his vice-presidential nominee. While McCain and Obama were neck-and-neck in the race, the deep state this time provoked the economic crisis in order to stimulate Obama supporters. In the end, Obama won!

An awesome scenario, is it not? Not to admire the power of imagination behind this is impossible. Political scientists in Europe see Obama’s victory as proof of Americans’ enormous ability for self-renewal and lament not having a leader like him. But they err! We should reveal the facts to them! However, Europe is the home of the great philosopher, mathematician and scientist RenŽ Descartes. "I think therefore I am," he said. And suspicion is at the bottom of thought. You will not entertain every single thought that enters your mind. You will ask yourself, I wonder if this is true. Of course, this is a difficult process. If you stick to a pattern of thought you like and if you adopt it, you are comforted each time you apply it! Obama’s remarks before the election are a cause of concern.

That is correct. For instance, he said he would ask NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan. But we are not obliged to say yes to him all the time. There is nothing more natural than a country struggling with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, terror to turn down greater troop deployment to Afghanistan.

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Bitter facts after a glorious victory

7 Kasım 2008
The victory that Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama won at the polls Nov. 4 has become the source of a great deal of happiness, not only in the United States, but also in the world.

U.S. prestige, which hit bottom during the George W. Bush period, was suddenly boosted again. In addition to Americans, people all over the world have high hopes for Obama. However, it is also the fact that Obama takes charges of the fate of the United States in a period full of difficulties. Due to his awareness of the subject matter, Obama in his victory speech emphasized that a few months, or a few years, or even a term of office may not be enough for the change he has already promised.

From an economic perspective, it is not wrong to say that Obama has inherited a wreck, as we frequently use the expression in Turkish politics. The United States is going through the second most serious crisis since the 1929 depression.External debt amounted to $10 trillion in eight years, against a $14 trillion national income. Unemployment and poverty are increasing gradually.

The $700 billion cost of the rescue plan prepared for financial institutions facing bankruptcy is being added on top of the budget deficit of nearly $450 billion to $500 billion. In this case, it is unclear how Obama will create the $300 billion financing envisaged to be needed for renewable energy and environment resources, providing financial support to the house owners who lost their properties due to the “mortgage crisis,” the health care reform and providing financial aid for low-income groups.

The foreign policy agenda will also cause as much difficulty for Obama as the economic agenda in the United States. Urgent solutions are needed for problems that he is about to face in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. How will it be possible to put the withdrawal plan into practice in the next 16 months? How will internal dynamics in Iraq affect stability, peace at home and territorial integrity after the U.S. pull out? How will the neighboring countries of Iraq react to a possible civil war in the country? It is not easy to find answers to these questions.

As for Afghanistan, Obama wants to send to re-deploy two brigades that will be pulled out from Iraq. That’s fine but no matter how many forces you deploy in Afghanistan, is it possible to raze out the Taliban and al-Qaeda from the country? Right now talks are about taking a step toward the Taliban and having contact with a Taliban group. Will a coalition government including the Taliban survive in Afghanistan? Will the Taliban turn against al-Qaeda? Questions with no answers are aplenty.

The impact of the developments in Afghanistan over the political stability in Pakistan and over Pakistan-U.S. relations should not be forgotten either. The Taliban and al-Qaeda are being supported, or being nurtured, by the regions that the government fails to keep under control. Instability in Afghanistan is echoed in Pakistan. It is hard to say that the Pakistani administration is able to conduct a strong

and consistent policy while the country is on the edge of economic collapse today.Obama intends to take a step toward Iran, too. He wants to stop the Iranian nuclear enrichment program through talks with the Tehran administration with no pre-conditions. If Obama succeeds, a U.S.-Iran encounter will be prevented. But what will happen if Iran continues with its uranium enrichment program for the production of nuclear arms and if Israel insists on air-borne U.S. attacks against Iraq or bombs the Iranian nuclear plants itself?

As for Russia, Obama, upon being elected, announced the deployment of short-range missiles on the Baltic shores against the Russian missiles deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic. So U.S. policies toward Russia are also among the priorities.There are many other complex and difficult problems waiting for Obama. He definitely needs a very strong administration, creative and experienced secretaries and advisers, as well as allies and self-confidence.

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