Over at The Weekly Standard’s blog, Daniel Halper picks up on a pool report which describes how President Obama reserved his warmest greeting in Cannes for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s Islamist prime minister. Certainly, Erdoğan is undeserving of any such praise. Under his direction, Turkey has rapidly moved from ally to adversary. Certainly Turkey is not only responsible for facilitating the Mavi Marmara in its quest to support Hamas, but also threatened Israel in the wake of the UN Palmer Commission report which largely exculpated Israel. In recent weeks, Erdoğan’s confidant Egemen Bağış has even threatened Cyprus with military action in a dispute over Cyprus and Israel exploring for oil in international waters of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Republicans should not simply hand wring, however, at Obama’s self-defeating behavior. On October 28, at Obama administration behest, the Pentagon officially notified Congress of its intention to sell Turkey three Super Cobra helicopters. In the past, officials rebuffed such Turkish requests because those helicopters were needed in Afghanistan. Frankly, they still our and American lives depend on them. Senators now have 15 days to object to the sale; the Obama administration, however, hopes that their request will slip through unnoticed.
Perhaps it’s time for senators who care about these issues to simply tell Obama that he can hug who he likes, but he should not expect the Congress to acquiesce to Obama’s counterproductive international agenda. Does John McCain (R-AZ), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee really believe that we should take helicopters away from Afghanistan to support Erdoğan? Does Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), his colleague on the Committee, believe we should?