The great thrill of watching President Obama rotating in the wilds of the world, is his deftness in convincing other sovereign nations that the USA is, in fact, a reasonable country despite our recent, warring, record in the world. Evidence of his deference and respect has been demonstrated this week during his visit to Turkey even as local citizens protest his presence.
“We seek broader engagement based upon mutual interest and mutual respect,” Obama said in a speech to Turkey’s Parliament. It was his first visit to a predominantly Islamic nation as president, and he struck a balance between extending a hand to Muslims in general and discussing Turkey’s central role in helping to bring stability to a post-war Iraq and the wider Middle East.
“Our partnership with the Muslim world is critical, not just in rolling back the violent ideologies that people of all faiths reject but also to strengthen opportunity for all its people,” he said. He portrayed terrorist groups such as al-Qaida as extremists far removed from the vast majority of Muslims.
Turkey has NATO’s largest Army after the U.S., but relations between the two countries soured after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which the Turks opposed. Turkey barred U.S. forces from going through its country to attack Iraq. Now, however, since Obama is withdrawing troops, Turkey has become more cooperative.
Getting along with Turkey is vital to international American interests and President Obama comprehends the urgency of that need and he is actively trying to create change in the world so the USA can once again stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the world as a moral leader and an economic powerhouse.