Tales from the Trail

U.S. lawmakers wonder, where did our love go? with Turkey

It almost sounded as if U.S. lawmakers felt jilted by Washington’s long-time NATO ally Turkey.

“How do we get Turkey back?” demanded Representative Gary Ackerman at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing exploring “Turkey’s New Foreign Policy Direction.”

“Why is Turkish public opinion … perhaps one of the most anti-American of any of the countries of the world?” asked the committee’s chairman, Representative Howard Berman.

KENNEDY/With a panel of experts on Turkey listening, Berman and other lawmakers listed their worries about recent Turkish policy turns on Iran, Israel and the Palestinians.

Concerns about Turkey had hit a new peak with its support of an aid convoy of ships that tried to run the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip this summer, Berman said.

Obama takes on anti-Americanism, calls for new era

President Barack Obama began his first speech before the U.N. General Assembly by taking on the anti-Americanism that spread overseas in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq (six years before his presidency).

“I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust,” he told world leaders. UN-ASSEMBLY/

Misperceptions, misinformation, opposition to U.S. policies, and a belief that the United States acted unilaterally “fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism which, too often, has served as an excuse for collective inaction,” Obama said.