For the second day in a row, State Department spokesman Marie Harf was pressed on Turkey’s support for Hamas launching a coup in the West Bank so that it can better fight Israel. There is also grave concern over Turkey’s alleged harboring of a Hamas leader implicated in the kidnapping and subsequent murdering of three Israeli teenagers earlier this summer. For the second day in a row, Harf didn’t seem to have any answers.
It should be noted that Turkey was behind the 2010 Gaza flotilla as well.
A heated back-and-forth between reporters and Harf broke out at the State Department’s daily briefing on Monday and Tuesday when questions emerged about why the administration is going through with the transfer of U.S. missiles to Turkey while simultaneously holding up similar weapons shipments to Israel.
Harf again on Tuesday ducked questions by reporters asking if the U.S. government had conveyed concerns to Turkey over the plot.
“Do you have any concerns at all about the apparent role of Turkey in this?” AP reporter Matt Lee asked Harf.
“I don’t have any more details on this, Matt. I’m happy to check with our team,” Harf responded.
“Okay. Because I did ask this yesterday. You weren’t aware of the incident, but … now, the Israelis say that this is all being planned and funded from Turkish territory,” Lee followd up.
“Well, as I said, I think it involves some Hamas militants and cash, but let me check on that piece of it. I certainly have nothing to confirm that,” Harf told Lee.
“I’m most curious to know if you guys are planning to raise any concerns with the—I don’t know, maybe you don’t have any concerns … if you’ll raise them with the Turks,” Lee responded.
Harf responded that she would “check on that.”
Again, Harf defaulted back to the NATO alliance between the U.S. and Turkey:
“Turkey is also a NATO ally,” she told reporters. “So for all of us who are—talk a lot about the importance of the NATO alliance, particularly when it comes to Russia and Ukraine and what’s happening there, we think it’s important to provide our NATO allies with resources. We think that’s an important use of our resources. The two [cases] aren’t comparable, but those are the facts behind them, I would say.”
Regardless of where one stands on the issue of Russia and Ukraine, the fact is that a big factor there – especially in Crimea – has been Russia’s concerns over the Muslim tartars, which are allies of the Turks. Their heaviest population can be found in Crimea. Another dispute between Russia and Turkey is in Syria. Russia has been on the side of Bashar al-Assad and Turkey – like the U.S. – has been on the side of the opposition there.
That is, until now.
Now, Turkey is on the side of ISIS and the U.S. – whether it wants to acknowledge it or not – is on the side of Assad by default (the U.S. is fighting ISIS in Iraq).
Then, of course, we have the situation with Israel. As is the case in Egypt right now, Russia is aligning with anti-Muslim Brotherhood forces by siding with Gen. el-Sisi. The Obama administration has been siding with the Brotherhood there (siding with Turkey).
By aligning with Turkey, the U.S. is siding against Israel, increasingly so.
Add to that the issue of Hamas mentioned above.
Based on all the conflicts in the world today, Russia is closer to being a natural ally with Israel than is the U.S.
That’s sad and regardless of what complexities people would like to introduce into the argument telling us why the U.S. can’t exit NATO, there’s one simple reason it should.
The U.S. is increasingly against Israel the longer it’s with Turkey.
That’s a flat-out disastrous alliance, regardless of any high-minded political intricacies the ‘little people’ don’t understand.