Yesterday, while on my lunch break from jury duty, I ran into an Anthony Weiner press conference in lower Manhattan. He was talking mostly about the Senate’s job bill, but took a question on Israel and the “peace” flotilla at the end. During his answer, he specifically called Turkey our “former ally.” Since I thought these were strong words for a fellow NATO member and since none of the other members of the media covering the event seemed shocked at what Weiner said, I went up to him after, iPhone in hand, to ask him to clarify. The audio is here, my question is at the end (2:43). The first half, which I started recording in progress, is Weiner debating a reporter on the best way to stop a ship at sea without boarding it. Quite amusing. After my question is the good stuff when Weiner goes after Turkey for their lack of help with Iran and their role in Gaza and the Middle East as a whole.
The main take-away is that Weiner not only slams Turkey, but takes a shot at U.S. foreign policy toward Turkey, and in the process, implicates the Obama administration:
Look, we sometimes in our U.S. foreign policy, we sometimes have what we hope will be in front of what we see clearly happening. And we are constantly on the lookout for the moderate Arab state that is going to be the one that’s going to be the linchpin of our policy there. And we sometimes don’t just look at how they’re behaving. Turkey has not act — this was clearly instigated by Turkey.
I guess that “hope and change” in foreign policy isn’t going over so well.
Weiner ends with, to answer my original question, “I would call them, at least today, a former ally until they start acting like they are an ally.”
One, negative, however. As much as I approve of Weiner’s defense of Israel, was this necessary? From the Daily News write-up (and in the audio above):
“Here’s what Israel chose to do, what frankly they do a lot of time in military engagements, they chose to put their own men and women at risk, not something flying over with a drone high above, put men and women at risk to try to do this as peacefully possible.”
We’re back to “air-raiding villages and killing civilians?“