Thursday, October 27, 2011

Turkey's Turning Hypocrisy Into Art Form

Turkey's recent diplomatic outbursts against Israel have once again been exposed as nothing but hypocrisy. The Turkish government slams Israel at every opportunity since the Mavi Marmara incident, and claims that the Israelis are engaging in terror actions or war crimes, yet Turkey has no problem going after the PKK with military forces inside Iraq - a sovereign country.

No one raises a voice about that.

Now comes word that the Turkish government is hosting groups that are hoping to continue the insurgency against Syria's Bashar al Assad's intolerable and evil regime.
Once one of Syria’s closest allies, Turkey is hosting an armed opposition group waging an insurgency against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, providing shelter to the commander and dozens of members of the group, the Free Syrian Army, and allowing them to orchestrate attacks across the border from inside a camp guarded by the Turkish military.

The support for the insurgents comes amid a broader Turkish campaign to undermine Mr. Assad’s government. Turkey is expected to impose sanctions soon on Syria, and it has deepened its support for an umbrella political opposition group known as the Syrian National Council, which announced its formation in Istanbul. But its harboring of leaders in the Free Syrian Army, a militia composed of defectors from the Syrian armed forces, may be its most striking challenge so far to Damascus.

On Wednesday, the group, living in a heavily guarded refugee camp in Turkey, claimed responsibility for killing nine Syrian soldiers, including one uniformed officer, in an attack in restive central Syria.

Turkish officials describe their relationship with the group’s commander, Col. Riad al-As’aad, and the 60 to 70 members living in the “officers’ camp” as purely humanitarian. Turkey’s primary concern, the officials said, is for the physical safety of defectors. When asked specifically about allowing the group to organize military operations while under the protection of Turkey, a Foreign Ministry official said that their only concern was humanitarian protection and that they could not stop them from expressing their views.

“At the time all of these people escaped from Syria, we did not know who was who, it was not written on their heads ‘I am a soldier’ or ‘I am an opposition member,’ ” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in keeping with diplomatic protocol. “We are providing these people with temporary residence on humanitarian grounds, and that will continue.”

At the moment, the group is too small to pose any real challenge to Mr. Assad’s government. But its Turkish support underlines how combustible, and resilient, Syria’s uprising has proven. The country sits at the intersection of influences in the region — with Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Israel — and Turkey’s involvement will be closely watched by Syria’s friends and foes.
Turkey is engaging in activities it claims Israel is doing, and no one in the UN or elsewhere bats an eye. Funny how that works.

So, what is Turkey's ultimate goal here? They're looking to expand their influence in the Middle East and beating back Iran's influence in the Levant (which includes Lebanon and Syria). They want to be a counter to the Egyptian and Saudis as well.

And they'll look to demonize Israel at any opportunity, even if they engage in the same exact kinds of actions they accuse Israel of doing.

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