I am really bothered by Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations. Check out his page 1 soundbite in the Times yesterday (piece on US-Turkey relations by Tavernise/Slackman). There he confused and conflated Israel's critique of Turkey with the US.
Turkey is seen increasingly in Washington as “running around the region doing things that are at cross-purposes to what the big powers in the region want,” said Steven A. Cook, a scholar with the Council on Foreign Relations. The question being asked, he said, is “How do we keep the Turks in their lane?”
He called Turkey a frenemey but has no thoughts on why he implicitly considers the pathological actions of Israel to make it a friend. He is a neocon lite, focused on Israel's interests and conflating them and confusing them with the US.
The article argues that Turkey is a thorn in the side of US policy--unlike Israel. And look here at Foreign Policy; he deliberately misrepresents the Turkish position:
For the first time in its history, Ankara has chosen sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, demanding that Israel take steps to ease the blockade of Gaza or risk unspecified "consequences." Well before the recent crisis, the Turks had positioned themselves as thinly veiled advocates for Hamas, which has long been on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations. In public statements, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared Turkey's Islamists and Hamas. Implicit in these declarations is the parallel to his own Justice and Development Party, whose predecessors were repeatedly banned from politics.
The first sentence needs to be parsed and then Cook concludes that the Turks asking for the siege to be eased are supporting a terrorist organization. This is the rhetoric of Netanyahu, which Cook accepts. Does that imply Obama's recent explicit critique of the siege/blockade makes him a terrorist sympathizer? Cook and his friends at the Council on Foreign Relations conflate Israel with the US and then work to ensure that the Israeli position is adopted and that US foreign policy then is no different than arguably the Israeli frenemey.
Weiss adds: To understand how pro-Israel and stale Cook's ideas are, consider Stephen Kinzer's ideas. A former New York Times journalist, who was on NPR yesterday, Kinzer is thinking way outside the box on Turkey, Iran, Israel. A blurb on Kinzer's new book: "An original, unsettling critique of America's many blunders in the Middle East. In Iran, a statue honors Howard Baskerville, and streets and schools bear his name. A young American teacher, he died in 1909 leading volunteers in defense of this nation's fledgling democracy. After delivering this surprising bit of history, journalist Kinzer states bluntly that Iran, along with Turkey, the only Islamic nations in the area with vibrant democratic traditions, should be America's closest allies, replacing Israel and Saudi Arabia.... An imaginative solution to the Middle-East stalemate." -Kirkus Reviews