Making enemies of friends

MAKING ENEMIES OF FRIENDS…. On Friday, Liz Cheney blasted the White House for “sending a clear signal to the Turkish-Syrian-Iranian axis that their methods for ostracizing Israel will succeed.” For most of us, the fact that Turkey is part of an “axis” with Syria and Iran was rather startling news.

As Glenn Greenwald noted, we’re watching as Cheney and others “instantaneously transform” Turkey into “The Enemy” in the wake of recent violence off the coast of Gaza.

Cheney did it again this morning, once again linking Turkey to Iran and Syria as nations that “threaten to destroy Israel.”

Even for Liz Cheney, this is pretty nutty. Turkey is not only a NATO member and long-time ally of the United States, it’s also been a key Israeli ally. Obviously, the May 31 raid has pushed the relationship to the breaking point, but labeling Turkey as a country that “threatens to destroy” Israel ignores years of history.

As the NYT recently explained, Turkey “has long been Israel’s closest friend in the Muslim world, with $2.5 billion in trade in 2009 and strong ties between the countries’ militaries and governments.”

Her entire analysis is completely absurd, but if recent months are any indication, this is a trend worth watching — how soon will other conservatives start characterizing another U.S. ally as an enemy?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.