At the very least its a very good thing that Turkey has agreed to suspend military offensives into northern Iraq against the Kurds until after the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met with President Bush to discuss the issue. This meeting will occur in 10 days.
In a very serious way, this is a last ditch effort. I’m no diplomat, but the threat of “unilateral” action by our Turkish allies? in northern Iraq does not seem to be some political maneuvering tool. The Turkish people are crying out for revenge against their Kurdish enemies, and the Turkish people are considerably more hot blooded, on the whole, than the American people. The Turkish military has also issued official statements recommending military actions against the Kurds.
This would present us with a very, very uncomfortable dilemma. The Turks are our long-standing strategic allies: the Kurds in northern Iraq are our vital allies — militarily, economically, politically — in the Iraq War. What do you do when two allies go at each other’s throats? Especially when they go at each other’s throats in your backyard?
(On an admittedly ignorant side-note, I wonder why the US doesn’t just allow the Kurds to fulfill their deepest dream and form an independent state in what is now Northern Iraq… Except that the one million Kurds in the area are probably the only people in the entire region who would be anything other than deeply uncomfortable with that move…)
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