Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Whole lot of trouble coming down the pike in Kurdistan:

While we all sit around and discuss timelines and benchmarks for Iraq and debate plan B, there's a whole heap o' trouble brewing in Northern Iraq. As the WaPo belatedly points out:

"The long dispute between Turkey and Iraq over renegade Kurdish fighters camped on the Iraqi side of their shared border reached new heights last month. When the head of Iraq's Kurdish regional government threatened to provoke an uprising among Turkish Kurds, Turkey responded with warnings of direct military action and an angry complaint to Washington.
Ankara has massed thousands of soldiers on its side of the border and has warned it will dismantle the camps in Iraq if the U.S. military will not use some of its nearly 150,000 troops in Iraq to do it."

Actually, according to PanARMENIAN.Net , the Turks have already moved into Iraq:


"The Turkish army invaded bordering regions of Nothern Iraq preparing a large scale operation against Kurdish gorillas, one of Iraqi internet web-sites close to Patriotic Union of Kurdistan reported on Thursday. 'The Turkish army with large forces invaded Haftanin, Sineht and Pirbila districts in Northern Iraq, where armored equipment and 'commandos' of Special Forces are stationed, Iraqi media reports. The Turkish general staff has not made any comments concerning this message, RIA “Novosti” reports."

Looks like USAF General Joseph Ralston, W.'s Special Envoy for Countering the PKK, isn't having much luck keeping the two sides apart. Last August, W. decided to send Ralston over to Iraq to placate the Turks while he focuced on bringing victory to the rest of Iraq. As usual, the administtration has seriously miscalculated about the extent to which the Turks are willing to go to deal with the Kurds and doom is impending.

If you can recall, the first big mistake the US made was pissing off the Turks back in 2002. Keep in the mind, the Turks have always been our best friends in the world. During the Cold War, they were one of our closest allies; not after Rummy and Wolfowitz got done with them, though. Remember, Rummy was insisting that he needed the 4th ID to move through Turkey to invade Iraq from the north. According to the military genius' at the Pentagon, this was crucial. Colin Powell, typically, thought the plan was crazy. He said:

"I think they can handle the through-put. I think they can handle the air piece. It’s when you talk about moving an armored division or mechanized division overland through the length of Anatolia with a long huge train behind it, huge numbers of vehicles, going to invade another Muslim country. I will go for that, but that may well be one too many bricks on the scale for the Turks. I don’t think we can get it and we’re taking a risk at losing it all by going for that

James E. Kapsis in MERIA writes:

"Powell ultimately lost the argument to Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Franks. The Pentagon’s optimistic outlook was reinforced by unofficial backchannels of communications from some of Erdogan’s political advisers signaling that Turkey would ultimately come through. . . Rather than listening to officials at the Turkish Embassy in Washington who, like Powell, were sending warning signals to U.S. officials about the chances for success, Wolfowitz and his advisors put more faith in the rosy communications coming from Zapsu and other unofficial interlocutors. In short, the Americans heard what they wanted to hear and blocked out the rest. "

When it ultimatly turned out that the Turkish parliament voted down permission for the US to use its territory, the US shunned the Turks. In fact, Rummy had the audacity to blame Turkey in 2005 for the insurgency. He told ABC:

"Had we been successful in getting the 4th Infantry Division to come in through Turkey. . . I believe that a considerably smaller number of the Baathists and the regime elements would have escaped. And as a result the insurgency would have been at a lesser intensity than it is today." [smh.com]

Now, we're making more mistakes by ignoring Turkey's anger over losing 600 soldiers to the PKK in the past year. If the Turks really do go whole hog into Iraqi Kurdistan the Peshmerga fighers mascarading as Iraqi soldiers will drop what they're doing in Baghdad and make a beeline for the border. The Peshmerga element sof the Iraqi Army are the only ones who can actually fight, so we'd be in a bunch of trouble right away as far as the Surge goes.

Another problem is that we've been using elements of the Kurdish rebels to try and destabilize Iran, who is to say they don't turn right around and start fighting the Turkish invaders. Things are so convoluted over there I can't even begin to figure out what that might mean. Whatever happens, it ain't good for us.

But maybe for General Roston who has a lot of stock in Lockheed Martin, whcih provides fighter jets to Turkey's airforce. Perhaps, that's why he can't get any traction with Barzani & Co?


Post a Comment

<< Home

hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories