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A Little Tri-lateral cooperation in the offing with Turkey?
Posted by: mcq on Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Discussions between leaders in Iraq, Turkey and the US may keep a lid on the PKK problem in Iraqi Kurdistan:
Iraq will help Turkey crack down on separatist Kurdish guerillas in the north of the country, the Foreign Minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, said yesterday after talks with his Turkish counterpart.

"I assured the minister that the Iraqi Government will actively help Turkey to overcome this menace. We agreed that the position we should take is a common one to fight terrorism. We will not allow any party, including the PKK, to poison our bilateral relations," Mr Zebari said.

At a joint news conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ali Babacan, Mr Zebari added: "We will co-operate with the Turkish Government to solve the border problems and the terrorism that Turkey is facing through direct dialogue."

In a phone call on Monday with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, the United States President, George Bush, had offered support for Turkish efforts to counter attacks by the outlawed PKK, who killed at least a dozen Turkish soldiers on Sunday.

Mr Bush "reaffirmed our commitment to work with Turkey and Iraq to combat PKK terrorists operating out of northern Iraq," said the White House national security council spokesman, Gordon Johndroe. He did not elaborate on the nature of the co-operation.
One of the points Ralph Peters made in his article about this situation is both important and interesting and has to do with the inner workings of Turkey's politics. The military views itself as the secular stop-gap which prevents Turkey's Islamist party, the AKP, from turning Turkey into a Islamic state. And it is speculated that the generals, who view their status as diminished by the AKP's repeated electoral wins may view an incursion into Iraq as a way of revitalizing their waning electoral stature. That's if it goes well. But there's another possibility as well:
Yet, a potential problem that the Turkish military does not appear to have grasped is that a move into northern Iraq might not go as smoothly as the generals intend. Well-armed and determined, Iraq's Kurds would resist any major invasion, and the mountainous region is ideal for defensive fighting. For all the on-paper strength of the Turkish military, it could suffer a significant embarrassment in Iraq.

A military disappointment — it needn't be a debacle — in Iraqi Kurdistan would profoundly alter Turkey's internal balance of power. The army has thrived on the perception of its invincibility. A botched cross-border move would damage its all important image, further empowering the political Islamists, who've already subverted many of the laws and values the military inherited from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the father of modern Turkey).
It is entirely possible the PKK is attempting to lure the Turkish army into just such a "disappointment". As Peter's notes, the terrain definitely favors the defense and would all but void the firepower and maneuverability which favors the Turks.

There's another option, however, which is apparently being seriously considered.
The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that Mr Bush had told Mr Gul that US officials were seriously looking into options beyond diplomacy.

US officials have considered launching cruise missiles against PKK targets, but air strikes using manned aircraft was an easier option, an unnamed US official told the Tribune. "In the past, there has been reluctance to engage in direct US military action against the PKK," the official said.

"But the red line was always: if the Turks were going to come over the border, it could be so destabilizing that it might be less risky for us to do something ourselves. Now the Turks are at the end of their rope, and our risk calculus is changing."
Given the choice of having the Turks invade or helping the Turks take out the PKK, it seems we and Iraq are beginning to lean toward the latter. If so, that would most likely be the most effective and quickest way to end the threat while at the same time cementing the bi-lateral relations between Turkey and Iraq and helping repair relations with the US.

Of course if it were left up to the New York Times, we'd be pulling out of Iraq right now!
 
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No, you have it all wrong. MK has assured me that Bush is doing nothing — Nothing! All is lost!! We must attack first and use diplomacy later!!! Aaaarrrrrrrrgggggggg!!!!!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Actually, JWG, he assured us that Bush was begging Turkey to do nothing. Not the first time mk has gotten it flat-out wrong.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Given the choice of having the Turks invade or helping the Turks take out the PKK, it seems we and Iraq are beginning to lean toward the latter. If so, that would most likely be the most effective and quickest way to end the threat while at the same time cementing the bi-lateral relations between Turkey and Iraq and helping repair relations with the US.
Great. The United States in yet another war in the Middle East. The GWoT™ rocks on. What could possibly go wrong? God save us from George Bush.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
The PKK has been there since we invaded Iraq. It has been a terrorist organization since we invaded Iraq. Now, 4 and a half years after invading Iraq, the Bush administration is finally figuring out that it might not be a good idea to have a 3000 man terrorist organization threatening our NATO ally?

Well, no one has ever accused the Bushies of being quick on the uptake.

As for the Iraqi "government" helping us, forget it. Don’t believe me? Well listen to the President of Iraq:
(Asharq Al-Awsat) The Turkish Government wants you to arrest their leaders who are present on Iraqi territory.

(Talabani) We cannot do that. How can we arrest the leaders who are present in the mountains and surrounded by thousands of men? The Turkish army, with all its power, cannot do that. How can we do it?

(Asharq Al-Awsat) What, then, does Nuri al-Maliki mean by his comment about eradicating their bases?

(Talabani) I do not think that this is accurate talk. The prime minister and I have the same view, namely, that we cannot send sufficient Iraqi forces to fight the PKK.
No, there won’t be any Iraqi forces going into Kurdistan to take on the PKK. Once again, the Bushies are being duped by an Iraqi "government" whose interests have nothing to do with those of the United States.

And no, the Turks won’t be invading Northern Iraq in the beginning of winter. They will simply have to endure more terrorist attacks - attacks coming from terrorists in Iraq.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The PKK has been there since we invaded Iraq
A very weak attempt to conflate the PKK with the war in Iraq. In fact, the PKK has been around since 1978, and was attacking Turkey long before the war in Iraq started.

On another thread you complained that Bush wasn’t doing anything about the PKK, now you complain when he’s doing something. There’s just no pleasing you, is there?

Don’t bother responding, mk: I don’t take you seriously. I’d sooner get medical advice from the funny papers than take you seriously.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
A very weak attempt to conflate the PKK with the war in Iraq. In fact, the PKK has been around since 1978, and was attacking Turkey long before the war in Iraq started.
Right. Exactly. The PKK was in Iraq long before we got there. And they were designated a terrorist group long before we got there.

So when we got there, how many coalition troops were sent to Kurdistan to kill the terrorists who are committing terroristic acts against our NATO ally?

Bush has allowed this problem to fester for years without doing anything about it. Now, the Turks are finally getting pissed and Bush is urging the Iraqis to do something about it. But of course, the Iraqis aren’t going to do squat.

So my question remains: What are we doing in Iraq if we don’t have the means or the will to kill terrorists who are attacking our NATO ally? Remember, Steverino, an attack on a NATO ally is an attack on the USA. So the PKK is effectively attacking the USA. And yet we sit by and confer with the "government" in Baghdad that lies to our face.

It makes the US look weak.
On another thread you complained that Bush wasn’t doing anything about the PKK, now you complain when he’s doing something. There’s just no pleasing you, is there?
He’s doing nothing, Steverino. What is he doing, other than urging the Turks not to invade? Nothing. Nothing at all. And here I thought there was a global war on terror.

It doesn’t seem to matter what Bush does or doesn’t do. There will always be apologists out there ready to defend him no matter what. Even when Bush sides with terrorists over our NATO allies, they are still there to defend him. It’s all very strange.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra wrote:
Even when Bush sides with terrorists over our NATO allies...
Heh heh, evil genocide-deniers who must be called to account one week, our close and vitally important NATO ally whom we must defend from terrorists the next. Fun stuff.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
It’s all very strange.
that you’re still whining about nothing being done.

Guess your intell network wasn’t as good as you hoped, what with your "no one doing anything" reports yesterday still hot from your keyboard.

If it’ll make you happy, I saw reports that the President is behind the fires in California.
Very plainly headline wise, I saw "Bush fires threaten San Diego" on a local paper.
That should fit in nicely with your BDS.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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