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Who Wants Turkey?

Way back when, I took some history classes at a community college in Michigan to shore up my general ed. credits. I had an instructor there named Mr. Schlosser who was so great that I took two more of his classes even though I didn't need them. In discussing the first Gulf War, Schlosser made the case defending Bush 41s decision NOT to drive through to Baghdad to topple Saddam and occupy Iraq by stating that:

  • doing so would create a power vacuum (ding!);
  • ethnic tensions would explode into civil war (ding!);
  • and the region would split into fractured nation states (pending).
  • The problem with the last scenario, he said, was that doing so would create more borders and more borders increases the likelihood of border disputes. Will somebody please hand over the keys to the State Department to Mr. Schlosser?

    Today brings news of a possible showdown with Turkey. Yes, Turkey. CNN reports, "Turkey's parliament on Wednesday was expected to approve military action against Kurdish separatists based in Iraqi territory despite international efforts to avert the crisis."


    Now, the Kurdish area of Iraq is immensely pro-American and since we already jacked the Kurds in their fight for freedom in the early 90s, it would be beyond rude to do so again. That means a Turkish incursion would all but have to be met with a US response.

    Turkey is considering this action because they say Kurdish separatists are using the region as a staging area to attack Turkish troops, a claim Iraqi officials deny.

    Not to be left out of a good fight, Syria is backing Turkey's "right" to launch such a maneuver.

    Visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad said Turkey had a legitimate right to stage a cross-border offensive., according to The Associated Press.

    "We understand that such an operation would be aimed toward a certain group which attacks Turkish soldiers. We support decisions that Turkey has on its agenda, we are backing them," Assad told reporters.

    "We accept this as Turkey's legitimate right. As Syria, we are supporting all decisions by Turkey and we are standing behind them."

    Now, who would have guessed that our old friends the Turks would be stepping to us in a pseudo-state with no real government and vague borders? Mr. Schlosser, that's who.

    Turkish parliament approves Iraq mission
    Bush opposes Turkish offensive

    The President also urged congress not to infuriate Turkey by approving a resolution that would define the murder of what may have been 1.5 million Armenians in the closing years of the Ottoman Empire

    With all the pressing responsibilities facing the nation, "One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," he said, and I agree. As tragic as that episode was, I don't understand the strategic benefit of poking Turkey right now.


    Let's see... if we were attacked by Al Qaida and that resulted in Bush invading Iraq, what are the chances of a Turkish incursion into Kurdistan resulting in air strikes on Iran?

    Bear in mind that to most Americans, all of these peoples are just "towel-heads" who live "over there." With the right PR spin, Turkey's actions could easily be sold to the American public as a threat necessitating action against Iran.

    Great post Derek. The Kurdistan component makes this argument about 3-levels too complex, however, for Bush's Islamo-fascist tirades.

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