So we have finally managed to wear down Turkey's patience to the point where they are engaging Kurdish guerillas of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).
And now their young men are starting to come home in plastic bags and the government is Ankara is starting to lose patience, as well as political clout on the home front. [c.f. this article]
You know, "We Told You So!" just doesn't seem to do it justice. No, it does not seem to convey the sense of wonder and awe at watching a long-foretold military train-wreck turned political horror-show unfold before you, despite the shrill warnings, hoarsely shouted from the highest rooftops.
Israel launched airstrikes on Lebanon in response to attacks by Hizbullah earlier this month, and George W. Bush called it "self-defense." But what to tell the Turks, who over the last week lost 15 soldiers to terror attacks launched by sepa-ratist Kurds from neighboring Iraq? Many Turkish leaders are pressing for cross-border tactical air assaults on the guerrillas. But Bush, fearing yet another escalation of the Middle East's violence, urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold off. "The message was, unilateral action isn't going to be helpful," says a senior U.S. official, describing the 15-minute phone conversation. "The president asked for patience."And then we've really got ourselves a ballgame. And it's not like we can go in and "buyoff" the PKK, because we have nothing they want, right now, other than the keys to a Greater Republic of Kurdistan.
The Turkish press has been baying for action, with even the solidly pro-American Turkish Daily News railing in an editorial that "Turkey is no banana republic that can leave its security to the mercy of others." Another editorial posed the question more directly. "Why is it that Israel has the right to 'self-defense'," the paper asked, "and not Turkey." The country's usually fractious parliamentary opposition, in a rare moment of unity, called for active intervention. "Opposition," says True Path Party leader Mehmet Agar, "ends at Habur"—Turkey's border crossing with Iraq."
How long will Turkey remain in the Coalition of the Willingly Bought (or hell, NATO, for that fact) if it looks like the U.S. is going to help the Kurds create something resembling an independent Kurdish republic on Turkey's southern border?
Update 1.0: The New Anatolian an English language, Turkish newspaper of a nationalist flavor, is reporting this morning, that National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley is out with the NSC Fire Brigade right now promising Ankara that the U.S. is going to crack down on the PKK any day now.
Great. I can see no downside:
"The U.S. is considering concrete steps with Iraq against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), said National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, after Tuesday's talks between the U.S. president and the Iraqi prime minister.[sic] Now we've got to deliver on it."Oh. My. God.
"There are concrete steps the U.S. can take to show both Iraqis and Turks that there is a plan to deal with the problem and it has to be done more aggressively," Hadley told reporters following talks with Iraqi officials who accompanied Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to the White House. "We identified some steps that can be taken and that the Iraqis are going to take," he said.
Stressing that U.S. President George W. Bush has given assurances to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hadley said, "I think he was relived.
Six years in, and they are still making this shit up as they go along. How soon, now before our Kurdish allies turn their guns on those American troops who liberated them from Saddam because they now have the uneviable job of keeping the Kurdish man in his place. If this continues this way, there is no way this ends well.