Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
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This is something I think is misunderstood. People are saying that Turkey will face troubles if there is a war against Iraq.
But Turkey paid dearly for supporting the United States in the Gulf War, and its government doesn't want to be a loser in a second Iraq war. If the Bush administration doesn't listen more closely to Turkish concerns, it could soon be facing a disaster in northern Iraq.
What Turkey fears most is that a war will precipitate a semi-independent Kurdish entity in northern Iraq that will re-ignite the bitter civil war waged by Kurdish separatists in Turkey for nearly two decades.
Let me answer this with a question. What will happen if Saddam keeps inspectors on the run for a year or two. The world and the UN, as is their wont, lose interest and declare we have achieved victory. This time around it is decided that we will reward Saddam for his 'compliance' by lifting the sanctions and recognizing Iraq's 'territorial intergrity'. How long do you think Saddam will suffer a semi-independent Kurdish run Northern Iraq before sending troops (WMD armed) to put them down? Once this war of suppression starts Eastern Turkey will become a militarized Kurdish stronghold with even more Kurdish refugees agitating even more for independence.
Please explain to me how this is worse than a WMD armed Saddam looking to write his name in the record books for eons to come being toppled and the victorious Kurds, who are right now affirmng their support of a federal Iraq with to goal toward an independent Kurdish State. The writer of this piece makes the assumption that if we don't go to war with Iraq then the Kurds will never rise up. That is just plain ignorance.
A federally created Iraq with input from the allies who help bring freedom will have a much better chance at peace between the Turks and Kurds than waiting for an open war between the Kurds and Saddam.
Subsequently, the Bush administration facilitated the emergence of a Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq. That entity was protected by U.S. and British overflights from Turkish NATO bases.
For the Turks, this was their worst nightmare: Not only had they lost their most important trading partner - Iraq - and sacrificed huge revenue from the Iraqi oil pipeline that ran through Turkey, but they also now had to worry that Kurdish autonomy would inspire Kurdish separatists within Turkey.
Apparently it would have been much better had we allowed Saddam to just kill them all off. That way Turkey could still be trading with Iraq and getting Saddam's oil.
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