Cheney Wants War With Iran – Might Get One With Turkey
In what seems to me to be a strangely underreported story, US – Turkish tensions on the northern Iraqi border are rapidly breaking down.
Speigel-Online is reporting that the situation seems to be escalating.
The signs have become increasingly ominous. For weeks, Turkey has been building up its military presence on its south-eastern border with Iraq in response to cross-border raids by Kurdish rebels. Potentially more concerning, Ankara has been openly considering an incursion into Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq in an attempt to root out members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) based there.
On Sunday, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates saw the situation as sufficiently heated to issue a warning to Ankara. “We hope there would not be a unilateral military action across the border into Iraq,” Gates told reporters on Sunday.
Speaking after meeting with Asian government officials in Singapore, Gates said he sympathized with the Turkish frustration over the raids launched by Kurdish rebels from across the border. “The Turks have a genuine concern with Kurdish terrorism that takes place on Turkish soil,” he said. “So one can understand their frustration and unhappiness over this.”
But Ankara is unlikely to be placated by US sympathy. Indeed, the Turkish military shelled Kurdish positions on the Iraqi side of the border on both Sunday and Monday, according to the Belgium-based Firat news agency. Furthermore, the Dogan news agency reported that a suicide bombing had killed three soldiers at a military outpost in south-eastern Turkey on Monday.
At the same time, all my normal news channels (and most of my morning reading) was taken up by the Rice attempt to disarm or at least de-tooth (de-pacemaker?) Cheney with respect to Iran.
I wonder why this story is getting so little play in American and English media? Perhaps because neither the Democrats nor the Republicans want an escalation on that front giving no reason for beltway journalists to cover it?
Look at the motivations of the various factions.
Rice is trying to lower all tensions in the Middle East; the last thing she needs is a new crisis. Dick Cheney is concentrating on implicating Iran not only with arm shipments into Iraq but into Afghanistan thus bringing about the next stage in whatever nefarious plan he acutally has. (I wonder if the evidence for Afghanistan is any better than the “Iranian” EFP shipments presented in February?)
The Democratic leadership would really prefer to keep this situation under wraps because an escalation on Iraq’s northern border would give the President a reason for a continued troop presence in Iraq; something approaching a dose of political polonium. Finally Rapture enraptured President Bush doesn’t need a Turkish-Kurdish war because that wouldn’t involve Israel thus bringing about “Americas Destiny.”
Perhaps that’s why there is so little reporting on the issue.
As far as I can tell, for US politicians, it’s a lose-lose situation best kept under wraps. I just wonder if anyone can convince the Turkish politicians of the same thing?