Monday :: Dec 17, 2007

The Continuing Strategic Brilliance of the Bush Administration


by Turkana

The title of this New York Times article, from last week, bluntly sets the context:

As Iraqis Vie for Kirkuk’s Oil, Kurds Are Pawns

As the article explained:

These homeless Kurds are here not for soccer but for politics. They are reluctant players in a future referendum to decide whether oil-rich Tamim Province in the north and its capital, Kirkuk, will become part of the semiautonomous Kurdish regional government or remain under administration by Baghdad.

Under the Iraqi Constitution the referendum is due before Dec. 31. But in a nation with a famously slow political clock, one of the few things on which Kirkuk’s Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen communities agree is that yet another political deadline is about to be missed.

This unstable city can ill afford much more delay and uncertainty. The fusion of oil, politics and ethnic tensions make Kirkuk one of the most potentially explosive places in the country, and its fate is seen as a crucial issue by all sides in the debate about whether Iraq will eventually be partitioned among Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs.

The Kurds are one of modern history's most betrayed and abused people. Well, now is no different.

Earlier today, the New York Times reported:

Turkey’s military said it bombed Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq before dawn on Sunday, as part of an American-sanctioned effort to weaken the Kurdish guerrilla group that hides there. An Iraqi official said one woman had been killed.

Turkish fighter jets struck targets in the Zap, Avashin and Hakurk regions, in Dohuk Province along the border with Iraq, and troops followed up with artillery strikes, the Turkish military said on its Web site.

The commander of the Turkish Army, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, said the United States had helped the operation by offering intelligence and clearance to enter Iraqi airspace Saturday night.

This is just one of the many miscalculations the Bush Administration made, about Iraq. The Kurds rightfully want independence. Turkey's worried about independence-minded Turkish Kurds. Some Iraqi Kurds are taking a more aggressive approach, and Turkey has been edging ever closer to all-out conflict. Now, the U.S. is helping them bomb Iraqi Kurds. Betrayed, yet again.

As Ken Silverstein reports, for Harper's:

This morning I received an email from an always insightful and well-connected former U.S. government official working in Kurdistan. Below is an excerpt from his email, which has been edited for length and clarity. The official’s assessment of the damage on the ground, which comes from local sources, agrees with early news reports. The Turks, meanwhile, insist that the air strikes successfully targeted the PKK.
The blowback here in Kurdistan is building against the U.S. government because of its help with the Turkish air strikes. The theme is shock and betrayal. The Kurds see themselves as the only true friend of the Americans in the region, and the only part of Iraq that is working, and are especially hurt by the attack.

We need the Kurds, yet continue to demonstrate that we don't care about them. Yes, that peace and security in Iraq will be coming any day now.

Turkana :: 5:16 PM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!