Saturday, September 30, 2006

Are Iraqi Kurdistan's Days Numbered?

An Israeli magazine with a good reputation reports that Iran and Turkey are preparing for a joint invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey and Iran both have active guerrilla forces fighting in their countries that are using Iraq as safe havens (the PKK and PJAK respectively, the photo is of a PKK fighter). Both countries have warned the Iraqi Kurds to stop supporting them.

I have felt that neither country could long tolerate an independent Kurdish state on their borders and a joint invasion presents a conundrum for the United States. US ground forces are in no fit shape to repel an invasion, although our Air Force would reek havoc. With Iraqi insurgents attacking our back, the United States just might lose a war against both Turkey and Iran. The US has labeled both the PKK and PJAK as terrorist organizations. Would we fight to defend terrorists? While Bush is jonesing for a war with Iran, Turkey is our ally and a member of NATO.

It is a sign of how weak the United States has become diplomatically that our biggest enemy and our only real Muslim friends may have formed an alliance. 'May' is the operative word. I don't know how much I believe this report. Turkey wants to join the European Union and attacking Iraq will kill those plans for the next several decades. But Turkey may believe they face the prospect of being dismembered themselves unless they act first to dismember Iraq. The Israeli magazine reports that Turkey is outraged by a map published in an American military magazine that gives large parts of Turkey to a new Kurdistan state (see Ugly American Award Winner). Even the possibility of this war proves the old saying....
Things are never so bad they can't be made worse. ~ Humphrey Bogart, African Queen

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