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Turkey, Iraq Tackle Kurdish Rebel Trouble

Posted on Aug 7, 2007

As if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki didn’t already have his hands full, now he’s dealing with pressure from Turkey to drive out members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who have hunkered down in northern Iraq—or else Turkish troops will do the honors.


The Turkish military has deployed tens of thousands of troops along its southern border in recent months and has been calling for cross-border operations to target the 4,000 PKK activists it believes are in northern Iraq.

The PKK, which has been fighting for an ethnic homeland since 1984, has been labelled a terrorist organisation by both the US and the EU.

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By KnowBush, August 8, 2007 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

In 1999, the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured and tried in Turkey.  From prison he apologized for decades of violence and called for peaceful solutions between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party. At last this brought a major break in the fighting and bloodshed. 

Until 2003.

Seeing the determination of the Bush administration to take on Iraq, Turkey voted in early March 2003 against allowing the U.S. to use Turkey’s position on the northern border of Iraq as an entry point for its invasion of the country.

This defiance was not taken lightly.

Eric S. Edelman, then working in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office as Scooter Libby’s Libby, properly titled “Principle Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs”, was sent forth as the new U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, to better inform their leaders of the administration’s military and economic policies, full of offers they should not refuse.

In Turkey Edelman pushed the Neocon agenda—which he knew well, having been one of the group who wrote the 1992 “Defense Planning Guidance” for then Defense Secretary Cheney.  This is the documentthat defines the great and horrible change in U.S. foreign policy—a declaration of a Superpower that is willing to do whatever is necessary to stay on top, including pre-emptive strikes against those who dare to be rivals in power. 

Though Bush the First lost the White House in 1992, the Neocon proponents of this arrogant bludgeoning continued to refine their arguments and talking points, and presented the reworked documentas the Statement of Principles of The Project for a New American Century in 1997, and have adopted the American Enterprise Institute as its think tank, especially since the PNAC’s reputation was ruined by the truth.

While Edelman lectured the leaders of Turkey, the remains of the PKK in northern Iraq, living amongst the Kurds, found a renewed inspiration for rising up against the Turks once again—they had weapons, suddenly easily available to them, from the Iraqi Army and Police, left unguarded or secured by U.S. troops.

Turkey’s respite was over.

By the time Edelman resigned the post in March 2005, Turkish journalist Ibrahim Karagul wrote “His presence here has never contributed to Turkish-American relations, and it never will.  If we want to address the reasons for anti-Americanism, Edelman must be issue one.”  Karagul also called him “the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history”—a man who “acts more like a colonial governor than an ambassador.”

Recently Lockheed Martin gained contracts to provide more weaponry, this time for Turkey. 

It’s always that way: providing weapons back and forth to two sides—more terror, more profits.

As for Edelman, he’s in the Pentagon now, a Deputy Secretary of Defense, where he’s earned high marks from Cheney for the letter he recently shot off to Senator Clinton as a foul attack on her daring to do her job as a member of Congress.

It’s always important to have a little historical perspective, especially amidst this Bush administration’s propaganda.

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By THOMAS BILLIS, August 8, 2007 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope those neo cons are at the Army recruiting stations.Looks like we will be fighting the Turks,the Iranians,the insurgency in Irag and for good measure Al Qaida in Afghanistan.As Laurel said to Hardy"another fine mess you’ve gotten me into”.

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By farmertx, August 7, 2007 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Iraq PM has his hands full. I’d call that an understatement.
He is trying to deal with the clowns that Shrub sent to ‘advise’ him, his own country is in a shambles thanks to Rummy re-inventing the military (and Duhbya with his ego war), the Iranians’ are up to their usual tricks and schemes.Plus there is Halliburton, rebuilding the country. Strange that all the photo’s of those efforts got lost somewhere.
Yup, I’m ready for the Shrub to report once again, some more, that all is well, progress is being made etc.
And, lest we forget, there are always the standard GOP con artist’s out for the fast buck over there.
Sadly, stuck smack in the middle of this mess is the American GI, just trying to follow order’s and get out alive with all body parts intact.
And the Shrub will get another good night’s sleep, confident that his plan is the only way to go.

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By Skruff, August 7, 2007 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
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People unfamiliar with the region are not aware of this, but the Kurds are the best friends we have in the region. What strikes me strange is the “why?”

We gave Saddam the gas to murder them. we promised them aid after the first gulf war, and reneged. now we have labeled them terrorists.

Do we really want “friendlies” in this part of the world?

Kurds deserve better than us.

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