Tuesday, December 18, 2007

US Turns A Blind Eye As Turkey Bombs Iraqi Kurds

On Sunday, Turkey sent 50+ war planes over the northern border of Iraq to bomb suspected PKK camps. Top Turk General Yasar Buyukanit sez the US gave Turkey the green light:

America last night opened Iraqi airspace to us. By opening Iraqi airspace to us last night America gave its approval to the operation.
Mebbe we did or mebbe we didn't. According to the Guardian, an unnamed US official offers a typically cryptic reply:
We have not approved any decision. It is not for us to approve. However, we were informed before the [air strikes]. (Emphasis added)
What the fucking fuck? It is not for us to approve?!?! C'mon. Our NATO ally Turkeu launches a substantial attack on our long time Kurdish allies in Iraq's most stable region. The US allows Turkey to violate Iraqi airspace. But we had nothing to do with it, didn't approve of it and claim we couldn't do anything to stop it. No one in their right mind believes this.

Deathly allergic to integrity, diplomacy and leadership, George Bush has cut what is perhaps the worst, most dangerous deal in a Presidency marred by many dangerous deals. Remember Turkey's rumored invasion of Kurdistan? In his infinite wisdom, George told PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan that, in return for halting Turkey's imminent full-scale invasion, the US would allow "limited cross-border strikes."

Now 50+ war planes does not a "limited cross-border strike" make. It's not as though Turkey is dropping water balloons from bi-planes folks. The US didn't just sell the Turkish Air Force 246 F-16s, We gave Turkey a goddamned F-16 factory.

President Bush is crazier than a shit house mouse. How on earth can anyone believe the US endorsement of "limited" Turkish air raids on Kurdistan somehow improves this extremely volatile situation? Nothing could be further from reality. Perpetually oblivious to history, the Bush Administration seems unaware that Iraqi Kurds will not ever forget their betrayal at the hands of Bush I. Tens of thousands of Kurds were killed as Saddam's Revolutionary Guard crushed the rebellion. In the humanitarian crisis that followed, an estimated 1000-2000 Kurds died each day. All the while the US twiddled it's thumbs.

Understandably, Kurdistan is seething with rage at the Bush Administration for allowing Sunday's TuAF attack. Harper's intrepid Ken Silverstein has the deets:
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.
The Bush Administration has committed a diplomatic and tactical blunder of epic proportions.


More on Sunday's attack from Time.

Update #1: NYT - Iraq Leaders Denounce Bombings by Turkey

Update #2: NYT - Rice in Baghdad as Tensions With Turkey Rise
Can somebody give Condi a map? Baghdad is in Central Iraq. Kirkuk is in Northern Iraq.

Update #3: AFP - Turkish incursion overshadows Rice visit to Iraq

Update #4: AP - Officials: Turkey withdraws from Iraq
The Turks sent "hundreds of troops" over the border Tuesday AM.

Update #5: AFP - White House won't condemn Turkish incursion in Iraq
"Let's wait and see what is actually happening on the ground there before we comment."

Update #6: AP - US military not told of Turkey bomb plan
Is this the truth or is Turkey helping US cover their ass? It's irrelevant. The Kurds aren't buying it.