Talking Turkey

Thinking about this war makes me think about the ulterior motives of some of the players in this epic international drama.

Let’s talk Turkey. So Turkey chose to lose out on $30 billion in payments from the U.S., all because they didn’t want to play host to America’s troops on the northeast border of Iraq. That also happens to be the region where the Kurds reside. The Iraqi’s, at Saddam Hussein’s request, used chemical weapons on those Kurds in that area. (These are the people who W. is referring to when he repeatedly says that Saddam Hussein ‘used chemical weapons on his own people.’)

The Turks claimed that they were afraid that these people — outcasts in both Turkey and Iraq — would demand their own state if U.S. troops created too much of a stronghold in that area.

American forces are now attempting to encircle Bagdhad, coming from all directions except the northeast. It’s the missing spoke. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that, if Saddam’s Republican Guard is facing imminent destruction (which we are all promised that they are), that they would attempt to make their escape from Bagdhad to the northeast, where resistance is likely to be the lightest, because of Turkey’s decision not to allow troops there? And wouldn’t it also stand to reason that, as one last desperate act of defiance, the Republican Guard and other forces loyal to Saddam would attempt to take out as many Kurds as they possibly could?

That scenario makes a tidy little package for Turkey. They miss out on a few aid dollars, but they get their neighbors to the south, the Iraqis, to do their dirty work of getting rid of that pesky Kurd problem.

This is not a good time be a Kurd. (Is it ever?)

Next ulterior motive: a divided Europe.