Turkish parliament authorizes military operations in Iraq

Story here. The ostensible targets, of course, are the PKK, Turkish-Kurdish separatists who are using Iraqi Kurdistan as a refuge. And, of course, it might be difficult under some circumstances for the Turkish troops to distinguish PKK Kurds from the locals. And, of course, the Iraqi Kurds are the strongest allies the U.S. has in Iraq. And, of course, Turkey is a NATO member and has been a U.S. ally for decades. Which, of course, leaves the U.S. with a difficult choice . . .

Recent relevant GD thread.

More current relevant GD thread.

Turkey has more right to send troops into Iraq than the US did.

Not really. The Kurds are weaker, so we’ll abandon them to their fate.

Since America had none whatsoever, that’s not hard. If some random Iraqi chucked a rock at a Turkish border guard, that would give them more right, but it still wouldn’t make it the right thing to do.


For what ? That the Kurds are weaker than the Turks ?

Perhaps they’re weak compared with the Turks, but we still need them. That is, the Bush Admin needs them to meet any of its goals in Iraq. Can’t have a reliable U.S. puppet state if the Kurds get fed up and secede!

It seems, from where I sit, that the Kurds are bound and determined to have their own state, whether or not that means a formal independence, with a separate UN seat, an independent military force and a distinct foreign policy. They appear to be approaching thier goals with some shrewdness, pressing their advantages and then making concessions in the short term, without doing any real damage to their longer-term goals.

Kurdish autonomy is the thumb that they stick in the eye of Iran, which we applaud, and the same thumb they stick in the eye of Turkey, which we’d rather they didn’t. All of the parties involved have legitimate grievances, one against the other, which, as Amos Oz famously pointed out, is the recipe for tragedy.

About the best we can hope for here is for cooler heads to prevail long enough for inertia to set in. Until the next crisis. Blather, rinse, and repeat.

The U.S. might have to bribe, somehow, the Turks the stay out. I hope it can be done.

(Somehow the U.S. convinced Isreal not to strike back at Iraq in Gulf War I…)

By attacking Iraq ourselves - which we did. America bombing the Kurds might placate the Turks, but it won’t make the situation any better.

Hmmmph. You aint kiddin. I need to get out my Pepto…

The PKK are also nominally Communists . . . but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter much any more.

<Shrug> The OP was narrating current events rather than really putting anything else up for debate. Mine was a simple comment to spark something.

You seem to have forgotten all about the first gulf war. It was in all the papers. Maybe you’ve forgotten about shooting at our aircraft in the no fly zone as well? I’m guessing the answer is…yes, you continently forgot that stuff.

Whether or not you think that things like the first gulf war or our patrolling in the no fly zone after the cease fire are right or not is irrelevant…there was plenty of tension between Iraq and the US prior to our second invasion. Much more cause than a Kurd chucking a rock at a Turkish border guard.

Not that the Turks don’t ALSO have plenty of reasons to go after the PKK…but again your hyperbolic bullshit doesn’t help your case much.


No, since we were flying over their territory I didn’t consider it anything like attacking someone in their territory. And then there’s the little fact that we could at any time have solved any problem we had with being harassed by the Iraqis by simply leaving. Turkey can’t levitate itself and float away. There’s no comparison in the two situations.

They can’t? But don’t they have, like, flying carpets and stuff?

Sorry. Carry on.

That “shooting at our aircraft” thingy. What was it Rumsfeld said, something about over 700 times? And yet, they never hit anything. Does that strike you as rather, well, odd? Hell, XT, I could go out to the duck blind, get drunk as a skunk, blindfolded, take a .22 caliber pistol and if I fired over 700 times, bet you I could hit at least one duck. Or perhaps I am just overly suspicious, and lack your generous nature.

You know, these people have fibbed to us, every now and again. It was in all the papers.

The Turks don’t appear to share your heartily jocular attitude. Pity.

How happy you must be to be so free of such failings.

Their territory, mandated by the UN as a no fly zone for fixed wing aircraft, and patrolled by US and UK forces to enforce that UN mandate, which was imposed on Saddam by the UN.

The rules were, very plainly, don’t fly in these areas, and don’t act aggresively towards those that are inforcing the policies of the UN.

Targetting an aircraft with a SAM battery is pretty universally considered aggressive.

Does the fact that it was a UN Mandate change your bile at all?

There’s no such thing as a “right” to invade a country. You either can do it, or you can’t. “Right” doesn’t factor in to it.

Who are “these people” to which you refer? You might be interested in the fact that Iraq was firing at planes enforcing the UN No-Fly Zone all the way back in the Clinton Administration, this was something both Democrats, Republicans, and leaders from other countries reported as happening.

I understand the Straight Dope has a love for conspiracy theories (especially ones about the EVILLLLLL Bush Administration), but unless Bush finally found a way to get a huge portion of our allies and a prior Democrat President in on this conspiracy (before Bush was President, nonetheless) I kind of doubt that Bush or Rummy just “made up” the whole firing at U.N. planes thing.

So Iraqi guns fire at U.S. airplanes and that’s the casus belli to invade and subsequently occupy Iraq for 50 years? Sounds like a good deal.

Certainly a refreshing perspective, although it could lead to problems when other nations wage such wars and we want to find reasons to criticize. Assuming we wished to be consistent, anyway.

As for Turkey, there’s a difference between saying and doing. How many boots are we envisioning? Are we talking about raids? Or will they be staying for dinner? From the article:

Yes, please. I hope something exciting happens, something which will get the talking heads to release more hot air. I’m not finding the current “slow bleed” phase to be entertaining anymore. Can we get pitched street battles for Kirkuk soon? A Shia campaign of terrorism to “liberate” northeast Saudi Arabia? What about a coordinated assault which breaches the Green Zone? Throw me a bone here.

You have to feel sorry for the Turkish troops. For years they’ve been watching the U.S. military and dozens of armed groups playing in the Iraqi sandbox. They’ve had to listen to wet blankets tell them, “No, no, you don’t want to come in. It’s not as fun as it looks.” Ha! Those tricks don’t work anymore. They want to strut their stuff and show off to the ladies now.