Monday, February 18, 2008

Wait, what?

I just saw this story on the wire:

Turkey Plans to Invade Northern Iraq

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The Turkish military said it is setting the ground work for a large-scale ground invasion into northern Iraq targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

The military said the ground operation is the final strike against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish language initials of PKK. The operation follows airstrikes on the group in late 2007 and military officials said the operation is scheduled for mid-March, the English language Turkish daily, Today's Zaman said Monday.

Military sources told the newspaper that the operation would be on two fronts; one along the Turkish border with Iraq and one inside Turkey in its southeastern provinces.

Israel gave the Turkish military unmanned surveillance drones that military officials said will provide key intelligence about PKK activity.

The Turkish military deployed about 50,000 troops along the border with Iraq and the newspaper said military officials will keep the same amount of troops in the region for the March operations.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
I'm sorry, did I miss something? Shouldn't the invasion by a sovereign nation of a country we are occupying be bigger news? I can't be the only one who sees a high likelihood that US or coalition troops will accidentally get in the way here. And incidentally, isn't one of our main missions in the middle east to defuse and keep under control sectarian conflict???

I can't even begin to understand the vagaries of middle eastern politics, I admit it (and if some of our elected officials had admitted it seven years ago, we wouldn't be in this mess, but that's a whole other story). But I feel as though 50,000 troops amassing on a border aren't just poking their nose in to see if there's any naughty terrorists lying about. The secular Turks hate the Kurds, and the Kurds hate the secular Turks, regardless of whether they're part of the army or a "terrorist organization". And hate makes people trigger happy.

We really don't need more innocent people killed in Iraq, or Turkey, or anywhere. I long for the day when we have a government who realizes this and has the moral fortitude to step in and mediate these disputes without guns and missiles.

Wishful thinking, I realize.


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