Michael van der Galen is keeping his eye on the situation on the Kurdish/Turkish border, where there seems to be an inevitable drift towards Turkey taking punitive action inside Kurdish territory.
“Safin Dizai, a senior official from the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and a close aide to Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani,” said that “Turkish tanks would not be allowed to cross into northern Iraq.”Michael also notes that Condi Rice, in discussions with the Turkish government, refuses to talk about the elephant in the room - a Turkish invasion of Iraqi territory - and instead confines herself to platitudes about being "on Turkey’s side in the war on terrorism".Dizai pointed to the ongoing domestic debates in Turkey about a possible cross-border operation to crack down on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) camps based in northern Iraq in the face of ongoing attacks inside the country.Sadly for the Kurds, the Turkish military believes that a military operation is necessary: there are five PKK camps in Northern Iraq, from which the PKK launches attacks against Turks. Of course there was the terrorist in Ankara recently as well. The PKK has already killed more than 30,000 Turks.
“The people of Kurdistan will not remain spectators to the crossing of Turkish tanks and panzers into Kirkuk,” he was quoted as saying by the Doğan News Agency (DHA), which took excerpts from statements made by the Iraqi Kurdish official to Kurdish-broadcasting Web site “Nefel.”
As Michael says, it's a lose-lose situation for the Bush administration but it is one which they've engineered for themselves by being utterly AWOL for four years on action against a terrorsit group that have killed 30,000 citizens of a NATO ally. I'm not at all as sure as Michael is that the US will be able to look the other way while making soothing statements to the Kurdish leadership if Turkey does invade. The Iraqi president has already said that his government will see any cross-border action as an invasion of Iraq as a whole and will meet it accordingly with a state of war between the two nations. That would put paid to any notion of US success in Iraq if the US wasn't wholeheartedly on Iraq's side. At that point it becomes a question of which is more important to The Decider Guy - would he rather be the guy who blew his big foreign adventure or the guy who lost the NATO alliance. Trying to stand in the middle won't work.