Sunday's tacit approval of Turkish bombers in Iraqi airspace may have partly blown apart fragile U.S. hopes of Iraqi reconcilliation. The Bush administration provided targetting intelligence, de-conflicted airspace to let the Turks have a free run and didn't bother telling their Iraqi charges...but deny they officially approved the bombings. The Kurds are very pissed at their American "friends".
The head of Iraq's Kurdish regional government has refused to meet the US secretary of state because of the US position on Turkish cross-border raids.Rice was in Iraq to yet again push the administration's pleas for the Iraqi government to use Bush's Surge as a breathing space for national reconcilliation. Instead, the various Iraqi factions have mostly used it as a space to entrench and rearm.
Massoud Barzani had been scheduled to meet Condoleezza Rice in Baghdad, but withdrew "as a sign of protest" after several villages were bombed on Sunday.
...Speaking to reporters in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, said its president had refused to meet Ms Rice because of Washington's tolerance of the recent Turkish raids.
"It was decided that Massoud Barzani would go to Baghdad to take part in a meeting with Condoleezza Rice and other officials, but he will not go now as a sign of protest against the American position on the bombings by Turkey," he said.
"It is unacceptable that the United States, in charge of monitoring our airspace, authorised Turkey to bomb our villages," he added.
Barzani's absence at this time is a crucial one, in my opinion. Recall that President Talibani and Iraq's Foreign Minister are also Kurds and that Talibani's son is Barzani's main lobbyist in Washington, where he has showered Kurdish wealth by the million on largely neo-conservative beneficiaries. That largesse had two main purposes - to bribe D.C.'s elite conservative foreign policy opinion-makers into backing Kurdish independence and to ensure that those same Very Serious People pressured the Bush administration to keep the Kurds safe from both Turks and Iranians. The Kurds would be justified in thinking that the Bush administration's think-tank buddies don't stay bought or don't work hard enough for their money. And it isn't as if this is the first time the Kurds have found themselves unprotected by a promised American air-defense umbrella. U.S. complicity in Turkish attacks will, I have no doubt, put a severe dent in Kurdish amenability to American wishes.
The neocon answer, as it is to everything of late as their academic sandcastles fall to real world tides, is to blame their most hated enemy - liberals.
As Michael at PoliGazette notes today, John Bolton's latest insanity is to get busy telling all and sundry that Condi Rice is "the dominant voice, indeed, almost the only voice on foreign policy in this administration" and that she has become a closet liberal under influence of secret State Department mind control machinery:
Rice is channeling the views of the liberal career bureaucrats in the State Department. The president is focusing all his attention on Iraq and, by doing so, has allowed the secretary to become captured by the State Department. He is not adequately supervising her. It is a mistake.Bush's foreign policy, Bolton says, is a threat to national security. (At least Bolton and I agree on something, if not on how we reach our conclusions.)
In this Bolton is echoing other neocons, Norman Podhoretz among them, on the latest NIE on Iran, on North Korea, on Iraq, on just about everything the neocons ever tainted with their presence. That Gates (primarily) and Rice seem to have convinced Bush to ignore Cheney's rabble nowadays is something we should all be thankful for.
It's just another variant on the Scooby-Doo Villain Excuse.
"Our neocon master plan would have worked if it wasn't for those pesky...liberals who undermined us/propaganda defeats that were probably faked/lilly-livered politicians/cowardly generals who wouldn't be cruel enough/terr'ists who wouldn't fight the way we wanted them to." (Delete as applicable)
You'd think by now they would've worked some kind of solution to the "peskies" into their master plan. After all, they've failed to carry through on their promises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon...
You know, like a sitting President teamed with a massive congressional majority and a tame media who swallowed all the crappy reasons for war wholesale, at least for the first three years...oh, wait.
But, as Michael pointed out when he brought my attention to his post, wasn't Bolton one of those who thought criticising the President's policies in wartime was dangerous - even perhaps tantamount to treason? Obviously that only applies when the right policies are being criticised.