"While I adamantly oppose the US occupation of Iraq, I cannot simply stand by and accept Turkish military intervention as a solution to the oppression of Kurds as a viable option in resolving the longstanding conflict. For too long, Turkish troops have displaced hundreds of Kurdish villages and killed tens of thousands of Kurds in Turkey with impunity."
~ Martin Zehr.
~ Martin Zehr.
Finally there's someone who makes some sense:
. . . [T]here isn't much that the Turkish army can do in northern Iraq. In June, when the Turkish army was massing at the border in response to a series of attacks by the PKK, I hopped on a plane to Erbil, drove up to the Turkish border, and saw nothing. That's because there aren't PKK targets near Iraq's border with Turkey. Te [sic] PKK bases are far off in the Qandil valley, which is near the border with Iran. An invading Turkish army would have to travel deep down into Iraqi Kurdistan, pass through several cities, and then move east back up into the mountains, by which time the PKK would be long gone. All the Turkish army did in June when I was there was shell a couple random spots just across the border.
What will probably happen this time is that the Turks will make a big show of entering Iraq in force, shooting randomly at civilian targets large enough to make them feel tough, but small enough to avoid bad publicity, and then hope that such a display of resolve will force the Americans or the Iraqi Kurds to take care of the PKK themselves. But that's not going to happen, because the American military in Iraq is dangerously over-streatched as it is, and because the Iraqi Kurds -- whose pesh merga soldiers are also busy trying to keep the lid on Bagdad and Mosul -- once tried to fight the PKK in the early 1990's and don't have fond memories of the bloody experience.
So this is going to be a slow motion disaster rather than a spectacular one. Turkey will have to go deeper and deeper into Iraq, committing itself more and more to a course that will at best be ineffectual and at worst drag it and Iraqi Kurdistan into the great sucking sound that is the American project in Iraq. The only way out of this is for the Turkish state to begin political negotiations with the PKK, and internal enemy that it has been unable to defeat for more than 20 years.
Why does the word "Vietnam" go around and around in my head?
PKK's forces (HPG and YJA-STAR), are deep within Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, while the command headquarters is located at Qendil.
Actually, the Turkish army was massing at the border in April 2006, and the offer of a political solution was made by the PKK in August 2006. Add that to the PKK's fifth unilateral ceasefire of October 2006 and we can easily see who it is that's been ready for a political solution in recent months and who it is that's a pack of bloodthirsty murderers.
But notice what Andrew Lee Butters says about Turks making "a big show of entering Iraq in force, shooting randomly at civilian targets large enough to make them feel tough?" They've already been doing that for some time and they have included cluster munitions in their arsenal. Additionally, earlier today, CNN reported the following:
Turkish troops shelled farmland around a half-dozen villages in northern Iraq from across the tense border, an Iraqi Kurdish official said Sunday, in what the Turkish military called retaliation for weekend attacks by Kurdish rebels.
A provincial intelligence official in Iraq's Kurdish city of Dohuk said the shelling set orchards and farmland ablaze, but no casualties were reported. Firefighters worked until just before daybreak to put out a blaze that scorched fields on farms near the border.
From this it's obvious that TSK is not attacking PKK at all; rather it is "retaliating" against innocent Kurdish citizens who also happen to be Iraqi citizens. Remember that the TSK is responsible for at least as many destroyed Kurdish villages in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan as Saddam was for destroyed Kurdish villagess in South Kurdistan. That means we're talking 4,000-5,000 destroyed villages and, in Turkey's case, some 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 forcibly displaced Kurdish refugees . . . in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan alone.
Also note that the talking head "expert" at the CNN video is full of gû.
Murat Karayılan confirms Andrew Lee Butters' assesment:
Speaking to The Associated Press deep in the Qandil mountains straddling the Iraq-Turkish border, some 150 kilometers (94 miles) from the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, Karayilan warned an incursion would "make Turkey experience a Vietnam war."
[ . . . ]
"Iraq's Kurds will not support the Turkish army," he said. "If Turkey starts its attack, we will swing the Turkish public opinion by political, civil and military struggle."
[ . . . ]
Karayilan said the PKK was only defending itself against attacks by the Turks.
"This was not the first time. It happened many times before and no one talked about it, so why this time," he said, adding the clashes took place at least 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the border, within Turkey, not Iraq.
He said he believes the Turkish attacks are meant to destabilize Iraq, not remove the rebels.
"Turkey is only making pretexts to enter the Kurdistan region in Iraq," he added.
There's that word again: Vietnam.
That's been the argument for some time now and it still hasn't changed. In fact, it's very possible that the US is merely playing a new game here with Turkey over oil considerations, especially since the game is up with the Iraqi oil laws that the US tried to force onto the Iraqi population . . . but only so certain multinationals (Think: Big Oil) can run off with 70% of the profits over the next thirty years.
Naturally, no Kurdish story would be complete without some kind of braying from the cehş, and this story is no different:
[Nêçîrvan] Barzani, who urged all sides to seek a political solution, apologized to Turkey for the deaths last week of 13 Turkish soldiers killed by Kurdish PKK militants, KUNA reported Monday.
"We condemn this incident," Barzani said. "The more blood is shed, the more the problem becomes complicated."
So there you have it, folks! Nêçîrvan Barzanî apologizes for PKK's killing of Bolu commandos. At the moment, I'm hard-pressed to imagine a bigger loser than Nêçîrvan Barzanî. What should we expect from someone who used to party with Uday Saddam Hussein?
I bet it must have been a lucrative business move, eh Nêçîrvan?
By the way, since we've just seen the Armenian Genocide resolution pass the House Foreign Affairs committee, I was wondering when the US will vote a genocide resolution against itself for it's long-standing support of Turkey's genocide against the Kurdish people? After all, the US is an accomplice.