“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Turkey has plans to move against Iraq Kurds -Gul

Like an exhausted and broke hedge fund, that bet on the wrong sides of all markets, the Bush Administration blew it on amnesty. He has lost many of his base supporters. Why he did it at a time he needed all the support he could muster for his Iraq policies, is inexplicable. Foreign leaders, themselves politicians, have noticed and so has Turkey.

Turkey is going its own way. Turkey has concluded that Iraq will collapse when the US begins to withdraw. It is on the verge of destabilizing the most stable part of Iraq.

ANKARA, June 29 (Reuters) - Turkey has prepared detailed plans for a cross-border operation into Iraq against Kurdish rebels and will act if U.S. or Iraqi forces fail to tackle them, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was quoted as saying on Friday.

Ankara has on many occasions threatened to send troops into mainly Kurdish northern Iraq to hunt down thousands of militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who use the region as a base from which to attack targets inside Turkey.

"The military plans have been worked out in the finest detail. The government knows these plans and agrees with them," Gul told the Radikal newspaper in an interview.
"If neither the Iraqi government nor the U.S. occupying forces can do this (crush the PKK), we will take our own decision and implement it," Gul said.

Washington has urged Turkey, a NATO ally, not to enter northern Iraq, arguing such a move would destabilise one of the few relatively peaceful regions of the war-shattered country.

The United States, like Turkey, classes the PKK as a terrorist organisation. But it says its forces are too stretched battling insurgents in central Iraq.
Iraq has also warned Turkey against making an incursion.

Gul denied any difference of opinion between Turkey's government and its powerful military on northern Iraq.

"A cross-border operation is a serious issue. State institutions need to act in harmony on such issues," he said.

The head of the Turkish military repeated his call this week for permission to go into northern Iraq, saying it would not end the PKK problem but would strike a big blow against the rebels.

More than 30,000 people have been killed in fighting between Turkish security forces and the PKK since the rebels launched their armed campaign for an independent homeland in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey in 1984.


  1. And well the Turks should.

    The PKK is, without doubt, a terrorist organization that strikes at Turkey from Iraq.

    That the US has and does provide an umbrella of security for those terrorists, without question.

    Let the rain fall through.

    The Terks have as much, more, of a "Right" to preemption as the US or Israel. The PKK operates actively against Turkey, those terroists the US stymied by preemptive action, in Iraq, while perhhaps a threat, never struck the US homeland.

    Those terrorists that did strike US in NYC and DC, based out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq.

    Northern Iraq is not stable, it is a terrorist sanctuary, as were parts of Baghdad, until just last week.

    Hope the Turks burn those Kurdish villages to the ground, scorch the earth and fertilize it with the blood of the terrorists and their supporting infrastructure.

    Well they should, sooner the better, for the security of the innocent, in Turkey.

  2. On the greater issue of the totality of Iraq. The US has set "benchmarks", demands for Iraqi Laws that are as repugnent to the Iraqi as the Immigration Bill was to the majority of the US public.

    Differing parts of the US electorate had problems with different aspects of the Bill. The differing perspectives could not be reconciled. Members of the Elephant Bar siding with members of the ACLU to defeat the Immigration Bill, for very varied reasons.
    The same holds true in Iraq.

    The US sees a "way forward" but it is rejected out of hand, by a representitive Iraqi Parliment, as not meeting the true needs of the Iraqi Republic.

    The DC managers cannot accept this simple fact.

    Democratic government has emerged in Iraq.

    What was needed was an authoritive figure that would have guided hat country to a secular, puralistic government. In the model of a Pinchet or an Atatürk.

    Instead we have representitive democracy, in a tribal culture. Biggest tribe wins.
    Tribes are the mortal enemy of democratic rule. Andy Jackson knew it, but it is a lesson either never learned, or forgotten by US policy wonks and Leaders.

    In Mr Maliki we do not have a Dictator, but an emasculated Prime Minister, by design.

  3. dRat,

    PKK = Turkish Intelligence agents. There's a reason that the PKK numbers only 500 to 1000 men, and was involved in a war against the greater Kurdish community.

  4. Well could be, mat.
    But it is the responsibility of the US to shut it down, in Iraq. Regardless of the cause.

    If we allow the Turks that capacity we certainly cannot stop the consequences.

    The PKK should have been destroyed by US, that it has not been is upon US, as the guarantors of Security in Iraq.

    If we allowed the situation to be manipulated by the Turks, ah well. Just more conspiracy theories and Byzantine back story dramas.

    The Turks can roll south, more power to them. The US will watch, as we did while aQ set up shop, in US occupied Baghdad.

    The US is not cut out of the Byzantine cloth, nor will it fit into a suit made of it.

    On a related note, check this out No defense

    Very telling, Mr Olmert says Israel cannot provide security to Israelis living on the Gaza frontier. A death knell tolls, but ask not for whom the bell tolls, for it proclaims suicide.

    The blogger quotes the JPost:

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday that he had no intention of providing maximal protection to all residents of Gaza periphery communities. "A country cannot protect itself ad infinitum, because there would be no end to it."
    The prime minister added that stepping up protection would be "just as [ineffective] as the demand to solve Sderot's Kassam problem by wiping Beit Hanun and other towns in Gaza off the face of the earth.
    The prime minister appealed to the residents of the Gaza periphery: "In the short term we cannot supply you with all of the personal security that we would like to provide, because such protection would draw from expensive resources that are needed for other critical security needs."
    Olmert also addressed the media, asking that they "not encourage, even mutely, demands of citizens that no normal government could accept." He added that "life in Israel entails a certain security risk, and anyone who chooses to live in the Jewish state is accepting this risk." And yet, "the risk in Israel is lower than the risk threatening Jews in other parts of the world."
    The prime minister addressed the issue of the three soldiers still being held by Israel's enemies. "We will balance the wish to return Gilad, Udi and Eldad with the need to protect Israel's crucial interests."
    Israel and the Palestinian Authority are discussing implementing a clause from a 2005 understanding whereby Israel would stop pursuing wanted terror suspects in the West Bank if they forswear terrorism, government officials said Thursday.

    "Don't you see, they're on the eve of destruction?"

    Kinda cool tune, from the 60s

    Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
    I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
    I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
    Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
    And marches alone can’t bring integration
    When human respect is disintegratin’
    This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

    And you tell me
    Over and over and over again, my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe
    We’re on the eve
    of destruction.

    The world did not end then, but it's been but a blink of an eye, historicly speaking.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Rockets falling from the sky.
    Just another risk to be accepted, a part of life, like traffic accidents.

    Harm, but no foul.

  7. If the Turks choose to react like men, rather than sheep or Israelis, more power to 'em.

    The US at least has signed defense pacts with Turkey. We are obligated, by Treaty, to assist the Turks in stopping aggression from Iraq. Whether State sponsored, or not, regardless of which State is the sponsor.

    Byzantine politics are well beyond Mr Bush's and Ms Rice's depth, as evidenced by the 4thID episode, but we shall see what happens.

  8. Note on Romney and the Mormons--according to them, the Jews are gentiles. Just to get that straight:)

    Note on talk radio-it will survive.

    Going to the Tri-State Casino tonight, to get out of the heat and humdidity. Don't you wish you were here?

    A lot of people is this area need to lose weight, serious weight, I have observed. I have never seen so many fat tubs. It's the new in style here I quess.

    Hasta lumbego.

  9. Cat's Eye

    Always good to remember there's stuff over our heads.

  10. Mr Olmert better start worrying about his own security. His days of walking in relative safety are few and numbered.

  11. Reconciliation in Iraq, moving ever closer, or not.

    BAGHDAD (Associated Press) -- Four Sunni Cabinet ministers will refuse to attend government meetings to protest the way Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki handled legal proceedings against one of their Sunni colleagues, a Sunni politician said Friday.

    Earlier this week, an arrest warrant was issued against Culture Minister Asad Kamal al-Hashimi and security forces raided his Baghdad home after allegations he masterminded an assassination attempt against a politician two years ago.

    Sunni politicians considered the move politically motivated and asked al-Maliki, a Shiite, to do something to stop it. The prime minister refused, saying he would not intervene in the work of the judiciary.

    "The ministers have decided to suspend their participation in government meetings because they consider the stance of the prime minister and the government unsuitable," Ayad al-Samarraie, a leading member of the Sunni bloc the Iraqi Accordance Front, told The Associated Press.
    Al-Alusi said the minister took refuge in the U.S.-controlled Green Zone since the arrest warrant was issued. The U.S. Embassy denied it was involved in the case.

    Sunni politicians claim that al-Hashimi's arrest warrant is part of a campaign by the Shiite-dominated government to marginalize Sunni political leaders.

    In April, six Cabinet ministers loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr quit the government to protest his refusal to call for a timetable for American troops to leave. They have not been replaced.

    Any day now, the "political break through" will be announced. reconciliation achieved.

    Funny, not much talk of poker playing, any more.

  12. In April of '07 the US controlled, according to the US military 19% of Baghdad, after four years of security responsiblity.

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- U.S. and Iraqi security forces now control about half of Baghdad, and as pressure on the insurgents increases some are fighting back with remarkable tenacity, a senior U.S. commander said Friday.

    "This is a skilled and determined enemy. He's ruthless. He's got a thirst for blood like I've never seen anywhere in my life," said Army Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., the 1st Cavalry Division commander who has been in charge of military operations throughout the capital since late last year.

    He spoke to reporters at the Pentagon via satellite video link from his headquarters in Baghdad.

    Fil said security forces now control 48 percent to 49 percent of the 474 neighborhoods in Baghdad. That is up from 19 percent in April, he said. Two weeks ago his boss, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, said about 40 percent of the city was under control.

    One must wonder, what combat and other life experience General Joseph F. Fil Jr has had, to have been so sheltered from the realities of War?

  13. Bobal's dispatches from the road.

    I like em!

  14. BTW, our young friend from the Possum Bistro, Harrison, has quite a pictorial travelogue going about his European vacation.

  15. Is that Habu et al - Harrison?