The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Turkey considers attacks in Iraq

At least right-wing pundits are happy about the prospect of a total meltdown in the Middle East (Bill Kristol recently suggested that Iranians would-- better sit down for this one-- welcome an American invasion of their country). The rest of us are pretty concerned, and not really keen on the idea of ramping up military activity on several more fronts. Mainly because this administration has proven to be completely incompetent in its running of the military, and it's costing us hundreds of billions of dollars we don't have in the first place.

Progressive radio hosts and bloggers have noted a disturbing trend among righties to talk about World War III, with accompanying smacking of lips and twinkling eyes. What they're so excited about (other than big stock gains through military contractors), because the unraveling in the Middle East threatens to break us as a nation, and certainly as a world power.

The latest disturbing news is that the one part of Iraq that's been relatively calm, the Kurdish north, could be on the verge of devolving into the same violence and chaos that's ravaging the rest of the country.

Turkish officials signaled Tuesday they are prepared to send the army into northern Iraq if U.S. and Iraqi forces do not take steps to combat Turkish Kurdish guerrillas there _ a move that could put Turkey on a collision course with the United States.

Turkey is facing increasing domestic pressure to act after 15 soldiers, police and guards were killed fighting the guerrillas in southeastern Turkey in the past week.

"The government is really in a bind," said Seyfi Tashan, director of the Foreign Policy Institute at Bilkent University in Ankara. "On the one hand, they don't want things to break down with the United States. On the other hand, the public is crying for action."

At the least, it will mean already-scarce troops and resources in Afghanistan and Iraq will be further stretched. And a situation that's already spiraling out of control will just get worse.