Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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23 October 2007

Turkey's Primal Scream and the PKK

Someone appears to have been spending too much time howling at the moon. Ertugal Ozkok writes in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet:
If Barzani's plan involves using the PKK to create a new " powerful Kurdish nation," we need to show him a new map.

Either that, or we need to show him that the price for that nation, built by using the PKK as a tool, will be too high for them to pay.

We need to explain: A handful of F-16s from the Turkish Air Force carrying out 30 or 40 sorties would result in a northern Iraq that just went backwards 20 years.

What if American F-16s come in front of us to block us? Let them try, that's their business.

But the United States shouldn't forget that such a course will involve Iran, Syria, and attach Russia, too. In fact, what they'll see is a geography that stretches all the way to Afghanistan. Oh, and let Washington remember to add nations in its old backyard to the mix, those Latin American countries that now hate the United States. And then there's always neutral Europe. Yes, these are all things that not only we, but America, lying 14,000 kilometers away from us, needs to think about. If the calculations and bills are being made there, the scale is over here. And on one side of the scale lies northern Iraq, while on the other side lays Turkey.

Turkey has come to the point of making some historical and global decisions. And what has brought us to this point? What lies behind the caprices of the northern Iraqi government is a super state's (U.S.) super-caprice. This is the only conclusion I can reach after three hours of meditation trying to calm my feelings of anger.

Luckily for all involved, Ozkok is an editorial writer, not a general. Think of him as a Turkish Ann Coulter without the long blonde locks, throwing verbal hand grenades at his target du jour.

The picture he paints isn't totally implausible. If the US went to war with Turkey it would be a huge tragedy with enormous repercussions.

But, and this is a big but, Turkey is a NATO member, for Chrissakes! A war with Turkey is about as likely as a war with France. No matter how heated the rhetoric, it is rhetoric not reality.

Now to the problem.

The PKK is not just your average Kurdish nationalist coffee klatch. It is bad news. The PKK is a revolutionary communist Kurdish worker's party. They have been around for a while, getting funding from Turkey's neighbors, but have lost influence. They dress like Che Guevara and carry AK47s and bombs. They plan to bring the Revolutionary Terror backed by the apparatus of state power, to impose a brutally fascist, socialist state on Kurdish areas of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and even a corner of Syria, with the communist elites running and owning everything. They are hiding out in the hilly areas of northern Iraqi Kurdistan and conducting terror operations in Turkey. They may also be conducting terror operations in Iran. Given the state of affairs with Iran, the US isn't very interested in stopping the horrid PKK, nor does it have resources to spare. The Kurds are playing a secessionist game with Turkey, which is the country that would lose the most land to a united Kurdistan should that ever come about. The PKK helps the Kurds by providing an extreme counter example to the more reasonable approach of the official Iraqi Kurdish government. But this doesn't mean that anybody likes the PKK. Nobody, except for other militarized communist revolutionaries, likes the PKK.

So, they can be thrown to the wolves and nobody will bat an eyelash.

Most of Iraq is flat. This is why the US conquered it in 72 hours, starting at one end and continuing to the border of Kurdistan. The PKK thrives in a mountainous part of Iraqi Kurdistan that is barely under the control of the Kurdish government, and not at all under the control of the Iraqi Army or NATO. As Jeff Medcalf points out, the Westphalian nation-state struggles for existence today.
The PKK is, to the US, a minor threat. To Turkey, it’s a much bigger deal. We don’t have the resources to solve the problem right now, and don’t want Turkey to solve the problem because it would complicate our own problems if they do.

The real problem, though, is that the Westphalian system is failing. We don’t have a framework for discussing unruled areas within a recognized State, such as the drug cartel-controlled areas of northern Mexico, the Zapatista-controlled areas of southern Mexico, the PKK’s camps in northern Iraq, the Pakistani frontier provinces and so on.

A massive invasion would be a disaster for everyone in the region, including Turkey and the US. Since Turkey and the US are treaty partners in NATO, this isn't going to happen. No matter how many horribly mistimed Armenian Genocide bills Nancy "Blinky" Pelosi and her conspiracy of fools bring up this particular situation will not cause a NATO member to attack America!

Michael Van Der Galien writes:
Like Gareth Jenkins, I believe it is much more realistic that there will be narrowly-focused commando raids and aerial strikes, if anything at all. This approach ultimately represents the safer political course for Turkey’s political leadership.

I agree. More to the point, the answer that arises from this mess is local.

The national government of Iraq isn't able to handle this. The US leviathan government doesn't have the resources to handle it plus Iran and the rest of Iraq. The UN's worthless global peacekeeping forces can't handle it. The best governments are local. The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has to arm, train and empower local governmental groups like a local police SWAT force to control the areas in which PKK forces live. Give the locals a reason to drive the PKK out, quickly. I also have no doubt that NATO special forces (from Turkey) could be making friends and allies in the mountains where PKK hides out while the local operation gets going. If this were handled quietly, with no media interference, it could work out quite well.

Nobody will miss the PKK when they are gone. Not the Kurdish government. Not the Kurds themselves. Unless the Turks invade. Then people will rise up in defense of the PKK. But if Turkey (a NATO member) plays things the same way that the US is playing things in Afghanistan and Talibanistan, then with some local assistance on the Iraqi side of the border, PKK could be decimated and survivors forced out of Iraq into Iran. May those commie tools be a plague upon the mullahs' heads!


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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16