Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beacon of Blind Dogma

The news that Turkey's parliament has authorised attacks into Kurdish Iraq in order to stem the flow of PKK activities directed against them comes as no great surprise.

Before the war, the Turkish government specifically warned that it could destabilise their northern border region and sought assurances from the US that this would not be allowed to happen. In particular, the Turks insisted that the US government should provide a guarantee that it would not allow the formation of an Independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq after the removal of Saddam. They feared that this would stir up their own sizeable Kurdish population and lead to threats to Turkey's territorial integrity.

The requested assurance was given by the Bush administration despite the fact that the war was allegedly about empowering Iraqis to take control of their own destiny. There was no way in which the US government could be sure they could fulfil their promise if they really were serious about introducing democracy in Iraq. The guarantee was just one small contradiction in a much larger swamp .

The Turks were certainly not convinced. Ultimately, despite the massive pressure put on them and the offer of huge bribes financial incentives, they refused to allow the US military to use Turkey as a launch pad for the invasion. But the Turkish warnings, like so many others, were ignored as the Bush administration steamrollered its way to war.

Now, with an increasingly autonomous Kurdish region in the north of Iraq and growing cross border instability, the Turks are preparing to take matters into their own hands. The US adminstration's calls for Turkey not to take unilateral military action is risible given their own penchant for violent unilateralism.

And so, the neo-conservatives fatally flawed plan use violence to turn the Middle East into a beacon of democratic peace and stability continues to unwind bloodily. No doubt there will be some who will again argue that this was an unforeseeable consequence of the invasion. These people will be poorly informed or in complete denial or lying.

Irving Kristol once said that "a neoconservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality". What a git.

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