It's well-established fact at this point that the US is hip-deep in the quagmire of Iraq and we will be there for quite some time regardless of the outcome of the 2008 elections. Notice that despite the much-trumpeted success of the surge, nowhere will you see neocons advocating that we can begin a substantive drawdown of US forces from Iraq anytime soon. The reason is because the fragile Iraqi "government" (if you can call it that) would collapse in a fortnight without the presence of US troops to prop it up. We unfortunately haven't succeeded in building a nation-state with a functioning government in Iraq. All we have succeeded in doing is fragmenting the society into a confusing menagerie of warring tribes, militias, organized crime outfits, Islamic extremists and terrorists who will be one step away from utter chaos and catastrophe without the perpetual presence and continued sacrifice of our men and women in the military.
And now, as if the situation in our 51st state (aka "Iraq") wasn't bad enough, Bush is making noises that will sink us deeper into the quagmire:
"The PKK is a terrorist organization. They're an enemy of Turkey, they're an enemy of Iraq and they're an enemy of the United States,"
The PKK is an "enemy" of the United States? Since when did that happen? I don't recall the PKK ever attacking our troops in Iraq or targeting American interests in Turkey. Why is it that they have suddenly become our "enemy"? Do we really need more enemies right now?
The PKK is motivated primarily by the goal of establishing a homeland for the Kurdish people who represent one of the world's largest ethnic groups without one. They are not aligned with the Islamic extremism that fuels the global al Qaeda movement and was responsible for the attacks on 9/11. They do not want southeastern Turkey to become part of the Islamic "caliphate". What they want is for that area to join with Kurdish Iraq and the Kurdish areas of Syria and Iran in a united and independent Kurdish homeland.
So why do we have so much heartache with that? The Turks have been brutally suppressing the Kurds for decades using all sorts of barbarous techniques such as ethnic cleansing, summary executions and torture of political prisoners. Why should we jump into this fight on the side of the Turks? Why not remain neutral and try to use our influence to broker a political settlement to end this long running conflict? Instead, we are taking sides which will likely help to guarantee that this conflict continues on for years.
Of course, the reason we can't stay neutral is that, unfortunately for us, the PKK is using our 51 state (Iraq) as a base for its operations in Turkey. That's what you get when you build a sprawling empire that straddles the globe. You get sucked into all sorts of petty conflicts between people who have been at each other's throats for centuries for utterly incomprehensible reasons (what's the big diff between a Turk and a Kurd anyway?) that are unfathomable to us here in America. These are the types of difficulties that we will be grappling with for decades thanks to George Bush's disastrous foray into Iraq.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!