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Thursday, May 24

Drums Along the Tigris

While our attention (when not being drawn to the Next Shiny New Thing, like who won on some clotheared reality show - trust me, reality is bad enough without making stupid shows about it) is on Iraq and the fighting currently going on in Gaza and Tripoli, things are rapidly going from bad to worse along the Iraqi-Turkish border.

The reason, as you can tell from the CNN article, is the Kurdish PKK, which has been setting off bombs and killing Turkish soldiers. The Turks have massed about 150,000 troops near or along the border, with every intention of invading to put a stop to this.

Caught in the middle of the Turks and the Kurds are the Americans, who want to stop the PKK but don't want a new war starting in what had been a heretofore relatively quiet part of Iraq. The fact that Turkey's an ally of ours (a fellow member of NATO) won't matter to the Turks. If they want to march, they'll march.

There's also an internal political angle to be watched here too. The ruling party in Ankara could use the violence as a rallying point to gloss over the fact that many Turks see it as a threat to the secularist constitution and the separation of mosque and state.

Ought to be interesting to see how the Bushies manage to fuck this up, because you KNOW they'll stick their hands into that hornet's nest just as hard as they can. American dilpomacy ain't what it used to be.

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