We haven't been posting much about Iraq lately, well, we haven't been posting much at all lately, but as far as Iraq goes it seems clear that there has been a shifting of some gears, and it takes time to evaluate what that means.
The most striking development of late is the saber rattling by Turkey. Seemingly responding to an increase in PKK activity in Turkey, they have massed troops near the border with Iraq and gone to Parliament for authority to strike in Iraq.
At the same time, the US Congress has passed a meaningless resolution saying that the Turks (Ottoman Turks, that is) committed genocide against the Armenians almost one hundred years ago. In response, Turkey recalled their ambassador, an act that back in the good old days was usually a prelude to declaring war, it's safe to assume that the good old days are over, at least in that sense.
Still, tension between the US and Turkey means more trouble for Iraq, and for the Kurds in particular. Just the fact that an article like this one in the NYT
is published shows that the US military is more than nonplussed by the current developments. If Turkey does cross the border, as they did back in the 90's in a very limited way, the US position in Iraq will take a huge blow. I don't think that will happen, yet, but mistakes are always possible.
Times like these, I foolishly ask myself, where's Condi? Busy buying shoes, busy defending Blackwater, busy doing anything but diplomacy, for sure, but wouldn't a trip to Ankara at least look good?
What the situation does show is that the US invasion and the surge has provoked a power vacuum in the area. 160,000 US troops have done nothing but destabilize a key area of the world. The idea behind the invasion was the opposite. It was to project power and fill the vacuum caused by a weakened Saddam. Bad idea, bad plan, bad execution, bad result. Gen. Sanchez has now gone way off the reservation
, and can expect to be hounded by Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh into an early grave.
Meanwhile, Petraeus continues to be the military version of Pinocchio. Accusing the Iranian ambassador to Iraq of being a terrorist is the latest of his exploits, you can see the wires that lead back to Uncle