Thursday, October 11, 2007


AP Photo

Turkish forces transport tanks towards the Iraqi border.

According to this AP story, the tensions over Kurdish incursions into Turkey from Iraq have escalated to the point where Turkey is massing troops and equipment near the Iraqi border in anticipation of counter-incursions into Northern Iraq in order to quell the violence.

But the Kurdish rebels are only part of the equation. Our U.S. Congress is considering a bill that would strongly condemn Turkey for the Armenian slaughter that occurred early in the 20th century as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

Most offensive to the Turks, it would define the killing as genocide. Sentiment is so inflamed in Turkey right now that relations with the U.S. are under dire threat, which have been on shaky ground even without this most recent provocation.

Turkey and the United States are NATO allies, but relations have also been tense over a U.S. congressional bill that would label the mass killings of Armenians by Turks around the time of World War I as genocide.

Later Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 27-21 in favor of the measure, sending it to the House floor.

President Bush strongly urged Congress to reject the bill, saying it would do "great harm" to U.S.-Turkish relations. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that 70 percent of U.S. air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkish air space. About a third of the fuel used by the U.S. military in Iraq also goes through Turkey.

"Access to airfields and to the roads and so on in Turkey would very much be put at risk if this resolution passes and Turkey reacts as strongly as we believe they will," Gates said.

Turkey has raised the possibility of impeding logistical and other U.S. military traffic now using the airspace.

House Democrats are fully aware of what they're doing. Clearly, proceeding with this bill hinders the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that’s precisely why Nancy Pelosi has brought this bill to the House floor. It’s not about Turkish genocide of Armenians nearly a century ago as much as it’s an opportunity for Democrats and defeatists to further their agenda of obstructing continuing military successes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There’s not much that Democrats won’t stoop to in order to achieve their goals of ending the war and bringing defeat, failure and discredit upon the present administration. This is a perfect opportunity, because it creates problems that only effect the war effort indirectly, by provoking the Turks into cutting off our supply lines to Iraq. There’s plausible deniability for the Dems, and it helps to achieve their goals. They don’t have to cut off funding for the troops because the Turks will accomplish the same thing for them.

It’s brilliant, and totally in keeping with their craven and cowardly nature.
The political cartoon below, by Robert Ariail is especially good.