NEWS & ANALYSIS: The Kurdish dilemma

Iraq asks for Iran’s help in calming Kurdish crisis

Iran has been sympathetic to Turkey’s position, because Kurdish guerrillas have also been attacking Iran, but it has loyalties to Iraq which, like Iran, has a Shiite-majority government. Iran has also worked closely with the Kurdish leadership in Iraq.

In comments at a news conference on Wednesday, the Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, said that he had discussed the situation with Mr. Mottaki and that he had warned of “serious consequences” if Turkey were to invade Iraq.

“It will have consequences for the entire region,” he said he told Mr. Mottaki.

However, Mr. Zebari also said Iraq needed help from its neighbors on many other issues, such as border security, refugees and economic investment. “The Istanbul meeting should not be hijacked by the P.K.K. terrorist activities in Turkey,” he said. [complete article]

Double-crossing in Kurdistan

The George W Bush administration would not flinch to betray its allies in Iraqi Kurdistan if that entailed a US “win” in the Iraq quagmire. And it would not flinch to leave its Turkish North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in the wilderness as well – if that entailed further destabilization of Iran. Way beyond the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) vs Turkey skirmish, one of these two double-crossing scenarios will inevitably take place. Washington simply cannot have its kebab and eat it too.

The Bush administration’s double standards are as glaring as meteor impacts. When, in the summer of 2006, Israel used the capture of two of its soldiers by Hezbollah to unleash a pre-programmed devastating war on Lebanon, destroying great swathes of the country, the Bush administration immediately gave the Israelis the green light. When 12 Turkish soldiers are killed and eight captured by PKK guerrillas based in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Bush administration urges Ankara to take it easy.

The “war on terror” is definitely not an equal-opportunity business. That has prompted Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek to mischievously remark, regarding Turkey, “It’s as if an intruder has gatecrashed the closed circle of ‘we’, the domain of those who hold the de facto monopoly on military humanitarianism.” [complete article]

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