Turkish “lawmakers voted 507 to 19 to give
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
permission to order strategic strikes or large-scale invasions of Iraq
for a one-year period,” the Washington Post reported.
The Turkish government’s ruse for war-making is the Kurdistan Workers'
Party. The PKK are separatist rebels, who’ve waged a decades-old
campaign of terror against Turkey. Essentially, Turkey is threatening to
visit on Iraqi Kurdistan what Israel had no right to inflict on Lebanon:
Level the country and kill hundreds of innocent civilians for the
actions of a few militants, acting in defiance of the central
But why now? Why would Turkey disturb the détente, and threaten to
destabilize the only stable region in Iraq?
The Turks are cross with Congress, which had planned on scheduling a
vote to recognize as genocide the mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians
by the Ottoman Turks a century ago. Contemporary Turkey is to Armenians
as the Institute for Historical Review is to Jews: Holocaust deniers.
Even though support for the symbolic vote has waned in Washington,
Ankara has recalled its ambassador and seized the opportunity to do what
it’s clearly been itching to do since the Iraqi Kurds gained autonomy:
cut them down to size. For some time now, Turkey has also been shelling
Iraqi Kurds have cause for concern. The Armenians are not the only
ethnic group to have suffered at the hands of the Turks. Turkey has
waged systematic ethnocide against its Kurdish population as well.
Although it has lifted bans on speaking Kurdish and wearing the
traditional garb, Turkey still prohibits other forms of cultural
expression by Turkish Kurds.
The Turks are not the only power to use and abuse the Kurds. Many a
creative post hoc argument has been concocted to justify the
unnecessary war the United States waged on a sovereign nation that had
not attacked us, was no threat to us, and was certainly no match for us.
One such argument for the invasion of Iraq utilized the Kurds. Flaunting
sham sympathies, unapologetic war apologists resurrected, In 2003,
the Halabja massacre of 1988, during which “Chemical Ali,” then
governor of Northern Iraq, released lethal gases on a Kurdish town. Over
5,000 men, women and children perished.
The hell Hussein unleashed on Halabja formed part of the genocidal Anfal
campaign he initiated against the Kurds. Aside from convicting the Kurds
for supporting Iran in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Hussein coveted the
oil-rich land around Kirkuk occupied by the Kurds. The area is crucial
to the Iraqi economy. The Kurds, moreover, are a non-Arabic, if Muslim,
people. To an Arab, that’s almost as incriminating as being an infidel.
Ask the decidedly non-Halal victims of the Janjaweed in Darfur about
Arab chauvinism! Over a 100,000 Kurds lost their lives during the Anfal
onslaught, as Saddam razed hamlets, slaughtered their inhabitants, and
scattered the survivors throughout Iraq.
Bush boosters now habitually use the fate of the Kurds, in 1988,
as an excuse for their illegitimate 2003 invasion of Iraq. But
back when images of Kurdish corpses on the streets of Halabja reached
the West, the US opted to sit on the sidelines. Worse still: the US
succored Saddam at his most monstrous, providing him with chemical and
biological precursors, pesticides and poisonous compounds to carry out
Before Halabja, the US had abandoned the Kurds to Iraq’s mercies in a
1975 covert operation involving Iran. After Halabja, the US forsook the
Kurds in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The Kurdish militia, the brave
Peshmergas, rose up against the Ba'ath government, only to be jilted by
George the First.
The Kurds are the only sect in Iraq that has been consistently loyal to
America—the Peshmergas assisted American forces in the north during the
invasion. Not one American soldier has been killed in that region. Kurds
are also the only group to have made good on their newly found freedom.
Monocultural Iraqi Kurdistan is an oasis in the democratic desert that
is Iraq, “where business is booming and Americans are beloved.”
“When visiting Kurdistan,” enthused the CBS’s 60 Minutes, “one can see
nation-building wherever one looks—Kurds are building their country day
by day. There are more cranes here than minarets and there’s a run on
cement.” No wonder the constructive Kurds want nothing to do with the
destructive Iraqi Arabs, who’ve persecuted them in years past and have
now turned on one another.
The Prince of Darkness, aka Robert Novak, has divulged that Bush
authorized “a covert operation of U.S. Special Forces to help the Turks
neutralize the PKK.” The King of Darkness may be planning to sell the
Kurds down the Tigris to pacify the Turks.
© 2007 By Ilana Mercer