Thursday, October 11, 2007

Turkey: Armenian Resolutions and PKK attacks

What's going on?

Is now really the time for a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide?

There are times when I'm really just flabbergasted by how poorly the US is equipped to play the role of colonialist power. A resolution condemning the Armenian genocide is passed the same week 15 Turkish soldiers are killed by Kurdish factions based in US-occupied Iraq. There are no words for how self-defeating this is to US interests.

Bush might as well go ahead and sign it into law. Turkey isn't going to immediately ban US use of Turkish airspace or leave NATO. There is little short-term damage that can be done that hasn't been done. Turkey isn't going to launch a full-scale invasion Kurdistan.

The damage is that the parties in Turkey's military establishment, political establishment and society that favor cooperation with the United States (and those are the parties that favor cooperation with the West generally) have been permanently weakened.

In the future, decisions that can go either way are going to consistently go against the US. Wink or strenuously enforce sanctions against Iran? Turkey will wink. Cooperate with the US to help isolate anti-US (also anti-Kurdish) factions in Iraq. Maybe in words, not in action. Maybe not in words.

Turkey's relations with Israel are not over today, but close calls are going to consistently go against Israel from now on. The election of the quasi-Islamists was the true turning point, but this slap in the face by the US slightly accelerated the process.

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