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2 THE ROVING
EYE Bush's Turkey
shoot By Pepe Escobar
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, a fine politician, knew even before he
set foot in Washington on Monday that President
George W Bush could not possibly have anything
tangible to offer him on the explosive Turkey vs
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) dossier, apart from
Pentagon aerial intelligence passed on to Turkish
Erdogan, although describing
himself as "happy" with his talks with Bush, may
have left with nothing substantial. But at least he
a sound bite from Bush, who upgraded the PKK to
the status of an enemy of America. Bush told
Erdogan, "The PKK is a terrorist organization.
They're an enemy of Turkey, they're an enemy of
Iraq and they're an enemy of the United States."
Pity the US president could not possibly
follow his own logic and add that the Party for
Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK - the PKK's Iran arm
- is an enemy of Iran, an enemy of Iraq but a
friend of the United States - which is arming and
financing its fighters.
Last week, talking
to his Justice and Development Party members of
the Turkish Parliament, Erdogan stressed that he
needed Bush to "clearly define [the US] road map"
concerning the PKK. That would mean, from a
Turkish point of view, direct US intervention
against both the PKK and its protector, Kurdish
Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud
Barzani. Bush promised nothing of the kind.
Erdogan has accused Barzani of protecting
"terrorists". Barzani has replied he would not
hand over any of his Kurdish cousins accused of
staging raids into Turkey from northern Iraq. If
Bush did nothing about it, Erdogan said, "we will
do our own job", which is what Turkish generals
are really itching for: a
search-and-destroy-the-PKK invasion of Iraqi
Kurdistan. In other words: a new Iraq war. Even
after the "Mr Erdogan goes to Washington"
mini-movie, the chances of Turkey "doing its own
job" remain high.
Blame it on
Iran Bush could not offer anything
substantial because he would have had to admit his
administration's impotence at securing any of its
neo-imperial possessions' borders; this is what
led the PKK to use Iraqi Kurdistan in the first
place to coordinate its attacks in Turkey.
Iran also was not expecting that Bush
would deliver anything to Erdogan. But then there
are always the "unknown unknowns" in the bigger
picture. Nobody knows whether Bush and Erdogan
have discussed the fine print in a World War III
(according to Bush) or World War IV (according to
deranged neo-cons) scenario, which is being sold
by the White House as caused by Tehran.
Way beyond Turkey's troubles with the PKK,
it all comes back to the stark fact that Turkey
simply cannot accept a virtually independent Iraqi
Kurdistan in its southeast border - exactly the
outcome sought by the US-Israeli axis.
Bush and his inner circle have bought time
to calculate the odds on whom to double-cross.
Will it be North Atlantic Treaty Orgaization ally
Turkey, with its handy Incirlik base, anti-US
public opinion and no oil; or pro-US Iraqi Kurds,
with lots of oil and their Israeli-trained
peshmerga (armed forces)? Tough call. A
poker player familiar with Bush administration
methods would bet on a double double-cross,
complete with a "blame it on Iran" sequel and a
"bomb Iran" grand finale.
remain flawless, at least from a "war on terror"
angle. If Washington invaded both Afghanistan and
Iraq to fight "terrorists", Ankara has the same
rights to invade its terrorist-harboring neighbor,
which just happens to be an American neo-colony.
The irony is obviously lost on the Bush
The Turkish leader's visit
to Washington was upstaged by a new coup
perpetrated by that irrepressible US ally running
a failed state, General President Musharraf of
Pakistan. But at least the popularly elected
Erdogan is now free to impose economic sanctions
on Iraqi Kurdistan. Flights from Istanbul to Irbil
have already been cancelled. Electricity and food
will become scarce. Just the mere threat of
sanctions led the PKK to look for a settlement.
Last Friday a PKK leader, Abdul Rahman
al-Chadirchi, had already started asking Turkey
for a peace plan.
terrorist At a meeting in Istanbul this
past weekend of foreign ministers of all Iraq's
neighbors, plus the permanent members of the UN
Security Council and selected G8 members, it
emerged that a solution for the unholy mess was
coming from Iran. Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki had met with Iranian Foreign
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Baghdad last
Wednesday, and "urged Iran to help defuse the
border crisis". Tehran duly provided Baghdad with
intelligence on the PKK, according to Iranian
sources. But Baghdad did nothing - because the
Bush administration blocked its every move.
Why? Simple. Tehran intelligence revealed
that the PKK - anticipating a Turkish military
attack - was now trading Iraqi