WAR DRUMS IN TURKEY….Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is sounding eerily similar to the way George Bush sounded in March of 2003. The subject is a possible Turkish military assault on Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq:
“The moment an operation is needed, we will take that step,” Erdogan told a large flag-waving crowd in Izmit. “We don’t need to ask anyone’s permission.”
….Turkey has massed up to 100,000 troops, backed by fighter jets, helicopter gunships, tanks, and mortars, on the border for a possible offensive against about 3,000 rebels using Iraq as a base from which to carry out attacks in Turkey.
….Erdogan took a swipe at western countries for not cracking down on the PKK and said calling it a terrorist group, as the United States and European Union do, was not enough. “We want action, and if you can’t show action, you fail the sincerity test,” he said. “Those who overlook terrorism are in cooperation with terrorism,” he told a conference earlier.
It’s hard to back down when you’ve gotten to the point of deploying 100,000 troops and both the public and the legislature are baying for blood. All Erdogan needs now is an incident, and what are the odds that there won’t be an incident sometime in the next couple of weeks? Furthermore, what are the odds that once 100,000 Turkish troops are unleashed, they’ll only stay for a month or two and then get out?
Slim and none. I sure hope Bush has some serious magic up his sleeve for his meeting with Erdogan a week from Monday.