THE KIRKUK FIASCO….Juan Cole is suspicious about the timing of the recent Turkish raids on Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq, which came just as Condoleezza Rice was flying to Kirkuk to meet with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani — a meeting that was angrily cancelled after Barzani learned about the raids:

Was Rice’s trip to Iraqi Kurdistan Deliberately Sabotaged?

….Look, it is absolutely impossible that Condi plans out a trip to Kirkuk and a meeting with Barzani with full knowledge that while she is there, Turkey will send 500 Turkish soldiers into northern Iraq to occupy the villages of Kaya Retch Binwak, Janarok and Gelly Resh. Or even that when she set out on her trip, she knew that Turkey was planning to bomb Iraqi Kurdistan on Sunday, killing 3, wounding 8, and displacing 300 Kurdish villagers….So there are only two possibilities.

Not to keep you in suspense, the two possibilities are (a) a U.S. screwup of fairly monumental proportions or (b) Turkish treachery, possibly including some sympathetic moles inside the State Department. “I’ll bet you State is looking into this fiasco as we speak and if you hear fairly soon that someone high in the department (or another department who has similar clearances) suddenly resigns to spend more time with his family, you can reasonably speculate that he was the source of a leak to [Turkish chief of staff Yasar] Buyukanit — if indeed there was one.”

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