As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Most Dangerous Trouble Spot In The World Update

Pakistan is still dangerous, but today I'm shifting the most dangerous trouble spot to: northern Kurdistan! Congratulations, Kurdistan.

Turkey has commenced bombing on what they term "rebel positions" just inside Turkey. Obviously, the concern is that these bombing runs will migrate over to Iraq, which would widen the war. According to this report that's already happening:

On Sunday, Turkish helicopter gunships penetrated into Iraqi territory and troops have shelled suspected Kurdish rebel positions across the border in Iraq, a government official said Wednesday.

U.S.-made Cobra and Super Cobra attack helicopters chased Kurdish rebels three miles into Iraqi territory on Sunday but returned to their bases in Turkey after a rebel ambush killed 12 soldiers near the border, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He also said Turkish artillery units shelled rebel positions as recently as Tuesday night but did not say which areas were targeted.

The Iraqi government is vowing to help stop the PKK rebels from their incursions into Turkish territory, although realistically they have almost no ability to do so. Kurdistan is an independent country in everything but name. Plus there are still some faint strains of national identity that make Iraqis reluctant to target their own people.

Which makes this story all the more dangerous:

THE Bush Administration is considering air strikes, including cruise missiles, against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq.

The move would be an attempt to stave off a Turkish invasion of that country to fight the rebels [...]

"It's not 'Kumbaya' time any more - just talking about trilateral talks is not going to be enough," the official said.

"Something has to be done."

I want to know how it's going to look to Iraqi civilians to have Americans launching cruise missiles inside Kurdistan, which given the military and intelligence community's penchant for getting things wrong could easily hit population centers of civilians. How is that furthering the goal of bringing peace and stability to Iraq?

Maybe that would be the kind of incident that would have the Iraqis move to limit military involvement in their own country, at which point you would see a civil war between the Iraqi government and the American occupiers. The point is that continuing to use bombs as a stand-in for diplomacy will have severely negative consequences for the effort to extract ourselves honorably from this quagmire.

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