True or false: the Kurds are the largest single ethnic group on Earth that do not have a country of their own.
That statement, of course, is true. Most people have no idea who or what the Kurds are, as they have no PR machine or deeply concerned Hollywood spokespeople encouraging the world to help them out. From the Bush administration's perspective the Kurds are in a position so precarious that it sums up Operation Iraqi Clusterfuck perfectly.
The Kurds were the "human rights" piece of the pre-2003 We Must Invade argument. Sadaam Hussein had a long, unpleasant history of trying to exterminate the restless Kurdish settlements in the northwest ("Kurdistan" comprises parts of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq) including the use of chemical weapons. So imagine how stupid we'd look if, for example, we started encouraging the Iraqi "government" to use its armed forces (read: ours) to suppress uppity Kurdish regions. Ha. Wow, that would be pretty hilarious.
The Kurds (via the PKK) are a subject that rasies Turkey's blood pressure to almost fatal levels. As most of the Kurdish people live in modern-day Turkey, the two parties have been engaged in a slow, simmering secessionist movement / civil war for the better part of 20 years. And now the Turks are claiming (correctly) that the Kurds are using the free-for-all that is Iraq to plan and supply attacks on Turkey. This practically makes that vein on Turkey's forehead throb. They've announced in no uncertain terms that they will attack and invade Kurdish positions within Iraq if the latter cannot do something to control the situation.
On the one hand, the sheer destabilizing insanity of Turkey invading Iraq is obvious. The U.S. wants nothing more than to avoid that outcome. Iraq can't even govern 12 blocks of Baghdad let alone enforce the sovereignty of its borders. Yet we are not exactly on Turkey's good side these days, what with our resolutions condemning the Armenian genocide that Turkey refuses to acknowledge. You might ask yourself why we give a shit what Turkey thinks given that we don't seem to give a shit what anyone else thinks these days. Well, those planes at Incirlik aren't going to station themselves. Half of our military supply material to Iraq and Afghanistan passes through that base. It's like the Cold War all over again – making decisions to support brutal, repressive governments based on their willingness to host the military facilities with which we surround our enemies and mark our territory all over the world.
So our options are:
Hmm. I wonder which one of those scenarios will win out.