Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Lobbygow links to this article in the NYT:

ISTANBUL, Jan. 11 - The commander of American forces in the Middle East told the Turkish government on Tuesday that he could not spare any troops to meet its request for an assault on Kurdish guerrillas who have been using northern Iraq as a base for attacks on Turkish forces.

Gen. John P. Abizaid, head of the Army's Central Command, said during a visit in Ankara that the United States considered the main Kurdish separatist group, the P.K.K., a terrorist organization. But, he added, "we also understand - all of us understand - that our troops have a lot of work to do there along with the Iraqi security forces, and we agree that, over time, we must deal with the P.K.K."

[. . .]

So we're stretched that thin? Our allies who've kept at least one stretch of Iraq's border secure ask us for a little help and we can't spare the manpower? This could be a destabilizing influence in Turkey, the only Islamic member of NATO. Do we need Islamic Fundamentalism creeping northward to Greece's southern border? That will happen if Turkey goes under.

[. . .]

A separate American delegation, headed by Laura Kennedy, a deputy under secretary of state, also met with Turkish and Iraqi officials in Ankara on Tuesday to talk about the P.K.K. incursions. A statement issued after the meeting underscored that the United States preferred to see the Iraqis and Turks work out the problem together.

Work it out yourselves, boys, 'cause we got bigger problems. This is fucking insane.

Update: 15:55:

And it gets worse. Tokyo Rose lives (via Kos):

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Departing from fiery Islamic slogans, Iraqi guerrillas have launched a propaganda campaign with an English-language video urging U.S. troops to lay down their weapons and seek refuge in mosques and homes.

The video, narrated in fluent English by what sounded like an Iraqi educated in the United States or Britain, also mocked the U.S. president's challenge to rebels in the early days of the insurgency to 'bring it on'.

"George W. Bush; you have asked us to 'bring it on'. And so help me, (we will) like you never expected. Do you have another challenge?," asked the narrator before the video showed explosions around a U.S. military Humvee vehicle.

Threats intended to demoralise and frighten in the tense build up to elections at the end of the month were tempered with invitations to desert and escape retribution.

A masked guerrilla from an unknown group called the Islamic Jihad Army, eschewing past impassioned Arabic-language threats of holy war, told U.S. soldiers: "This is not your war, nor are you fighting for a true cause in Iraq."

"To the American soldiers we say you can also choose to fight tyranny with us. Lay down your weapons and seek refuge in our mosques, churches and homes. We will protect you," he said.

[. . .]

If they're confident enough to do this, we're looking at a long, protracted slog over there. Either that or we cut and run, and then Osama & Co. will be able to say they chased the Americans out. Unbelievable.

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