Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Middle East Map On The Way?

Jeebus you really do need a scorecard while watching things develop in the middle east. Events are at warp speed and power alignments are changing quickly. In preperation for a region wide blowup? Who knows, but it seems the precarious allegiances of years past are evaporating and all sides are readying for something, and it won't take much to light the bonfire.

Turkey's relationship with the US has been tenuous for a number of years now, and it took a sharp turn south when Iraq was invaded and occupied in 2003. Much to the dismay of the war planners Turkey refused to be a staging area for the conquest and the american military had to shift to a Kuwaiti based plan of attack and supply. Turkey had chafed under the decade long embargo against Iraq in the 90s as it saw it's trade between countries drop by 2/3 and knew a new war would only make things worse. Polls there have shown a big jump in numbers of people with negative opinions of americans.

But the biggest sore spot between the two countries is the Kurdish seperatist problem. America seemed to be doing a balancing act between the Kurds, the one group in Iraq that hasn't found sport in blowing up americans, and it's NATO partner. But now it 's obvious the US chose which side it wants to be on, and a clue as to why that policy was picked might be found in stories like these:

Dallas Oil Company Signs Deal With Kurds - 4 days ago
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas' Hunt Oil Co. and Kurdistan's regional government said Saturday they've signed a production-sharing contract for petroleum exploration in northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurds passed their own oil and gas law in August.

I had mistakenly thought that the US would screw the Kurds over yet again just like in the aftermath of the first gulf slaughter but it always comes down to the oil, doesn't it? The US also seems to be embracing the widely acknowledged PPK terrorist group, the separatist guerrillas who Turkey almost invaded Iraq to crush. The same Kurdish group that's been killing Turkish military almost on a daily basis.

"British Daily Telegraph claimed that the US officers have regular meetings with the PKK terrorists in Northern Iraq. Damien McElroy in his report mentioned “US army helicopters are reportedly used to shuttle officers to regular meetings with Kurdish fighters”.
The US’ strange policies regarding the PKK terrorism nourishes anti-Americanism in Turkey. The US lost at least 30 years in Turkey."

Well that's going to sit well with our good NATO buddy.

And just as Turkey has been distancing itself from The Great Satan, it's been cozying up to it's neighbor Iran. They have common cause in fighting Kurdish seperatists and have entered into trade deals like dam construction and oil and gas pipelines. It didn't hurt relations with Iran either that a moderate islamist government was just elected.
Speaking of the new Turkish government, things are pretty tense between it and the country's secular military, so much so that the military boycotted the inauguration last week. The military overthrew governments it hasn't liked three times in the past 50 years, the only reason it won't now is that the economy is doing good.

But something might have happened a couple of days ago that would have exacerbated all these situations.

"ANKARA — Turkey has been on high alert after the discovery of an apparent Al Qaida attempt to kill the nation's political leadership.
Turkish sources said a 300-kilogram bomb was found under a mini-bus in Ankara's commercial district on Sept. 10, Middle East Newsline reported. Security agents assumed it was intended for a convoy that included Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

The sources said the bomb, located several hundred meters from the government complex, was the biggest seen in Turkey in years. They said Erdogan was moved from his office to his home under heavy security."

The above article mentions 'Al Qaeda' while other sources claim the Kurdish PPK. The fact is that had the new government been blown up all hell would have busted loose, and the secular military would have ended the resurgent muslim sentiments that voted them in. Considering that 'Al Qaeda' is a CIA front organization, and considering america's newfound relations with the PPK, I wonder just who might have planted the bomb to get that sort of outcome?

added - Turkey/Israel relations seem to be going south as well


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