Thursday, June 21, 2007
Just Like Witches at Black Masses
It's always reassuring to hear Brent Scowcroft attack one's cherished convictions; it makes one cherish them all the more. So it's good news when Scowcroft comes out against the desperately-needed and long overdue war against Saddam Hussein and the rest of the terror masters. [...]
However, nobody is perfect, and Scowcroft has managed to get one thing half right, even though he misdescribes it. He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a caldron and destroy the War on Terror."
One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today.
There is disturbing news from the Iraqi-Turkish border that suggests that Ledeen's exhortations of "faster, please" may be getting results:
Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have been forced to flee their homes after up to 30,000 Turkish soldiers massed on the Iraqi-Turkish border and launched attacks against Kurdish fighters, Iraqi border police say.
Local aid agencies said Kurdish fighters had prevented them from entering the villages, which were being targeted.
“The bombardments have forced hundreds to abandon their homes and leave for safer areas. Some houses were looted by Kurdish fighters, according to witnesses in the area,” said Rastgo Muhammad Barsaz, spokesman for the non-governmental organisation Kurdistan Campaign to Help Victims of War.
“Dashati Takhe village, on the border near Zakho, is one of the most affected areas. We have been informed of civilian causalities but we don’t know how many, as we are being denied access to the area. But by telephone, civilians have told us they are short of food and water,” Barsaz said. [...]
“The last time [Turkey invaded] hundreds of innocent people died and we hope that won’t happen again. This time, we had to flee our house and are taking refuge with some relatives near Zakho, but we cannot stay there long. We really don’t know what to do as we’ve left everything behind. We’re scared that our home will be destroyed, as has happened to some of our neighbours,” said Ezdin Destan, 47, a resident of Dashati village, near the Turkish border.
It was entirely predictable, and predicted, by those truly opposed to the Iraq war that the Kurdish-Turkish cauldron, already at a simmer, would boil over as a result of the invasion. Also worth noting: we currently have over 160,000 troops in Iraq, and we have not been able to cool down the recent tensions between Turkey and Kurdistan. A larger conflict is poised to erupt.
Yet one of the rationales given by those who support maintaining a residual force of some 50,000 soldiers in Iraq for several decades is that such a vastly reduced contingent could prevent a larger regional conflict (in addition to performing its training and al-Qaeda hunting duties). Someone has to explain to me how 50,000 troops are going to be able to accomplish this rather prodigious feat(s) when 160,000 appear unable to greatly alter the tragic arc of events.(h/t This Old Brit)