'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blaming Turkey 

So last week Rumsfeld blamed Turkey for the insurgency in Iraq, saying

"Given the level of the insurgency today, two years later, clearly if we had been able to get the 4th Infantry Division in from the north, in through Turkey, more of the Iraqi, Saddam Hussein, Baathist regime would have been captured or killed. ... The insurgency today would be less."

but Turkey isn't a new target in the neoconservative blame game.

Back in the Iraq War salad days Wolfowitz used to like to admonish the Turkish military for not intervening on behalf of the US. Here's the Times, May 2003:

Mr. Wolfowitz, in an interview broadcast on Tuesday on CNN-Turk, criticized Turkey for not joining the Bush administration's campaign to topple Saddam Hussein's government. "Let's have a Turkey that steps up and says: `We made a mistake. We should have known how bad things were in Iraq, but we know now. Let's figure out how we can be as helpful as possible to the Americans,' " Mr. Wolfowitz said.

Just before the start of the American bombing, the Turkish Parliament rejected requests by the Pentagon to base troops in Turkey as part of a northern offensive on Iraq.

Mr. Wolfowitz singled out the Turkish military for criticism. "I think for whatever reason, they did not play the strong leadership role that we would have expected,"Mr. Wolfowitz said in the interview, conducted on Monday in Washington.

which demonstrates Wolfowitz's committment to democracy given that Turks were against the US invasion of Iraq by an incredibly huge majority: (via Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, circa Feb.2003)

A growing number of Turks oppose an American military campaign against Iraq according to a recent public opinion poll by ANAR. The poll, conducted on January 27-29 among 2,036 people in ten major cities by random sampling, revealed that 94 percent of Turks oppose a possible U.S. military intervention in Iraq while only 4 percent support it. In December 2002, a similar poll conducted by ANAR showed 87 percent of the respondents opposed American military intervention in Iraq. The latest ANAR poll showed 78 percent of Turks also oppose any kind of Turkish involvement either by sending troops to Iraq or by allowing the U.S. to use Turkish bases.

So, you know, no one loves democracy more than Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, and if the people don't love it enough you can always call on the military to intervene.

But anyway Rumsfeld backed down a little yesterday ... I guess times have changed. It was okay to call on the Turkish military to stop Turkey's government from acting according to the will of 94% of Turkey's population when the neoconservatives were still hanging "Mission Accomplished" banners from aircraft carriers, but when Rumsfeld makes less inflamatory comments now, he's forced to say things like the following a week later:

Although Rumsfeld did not deny statements made last week that Ankara’s not allowing the opening of the north front had resulted in a greater level of insurgency in Iraq following the March 2003 invasion he said that Turkey had made its own decision in as independent country.

"There was a very fresh government in power in Turkey then, this party had not run the country before. But despite that the government showed a good willed effort to pass the bill," he said.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?