Monday, November 24, 2003
Norman Stone, meanwhile, has an excellent piece in today's WSJ about the terrible events in Turkey. (He thinks the attacks are a PKK operation, by the way.) Why were the British hit?
I am afraid that, to some extent, it has been our own fault. The Americans moved their embassy people in Istanbul into a very unlovely, but safe, concrete fortress miles up the Bosphorus. We, with a superb 19th-century building, refused to shift, and Roger Short, the consul general (he was a good friend of mine) absolutely would not budge: He said, English-fashion, If they are going to get me, they will get me.
I know they shot McKinley (Karl Rove's model for GWB), but this kind of throws a harsh light on Bush's security operation in London, no? They shot Teddy Roosevelt, too, and he went on and finished his speech.
Stone's larger point is that Turkey should be more involved with Iraq, not less - specifically, the Kurdish Catalonia should not be part of Iraq but part of Turkey. He makes a very good case (pretty much precisely the case I've analogously made with respect to Jordan and the Palestinian-dominated parts of Judea and Samaria). But I understand why the Turks want no part; they have enough trouble with the Kurds they have. I do wonder if the latest events will change their cost/benefit calculation at all.
We'll know the more idealistic neo-cons have won if we actually try to create an independent Kurdistan. We'll know the more hard-headed realists have won if the Turks are actually enticed to take over Iraqi Kurdistan. We'll be living in the real world of compromises and half-measures if neither happens, and we try to muddle through with an Iraqi version of Lebanon - pre-1970s-era, thank-you very much, with God's help.