Just as it appears the United States may have turned an important corner in Iraq with the reported disabling of al-Qaida, Turkey is threatening to invade northern Iraq in an attempt to stop attacks by Kurdish rebels on Turkish territory.
House Democrats added fuel to the combustible situation when the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct. 10 passed a resolution that recognizes as genocide the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The resolution is opposed by the Bush administration, not necessarily because it disagrees that genocide occurred nearly a century ago, but because such a resolution will inflame passions at a time when there are passions enough in the neighborhood. Democrats, who control Congress, are playing a dangerous game that might severely damage America’s foreign policy, further diminish President Bush, hand over a weakened presidency to his successor and put more of our troops in jeopardy. That reality apparently began to reach the Democratic congressional leadership by midweek, as supporters of the resolution began a retreat and senior Democrats urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drop her support for the measure.
Since Saddam Hussein was toppled from power, Turkey has been threatening to invade northern Iraq to settle old scores. Turkey has the provocation it believes it needs in the killing of 30 Turkish soldiers and civilians by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (known as the PKK) in just the last two weeks.
Writing in the publication Insight, Gallia Lindenstrauss notes, “(Turkish) President Abdullah Gul accused American politicians of sacrificing big issues for petty games of domestic politics.” That sounds about right. Are Democrats so cynical that they would stir an already boiling pot in hopes that it would negate whatever success America may finally be having in quelling terrorist acts in Iraq? One would hope that is not the case, but given their leadership’s rhetoric about the war already being lost and their refusal to acknowledge even the slightest progress in Iraq as positive lest it reflect well on the Bush administration, cynicism about their cynical actions might be justified.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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