If Turkey will not be dissuaded from entering Iraq to root out the rebels, the Bush administration might consider helping the Turks do the job quickly and as painlessly as possible so that they might hastily return to their side of the border. If the Kurds wish to continue with their prosperous and more peaceful lifestyles, they will help locate and expunge the rebels among them. The last thing the region needs is to inflame Islamic fundamentalists, who, despite tensions that have long threatened to topple Ankara’s secular government, have so far managed to peacefully coexist with moderate Muslims, as well as secularists.
A senior commander of the rebel group, Duran Kalkan, was quoted in an Associated Press story as saying the Turkish military will suffer a serious blow if it launches a cross-border offensive and would be “bogged down in a quagmire.” Another quagmire is precisely what is not needed in Iraq. Oil prices, which have increased in recent days in anticipation of Turkish military action, would go even higher should another front be opened in Iraq.
There should be no rush to condemn a genocide that took place more than nine decades ago (and the very word “genocide” is in dispute as a description of what happened). Politically it might play well for Democrats, but it could backfire and have severe repercussions for American foreign policy, American forces in Iraq (supply lines could be disrupted) and American interests in Iraq and throughout the region for years to come. The next president cannot possibly enjoy long-term benefits from such shortsightedness by House Democrats.
Whatever immediate political gain Democrats might hope to extract from this misguided and ill-timed resolution will be overcome by the long-term pain it generates. Apparently there are limits beyond which even Democrats are not willing to go in their pursuit of political gain. There are some issues that ought to transcend partisanship and this is one of them.
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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