Tony Blankley

Yesterday, I Googled "Turkey and the Kurds" and got 1,310,000 hits. Then I Googled "Paris Hilton" and got 45,800,000 hits. That seems about right. Who wouldn't prefer to reflect on the soft-porn potential of the spoiled, slinky, sexually incontinent, blonde heiress facing down the various titillating menaces of the prison shadows, rather than thinking about the prospect of yet another war in the Middle East?

Although, if Paris had been sentenced to a Turkish prison, we could have merged the two stories in a sort of updated "Thousand and One Nights" adventure with Paris in the part of Scheherezade, telling fascinating tales to stop her husband King Shahryar from killing her. In the updated version, Paris would obviously sell her fascinating tales afterward for publicity and profits, rather than for her life -- as in the original.

But, alas, the two stories have not merged, and it is a sad reflection on my misspent mental life that right now I'm one of the guys who actually does care more about the Turks and the Kurds than I do about Paris and her prisoners of love. But a bloody mess is on the cusp of getting bloodier in Iraq, and while events are not entirely within our control, we may be able to influence them.

To summarize the situation: The terrorist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), has been harassing Turkey for decades allegedly on behalf of the approximately 15 million Kurds living in Turkey (about 20 percent of the Turkish population -- and with the highest birthrate of any ethnic group in Turkey).

Currently, the Turks suspect (perhaps with justification) that some of the approximate 5 million Kurds living in northern Iraq are giving cover and help to the PKK terrorists. The Turks very plausibly fear that the Kurds (living more or less contiguously in Southern Turkey, northern Iraq, northeast Syria and northwestern Iran as well as in Armenia and environs) want to form an independent state -- which state would strip Turkey of a fifth of its land and population.

Thus, Turkey has strongly opposed a division or federalization of Iraq into a Kurd north, Sunni middle and Shia south -- preferring a unitary Iraqi state.

But the Kurds have been the United States's strongest ally in Iraq. Their Pershmerga military has kept their part of Iraq relatively peaceful. It is also the most prosperous. They are claiming their rights to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk (from where they had been forcibly removed by Saddam Hussein). The Turks fear that a richer, separatist or independent Iraqi Kurdish population helping the PKK commit terror against Turk government and civilian targets is a strategic threat to Turkey.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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