Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Iraq & Turkey

Tensions mounted along the Iraqi-Turkish border on Monday as the Turkish government sought parliamentary approval for military raids into northern Iraq. The vote in Parliament would permit Turkish armed forces to cross the border in pursuit of Kurdish rebels who launch attacks into Turkey from the Kurdish region of Iraq.
[. . .]
Kurds in northern Iraq have been sympathetic to the separatist aspirations of the rebels and unmoved by pleas from the central government to restrain them.
The Turkish Parliament is expected to vote Wednesday and approve the motion, which would authorize the Turkish military to make as many entries across the Iraqi border as necessary for one year. The raids would be aimed solely at the P.K.K., said a government spokesman, Cemil Cicek, in a televised news conference.

The above is from Alissa J. Rubin's "Turkey Moves Closer to an Incursion Into Iraq" in this morning's New York Times. Puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki is quoted in the article. There's no point in quoting him. He has no pull, he has no control. It is, however, interesting that Iraq's president isn't offering reassurance. But Jalal Talabani is a Kurd. And though he would have more pull than anyone at the top of the puppet government, he doesn't appear to be willing to use his influence in the region. Which may go directly to the claims by the Turkish government that the PKK has been more than 'ignored' in northern Iraq for some time.

From the Los Angeles Times, we'll note Yesim Borg's "Turkey threatens to attack Kurdish separatists in Iraq:"

The motion gives Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a bargaining chip as he seeks to quell rebel attacks and placate an army chomping at the bit to attack.
Turkish governments were granted similar carte blanche twice in recent years but did not act on them.
Turkey has been shelling targets in northern Iraq in recent days, including populated villages, according to Iraqi, Kurdish and Turkish sources. Shelling continued Sunday night in the hamlet of Kani Masi in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, Agence France-Presse reported.

Though Australia's ABC's Simon Lauder maintains, "Tensions between Turkey and Iraq are proving a headache for the US, and are also starting to have an impact on the global economy"; the oil industry probably isn't fretting over the news in Mark Shenk's "Oil Rises Above $86 to a Record on Turkey-Iraq Border Tension" (Bloomberg News):

Prices climbed as much as 3 percent because Turkey's military may attack Kurdish bases in Iraq, which has the world's third-largest oil reserves. Futures also increased after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said production outside the group will be lower than previously forecast.
[. . .]
Crude oil for November delivery rose $2.44, or 2.9 percent, to settle at a record $86.13 a barrel at 2:54 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil reached $86.22, the highest since the contract was introduced in 1983. This is the fifth straight rise. Prices are 47 percent higher than a year ago.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

Added: Lauren wanted the following noted: "Total number of blogs: 19,974" and "Combined rss reach of blogs: 14,364,088". What is that? Blog Action Day's tally on participation. That's only those participating who signed up. Some, like Rebecca ("blog action day"), participated without signing up. Sunday night, Lauren noted that it had climbed past the 15,000 mark on the number of sites participating. To read posts of those signed up and taking part, you can click here and scroll through the list. Applause to all who participated and applause and congratulations to Collis Ta'eed, Leo Babauta and Cyan Ta'eed who created Blog Action Day. Collis Ta'eed says it "changed my outlook" (see The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Blog Action What?") and the three and all participating certainly have much to be proud of.