The USA, AKP, and the PKK.* Oh, And Iraq.

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Lurking in this acronym soup is a looming crisis in what used to be the most stable part of post-invasion Iraq. In a nutshell, the problem is this: insurgents from the PKK — deemed a terrorist organization by the USA — killed 12 Turkish soldiers Sunday, and have been conducting attacks on Turkey from Northern Iraq for a while now. Naturally, Turkey wants to respond. And given that the US is ostensibly involved in a war on terror, it is, to say the least, awkward. On the Talk of the Nation Opinion Page, Henri Barkey mourns a missed opportunity to create a new agreement between the two sides. He'll explain why today.

*United States of America, Turkey's Justice and Reconciliation Department, and the Kurdistan Worker's Party.



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what opportunity? Our invasion of Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster, and I use the word unmitigated advisedly

Sent by Orin Hollander | 2:25 PM | 10-29-2007

Long before the U.S. went to war in Iraq, Dick Cheney explained that if this happened, it would result in a quagmire that would eventually involve Turkey.

The video of this is at

Sent by inspra | 3:10 PM | 10-29-2007

In 1989 I met a Kurdish rebel who had been exiled from Iraq for his activities when he was 17 years old. I'm not sure if he was part of the PKK or not. He told me that he was from Kurdistan, and because I had never heard of this place, I responded rather tactlessly, "That's not a country." But, the point is that to him it was a country, his land, and that he and his brothers (and sisters) were waiting for the opportunity to assert their independence from Iraq and from Turkey. Ethnically, he considered himself very different from the Arab population surrounding his homeland. As the Gulf war and now this war with Iraq has unfolded, I have often thought about the Kurdish people exiled from their families that live in the US perhaps waiting for an opportunity to return to their country, their Kurdistan. I would like to hear from them in addition to the scholars that are enlisted to speak about this subject on NPR and Talk of the Nation.

Sent by Diana Budde | 4:41 PM | 10-29-2007

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