Kurd Sellout Watch: Day 54

Two days ago, Chatterbox wondered whether the United States had invited Turkish troops into Iraq, as had been reported in the Turkish daily Zaman. He now thinks the United States did not—or, if it did, did so via a meaningless boilerplate “question text” sent to all coalition members. At the moment, our soldiers in Iraq seem far more intent on kicking Turkish troops out.

Michael Ware reported yesterday on Time magazine’s Web site that U.S. paratroopers had captured roughly a dozen Turkish soldiers trying to sneak into Kirkuk. Ware said they were Turkish special forces in civilian clothes who came down from Turkey under the pretext that they were assisting a shipment of humanitarian aid. The paratroopers found AK-47s, grenades, and other weapons in the Turks’ cars, Ware reported, and concluded they were there to foment rebellion among the Turkmen population against the newly arrived Kurds. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul denied the soldiers were sent by the Turkish government, but U.S. Ambassador Robert Pearson surely pressed Gul on this today when Gul summoned him to discuss a separate matter.

That separate matter was an alleged, somewhat provocative comment by Jay Garner, America’s new viceroy/”facilitator” in Iraq. According to the Turkish press, Garner said, “Kirkuk is a Kurdish city.” (The gleeful headline in the Kurdistan Observer: “Garner: Kirkuk is Kurdish, Turkey Goes Insane.”) In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said he couldn’t confirm that Garner, a strong Kurd supporter, had actually made the comment. Both Pearson and Boucher assured reporters that (in Pearson’s words) “all the cities of Iraq and all the resources of Iraq are for the people of Iraq.”

All told, it’s been a very good couple of days for the Kurds.

Kurd Sellout Archive:
April 23, 2003: Day 52
April 18, 2003: Day 47
April 10, 2003: Day 39
April 3, 2003: Day 32
March 26, 2003: Day 24
March 25, 2003: Day 23
March 23, 2003: Day 21
March 21, 2003: Day 19
March 20, 2003: Day 18
March 17, 2003: Day 15
March 14, 2003: Day 12
March 11, 2003: Day 9
March 6, 2003: Day 4
March 4, 2003: Day 2
March 3, 2003: “How Screwed Are the Kurds?”