Sunday, October 21, 2007

They Don't Have to Give Up Land nor Partition

The United States and England have a problem.

One of their allies has been attacked over the years by an underground which has employed not only traditional national liberation tactics but also terror against civilians. This undergound is based just across the ally's border. This underground movement has centuries-long claims on portions of the ally's territory.

However, the solution of partition is not on the agenda. The ally is not being asked to give up territory.

If you were thinking that perhaps this ally I have been describing is Israel - you're wrong.

I'm talking about Turkey and its Kurdish problem which of late has been an increasingly pressing issue.

Read the recent news:-

At least 12 Turkish soldiers have been killed following an ambush by Kurdish rebels near the Iraqi border - with 32 rebels also killed, officials say.

And a bit of background:-

3,000 PKK fighters are believed to be based in northern Iraq near the Turkish border...

There have been regular clashes in the area since earlier in the year, but the latest attack was one of the deadliest for some time. The clashes will increase pressure on the government from the public and the military for a tough response, our correspondent says.

The United States, Turkey's Nato ally, has called for restraint, fearing that any incursions would destabilise Iraq's most peaceful area - the autonomous Kurdish region in the north. The White House decried the PKK's actions, saying: "These attacks are unacceptable and must stop now."

More than 30,000 people have been killed since the PKK began fighting for greater autonomy for the largely-Kurdish south-eastern Turkey since 1984.

Israel is forced into the "territories for peace" paradigm. Ever since 1922, we Zionistrs have bee dividing and subdividing. But not Turkey. Turkey is not being forced, gently or otherwise, to yield up portions of what it considers its territory to placate the pesh merga of the PKK, or the resistance fighters, operating out of the Qandil mountains on the border between Turkey and Iraq. Indeed, the shoe is perhaps on the other foot in that Iraq is beginning to pressured to grant further autonomy to the already mostly autonomous Kurdish region which has been so since 1991.

The so-called Palestine Authority has been semi-autonomous since 1993 and it also has been promoting terror attacks against of American ally - Israel. But Israel, unlike Turkey, is caught in the vise of "yield-surrender-withdraw". Specious historical, legal and religious claims of the Arabs are taken at face value but the Kurds are portrayed in the most negative light.

I myself have to real knowledge as regards the justice of the Kurdish cause (although Israel was a special supporter of the Kurds in the early 1960s on onwards). But, nevertheless, I think a lesson can be learned. Turkey is an ally not because it is the most democratic country in the Middle East nor the richest. But it is strategic. America needs its bases and especially its airfields. And it does not want Turkey to stage border-crossing raids into Iraq to root out the PKK.

And still, partition is not a threat to Turkey unlike how it hangs like a sword over Israel's vulnerable neck.

I'm pretty sure there's a lesson here. But can Israel learn the trick?


Follow-up post.

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