another diplomatic triumph
Chalk up another major diplomatic failure for the Bush Administration: U.S. Giving Up On Turks and Rerouting Ships
After weeks of frustrating delays, the Bush administration has all but given up on persuading Turkey to let U.S. forces use its territory to invade Iraq. Instead, it is now focusing on "discouraging and deterring" the Turkish government from sending troops across the border, a senior U.S. official said today.
Is it just me, or is that last sentence kinda ominous?
Make no mistake about it: Opening up a northern front in Iraq was only a few days ago regarded as a highly desired part of US war plans, which is why the US ships hung around as long as they did, hoping for a change in Turkish policy that never materialized. This can't be dismissed as self-serving Gallic posturing; this is a major diplomatic blunder that's going to have real consequences for the war effort. And Bush couldn't even bribe the Turks into cooperating.
Of course, the Turkish balking illustrates pretty clearly whether they consider Iraq or the Kurds to be a bigger threat...