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The price of Bush's non-diplomacy

A perfect demonstration of why it was in America's interests for its president to have maintained better diplomatic relations (or even any sort of decent relations at all) with the international community is to be found in today's Washington Post, in an article reporting that Turkey remains reluctant to allow U.S. troops to launch an attack on Iraq from its military bases, and is now even unsure if it will allow American warplanes to use its airspace.

Turkey's refusal to cooperate in a war effort could, of course, be very costly to the United States. It would make it far more difficult to protect Iraq's northern oil fields, and, if American forces face actual resistance from the Iraqi military, would allow Iraq to concentrate its defenses in the south — the better to, you know, destroy American equipment and kill American soldiers. Bad, costly stuff.

The insight into how Bush's history of bad faith in international diplomacy plays a role in all this comes, of course, where interesting insights inevitably appear in newspaper articles — at the very end. The Post quotes a Turkish political analyst, one Sedat Ergin, who says that Turkey's concerns about the Iraqi Kurds are the critical issue, and it is doubts over the United States' ability to ensure they are addressed that underlies the split between the two countries. And, the Post adds:

Ergin said U.S. threats that Turkey would have no say in the future of northern Iraq if it did not allow the U.S. deployment have backfired, serving only to make Turkish officials more suspicious of U.S. intentions.

In other words, Turkey doesn't trust the United States — they think America is just trying to use them to get what it wants, and won't necessarily follow through on its word.

They think that, of course, because the consistent stance of the Bush administration has been that it doesn't owe anything to anyone else, not even honesty — it does and says as it pleases. Now Turkey (for one — who knows in how many other ways this will play out) is apparently making America pay a price for Bush's senseless disdain for the international community. And the price is very high: Americans may die because of it.

Is there anything else that needs to be said?

March 13, 2003 1:20 PM

Comments (and TrackBacks)

Is there anything else that needs to be said?

yes. bush is not only inept. he's a friggen danger to the people of the u.s.

Posted by dob on March 17, 2003 1:02 PM

If I'm not mistaken, I think they also believe that because that's precisely what happened in Version 1.0 of this war, with Daddy WarBush - Turkey were promised the world and given nada in return for their co-operation.

It may be that other nations in the UN learned from that lesson. Not that it matters much for the people that'll be dying soon, I guess.

Posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on March 18, 2003 4:26 AM


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