Mideast Madness...Menacing!

It’s been interesting to watch the news concerning the events accruing to matters concerning valued allies of the U.S. in the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan. The Turks are tired of a renegade bunch of Kurds in northern Iraq attacking Turks and then retiring to their sanctuary, obviously beyond reach. So…the Turks have decided that an invasion of North Iraq might be necessary to put a stop to this stuff. U.S. honchos are necessarily upset about this since there’s already enough turmoil in Iraq without the addition of another party at the dance.

Nitwits, mostly democrats, in the U.S. House came up with the bright idea a few weeks ago of officially labeling a bloodbath of Armenians as genocide committed by Turks around 1915, a sanguinary exercise denounced at the time by the U.S., though the term genocide might not have been used. If genocide did occur – and both sides have their claims – it’s not up to the U.S. House and ultimately the Congress to declare it, and the declaration wouldn’t be worth the paper required to produce such a document, in any case. It would be the same a hundred years after the fact as Congress calling the Holocaust in Europe genocide by Germans…60-70 years after the fact.

Naturally, the Turks resented this action and threatened to foreclose the vital U.S. supply routes that are used in Turkey to service the U.S. military in the fight against terrorism in Iraq. This would be a terrible blow. This government, however, has inveighed heavily against the Turks lining up at the Iraq border and threatening to add even more chaos to the Iraqi situation.

In the meantime, Benazir Bhutto, former head of the Pakistani government and off in exile for some ten years, decided to make a comeback, whereupon some keystone-kop naysayers to that comeback celebrated it by managing explosions aimed at assassinating her but actually killing more than a hundred other Pakistanis. Bhutto’s father had once been the head honcho but he was hanged by the military types that took the government away from him. The Islamic fundamentalist movement is her sworn enemy and also the sworn enemy of Pervez Musharraf, current military/civil leader who constantly dodges assassins and has just proclaimed a “state of emergency” (martial law?), though elections had been scheduled for January.

The U.S. has announced great dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs regarding Musharraf and his actions, even though its main supply route for servicing the military fighting the Taliban (al Qaeda) in Afghanistan lies in Pakistan, which, to add fuel to the fire, possesses nuclear capability. Indeed, the consensus regarding al Qaeda butcher/honcho bin Laden is that he’s hiding somewhere in the mountains of western Pakistan and should, therefore, have been dealt with by now, whether by capture or death.

So…for this country, what to do? It has managed to alienate both its allies, almost exclusively Muslim, at the very time it needs them desperately, though the silly business regarding the genocide thing has been dropped in a Congress already suffering approval rates at about the same as those of the mainstream media and maybe half that of the president. Clearly, this country needs the good graces of both nations.

The Turkey problem has been temporarily solved, though Speaker Pelosi (multitudes of Armenians in California) might bring it up again, especially if it will slow down the war against terror. Heading into an election year with things looking up in Iraq could be bad for democrats, who have been whining and moaning about losing the war for months now and may actually be realizing that Americans are more interested in someone who will fight to guarantee the nation’s security than in their defeatist attitude.

This country has pumped $10 billion into Pakistan since late 2001, thus actually buying cooperation, though Musharraf needs help to ward off fanatics who, if gaining power, will have their finger on the nuclear button. President Bush has adopted the “romance philosophy” of the guy who simply “loves the one he’s near when he isn’t near the one he loves.” He said on 5 November that he hopes Musharraf will “give up the uniform” (just be president) and that elections should be held as soon as possible.

Those are the right words. As all presidents find out sooner or later, the fact is that this nation does business with whatever government is running things in other countries, thus dealing with what’s in place when not able to deal with what it would choose to be in place (that romance theory). He needs to talk less about American-type democracy (elections in Pakistan, for instance) and face the fact that in Iraq and Pakistan and other Muslim nations theocracy is still too strong and even suits the masses more than democracy does. For now, Musharraf must rule with an iron hand…so…so be it.

At all costs, the friendship of Turkey and Pakistan must be held inviolable.