Iraq, Turkey and us

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2003

Please note in the title it’s &uot;us&uot; not the United States. We know how Iraq gets the &uot;us&uot; but how does Turkey fit in here? Interesting story.

Turkey’s location is very important. Turkey borders on Iraq – that’s the Muslim connection. Turkey also carries a bridge, which is her border into Europe. She can thus play both sides. The United States has always had a good relationship with Turkey but at one point in the war on Iraq. (which the U.S. claims is not &uot;war’ – strictly no war but merely &uot;combat.&uot; We know better, don’t we?) The United States knew that having our troops on the Turkey-Iraq border would give us an advantage in this combat. (I don’t dare say war) with Iraq. For many years we have sent money to Turkey for economic reasons. We are real good at this. We buy country after country. So, when Bush asked to send troops in turkey answered, &uot;We have to present the request to Parliament.&uot; So to Parliament went the question. Answer. 385 members out of 500 said &uot;yes&uot; but we were told we needed all 500. What a friend! We don’t need enemies. But the U.S. didn’t give up. We asked again later.

In northern Iraq lives the Kurds. They are independent of Iraq with their own country although still Iraq’s fiercest warriors and carrying a hatred of Turkey even though Turkey borders on Iraq. To the U.S. comes a message from the Kurds offering their border for any attacks plus their well-trained troops to assist. Cost? (Everyone charges us and we pay.) Reason for request – need cash promises in their country. Offer put aside for now and we take another go at Turkey. Got a yes, but not with enthusiasm. We are so used to payoffs. What happens when we can’t afford said payoff?

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Turkey is important and they realize Iraqi oil sits out there and greed raises its ugly head. Oh my! They feel the oil rights were given without bids as should be. And how are you, Mr. Vice President? For Turkey’s ‘economy&uot; a fat sum has been paid. How about our economy here at home?

It so badly needs to be fattened up, too. Are you listening, Washington?

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.