Saturday, March 01, 2003

Confusion surrounds Turkey's decision on US troops

"Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan has described a parliament decision refusing Washington military access to Turkey for a potential war against Iraq as a "completely democratic result".

So far Washington has only said that it is seeking "clarification" of the result* after initial reports suggested the deployment of 62,000 American troops on Turkish soil had been approved.

The vote, carried out behind closed doors, ended with 264 votes for and 251 votes against with 19 abstentions providing the government with an apparently slim victory.

But the opposition Republican People's Party challenged the result on the grounds that the government had not won the 267 votes needed for a parliamentary majority.

It is thought the government may still present another similar resolution to parliament later this week."

* President Gore Bush has despatched election scrutineers from Palm Beach County, Florida to examine the result. The right result is expected in a matter of hours.

Thought for the Day.

"We will remain in Iraq as long as necessary and not a day more." George W. Bush.

Editor's note: An interesting addendum/sidenote to this issue (well...I think it's interesting anyway and anybody who thinks otherwise can bugger off to their favourite porno site rather than come complaining to me) is that Turkey borders Northern Iraq. Northern Iraq whilst, officially, being part of Iraq is actually not under Saddam's control and is instead run by a Kurdish government. They consider themselves a separate that harbours a long and unpleasant history with the Turks. Any military spearhead from Turkey will involve both American troops and Turkish agreement reached between Turkey and America along with America's lovely fat financial backhander. The Kurds hate the Turks. The Turks hate the Kurds. Any Turkish troops entering Northern Iraq will be looked upon as an invasion force. This means a completely different war to the one intended will break out almost immediately, the American's having to become 'Peace Keepers' rather than using Northern Iraq to advance to Baghdad. The whole idea of using Turkey as a platform for an attack on Saddam is laden with doom from the outset. Furthermore, it's an extremely costly mistake, the sum of money being handed over to the Turkish government for this stalemate situation being estimated in billions of dollars. Keep paying those taxes to the Bush administration know it makes sense.

Deputy Editor here to allay the Editor's fears of the shit hitting the fan a propos the Turds and the Kurks. Prime Miniature Howard is brokering a deal whereby Greek observers will monitor the conduct of the Turkish military command. Contrary to the Editor's "bearish" outlook, I would take a "bullish" view of this investment. It may well be that the American taxpayers are getting value for their money. As always the proof of the pudding is ... Only when Turkey has been fully relocated to Texas will we really know, but have to say I'm pretty upbeat about the takeover.