The Turkish parliament debates Iraqi incursion photo: al-Jazeera
By a vote of 507-19, the Turkish Parliament has given Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan permission to launch attacks across the Iraqi border for the next year (A timetable!) on rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Reaction in Congress was muddled.
"It's a bit of a sticky wicket for us, and at this point in the ball game, we just don't know where we stand," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "And by we, I mean I. Like I said last week, Turkey has been a real good ally to the US, good enough that we let them into NATO even though they wouldn't recognize the North Atlantic if it bit them on the ass. After all, they do let us use their airspace and move troops and supplies across their border whenever we want to, so I hate to deny them this one little thing, but Jeez, what a mess."
"I'm afraid I'll have to agree with the Minority Leader on this one," said Majority Leader Harry Reid. "What the heck, it is a mess. It's true that Iraqi members of the PKK have been crossing the border to kill Turks, which is a bad thing, but really, those guys have been going after each other for years. On the other hand, ten percent of Turkey's population is Kurds, and the Turkish government has really treated them like crap. On the third hand - heh heh, I just met the Dalai Lama - the Kurds have been a total nuisance, what with their murdering and refusing to speak the language and all. But I'm just afraid that once the Turks cross the border, everyone's going to look like PKK to them. I think it's premature for me to have an opinion at this juncture."
"You and me both, buddy," replied McConnell. "It's a real puzzlement. I guess I'll just wait for the American people to make their feelings on the situation clear, and, uh... I guess that would be kind of stupid wouldn't it?"
"I tell you what, Mitch, why don't we just punt this one over to The Decider and give him a little of that bipartisan support that he's always craving."
"It's a deal, Harry."
©2007, Mark Hoback