The Madness of Iraq

As an America, I hope Turkey doesn't launch military strikes in Iraq, as doing so could have very bad consequences for our policies there and for the well-being of American soldiers and civilians living there. As a citizen of the world, I worry that Turkish incursions will just make the situation in a generally troubled part of the world even worse. And even in terms of advice to the Turks, I would caution that the thrill of retaliatory military action will fade and won't solve anything in terms of Turkey's problems vis-à-vis its own Kurdish population and the Kurdish people living near the border with Turkey. That said, I think Kevin Drum's observation that "Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is sounding eerily similar to the way George Bush sounded in March of 2003" is far too kind to Bush.

When Erdogan says something like "The moment an operation is needed, we will take that step. We don't need to ask anyone's permission" he's talking about a bona fide response to actual PKK terrorist attacks that really have happened. Human history's seen more than its fair share of ill-conceived overreactions to provocations (consider Israel's summer 2006 attacks on Lebanon) but the invasion of Iraq was considerably nuttier than that an enormous overreaction to hypothetical attacks and a nuclear weapons program that didn't exist.