Saturday, March 24, 2012

Foreign Policy Realism in Action

Turkish Kurds vow to fight Turkey if Turkey intervenes in Syria to stop Assad--the same Assad who holds Syria's Kurds down:

Turkish Kurd militants threatened on Thursday to turn all Kurdish populated areas into a "war zone" if Turkish troops entered Syria, a sign the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has allies in Syria may be taking sides in the conflict there.

The Kurds have made a grim calculation that they need the support of Syria to fight against Turkish oppression of Kurds--even at the price of Syrian oppression of other Kurds.

Having PKK support might not be such a good idea for Assad. If anything gets Turks jittery it is their Kurds. Turkey once threatened an invasion of Syria if Syria didn't turn over a Kurdish resistance leader and Syria complied rather than risk a fight. And that was when the Syrian armed forces weren't shaken by sectarian suspicions and desertions. The article raises that incident, too:

Turkish officials say they are watching closely for signs Syria may renew its support for the PKK, which it dropped in late 1998 after Turkish tanks massed on the Syrian border. Damascus was forced to deport PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan who was later seized by Turkish special forces in Kenya.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has repeatedly said Syria "would not dare" make such a mistake again.

You never can tell about mistakes. In 1914 and in 1939, the Germans didn't want to fight a two-front war. Sometimes you just get what you get. Heck, sometimes you even get what you deserve.