Wednesday, 10 October 2012

lack of intervention leads not to peace but war

in Syria, of course.  The shameful lack of intervention to stop the slaughter of Syria's people by its government has had regional repercussions which were not hard to foresee.  I speak of course of the Kurdish issue.  Turkey's brutal suppression of its Kurds is well known, and Syria has previously been helpful in this, booting the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) leader Abdullah Ocalan out of Damascus and enabling him to be arrested and extradited to Turkey, where he remains, serving a life sentence which will never be commuted.  But now, as the regime in Syria becomes increasingly savage and desperate, the various Kurdish groupings in the region, most of which do not trust each other or work together, are mobilising, to Turkey's dismay.  There have already been shootings and shellings across the Turkish-Syrian border, and there will be more.  With each Turkish life lost the rattle of the sabres is louder.  But NATO is deaf to it.  Turkey invoked the NATO charter this week, but was more or less ignored.  You can read a good piece by the excellent Michael Weiss here.

NATO's geopolitical reasons for its unwillingness to support its member state, Turkey, are for it to explain.  But it is worth noting that the only place in the wider region where the Kurds live at peace, not much repressed, and with a measure of self-determination, is Iraq.  And it was intervention that gave them that.

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