Thursday, May 31, 2007

The "South Korea" model

So our great shrub says that he wants Iraq to be in the "South Korea model". What? Commander clueless shows that he has no grasp of history.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush envisions a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq similar to the one in South Korea where American forces have helped keep an uneasy peace for more than 50 years, the White House said Wednesday.,,-6671660,00.html

As usual, Juan Cole says it better than I:

So what confuses me is the terms of the comparison. Who is playing the role of
the Communists and of North Korea? Is it the Sunni Arabs of Iraq? But they are
divided into Iraqi/Arab nationalists and Salafi Sunni revivalists. (The secular
Arab nationalists are the vast majority according to recent polling). So they are not a united force. They are fighting with one another in al-Anbar. And, the Arab nationalists and the religious Sunnis cannot both play the role of the Communists. Some Arab nationalists are allied with the United States (Egypt, Tunisia, etc.) Others are not (Syria). Some religious Sunnis are allied with the US (Saudi Arabia,Afghanistan). Others are not. So where is the analogy to International Communism? Who is China and who is the Soviet Union? Is it Syria and Iran? But both are ruled by Shiites, not Sunnis!

But let us say that the Sunni Arabs are North Korea. Who is South Korea? Is it the Shiites of Iraq? But they are allied with Iran (isn't it playing the role of China?) And the vast majority of them don't want US troops in Iraq according to polls. There is zero chance that the Shiites of Iraq will put up with a long term presence of US
bases in their areas of Iraq. The British base in Basra takes heavy fire all the time.

The only place in Iraq that looks at all like South Korea is maybe Kurdistan. But it is also allied with Iran behind the scenes, and it is in a troubling way giving asylum to Turkish-Kurdish terror groups that are infliction harm on the US's NATO ally, Turkey.

Even as we speak, in Iraq's north, Turkish military forces and now 20 tanks are massing on the Iraqi border, apparently poised for "hot pursuit" of Kurdish guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), who have safe harbor in Iraqi Kurdistan but go over to Turkey and blow things up. There is some danger that the US will be in the middle of all this, though it is allied with both the Kurds and the Turks. Last week US fighter jets based in Iraq made an unauthorized incursion into Turkish air space that the Turks are protesting.

Do we really want to be in the middle of that?

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