Skip to comments.Turkish general warns US over ties (Pelosi's mess)
Posted on 10/14/2007 8:52:33 AM PDT by saganite
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkey's top general warned that ties with the U.S., already strained by attacks from rebels hiding in Iraq, will be irreversibly damaged if Congress passes a resolution that labels the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide.
Turkey, which is a major cargo hub for U.S. and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations and warned that there might be a cut in the logistical support to the U.S. over the issue.
Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told daily Milliyet newspaper that a congressional committee's approval of the measure had already harmed ties between the two countries.
"If this resolution passed in the committee passes the House as well, our military ties with the U.S. will never be the same again," Buyukanit was quoted as saying by Milliyet.
"I'm the military chief, I deal with security issues. I'm not a politician," Buyukanit was quoted as saying by Milliyet. "In this regard, the U.S. shot its own foot."
President Bush has said the resolution is the wrong response to the Armenian deaths, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure's timing was important "because many of the survivors are very old."
"It is a statement made by 23 other countries. We would be the 24th country to make this statement. Genocide still exists, and we saw it in Rwanda; we see it now in Darfur," she told ABC's "This Week" in an interview broadcast Sunday.
But Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the measure was "irresponsible."
"Listen, there's no question that the suffering of the Armenian people some 90 years ago was extreme. But what happened 90 years ago ought to be a subject for historians to sort out, not politicians here in Washington," he told "Fox News Sunday."
About 70 percent of U.S. air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkey as does about one-third of the fuel used by the U.S. military there. U.S. bases also get water and other supplies carried in overland by Turkish truckers who cross into Iraq's northern Kurdish region.
In addition, C-17 cargo planes fly military supplies to U.S. soldiers in remote areas of Iraq from Incirlik, avoiding the use of Iraqi roads vulnerable to bomb attacks. U.S. officials say the arrangement helps reduce American casualties.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has "urged restraint" from Turkey and sent two high-ranking officials to Ankara in an apparent attempt to ease fury over the measure which could be voted on by the House by the end of the year.
Buyukanit's remarks were published a day after a visit by Dan Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, and Eric Edelman, who is the undersecretary of defense for policy.
"Secretary of State Rice Condoleezza Rice asked us before we came here to express that the Bush administration is opposed to this resolution," Edelman said Saturday.
At issue in the resolution is the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Many international historians contend the World War I-era deaths amounted to genocide, but Turkey says the mass killings and deportations were not systematic and that many Turkish Muslims died in the chaos of war.
The congressional resolution comes as the Turkish parliament debates authorizing a military campaign into northern Iraq to root out rebels who seek a unified, independent nation for Kurds in the region.
U.S. officials have urged Turkey not to send troops and appealed for a diplomatic solution with Iraq. The Kurdish self-rule region in northern Iraq is one of the country's few relatively stable areas and the Kurds here are also a longtime U.S. ally.
A Kurdish rebel commander on Saturday said Turkey would face a long and bloody conflict if it launched a large-scale offensive in northern Iraq.
Speaking to The Associated Press deep in the Qandil mountains straddling the Iraq-Turkish border, some 94 miles from the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, Murat Karayilan, head of the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, warned that an eventual Turkish incursion would "make Turkey experience a Vietnam war."
The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Turkey says the rebels use Iraqi Kurdish territory as a safe haven. Iraqi and Kurdish authorities reject the claim.
The last congress - which was under Republican control - voted this out of committee as well, this isn’t a Democratic/Republican split, it a matter of pressure on individual representatives of both parties by Armenian-Americans.
Think it’s a coincidence that Nancy is pushing this now?
If it helps to force Turkey to turn its back on supplying US troops through their country the Dems are for it.
THE DEMOCRATS WANT US TO LOSE.
To which Speaker Pelosi is quoted as replying:
So what’s your timeline for forgetting attrocities?
If Turkey does indeed deny US access to it’s airspace that will put a severe crimp in moving troops into Kuwait before they deploy into Iraq. The air routes pass through Turkish and Iraqi airspace. The only other access to Kuwait would be Saudi Arabian air space. We’ve used that route before but it’s longer and costlier and depends of course on whether or not the Saudis would grant access. Yessir, Speaker Pelosi is playing with fire. Hopefully this won’t have a chance on the House floor.
This is a Democrat ploy to cause Turkey to close U.S. access to their airstrips and facilities, thus undermining the war in Iraq.
That is ALL that this vote is about.
Who says anything about forgetting. Remembering the Armenian genocide isn’t what this resolution is about anyway. It’s about throwing a monkey wrench into our efforts in Iraq.
How long will the man on the street continue to allow the elites to force feed the lies to the man or woman on the street is anyone's guess.....but I sincerely hope the elites are about to receive a 'cannot be ignored' call, just as Americans occasionally send to the elites.
Don’t forget the Turk denial of movement of the 4th Infantry Division through Turkey at the start of the war.
I absolutely agree.
However, I'm afraid President Bush will continue to do little to combat the Democrat leadership.
I'm really disappointed that our President has chosen to coast at the end of his term.
I remember that. Since then the Turks have been more accomodating. That could easily end if this resolution passes.
Pelosi might be crazy like a fox on this one ... a back door way to ‘get us out of Iraq’.
I don’t think it will work, but it will tickle her minions.
Jimma Carter said today on Woofie: I wouldn’t vote for Pelosi’s War Resolution Against Turkey.
Congress had already condemned this atrocity twice before!
This isn't designed to recognize something had had been ignored in the past!
It was designed to disrupt our relationship with Turkey at a time when we are winning on the ground and in the diplomatic circles.
Democrats are trying to damage our efforts in the ME in order to hurt Bush.
>>>So whats your timeline for forgetting attrocities?
I guess Greek atrocities against the Middle East are still being hotly talked about by the Democrats (Alexander the Great destroyed cities and all its inhabitants if they didn’t go along with his program).
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