February 18, 2003

Turks Playing Hard Ball? I

Turks Playing Hard Ball?

I normally take much of what I read in Debka with a grain of salt. I suspect that about a quarter of their information may be purposeful Mossad disinformation. But the latest they are reporting appears credible given news stories overnight about increasing Turkish reticence regarding allowing U.S. troops to enter Iraq from the so-called northern front.

Debka reports: "Turkish President Sezer warns no American troops will be allowed in his country without second Security Council resolution on Iraq. He did not specify content of resolution"

This would make a French (or Russian or Chinese) veto a bigger issue than before as, if true, the lack of a second resolution would be a showstopper for the Turks vis-a-vis allowing GIs to operate in significant numbers out of eastern Turkey.

I'm picking up on some "gut" feelings that indicate people think the chances of an imminent conflict are waning. The markets appear to be betting on a delay or cancellation of war plans. The combination of strident opposition at the UNSC from France and Russia, the massive protests over the weekend, the recalcitrance of the Turks, among other factors--all are giving observers pause. Is there anything to this? I certainly wouldn't bet on it.

UPDATE: Here's what the Turkish government is really after.

Posted by Gregory at February 18, 2003 04:09 PM
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