Turks on the Brink

The U.S. government is urging Turkey not to invade the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq after Turkish Kurdish separatists based on northern Iraq killed 17 Turkish soldiers and perhaps abducted as many as eight more. Such an invasion would be a calamity, since the Kurdish regions of Iraq are among the few peaceful, pro-American areas in Iraq, and a Turkish invasion could dramatically escalate the conflict in Iraq.

The U.S. government, however, is enormously unpopular now in Turkey, and its words carry little weight with the Turks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made this situation much worse by pushing a resolution to condemn Turkey for the genocide committed against more than a million Armenians in eastern Turkey by the Ottoman Empire back during World War I, a resolution that resulted in Turkey, a traditional American NATO ally, withdrawing its ambassador from the U.S.

The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer and The Economist both discuss how extremely counterproductive Pelosi’s actions have been, antagonizing the Turks at the very moment when we most need credibility with them in order to counsel restraint against an invasion.