THE Turkish army is poised to invade northern Iraq in order to respond to PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) attacks on its troops, which have recently exacted mounting Turkish casualties, claims the Ankara government.
However the alleged cause of war is a veil for the real driving forces of the conflict.
In March 2003 the Turkish government refused to allow US troops to attack Saddam Hussein’s forces from their territory, arguing that such a move would only weaken the unity of Iraq and strengthen the Kurdish drive for a separate state in northern Iraq.
The subsequent US attempt to organise an Iraqi puppet government and to defeat the Iraqi insurgency has failed and the Iraq quagmire has proven to be in the words of US General Sanchez, ‘a nightmare without end’.
The defeat of the US forces in Iraq and the collapse of US policy there, has seen the US authorities give more weight to plans to divide Iraq into three entities, with the US planning its major bases to be in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The pro-American Kurdish parties are preparing for that eventuality. As far as Turkey is concerned this means that the declaration of the state of Kurdistan in northern Iraq is just a matter of time.
The declaration of a state of Kurdistan would act as a magnet for millions of Kurds in Turkey, Iran and Syria destabilising the Turkish, Syrian and Iranian regimes.
Turkey’s military intervention is therefore a pre-emptive strike to forestall this development, and suppress the Kurds.
It will also be the beginning of the grab for Iraq’s oil and gas resources, in which the Syrian, Saudi and Iranian regimes will participate.
Iran can be expected to act in a similar fashion to the Turkish government in southern Iraq and to support the pro-Iranian Shi’ite authorities, while the US aids their opponents.
The Syrian and Saudi governments will give their support to the Ba’athists and to the Iraqi nationalists whom the US is now seeking to cultivate in central, northern and western Iraq, after spending $400 billion in a war to remove them from the scene.
As far as the conflict in northern Iraq is concerned, a US general said yesterday that while America was concerned and the Iraqi government may seek to defend its sovereign territory, US forces would not intervene.
US Lieutenant General Carter Ham said ‘It is important to note that Iraq is a sovereign nation, and they would take their sovereignty and the defence of their territory quite seriously.’
He added: ‘If diplomacy fails we would have to assess that situation, and at a policy level to decide what is the best way for the United States government to deal with that situation.’
In fact the US military is looking for a second route to supply troops in Iraq in case Turkey shuts its borders in reprisal for pro-Kurdish US moves and the US congressional resolution on the slaughter of millions of Armenians during the First World War by Turkish forces.
A Pentagon official said yesterday: ‘There is planning going on. It’s just looking at what other options are available because there are serious operational impacts if the Turks deny passage of US military supplies bound for Iraq.’
Meanwhile oil prices are closing fast on the $90 a barrel watershed.
The US intervention to organise regime change in Iraq has rebounded with a vengeance and is now threatening to plunge the whole of the oil bearing Middle East into a massive destructive war, and to push the world capitalist economy over the edge of the abyss, onto the rocks of a major slump.
The only way out for the world working class is the organisation of the world socialist revolution.
This will smash capitalism and imperialism, and end the occupation of Iraq and Palestine to go forward to socialism.