Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Middle East Is Fun!

When we invaded Iraq, the plan was that the entire Middle East would be happy and democratic and peaceful and happy. Now, Bush can't even make the entire United States happy, so maybe that goal was slightly ambitious.Part of the reason the Middle East is such a bubbling cauldron is that the borders are ever-changing, but the centuries old tribal grudges are not. Like with, say, the Turks and the Kurds. The Kurds are a completely unique tribe that lives in northern Iraq. When Iraqi borders were drawn up years ago, the Kurds were artificially penned in. The Kurds didn't like Iraqis and they didn't like Saddam Hussein. They often tried to form their own sovereign state. Hussein responded to this by gassing them to death. This increased their dislike for Hussein.

The Kurds also aren't that crazy about us because during the first Gulf War, the Kurds planned an uprising against Hussein and Iraq. We told the Kurds we would back them and protect them. Except we didn't. The uprising was brutally squelched. So that was nice.

When we toppled Saddam, the Kurds were overjoyed. They thought the time was ripe for the formation of Kurdistan. The problem is, what would be Kurdistan sits on vast oil reserves. And that oil and oil money would be needed to finance the reconstruction of Iraq. So we asked them to hang tight. Basically, the Kurds keep getting worked over. And now they're being called terrorists because...

...the Kurds also don't like the Turks. Right now you're probably thinking, "Wait a minute! These people look alike! Turk and Kurd even sounds similar! Why don't they like each other?" Well, they don't. Like everything in that part of the world, it goes back a long time and won't be resolved any time soon.The Kurds would like to take parts of southern Turkey for themselves in the formation of Kurdistan. Turkey, surprisingly, would like to keep its country intact. For the past couple of years, there has been a border skirmish as Kurdish rebels launch attacks on Turkish troops. Sometimes they shoot over the border, sometimes they rush over the border and squeeze a few off. For a long time, Turkey has resisted a full-out offensive on the Kurds because...

...Turkey is our ally and wants to respect our wishes. Of course, the Kurds are also an ally and so is Iraq now - theoretically - and the whole situation is quite awkward. Like if you had two friends that didn't like each other and you're having a barbecue and maybe they're going to have a drunken fistfight on your front lawn. Your friend Craig Kurd has been throwing cashews at Terry Turk and Terry has been taking the high road. But Terry just pulled you aside in the kitchen and said if you don't stop Craig, I'm going to rock his face. The last thing you want is a fight that possibly devolves into a full scale brawl, so you talk to Craig. Except Craig remembers when you sold his brother out 17 years ago and he was gassed to death by Saddam Hussein. The situation is tenuous at best and you've been burning all of the burgers all day and the party basically sucks already because you didn't properly prepare for it.

So beginning last year, Turkey began fighting back a bit. Occasionally crossing the border and battling the Kurds head on. This week, Turkey crossed the border and launched an offensive to handle this situation once and for all. To end the terroristic guerilla attacks the Kurds have been favoring.This setup, this whole ball of wax, is what has led to us to...BUM BUM BUM BA! THE QUOTE OF THE YEAR!

1 comment:

Benzy said...

I think they should change the names of the tribes to the Turds and the Kurks. That would make for some fun news stories.