Wednesday, October 15, 2003

In almost identical headlines, Turkish newspapers Wednesday declared that the suicide bombing at the Turkish embassy in Baghdad was meant to discourage Turkey from sending troops to Iraq.

"A warning bomb," the mass-circulation daily Hurriyet said on its front page, describing Tuesday's blast as the sign of "serious reactions to the deployment of Turkish soldiers."

I'm fascinated by the complexity of the problem of Turkish Troops in Iraq. I have no idea how this will turn out.

In case you haven't read up on it the Turks are despised by the Kurds, the semi-autonomous tribes of Northern Iraq. And, in a land of long memories and longer grudges the folks of Iraq in general recall that the Turks came last time and created the Ottoman Empire.

On the other hand the Turks are Muslim which theorectically handles all those complaints about our being "insensitive" to Muslim culture. And, to boot, they are Sunni Muslim, as in Saddam's type of Muslim. So they would be put in the triangle, the place which has been most dangerous to US Soldiers.

And it also seems important to recall that bombs do not necessarily a majority make.

As the US Army likes to put it..."the enemy gets a vote". So, yes, bombs are noisy and dangerous and tend to draw lots of attention. But their prevalence in the press may overstate the relevance of the opinion behind them.

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