The Peaceful Kurds and their Turkish Protectors
September 22, 2006: In the last month, there have been four attempts to destroy portions of the 210 kilometer fence that separates Iraq and Kuwait. The fence is is covered by sensors, including day/night (heat sensing) cameras. All the attacks are coming from the Iraqi side. It's uncertain if the attackers are smugglers, or Islamic terrorists. Either group has an interest in penetrating the stronger border controls that have gone into effect since 2003. Before that, it was the Iraqis who had good control of the border. A police state is good at that sort of thing. But in the past three years, the Kuwaitis have done most of the work sealing the border, and have been pretty good at it. Anyone trying to get through, can expect a quick visit from the border guards.
September 20, 2006: Turkey is negotiating with the Kurds in the north, to work out a deal to keep the Kurds independent, and away from support for Kurdish separatists. The Turks have long refused to allow the creation of an independent Kurdish state (which would include most of eastern Turkey and northern Iraq). Since the Turks are known to be tough fighters, and more than a match for the Kurds, the Kurds of northern Iraq have decided to make a deal. The Kurdish government in the north will take the heat from their own radical nationalists, and provide more assistance to Turkish efforts to chase down Kurdish terrorists (mainly the PKK), that launches attacks in Turkey, from bases in northern Iraq. In return, the Turks will assist (with weapons, air power or ground forces) the Kurds if the Iraqi government tries to impose more control, by force, over the Kurds. At the moment, the Kurds are practically an independent country. Iraqis going into Kurdish controlled northern Iraq, must get through passport control and strict security checks. There is no terrorism in the Kurdish north. Iraqi Arabs are welcome, if they can pass security. And Iraqi Arabs come north to relax. The economy is booming up north, and it is the envy of Iraqi Arabs. But the Kurds don't think the Iraqi Arabs will be able to match this peace and prosperity, at least not until the rebellious Sunni Arabs are defeated, or destroyed (by getting chased out of the country.) The Kurdish experience shows that you can have peace and prosperity in Iraq, as long as you don't have any Sunni Arab terrorists hanging about. The Kurds and Turks have long had one thing in common, distaste, and a lot of contempt, for Arabs.
September 19, 2006: Terrorists have come up with a new ploy. They kidnap a motorist, plant a bomb in the car so that the owner cannot easily detect it, and then tell the driver they will release him if he will just drive to a certain location and do something for them (deliver a message, pick someone up, whatever). But in fact, the car has been equipped with a wireless detonator. When the car, which can more easily get through checkpoints, arrives at its destination, a nearby terrorist trigger the wireless detonator. This scam doesn't work so well now that it's widely known, but it was used quite a bit over the Summer.