He was a great choice for VP. Soft partition is a perfect place to start finding a political solution in Iraq. It will be up to the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds to decide whether they want soft or hard partition or whether they want to start getting along with each other.

The Devil will be in the details.

IF THE KURDS WANT TO HAVE THEIR OWN COUNTRY THEY NEED TO STOP MAKING MISCHIEF IN TURKEY AND IRAN , THE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE STUDIED. IT IS PART OF THE BIG PICTURE. THE DEVIL WILL BE IN THE DETAILS. BIDEN HAS PROPOSED SEPARATING IRAQ INTO 3 PARTS. RICHARDSON AND OBAMA HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST.

Turkey Forms Alliance With Iran Against Kurds

Monday, October 15, 2007 11:15 AM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman Article Font Size

U.S. ally Turkey and U.S. arch-enemy Iran have formed a military alliance to drive opposition Kurds from bases in northern Iraq they have used since 2004 to launch guerrilla operations inside Iran, rebel leaders told Newsmax at a secret base in the Qandil mountains.

Both Iran and Turkey have vowed to send troops into northern Iraq, but until now evidence of active military cooperation between them has remained a closely-held secret.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up political and diplomatic threats in recent days, telling the United States he would cut off U.S. access to the strategic Incirlik airbase in eastern Turkey if the U.S. tried to prevent Turkey from sending troops against the Kurdish bases in northern Iraq.

Leaders of the Party of Free Life of Iranian Kurdistan, known as PJAK, provided Newsmax with extensive evidence of the Iran-Turkey alliance in two days of exclusive interviews at a secret guerilla base deep in the Qandil mountains. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards outpost was visible on a nearby mountain peak.

“Iran and Turkey attacked jointly on August 16 against our forces inside Iran and against Turkish self-defense forces in northern Iraq,” a PJAK commander using the nom de guerre Xerat told Newsmax at the Iranian rebel base.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards “attacked us across a broad front in the areas of Sardasht, Piranshahr, Shaho, Urmieh, and along the border line,” Xerat said, citing the names of major cities in Iranian Kurdistan where PJAK rebels have been operating.

While those ground operations were underway, Iranian and Turkish artillery simultaneously began shelling civilian villages inside Iraqi Kurdistan from Metina, Zaab, Haftani, and Hakurke in the north, to Haji Oumran, Qalatdizza, Zeh, Marado, and Xinera in the south, he added.

Turkish artillery hit the northern villages, while Iranian gunners hit the southern ones.

Iranian troops attempted to cross into Iraq through the mountain passes, but PJAK fighters held the line.

“The goal of the Iranians is to drive us from the border area,” rebel leader Biryar Gabar told Newsmax. “They want to turn this area into a no-man’s land, so they can use it to smuggle weapons and Islamist guerillas into Iraq to fight the Americans.”

He called the Iran-Turkey entente “an anti-American alliance,” not just an anti-Kurdish agreement, and said that it resulted from deliberate decisions from the ruling Islamist AKP party of Prime Minister Erdogan to transform Turkey into an increasingly Islamist state.

A senior European official, who was involved in talks to bring Turkey into the European Union, told Newsmax recently he had been “stunned” by the hard-line toward the Kurds taken by AKP party leader Abdullah Gul, now Turkey’s president.

“He was totally uncompromising,” the official said. “He took a harder line than the Turkish military.”

Iran has been offering Turkey an economic agreement with Iran in July to build a strategic pipeline that will bring Iranian natural gas to Europe, in defiance of a U.S. led effort to increase the economic squeeze on Iran.

During a press conference in August while he was still foreign minister, Gul defended Turkey and Iran’s joint action against Kurdish guerillas in Iraq.

“They pose a threat to Turkey as well as to other neighbors. Therefore, every country has the right to defend its borders and take legitimate measures for its own security,” Gül said.

On Sept. 9, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani publicly called on PJAK and Turkish Kurdish militamen to leave Iraq, or limit themselves to purely political activities.

Since the liberation of Iraq by the Coalition, PJAK has maintained control of the Iran-Iraq border in this area, and prevented infiltration by Iran or al-Qaida-related terrorists.

The U.S. military sent liaison officers to meet with PJAK in 2003 and again in 2005 to discuss Iranian efforts to infiltrate Iraq, but have not pursued discussions further, PJAK officials said.

“From August 16-24, the Iranians tried to cross the border along the mountain ridge line, but we pushed them back,” Biryar Gabar said.

During the Iranian ground attacks, PJAK learned from its operatives on the ground inside Iran that Turkish officers were acting as military advisors to the Iranian troops, he told Newsmax.

Additional information was gleaned from the interrogation of an Iranian Revolutionary Guards soldier captured by PJAK guerillas who is now being held inside Iraq, and from papers taken from the bodies of 60 Iranian guards troops killed during the clashes.

PJAK fighters have killed 200 Revolutionary Guards troops and lost seven of their own soldiers since the fighting began on Aug. 16, Biryar Gabar said. Another PJAK fighter was wounded, he added.

Since the failed ground offensive by the Iranians, Turkish officers have begun training Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops in counter-insurgency operations at the Soleiman training camp near the Iranian city of Urmieh.

“The Iranians had little experience in counter-insurgency operations, so the Turks are training them,” guerilla leader Xenat said.

“Our friends saw Turkish officers coordinating the operations of the Iranian army in the Kelaresh area,” he added. Kelaresh is in the border region outside of Salmas and Urmieh, Iran.

An exclusive Newsmax source in Iran reported in late August that eight Turkish officers were then in Urmieh, coordinating the anti-Kurdish military campaign with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

At the command level, Iranian and Turkish military officers have held monthly coordination meetings in the Turkish cities of Harakeh, Van, Bashakale, and in the Iranian cities of Urmieh, Mahabad, and Salmas, PJAK officials said.

The Iranian government sent a 12-member delegation to Hakkari, Turkey, for a summit meeting with Turkish officials on Sept. 10, PJAK officials said.

The Iranian delegation included the governor of Urmieh province, Hassan Gaffari Azer, and the deputy commander of the border guards, Coloonel Gurban Ali Muhubi.

They met with the governor of the Hakkari district, Ayhan Nasuhbeyoglu, security chief Cavit Cevik, the commander of the local gendarmerie, Colonel Zuhuri Atilla Ataal, and the governors of two adjoining districts.

PJAK guerilla leaders also pointed to the recent creation by Iran of civilian village guards, known as “jash,” in the Iranian Kurdish areas, as another sign of Turkish military cooperation with Iran.

“The Turkish army used a similar tactic when fighting the PKK in the 1990s,” said Xenat, a former PKK fighter who is originally from Turkey but joined PJAK once the PKK dissolved its military wing in early 2000.

The “jash” village guards act as spies for the Revolutionary Guards to identify PJAK guerilla fighters., he said. They are also dressing up in Kurdish guerilla uniforms and attacking Iranian villagers, pretending to be PJAK fighters.

“The Turks have been fighting a dirty war in anti-guerilla operations for 30 years. Now they are teaching this to the Iranians,” Xenat said.

PJAK leaders said they were countering the Iranian disinformation efforts through political work on the ground inside Iran, and by attacking Revolutionary Guards units and Iranian officials such as judges who had sentenced PJAK guerilla fighters and political operatives to death.

Unlike earlier Iranian Kurdish guerilla groups, PJAK has integrated women into both its political and military wing.

For example, on Sept. 10, PJAK launched a reprisal attack against a Revolutionary Guards base near Shaho, in northwestern Iran, that was coordinated by a female guerilla fighter, said Arsham Kurdman, the head of the PJAK women’s movement.

Twelve Iranian troops were killed during that particular attack, she told Newsmax, while PJAK had no losses.

War materiel captured during that attack is now being used by PJAK fighters inside Iran, she added.

© 2007 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

HOW DO WE STRAIGHTEN OUT THE IRAQ MESS? Anyone have any ideas? Someone out there might have an idea that needs a little help. Let’s not throw any babies out with the wash water. Try to be civil. It is possible to point out the folly of some idea without getting nasty.

First we need to decide if we should continue Iraq as a single entity or break it up into 3 (or 4) parts. Should there be total separation? Advantages? disadvantages? Problems?

For the moment there seem to be only 2 ideas : Stay the course or cut and run.

Both of them involve wishful thinking : either keeping on doing the same thing hoping for a different result or ignoring the problem hoping that it will go away.

DISCUSSING PARTITION IS AN ACTIVE POSITIVE APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM THAT GETS AT THE MAJOR CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM

IT IS A SHOTGUN MARRIAGE BEING HELD TOGETHER FOR NO GOOD REASON.

Iraq was formed for the convenience of the British after World War One. Not only was it a marriage of incompatible people but also it was a “menage a trois” of incomapatible people.

If one or more of the iraqis want out ,we should facilitate an amicable divorce.

NOT IMPLEMENTED, but studied rigorously not to admire but to criticize.

As good carpenters say “Measure twice, cut once” This was not done in the run up to the Iraq invasion.

The word implies foreign conquerors descending upon a country and carving it up for the convenience of some ouside powers. (As was done by the British to the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War One.) The Ottoman Empire was partitioned and Iraq was born.

There are some huge differences between that and what I have proposed. The biggest difference is that the question needs to be asked “What is best for the Iraqis?”. I will submit that this question was not asked either in the original formation of Iraq or the Iraq invasion by the present Bush administration.

We need to get the appropriate people together to discuss the multiple and wide ranging issues that would be involved.

Just as crusade is a bad word for Arabs so too my be partition. marketing is sometimes everything. Does anyone remember “The Pet Rock” ?

WHAT WE NEED IS ETIOLOGIC TREATMENT WHICH GOES AFTER THE CAUSE.

The separation of Iraq into three parts at least attempts to treat the underlying cause of Iraq’s problems.

POSSIBLY But maybe they cannot be separated. but at least we should discuss if it is feasible. We really cannot say one way or the other until we have examined the patient.

In the same way, we cannot know whether Iraq can be separated successfuly until we have thoroughly examined the patient.

We cannot decide ahead of time one way or the other whether Iraq can be successfully partitioned.

Even if we decide that it is not possible, we may well have learned how to take better care of the patient so that this examination would be a worthy endeavor whether or not we actually partition the country.

in the discussions of whether or not the partition of Iraq would be a good idea.

Those taking part in discussions should be:

Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites
Turks and Kurds who live in the USA
Arabs (Syrians, Iraqis,Jordanians, Egyptians and others)
Turks
Europeans
Maybe Russians, Japanese and any others who might be able to bringt something to the discussion.

WE SHOULD START WITH A CLEAN SLATE WITH EVERYONE COMING TO THE TABLE WITH AN OPEN MIND AND WILLING TO ADMIT THAT IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE A GOOD IDEA.

If the only other alternative is “Cut and run” we have a big problem.

The cost / benefit ratio of starting serious discussions BETWEEN PROPERLY CHOSEN PEOPLE ABOUT PARTITION OF IRAQ is tiny compared to that of staying the course or cutting and running.