Where to Bomb? Presidential Candidates Use of Force Tracker

Came across this spreadsheet tracking all the military action envisioned by each presidential candidate, both Democrat and Republican, through the Guardian.

The tracker is from “Council on Foreign RelationsMicah Zenko [who] is tracking all the people and places each presidential candidate has said he or she wants to bomb.” The chart reads like the text to a game of Risk being played by a group of teenagers.

Source: Presidential Candidates Use of Force Tracker


Silence after Bombing Troubling

PKK, Turkey, bombing, suicide bombing, Turkish soldiers, Kurdish militantsAfter noting my theory as to the Suruc attacks in a previous post, the latest and greatest in that saga is the alleged suicide bombing by the PKK of Turkish troops near the Iranian border. The BBC article noted that the Turkish military stated that “Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and 31 wounded in a suicide attack by Kurdish PKK militants.” The article goes on to state that “There has been no comment from the PKK so far. AFP news agency said it would be the first time the group was accused of deploying a suicide bomber during recent clashes.”

The silence from the PKK seems akin to the silence from ISIS after the Suruc bombing. I an increasingly wondering whether Turkey is behind all this, just to drum up hatred against the Kurds from within the country. Perhaps the hatred was starting to die off and they needed to rekindle nationalistic fervour against the Kurds. Either way, this incident seems to be dragging Turkey closer to a dangerous brink, methinks.

Turkey in the Straw

Turkey, Kurds, Kurdistan, PKKIt concerns me greatly that Turkey is firing on Kurdish positions. Rather than focusing the fight on ISIS, and exterminating that problem out of Middle East, Turkey seems to be using the excuse of Suruc to fire on ISIS and the PKK (the Kurdish militant group based in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, who had, for over three decades, attacked various Turkish institutions to try to force Turkey’s hand into creating an independent Kurdish state). Fair enough, the PKK have taken pot shots in Turkey in recent months, but using Suruc as a cover for trying to eradicate the PKK seems weak at best, and risky regardless.

Given that Turkey has provided all but the barest nods of support to Western allies, who are fighting ISIS, it initially seemed that the Suruc incident (if one can call the death of thirty-two Kurdish youth an ‘incident’) was designed to draw Turkey into the fray and to fight ISIS. I hazarded a guess that perhaps even the Kurds had sacrificed their own in an attempt to get Turkey on board with fighting ISIS. After all, ISIS has yet to claim responsibility for the Suruc bombing, which is rather out of character for the organization.

However, the spate of Turkish attacks on the Kurds has now led me to suspect that Turkish ISIS sympathizers have colluded with ISIS to orchestrate the attack, in an attempt to create a smokescreen reason to use military power against the PKK. Turkey could care less about ISIS, as long as ISIS keeps supplying them with oil, but it is the Kurds whom Turkey hates, especially in light of the international support that the Kurds now have as it is the Kurds who are the main boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq in the fight against ISIS. And offering up an air base to the US to use for air strikes is like offering a lukewarm cup of day-old coffee to your friend down the street because you can’t be bothered to make a fresh pot.

ISIS is happy as its main front line enemy is getting the proverbial kicked out of it by Turkish air strikes. A win-win for ISIS, who are more than willing to take the utilitarian route and sacrifice a few soldiers to the cause (after all, dying for the ISIS cause makes one a martyr).

What a shoddy smokescreen from Turkey! Bomb a Kurdish town, during a Kurdish rally. Proffer up a false sense of outrage over the atrocity and point fingers at ISIS. Token bomb ISIS positions. Bomb the crap out of the Kurds. Makes perfect sense.

Something smells foul (pun intended!), and I think it’s in the straw.

The question now is, however: how far will the Western allies support the Kurds over the Turks.

Trying to Coax a Turkey out of a Tree

I was reading about the Suruc bombing in Turkey this past Monday, which made me question whether the Islamic State actually did commit that act, as they haven’t leapt forward to claim responsibility, as is their usual trend. I half wonder if this wasn’t instigated by the Kurds in some twisted utilitarian rationale to try to drag Turkey into the fray and to obtain Turkey’s support for the fight against the Islamic State as Turkey has been very hesitant of showing any support for the West and Western allies.

Suruc bombingA twisted utilitarian strategy of sacrificing one’s own children for the so-called ‘greater’ cause?