Right now a tragedy is unfolding in the Middle East. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or wounded in the bombings in Lebanon, Palestine and Israel and the death toll is rising every day. If the US, Syria or Iran get involved, there is a chance of a catastrophic larger war. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of international troops to the Israel-Lebanon border, and been strongly supported by almost every world leader. This is the best proposal yet to stop the violence, but the US, the UK, and Israel have refused to accept it. I have just signed a petition calling on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair, and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to support Kofi Annan's proposal. If millions of people join this call, and we advertise our views in newspapers in the US, UK, and Israel, we can help pressure these leaders to stop the fighting.
Academics from Turkish universities have urged their Israeli colleagues to “raise their voices” for peace in the Middle East as an Israeli offensive in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon rages on...Turkey has called for cease-fire in the Middle East and stepped up diplomacy for an end to the conflict. Thousands of Turks have also taken to streets to protest the Israeli offensive.
Turkey has strongly condemned the killing of innocent civilians, most of whom were children, by the Israeli army in the Southern Lebanese village of Qana.
In a New York Sun op-ed titled "Green Light," the ABC radio network's John Batchelor - who doesn't hide the fact that he wants the U.S. to crush Iran - sets up the scene for an Armageddon-like scenario in a world where Iran has already gotten the political upper hand. Personally, I think that this is a lot of speculation and fear, with Mr. Batchelor parroting Syrian and Iranian propaganda as if it's the gospel truth. There has been absolutely no sign of Iran provoking the U.S. or any other nation to take military action against them. Propaganda from both sides with no deterrent to war by nation states - no diplomacy - will likely give brutal war-mongers exactly what they desire. Bush has an opportunity now to talk to all concerned parties and his refusal to do so will only lead to a senseless war that, by his inaction, he seems to want. We can give thanks to the many foreign policy miscalculations, mistakes, and missteps by the Bush Administration for Batchelor's fear-laden scenario in which we'll either have to lose northern Iraq OR lose Turkey's alliance. As always, it's about the oil:
The supply routes from Iran to Syria are not only air lanes but also overland trucking on tribal routes through Turkey and Kurdistan. Turkey knows this and knows this is tacit support of the Hizbollah and Syria. More striking is that the Kurds in northern Iraq, ostensibly America's strongest ally in the liberation and democratization of Iraq, are openly cooperating with the Iranian military convoys. The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan.[..] The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also for a transportation route to get their oil to market.
Here is where I think John Batchelor and others hungry for a U.S. attack on Iran are frustrated. The U.S. is not gearing up for war on Iran, judging their latest actions. Regardless of how frustrated so many Americans are with the images of dead women and children they see on their television screens at Israel's wanton hands, the U.S. doesn't appear to be hoping that the conflict will spread its instability over the borders of other nations. In his LA Times op-ed yesterday titled The Return of Turkey's Kurdish Problem, Henri J. Barkey leads us to believe that the U.S. may overlook a limited Turkish incursion into Iraq, likely led by the brand new head of their military, the "blunt-speaking hawk" General Yasar Buyukanit. The U.S. seems to want to keep their alliance with Turkey as strong as possible because of their needed participation in a peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon. The Lebanese people have expressed a desire and trust to have Turkey as the lead-nation in any peacekeeping force.
For Turkey, challenges - and opportunities? - in the current Middle East crisis [SFGate.com]
Moscow will not let down Damascus .In the wake of ill conceived Neocon policies in Middle East , in spite of historical enmity , Syria has made up with Turkey , and despite Washington's displeasure , Ankara has also made up with Moscow and Tehran .Caught up in its quagmire in Iraq and now the Israeli denouement in Bint J'beil , USA at odds with Turkey ,is now trying to entice Ankara in its ME objectives, but the price demanded might be too high .