WHY AM I NOT SKEPTICAL? 23:23 26 Mar 2003

According to this NY Sun article, Turkey denied us permission to send troops through to northern Iraq not because of its Islamic population but becuase of French and German intimidation. Generally, I’m initially skeptical of pretty much everything, but nothing about Old Europe is surprising me any longer.

Contrary to expectations, the opposition, responding to orders from party leaders, voted unanimously against the government’s position.
The leaders insisted on a disciplined “no” vote because of pressure – some would call it blackmail – from France and Germany.
The French and German governments informed the Turkish opposition parties that if they voted to help the Coalition war effort, Turkey would be locked out of Europe for a generation. As one Turkish leader put it, “there were no promises, only threats.”

Is this true? I don’t know. But honestly, I’m going to consider it so until it’s proven otherwise.

So. Was that another US diplomatic failure? Although I think nearly everyone would agree that our administration could have done a better job presenting our case, I think this illustrates the point that there are a lot of other factors involved in the events leading up to this war. And, unlike the lack of French military assistance, the lack of Turkish access is going to cost us.