Friday, October 12, 2007

Our Friends in Turkey

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 27-21 on a resolution stating that Turkey’s former Ottoman Empire engaged in genocide in 1915, killing a million or more Armenians. The full House could take up the measure for consideration very soon.

Turkey’s response? It has recalled its ambassador to the United States "for consultations." If the resolution passes, Turkey could deny the U.S. the use of bases and other facilities to conduct operations in Iraq. It could invade the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq to halt what it regards as Kurdish rebel attacks on its troops and civilians, further complicating the task of U.S. forces in Iraq. The president and numerous high-ranking U.S. officials have pleaded with the House not to adopt the resolution.

It should be noted that Turkey is a Muslim state, although Turks are not [yet] subject to the same strict Islamic regulations found in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Still, if the U.S. must choose a course of pragmatism over principle on a relatively minor issue of setting the historical record straight, how can the U.S. government be expected to handle more serious threats emanating from the oil-producing Arab Muslim states, who, as in the past, could impose an oil embargo?

Our Friends in Qatar

The United States military has a major presence in Qatar. This benefits our operations in Iraq and Qatar benefits from our protection.

On October 9, 2007, Qatar’s energy minister said that the price of oil should be much higher than $80 a barrel, already a record high. He called for an increase to $100 a barrel to compensate for inflation since 1972. The U.S. currently imports over $400 billion a year in oil and petroleum products. A further $20 rise in the price of a barrel of oil would add another $80-100 billion to that. Is Qatar a helpful ally?

What is Qatar doing with its oil earnings? The ruling family recently announced an investment of $1.5 billion for a five-star hotel and other projects in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is one of the world’s greatest pariah states.

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