are the Kurds the new Poles?

The members of the administration in Washington are either reading their history these days, or they're definitely not.

Poland was partitioned and occupied by three autocracies beginning in the eighteenth century and simply disappeared until the end of the First World War. Once again, in 1939, Poland was dissolved, after a heroic struggle, into the territories of the two dictatorships which had succeeded the old trio of Russia, Prussia and Austria. Today the U.S. and Turkey are planning to partition another state, Iraq, in the name of stability, security and peace, the same rationale offered by superpowers in the eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth century, and once again in the twentieth. With the planned initiation of hostilities, Turkey is to occupy the homeland of the Kurds in northern Iraq, according to plans being prepared by American and Turkish diplomats.

The plan, which is being negotiated in closed-door meetings in Ankara, the Turkish capital, is being bitterly resisted by at least some leaders of Iraq's Kurdish groups, who fear that Turkey's leaders may be trying to realize a historic desire to dominate the region in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.
Neither Turkey nor the U.S. can boast of its record at defending the rights of the Kurdish people. No one asked the Poles whether they wanted to be devoured. Has anyone asked the Kurds?

But why would we want to hand over Kurds in Iraq to the tender mercies of a government which has persecuted its own Kurds for centuries? That's an easy one:

American diplomats and senior military commanders, led by President Bush's special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, are said to be encouraging the Kurdish leaders to accept the Turkish proposal. While Washington has strongly supported the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq over the past 12 years, it is eager to secure the permission of Turkey's leaders to use Turkey's bases for a possible attack on Iraq.

The proposed deal between the Americans and the Turks moved closer to fruition today when the Turkish Parliament voted to allow American engineers to begin preparing Turkish military bases for possible use by American troops.

No, the occupants of the White House do not read history. They have never read history. They're Americans and they live only now.