March 16, 2003

No soup for you!

Turkey isn't getting any of that sweet, sweet cash from the US:

Turkey's new government signaled Saturday it would wait at least another week to decide about the deployment of U.S. forces on its soil, but the United States appeared to be losing hope of using Turkey to open a northern front against Iraq.

A senior U.S. official said Washington has now retracted its offer to give Turkey $15 billion in economic aid if it allowed the U.S. deployment. "The package was time-bound and we have moved on time-wise," the official said on condition of anonymity.

(Via Stephen Den Beste in a comment on Daily Pundit.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at March 16, 2003 12:59 AM

My guess is we'll wind up throwing them some primo US taxpayer booty anyway. So much of the world is out to use the US Economy as a gigantic global piggy bank. Sometimes I think we start to believe the hype ourselves.

Posted by: Scott Ganz at March 16, 2003 at 01:11 AM

Yes, Scott, but MUCH, MUCH less than they would have gotten. A stable Turkey is in the US's own interests, but the Turks have also managed to get rather high up on Bush's shit list of late. It's too little, too late now, but if Erdogan hadn't reversed Gul's policy, I think a coup by the (militantly secular and pro-American) Turkish military was quite likely.

Posted by: David Jaroslav at March 16, 2003 at 02:13 AM

Assuming that this doesn't seriously cramp our style on the battlefield, I'm kind of glad about this. It'll put the Kurds in a better position, as I've said a few times.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at March 16, 2003 at 04:02 AM

I think we've bribed enough corrupt Muslim governments for the moment, don't you? They don't appear to be all that interested in fighting alongside us; why pay them swag just to allow us passage across their territory? Especially if, as in the case of Turkey, they'll use that fact to allege later that the war imposed costs on them for which they deserve to be further compensated by us.

I'm glad for this turn of events. If Bush had acceded to the demand, my respect for him would have nosedived right into the toilet. Now, can we get some downward pressure on the foreign aid budget, please?

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at March 16, 2003 at 08:27 AM

Too bad the fifteen billion dollars just disappeared. Sometimes life in the real world of war and peace just bites a country in the ass. By March 31, the Turkish government may be wondering how it got itself into such a damned mess with the U.S. and how is it going to get back into some semblance of American good graces? Consequences: good, bad and unintended. Go figure.

Posted by: Gary Kitts at March 16, 2003 at 04:20 PM

Let us hope there are some consequences for the countries that have jerked us around on a matter of grave importance, and not just Turkey. f
For the latter, it is not only economic aid which should disappear, but the previously strong American diplomatic support for Turkey in many places, not least of which is Turkish efforts to enter the EU.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at March 16, 2003 at 04:55 PM