Financial Times (London,England), March 3, 2003
Turkish vote deals blow to government
By Leyla Boulton
A Turkish newspaper cartoon may not have been far off the mark when it depicted the country’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) as the first casualty of the US’s undeclared war on Iraq.
Parliament’s vote on Saturday against the stationing of 62,000 US troops for the opening of a second front against Turkey’s neighbour was hailed by some in the country as a triumph for peace and democracy. The vote was no doubt a reflection of the popular will, since most Turks oppose US plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader, militarily.
The government had good reason, however, to argue that it was in the national interest to back the US if war was inevitable. It stood to gain massive US financial compensation and a shorter war, as well as a say in the future of Iraq, particularly in northern Iraq which Turkey views as a potentially dangerous cauldron of Kurdish nationalism.
The Boston Globe, December 31, 2001
Fighting Terror: The Washington Strategy; Turning the Tide in Afghanistan as War Unfolded, U.S. Strategy Evolved
By Michael Kranish
Haron Amin, the Washington representative of the Northern Alliance, was a deeply frustrated man in the summer of 2001. Here he was, offering his alliance’s help in overthrowing the Taliban government of Afghanistan and tracking down Al Qaeda chieftain Osama bin Laden, but the Bush White House was hardly listening.
First, Amin asked for military support. The White House refused. “Then financial support, then it was political support, and then it was moral support,” Amin said. “We got none of them. Zilch. Absolutely zero.”
Then came Sept. 11. And, within days, President Bush made one of the most important decisions of the war on terrorism, throwing his lot with the ragtag Northern Alliance and pressuring Pakistan to desert its Taliban clients.
To help arm the alliance, the Bush administration made a previously unthinkable deal, intelligence sources said: It agreed to finance a Russian transfer of arms to the alliance fighters. At about the same time, the United States started getting valuable intelligence from a longtime adversary, Iran. CIA and special forces troops prepared to join the alliance ranks to mark targets with high-tech precision for “smart” munitions that would be launched by US planes.
The Independent (London), September 22, 2001
War On Terrorism: Iran – Straw Will Visit Tehran to Forge Unlikely Alliance
By Anne Penketh And Patrick Cockburn In Dushanbe
THE FOREIGN Secretary, Jack Straw, announced yesterday that he will travel to Iran next week for the first visit to the Islamic republic by a British foreign minister in more than two decades.
Mr Straw’s visit is part of efforts led by the United States to bind together an anti-Taliban coalition in the wake of the attacks, and follows a “remarkable” telephone conversation between Tony Blair and the reformist President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, on Thursday.
Mr Blair said the Iranian leader not only condemned terrorism and offered support over the attacks, but expressed the wish to “rebuild the relationship between our two countries as well”.
“It’s important to build alliances with every country that we can,” Mr Straw said yesterday as he prepared for his ground-breaking meeting next week. Britain – which shares the US conviction that the Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden who is sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan, is responsible for the attacks – strongly supports a US-led military response.