Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged restraint on any military actions such as bombing Kurdish rebels until further information was obtained about where they were located in Kurdistan. Turkish planes and helicopters reportedly attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq yesterday. “Without good intelligence, just sending large numbers of troops across the border (from Turkey) or dropping bombs doesn’t seem to make sense to me.” Chief of Staff Michael Mullen questioned the desirability of US air strikes against Kurdish rebels because they were located in mountainous areas of Kurdistan. A senior defense official indicated growing concern among top level Bush officials regarding failure on the part of the Iraq government to curtail Kurdish rebels attacks on Turkey. Yesterday, Secretary of State Rice told Congress Turkish retaliatory attacks would have a “destabilizing effect” on the situation.
The comments of Rice about attacking across borders to curtail terrorists are ironic, to say the least, coming from a member of the Bush administration. Everything now being said by Rice and Bush applies to their erroneous response to supposed terrorism by Saddam Hussein. Actually, they never had any evidence of such actions by Saddam, but ordered an invasion of Iraq. Where were the voices of restraint in the Bush administration in 2003? Condi Rice was present, did she urge caution on President Bush?