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New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman strongly opposes Turkish troops in Iraq as contrary to U.S. interests
October 24, 2003 No. 49 (202) 785-8430

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman strongly opposes Turkish troops in Iraq as contrary to U.S. interests

WASHINGTON, DC—The following letter was sent to President George W. Bush as an addendum to the joint letter of October 21, 2003:


October 24, 2003
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re: Thomas L. Friedman’s opposition to Turkish troops in Iraq as contrary to U.S. interests—addendum to joint letter of October 21, 2003

Dear Mr. President:

This is a brief follow up to our joint letter to you of October 21, 2003 opposing the Defense Department’s request to use 10,000 Turkish troops in Iraq as not in the best interests of the U.S. I bring to your attention the following quote from Thomas L.Friedman’s column in the New York Times yesterday (October 23, 2003; A27; col.5):

"I've often pointed out the good we have done in Iraq and unabashedly hoped for more. No regrets. But some recent trends leave me worried….

If I were a Republican senator, here's what I'd tell the Bush team:

What in God's name are you doing forcing Iraqis to accept Turkish peacekeeping troops? Are you nuts? Not only will Turkish troops in Iraq alienate the Kurds, our best friends, but they will rile the Shiites and Sunnis as well. Honor is hugely important in Iraqi society, and bringing in Turkish soldiers—Iraq's former colonizers—to order around Iraqis would be a disaster. "If we bring in the Turks, it will bring back bad memories," notes Yitzhak Nakash, a Brandeis University professor and author of one of the best Iraq books, "The Shi'is of Iraq." "Worse, a Turkish presence in Iraq will only prompt the Iranians, Syrians and Saudis to try to increase their influence. That is no recipe for a stable country." (Emphasis added.)


/s/ Gene Rossides
Gene Rossides
General Counsel

cc: Vice President Richard B. Cheney
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Lee Armitage
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
Chief of Staff Andrew Card
National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice
Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs A. Elizabeth Jones
Director of OMB Josh Bolten
The Congress

For additional information, please contact Angeliki Vassiliou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information on AHI, see our Web site at

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