The New York Times reports today that the Kurds in Northern Iraq are reticent about involving themselves any US military action against Saddam Hussein. Apparently being utterly hung out to dry by the previous President Bush has made them somewhat mistrustful that America will see things through. The Kurds (and everyone in Iraq) needs us to get rid of Saddam and replace him with a democratic government that will guarantee the rights that Kurds have enjoyed since the US and UK started patrolling their airspace. Clearly, though, we have buttons to push. If we start to back off from our commitment to maintaining the no fly zone over Kurdish regions, then the Kurds will be just as oppressed as everyone else in Iraq. The question is whether we’re willing to manipulate the Kurds in that way for our own ends. The answer will certainly be a measure of the character of the Bush administration.