Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Turkey and Iraq (but don't ask 'front runners')

Turkey's prime minister said Tuesday increased military action against separatist Kurdish rebels was "unavoidable" and pressed the United States for a crackdown on guerrilla bases in northern Iraq.
Turkish helicopters pounded rebel positions near the border with rockets for a second day and Turkey brought in troops by the truckload in an operation against mountainside emplacements.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his party in parliament "it is now unavoidable that Turkey will have to go through a more intensive military process."

Suzan Fraser's "Turkey: Fighting With Kurds Will Surge" (AP) which seems pretty big news but not in last night's alleged 'debate.'

Turning to politics, Perry Bacon Jr. (Washington Post) notes that Ralph Nader has declared he will make a decision about the 2008 race at the end of this year and quotes Nader stating of the two major parties (Democratic and Republican), "They are converging more and more. They are clearly more similar than they were 30 or 40 years ago." Meanwhile the Democrats held anoter alleged debate yesterday. Barack Obama and John Edwards demonstrated that they still lack leadership but if they can both agree to tag-team Hillary Clinton, they're pretty sure they can stay in the race. Marz Barbabak and Peter Nicholas (Los Angeles Times) report on Barack's claim that Hillary is "divisive" stating, "Part of the reason that Republicans, I think are, obsessed with you, Hillary, is because that's a fight they're very comfortable having." Projection? Is Barack comfortable with the fight? The reality is that fight (the Clinton Wars) was fought repeatedly in the 90s. The Clintons won. What does Barack have to show on a national scale for the 90s? Not a damn thing. Not unlike today where he works really hard to say nothing (a feat he achieves over and over), where he charges people to attend his rallies, where he serves up Chicken Sop for the Soul regularly and states that others were wrong to vote for ___ (whatever) but doesn't make a point (in the case of Iran) to even show up on the Senate floor to vote. CNN notes that John Edwards came out strongly in what he believes in: "You know, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the tooth fairy." Bill Richardson had the good sense and grace to note that the tag-team approach by Edwards and Obama were "pretty close to personal attacks".

FYI, I don't need any whiners e-mailing -- the way they did Mike -- about how Richardson isn't your idea of purity. Save it for your alleged work to end the illegal war. I call out all the Dems candidates regularly and the only one who isn't treated fairly is Obama -- due to his stating to Elaine and I at a 2004 fundraiser for his Senate run that he did not support withdrawal. He's a fake and phoney. As disclosed before, I know Clinton, Biden and Richardson. I'm not endorsing anyone in the primary. Save your whiney e-mails -- the ones you sent Mike -- or get called out here for (a) those e-mails and (b) the fact that you don't do a damn thing to end the illegal war. On Obama, BBC notes he "accused her of changing her position on key issues like the Iraq war." Barack couldn't vote -- that time because he wasn't a member of the Senate -- but he's changed his position repeatedly and all three of the 'front runners' -- Edwards, Clinton and Obama -- refuse to pledge that if elected president they will end the illegal war by 2013. The NPR headline -- "Democratic Presidential Debate Targets Clinton" (David Green, Morning Edition) -- may sum up reality more than anything else. The two male 'front runners' chose to waste everyone's time not by getting specific, not by showing strength, but demonstrating that they are 'brave' when they play tag-team. For the record, the presidency isn't a two-person job. If there's any difference between the three 'front runners,' two of them were too busy tag-team attacking to draw any real lines. To be clear, attacks in and of themselves aren't a bad thing. If Candidate X wants to draw a line between Candidate B, that's fine. They don't have to be nice about it either. But just trying to hurl mud -- which is what Edwards and Obama did -- isn't drawing a line. They didn't use the attacks to say "by contrast, I would . . ." Neither had anything to offer. All this time later. The idea that actually offering specifics might be a way for either second-rung 'front runner' to pull ahead didn't enter their minds. Instead it was, "If I make a lot of smears, it will take her numbers down!" Confessing, apparently, that they and their campaigns do not think the two men can pull ahead on their own.

The thing to look back on years from now is that while the illegal Iraq War continued, the Democratic Party held a presidential candidate forum and the war barely registered.

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