Saturday, June 26, 2004


US Detour

Kerry Attributes Snow Melting in Colorado to Bush's Environmental Policies

While on the trail, John Kerry says he is "extremely disturbed" by recent reports that indicate snow is melting in some parts of Colorado. Aides deny that the comments are related in anyway to Kerry's pathetic attempts at a reverse 360 tail-back during a ski trip in Aspen. When asked to comment on Kerry's remarks that snow is melting in Colorado in July, President Bush responds by saying, "Is that what month this is?" Aides deny that they told Bush it was still February and that he could approve of ads making fun of Kerry for another eight months. Officials who have seen the ads say more than a few start off with Bush saying, "A horse walks into a bar, bartender says 'Why such a long face?'..."


Friday, June 25, 2004


The Shit Hits The Fan: Part II

From Haaretz via Cumhuriyet:
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is the source of the leak to New Yorker correspondent Seymour Hersh that dozens of Israeli Mossad agents are ostensibly in northern Iraq. The reliable Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet yesterday stated that Gul, along with two advisers and a spokesman, had a breakfast meeting with Hersh on May 27, on which occasion he gave the information to Hersh.
In any event, Israel has made it clear to Turkey that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided not to open a channel of cooperation with the Kurds. For now, that decision is blocking proposals submitted by Israeli intelligence officials to Sharon to try to reestablish the connection with the Kurds.

If its true, its pretty ridiculous.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Not Something You See Every Day

Cyprus Mail:

TURKISH Cypriot Ibrahim Aziz yesterday won his case against the Republic of Cyprus, when the European Court of Human Rights delivered the judgment that he must be allowed to enroll in the Republic’s electoral roll for the parliamentary elections.

Aziz, 66, who lives in the free areas, complained to the European Court of Human Rights that he was prevented from exercising his voting rights on the grounds of national origin and filed his case through lawyer Sotiris Drakos on May 14, 2001.

After having played an active role in politics for 40 years, on January 30, 2001, Aziz applied to the Minister of the Interior, requesting to be registered on the electoral roll in order to exercise his voting rights in the parliamentary elections of May 27, 2001
However, the Ministry declined his request stating that members of the Turkish Cypriot community could not be registered on the Greek Cypriot electoral roll.


Monday, June 21, 2004


The Shit Has Hit The Fan

Seymour Hersh bounces off the Abu Ghraib story with a piece about Israel's active efforts in Kurdistan viz a viz training commandos and other related endevours. Hence the cooling of relations between Turkey and Israel does not simply seem to be motivated by Turkey's attempts to gain the Islamic Conference Presidency but rather Turkey's fears of an independent Kurdistan.

The Israeli decision to seek a bigger foothold in Kurdistan—characterized by the former Israeli intelligence officer as “Plan B”—has also raised tensions between Israel and Turkey. It has provoked bitter statements from Turkish politicians and, in a major regional shift, a new alliance among Iran, Syria, and Turkey, all of which have significant Kurdish minorities.
At the moment, the former American senior intelligence official said, the Israelis’ tie to Kurdistan “would be of greater value than their growing alliance with Turkey. ‘We love Turkey but got to keep the pressure on Iran.’” The former Israeli intelligence officer said, “The Kurds were the last surviving group close to the United States with any say in Iraq. The only question was how to square it with Turkey.”

In a classicly awful Turkish response:

Over breakfast in Ankara, a senior Turkish official explained, “Before the war, Israel was active in Kurdistan, and now it is active again. This is very dangerous for us, and for them, too. We do not want to see Iraq divided, and we will not ignore it.” Then, citing a popular Turkish proverb—“We will burn a blanket to kill a flea”—he said, “We have told the Kurds, ‘We are not afraid of you, but you should be afraid of us.’” (A Turkish diplomat I spoke to later was more direct: “We tell our Israeli and Kurdish friends that Turkey’s good will lies in keeping Iraq together. We will not support alternative solutions.”)

We will burn a blanket to kill a flea? ohh-kay. The legitimate concern is that the Israeli trained Kurdish commando units will run attacks into Turkey with their new found power. I have no idea how this will benifit Turkish Kurds if it were to happen. Whatever the case, our government or military clearly does not trust the Iraqi Kurd leadership to discourage or prevent attacks into Turkey. Under what pretenses though do they think that Turkey can afford a war with a neighbor, politically or econmically? We can only afford the body count, which is a very sinister way of looking at things. Of course, any small chance we had of getting into the EU in the next decade or two will disappear--but that never really concerned me as much as a general evolution in policy.

What we need is a guarentee from the Israelis that if the commando units they train turn against us, the Israelis will be on our side. In that way, Israel may be able to do what the Iraqi Kurds perhaps cannot: keep tabs on hostile fighters. Of course, the need to continue pumping money into the East for development goes without saying.


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