Monday, July 09, 2007

Around the world in 500 words

Update on a whole bunch of things:

1. I really hope things settle down in Pakistan. Right now theres a standoff with some students in an important mosque. Depending on how Musharraf handles it, this thing could spiral out of control. Political instability in a nuclear-armed nation makes me somewhat uneasy. Not only that, but if an anti-American government was to come to power, we might as well pack up and quit Afghanistan.

2. Only a short time ago, I had outright dismissed the proposition that Bush would attack Iran. The idea is such that no rational individual would seriously be advocating it. For one, why would we? The Iranian government is on the ropes as it is. In fact, it is my belief that the Iranian government actually wants us to bomb them. They are in a huge mess, with the state of the economy, gasoline rationing (in IRAN!), and international isolation. The people are tired of it all. A bombing campaign would unite all of the people around that government, without accomplishing anything of note.

And yet, Bush suddenly scares me. Do we remember in 1998 when Bill Clinton randomly bombed Iraq as the news of his affair with Lewinsky was breaking? Well, Bush is in a similar position. His aides are going to court. Republicans are bailing on Iraq. 48% of Americans want him impeached, and above half want Cheney impeached. Hes like a wounded animal, looking for a way out. Desperation can lead to irrationality.

Congress should revoke his power to attack Iran unilaterally.

3. I can't believe that France elected a pro-American, right wing president. They certainly needed one. Hopefully he'll implement some much needed economic reform, but I disagree with his Turkey policy. He has stated that Turkey should never belong to the EU.

4. Speaking of whom. The Turkish military has massed 150,000 troops on the border of Iraq. They seem poised to invade Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) to chase PKK terrorists that have been hiding in Iraq. Not unlike the way Al Qaeda hid out in Afghanistan.

Kurdistan is the one success story we have in Iraq, and its about ready to be destroyed. There is absolutely no reason that we shouldn't be able to bring about a diplomatic solution to the crisis between the Turks and Kurds. It boggles my mind that its even an issue at this point. The Turks and the Kurds have both been important US allies for years now, and they rely on us as well (especially the Kurds). This one is a no-brainer, but is in my estimation the most serious crisis facing the region at this time. These groups are the only two examples of Muslim democracy in the entire world. Obviously, its extremely important that we ensure that they are both peaceful and prosperous.

5. The war in Iraq is over. My post-occupation plan would involve withdrawing some of the troops to Kurdistan (40k or so) and sending the rest home. This entire plan breaks down if point 4 isn't resolved soon. But from bases in Kurdistan, we can help contain the civil war in the south and can help fight Al Qaeda. And, when they are ready, we'll be there to help negotiate a peace between the warring Sunni and Shiite factions.

6. My presidential predictions were based on wishful thinking. McCain is getting creamed. Word on the street is Fred Thompson gets the GOP nod. I personally don't think the Dems are dumb enough to nominate Hillary (they do want to win the election, don't they?). I could be wrong, though. Edwards seems like the best pick, as much as I'd love to see Obama instead. The race factor might be too powerful. Still, those campaign finance results of Obama's were very impressive.

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