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Iraq
Iraqi Leaders Don’t Want Turkish Troops
2003-10-09
In other news, dog bites man. EFL.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq’s interim leaders told U.S. officials Wednesday they don’t want peacekeepers from Turkey or other neighboring countries but are willing to soften their opposition to avoid a confrontation with the U.S.-led coalition.
"Thank you for liberating us, effendi, but would you please keep the cursed Turks out of here?"
They delivered their message as several thousand Shiite Muslims marched to coalition headquarters to demand the release of a cleric arrested for ``anti-coalition activities.’’ Protesters hurled stones and sandals - an Iraqi gesture of contempt - at U.S. troops as they dispersed without winning the preacher’s freedom.
And we didn’t gun ’em down in the streets like Saddam would have. Wonder if MoveOn.org will credit us for the difference?
The Turkish parliament’s decision Tuesday to authorize the sending of Turkish peacekeepers to join the coalition was applauded in Washington, which is eager to bring in more troops to ease the burden on the 130,000 American soldiers.

However, the decision upset many Iraqis because of the legacy of 400 years of Turkish colonial domination of what is now Iraq. Opposition to the Turks runs deepest in the north, where Iraq’s minority Kurds have watched ethnic cousins across the border in southeastern Turkey wage an on-off separatist guerrilla war in recent decades, in part from bases in northern Iraq. Some Iraqis also worry that Turkey may support the interests of ethnic Turks in northern Iraq, a small minority often at odds with their Kurdish neighbors.

Iyad Allawi, president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, told The Associated Press that ``important sensitivities’’ were involved in deploying Turkish troops in Iraq. The spokesman for the council, Haider Ahmed, said members told chief U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer that council members did not want to see any peacekeeping troops from countries - including Turkey - that border Iraq.
Can’t say that I blame them.
After meeting with the council, Bremer said he was willing to discuss the issue but that the final decision rested with the coalition.
Sounds like the decision has been made.
Despite their opposition, key council members said they wanted to avoid a showdown with the Americans over the Turkish presence. Mouwafak al-Rabii, a Shiite member of the council and longtime human rights activist, told reporters ``there are still differences’’ with the coalition over the Turks ``but they are reconcilable differences.’’

``We don’t want any confrontation with the Coalition Provisional Authority, and we have decided to work together,’’ al-Rabii said. ``This is not a stumbling block in our relations’’ with the coalition.’’
I’m impressed (seriously) with the common sense and maturity being shown here.
Posted by:Steve White

#19  Note - if I were a politico lobbiest in California, I would introduce legislation to require electors to vote in accordance with the the voting results of individual congressional districts and have the extra two electors go to the candidate that won the most votes overall.

This is asking for a constitutional crisis. The whole point of the electoral college is that winner takes all scheme - it prevents the president from giving out too many goodies to the big states. All he needs is 1 vote more than his opponent.
Posted by: Zhang Fei   2003-10-9 11:09:22 PM  

#18  SH: your proposal is exactly how Nebraska does it, as I recall.
Posted by: Steve White   2003-10-9 5:31:50 PM  

#17  Murat,

Do you understand that by the US Consitution we don't directly elect the president? The US is a Constitutional Republic. Supposedly each state appoints Electors to the Electorial College that then vote on the President.
By tradition the Electors for a state vote as a group for the candiadte that won the popular election in that state. The States actually decide how to appoint their electors.

There is always a push in close elections to influence electors to break ranks and vote against the candidate that won the popular election in their states.

In cases where electors have gone out on their own, state legislators have passed legislation to require the electors to vote a certain way.

Oh, Murat
Be very quiet about the whole elector deal. Many Americans aren't aware of the Electoral College. If word gets out, there might be cries of disenfranchisement.

Note - if I were a politico lobbiest in California, I would introduce legislation to require electors to vote in accordance with the the voting results of individual congressional districts and have the extra two electors go to the candidate that won the most votes overall. This bizarre scheme would mean that it was less likely that a candidate or party would right-off my state completely. More campaigning = more money for the operatives.
Posted by: Superhose   2003-10-9 4:09:57 PM  

#16  Murat

There is another reason not to want Turkisk troops
in Iraq, they are needed at home in case the islamist government goes too far.
Posted by: JFM   2003-10-9 2:45:32 PM  

#15  I'm just wondering (casually) whether the appropriate compromise would involve the Turkish troops playing a role in the southern region (well away from the Kurdish areas) or possibly along the Syria/Iraq border -- the latter case made plausible by the fact that Syria & Turkey are already used to dealing with each other across their common border?

Either of these options lets them help out (a good thing, IMHO), without risking the complications of any Kurd/Turk armed "confusion"...
Posted by: snellenr   2003-10-9 1:01:00 PM  

#14  No comment further needed:

U.S. may withdraw its U.N. resolution
Posted by: Murat   2003-10-9 10:07:08 AM  

#13  Hi Bulldog,

Yes may the best team win, will be a tremendous game. Missing Owen and Ferdinand won't change the English squad too much (in the negative sense) I think, I'd prefered a Rooney miss. :)
Posted by: Murat   2003-10-9 9:40:25 AM  

#12  .com> "Anyone can declare themselves a member of X Party and enter the primary, and potentially win."

And in most democratic nations worldwide anyone can found their own party and enter the election and potentially win. And in most democratic nations worldwide small parties have a much bigger chance of getting influence than in America whose system makes it impossible for any third party to meaningfully exist, even if it would get 10% of the votes or more.

It seems to me that both JFM and you are trying to make a distinction out of nothing. Yes, anyone can declare themselves a member of X party and enter the primary and potentially win. Don't you see that as a sticking point though, that they *have* to declare themselves a member of said X party?

Don't delude yourselves. The two-party system of America has the very same flaws European systems have -- they're simply located differently.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris   2003-10-9 9:38:32 AM  

#11  Ralph Peters, whose opinion I respect, has come out against a Turkish deployment. He argues that this is a betrayal of the Kurds, who have stood by America for the past decade. The question is whether a Turkish role in Iraq is going to turn out like the Syrian role in Lebanon. Peters argues that Turkey, which has no problem with Saddam, is going to end up allying with Baathists and worsening the terrorist problem. There is a precedent for Turkish trouble-making - just look at Cyprus, a British colony that the Turks invaded and virtually annexed, upon independence.
Posted by: Zhang Fei   2003-10-9 9:35:37 AM  

#10  Why are we polling the Iraqis to see what flavor of occupation troups they would accept?
Posted by: Superhose   2003-10-9 9:25:22 AM  

#9  (PESHAWAR)
Murat, re. your post yesterday - I'm sure you're aware the Enlgish squad have come to their senses, and that the game's definitely on for Saturday. (Unless, that is, the Turkish side decides to strike in the face of irresistible odds, BWAHAHAHAHAH!) May the best team win! It seems to be silly season for English football at the moment. I'm sure it has something to do with the players' market engendering a lack of responsibility coupled with breathtaking arrogance. They would have been incredibly stupid to refuse to go to Turkey bacause one team member "forgot" to attend a drug test on time, and they wouldn't have had much public support, I'm sure.
(/PESHAWAR)
Posted by: Bulldog   2003-10-9 9:21:20 AM  

#8  .com,

First you know my personal opinion about Turkish troops in Iraq. Whatever our government and parliament has decided now and my opinion wont change that, so I stick to reality.

The Kurds oppose Turkish troops because they want an Iraq divided into a Kurdistan what is not inline with Turkish interests. For the obvious reason Turkey wants to keep Iraq unified and the Kurds see that more Turkish influence in Iraq make their dream more difficult than it already is.

The biggest concern of Kurds is that the US and Turkey will finally agree on a troop number far exceeding the number projected (10.000), in military circles numbers between 40.000 – 50.000 are being discussed. For Turkey it means a big say on the future of Iraq (and of course many body bags), for the US it will mean they can shove aside the UN and bring large numbers of troops back home (something positive for Bush prior to elections). What the final agreement between the US and Turkey on troops will be I don’t know, but it is obvious that the Bush government is very eager to get those troops in Iraq.
Posted by: Murat   2003-10-9 6:07:59 AM  

#7  JFM - Excellent points - which need to be absorbed by those who don't "get it" about America. Anyone can declare themselves a member of X Party and enter the primary, and potentially win. Or, in the special case of a recall election, come out of nowhere and win, if the public so decides. The Party Hacks only control money contributed by the Party "faithful" (Suckers? I don't know what else would you call people who donate to the party, instead of the candidate.) - they don't have the power in the US that they have elsewhere. As you point out, most so-called democracies are actually merely Party Games. Bullshitocracies?

Murat - Now, now, don't devolve into bitchdom again, okay? You've been doing so well, lately. You get what you want if the Iraqis get what they (seem to) want: No Farkin Turks in Iraq. I'm sure there are things which are known to the Govt's involved that are not common knowledge. I'll wait and see. As for puppetry consider both JFM's excellent observations and the fact that the average Iraqi doesn't know DICK about democracy nor writing a constitution. They'll need help - from the ones who DO know about it. If they were to adopt the US Constitution and Bill of Rights intact, who would be harmed? No one except the asshats - and that's the point, my boy. Somehow the US and Iraq will muddle through without your help. So take your soma and have a nice lie-down, K?
Posted by: .com   2003-10-9 4:24:03 AM  

#6  Murat, I know you were SO looking forward to going to Iraq, but it doesn't look like they want you there.
It's ok. We're here for you. Really.
I know this is a bit complicated, but.....here goes. We apparently asked Ankara to send troops. Ankara said ok. The Iraqis heard about it and objected. We listened to them. Now it looks like we're supporting their decision.
Yep, that's a puppet government if I ever saw one.
Posted by: Baba Yaga   2003-10-9 3:38:27 AM  

#5  Iraq truly is on the road to Democracy.

Yeah absolutely, with a US appointed puppet council. As I remember well the US is even against the democratic free election to determine the council who has to form the new Iraqi constitution on the argued reason that the Shia would likely get to many votes! What a road to democracy indeed!
Posted by: Murat   2003-10-9 2:55:52 AM  

#4  In what the Beeb (Juliette Dunlop preporting) calls "the deepening security crisis" in Iraq, this (Turkish troop deployment) is the lead story at this hour. Regards the Kurds' unhappiness over this plan, they say the Coalition is trying to show sensitivity to Iraqi concerns - implying the deployment might be scuttled. Wishful agenda-driven posturing thinking, perhaps?
Posted by: .com   2003-10-9 2:09:12 AM  

#3  Charles

I will develop the theme one of this day but any
country who has no primaries is not democracy but
partitocracy: candidates are nominated by parties (in France only 1% of people are affilited in a party), in a process who usually favors bigcheese
in parties instead of militants. Then the people
have to cope with whatever dog food has been selected by the party: at elections party loyalty
overcomes other considerations so you know that whatever candiadte is presented by big party X it willget at leat N% of votes even if candiate were
despised by everyone, while the most admirable man on earth but presented by small party Y will get at most N/3 or N/4% votes.


It is still worst on a proportional system where
party internal politics decide if Mr Smith will
be in first posiytion in the list and thus mathematically sure to be elected or in 50th position and thus will only be elected if party
gets 90% of votes (ie no chance in hell).


On that account only true democracy is USA, France
iw bad but the fact we have majority system makes it no so bad since even if in an imperfect wazy the firt round plays as primaries but unification of the right now deprives right wing voters from choices (a note about Chirac: it was his takeover of the gaullist party who made him relevant, by the way he wasn't even a member of it), the UK is worse since there is only one round and party internals can make a PM lose power without new elections (Thatcher, it can still possibly to Blair), proportiona systems like in pre-Gaullist France and Italy are the worst of all: looks like a democracy but isn't

Posted by: JFM   2003-10-9 2:04:53 AM  

#2  Send the Turks to Afghanistan. Or just say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Then whisper "Northern front" when they turn away...
Posted by: mojo   2003-10-9 12:55:38 AM  

#1  I'm not impressed. Many of the council members are well educated and have seen us for what we really are. Iraq truly is on the road to Democracy. Just not the French kind I hope...
Posted by: Charles   2003-10-9 12:48:04 AM  

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