Saturday, February 23, 2008

Turkish Operations In Iraq

 Turkish forces invaded the mountainous border region of Iraq following a sustained air and artillery attack. The operation is aimed, tacitly at the Kurish Workers Party, the PKK. The PKK has conduced numerous raids into Turkey over the issue of a sovereign Kurdish land. 

The traditional lands of the Kurdish people chris-crossed  by the modern borders of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Armenia. 

The has operated out of the Kurdish-controlled north of Iraq, referred to as Iraqi Kurdistan, much to the Turks' annoyance. 

It is widely acknowledged that the PKK has conducted terrorist operations and poses a threat to Turkey security. The United States and the international community support and understand the Turks' pursuit of their members. Even the presence of Turkish special forces in Kurdish-controlled Iraq is an accepted reality to the Kurdish party.

Yet as the one relatively stable portion of post-Saddam Iraq, there is a fine balance that must be maintained. Turkish concerns about a Kurdish state growing in both power and influence on its border are understood, but as a potentially stabilizing factor in the precarious future of Iraq, the Kurds' own sovereignty and sense of safety must also be maintained.

Via the World Politics Review blog, the Turkish paper Hurriyet has ongoing coverage of the operation.

- Murphy

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Conservatives Staying In?

The National Review's Stanley Kurtz is imploring conservative voters to get over their McCain fatigue and vote, but not for McCain.

Kurtz asks:
The notion of staying home — as opposed to going out and voting for a Republican congress–is sheer madness. Given the ongoing wrangle over McCain, the race for congress has got to start coming to the fore as an issue.

There is no margin for error in 2008. Precisely because the left controls key levers of the culture, politics is the only real route to balance. America is not that far from sliding into the culture and politics of Europe, and so conservatives simply can’t afford a sweeping political loss right now.
If the torpor is so great in the Republican base, perhaps Democratic fears of an anti-Hillary vote will fail to materialize. If she takes the nomination, it is inevitable that the opposition will rise to a fever pitch, but will that be enough to motive conservatives to the polls? Will that be enough to counter the anti-Republican vote that Hillary will also benefit from?

- Murphy