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Bad news for Democrats, good news for Iraq

Posted by Richard on October 24, 2007

The Democrats' ongoing effort to declare defeat in Iraq has suffered another setback with yet more confirmation that the Petraeus Plan is working well:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Of course, this is Reuters, so reporter Aseel Kami felt compelled to insert a bit of random, pointless buzzkill: 

The ministry released the new figures as bomb blasts in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul killed five people and six gunmen died in clashes with police in the holy Shi'ite city of Kerbala south of the Iraqi capital.

Imagine the previous sentence rewritten by someone not rooting for the other side: 

"The ministry released the new figures as two new office buildings were dedicated in Dohuk and Erbil International Airport announced expansion plans to accommodate the growing number of direct flights from Vienna, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Stockholm, Dubai, and other European and Asian commercial centers."

Critics would object, "that's propagandizing!" Exactly. And that's what Aseel Kami's version is, too. Ah, well, what else is new?

It looks like the Democrats' latest attempt to undermine the war effort isn't succeeding, either. They sought to anger Turkey (whose bases and support the U.S. and Iraq badly need) by bringing up an alleged Ottoman Empire genocide from 90 years ago (while doing nothing about genocide today in Darfur and increasing the likelihood of genocide tomorrow in Iraq).

At first, it appeared to be working. The Turks became angry at us and threatened consequences. Soon, they were rattling their sabers regarding the long-standing problem of terrorist attacks into Turkey by the PKK, hiding out in rugged northwestern Iraq. Now, it seems that all sides have agreed that the PKK are murderous communist scum who in no way represent the interests of democratic Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran:

Iraq today vowed to do all it could to disrupt the activities of PKK fighters sheltering in its northern border region with Turkey as international pressure intensified on Ankara and Baghdad to find a way of avoiding a Turkish invasion.

Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's Kurdish foreign minister, said after talks in Baghdad with his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, that both Iraq's central government and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) in the north were committed to reining in the PKK.

"We will actively help Turkey to overcome this menace," said Mr Zebari. He said Iraq would send a security and political delegation to Turkey for more talks, and promised full cooperation with the Turkish government "to solve the border problems and the terrorism that Turkey is facing through direct dialogue."

This isn't surprising to anyone who read what Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (a Kurd) said a couple of days ago:

In a speech that I recently made in Al-Sulaymaniyah, I openly stated that the Kurds do not believe that the PKK's military acts in Turkey or Iran can serve the Kurdish people's interests. Indeed they undermine their interests. We believe that armed action hurts democracy in Turkey and hurts Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party [AKP]. This party is a new democratic feature that wishes to build a new Turkish society that makes room for Turkey's Kurds and the other ethnic groups in the country.

The AKP recognizes the existence of a Kurdish people and a Kurdish cause. It adopts a friendly attitude towards using the Kurdish language in the media. Furthermore the recent parliamentary elections were free in the Kurdish areas and led to the election of patriotic Kurdish deputies to parliament. The AKP won more than 60 percent of the Kurdish vote, which means that they are happy with it. This means that carrying out armed actions against this party serves only chauvinist forces in Turkey.

Regarding the presence of PKK combatants in Iraq, our constitution clearly forbids the continued presence of foreign armed forces on Iraqi territory or using such forces to launch armed attacks on neighboring countries. …

I wish to state that we are willing to operate within the tripartite committee with Turkey and the United States to put an end to the PKK's activities in Iraqi Kurdistan and to confine them to the Qandil Mountains [in Turkey]. At any rate we do not want to allow them to benefit from the current situation.

Apparently, The New York Times was paying no attention to Talabani's remarks or Babacan's visit to Iraq, or to the Kurdistan Regional Government's unambiguous condemnation of violence and terrorism and commitment to democracy, peace, and friendly relations with its neighbors. Either because they're behind the curve or just determined to ignore anything remotely positive, the NYT editors eagerly embraced doom and gloom today (emphasis added): 

The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse. Now Turkey is threatening to send troops across the border to wipe out Kurdish rebel bases, after guerrillas killed at least a dozen Turkish soldiers. This latest crisis should have come as no surprise. But it is one more widely predicted problem the Bush administration failed to plan for before its misguided invasion — and one more problem it urgently needs to deal with as part of a swift and orderly exit from Iraq.

Since I'm not a highly-paid editor with a Columbia j-school degree, it's not immediately apparent to me how we urgently deal with the PKK problem as part of a swift and orderly exit from Iraq. Is the NYT suggesting that American troops depart overland to the north and west? 

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2 Responses to “Bad news for Democrats, good news for Iraq”

  1. OttO said

    Hi – your hypothetical news passage (as might appear in a sane world) is great! I’ve given this issue a lot of thought and you just nailed it on the head in one concise paragraph.

    I’m Seeding this story to Newsvine.

  2. rgcombs said

    OttO, thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

    And thanks for dropping by!

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