Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Presidential Nominee Deabtes: Talk Clock

These are real clear graph via Senator Chris Dodd's blog. They simply show how much time each candidate spoke during the Democratic and Republican debates. Now it says nothing of content, substance, clarity, or quality of what was spoken. It just shows who owned the mic most of the night. I don't know if that speaks more about the candidates or the moderator. Probably both.

Images Removed

And when comparing times between the Dems and GOP, just remember that there's only 8 Dem candidates at this point versus 10 GOP candidates. That's two extra folks to need time on the GOP side.

UPDATE: Images removed since they were hosted on Dodd's blog and they took them down. Since they took down their images, the link to their blog has also been taken down.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I've been under a rock

I haven't been as diligent about following the news these last couple months, but I couldn't help but to notice an AP story that mentions a Turkish military build up on Iraq's northern border. A group of Kurds has been using the north of Iraq to stage terrorist attacks in Turkey, so they have some legitimate concern. There are some troubling details, though.

In the past when the Turks would invade northern Iraq, they'd fight along side the local population against this troublesome group, the PKK. Since the US invasion the rhetoric has changed, though. They blame all Kurds for harboring terrorists. I'd have to think that if they invaded now, it would be different than in the past. The Turkish government is rightly concerned that the war in Iraq has destabilized it to the point that Kurdistan may eventually become an independent, rival state. My concern is that they'll wish to invade and establish a permanent presence there, interfering in local Kurdish politics enough to prevent any sort of movement for statehood.

Al-Maliki has warned the Turks not to intervene, but he's powerless to stop it. Iraq's security forces can't even secure Iraq, much less the remote northern frontier. Robert Gates has warned the Turks, too, saying that the US has aided Turkey in dealing with the problem on their own soil, but if the Turks believe that the problem has to be solved on Iraq's soil, their solution is going to be a military one. We probably can't convince them not to. You may remember that Turkey refused Bush Administration requests to stage part of the the 2003 invasion from their bases. I can't remember for sure, but I don't even think we got flyover rights in spite of what was rumored to be a very generous foreign aid quid pro quo.

This is a very dangerous situation and one to keep an eye on.

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