Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Have I mentioned that this guy is a dunce?

Although this one could fall under the category of outright lie.

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don’t have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.

Not only is he not the chairman of the Banking Committee, he isn't even on the committee. Although I guess to be fair he probably hasn't spent enough time in attendance at the Senate since his election to even know.


Dunce! Anyhoo

Bad news with possibilities.

Iraq postponed the referendum to legalize the Kurdish majority in Kirkuk. Six months to wait.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani has ordered Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga units to “encircle” the highly contested oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Al Hayat reported Aug. 7. According to the report, Barzani has sent two peshmerga brigades to surround Kirkuk, set up checkpoints with Kurdish flags and block roads leading to the city from Arab and Turkoman regions. In response, Arab tribal leaders have threatened to attack the peshmerga forces.

At the end of the day, the Kurds will have to be the ones to compromise. That compromise solution, however, will likely need to include U.S. security guarantees for the Kurds in the form of long-term U.S. military bases in northern Iraq. The Kurdish dilemma has long been its vulnerability to its neighbors, particularly Turkey. If the Kurds have to compromise their long-term economic security with Kirkuk, they will need some assurances from the United States that any planned U.S. troop withdrawals will not leave the Kurds in the lurch. This is an issue that will require a Turkish sign-off, which will not be easy to obtain considering Turkey’s own concerns over Kurdish aspirations for independence. But if the United States can reassure Turkey that the Kurds will remain contained — militarily, politically and financially — there is still room for a compromise to stave off a crisis in Kirkuk and move the country toward elections.
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