Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Marginalia...

... or thoughts that occur reading or watching the news.
  • Karzai fires two cabinet officers U.S. authorities happen to like. It occurs to me that the Afghanistanis are fed up with the USA and have been for quite a while, not least those who profit by our presence in some way. The most sincere among them engage us in arms.
  • NYT headline today: “Turkey Goes From Pliable Ally to Thorn for U.S.” The subhead elaborates, saying: “Policies on Israel and Iran Show a New Assertiveness.” Three things occur to me. One is that “Iran,” in that subhead, really also means Israel. Iran is not a threat to the U.S. Our most recent direct contact with Iran was our imposition of an emperor to rule that nation. Iran has proved itself one of the most peaceful powers in, say, the last century—defending itself when attacked by Iraq. In that one we were helping Saddam Hussein on the sly. The second is that Turkey-bashing is now permissible because we no longer need Turkey as a stalwart ally against the Soviet Menace. Third is the interesting assumption that “assertiveness” is inappropriate, no matter what, and that Turkey ought quietly to swallow the death of its nationals at the hands of Israeli commandos to retain its highly desirable status as a pliable ally.

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