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No Rest for the Wicked

Tom Tomorrow
© Tom Tomorrow

I admit that I have something of a feeling of schizophrenic ambivalence about the upcoming elections. I mean, there is so much more political irony out there during a presidential election. On the other hand, haven’t we seen just about everything that is possibly ironic, over and over again? Is there anything new in political irony?

Meanwhile, there was some really good news yesterday. Obama has managed to work out a deal with Iran to control their nuclear ambitions, while welcoming them back into the global community. Personally, I feel like Iran is the only nation that has any chance of stopping ISIS (or whatever people are calling them today), so this is very good news indeed. Besides, engagement is almost always better than isolation.



  1. Hassan wrote:

    Iran can stop ISIS from coming close to centers of their influences (Baghdad and Damascus). The sunnis arabs and kurds are definitely no fan of ISIS, but sunni arabs will definitely take them over Shia militias backed by Iran as they are the reason for rise of ISIS in first place.

    I think America should invest more in Kurds as they are moderates and have some sort of good capability and will to fight off ISIS. A kurdistan (Kurdish state) in Iraq/Syria with military support from west can be good buffer zone. Instead of randomly trying to protect everything, lets start from where you have support and pro-western attitude.

    For rest of Iraq and Syria, Iran cannot do anything except limited face saving measures of defending capitals. And in Syria it is more unlikely as people are overwhelming sunnis (unlike Iraq where there are more shias specially towards east).

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 5:14 am | Permalink
  2. ralph wrote:

    For the political literati (digerati?) like yourself, and comedians alike, a veritable embarrassment of riches. And now that some of the latest polls have Trump neck and neck with Bush, look for him to become even louder and more animated than ever. Like shooting fish in a barrel. Bon appetite!

    P.S. Speaking of Nixon in hell, check out Harry Shearer’s brilliant YouTube series, “Nixon’s the one”, plays off the actual Nixon tapes. Comedy imitates reality. As Warner Wolf might say, “Let’s go to the audiotape!”

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 6:46 am | Permalink
  3. il-08 wrote:

    I’m sure that if we just went back in there and cleaned things up we would be greeted us as liberators and the locals would pay for the war themselves.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 7:00 am | Permalink
  4. Michael wrote:

    Agreed, Hassan. I never understood why the U.S. administrations insisted on keeping the structure of Iraq intact without considering an independent Kurdish state.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  5. ralph wrote:

    Well said Hassan. VP Biden told it like it is several years ago when he basically called Iraq a fake country. Cobbled together in the aftermath of WWI and held together by iron fisted dictators (Saddam used to be our “ally”, remember?). That is, until Jr. and Darth Cheney blew it up. Mission Accomplished!

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  6. Joe Blow wrote:

    Hey Hassan,

    Isn’t Turkey a NATO member? What’s their view on the idea of Kurdistan?

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Hassan wrote:

    Joe Blow, yes Turkey is member of NATO, and they may hate the idea about Kurdish state. But American interests part with Turkish interests here. It is not easy to have pro-western moderates in middle east, lets capitalize on good will. Also recently in Turkey’s elections, Kurdish parties have done very well, they may be more open to idea than previous governments.

    Kurds have been fighting ISIS very well to defend themselves, and they secured/rescued Yazidis as well. Lets secure Kurdish state from advancement of ISIS, make it stable state, and then worry about other areas.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  8. ThatGuy wrote:

    I agree that we should do more to support the Kurds, the problem is that the US is extremely hit or miss on supporting separatist regions. For example, in supporting Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, the US turned the Cold War back on over night. It’s also pretty critical to take the “respect established borders” line right now in trying to counter Russia’s claim to Crimea/eastern Ukraine and the breakaway sections of Georgia.

    In this specific case of Turkey-US relations, we risk galvanizing hardline anti-western sentiment in Turkey and losing what has been a historically pretty reliable ally in the region.

    To Hassan’s point though (an excellent one) shifting sentiment in Turkey, possibly partly due to the rise of ISIS, might make them more amenable to an effective and independent co-enemy (if not friend) in the fight against ISIS.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    I find it funny that anyone thinks that almost anything we could do in the middle east would make things better. I think that train is either leaving, or (more likely) long gone.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
  10. il-08 wrote:

    If history teaches us anything it is that history doesn’t teach us anything.

    Friday, July 17, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  11. Ralph wrote:

    Or as one historian (forget which) once put it: The Middle East has too much history to absorb.

    Friday, July 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink