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Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

A great question

From the L.A. Times

In response to the “recommendation” from General Petraeus that the U.S. should keep 130,000+ troops in Iraq until at least July and spend another $100 billion. 

What else could the United States do with a guesstimated $100 billion to reduce the strength and the appeal of Islamist terrorist groups worldwide?

If you think about it, deploying troops to Iraq is a rather ass-backwards way of addressing the threat of Islamist terrorist groups around the world.  Some, like myself, would argue that it doesn’t address that problem at all and actually aggravates it.  But all that aside, $100 billion could buy an awful lot of things.  And maybe some of those things actually works better than what we’re doing. 

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It’s hard to overestimate the looming potential of Turkey as it sits astride the boundaries of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, has a long and proud history of dominating its neighbors, is trying to gain entry into the European Union, is engaged in a guerrilla war with Kurdish separatists in Southern Turkey and Northern Iraq, and is the one secular democracy with a majority Muslim population. 

Its role in providing cheap labor to other nations has been an important economic element in Europe but also a major source of irritation.  Turkey’s often times heavy handed approach to religious elements has been much criticized but largely effective in maintaining its secular character, largely through military enforcement and intervention. 

Which is why the election of a Muslim with an Islamic political background is so huge.  Gul gives lip service to the importance of the secular nature of the Turkish government and maintains the highest priority to admission into the European Union (partly, I think, because religious protections in the E.U. are much stronger than currently practiced domestically in Turkey). 

But the military does not seem to trust him or Prime Minister Erdogan.  Keep an eye out here. 

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