"Pelosi, in supporting Murtha, rejected the path of opportunism that has so hobbled the Democratic Party in recent decades. If the Democrats fail to keep faith with the voters on the war, they can forget gaining back the White House in 2008, and it would be a rebuke much deserved."
"The Bush administration is courting influential Kurdish factions in Iraq. But across the border in Turkey, it is supporting Turkey's subjugation of its large Kurdish population. The United States has just approved the sale of F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Turkey that are to be used for the express purpose of crushing Kurdish militants in the eastern provinces. It has also appointed an envoy with strong business ties to a leading American defense contractor as well as to pro-Turkey American lobbies.(thnx Mizgin)
It against this backdrop that the US has appointed Joseph Ralston as "special envoy for countering the PKK." Ralston happens to be a board member of the defense company Lockheed Martin, which is providing the new jets. It has been reported that he also has ties to the American-Turkish Council. In other words Ralston has a financial interest in seeing Turkey gain deadly American weaponry, and is in a position to both influence the US government in helping Turkey procure arms and facilitate those purchases on behalf of Lockheed Martin. On learning of this appointment, Kurdish groups were, legitimately, outraged.
Meanwhile, the Turks are assembling troops on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan and have threatened to invade. The Iraqi Kurds have responded that any encroachment on their territory by Turkey will result in war. This situation is troublesome, particularly at a time when the US is in the process of rethinking its presence in Iraq.
The fight for Kurdish rights in Turkey is on hold, but history shows that further Turkish obstinacy will only restart the conflict. The US must withdraw Ralston and push Turkey to engage its Kurdish population and introduce democracy and pluralism once and for all in the Kurdish areas. Otherwise, expect to see a resurrection of the Kurdish problem in Turkey, but also more volatility in northern Iraq, very soon."