Re[2]: Ari Fleisher was a big fat lying idiot.
Mon, 10 Mar 2003 19:54:05 -0500

NJL> You are confusing several issues. The election of Erdogan has been a foregone
NJL> conclusion for months. Gul was keeping the seat warm for Erdogan. Erdogan is
NJL> a former academic, who was barred from running for office since he publicly
NJL> performed a classic poem several years ago that is viewed as a call to 
NJL> traditional Muslim values. This is something that the rabidly secular Turkish 
NJL> military has done their best to prevent. Erdogan is the leader of the 
NJL> "Justice and Development Party", which in my readings appears to be a secular
NJL> party with strong religious leanings.

Fair 'nuff.  Subsequent readings seemed to confirm your general
statement -- save for the seat-warming part.  Still its peculiar,
given the circumstances behind the parlamentary vote for Turkey (or
its discontents) to act on this _so soon_ after the recent decision.
Not necessarily getting out the pointy hats, but it does raise an

NJL> This reporting is particularly nasty, if it left any doubts in your mind that
NJL> Mr. Gul was anything more than a seat-warmer. The implication that Erdogan was
NJL> brought in to make the US happy is laughable. The much more likely reason is
NJL> that an agreement with the US was held off until Erdogan could take credit, or
NJL> until the US coughed up more aid and loan guarantees.

Negotiations of money (and the right to do with the Kurds what they
will) is most likely.  But you're seeming to ignore the _possibility_
(albiet, ATM, unsubstantiated) that the US has at least acted in its
interests to expidite Mr. Erdogan's appointment.   Behind the scenes
'negotiations' (and I use the term loosely, accompanied with a *wink*
and a *nudge*) are entirely within the spectrum of an Administration
who wants something really badly.  I'm not saying its corrupt, or even
that it hasn't been done before (as my mother asserted after flaming
me with an 'Anti-American Propaganda' response)  but just that Mr.
Fleischer's comments, and this situation strike me as a bit fishy.

NJL> There have been several articles about the situation in Turkey in the Economist
NJL> over the past couple of months.

Sweet.  I'll check it out.  The Economist always seems to be a good
source for bits.

Best regards,