Thursday, March 20, 2003

NASCENT REPUBLIC OF KURDISTAN: I love reading the Tim Noah "Kurd Sellout Watch" posts, for me if the Kurds end up with their own state at the end of all this it would be a Good Non-Cynical Reason for going to war. So I was chagrined when I read this Melik Kaylan piece in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago which claimed that not just that the Kurds weren't all marshmallows and sunshine but that they were a pack of thugs and not really a blooming democracy at all. But Tim saw it too and he's got the goods on Kaylan, which make me feel better about my Kurd-support:

Kaylan is on the scene, whereas Chatterbox is not. Consequently, Chatterbox would ordinarily grant Kaylan considerable deference. But Kaylan completely ignores the demonstrable facts that Iraqi Kurdistan enjoys a free press and has held an election that passed muster with independent observers—not something you can say about almost any other part of the Middle East. You'd think Kaylan would want at least to refute these points. That he doesn't arouses suspicion. Chatterbox's confidence in Kaylan's judgment was further undermined when he remembered an earlier Journal op-ed in which Kaylan argued for a tax cut on the grounds that America needed to nurture and expand an aristocracy that lived entirely on inherited wealth. (Chatterbox answered Kaylan here, here, and here.) Is Kaylan the Journal editorial page's designated crash dummy, sent out again and again to test the viability of outrageous new doctrines? Chatterbox is beginning to think so.

Tim also linked to this choice rundown on the situation in Kurdistan. And you should read any and all Elizabeth Rubin in TNR you can--she's reporting from Kurdistan as we speak. No links though, you gotta pay for TNR these days--but it's usually worth it, as Charles Murtaugh suggests. Their arts coverage is kind of snotty, but there's usually one or two really great articles per issue.

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