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The Middle East - nice and new and “smart!”

[Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
edited April 2018 in Debate and/or Discourse
Welcome back to the Middle East Thread, 8th edition.
Previous thread.


This is a quickie, I had intended to pass on the duty of the OP, but the thread is moving so quickly that didn't happen.




Here's a map of the places we talk about in this thread:

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Trump campaigned on a platform of non-intervention, of not calling for Assad's ouster, and of not butting heads with Russia abroad.

Well, that didn't last long!

The Trump administration has already launched an airstrike openly targeting Syrian government forces. This had not been (openly/intentionally) done under Obama, even after his infamous "red line" statement.

What does it mean? Nobody knows! Except that the ever complicated Middle East just got a new fun layer of complexity for the bright men of Washington to deal with.


Other issues of the day:

Erdogan of Turkey just got himself massive new powers.

The Saudi-led war in Yemen continues to be brutal and mostly ignored.

Afghanistan is set for a busy fighting season, watch to see if Trump gets more involved here too.

IS is on the ropes. Mosul in Iraq has been surrounded and is falling block by block.
Raqqa in Syria is a few more SDF pincer movements away from being surrounded as well.
The aftermath of IS will be at least as complicated, and maybe deadly, as their rule. It will take a lot of careful diplomacy and management to keep anything together. This is my vote for the most important ME issue of the next few years.

Rouhani of Iran is up for election this summer. The nuclear deal, and much else, hinges on the result.

Libya is broken, and still receives US airstrikes fairly regularly.

Some more US special forces have been around Somalia lately.

Egypt continues to ineffectually fight IS in the Sinai, while suffering (especially its Copts) periodic bombings.

Plus the refugee issue remains unsolved, with thousands still making the crossing in the Med.

And that doesn't even mention Israel/Palestine! Whew.



Constantly updated map of Syria and Iraq:
https://syria.liveuamap.com/

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[Tycho?] on
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Posts

  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2017
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/16/europe/turkey-referendum-results-erdogan/
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country's prime minister have declared victory in a Sunday referendum designed to hand Erdogan sweeping powers.
    The Turkish Election Commission has yet to release its official results, and the opposition promised to contest at least a third of the votes cast. But according to the state-run Anadolu Agency, with 99.8% of the ballots counted, Erdogan appeared poised to win with 51.4% of voters casting ballots in his favor.
    And that's all she wrote. Erdogan has won.
    The opposition took issue with the results, saying the country's electoral authority had decided to "change the rules in the middle of the game." The High Electoral Board announced it would not accept ballots that were missing ballot commission stamps. But the board changed course after voting was underway, saying it would accept unstamped ballots "unless they are proven to have been brought from outside."
    I wonder what caused that change in policy? :rotate:

    Suriko on
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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Lmao, that's a fair election!

    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Middle-East adjacent Egypt sounds like it's backsliding pretty badly a stereotypically corrupt military dictatorship, subverting the IMF's neoliberal's macro-economic policy for a double-whammy of economic mismanagement: Egypt’s Coming Revolt of the Poor
    The bread riots are symptoms of a crisis tracing back to last November, when the International Monetary Fund approved a loan of $12 billion to Sisi’s regime. The loan agreement requires Egypt to fix its chronic budget deficit through substantial cuts in subsidies and other forms of public spending. The agreement also necessitates steps to encourage the private sector to boost job creation and growth....


    The IMF loan agreement failed to fully account for the military’s domination of the economy and the state bureaucracy. Rather than implement the agreement faithfully, the military has been protecting its prerogatives at the expense of the poor as it funnels the country’s remaining resources to army officers and away from poor, suffering civilians....


    In applying for the IMF loan agreement, Egypt’s ruling officers granted themselves important exemptions. Cutting public expenditures on basic goods, for instance, didn’t stop the military from lavish spending on arms procurement. From France alone, it struck deals worth over $2 billion last March. The Defense Ministry didn’t pay for those arms from the accumulated revenue of its commercial activities, but rather took loans from French banks. The military usually insists that its lucrative commercial enterprises are aimed at securing its self-sufficiency in goods and weapons, but in this case the army didn’t pay for its large shipment from its own accounts. Rather, it asked the civilian Finance Ministry to guarantee the large loan and foot the bill if the army defaults.

    When the bread riots erupted last week, some Egyptians remembered similar events that occurred four decades ago. In 1977, another military president, Anwar Sadat, also tried to take the IMF’s advice and reduce food subsidies. Violent bread rioters chanted against the IMF and were quickly crushed by army tanks. Sadat canceled the decision and blamed the disturbances on communists.

    The only difference in today’s riots is that there are no communists to blame. These riots are probably not entirely the IMF’s fault. The organization learned its lessons from history, and has included language in the loan agreement that the Egyptian government must strengthen “social safety nets” for the vulnerable classes affected by economic reform.

  • OghulkOghulk biggest externality low-energy economistRegistered User regular
    Anyone have a good write-up on what the referendum did explicitly?

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Oghulk wrote: »
    Anyone have a good write-up on what the referendum did explicitly?

    Not good, but here's some quick points:
    The draft states that the next presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 3 November 2019.

    The president will have a five-year tenure, for a maximum of two terms.

    The president will be able to directly appoint top public officials, including ministers
    He will also be able to assign one or several vice-presidents
    The job of prime minister, currently held by Binali Yildirim, will be scrapped
    The president will have power to intervene in the judiciary, which Mr Erdogan has accused of being influenced by Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based preacher he blames for the failed coup in July
    The president will decide whether or not impose a state of emergency
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39617700

    Turkey has... well, used to have, a parliamentary system more like the UK. The PM has the most power, but is held directly accountable through parliamentary votes. A presidential system means straight up more power for Erdogan.

    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    I'll watch out for a better analysis.

    [Tycho?] on
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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    Well, given that Erdogan just pulled a Putin, there may not be a "everyone after Erdogan"....

    Commander ZoomHarry Dresdendispatch.oRchanenTryCatcherMrVyngaardLeitnerHakkekagePreacherSkeithHavelock2.0NartwakSpoitdescfedaykin666
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Suriko wrote: »
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/16/europe/turkey-referendum-results-erdogan/
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country's prime minister have declared victory in a Sunday referendum designed to hand Erdogan sweeping powers.
    The Turkish Election Commission has yet to release its official results, and the opposition promised to contest at least a third of the votes cast. But according to the state-run Anadolu Agency, with 99.8% of the ballots counted, Erdogan appeared poised to win with 51.4% of voters casting ballots in his favor.
    And that's all she wrote. Erdogan has won.
    The opposition took issue with the results, saying the country's electoral authority had decided to "change the rules in the middle of the game." The High Electoral Board announced it would not accept ballots that were missing ballot commission stamps. But the board changed course after voting was underway, saying it would accept unstamped ballots "unless they are proven to have been brought from outside."
    I wonder what caused that change in policy? :rotate:
    Oh goddamn it... Y'know when the shit went down a year ago (?) in Turkey, in the month or two after I was relaxing thinking "maybe it's not as bad as it seems" and I eventually put Erdogan out of mind.

    Annnnnd here we are. It's not even a question what is happening anymore and, if the oath the Turkish military swears to is still a thing, they need to try again. Only in a more united sense rather than a minority effort.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
    Giggles_Funsworth
  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    I dunno, Erdogen has been pretty consistently shitty since then.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    KetBra wrote: »
    I dunno, Erdogen has been pretty consistently shitty since then.

    Since long before then.

    KetBraGiggles_FunsworthJoeUser[Tycho?]KaputaMilldescfedaykin666
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    Well, given that Erdogan just pulled a Putin, there may not be a "everyone after Erdogan"....

    The term limits will almost certainly be either abolished by 10 years or a new Supreme leader type "advisory" position will be created for Erdogan.

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    KetBra wrote: »
    I dunno, Erdogen has been pretty consistently shitty since then.
    I would never dispute that, it's just that because of other shit going on I got distracted from it.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited April 2017
    Lmao, that's a fair election!

    And still Erdogan/AKP just barely managed a simple majority. Either they severely overestimated their popularity, or they're just bad at bullying/manipulating elections.

    Imagine if the election had been guaranteed to not have any meddling.

    Echo on
    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Lmao, that's a fair election!

    And still Erdogan/AKP just barely managed a simple majority. Either they severely overestimated their popularity, or they're just bad at bullying/manipulating elections.

    Imagine if the election had been guaranteed to not have any meddling.

    250px-Tropico_3_Box_Art.jpg

    Now let me see if I can find one with Erdogans face edited in...

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Since Erdogan has previously been pretty dismissive about joining the European Union and just 6 months ago gave pretty Russia and China a very thorough handjob while stating Turkey shouldn't care about EU membership when they could try to join "The Shanghai 5" instead at a press conference.

    Will this whole thing end out leaving the nation a puppet?

    I find foreign politics kind of out of grasp most of the time because there are all sorts of cultural influences I can't understand or relate to. This seems bad, though.

    dispatch.o on
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    EU membership is essentially off the table now, it's not compatible with this new "constitution".

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    The thing Erdogan wants is the money from the EU, and a minimum of fuzz. This still balances mostly on the refugee treaty.
    Part of the treaty is that the EU will "accelerate" the process of EU membership.
    This means that if the EU cuts the membership off, he can easily blow the refugee treaty up and blame the EU.

    Those two are now entangled.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    SanderJK wrote: »
    The thing Erdogan wants is the money from the EU, and a minimum of fuzz. This still balances mostly on the refugee treaty.
    Part of the treaty is that the EU will "accelerate" the process of EU membership.
    This means that if the EU cuts the membership off, he can easily blow the refugee treaty up and blame the EU.

    Those two are now entangled.

    Erdogans way of doing business is simply not EU compatible. Turkey membership in the EU isn't happening as long as Erdogan is in power.
    The only upside is that this generation of Turkey gets a real taste of the Caucasus/Middle-East brand "presidential" authoritarianism. I hope it doesn't appeal to them.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    SanderJK wrote: »
    The thing Erdogan wants is the money from the EU, and a minimum of fuzz. This still balances mostly on the refugee treaty.
    Part of the treaty is that the EU will "accelerate" the process of EU membership.
    This means that if the EU cuts the membership off, he can easily blow the refugee treaty up and blame the EU.

    Those two are now entangled.

    Erdogans way of doing business is simply not EU compatible. Turkey membership in the EU isn't happening as long as Erdogan is in power.
    The only upside is that this generation of Turkey gets a real taste of the Caucasus/Middle-East brand "presidential" authoritarianism. I hope it doesn't appeal to them.

    Not that it matters too much since Erdogan is going to use his new superpowers to hunt/torture/kill anybody that dared to oppose him, so expect A LOT more reports of human rights violations.

    TryCatcher on
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  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    SanderJK wrote: »
    The thing Erdogan wants is the money from the EU, and a minimum of fuzz. This still balances mostly on the refugee treaty.
    Part of the treaty is that the EU will "accelerate" the process of EU membership.
    This means that if the EU cuts the membership off, he can easily blow the refugee treaty up and blame the EU.

    Those two are now entangled.

    Erdogans way of doing business is simply not EU compatible. Turkey membership in the EU isn't happening as long as Erdogan is in power.
    The only upside is that this generation of Turkey gets a real taste of the Caucasus/Middle-East brand "presidential" authoritarianism. I hope it doesn't appeal to them.

    Not that it matters too much since Erdogan is going to use his new superpowers to hunt/torture/kill anybody that dared to oppose him, so expect A LOT more reports of human rights violations.

    Yeah. For a long time Turkey has been keen on jailing journalists. This increased hugely since the coup, and these powers will only increase it further.

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    SanderJK wrote: »
    The thing Erdogan wants is the money from the EU, and a minimum of fuzz. This still balances mostly on the refugee treaty.
    Part of the treaty is that the EU will "accelerate" the process of EU membership.
    This means that if the EU cuts the membership off, he can easily blow the refugee treaty up and blame the EU.

    Those two are now entangled.

    Erdogans way of doing business is simply not EU compatible. Turkey membership in the EU isn't happening as long as Erdogan is in power.
    The only upside is that this generation of Turkey gets a real taste of the Caucasus/Middle-East brand "presidential" authoritarianism. I hope it doesn't appeal to them.

    Does this realignment cause any issues with NATO membership?

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    hippofant wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    Well, given that Erdogan just pulled a Yeltsin, there may not be a "everyone after Erdogan"....

    I don't get to say this that often: fixed that for you.

    I could say in a sing-song voice, "One of these men dissolved parliament and made himself Defense Minister, one of these men didn't," but aside from my own field of study, it speaks to something that I think we'll need to look at: the future of the AKP, versus Pres. Erdogan's tendency to portray himself (or at least attempt to) as "an above-politics independent"--someone correct me if this is incorrect in his national persona. B. Yeltsin did the same thing as an "independent", though to a large part that came from the banning of the largest political party in the country, and the very visible if intermittent persecution of its successor--the party that replaced him was a a formal organization, very much a centrist institution, that was focused on the maintenance of power rather than a specific hard-line ideological commitment, which you can translate publicly towards "being above it".

    Obviously, Turkey is not Russia, but I for one will be very interested to see how AKP gradually evolves with whomever becomes Erdogan's successor: they have framed themselves as not strictly left or right, which was part of their success, though in practical terms there has obviously been a shift from centre-right to right-wing (though not with the usual arms-locked-march with its counterpart in the military--which isn't to say AKP wasn't close to the military, they just don't seem closer to the institution at large outside of their own effective purges). As I understand it, no small part of the AKP's religious positions came from its merger with the outright religious short-lived People's Voice/Purity Party.

    I'm also one of those people who loves studying on the minutia of party manifestos and declarations, and the responses from their rivals. To others this could easily be boring shit window dressing, I'll admit.
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    SanderJK wrote: »
    The thing Erdogan wants is the money from the EU, and a minimum of fuzz. This still balances mostly on the refugee treaty.
    Part of the treaty is that the EU will "accelerate" the process of EU membership.
    This means that if the EU cuts the membership off, he can easily blow the refugee treaty up and blame the EU.

    Those two are now entangled.

    Erdogans way of doing business is simply not EU compatible. Turkey membership in the EU isn't happening as long as Erdogan is in power.
    The only upside is that this generation of Turkey gets a real taste of the Caucasus/Middle-East brand "presidential" authoritarianism. I hope it doesn't appeal to them.

    Not that it matters too much since Erdogan is going to use his new superpowers to hunt/torture/kill anybody that dared to oppose him, so expect A LOT more reports of human rights violations.

    Yeah. For a long time Turkey has been keen on jailing journalists. This increased hugely since the coup, and these powers will only increase it further.

    It's worth remembering Turkey has been doing this a lot--they were doing it in the 1950s and 1960s too, amid their integration into NATO, for violating that country's censorship laws (criticizing NATO, criticizing Ankara, criticizing anti-communist campaigns, the usual). Then again, who wasn't in the 1950s?

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    NSDFRandgtrmp
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    Well, given that Erdogan just pulled a Yeltsin, there may not be a "everyone after Erdogan"....

    I don't get to say this that often: fixed that for you.

    Oh come on. RIGHT NOW Erdogan clearly just pulled a Putin, going from PM to President and then inverting the roles of the two positions. :mad:

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    Well, given that Erdogan just pulled a Yeltsin, there may not be a "everyone after Erdogan"....

    I don't get to say this that often: fixed that for you.

    Oh come on. RIGHT NOW Erdogan clearly just pulled a Putin, going from PM to President and then inverting the roles of the two positions. :mad:

    I see. I meant the the deliberate concentration of executive powers an power vacuum, not to occupancy of two positions, re: Tycho's point. Boris Yeltsin did far more to increase the power of the presidency under the aegis of of "independent politics", than Vladimir Putin (or Dmitry Medvedev) have, especially in formal terms. Though--and this is the sort of thing that would be perfect for a joke in Archer--did you know Boris Yeltsin actually did this too?

    I'm not making this up: Boris Yeltsin was the final chair of the council of ministers of the government of the Russian SFSR and before that he was the second to last chairman of the presidium of the Russian SFSR's Supreme Soviet. So, in effect, Mr. Yeltsin went from being prime minister of Soviet Russia directly to being president of Soviet Russia before he became President of the Russian Federation. So, Yeltsin literally did it first (and everyone kind of forgot).

    (Now you can see what I mean by "Archer joke.")

    Last distraction: Serbia's Aleksandar Vucic just went from PM to president too.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    Harry Dresden
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular

    They are also reporting an emergency law extension for 3 months has been signed by Turkish cabinet and sent to parliament. Are they going to bother making it permanent at some point?

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Aside from the fact that Pres. Trump's lack of strategy is often plainly obvious, this Aljazeera piece offers something else: namely, the desire to drive a wedge between Syria and its world power backer, or conversely, Russia and its only historical ally in the Middle East.

    It's...an interesting theory. I'm skeptical because it's not hard to remember when the hope was to drag Moscow loudly, publicly into a fiery hell along with Damascus, and when the White House was bragging as much--and I'm convinced Washington has a high level of inertia. But it makes many compelling points.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    hippofant wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    It's a big deal for Turkey, because it will apply to everyone after Erdogan as well. The man in the top seat becomes even more important, and being able to mess with the courts legally makes the president difficult to restrain.

    Well, given that Erdogan just pulled a Yeltsin, there may not be a "everyone after Erdogan"....

    I don't get to say this that often: fixed that for you.

    Oh come on. RIGHT NOW Erdogan clearly just pulled a Putin, going from PM to President and then inverting the roles of the two positions. :mad:

    Not the same thing. In Russia, the president has all the power (and has had the power since before Putin first became president in the 90s). There are no overall term limits, but they are limited to two consecutive terms. After serving two years as president, Putin switched over to prime minister (following all the rules of the constitution), and Medvedev took over as president--but because Putin is the de facto head of Medvedev's party, he was a kind of toothless president. And after serving his term as PM, the constitutional term limit ended, so Putin was able to switch back to his position as president. Compare the US situation of Trump promising hypothetical Vice President Kasich could be the real president. In that case, the president (Trump) still technically has power, there are no changes to the law, but they're just rubber stamping everything the VP/PM passes their way. In 2024, presumably Putin will switch back to being PM (assuming he's still alive and has the same level of power as he does not).

    What Erdoğan is doing is different. He's actually changing the office to suit his needs. Unlike Putin, he's not adapting to the (current) letter of the law.

    Solomaxwell6 on
    Synthesis
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Right, Putin is smart enough to know not to waste political power on a constitutional change that is unnecessary and to leave something in place that could form a source of legitimacy for the next guy if he had a stroke tommorow or something. Putin may be effectively a dictator, but he is legitimately good at dotting his procedural i's and crossing the t's so that he doesn't gut the organs of the state too much while funneling wealth and power to himself.

    Erdogan has essentially made it into calvinball, giving himself dictatorial powers. Sure there are term limits now, but he's already established those can be removed at any time by a simple referendum which may not need to be overwhelming in support or particularly fair. And even if he abides by them, what about the next guy or the guy after that? You have established a precedence where all it takes is someone having a 50%+1 approval rating at some point and they can make themselves dictator for life.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    I think he is thinking "I will be dead for the next guy anyway"

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  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Right, Putin is smart enough to know not to waste political power on a constitutional change that is unnecessary and to leave something in place that could form a source of legitimacy for the next guy if he had a stroke tommorow or something. Putin may be effectively a dictator, but he is legitimately good at dotting his procedural i's and crossing the t's so that he doesn't gut the organs of the state too much while funneling wealth and power to himself.

    Erdogan has essentially made it into calvinball, giving himself dictatorial powers. Sure there are term limits now, but he's already established those can be removed at any time by a simple referendum which may not need to be overwhelming in support or particularly fair. And even if he abides by them, what about the next guy or the guy after that? You have established a precedence where all it takes is someone having a 50%+1 approval rating at some point and they can make themselves dictator for life.

    Another thing unmentioned is voter supression/intimidation. You think is bad on the American South? Hah! Getting on the way of the 50%+1 approval rating of President for Life, with the full might of the State on his side, means that you can lose goverment benefits, go to jail, tortured or even get killed.

    TryCatcher on
  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular

    Turkey referendum: 2.5 million votes may have been manipulated

    As many as 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in the Turkey referendum which saw a narrow "yes" vote to grant expanded presidential powers, according to observers.

    The opposition has filed a complaint with the election board.

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    I imagine that complaint will be filed along with the 2.5 million ballots.

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  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    Where can I go to find a good summary of Yemen. How it started and how it got to where we are?

    shryke wrote: »
    The Democrats aren't crazy but they are still, you know, running the US and it's foreign policy. Which is in the "you don't have a global hegemony without bombing a few eggs" wheelhouse.
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Rchanen wrote: »
    Where can I go to find a good summary of Yemen. How it started and how it got to where we are?

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2016/10/the_yemen_conflict_is_not_just_a_proxy_war.html
    https://warontherocks.com/2017/04/yemen-the-graveyard-of-u-s-policy-myths/

    (I'm really not a WotR shill. I was just reading it today and they had that piece up about Yemen with good links in it and all.)

    hippofant on
    RchanenFrankiedarling
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Decent al-Monitor article on Turkey and Iraq. Erdogan recently threatened military action to remove the PKK from Sinjar. Sinjar is the Yazidi territory that IS brutally conquered in 2014 after the Peshmerga fled (which made them pretty unpopular with many Yazidis). The PKK fought IS in their stead, and was heavily involved in the battles to push IS from the region. Since then, the PKK has remained, establishing an allied force among the Yazidis, much to the chagrin of Turkey and the KRG's Kurdistan Democratic Party. This local conflict is tied into broader tensions between Turkey, the Iraqi government, and Iranian-backed factions in Iraq. It's always hard to tell how seriously to take Erdogan's erratic threats, especially in the context of the campaign for his recent referendum. Hopefully it's just his typical saber rattling; I'd think the threat of conflict with a PMU/PKK alliance, if not the Iraqi Security Forces themselves, would be enough to make Ankara think twice about doing something stupid here.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Iraqi forces with US/Australian advisors were hit reportedly mustard gas by IS the other day. Iraqi forces also claim that IS launched a chlorine rocket at them in Mosul.

    This is the second time I've read of IS using mustard gas in Iraq, but it's still surreal for me. Mustard gas was always in the "ancient history" part of my brain until IS started using it.

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Iraqi forces with US/Australian advisors were hit reportedly mustard gas by IS the other day. Iraqi forces also claim that IS launched a chlorine rocket at them in Mosul.

    This is the second time I've read of IS using mustard gas in Iraq, but it's still surreal for me. Mustard gas was always in the "ancient history" part of my brain until IS started using it.

    It was pretty big during the Iran-Iraq war.

    Synthesis
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Is hard to get outraged by yet another Trump blunder when everybody is fine with Turkey being a NATO member aka being in a military alliance with the US. A lot of focus on optics instead of substance there.

    Synthesis
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Is hard to get outraged by yet another Trump blunder when everybody is fine with Turkey being a NATO member aka being in a military alliance with the US. A lot of focus on optics instead of substance there.

    I thought everyone was ok with Turkey joining NATO pre-Erdogan, and NATO may be a factor in reigning in their bad impulses. Of course this was thrown out for he window when Erdogan took over and has been playing the dictator playbook ever since.

  • OghulkOghulk biggest externality low-energy economistRegistered User regular
    I wonder where isil is getting mustard gas from...

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