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Monday, May 5, 2008

Diplomacy: Home v. Abroad

http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2008/05/diplomacy-home-v-abroad.html

The following article is a contrast in political maturity at home and abroad. It is good to see export of our ideas of diplomacy to other nations, but sad to see it obliterate in its own place of birth; America.

Our political process is the greatest in the world and I am delighted to see the Obama-Clinton contest continue, it shows the amount of deliberations Americans are making in chosing the right leader, especially after the rottenest period in our history of governance. Look at the slam dunk arrogant mindest within our party (Republican)and see where it has gotten us; a loss of respect in the community of nations.

“How to win friends and influence people” is the number one selling book in the World and will continue to keep its edge for millennia to come. The concept got expressed well here in America, and within a century, our leaders are set to destroy it.

The Turkish Prime Minister talks about winning friends and objectively criticizes Israel's excessess in Gaza... and look what we have; one wants to bomb and bomb Iran and other wants to obliterate it. As an immigrant American myself, I am amused to ask, where the heck these two come from?

What does our smart President say? " There are 350-million middle class people in India. They are more than the population of America. When you get wealth, you start demanding better nutrition, more food. They want to eat well so our food prices are rising," George Bush said. He once said something similar to this " we export our items to foreign countries, because they are outside of our country"

As a Pluralist and a supporter of the right of divinity of every faith, I stand against the ten commandment monument in the public square. The public space cannot be monopolized by any one. I agree with the Prime Minister Erdogan when he says “Our Government demonstrates that a religious person can protect the idea of secularism”

I could not agree with him any more “Our policy is to win friends, and not to make enemies. Because of our good relations with both Syria and Israel we were asked by both of them to effect better communications.” We need to send Mr. Bush and Mr. Omert to diplomacy 1o1 or at least a Dale Carnegie 101. Mother Teresa caps this well “ If you want to make friends, go talk with your enemies, you don’t need peace with your friends.”

Justice is the basis for peace and security,when it is obliterated, you cannot expect it to be around. I agree with the statemen like statement from the Prime Minister, “My biggest hope [for peace] is that Israel stops its excessive use of force in the West Bank. Civilians are being killed in Gaza; children and old people. We have to be just—we cannot say that it's right if one side [uses force] but condemn the other side for doing the same”

Mike Ghouse

# # #

‘We Are Not Rooted In Religion’
http://www.newsweek.com/id/135291

May 12, 2008 International Edition By Owen Matthews

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to Owen Matthews about Islam, modernity and Turkey's role in Israel-Syria communications

Despite a landslide election win last summer, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, is fighting for his political life. Turkey's Constitutional Court is considering an indictment accusing Erdogan and 70 other figures from his party, the AKP, of "seeking to undermine the secular state." Prosecutors demand that the accused be banned from politics for five years and the AKP closed down. The morning that the party submitted its defense to the court, Erdogan spoke to NEWSWEEK's Owen Matthews in Ankara. Excerpts:

Matthews: Can Islam and modernity coexist?

Erdogan: Turkey has achieved what people said could never be achieved—a balance between Islam, democracy, secularism and modernity. [Our government] demonstrates that a religious person can protect the idea of secularism. In the West the AKP is always portrayed as being "rooted in religion." This is not true. The AKP is not a party just for religiously observant people—we are the party of the average Turk. We are absolutely against ethnic nationalism, regional nationalism and religious chauvinism. Turkey, with its democracy, is a source of inspiration to the rest of the Islamic world.

You have made speeches calling for new thinking in Islam.

We as politicians cannot enter into debates about modernizing Islam. As politicians we do not have the right. Nor do Islamic scholars. But we can speak about the place of Muslims in modern society and their contribution to a modern way of life. We can speak about the place of women. For example, in Turkey today the AKP is the best way for women to take an active part in political life. We have the largest number of female M.P.s.

If you have such a liberal vision, why is it that you are being prosecuted for allegedly being too Islamist?

I cannot comment while the case is still being considered by the court.

How have religious attitudes changed in Turkey during your lifetime?

The rules of religion stay the same, but people's attitudes towards religion have changed. The urbanization of the country has brought increased wealth and a different understanding of life. In the past, people had no alternatives. Now we have given people freedom of choice. We have also enhanced the rights and freedoms of non-Muslims. For instance we have made changes to the building codes so that they do not refer to "mosque" but to "place of religious worship." We put government money into restoring the Armenian church on Lake Van. And we have changed the law to help religious foundations [regain property confiscated by the state].

But you haven't reopened the Orthodox seminary on Halki island [near Istanbul].

That is an educational problem, not a religious problem. We have to overcome some mutual problems with Greece, such as questions about the education of ethnic Turks in western Thrace. We hope to overcome these issues soon.

What is Turkey's role in facilitating recent negotiations between Israel and Syria?
For 40 years Turkey had no diplomatic relations with Syria. When [the AKP] came to power we decided to normalize these relations. Our policy is to win friends, and not to make enemies. Because of our good relations with both Syria and Israel we were asked by both of them to effect better communications. We've been speaking to the leaders of both countries. It's important for us to try to gain some ground—if we can help achieve peace in the Middle East, that will have a major positive impact on the region.
Is it your belief that Israel wishes to attack Iran?

For a politician to speak about other countries' intentions is a big mistake. But I don't want to see anything like that happen. If it did, I cannot comprehend what will happen in the Middle East. We shouldn't even think about this. My biggest hope [for peace] is that Israel stops its excessive use of force in the West Bank. Civilians are being killed in Gaza; children and old people. We have to be just—we cannot say that it's right if one side [uses force] but condemn the other side for doing the same.
© 2008

### President Bush's guffaw:

Indian politicians tell Bush to back off
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/indian-politicians-tell-bush-to-back-off/64500-3.html

New Delhi: One may dismiss it as another Bushism, but the Indian politicians aren't willing to do so.

After US President George Bush expressed concern over a prosperous Indian middle class eating so much that it is causing food to become more expensive in American supermarkets, the Indian political leaders are an angry lot.

If the Bush's brand of economics is to be believed, then India's growing middle class is responsible for food prices shooting up in the US.

"There are 350-million middle class people in India. They are more than the population of America. When you get wealth, you start demanding better nutrition, more food. They want to eat well so our food prices are rising," George Bush said.

His comment almost exactly echoed his Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice earlier this week.

But Bush's comments have not gone down well with the Indian politicians.

"We must certainly send out a message to the United States of America that we are going to look after the welfare of our own people," says Communist Party of India-Marxist Politburo member Brinda Karat.

And the Congress, accused by the Left of being soft on America, can't stomach Bush's reasoning either.

Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh and Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh says, "George Bush has never been known for his knowledge of economics. I think this just proves how comprehensively wrong he is."

Both US and India are in the threshold of elections and inflation is certainly a key factor in deciding which way the votes will swing.

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