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November 07, 2007

“It’s all about Turkey, the Kurds…and Iran”. -Bill Clinton

In what is becoming characteristic of the Clinton campaign, Bill stood at the podium and gave a powerful speech which made the audience laugh, cheer and relate personally. During his speech, on Monday evening (11/8) Clinton laid out the three major problems facing America and the world. “The three problems are: inequality in income, health care and education; global warming; and what he termed both terrorism and "identity conflicts."

He then stepped down without taking questions from the audience. Still, I had mine ready: “You and Sen. Clinton have repeatedly called for an end to the war, while speaking about the importance of a comprehensive diplomatic solution, and the need to restore our image in the world – why will you then, not commit to an immediate withdrawal?”

As he greeted his anxious fans, I grabbed onto his hand, and held it until he answered my (abbreviated) question – ‘If he would withdraw troops and end the war in Iraq.’ He went on to explain that it was not going to be entirely possible to do so, primarily because of the tensions between “the Kurds and the Turks…and Iran.”

As with the many other tragic manifestations which have come about as a result of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, a solution to the crisis for the Kurds is complicated (for more info see: The United State and the Kurds: A Brief History). Therefore, greater American leadership and not military force, is becoming ever more critical. Perhaps, the current crisis will force the United States to re-think, not just its disastrous policies in Iraq, but the complicated situation facing the Kurds. As many experts agree, there is an overwhelming need for the United States to seriously change course, not only its failed Iraq policy but also its relations with the Middle East.

Throughout his speech, Bill Clinton repeated the theme “Our common humanity is more important than our interesting differences.” This is also true and equally important for Iraqis, Kurds and Turks alike. It is for this reason that it is clear that a military solution is not going to solve any of the above problems, but only fuel the differences. We can only hope that it is increasingly evident that a complete peace-keeping mission with a full diplomatic solution is the only answer to these, and all of the world's complex problems.

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