"Good Neighbors Don’t Shell One Another"

Did you know that?

Per the State Department’s Daily Press Briefing today, that’s the latest wisdom.

Here’s the transcript, and my favorite quote of the week. In responding to a query about the current tensions at the borders of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey — which are growing more tense by the day — this official airily passes gas the question by:

QUESTION: There’s been some reports that the Iranians have been shelling parts of northern Iraq. I just wondered whether you had any details on this and if this was going to be something you might discuss when you finally do have discussions with the Iranians over Iraq.

MR. MCCORMACK: I don’t have any details for you, Sue. But if, in fact, those reports are true, I would expect that the Iraqi Government would have something to say to the Iranian Government about that. You know, good neighbors don’t shell one another. So again, I don’t have the details for you…

Please, someone — bring the smelling salts. Hit Mr. McCormack over the head with them. Maybe the trauma will serve to bring back his memory:

Iraq and Iran are not “good” neighbors. Oh, wait a minute. This guy’s from Foggy Bottom. They probably shell one another on a regular basis.

UPDATE: Ex-Pat, from Southeast Asia, sends an earlier exhalation from this same State Department “spokesbeing,” Sean McCormack. Ex-Pat’s example has the advantage of being a two fer: both an instance of groveling and a case of violating the Constitution…

20 thoughts on “"Good Neighbors Don’t Shell One Another"

  1. A little knee-jerk? That strikes me as a slap at Iran, not the questioner. McCormack isn’t precisely playing kissy-face with Iran in the rest of the transcript.

  2. It’s good news that Iran is being iranian.. shelling Iraq that is…

    The arab world and persian are not the same, and karma is a hoot… after all these years of arab support for iran, iran repays by blowing up arabs….

    I cant make this stuff up! gets funnier by the day….

  3. I suspect that MCCORMACK isn’t as stupid as he sounds(?). BUT, fighting between the Kurds and Iranians is on going and the Iranian military isn’t fairing well against Kurdish hit-and-run attacks.

    This Iranian international sword rattling is also directing attention away from their Kurd problem which is getting worse. And Iran is talking big about nukes, BUT I don’t think Iran wants to be involved in a land war in Iraq with the US present.

  4. I do hope you know that the PKK is a collection of nutcase communist fanatics. They wouldn’t be the slightest improvement over any government in the region, even that of Iran.

  5. I’m referring to the Party for a Free Life (PEJAK) which a is secular and Western-oriented group based in the northern mountains of Kurdish Iraq.

  6. Chuck—

    If you’re going to be reductionist and ad hominem would you please cite your non-Turkish, non-State Dept., and non-Iranian sources?

    Oh, and no Syrians, either. All of these governments have violated the basic human rights of the Kurds for centuries.

    The Kurds want a land of their own. They want it in the place they have always lived. Syria, Iran, and Turkey have preferred to kill, suppress, and attempt to culturally eradicate them.

    And you want to call them “nutcases”? That’s your response? Just how much of a nutcase would you be if you lived under regimes which did not permit you to speak English in public, who made you name your children non-American names, who didn’t permit you citizenship, much less representation, and who routinely moved in and obliterated your town? Think you might be a tad reactive after hundreds of years of that??

    Don’t drop ad hominem attacks here. It doesn’t move the conversation forward.

  7. Best answer to good neighbors like the Iranians, if they want to get into the lobbing shells racket, would be some sustained counter-battery fire.

  8. If you’re going to be reductionist and ad hominem

    Excuse me, since when is the PKK is a person? And then you accuse me *personally* of ad hominem attacks and reductionism. Am I missing something here or is the kettle not wearing clothes?

    Anyway, yes, the PKK is a collection communists link, and frankly I don’t think it is generally stretching the point to label communists nutcases. The Turks, Syrians, and Iranians all abuse Kurds, but this doesn’t make the PKK an organization of saints anymore than the MEK, a strange marxist/islamist Iranian group formerly based in Saddam’s Iraq, was a collection of saints just because they opposed the Mullahs. I suspect you may be confusing the PKK with the KDP or PUK.

  9. Just to try to lower the temperature a little bit – chuck, you make some good points. The PKK is a bad group. The question is how much of the Turkish incursion and Iranian shelling is actually targeted on the PKK itslef, and how much on Kurds who are just linked to non-PKK groups actively resisting Turkish and iranian oppression. One suspects that they are not scrupulous in that regard.

    We know that the de facto Kurdistan in northern Iraq is a prosperous and, by local standards, liberal place. So it is obviously not currently dominated by commie nutcases.

    To all – educate, don’t berate.

    Many of us are jus learning this stuff – we may jump to conclusions – but the cure for that is specific information.

  10. I challenge ANYONE here to DEBATE ANY of one of your so-called ‘ISSUES.’ AND you WILL LOSE ! GUARANTEED !

    You are ALL hypocrites and Ledeen Futurist Whores of Babylon!

    Bush/Cheney 2008

  11. Another dimension heard from. Dr Zaius, you should see about getting professional help. Your challenge to “debate” is interesting, but it’s hard to debate someone who has a screw loose.

    Taks a deep breath and repeat after me: “Nom Myo-Ho Renge Kyo”. repeat 5000 times.

    And have a nice day.

  12. chuck–

    thanks for the link to the Federation of American Scientists. An interesting article.

    Anything of any L/M shade only has an attraction when people are being oppressed (for lack of a better word). Turkey, et al, created Ocalan with their repression of the Kurds. Iraq and Syria and Iran further made him a hero by their attempts to extinguish the Kurds.

    No state is willing to give over what the Kurds have earned and deserve: territory of their own. Yeah, there’s a lot of infighting and some terrorism. It will continue as long as no one is willing to give them what is theirs by sheer fortitude.

    Their suvival is an attractive icon for most Americans…given their treatment by these Middle East oligarchies we’re supposed to condemn them?

    I don’t get that part.

  13. The Department of State is the good cop. Defense is the bad cop. You always hope for and works towards a peaceful solution. The toppling of regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq have made the bad cop really scary. For the first time in many a year we’ve gotten our act together and good/bad means something.

  14. Dr Zaius, you should see about getting professional help.

    Coming from what I assume is a Straussian, that is a typical and tired response. Gulag, indeed. Apparently, ‘Green Zones’ and ‘Separation Walls’ are not conducive to independent thought; rather this is the typical Roger Ailes sock puppetry I’ve heard about a million and a half times. Next…

  15. Gee, that’s good debating. Do you have some kind of random epithet generator? And why did you leave out Ledeen this time? You’ll hurt his feelings.

    I’m not a “Straussian” but I know crazy when I see it.

    Gulag, my hinder. Stay free. stay crazy. The neo-cons are not coming to get you.

  16. The neo-cons are not coming to get you.

    Why should I believe ANYTHING you say? All Neocons are by DEFAULT LIARS.

    Sorry, Dymphna, I’ll stop feeding the troll. It’s hard to resist.

    Yeah, let’s not engage in any substantive debate. It’s easier and safer to live behind our ‘Separation Walls.’And besides, we might learn something in the process…and that would be unacceptable.

  17. My dear Dr. Z (since that is your mainfestation this week)

    If all neocons are liars, and of course we are, then how is substantive debate possible with liars?

    I suggest, respectfully of cours, that you go elsewhere and find some NON-neo-dons to debate, since such an activity is inherently impossible here.

    Or not, as you choose, Sonambulist.
    Isn’t free will wonderful??

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