With control of the House and the Senate too close to call, Republicans and Democrats are falling back on an American tradition: negative campaigning. There’s no doubt that it works, but does it have any other redeeming characteristics? Does it increase partisan mistrust that makes it harder to govern? Plus, Israel stage a retaliatory assault in Northern Gaza, and a Turkish intellectual is cleared of insulting Islam with remarks about 5000-year old Sumerian culture.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Israeli troops, tanks and helicopter gun-ships assaulted the northern Gaza Strip today to destroy rocket launchers that have struck Israel 300 times this year. Both Palestinian factions called the deaths of at least eight people a "massacre." We hear more about today's assault as well as response from Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and other founding fathers exchanged personal insults and publicized each others' extramarital affairs. Lyndon Johnson all but accused Barry Goldwater of wanting a nuclear war. So it's no surprise that President Bush and Senator Kerry are at it again even though neither is on any ballots this year. All over the country, candidates are accusing each other of idiocy, flip-flopping and corrupting the Boy Scouts. With the war in Iraq and control of the Congress at stake, we talk about the crucial role of negative campaigning in US elections.
A 92-year old Turkish archeologist has been cleared of insulting Muslim women and inciting religious hatred with remarks about ancient Sumerian priestesses, but she is only the latest Turkish intellectual to face such prosecution. Muazzez Ilmiye Cig was applauded by her supporters as she left a Turkish courtroom today, free of charges brought by a lawyer who took offense at My Reactions as a Citizen. The book says that headscarves were first worn more than 5000 years ago by Sumerian priestesses who initiated young men into sex.
Semih Idiz, Columnist, Milliyet