Oh, yeah . . . Happy New Year.
Monday, December 31, 2007
"PKK has 24 years of war experience and all the regional powers came to defeat it; however, they could not. PKK has passed its exam."
~ Bahoz Erdal, HPG Headquarters Commander.
~ Bahoz Erdal, HPG Headquarters Commander.
Here's a short interview with HPG Headquarters Commander Bahoz Erdal, on the recent American-Turkish attacks in the Medya Defense Zones:
On the 16th of December, the Turkish army conducted an air strike. The Turkish media claimed that a large number of gerilas were killed. What can you say about this?
For a long time there were preparations for such attacks. Through [Turkish] propaganda and the media, preparations had been made for these attacks. Whenever it gets stuck against our forces in the resistance, as a pretext, the Turkish army targets South Kurdistan and the regions in which we reside. Both Turkish officials and Turkish media showed the people that if there were an attack against South Kurdistan and the Medya Defense Zones, then the PKK would completely perish and the question would be solved. They had great expectations in this attack. They made everyone focus here and motivated people for a possible attack.
This attack was made by more than 50 aircraft. This attack was implemented with the clear support of the US. After this attack, the statements of the Turkish General Staff and Turkish media was showing as if they had come and hit us, as if we had serious casualties, and as if we were in a weak position. They tried to show it as if it were a successful attack, a successful, unique attack that destroyed us remarkably and took us a couple of years back. All these things are lies and very far from the truth. As the statement that we made on the first day, 5 guerrillas were martyred and 3 friends were wounded. Except for this, we had no other losses.
What are the reasons that the Turkish army and media twist the truth?
The goal is as follows: One, the Turkish army could not be successful in North Kurdistan by suffering serious casualties and meeting severe resistance by our guerrillas. For that reason, this demoralized the psychology of the troops, the army, and the state. In order to break down that demoralization, they had to give a response. They wanted to make it happen with this attack; however, they could not succeed in this recent attack as well. For that reason, they want to cover this. They are trying to show a very unsuccessful thing as if it were very successful; they are trying to cover their weakness and failure.
The other goal is the civilian villagers in South Kurdistan who had been targeted and destroyed. It is known that two civilians were killed, that there were numerous wounded, many houses collapsed, hundreds of animals died, and schools destroyed. Hospitals were damaged. The martyrdom of our comrades, who died in this attack, were the targets of the attack. These are the concrete results of the attack. With these, actually the reality of the attack is revealed. Firstly, this attack was not successful. Secondly, the aim of this attack was not PKK, as they claim. The aim is the Kurdish people. This could be either PKK guerrillas or a villager from South Kurdistan. It is clearly revealed in this way. They are insistently trying to hide this reality. For that reason, they desperately need to lie. It is very strange when we listen to the Turkish media; Our friends [guerrillas] who lived through the attack here are laughing at them. However, the people who do not know the reality of our struggle--and Turkey's reality--who look at these incidents from outside, think that the world has collapsed [from this attack].
What can you say about the attitude of the Southern Kurdistan authority for the people and the animals who were killed as a result of the bombing?
The attitude of South Kurdistan's political forces against the cross-border legislation in the TBMM was a correct attitude that served the Kurdish people. This attitude was strengthening them, too, however they stepped back. A different approach occurred and this new approach brought suspicion among all the Kurds against them. As a result, the suspicion creates a reaction in the people. This new attitude is harming the unity of the Kurdish democratic national movement. The strengthening of the Kurdish democratic national movement means their strengthening and empowers their hand. If the South Kurdistan federal government wants to survive--wants to be defended--this is only possible with the creation of a Kurdish national attitude. If the Kurdish federal government does not see the interests of all Kurdistan, but narrows itself down to South Kurdistan's boundaries, it will drown. We say that this fact must be realized. There are some Kurdish politicians, however, who did not even say anything about these attacks. They [the Turks] attacked your territory, destroyed your villages, martyred your people--there is no voice coming from them. They have shut their eyes and ears as if saying, "We did not see or hear anything." The reactions against the operation are not sufficient and they are late. The step back after the cross-border legislation encouraged Turkey. Now Turkey is thinking, "So then, if I blackmail, if I suppress, I will get a result."
But the reality is that the Turkish government does not trust South Kurdistan's political forces as well. Even if KDP and PUK fight with Turkey against us, the Turkish government and army will not trust in them. A national and stable attitude with strengthen them and allow them to breathe. They mustn't be afraid of it. If the Southern Kurdish political forces stay within their own boundaries and cannot see or realize their own responsibilities for Kurdistan in general, they will lose in two ways. The first is that they will lose the Kurdish people, because the Kurdish people will no longer accept neither the fight between brothers nor the interests of only one piece of Kurdistan as superior to the rest. Neither the Kurdish people in general, nor the Southern Kurdish people, will accept this. Our people know the reality now. The second reason is that the international forces can do anything for their own interests. Turkey, Iran, or the US do not have anything to give them at that point. They will lose that side, too. Thus, they will lose both sides. As a result, we say that a proper stance is national and principled, and a stance that seeks the general good of the Kurds in the region would be the correct. Iraqi Kurdistan might be an experiment for this. This is not a weakness for the Kurdistan federal government; on the contrary, it would become strong. This is a reality. For that reason we say that the daily stance and attitudes of hesitation, which lack long-term planning, will only encourage the enemies of the Kurdish people. This will also harm the general freedom struggle of the Kurdish people.
In this war, the attitude of the US becomes important. How do you see the support of the US to Turkey?
This attack has been accomplished with the direct help of the US. During a one month period prior to the attack, US reconnaissance aircraft flew over the region. Opening Iraqi air space, providing intelligence and technical assistance enabled this attack. In that sense, the US is not outside of this attack. The attitude of the US is the attitude of choosing a side in this war. If their attitude continues, we, the Kurdish people, will not accept this. However, it needs to be said that this is not a new thing that the US is helping Turkey. The US has assisted Turkey during 24 years of the war by intelligence, weapons, and politically. Basically it is not new that the US assists Turkey. Yaşar Büyükanıt says, "My happiest day is today; I can sleep comfortably." This is your weakness, you pathetic thing. This shows how weak, how unfortunate you are. The US gave intelligence, opened your way. What did you do? You attacked, then what? What did you gain? The US is not helping you recently; it has helped you for 24 years. All the operations within these 24 years, the US explicitly provided intelligence and political and economic assistance to the Turkish government. Even the international conspiracy [against Öcalan] was orchestrated by the US. Despite all these facts, have you won this war, have you annihilated the PKK guerrilla--the Kurdish guerrilla? Have you implemented the promise that you've always repeated, that is "We will always fight until the last guerrilla?" No. You couldn't. The people who said as you did, couldn't either, but the Kurdish guerrilla remained, the Kurdish movement continued and grew. Today's people will also go, but the guerrillas still will remain and will grow more. Like with these recent attacks, they are trying to convince people with imaginary victories. Otherwise, what else can the US do? Did the US reconnaissance aircraft, satellites, get rid of the problems in Iraq's valleys? Did they bring an end to the losses in Afghanistan, that you are saying you would annihilate PKK with their intelligence? Let's say this: no one can dominate the Kurdish region with their satellites. Thus, let them have their reconnaissance activities. We do not have cities or villages to be cowed. We are guerrillas. Like a snake, we neither have a place to live nor have a house. The Kurdish mountains are rugged. No matter how many reconnaissance aircraft and satellites they have, they will not be able to dominate the guerrilla movement. For that reason, we are saying that they created big hopes, or imaginary victories, for no other reason than to get rid of their psychological weakness.
After the Turkish army's air strike, they wanted to access the Medya Defense Zones by land. What can you say about this?
That's right, that the Turkish army wanted to make attacks on the Geliye Reş region, in Xakurkê. That's all that it was about. It was just an attempt. It was the same as in the Oramar resistance. There, besides defending themselves, our forces also struck them. Thus, from now on, these things are possible. These are not new things in the South. They say that there were 24 operations, but this is not right. Within the period of the struggle, they had more than 100 operations against our Southern Kurdistan forces. They have made all kinds of operations, from the smallest operations to the biggest operations ever in the history of the Turkish Republic. Air strikes and artillery shelling are the kinds of attacks we've seen previously. We also saw their results. They might, from now on, have big or small operations. We are, however, ready to confront all kinds of operations. For all circumstances, we also have various resistance plans. Because we are determined and are technically and educationally prepared, we are completely ready for possible further operations. Even though there might be further air strikes and land operations, there is nothing for them to win. On the contrary, the only excuse they [Turkey] had was "I cannot cope with the North [Kurdistan] because they [the guerrillas] are coming from Southern Kurdistan. My hands are tied. They [the US] don't let me go to Southern Kurdistan. If they had let me, I would finish all of them." Now they have untied your hands and you entered Northern Iraq. Then what, what did you do? Now with what excuses are they going to cover their failure? There is nothing. On the one hand, this operation was good because they don't have that excuse any more. If the US frees their hands, they will come and swallow all of us and take the rest. And now you came, what did you do? Fiasco. For that reason, even if they implement these kinds of operations they will have more losses here than in Northern Kurdistan. Everyone must know this. This will deepen the war and harm everyone. This war will not be limited only to Turkey, but will harm everyone. Everyone must realize this. PKK has 24 years of war experience and all the regional powers came to defeat it; however, they could not. PKK has passed its exam. Once more they are trying to attempt the same thing with their weaker position and under different conditions now. To us, it is an empty endeavor.
[Note: for some ideas about a "national and principled" stance that serves the good of all Kurdistan, see the recent post at Rastbêj, "Cooperate or Die".]
Sunday, December 30, 2007
"And I cannot find words to describe the heroism of the millions of Kurds living in the dungeon in the Southeast, after having suffered some of the worst atrocities of the 1990s thanks to the enormous arms flow provided by the Clinton administration and the discipline of the educated classes, who hailed the atrocious international terrorism as a model of 'counterterrorism'."
~ Noam Chomsky.
~ Noam Chomsky.
The "worthy" and "unworthy" victims of the Propaganda Model proposed by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman reinforces the "good" Kurd-"bad" Kurd dichotomy of Kevin McKiernan. The news here is that the dichotomy is alive and well in the US media today, according to Anthony DiMaggio at Counterpunch:
American media reports have at times acknowledged Turkish human rights abuses. However, Turkish repression is never framed as terrorism. In addition, Turkish repression of Kurds is presented as a relatively minor setback in the grand scheme of U.S. and European relations with Turkey, as opposed to Saddam Hussein's repression of Iraqi Kurds, which is consistently presented as a major human rights tragedy.
[ . . . ]
Efforts to distinguish between worthy victims (Iraqi Kurds) and unworthy ones (Turkish Kurds) have been somewhat altered, however, in recent years. By 2007, attacks on Iraqi Kurds had also become acceptable in the U.S. media, so long as the aggressor was the Turkish government, rather than Saddam Hussein. The U.S. granted tactical and diplomatic support to the government of Turkey as it bombed various Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, allegedly aimed at PKK rebel targets. Despite reports of civilian deaths, American editorials lent moral support to the Turkish government. The editors at the New York Times postured that "Turkey's anger is understandable. Guerillas from the PKK have been striking from bases in Iraqi Kurdistan with growing impunity and effect. The death toll for Turkish military forces is mounting."
Editors at the New York Times placed responsibility for the violence primarily upon the shoulders of the Kurds, rather than Turkish leaders, as they argued that "The Kurds will find it much easier to prosper if they can live in peace with Turkey." How such cooperation is possible in light of Turkey's systematic human rights violations was not addressed. The paper's editors also portrayed the U.S. as an honest broker between the two sides, rather than a consistent supporter of Turkish repression of the Kurds: "Washington must now try to walk both sides back from this brink. It then should make a serious and sustained effort to broker a long-overdue political agreement between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan." The editors at the Washington Post also presented the conflict through a pro-Turkish lens. Significant attention was directed to pragmatic assessments of the effectiveness of a Turkish political victory over Kurdish rebels: "The reality is that the PKK threat cannot be quickly eliminated by military means. Neutralizing it will require closer cooperation between Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish authorities, more effective Turkish military operations inside Turkey, and more political reforms in both countries."
This case study is instructive in one important respect: it suggests that American media attention to the repression and terror of foreign countries is not driven by legitimate humanitarian concerns, but by the strength of the alliance between the U.S. and the country in question.
Chomsky and Herman's work, Manufacturing Consent, provides a powerful tool--the Propaganda Model--for reading news, whether in the US or in Turkey. In fact, the Turkish government found the book so dangerous that it brought charges of "insulting Turkishness" and "inciting ethnic hostilities and hatred among the population" against Aram Publishing House for translating the book into Turkish.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: If you want to understand how the media works, you need to read Manufacturing Consent.
Rastî readers will remember Gordon Taylor who's written about the PKK at Progressive Historians. He's got something up at History News Network on Turkey's $20 million sheep-killing fiasco.
Hevallo liked last week's video of HPG air defense units that he went out and found another video, from RojTV, which he's posted, and he refers to the Paşas' current propaganda campaign as "Turkish army psycho lies. . . " I don't know, do you think that's enough to qualify him for charges under Article 301 for "insulting Turkishness?"
Martin Zehr responds to neocon Michael Rubin's latest trash piece in the NYTimes:
Mr. Rubin suggests: “U.S. officials should threaten isolation and a cessation of all financial assistance until Mr. Barzani ceases his safe haven.” Mr. Rubin might pay more attention to the U.S. military aid to Turkey, as a source of the problem. “As a member of NATO and Washington’s ally in the war on terrorism, Turkey is the third largest recipient of U.S. military aid, behind Israel and Egypt. Between 1994 and 2004, it received well over $1.3 billion in FMF and another $21.4 million in IMET. Congress granted another $33 million in FMF and $4 million in IMET in 2005. The President’s request for 2006 is more modest-- $25 million in FMF and $3 million in IMET.”
Suggesting as he does that there is an implicit alliance between President Barzani and the PKK in Iraq Mr. Rubin establishes a weak case. He states: “During its Oct. 21 attack on Turkish troops, PKK tactics mirrored those taught by U.S. Special Forces to Mr. Barzani's peshmerga fighters, suggesting its complicity in training terrorists.” Taken on its face, it presents little documentation in making in its case. But considering the ramifications of such statements, it presents Turkey with a virtual blank check in regards to attacks on the government of the KRG and the territory of the Kurdish Autonomous Region.
Rubin's claim that PKK received US Special Forces training through KDP peşmêrge overlooks the fact that PKK is a highly experienced guerrilla force and that it spent the years of the 1999-2005 ceasefire fruitfully, by implementing changes in HPG's tactics, and training to achieve that end:
The HPG officials said that the TAF has been unsuccessful in its operations and that the HPG’s new way of actions on the basis of small groups of guerrillas with active and high action capacity led to TAF’s classical operation tactic to be in vain.
HPG officials said that as a result of this new way of action, TAF (Turkish Army Forces) had difficulties in “imposing clashes on the guerrilla under its initiative” and that the TAF military troops have become an open target for the guerrilla teams who have spread well into the territory.
[ . . . ]
HPG officials said that this was “a reflection of the strategic changes made” and that the military strategy changed accordingly”. They underlined that “actions undertaken were no longer to establish free areas” but “to force the other side to a resolution”.
They also added that guerrilla losses, as a result, decreased in comparison with past years, but the TAF’s losses increased due to a change in guerrilla movement.
Note that this evaluation is dated May 2005. I guess Rubin can't swallow the fact that PKK has not been trained by anyone but PKK, while the TSK--particularly the Special Teams--were trained by US special operations forces. See Martin Zehr's figures on IMET aid to Turkey, as mentioned in his article and linked above. Remember, IMET is conducted by US special operations types, which have a history of spreading severe human rights abuses wherever they go. See something from US Senator Leahy on that.
More on the fallout from the joint US-Turkish air strikes against Kurdish civilians:
Since Turkish warplanes turned her village home into a heap of rubble last week, mother of eight Aziya Rasheed says she has lost all hope for the future.
Air strikes on mountain villages around the town of Sankasar in northern Iraq on Dec. 16 destroyed much of Rasheed's modest home as the family slept, injuring her 16-year-old daughter so severely that she had to have her leg amputated above the knee.
"We lost everything, even my daughter's leg. Isn't this terrorism from Turkey?" she said angrily.
[ . . . ]
Shlier Khudhur, a 30-year-old woman now living with her brother, sobs as she recalls the night she lost her home.
"I was wounded when the house fell on top of us during the air strikes. We have lost everything we ever owned," she said.
"I wish I had died rather than live through this."
Don't forget, Kurdistan: Erdoğan and Büyükanıt are your brothers in religion. Long live the ummah that has always defended the Kurdish people! Not.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
"With the US government’s stated aim of vigorously assisting the Turkish state with its ‘operations’ that are aimed at ‘hunting down’ and ‘eradicating’ the ‘rebel’ Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), many human rights organisations, concerned Kurdish and Turkish civilians, peace campaigners and public interest groups are justifiably concerned that the genocidal and ‘psychological warfare’ linked ‘policies and practices of the recent past’ may all too chillingly reappear once again in the region."
~ Desmond Fernandes, "Turkey's US Backed 'War on Terror': A Cause For Concern?"
~ Desmond Fernandes, "Turkey's US Backed 'War on Terror': A Cause For Concern?"
From the email inbox:
THE KURDISH AND ARMENIAN GENOCIDES -
FROM CENSORSHIP AND DENIAL
RECOGNITION?By Desmond Fernandes
Apec Press, Stockholm, December 2007
Turkey’s repression of the Kurds has been widely documented - and is acknowledged as a major obstacle to Turkey’s accession to the European Union. But what lies behind such repression? Fernandes confronts the issue head on, forcing the reader to probe a question that many in Turkey and elsewhere would rather avoid: does the systematic repression of the Kurds amount to genocide? Open discussion of this issue is critical if a long-term resolution of the Kurdish issue is to be achieved – Nicholas Hildyard, Policy Analyst.
The book is an exceptionally important read for anyone with a broad interest in human rights and social justice. It has a scholarly account of the historical background to the present awful situation of Turkish Armenians and Turkish Kurds. In particular, the book provides a powerful comparative analysis of the policies of the US, Israel and Turkey in terms of their rationale for labelling human atrocities as genocide – Dr. Julia Kathleen Davidson, Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow and Membership Secretary of Scotland Against Criminalising communities (SACC).
In this important book, Desmond Fernandes exposes the details of the sordid and largely hidden role of Israel and the US Israel Lobby in preventing Congress from recognizing the Turkish genocide of the Armenians – Jeff Blankfort, Former Editor, Middle East Labor Bulletin.
Among its Cold War victories the United States certainly succeeded in its ambition to make the world safe for nationalism. As identity politics is reprocessed as a function of global capital, and rehabilitated as its natural ally, Desmond Fernandes documents the fractured consequences of the ready-made social fantasy - Variant: Cross Currents in Culture.
Desmond Fernandes writes for those who spoke the truth and were murdered, those who spoke 200 days ago and are still imprisoned, and for those who live in terror and in silence, or who meet in nameless buildings, so that the words ‘GENOCIDE’, ethnic cleansing, or the Turkish military word ‘TEMIZLEME’, may be heard as a siren call for the muted victims of the Turkish state - Diamanda Galás, Composer and Performer of Songs of Exile, Vena Cava, Schrei X, Plague Mass and Defixiones, Will And Testament.
The international visibility of eminent novelists like Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak ensures that their subtle criticism of Turkish legal practices and political culture reaches a wide international public. What is also needed for an understanding of Turkey is detailed historical analysis and scholarly insight into the perceptions and myths that contribute to the identity and beliefs of key actors on the Turkish scene and in the wider population. This is precisely what is provided by Fernandes, both in his own work analysing the denial of Armenian genocide and in his useful presentation of the significance, nationally and internationally, of the work of Ahmet Kahraman. His book and the cases cited by Fernandes show how the nationalist Kemalist cause is being ruthlessly promoted not only in Turkey but also by the Turkish state elsewhere ... Machinations, covert and overt, of a fundamentally unethical and reprehensible kind are being increasingly exposed, initially for a Turkish readership in the case of Kahraman’s book and now for an international public – Professor Robert Phillipson, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark [from the Foreword to the book].
Fernandes’ painstaking investigation sheds much needed light on the collusion between the Turkish State and the Israel lobby in preventing recognition of one of the darkest episodes of the past century, the genocide of Ottoman Turkey’s ethnic Armenians - Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, Spinwatch.
[This is] a judiciously assembled vast, syntactic mosaic ‘illustrating’ the total state terror inflicted upon two ancient peoples ... Desmond Fernandes has laboriously integrated a vast amount of historical events, scholarly data, secret documents, live witnesses, relevant literature and even poetry ... [He] has hit the target: mainly encapsulating the enormity of censorship, denial and recognition of that ultimate crime of man’s inhumanity to man - Genocide - Khatchatur I. Pilikian [from the Epilogue].
Desmond Fernandes is a policy analyst and former Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Genocide Studies at De Montfort University, England. He has published widely in a number of journals and is co-author of Genozid an den Kurden in der Türkei? - Verfolgung, Krieg und Zerstörung der ethnischen Identität (2001, Medico International, Frankfurt). Forthcoming titles by the author include The Kurdish Genocide in Turkey and US, UK, German, Israeli and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations against the ‘Kurdish Threat’ in Turkey and Northern Iraq, due to be published by Apec Press, Stockholm.
Note: The book can be ordered securely online via Paypal at the BRTA shop (http://brta.org.uk/sales/) in the “Categories - Des Fernandes' Books” section, at the recommended retail price of £14.99 [2nd Class Royal Mail postage is included free of charge to those customers who wish to receive their book orders at a UK based address].
I highly recommend Desmond Fernandes' new book as I know his research is impeccable and everything in this book will certainly be meticulously documented. Given that we know have a war on the Kurdish people in which both the US and Israel are taking an active role--as opposed to their previous role as military suppliers, trainers, and advisors--the question of the reality imposed on the Kurdish people by these three fascist regimes, along with the accompanying genocide, must become just as in-your-face as possible.
Another item from the inbox, and far more amusing I might add:
from Aytug Koyuncu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
date Dec 29, 2007 3:13 PM
subject sikilmis irkci -kurtucu kopek
pic oglu pic
kucaga oturacaksýn yakindir .... kopoglu kopek
anasi sikilmis it yavrusu
This is the typical Turkish reaction to anything Kurdish. What a great argument, eh? And people wonder why Turkey is backward . . .
Friday, December 28, 2007
"In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."
~ George Orwell.
~ George Orwell.
Let's see . . . first item tonight: Mîr at Rastbêj throws out his ideas of what needs to be done now for the Kurdish situation, all laid out in four points for the Southern Kurdish leadership as follows:
1) Create a common Kurdish National Policy,
2) Use oil contracts with Western countries as a card against them,
3) Found high quality universities to train the brightest youths from all over Kurdistan,
4) Use international media effectively,
The bottom line? Cooperate or die.
Andrew Lee Butters, at TIME, has a few historical reminders for all those who can't remember what happened yesterday, much less ten years ago:
In 1995, the Turkish army invaded northern Iraq, sending some 35,000 soldiers across the border to destroy the guerilla infrastructure of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) a militant group made up of Turkish Kurds that had found refuge in the lawless mountain region. Operation Steel, as it was called, killed over 500 militants, but still the PKK survived to fight another day. In early 1997, the Turks sent in another 30,000 soldiers — this time as part of Operation Hammer — to finish the job. They didn't. The Turks had to go in again later that year with Operation Dawn.
This month the Turks launched yet another operation against the PKK, and there is little to suggest that it will be any more effective than the others. So far 300 Turkish commandoes crossed briefly into Iraq, while Turkey has staged three air strikes, including one Wednesday. Turkey claims to have attacked some 200 PKK locations, and killed hundreds of militants. A PKK fighter told TIME that just five of the group's members had been killed. Whatever the true figure, the operation would seem to be a minor chapter in Turkey's seemingly never-ending civil war with radicals among its oppressed Kurdish minority population, who took up arms in the 1980's.
Well, okay, maybe it is radical to fight back when someone is trying to kill you.
Butters notes that not even the peşmêrge are able (even if they would be willing) to do anything about PKK, since the peşmêrge are stretched thin trying to hold Iraq together for the Americans. Besides, the peşmêrge fought PKK in the 1990s, too, and they were unable to do much more to PKK than inflict a few scratches on the organization.
Butters' comment about the Turks' relationship with Turkmen is amusing and on the mark as well.
He concludes with a moral about what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket:
Kurdish leaders in Iraq have been relatively subdued since the Turkish operations began, acquiescing perhaps to the fickle will of their American masters. They know better than anyone that, without American protection, it's doubtful their hostile neighbors — not just Turkey, but also Iran and Syria, which have restive Kurdish minority populations of their own — would limit themselves to a few air strikes.
Well, maybe not if some of Mîr's ideas had been at the top of the agenda in 2003.
It sounds like Hillary Clinton has appointed Mehmet Çelebi as one of her delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in the summer of 2008, putting Çelebi in the lead for MİT--as in Milli İstibarat Teşkilatı and not Massachusettes Institute of Technology--Asset of the Year.
Anyone who votes for Hillary should be horsewhipped within an inch of his life anyway.
Mother Jones has a nice little timeline showing how the US worked to encourage the rise of militant Islam. You might want to keep that in mind when thinking about the recent assassination of Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto.
I'm no expert on Pakistan, however there is a blogger who does seem to follow the Pakistani scene and I highly recommend two of his posts on the Bhutto assassination. The first by Winter Patriot was posted today:
And you'll hear lots of talk about extremists in the near future in connection with this assassination, and in nearly every case you will be expected to make the mental connection between the word "extremists" and the wild men in the mountains of the northwest. But you will remember, won't you, that in addition to these more famous extremists, there are extremists working for Musharraf, and extremists working for Bush ... and there may even be extremists working for the PPP, the party Benazir Bhutto betrayed.
The second was posted yesterday:
You will see media reports of shock and grief at her death, but you will not likely see anything about how thoroughly she betrayed her country for personal gain.
Her death will be painted as a blow to George Bush and his plan to make Benazir the face of Pakistani "democracy". It will also be painted as a blow to Pakistani "democracy" itself.
But if there were anything approaching democracy in Pakistan and the USA, Benazir Bhutto and George Bush would both have been in prison a long time ago.
And people think Kurdish politics is a mess. . .
Thursday, December 27, 2007
“Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.”
~ Malcom X.
~ Malcom X.
An air defense unit of the People's Defense Forces (Hêzên Parastina Gel--HPG) defends Kurdistan from hostile Turkish aircraft on a bombing mission, from Firat News:
Stills from the video, from Özgür Gündem:
Who is it that defends Kurdistan? PKK, that's who. End. Of. Discussion.
Serkeftin Hevalno! Her Biji Gerîla!
Çok Yaşa Sen Halkımın Umudu Gerilla! Kahrolsun Türk Faşizmi!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
"In the past months, Israel and the United States have been working together in support of PKK and its Iranian offshoot PEJAK, I was told by a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon."
~ Seymour Hersh.
~ Seymour Hersh.
I wonder how Hersh is going to explain this: Israeli Haaretz does not deny claims made in TDN that Israelis are operating the UAV's that are providing reconnaissance information to Turkey on the movement of Kurdistan's freedom fighters. In fact, Haaretz seems to confirm the claims of Israeli support to Turkey against the gerîlas who fight for the Kurdish people:
Meanwhile, crews from Israel Aerospace Industries, operating unmanned aerial vehicles, are participating in Turkish military operations against PKK militants in northern Iraq, according to Turkish reports to be published today in the Turkish Daily News.
Ten days ago, the Turkish television station Star reported that IAI Heron UAVs are being used in the offensive against the Kurds.
The same report stated that Turkey's Chief of Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit, had observed the UAVs' operations in real time, in the operations room of the Batman air force base near the border with Iraq. The intelligence relayed by the UAVs was used by the Turkish Air Force in targeting the Kurdish militants.
Contrary to Hersh's claim (read: LIE) of Israeli support for PKK, here we have an Israeli daily not only confirming the opposite, but also confirming the continuing cooperation within the US-Turkey-Israel Axis of Evil. The Americans, on the other hand, are operating U2 reconnaissance aircraft against the Kurdish Freedom Movement.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Ankara denied, on Tuesday, that the Turks have conducted any more bombing operations in Kurdistan even as Abdullah Gül bends over to publicly lick the boots of his American masters in profuse gratitude.
Murat Karayılan is right. This is pitiful, pathetic, and contemptible . . . but oh-so typical.
The only common sense about the situation of the Kurdish people under Turkish brutality is coming from Canada:
If the Turkish authorities want a long-term solution to Kurdish discontent, they will require concrete steps to respect the right of Kurds to their own cultural traditions and identity and initiatives to greatly improve the overall socio-economic situation in predominantly Kurdish provinces.
This can be accomplished only by a dialogue of goodwill and mutual respect that includes the reconciliation of Kurdish militants, not by military force.
Poor guy! He must not own any shares of stock in the military-industrial complex.
Russia's Regnum News generally does a great job of analyzing situations involving Turkey. In May 2006, Regnum analyzed the build-up of Turkish troops along the Iraqi border during Condoleezza "Chevron" Rice's April visit. Now Regnum does it again, this time analyzing the Turkish fabrication of Armenian ties to the PKK as a prelude to Turkish-Azeri aggression against Armenia. First you'll find a short history of Turkish lies regarding the so-called ties between Armenia and PKK from 1993, when the lies first appeared, until the most recent lies, which surfaced again last month. Here's a snippet:
The latest insinuations coincided almost to the date with the intensification of Baku’s war rhetoric and particularly with the statement made by the Azeri Defence Minister Safar Abiyev that “as long as the Azeri territories remain occupied by Armenia, the probability of war is almost 100 percent.” Mr Abiyev’s statement was made on November 27 at the closing press conference of the Meeting of the CIS Defence Ministers Council in Astana. On November 30, with a direct reference to the Turkish intelligence, the Turkish pro-government newspaper “Zaman” disseminated misinformation about talks between Armenia and the PKK and alleged about the installation of bases for Kurds in NKR, in the towns of Shushi, Lachin and Fizuli. (14) This bait was immediately caught and circulated by the American United Press International. (15) On December 10, Araz Azimov, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani President’s Special Representative on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, stated about “readiness of Baku to launch anti-terrorist operations against the PKK’s military detachments stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh.” (16) It is exactly the coordination of activities between Baku and Ankara with respect to the timing and target of information attack that should be cause for concern. All these could be a prelude to not so virtual attacks.
By the way, don't forget to go over to Kurdistan Observer and read Dr. Sabah Salih's "New Year's Message to Turkey". Talk about eloquence fired by righteous anger:
We can draw two conclusions from your treatment of the Kurds: one is that you have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to democracy; and two, it is obvious to us that your nationalism has been the incubator of your Kurdish problem. You have given the Kurds no choice but to fight back--and, unless you start treating them decently, fighting back they will.
Going on a bombing spree against Kurdish villages may satisfy your appetite for bloodletting; unleashing hate on Kurdistan may even make you feel better. But this will only confirm what the Kurds have been saying all along about you: that the solution to the Kurdish problem lies not really with the Kurds but with you; continue with your racist mindset and the problem will become bigger and bigger. It has already engulfed one generation of Kurds and Turks alike. Do you really want another generation of your people to be consumed by this conflict, day in and day out asking what W. H. Auden aptly asked decades ago: “What do you think about . . . this country of ours where nobody is well?”
And another thing: You want to join Europe? Beyond the obvious, have you asked yourself what Europe means? Europe is first and foremost a state of mind: the product of two hundred years of fighting against and rejecting and ridiculing the very nationalism that still defines your way of thinking. You ask the Kurds who have taken up arms against you to “repent” and surrender. But isn’t repentance, with its roots in religious orthodoxy and bigotry, the very opposite of what the European consciousness has been all about? For to repent is not just a matter of admitting guilt; it is also committing oneself to a type of thinking that belongs in dictatorships and theocracies, not democracies.
What have I been saying here about the cooperation between the Turkish Islamists and the Paşas? They cooperate together against the Kurdish people, meaning that there is no difference between them. They made a deal with each other before the July elections: Gül as president in exchange for a free hand for military operations. What have I said about "repentence" laws? Now Bianet's Ertugrul Kürkcü basically admits the same:
Kürkcü criticised this "old-fashioned pedagogy" which treated individuals like children who had made mistakes.He said that recent political developments encouraged such an attitude. It is being assumed that the lack of support for the PKK from the USA and the KDP, as well as wide-spread military attacks on PKK camps will frighten the PKK. Once things start to unravel, so the theory goes, they will surrender without caring about being treated like children. "The remaining hard core will then be destroyed, isolated in the mountains and fed to the wolves and birds. This is being assumed."
Asked about the relations between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the army, Kürkcü said: "I do not believe that either the AKP or the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are trying to solve the Kurdish question. Because if they have enough information and intelligence [...], they know that the Kurdish question cannot be solved within the borders of just one country. If we are talking about a real solution, this would mean that the Kurds would take their own destinies into their own hands in all the countries they are ruled by; since this ideal situation does not exist, there is currently no possibility of a solution."
Much more at Bianet.
For some refreshing thoughts about Kurdish-Arab relations in Iraq, check out an article by a Lebanese intellectual, translated at MarxistFromLebanon. Although I don't agree with the ideas on Kerkuk, at least the discussion is elegant enough to rise far above the usual garbage found in Western propaganda. For example:
Most of the available evidence indicates that the Kurdish population's shift towards secession started during the latter period of the Baath regime, and most significantly, since the so-called Anfal campaign of 1988-89. During that campaign, the Kurdish regions were subjected to wholesale massacres, ethnic cleansing, destruction of hundreds of villages, forced Arabization, and forced migration of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of their inhabitants. In other words, the movement favoring Kurdish secession grew in reaction to the extreme national-chauvinist and tyrannical policies pursued by the central government in dealing with the Kurdish question.
It is worth adding that the Kurdish movement towards secession was further nurtured during the years of self-rule in the 1990's and later, when the Kurdish regions in northern Iraq were outside Baghdad's control and largely isolated from the southern Arab-majority regions that remained under Baath rule.
[ . . . ]
As I am talking about secession, I should point out that I fully support the Kurdish people's right to national self-determination, including its right to secede completely and form a separate state. But my support of this right is not neutral, and I find no contradiction in being partial to another alternative: As an Arab citizen, I am also in favor of Iraq's Kurds ultimately choosing to remain within the Arab world, as an affirmation that this Arab world can be open to ethnic, regional and religious communities -- in all their diversities and multiplicities -- in a context of coexistence and cooperation that are enriching to all.
As I said, I don't agree with the comments later in the article on Kerkuk, but at least here's one Arab who supports Kurdish rights and admits that federation in Iraq faces serious problems. The thing is definitely worth a read.
"Today, we talk a lot about terrorism, but we rarely talk about state terrorism."
~ Bianca Jagger.
~ Bianca Jagger.
Reality check from the Kurdistan Democratic Alliance, in full, emphasis mine:
The unholy alliance between a terrorist state (Turkey) and its backers: USA and EU
The Turkish hostilities against Kurdish nation have taken a serious stage. In the last few weeks, the Turkish warplanes have bombed the territories of southern Kurdistan, which resulted in displacing, according to UNHCR, at least 18,000 [actually 1,800--Mizgîn] and wounding and killing a number of civilians. Thanks to the moral and logistic support of the United States of America, Turkish attacks against civilians have been effective. Those Kurds, who have been displaced, wounded or killed, are those who opened the Northern Front for the USA during the war against Saddam Hussein, while Turkish Parliament refused to allow the USA to use its territory. The same parliament has given the mandate to the Turkish army to invade southern Kurdistan. The US and Turkish pretext is to pursue a terrorist organisation.
The US and EU may regard the PKK as a “terrorist organisation” but Kurds regard Turkey and its allies as “Terrorist States”. “State Terror” is the most devastating form of terror to the civilians and the environment.
The PKK is not the cause; it is the symptom of the lack of democracy, civil society, rule of law and severe oppression of the Kurdish nation by the Turkish state. The suppression of the Kurds in Turkey may have constituted genocide. It can be safely argued that, if not physical genocide, Turkey has committed cultural genocide against the Kurds. [Cultural genocide being the same thing as physical genocide since, in this case, both wipe Kurds off the Earth--Mizgîn]
Nonetheless, the PKK is an important element of the Kurdish cause in the north. In the absence of democratic elections for northern Kurds to elect their representatives for their own regional government and parliament, the PKK today is the most effective organisation in asserting the Kurdish identity, which is banned in Turkey despite the EU’s claim of changes in Turkey domestic policies. If we like it or not, millions of Kurds in the north regard the PKK as their own representative. This reality has to be accepted by Turkey, United States and E.U.
If Turkey, EU and USA are genuine in solving the “Turkish problem” and meet the “Kurdish quest”, they must have the courage to pursue granting the Kurdish nation their legal status that they deserve, the right to self determination. This is the same right that any European nations, like Scottish, Wales, Basks and other have. It is nothing new and it is in accordance to the United Nations charter.
The hypocrisy of the EU member states is clear. They would even encourage the accession of a nation like Scotland. They support a Palestinian state and are ready to recognise an independent Kosovo while they link the Kurdish quest for their legitimate rights to “terrorism”.
Turkey as a state, that rejects the recognition of a nation of 40 million people, must not be given any space among the civilised nations. US and EU, have their share in the present repression to that the Kurdish people are subjected. The US and EU alliance with Turkey is against human dignity, democracy, human Rights and social justice. Yet, both the USA and EU consider themselves as the defenders of these concepts.
While the Turkish terror campaign continuous, the Kurdish leadership in Kurdistan and Iraq have proven that they are in shambles and incapable of leading the nation. Their failure in implementing Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution within its timescale, end of 2007, is a living example of the current leadership’s failure. The Kurdistani people deserve a more capable leadership than its current one, which appear to have no strategy and they compromise on all the Kurdish national interests. They have a too comfortable life and are not ready to sacrifice this comfort for the Kurdish national interests. A leadership that is drawn deep in corruption form top to bottom is unable to progress a quest of a nation.
The Kurds must not stay idle while they are slaughtered under the pretext of terrorists. They must stage a worldwide political and diplomatic campaign to undo the current regime of suppression. Turkey and its backers, US and EU, must understand that they cannot continue this suppression for longer. The Kurdish nation is well aware of this international conspiracy and they would react in due course.
The Kurdistan Democratic Alliance condemn strongly the naked present aggression against Kurdish nation and demand the aggressors to opt for peaceful and democratic solution that enforces peace and stability in the whole region of Middle East. The Kurdistan Democratic Alliance also calls upon the US and EU to honour the democracy, human rights and social justice they preach.
The Kurdistan Democratic Alliance
26 December 2007
Now, I would urge everyone to think back to the time when the TBMM voted for cross-border operations into South Kurdistan. Who were the only parliamentarians to vote against military operations? The only ones to vote against the military option were the DTP parliamentarians and Ufuk Uras, the ethnic Turk socialist of the ÖDP. And that is how you tell who are the real Kurds in the TBMM.
In fact, Ufuk Uras is more Kurdish than Barzanî or Talabanî.
Monday, December 24, 2007
"Amongst Kurds, one of the lowest things that can be done in society is reporting another person. In Kurdish eyes, the US has become this kind of reporter by giving coordinates for Kurds living in northern Iraq.....The US has issued messages of unity at bayram, but is then having bombs rain down on Kurdish heads."
~ Halil Aksoy, DTP Istanbul Chairman.
~ Halil Aksoy, DTP Istanbul Chairman.
HPG confirms that there were no casualties in yesterday's bombing of the Medya Defense Zone--in spite of assistance provided to the Ankara regime by overflights of American reconnaissance aircraft. Yet the fantasies continue in the minds of the Paşas:
After comparing photos, intelligence reports gained from various sources they defined that at least 300 terrorists were killed in 12 camps. Moreover, Japan-production modern communication center “Yasu” which was established by PKK in Qandil Mountains was destructed and office of “Firat” News Agency serving to terrorists was also destructed. Nearly 100 terrorists left PKK after operation.
That news comes from an Azerbaijani news agency and we know that the Azerbaijanis are deeply involved with the Deep State.
Shiraz Socialist notes the lack of coverage of the bombings not only in the mainstream media, but also in the Left press:
You probably didn’t know about this: it hasn’t been a prominent issue in the Left press, and hasn’t gotten much coverage in the mainstream papers either. But for those of you who didn’t know, the Turkish airforce has been bombing Kurdistan for the past two days. Remarkable that nothing much has been said about it by the “left” (one can only imagine what would be said if the jets were flying from Israel rather than Turkey), but there we have it. I’m highlighting the issue for you now anyway.
[ . . . ]
If there is one salutory lesson we should take into the new year it is that we as the left are supposed to oppose all oppression - whether the oppressed concerned are of political convenience to us or not. The Kurds’ story tells us that we are not always as good or as consistent as we ought to be. It’s time we changed that.
Well, a big part of the problem is that there really is no Left. There is really no true political discourse in the West because it has been totally corporatized. The Left and the Right are exactly the same.
Meanwhile, the Southern Kurdish so-called leadership bemoans the continued bombing:
Massoud Barzani said his people "cannot accept" the bombing raids and shelling to continue and condemned the attacks which began on Dec. 16. On Sunday, Turkish fighter jets bombed Kurdish rebel targets inside Iraqi territory, in the fourth cross-border operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in one week.
"We cannot accept this situation to continue," Barzani told reporters in the northern city of Sulaimaniyah. "We cannot accept our villages to be bombed and our people killed."
[ . . . ]
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, also a Kurd, said Iraq's foreign minister had summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad and lodged a formal complaint, but said he did not want to exacerbate tensions between Iraq and its neighbor. He was standing next to Barzani.
Actually, these two mini-globalists don't want to exacerbate tensions that may end up damaging the exploitation of South Kurdistan by foreign (i.e. Turkish) investment, which would, in turn, affect their personal bottom lines.
Hîwa weighs in on the matter, noting the loss of the Kerkuk by our mini-globalists. Certainly the issue is linked because Kerkuk and the idea of a strong, autonomous Southern Kurdish region is something the Ankara regime cannot stand. Nor can the Americans stand the idea of losing control of Kerkuk's oil fields, since they went to war for the purpose of controlling Iraq's oil. With regard to the PKK, Hîwa hits the nail on the head:
Current raids only make PKK stronger and it is the pure reality of life that when you even argue with someone, unless they reply you will not have the tempo to go on and on! I believe the fresh attacks by Turkey has only given PKK more and more reason to caryy on and fight! I am sure there will be people who will be more than happy to help the PKK fight a government which has got more than PKK to fear!
He is exactly right and, in order to reinforce reality, let's remember what Osman Baydemir said recently:
If Turkey’s perception of the Kurds remained unchanged then another party would emerge bearing a different name if the PKK were to disappear.
This fact of the Kurdish reality stands in stark contrast to the ignorance of the "experts":
Future military strikes, conducted with the precision demonstrated on the 16th will force the PKK to disperse, reducing the effectiveness of their training and rest areas between attacks as has been the case; the Qandil Mts area, long thought to be perhaps the top no-go area in the world, is now on notice, day or night, that it is subject to pinpoint bombing.
Younger PKK members, no longer subjected to the harsh training regimen (including death) and seeing the possibility of another life beginning with the Repentance Law, will begin falling away or never joining. If Turkey will work with Iraq to grant the Kurds more autonomy the Pesh Merga represents another potential path for Kurdish youth, as does membership in Turkey’s village guards. Finally, “attacking” the PKK in other than military ways - publicizing the PKK’s drug operations and human trafficking operations, working against the PKK diplomatically in W. Europe, going after PKK financing, will bring about the end of the PKK much faster than trying to do it with military force alone - emulating the successes achieved by the US in the Global War on Terror.
Oh, yeah, we all know that the American Global War on Terror, Inc., is an undertaking that has reaped endless benefits for the entire world . . . or at least for the fascist ruling elite.
First of all, no "repentence" law will ever work. It didn't work in 2003, the last time the Ankara regime offered such nonsense at the urging of the totally-disconnected-from-reality Americans:
The US reportedly assured Ankara during Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s recent visit to Washington that it would eradicate the terrorist group from the region.
Requirements of such bogus laws, given fascist Turkish jurdisprudence, usually include snitching on comrades, not having engaged in "crimes", and helping to manufacture lies about PKK's so-called "crimes." Then there is the fact that such laws include the word "repentence" (pişmanlık, in Turkish). Repentance implies that one has done something wrong, but PKK has done nothing wrong so there is no need for "repentance."
Secondly, the idea of Kurdish youth joining the Village Guards is absolutely ridiculous. No politicized youth would think of assisting the state in its official policy of genocide.
As for the rest of the Ankara regime's lies that are repeated by the "experts", well, all I can do is point to Osman Baydemir's comments once again. The "repentance" law didn't work in 2003 and Erdoğan's current efforts to that end is certainly not going to work now that both the US and Turkey are targeting civilian Kurds with aerial bombing.
The Americans and the Turks are two peoples that are almost exactly alike in every detail. Take, for example, these comments:
Turkey has the right to defend itself against Kurdish rebels based in Iraq but must make sure it does not destabilize its neighbor, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Sunday.
Ryan Crocker made the remarks before news emerged that Turkey had bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Sunday - for the third time in the past week. Turkish warplanes also bombed positions held by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, on Saturday and on Dec. 16.
``We've been clear on this. The PKK is a terrorist organization, it has carried out a number of lethal actions in Turkey from bases in Iraq, and the Turks clearly have a right to defend their country and their people,'' Crocker told reporters in Baghdad.
He made the comments as Turkish jets were bombing an area about 50 miles north of the city of Irbil near the border with Turkey for about an hour and a half.
Along with the "counterterrorism experts," the US State Department never acknowledges the conditions which caused Kurds to begin a legitimate armed struggle. Nor will the Americans ever admit exactly what those conditions are because the Americans eagerly helped to create those conditions and today the Americans eagerly maintain those conditions. The Americans have eagerly given the Ankara regime the weapons systems and training necessary for carrying out genocide, and the Americans continue to eagerly do the very same thing today.
In short, the Americans are guilty of genocide.
The always full-of-shit Justin Raimondo is moaning about Barzanî's refusal to meet with Condi "Chevron" Rice last week, and he gets caught in a huge lie about the bagging incident of 2003. Everyone remembers that Turkish Special Forces were caught by US forces as the Turks were on their way to assassinate the Kurdish governor of Kerkuk. Earlier, in April of the same year, Turkish Special Forces were caught as they were smuggling arms to the Iraqi Turkmen Front, a fact which prompted American Col. Mayville to say that the Turks "did not come with a pure heart."
Now, though, the liar Raimondo claims that the Turks were caught by the Americans, in 2003, as they were in "hot pursuit" of PKK, which is a complete lie, especially since PKK had virtually no operations at the time.
Raimondo, yet again, refers to Seymour Hersh's lies of Israel as an ally of PKK. Yes, that's the same Seymour Hersh who gets all his information from prominent members of the Ankara regime, like Abdullah Gül. It's awfully strange that Raimondo harps on the nonexistent Israel-PKK relationship yet never manages to write anything about the intimate relationship between Turkey and Israel, or of the intimate relationship between the Turkish and Israeli lobbies in the US.
That's almost as strange as Raimondo's utter silence on the joint American-Turkish genocide of the Kurdish people. I'm willing to bet that Justin Raimondo and Michael Rubin are twins that were separated at birth.
Also, check the latest from Gordon Taylor at Progressive Historians. He's got something on The $20 Million Sheep Hunt.
I have said repeatedly that the US will not go into the mountains to fight PKK for a number of reasons. The same thing is now being said elsewhere, with the point being that, since 1984, Turkey has had no success in annihilating PKK:
Syrian Middle Eastern expert Sami Moubayed says the US is reluctant to clamp down on the PKK in northern Iraq for a variety of reasons. "They know - thanks to Turkey - how difficult it is to combat a guerilla movement. The Turks have been doing it since the 1970s and they have not succeeded at bring the PKK to its knees - despite the arrest of the party's founder and leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in the 1990s."
Moubayed says if the Turks, who know the terrain and are fighting on their own territory, have been unable to eliminate the PKK, then the US, with its very limited hands-on military experience, certainly will not. "Plus, the Americans already have too much to cope with, combating a Sunni and Shiite insurgency in central Iraq."
Once again, that brings us back to the words of Osman Baydemir that, as everything stands right now, that if the enemies manage to close down PKK as we know it, another organization with the same aims will spring up from the ashes . . . the phoenix that is Our People's Hope.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"To Turkey, what did you do with your own power? You cannot pretend as a victorious army by getting the opportunities from the US through begging."
~ Murat Karayılan.
~ Murat Karayılan.
All right, first order of business . . . go over to Hevallo's place and check out his report on the recent conference on the Kurdish situation at Chatham House in the UK. Even TDN picked up on the conclusion of the Chatham House conference:
Turkey can probably never defeat the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and cross-border attacks on its bases in Iraq are almost certainly futile, a leading think-tank said Wednesday.
Chatham House, noting that the Iraqi government is cautious about confronting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), added that Kurdish nationalism is experiencing a popular and "political renaissance" in the whole region. "The PKK is a well-motivated force that enjoys local support and the protection afforded by the inaccessible terrain of the border regions," it said in a report, released a day after Turkish troops entered northern Iraq.
"Turkey can probably never defeat the PKK and any further incursions across the border are likely to be futile," it added.
Futile, indeed. Hevallo himself called for the decriminalization of PKK and for pressure to be applied to the Ankara regime for a peaceful, negotiated settlement. Also of note from Hevallo's blog is the interview with Osman Baydemir, who says, among other things:
In my personal opinion, the PKK is not the reason behind the Kurdish problem; rather it is an outcome of the Kurdish problem. If the Turkish perception [of the Kurds] since 1924, when the Turkish republic was first established, to date was not the way it is then there would be no reason for the presence of the PKK.
Weapons are never the language of dialogue when it pertains to a problem. If Turkey’s perception of the Kurds remained unchanged then another party would emerge bearing a different name if the PKK were to disappear.
Hevallo also has the intestinal fortitude to dig into Michael Rubin's latest bullshit at the AEI.
In yesterday's post I said: "It would be a mistake to think that Turkey's US-backed attacks against Kurdistan las weekend were an anomaly. Harsh reality is that the "Surge" has gone north and it's now directed against Kurdistan." So it should come as no surprise that there were more air strikes against South Kurdistan on Saturday. Now there isn't much humor to be found in the results of the air attacks, but there's loads of humor to be found in the Paşas' official statements about the attacks:
"It will become well understood how effective the operations against the terrorist operations are," the military's statement said. The PKK "no longer has a chance of success" against the Turkish army.
Actions over recent weeks had left "hundreds of terrorists" dead, it added.
Weren't the Paşas talking that same gû thirty years ago? What do you expect from a pack of dinosaurs with the collective brain mass of a walnut?
On the other hand, if you want something to make you really hot about the joint American-Turkish bombings of civilians, then you have to watch a report from Roj TV, carried over at Özgür Gündem, that shows some of the after effects of the bombing. If you watch the first half of the clip, you won't need to understand a word of Turkish or Kurdish to understand exactly what happened on the ground a week ago. For that reason, I strongly urge everyone to view at least the first half of the video. This is reality which you are never going to see aired in Western media because the West, in collusion with the genocidal Ankara regime, is guilty of the destruction and suffering.
In fact, Murat Karayılan would tell you the very same thing because there's an interview with him at Özgür Gündem, titled "The operation is an international attack," in which the air strikes figure prominently in the discussion. Here is what I consider the meat of the conversation:
This situation, in which you have the US on one side and Iran on the other, shows the reality of the world that is based on profit. It shows how everyone is an actor in the Kurdish question and plays with it. In fact, this situation came up because the Turkish government used its geostrategic situation as a bargaining chip to annihilate the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Turkey is signing agreements with Iran which, just like the Turkish government, has the Kurdish population is under its dominance. All these incidents are based on the Turkish government's policy, which is based on enmity against the Kurds.
Even though the US does not have a resolution to settle the Kurdish question, for its own profit sometimes it recognizes the Kurds as allies and sometimes as enemies. Thus this double standard appears clearly. The US is endeavoring to found a new system in the region based on the support of the Kurds; it is also supporting the Turkish Republic--which is as brutal as the Saddam regime was--by providing intelligence and opening Iraq's air space. Thus it also takes the responsibility for the recent attacks. However, these air strikes and shelling from international cooperation against our movement, resulted in failure. Even though it caused five martyred comrades and two civilian patriots, because of the precautions that our movement took, these attacks were ineffective. Besides, while Iran contributed [to the attacks] by shelling, Iraq's government, was also one of the allies of the attacking countries.
Thus Turkey's claim that our movement gets support from foreign countries is refuted by the international cooperation with the TSK against our movement.
Our movement is one of the unique movements that executes its struggle without having any support from outside, but depends on its own power. The Turkish government claims that our movement is nourished by illegal smuggling, which is a big lie. Firstly, our movement is a movement that is against every kind of drug that is ideologically and morally harmful to humans, and in our daily lives we have proved this. However, the Turkish government uses these kinds of lies in order to cover its weakness. And with these attacks, all we have seen is which side is more dependent on foreign assistance, and who is making everything a bargaining chip.
Another important point is that the US gave intelligence, approval, and, maybe, joined the attack with a couple of its aircraft [see the information on American AWACS at the end of this post--Mizgîn]. But all they did was bomb Kurdish villagers, their homes, killed their animals, destroyed their school and hospital. Despite all these facts, as Turkish media brought up, they are congratulating each other, crying out victory rhetoric, and putting themselves in a funny position in the international arena. To Turkey, what did you do with your own power? You cannot pretend as a victorious army by getting the opportunities from the US through begging.
Buyukanit is proud of knowing what a good servant he is to the US by receiving intelligence from it. However, this is nothing to be proud of, but it is a pitiful situation. With this mentality, it is obvious that they are going to sell Turkey and they will drag the Turkish people into big adventures and make them lose the century.
Karayılan says the Kurdish Freedom Movement expects pinpoint attacks throughout the winter in South Kurdistan. At the same time, they expect that TSK will intensify its brutality in North Kurdistan and that the US, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq will move to narrow the manoeuvrability of the Kurdish Freedom Movement internationally. Karayılan expects that these policies will be executed until the spring and that the main attacks will be against North Kurdistan, where the majority of the gerîlas are located. Although the Ankara regime always points to South Kurdistan as the target, in reality the regime's most intensified attacks against the Kurdish people take place in North Kurdistan.
TSK's attacks against the gerîlas in North Kurdistan will be made with the hope of keeping the gerîlas from making preparations for the spring. As a result, Karayılan says that the spring and summer of 2008 will be very important in terms of the Kurdish struggle in Turkey.
If I've said it once, I've said it one hundred times: Stop the cooperation.
Now, think about this: What was Barzanî doing in Austria a few weeks ago? Think he went there for coffee and pastries, or for the mountain scenery? Think again.
Friday, December 21, 2007
"By a combination of creative strategies and advanced technologies, we are redefining war on our terms. In this new era of warfare, we can target a regime, not a nation."
~ George W. Bush, speech to Lockheed Murderers, St. Louis, MO, 16 April 2003.
~ George W. Bush, speech to Lockheed Murderers, St. Louis, MO, 16 April 2003.
In the wake of joint US-Turkish attacks against the PKK and Kurdish civilians in South Kurdistan, there's something that Kurds should start thinking about: an air war.
Vineyardsaker sent me some information on just this subject which he picked up from Lenin over at Lenin's Tomb. Lenin got his hands on some statistics on the US air war in Iraq and Afghanistan, which you can take a look at over at his place. Now, this information is no big secret and there have been a few articles about the general, wanton destruction and civilian casualties caused by this method of warfare. Senior British commanders have publicly complained about US Special Forces and the airstrikes they call which kill hordes of civilians. However, I fear that the point made by Lenin on the distinct possibility of the US--and Turkey--using this kind of warfare in Kurdistan should be very well taken [original emphasis by Lenin]:
The hostile terrain of Afghanistan, and the fact that few are actually covering it very extensively, makes it an ideal target for this kind of ferocious assault - with, as we saw last year, a rolling wave of massacres in the country. Inevitably, since the air war hasn't been covered much by the media, and given its insensitivity to 'enemy' casualties, those massacres reported are a tiny sample of the true total.
Did you pay attention to the part about the media? If you have been paying attention to most of the Western media's reporting on the American-Turkish aerial attacks against the Kurdish people, you may have noticed that not much was said about civilian casualties and the destruction of property--which is the shelter and livelihood of the victims. If you've been checking to see what the blogosphere has been writing about these attacks, you will have noticed that there is rarely a mention of civilian victims. The right-wing fascist blogosphere, such as Pajamas Media and the like, have mentioned absolutely nothing about this new air war. But, then, they don't talk about the huge amounts of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, either. They write off every death inflicted by the "noble" coalition as "terrorist" deaths.
Büyükanıt clearly stated that there were absolutely no civilian casualties from his aerial bombardment of Kurdistan and that the entire fiasco was a blazing success. Of course, the Turkish dailies have faithfully reported Büyükanıt's lies and will not dare to contradict their ruler by stating the truth. In short, there has been absolutely no acknowledgement or discussion of the murder of civilians and the destruction of their property in the Turkish dailies.
The only place where I've seen Turkish media mention the reality of the destruction is in an article at Bianet (similar English article here).
The media blackout on the truth about this new type of warfare is something that is planned and promoted by the governments involved, as described in early 2004 by Project on Defense Alternatives. If a bomb falls in Kurdistan and no one hears it, does it matter to anyone what was destroyed?
For more on the obfuscated air war and ignored casualties, see ZNet and TomDispatch.
Here are some of Vineyardsaker's comments on the matter:
The so-called 'Surge', and its alleged success, are based on two fundamental tactics: the first one is the so-called 'Redirection' which consists of buying off the Sunni resistance, including all those groups who only yesterday were called 'terrorists'; the second new tactic is massive increasing in the use of airpower.
[ . . . ]
. . . Add to this the US support for Turkey against the Kurds and you have all the ingredients of a complete nightmare and even more bloodshed. The 'Surge' will go down in history as one of the dumbest and most immoral political stunts ever devised.
It would be a mistake to think that Turkey's US-backed attacks against Kurdistan las weekend were an anomaly. Harsh reality is that the "Surge" has gone north and it's now directed against Kurdistan.
Let's see if the US "surges" the Lakota Sioux by air for their recent declaration of independence. Why do the Sioux want their independence? Because they have 33 treaties with the US, which the US has never honored.
Surprise, surprise, surprise!
The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average. 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%.
"After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative," emphasized Duane Martin Sr. "The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway."
What kind of mental disease makes anyone think that the Americans are worthy of trust or that they give a damn about minority ethnicities?
Wake up, Kurdistan! Don't wait for 150 years.