Thursday, November 16, 2006


“The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”
~ Confucius.

KurdishMedia has something on Dean, the Democratic National Convention, and Kurds. With Howard Dean's acquiescence to Turkish propaganda, and Michael Rubin's sucking up to his Turkish friends, it's fairly clear that those of us who have been suspicious about US intentions toward Kurds, have had a basis in reality for those suspicions.

With the reappearance of the Kissingerians on the US foreign policy stage, and the upcoming results of James Baker's Iraq study group, everyone should be suspicious. Realpolitik is about to run amok.

On the DNC post from the other day, Vlad left an URL to an International Herald Tribune article (Thanks, Vlad). The title of the article is revealing: "Winning back the Turks." Let me think . . . if I remember correctly, the American administration was irate with Turkey for its March, 2003 parliamentary vote which pretty much screwed up US plans for the invasion of Iraq. But now, F. Stephen Larabee, an academic who's been bought and paid for by the RAND Corporation, is making it sound like the Turks were the ones who were irate. Interesting spin.

Mr. Larabee certainly sounds enthusiastic about the Ralston appointment, but I had a few questions about that, so I sent him an email, as follows:

Dear Mr. Larabee,

I read with interest your recent article in the International Herald Tribune titled, "Winning back the Turks."

However, I was wondering how you could view the appointment of Joseph Ralston as "special envoy" to counter the PKK as a sign that the Bush Administration takes Turkish concerns seriously when Joseph Ralston is a member of the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin, is on file with the Senate under the Lobby Disclosure Act of 1995 as a lobbyist with The Cohen Group for Lockheed Martin, and is a member of the current American Turkish Council Advisory board, an organization in which Lockheed Martin is a member. Since October, Lockheed Martin secured a $2.9 billion sale of F-16's to Turkey, and is on track to secure a $10 billion sale for the F-35. All of this coincided with Ralston's first two visits to Ankara as "special envoy."

Isn't this appointment indicative of an obvious and extreme conflict of interest? Whose interests is Joseph Ralston working for, US interests, Turkish interests, or Lockheed Martin's interests? How will this appointment help to solve the severe problems in Turkey, such as the long history of gross human rights abuses against the Kurdish people, or the Turkish military's continued dominance over civilian government? That second example was a serious concern of Turkey's outgoing EU envoy to Turkey, Hansjoerg Kretschmer.

I would be interested to hear your views on this matter.



I'll let you know what I hear. In the meantime, you can start familiarizing yourself with the RAND Corporation. Basically, it was created by the US Air Force and most of its work has to do with "national security issues." I think that means they are always figuring ways to sell more weapons.

On the same day as the Larabee article, IHT ran another article, this time comparing Turkish Cypriots, Kurds, and the hypocrisy of the Ankara regime in its treatment of both. By Kirsty Hughes, not of the RAND Corporation:

Turkey complains vociferously about the European Union's unfair treatment of the politically and economically isolated Turkish Cypriots. Why then shouldn't Turkey grant a big chunk of its own citizens - the Kurds - the same rights it demands for people who are not even Turkish nationals?

There are many similarities between Northern Cyprus and the Turkish southeast, where many of Turkey's estimated 15 to 20 million Kurds live.

[ . . . ]

But it's the differences that are more striking. Turkey is loudly championing the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the EU. But anyone who champions Kurdish rights in Turkey risks being accused of separatism and even terrorism.

While Turkey expects international support for its Cyprus solution, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality between the two communities, it argues the precise opposite for its own Kurdish citizens.

Read the whole thing. It's really pretty good and certainly very refreshing.


Vlad said...

Lebanese newspaper about Ralston/Turkish airplanes.

Mizgîn said...

Thanks Vlad. I have already seen that one and it is ready for tomorrow's post.

Anonymous said...

Turkish Cypriots were a legally recognized partner in the Cyprus Republic. Greek elements encouraged and backed by Greek Junta sought to unite with Greece, and started ethnic cleansing of Turkish Cypriots. Turkey intervened after it was clear that neither the third guarantor England nor any other international body would/could do anything. Turkish Cypriots were saved, but they have since been living in legal limbo under embargo.

Kurds in Turkey have been and are an integral part of the society, not a separate, legally recognized group. They are subject to the same laws, have the same rights and duties as any other Turkish citizen. (Only Christian minorities in Turkey have separate legal status; IMHO, that should be abolished immediately.) Some may be unhappy with that, but it is ridiculous to draw such a parallel as Kirsty Hughes does between their and Turkish Cypriots' conditions.

Yes, Kurds (or Kurdish regions) in modern Turkey have been subjected to extraordinary rule, forced relocations, and military measures. Let alone the fact that such measures came in response to Kurdish rebellions and separatist insurgencies (which were not in the Turkish Cypriots' case), never has it been claimed that they don't belong in Turkey, never has there been a move to ethnically cleanse the land of them in an attempt to forge a new entity. Historically, Turks and Kurds have been united by common religion (which again wasn't the case with Greek and Turkish Cypriots); they moved around and about, intermarried, prospered or got impoverished together. It is a cheap tactic to focus on certain geographies where poverty has been more widespread, and point to Kurdish condition there as evidence of discrimination. Compare them to Turkish population in the same geographies, or compare the prosperous Kurdish people living in the more developed western and northwestern regions of Turkey to others living in the same places.

It is understood that, in forging modern Turkey as a nation beyond the old "ummet" unity, Turkey has overreached and made mistakes. Maybe, she made it inevitable that Kurds would eventually fall apart due to continual denial of their ethnic identity. But, historically speaking, this is what Europe has taught Turkey. You know where nation-state was invented... IMHO, there is no way out of this Turkish-Kurdish conflict through European ways and means. Since becoming an "ummet" under Sharia again is not a viable option, maybe US system and constitution can provide some inspiration. It would be a folly for Turks to actually believe granting minority and other rights to Kurds should solve the problem. Not all Kurds would be satisfied with this, not for long anyway, and many Turks would resent it. It would be a time-bomb planted while the previous one is being dismantled.

It would be wise for Turks to be open-minded towards new horizons, and for Kurds to realize their most recent PKK-instigated terror and propaganda campaign has turned into a war of attrition which they cannot win. Half-hearted, tactical appeals to European values or the like are bound to fail. Especially when the EU is giving Turkey the cold shoulder, and yet Turkey is too important for the West; they simple cannot attempt to shuffle, cut and deal again like a deck of cards.

Mizgîn said...

On Turkey's genocide of the Kurdish people:

The Invisible War in North Kurdistan

HRW: Displaced and Disregarded

Evaluation of the Human Rights Situation in the Kurdish Region

Human Rights in the Kurdish Southeast

The Cultural and Environmental Impact of Large Dams in Southeast Turkey

On Turkey's ethnic cleansing of millions of Kurds in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan: The Status of Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey and Compensation Rights

From the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide:

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

It is a crime to plan or incite genocide, even before killing starts, and to aid or abet genocide: Criminal acts include conspiracy, direct and public incitement, attempts to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide.

Punishable Acts

The following are genocidal acts when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence:

Killing members of the group includes direct killing and actions causing death.

Causing serious bodily or mental harm includes inflicting trauma on members of the group through widespread torture, rape, sexual violence, forced or coerced use of drugs, and mutilation.

Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services. Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.

Prevention of births includes involuntary sterilization, forced abortion, prohibition of marriage, and long-term separation of men and women intended to prevent procreation.

Forcible transfer of children may be imposed by direct force or by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or other methods of coercion. The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines children as persons under the age of 18 years.

Genocidal acts need not kill or cause the death of members of a group. Causing serious bodily or mental harm, prevention of births and transfer of children are acts of genocide when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence.

The law protects four groups - national, ethnical, racial or religious groups.

A national group means a set of individuals whose identity is defined by a common country of nationality or national origin.

An ethnical group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common cultural traditions, language or heritage.

A racial group means a set of individuals whose identity is defined by physical characteristics.

A religious group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common religious creeds, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals.

Turkey is guilty of genocide of Kurds since Mustafa Kemal began it in 1923. People who do not rebel against their own genocide are not people; they are sheep. PKK is not a terrorist organization. The US and Turkish governments are terrorist organizations. All those governments who aid and abet them are terrorist organizations.

The US and the EU are guilty of genocide along with Turkey, according to the Convention. That is why they, and others, conspired together against Ocalan's peace initiative.