Wednesday, December 14, 2005

US IS REPAIRING TIES WITH TURKEY


"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.


"Old soldiers never die; they only fade away," was a line made famous by the American general, Douglas MacArthur. Unfortunately, some old soldiers don't fade away quickly enough.

Former general and national security advisor Brent Scowcroft is still around to take a check or two from the Turkish lobby in the US, as chairman of the American Turkish Council board of directors. He was in Turkey recently, ostensibly to check on the status of the Turkish business community, but he also visited with a few old friends of his, the Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and the army Chief of General Staff, Hilmi Ozkok. It would appear that Chairman Scowcroft had more to say about Kemalist issues than he did about business in this article from The New Anatolian.

I suspect Scowcroft really made the trip to reinforce the recent visits of CIA and FBI officials because he reiterates the purpose of those meetings in Ankara and the steps Turkey wants the US to take against PKK: assisting with the tracking and freezing of PKK financial assets and delivering the intelligence Ankara has been begging for, among other things. That information, plus Scowcroft's comment that he isn't at liberty to discuss anything in detail, should be more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove that he isn't so concerned with the Turkish business community.

(As a point of clarification, let me say that whenever a Kemalist or their supporters, in this case, Scowcroft, speak of PKK, they mean "Kurds," and when they speak of Kurds, they mean "PKK." To them, all Kurds are terrorists. After all, Erdogan doesn't have a Kurdish problem . . . he only has a "terrorist" problem and it is this "terrorist" problem that the US will help him solve.)

In fact, given that Turkey's purchases of US weapon systems have dropped since AKP took power, and since Scowcroft laments the loss of coziness the Turkish and US military enjoyed for so long, we could say that here is another piece of circumstantial evidence that Scowcroft's mission has little to do with business and everything to do with renewing an old romance. In other words, the US is looking for common objectives with Turkey.

Speaking of weapons, Scowcroft expresses his concern that the types of weapons that HPG uses in the "Southeast" against the TSK are the same kinds of weapons being used against American troops in Iraq. He makes no mention of the fact that the same weapons and weapons systems used by the American army in Iraq are the same ones the TSK has been using against the civilian Kurdish population of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan for many years.

He acknowledges an "upsurge" in HPG activity in the "Southeast," after a relatively calm period--that would be the PKK-initiated unilateral ceasefire--but he fails to mention that the Ankara regime did nothing to improve the "Southeast" during that time. Related to the "upsurge" of "terrorist" activity in the "Southeast," Scowcroft also fails to mention the Ankara regime's terrorist activity that began in the region in the early 1920s.

Another indication of Scowcroft's quasi-official visit (remember, he spoke with his old buddies, Gul and Ozkok) is the fact that he was against Operation Iraqi Freedom, just like his Turkish buddies were, but he's now pressing the fact that the war is a done deal and everyone must move on and make the best of things. Scowcroft pleads that case that Turkey and the US must work together to see that the kind of Iraq that emerges is the kind of Iraq that Turkey and the US want. What will happen if the people of Iraq have a different vision of their own future? We'll have to wait to see about that, since Scowcroft dodged the question about the Kurds in South Kurdistan.

After all this, it should come as no surprise that Scowcroft pushes the Kemalist party line on Armenians, Cyprus and GAP, and while the number of American students applying to study in Turkey has dropped 12% in the last year (a reaction to that rising anti-Americanism in Turkey?), Scowcroft believes the atmosphere in Turkey is perfect for American investors.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, Ibrahim Parlak's attorneys have filed their motion for stay of removal and the reply memorandum to the motion can be found here. It is short, as far as legal documents go, and is worth a read as a great summation of Ibrahim's case. The point that the legal battle seems to boil down to is the following:


At its most fundamental level, Mr. Parlak’s petition presents the following question: can an immigrant like Mr. Parlak, who made forthright disclosures about his past association with the PKK on his asylum application in 1991 and was granted asylum with INS knowledge of these disclosures, be later deported under INA §237(a)(4)(B) on the basis of a retroactive recharacterization in 2004 of these 1980s events as “terrorist activity”?



Apparently, this issue has not been definitely decided by any US federal court, which, I believe, means that Ibrahim's case may have the potential to set a legal precedent on the question of retroactive application of law. . . at least US immigration law. The interesting thing is that the US Circuit Courts of Appeal seem to be slamming the Board of Immigration Appeals, criticizing the Board for various incompetencies such as not being familiar with the basic information of petitioners' cases, making factual conclusions that are completely unsupported by evidence, the use of disparagement and sarcasm by BIA judges toward petitioners or the display of hostility and extraordinary abuse toward petitioners. . . Some of the legal documents on FreeIbrahim are quite revealing about the way in which immigration issues are handled within the federal government. It is a great thing to have separate, federal courts to which one may appeal.

In addition, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) and Representative Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) have introduced a bill in both houses of Congress to obtain permanent residency for Ibrahim so that he cannot be deported.

6 comments:

Philip said...

Good f'ing grief!! I just read the entire TNA interview w/Mehmet Scowcroft...how pathetic it is to see a former general and public official reduced to bum-kissing by the Bosporus and pretending he has anything more to offer than an annual "Screw the Kurds!" column in the Wall Street Journal...which is always ignored.

Actually, Mehmet was always more of a politician's general, not a warrior, and ALWAYS urged restraint in the face of tyrants...Remember when he toasted the Butchers of Beijing just a few months after they slaughtered China's democracy activists? He advised Bush I to give that historical and pathetic "Chicken Kiev" speech, and he was also one of the most adamant Bush I advisers against pressing the 1991 war to finish off Saddam. "THAT REALLY WORKED OUT WELL."

He's taken to weeping lately that he doesn't understand the decisions that his old pal Cheney is making, "it's like he's a different person."

No, Mehmet, Dick Cheney was always pro-freedom, and he's proved it by his conduct the last 5 years. You, on the other hand, were always faking. Your value was COMFORT, not freedom, which is why you love the fine meals and drinks with your dictator-pals. God forbid something unwelcome like people seeking freedom comes along to disturb the elegant and genteel banquet..."Take them out back and have them shot, but QUIETLY!"

The Turks still adore him for his 2002 column when he begged Bush not to liberate Iraq!! What does that tell you?

Mehmet Scowcroft is a pathetic and disgaceful parody of an American military officer and public servant. Thank God his venality is exceeded only by his ineffectualness.

Mizgîn said...

Hehehe. . . yeah, I guess retirement isn't all its made out to be.

We remember how such cautious men as Scowcroft and Powell--another politician's general--screwed the Kurds and the Shi'a in 1991.

Seriously, don't you think this guy is working hard for the money? And it's a damned dirty job too!

This whole interview made me sick.

berxwedan said...

Brent Scowcroft.. Let's see.. Head of the American Turkish Council..

Below is an excerpt from an interview by Scott Horton with the FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds:

---

SH: So let's get into some of that criminal activity then. The semi-legit organization that I think you are most often referring to is the American Turkish Council, which is headed by Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser of the United States, and is packed with the leaders of Raytheon, Motorola, Boeing, Lockheed, Martin Marietta, and some of the most powerful company names in the military-industrial complex.

SE: Correct.

SH: Is the ATC just one of many semi-legitimate organizations that you are referring to, or is most of this story focused on the ATC itself?

SE: There are many.

SH: And many organizations that you actually were overhearing?

SE: I cannot talk to you about what I was overhearing, but as I have pointed out there are several organizations.

SH: Okay, and you mention when you talk about criminal activity, drug-running, money-laundering, weapons-smuggling…

SE: And these activities overlap. It's not like okay, you have certain criminal entities that are involved in nuclear black market, and then you have certain entities bringing narcotics from the East. You have the same players when you look into these activities at high-levels you come across the same players, they are the same people.

---

Eww.. "Drug-running, money-laundering, weapons-smuggling"..

Now, Sibel Edmonds was fired from the FBI for revealing this and much more. Brent Scowcroft isn't just a "head" for the ATC or a pro-Turkish lobbyist; the man is the friendly face of the GRAY WOLVES.

This whole thing tells me that corrupt former and current US officials and people running the errands of Al-Qaeda as the third and fourth hand (but a deep research with a simple 'sociogram' would node-by-node trace their relation back to high-ranking logistic operatives) are shaking hands somewhere in the Transoxiana.

Makes me wonder if one of the JITEM agents caught in Shemzinan (Semdinli) and carrying a Pakistani ID card, may not be one of these "third or fourth hands".

Maybe worth some digging...

Philip said...

This Sibel Edmonds interview was from "antiwar.com"...we know Scowcroft was/is antiwar...I'm not seeing the logic.

BTW, this lady worked for the FBI all of 6 months, I'm not sensing a lot of crediblity there.

Of course, I'm never against further digging, so long as the diggers are reliable.

Mehmet's lobbying $$ from the Turkish govt is ample proof of his sell-out, anyway.

Mizgîn said...

Thanks for the heads up on this, Berxwedan. A preliminary google reconaissance yields quite a bit of info on Sibel Edmonds from various sources. Same for ATC. In fact, it appears that the ATC may have had something to do with Edmonds being fired. I think this is definitely worth a little digging.

Drug-running, money-laundering, weapons-smuggling--it all sounds so Susurluk-ish to me. But I guess the Gray Wolves figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think this flash on Susurluk is what makes Edmonds' remarks sound credible to me. . . Susurluk, and then the revelation of state collaboration with Turkish Hezbollah a few years later.

The Pakistani connection. . . I recall that in late 2003, when there was much chatter about the possibility of TSK assisting the US military in Iraq, Turkey tried to bring the Pakistanis on board, and the Pakistanis volunteered to be stationed in "Northern Iraq" near the border of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. They wanted to be close to their "Turkish brothers."

Hmm. . . Transoxiana? Free-word association with Transoxiana: Turan, Greater Turan, Gray Wolves, Central Asia, US strategic interests, al-Qaeda . . . yeah, George Orwell was right. Who else is in the neighborhood? Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As for Scowcroft being an obvious sell-out AND the "friendly face of the GRAY WOLVES," I agree. There are many more friendly faces as well.

Philip, I think that the reason Scowcroft is anti-war without being quoted by antiwar.com, is because he isn't the right kind of antiwar for antiwar.com. antiwar.com is on the far left, but I am extremely skeptical about their sincerity on Kurdish issues, as I am with the far right. If, however, left or right--doesn't matter to me at all--wants to use Kurds to grind their own axes, which they have done far too many times in the past and continue to do today, then I am not against using either of them to grind mine.

I am reminded of Machiavelli.

Philip said...

Well, good luck on the Sibel Edmonds angle...