SATIRE, CONSPIRACY, OR PROPAGANDA?
"The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?" ~ Dennis Miller.
Man. . . you can read some really funny stuff on the Internet. I guess that's one of the reasons I like it so much. You have your satirical sites like ScrappleFace or The Onion, or one that I recently stumbled across, called The EcoEnquirer. Hilarious! Then you have your conspiracy theory sites, like The Black Vault, which can be kind of scary, or the Global Gulag, which is just plain nuts.
Somewhere in between these two, on the spectrum of that part of the Internet that is home to the weird, you will find the Turkish media.
I have been watching Onder Aytac and Emre Uslu in their column at The New Anatolian for some time, but tonight they have broken the barrier and have formally entered The Weird. Although, I suppose I can't blame them after watching the paranoia in the Turkish press lately, but I felt like their 19 April commentary deserves a pause and a little examination.
Onder and Emre are claiming that the PKK is having a power struggle with DTP, and that PKK is "lord[ing] over the DTP." DTP cannot, therefore, in Onder and Emre's analysis, do anything about this. It is too helpless in the face of the awesome military might of the big, bad PKK.
It [PKK statement] maintains that "while the Turkish military is launching operations against 'our people,' demanding peace would mean annihilation. Under current circumstances neither the Kurdistan People's Congress (Kongra-gel), the new name of the PKK, nor its military wing, the People's Resistance Force (HPG), demands peace; demanding peace means accepting defeat. If carefully reviewed, in our latest calls we asked [the people] to intensify the resistance continuously. Therefore, if anyone, be it a political party [implying the Democratic Society Party, DTP] or any individual [implying Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir], urges a halt to resistance, our people should not listen to them. On this matter you should follow our, the HPG's, statements."
According to Onder and Emre, this is a quote from the PKK statement--notice the quotation marks? First of all, why are they quoting an alleged PKK statement that refers to KONGRA-GEL as the new name of the PKK? Why would PKK say something like that? Why would it have to explain who and what it is if it is addressing Bakurî Kurds? Secondly, why would it refer to it's "new" name by an old name? Why is the name of HPG rendered as "People's Resistance Force," when that is not how the Kurdish is rendered? And why would PKK not simply use the acronym, "HPG?" Everyone knows what that means.
Secondly, what proof is there of the implications that Onder and Emre draw, namely, that DTP is the party, or Osman Baydemir is the man, being "threatened?" I can imply that the party that is being threatened is AKP, and the man, Erdogan. I can imply any European party or, for example, Joost Lagendijk. If either of those insist that resistance be halted then no one should listen to them. Yet I cannot, for the life of me, remember a moment in the last couple of weeks when DTP as a party, or any individual within the DTP called for a halt to "resistance." DTP members have called for an end to violence on the part of demonstrators as well as on the part of the fascist Turkish state. They have also expressed their empathy with the demonstrators because, after all, DTP members are also Kurds, subjected to the same circumstances that forced the demonstrators to rise up in the first place. Of course, they are rightly empathetic.
Thirdly, what is wrong with resistance? What resistance is referred to in the statement? Civil disobedience is resistance, boycotting is resistance, general strikes are resistance, just as blowing up infrastructure is resistance. So which resistance is referred to here? Can acts of resistance by the people be carried out in such a way that solidarity is created with the gerîlas? Absolutely. In fact, coordinated acts of resistance by the people are great morale boosters to the gerîlas and reinforce the concept of total gerîla warfare. Should it be this way? Yes. Is this powerful? Again, absolutely. Solidarity is always powerful.
Mao said, "The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea." This is a true statement and it cannot be otherwise. It is especially true for the Kurdish people because the gerîlas come from the people, they are of the people. How then can they be separate from the people? And if anyone wants to say there is a separation, why is it that 10,000 or more people at a time turn out for the funerals of gerîlas? If the death of a gerîla, or a civilian resistor murdered by the state, has the power to draw thousands, if not tens of thousands--as we witnessed last November--then it is clear that the people is one and both participate in their appropriate forms of resistance, one by defence of arms and another by protest, boycott, general strike, or even simply a mental attitude of resistance.
It is also an act of resistance when Osman Baydemir calls for calm in his city, the great and beautiful Amed, and to comply with his call is also an act of resistance. In this case, both the call and the act of compliance nullifies the power of the state while, at the same time, empowers the Kurdish people. Therefore the alleged PKK statement cannot be implying any threat against DTP or Osman Baydemir.
I am deeply touched at the apparent concern by Onder and Emre for the DTP, but if their concern were sincere, why are they not then calling for Ankara to help DTP achieve "peace" and, at the same time, foil the evil plots of the PKK? But Onder and Emre are rather silent on that point, aren't they? Ankara and the EU are also silent on that point, even though some fifty DTP leaders have been arrested since the serhildan. On top of that, the DTP leadership is in the process of being judicially buried in a pile of investigations and charges that make a mockery of any pretence to "democracy" that the state might claim.
Let me also point out who it is that has been threatening Osman Baydemir. It is the Turkish state. I have to agree with the DTP statement about the results, if the state so much as touches Heval Osman. If the state thought it saw violence a couple of weeks ago in Amed, let it come and touch Heval Osman and it will learn what an Amedî serhildan really is.
In spite of all this, we can still occasionally read the moanings of Europeans, Americans or Turks about how there is no Kurdish leadership to deal with. Unbelievable! The Kurdish leadership has been arrested, tortured, extrajudicially murdered, forced into exile for decades, and are now being arrested and drowned in state-sponsored harassment known euphemistically as "investigations," and the stinking hypocrites in the West--yes, Ankara is in the West--shed crocodile tears over the lack of Kurdish leaders.
Let that fact of life sink in for a while.
In the meantime, back at the Onder and Emre show, they do seem concerned that the alleged PKK statement calls for resistance in urban centers:
. . . They [PKK] call on Kurdish youth to take up arms and carry out individual attacks. "The youths should establish full resistance units (armed action units) in every village, town, neighborhood, borough, city and metropolis. When there is a police/military operation, these units should kill the security forces. Under the current circumstances, this type of structuring became an obligation and an immediate duty." The terror organization urges Kurdish youth to "choose civilian targets, tourist destinations, factories." It says "you can set fire to these places… You can target police, military personnel, bureaucrats who advocate the military operations, as well as Justice and Development (AK) Party and Republican People's Party (CHP) offices in southeastern Turkey, and parties which are hateful toward the Kurdish people [implying Turkish nationalist parties]."
With the latest announcement, the organization changed its traditional strategy, according to which terrorists had to follow the chain of command to attack a target. In the latest announcement, the PKK asks youngsters to act individually: "The attacks mentioned aren't difficult to carry out; you can put gasoline on your target and set it on fire. Two or three youths could come together, and even if you lack arms you could stab the enemy when you find them in a quiet place; you could even choke them with wire. This type of new organization and action is an obligation. The only way for resistance against state forces is to organize full resistance units and attack our enemies."
Theoretically, what is wrong with anyone attacking the Turkish security forces? Nothing. They are a force of occupation which engages in atrocities against the Kurdish people and the Kurdish people has an inherent right of self-defence. After all, Erdogan himself has already declared total warfare against all Kurds and not even the peaceniks that make up the EU bothered to bat an eyelash over that little bombshell. Does the state really believe that the Kurdish people should sit and wait for the state to crush them? The state knows nothing about the Kurdish people, if that is the case, because if Kurds were a people that did nothing in the face of a terrorist machine bearing down on them, they would have ceased to exist long ago.
That isn't the case, though, is it? Kurds are still here and Kurds are still fighting back.
This section of the alleged PKK statement makes reference to civilian targets and even goes into an extremely anal description of the fact that it is possible to burn things. Okay, I think everyone has the burning thing figured out because it is common knowledge among all humankind that it is possible to set fires, yet we are expected to believe that the PKK has to tell people that you can set things on fire? Ditto on the stabbing and choking business.
Yeah, right, whatever. Only the Turkish state would write something that stupid.
Seriously, PKK is not going to go against its own policy, which it made in a statement to the UN in early 1995. Turkish security forces do not adhere to any laws of land warfare as known by civilized states, and complete ignorance of PKK's 1995 statement is something I would expect from the state. In fact, it confirms for me that the state is the organization who manufactured this alleged PKK statement. In this section of the alleged statement, the state is trying to make a connection between PKK and TAK. They make no distinction between the two in their media, which makes it easier for the gullible to swallow this red herring whole.
The most likely reason why the organization decided to implement such a tactic is that it is losing ground in urban centers and having difficulty recruiting in these centers. Instead of pushing people to join the organization actively and leave their homes, it would be much easier for them to push people into these types of actions; they can take part of the organization's subversive activities where they live.
Bullshit, plain and simple. The people are going to the mountains from everywhere, including urban centers. There is no need for recruitment because the Turkish state takes care of all PKK's recruitment needs. With every act of repression, every detention, every arrest, every lack of services, the Turkish state sends Kurds to the mountains, but Onder and Emre are living in fantasy land and are incapable of seeing reality.
Just as I was touched by all the concern gushing from the keyboard of these two "analysts," so I am touched by their extreme concern for the Kurdish people as a whole, at the end of all this drivel and nonsense which is passed off as "analysis." Their concern takes the form of chiding Kurds to "strongly oppose" this plot by "discouraging their children" (a little dig at all the Turkish media's recent lies that children were "used" by PKK in the demonstrations, when the only children to be murdered in cold blood by Turkish security forces were on a playground or watching from their home balconies) from joining the urban "units." Their concern also extends to a call for Kurds to oppose this plot by demonstrating against it in public.
Sure, so that Turkish security forces can murder more Kurds with impunity, right guys?
Onder Aytac and Emre Ulsu, from The New Anatolian. Satirists extraordinaire, conspiracy loons or Turkish state propagandists?
I report, you decide.