Monday, May 15, 2006


“When I have to choose between voting for the people or the special interests, I always stick with the special interests. They remember. The people forget.” ~ Henry Fountain Ashurst, US Senate.

You know, I saw something in the news today that reinforced my opinion of The War on Terror® as being a bad joke, and that is the revelation that the US is going to ban arms sales to Venezuela because Venezuela has been labelled as "uncooperative" in The War on Terror®. Or rather, I should say, as Reuters does, that Venezuela is "uncooperative in the US war on terrorism."

Let's talk about terrorism. What is it exactly? Does terrorism include extrajudicial murder, "disappearances," systematic torture, destruction of civilian villages--at times with the civilians still in the villages--ethnic cleansing and forced deportations? Does terrorism target human rights workers, journalists, and political workers as well as ordinary people? Is the establishment of "psychological warfare operations " and the covert training of fascist paramilitary organizations considered to be terrorism? Is the shooting of children on a playground or on the balcony of their homes acts of terror? Is the brutal beating to death of remand prisoners an act of terror?

Do any of these actions constitute terrorism alone or does a certain percentage of them have to be present in any given situation in order for the term "terrorism" to be applied? Does there have to be intent on the part of the perpetrator and accomplices to terrorize a population by these means, before the means can be accurately described as terrorism, or is the simple execution of these means enough to constitute terrorism?

Are these acts not terrorism as long as the perpetrator commits them within their own so-called internationally recognized border? What if the perp threatens to make the same kind of mess in the neighbor's yard? What if the perp actually does make the same kind of mess in the neighbor's yard? Is it terrorism only when it crosses over someone else's property line?

Or is terrorism the response a people make against those who perpetrate all these things against them? Is terrorism defined as the legitimate struggle, or rebellion, of a people to free themselves from these heinous crimes? Is terrorism the use of violence to genocide a people? Or is terrorism the use of violence in self-defence?

Who is it that defines terrorism? Is that supposed to be a one-size-fits-all kind of definition?

I ask these questions about terrorism because all of the atrocities I have mentioned have been perpetrated by an ally of the US, with either the approval of the US, the turning of a blind eye by the US, or through covert training, given by the US to that ally. The ally in question is the Turkish state. Why then, throughout the period of the dirty war, was Turkey never placed under a US weapons sales ban?

What's the answer? The answer is that terrorism is when you fly an airplane into American office buildings and not when you bomb a Kurdish village from an American aircraft. Terrorism is when you kill Americans and not when you attempt to genocide a people on the other side of the world. So, when the US decides it's going to have a War on Terror®, it means all the little countries can jump on the bandwagon, too, and enjoy a nice, big pat on the back from old Uncle Sam for being team players. If you are one of those little countries, like Turkey, the bottom line in playing along with Uncle Sam's War on Terror® is that you get to do all the dirty shit you did before, only this time with real impunity! The new reality is that what used to be called "human rights abuses" or genocide is now called The War on Terror®.

Pat yourself on the back, because you've finally made it to the big leagues!

There is a funny side to all this, however--if you have a well-developed sense of black humor, that is. It's a funny side which applies to both Turkey and Venezuela. The funny thing is that none of this has anything to do with morality or the question of terrorism at all. Terrorism is a facade designed to facilitate multi-million, if not multi-billion, dollar deals, because what turns up with a little digging is the fact that the US has become a little uptight about Venezuela buying it's arms from Spain. Buying from Spain instead of from the US threatens stability. The problem is that the State Department know-it-alls can't really explain exactly how this threatens stability:

He [State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack] would not elaborate on how the sale would have been destabilizing but said the decision was the product of an inter-agency U.S. review.

Oh, yeah, that pack of weasels knows exactly what they're doing. Doesn't this overwhelm you with a feeling of great confidence in government? To paraphrase Mr. McCormack: We don't know why in the hell it's bad but, dammit! It's bad!

The only stability threatened here would be that of special interests.

Venezuela's purchase of American arms has been falling off in recent years, so the fact of the US placing a ban on Venezuelan weapons sales today means that no one is turning a buck on this deal, even though there have been efforts to do so within the last year. If there had been the slimmest possibility that US arms manufacturers were going to lose out, Mr. McCormack and the rest of the weasels would still be pitching the sale. It also means that they wouldn't have their panties in knots about Chavez making cozy with Castro and Ahmedinejad, something that is mere icing on the cake. After all, Erdogan has been making cozy with Ahmedinejad, too, and no one seems bothered about that.

This is business as usual. Back in days of Turkey's War on Kurds® v.1 (the Turkish version of The War on Terror®), there were attempts to cut weapons sales, but nothing ever came of it. Now that we seem to be facing Turkey's War on Kurds® v.2, with the pashas flinging off the yoke of EU accession--assisted by the Turkish government and the EU--it will be interesting to see if there is a resurgence in US weapons sales to Turkey.

So tell me, who really are the terrorists?

With that, I leave you with a video on the PKK/HPG (approx. runtime, 24 mins). It's brought to you via Google and a friend, who brought it to my attention--many thanks, heval. You know who you are.

I have only one word of commentary on the video: Beautiful.

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