Wednesday, November 01, 2006


" . . . [T]he civil strife in Turkey has received comparatively little coverage in the U.S. media. Television news rarely mentions the Kurds, unless the story relates to the Iraqi Kurds. It is almost as though there are two sets of Kurds--the Kurds in Iraq, who seem to be viewed as the "good" Kurds because they oppose Saddam, and the Kurds in Turkey, who are "bad" because they oppose a U.S. ally. It doesn't seem to matter that there are four times as many Kurds in Turkey . . . "
~ Kevin McKiernan, "Turkey's War on the Kurds".

That great friend of the "bad" Kurds, Kevin McKiernan, has raised his voice once again in justice, this time over the Ralston affair:

MOST PEOPLE would agree that it's bad ethics for government officials to invest in companies that they regulate. But what about a US special envoy to a Middle East trouble spot who happens to be a director of an arms company selling weapons to one of the parties in the conflict?

That's the case of retired Air Force General Joseph Ralston, who was appointed by the Bush administration in August to help US ally Turkey counter the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK , the Kurdish rebels who are seeking autonomy from Turkey and have bases in northern Iraq. Ralston, a former NATO supreme allied commander, has been negotiating with Turkish generals and Iraqi leaders since his appointment to develop measures to eliminate the bases.

The problem is that General Ralston is on the board of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest arms maker, which just last month finalized a $2.9 billion sale for advanced F-16 fighters that may well be used in the Kurdish region (the State Department acknowledges that F-16 s were involved in human rights abuses in Turkey in the 1990s). This gives the ex-general the appearance of holding a financial interest in his shuttle diplomacy.

[ . . . ]

Both the United States and the European Union regard the PKK as terrorists, but the group finds support among Turkey's long-abused Kurds. At the same time, Kurds who hoped the Turkish government would grant educational and broadcasting rights were disappointed in 2004 when the PKK ended its unilateral, five-year cease-fire and went back to war.

Now Turkey and the Kurds appear to be on a new collision course, and Lockheed Martin, General Ralston's company, may play a pivotal role.

Read the entire op/ed at the Boston Globe.

Gelek sipas, Hevallo, for the heads' up, the link, and for posting McKiernan's piece.

Kevin McKiernan mentions something that we have long suspected as the Turkish goal--Turkish occupation of oil-rich Kerkuk. Additionally, since the discovery of other oil reserves in other parts of South Kurdistan, such as in the Zaxo area, a full occupation of South Kurdistan by the Ankara regime would sweeten their efforts. A Turkish occupation of South Kurdistan would be sanctioned by Washington because it would place the oilfields in the hands of America's great Turkish ally.

Would the icing on this cake be increased sales for Lockheed Martin and the rest of the buzzards in the defense industry, as part of a Washington/Ankara-Axis-of-Evil manufactured war?

Inquiring minds wanna know.

What's Heval Kevin's conclusion?

With the looming threat of civil or even wider war in the region, the United States needs a skilled, disinterested negotiator to resolve the PKK issue, while finding a peaceful solution to legitimate Kurdish grievances.

Our new man in Ankara will be seen as an arms merchant in diplomat's clothing. He should be replaced.

Couldn't agree more.

For more developments on the Ralston affair, with comments, check DemocraticUnderground and DailyKos. Many thanks to Heval Lukery for his great help in trying to spread the word.


lukery said...

wow Mizgin. that's great. you could hardly have a better outcome if you'd written it yourself!

I guess the facts speak for themselves.

Mizgîn said...

I'm really very happy that Mr. McKiernan took the time to evaluate the information and sources that we sent him, and that he came to the same conclusion. I say "we" because I was not the only one involved with this. Hevallo has also spent a lot of time, energy, and hair-pulling throughout on this situation. In fact, he may be bald at this point :P

As you say, the facts speak for themselves and Mr. McKiernan has validated them.

Anonymous said...

"The CIA’s counter-narcotics division is also keenly interested in ATC and its connections to NATO. A Turkish hashish kingpin, Huseyin Baybasin, now jailed in the Netherlands for narcotics smuggling, stated that the Turkish military and its NATO interlocutors are totally involved in the drug trade in Turkey. He said the Turkish military uses MIT and Turkish embassies, consulates, military missions (particularly the Turkish military attaché offices in London and Amsterdam) as drug smuggling facilitators. The Turkish military also reportedly uses its hated Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) enemies to help transport drugs throughout Western Asia, especially heroin now being produced in Afghanistan at record high levels....


One of the articles "Hevalo" talked about.

Mizgîn said...

The Turkish military, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, yeah, they both claim PKK is bigtime drug-dealers. Naturally they are totally disinterested and totally credible.

Masûd Barzanî even made the claim, back in 1995 . . . in Milliyet and Sabah, that PKK was a "mafia-like" drug-smuggling organization. Barzanî never coughed up any proof of his claim. . . kind of like the TSK and the DB. If you remember 1995, you will also remember it was a time that KDP was at war with PKK. If you know anything about KDP, you also know that it has been subsidized by Ankara for a long time and there's a KDP office in Ankara. How do you think KTV got its start?

If you take a look at the question as investigated by Paul White in Primitive Rebels or Revolutionary Modernizers: The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey, you will find that there are indications that PKK did tax all smugglers, and his source for this is both Ismet Imset and PKK's own 1990 conference decision. So there is a possibility that PKK benefitted indirectly, and this indirect benefit was politically driven.

PKK is, at its essence, a political organization.

Baybasin blabbed a whole lot more than is mentioned at your link, and he blabbed on Turkish television. I've never heard him referred to as a hash dealer though. His big money was heroin, so I think there's something wrong with the CIA's sources. Wouldn't be the first time, now, would it? Conversely, you might ask yourself why they left out mention of heroin in connection with Baybasin. Baybasin had a lot more to say, as well, like how the heroin trade benefitted the Turkish government.

It's also widely known that MIT paid its little helpers in heroin. Check Abdullah Catli on that.

Let me think . . . if I were a PKK commander and I had an area secured and some of these "businessmen" wanted to cross my area of control with their product, and knowing that these same "businessmen" are financing the Turkish government, would I tax them? Would I make them pay protection money? You bet. Because I'm not being funded by anyone but Kurds. I don't have free-for-all funding courtesy of the American taxpayer. They're not subsidizing me with all the stuff I need to throw off the occupation. I mean, not like Turkey does, because fascism is legitimate and fascism is what Turkey (and its backers) are all about. Forget about all that democracy shit.

And today I noticed something very interesting. I noticed that the fascists are extremely concerned about jihadist links to heroin-trafficking. The same fascists don't take any notice at all of Ahmedinejad's narcotics trafficking (especially in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan . . . and who's the only one there to help young Rojhelatî get off drugs? PJAK), but they really are concerned about UBL's trafficking. And still, Turkey's bigtime trafficking is way below the fascists' radars.

Why is that?

Noam Chomsky's five media filters come to mind, in particular the "Flack and Enforcers" filter. The "Enforcers" are busy trying to push their vision of reality as, well, reality.

Anonymous said...

Did you also hear about Paul White's support for Zaza nationalism, which is also supported by the T.C.? Thanks for the reply anyway. Did the PKK also "tax" Kurds in Europe? Kebab shops, Kurds, etc?

Here is a reaction to McKiernans article by a Turk:

Mizgîn said...

Did you also hear that only outsiders refer to Dimila/Zazaki/Kirmancki Kurds as "Zaza"?

Have you read White's book?

What do you care if PKK taxed their own people?

You're pretty late on that TNA article; read it hours ago, but thanks anyway.

How's the weather in the Netherlands today?