Sunday, November 19, 2006

RISKING SECURITY FOR WHAT?

Photo: www.middle-east-online.com

Ha gerilla, gerilla, gerilla,
Cihanin umudu gerilla.
Ha gerilla, gerilla, gerilla,
Halkimin umudu gerilla.
~ Şehîd Sefkan of Koma Berxwedan, Halkimin Umudu.


Harry Rosenfeld, a former editor of the Washington Post and the guy who brought the Watergate scandal to public light, opines in the Albany Times Union that the US should use Kurds as a "stop-gap" to save Baghdad because US forces are "stretched to their limit" and none of the other schemes Washington has cooked up as "stop-gaps," to make up for lousy planning of how to secure and reconstruct Iraq post-war, have worked.


In this crisis, which could in the worst case result in Iraq becoming a failed state, the U.S. should turn to the Kurds, who in their virtually autonomous enclave in northern Iraq have amassed a reputable and disciplined force of 60,000 to 100,000 men known as the Peshmerga.

[ . . . ]

The Peshmerga could have greater credibility with both Shiite and Sunnis than either would have with forces mainly made up of members of the other's religious sect.


In other words, Rosenfeld wants Kurds to risk the security of South Kurdistan in order to save what has become the American misadventure, probably because Americans are sick and tired of dying. He notes that pêşmerge "[took] control of the major northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk," back in March, 2003, but fails to mention that US forces immediately ordered pêşmerge out of those cities, a stupid thing to do, given the serious problems that both cities have had and continue to have under American control. In fact, American control of Mûsil resulted in numerous beheadings of Kurds and Iraqi Christians, as well as a virtual takeover of the western portion of the city by "insurgents."

Not only does Rosenfeld suggest that Kurds should risk their own security, but he admits that by "acquiescing" to any American demand for help in "stabilizing" Iraq, he also admits that the very scheme he proposes will end up going badly for Kurds:


Employment of the Peshmerga, nominally a part of the national Iraqi army, outside of its home grounds would come with a cost. In Iraq itself, it likely would engender fears of the Kurds winding up in any eventual settlement with a greater share of the national pie -- meaning oil -- than their 4 million portion of the national population would warrant. Shiites are the most numerous, Sunnis the second most.

[ . . . ]

U.S. diplomacy would have to reassure the Turks, who are allies, that the wider employment of Kurdish troops, and perhaps additional training of more of them, would be strictly limited to containing the destabilization of Iraq, which also threatens Turkey.

As for the Syrians and Iranians, who are fishing in Iraq's troubled waters, the Kurds' wider deployment would serve as a warning to them to help facilitate compromise rather than continuing to encourage disorder in Iraq.


How will the US "reassure" the Ankara regime over the "wider employment of Kurdish troops," when the Ankara regime is busy convincing the US that all Kurds are "terrorists"? According to TDN, "[i]n talks with U.S. officials, the Turkish military emphasizes that the PKK and Iraqi Kurds are 'one and the same,'" indicating that both the US and Turkey are laying the propaganda groundwork to justify a Turkish invasion for oil as part of their global War on Terror®.

It's a very suspicious thing that Americans suddenly come to the conclusion that Kurdish forces should stretch themselves to their limit by employing pêşmerge "outside of its home grounds," thus jeopardizing Kurdish security at a time when Turkey and Iran have been engaged in joint military operations against Kurdish civilians in South Kurdistan. These joint military operations are ostensibly due to the presence of the Kurdish freedom fighters of the PKK in South Kurdistan's mountains, but given the natural oil wealth of Kerkuk, Mûsil, and recently discovered oil deposits in Behdinan (Dihok governorate and parts of Hewlêr governorate), it is far more likely that the massing of Turkish troops along the border with South Kurdistan, and attacks coordinated with Iran, is the preparation for Turkey's permanent seizure of the oil resources.

It was no coincidence that the deployment of TSK along the border with South Kurdistan occurred in April, during Secretary of State Rice's visit to Ankara. American silence over the deployment, and over subsequent acts of Turkish and Iranian aggression indicates that the US approves of the Ankara regime's plans.

Additionally, that great friend of Kurdistan, Henry Kissinger, is proclaiming that the time is not right for "democracy" in Iraq and, as the ideologist behind the Iraq study group, is emphasizing the need to enlist the help of Iran and Syria to help protect American interests in Iraq. Iranian and Syrian "help" will no doubt include harsher crackdowns and more murders of Kurds. Just as America knowingly and willfuly abandoned Kurds to slaughter in 1975 under Kissinger's watch, so too the US will do the same thing again.

Meanwhile, in the Kurdish mountains, Our People's Hope still holds out for peace while standing ready for war, from Middle East Online:


Deep in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region, PKK commander Saydo Hussein Afshin said let them try it.

"No power or country can get us out of the Qandil," he said against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks in the nearly inaccessible region along the Iranian border.

"Twenty times the Turks have attacked us and they were never victorious, instead we were the victor."

Around him, dozens of guerrilla fighters armed with assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and light machine guns, worked on preparing the camp for winter by gathering firewood and insulating their simple stone huts clinging to the mountain side.

[ . . . ]

Afshin said they are dug in deeply in their mountain fastness and cannot be dislodged.

"For the past 10 years we have made many preparations and we feel quite safe here," he said.


Recent restructuring of HPG's operations gives each HPG unit greater autonomy in battle, so much so that in the event of full-scale operations against enemy forces, there will be no centralized command. Each unit is well aware of the mission, understands perfectly what must be done, and has the autonomy to carry out planned operations or spontaneous attacks against targets of opportunity. The terrain of the Kurdistan favors unconventional warfare, of which HPG is the master. At this point, HPG holds all key terrain and enjoys the benefits of operating from well-prepared defensive positions. This means that any future invasion will fail, exactly as they have all failed in the past.

The goal is not to seize terrain and hold it, as in conventional warfare, but to force the enemy side to a political resolution. A political resolution can be the only proper resolution to a political problem. Continued retaliation attacks against Kurdish civilians by Turkey and Iran will increase the ranks of HPG and reinforce the already massive civilian support of PKK.

While PKK remains true to its unilateral ceasefire, the Ankara regime, with American backing, continues to attack gerîlas. As long as the US appoints arms dealers such as Lockheed Martin's Joseph Ralston to encourage Turkey in its aggression, and actively works to cover up the genocide of the Kurdish people, there can be no cooperation.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can you be sure that US would be so naive to back a Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan? Whether they try to use the PKK or the Kirkuk issue to justify their invasion, it would really be a blood bath. PKK would definitely make sure that the Turks' stay in Southern Kurdistan would be a bloody one. And I don't think KDP would help the Turks this time. Seems like the negatives outweigh the positives this time for the Turks and Americans, don't you think?

Mizgîn said...

Anonymous, I am sure because of the profitable alliance between Turkey and the US and because Americans are naive.

Certainly an invasion will be a blood bath, of Turkish blood. Just as the HPG commander correctly observed in the article. The same observation was made by Ahmet Altan back September or October, but do you remember Erdogan's reaction to the families of dead Mehmetciks? He doesn't care. Buyukanit doesn't care. Why should the Americans care? Besides, if Turks go in and fight it will be something of an extension of the Nixon doctrine:

Third, in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense.

This doctrine has already been applied to the Middle East before.

There's an example from history too. Ever hear of the Degar people? Most Americans refer to them by their French colonial name of "Montagnards," a tribal mountain people of Vietnam who historically had "tensions" with the Vietnamese, similar to the "tensions" between Kurds and the neighbors. Here's an illuminating piece of their history:

The 1960s saw contact between the Degar and another group of outsiders, the U.S. military, as American involvement in the Vietnam War escalated and the Central Highlands emerged as a strategically important area, in large part because it included the Ho Chi Minh trail, the North Vietnamese supply line for Viet Cong forces in the south. The U.S. military, particularly the US Army’s Special Forces, developed base camps in the area and recruited the Degar, roughly 40,000 of whom fought alongside American soldiers and became a major part of the U.S. military effort in the Highlands. The Degar’s legendary bravery and loyalty earned them the respect and friendship of the U.S. Special Forces as well as sympathy for the Degar struggle for independence.

WOW! Doesn't that sound familiar? The problem is that Wikipedia doesn't tell you that the Americans totally abandoned the Degar to their enemies in the end.

Maybe the worst thing about this is that the American people are so heavily propagandized that it is impossible for them to break out of the ways of thinking that have been imposed on them by their corporate/government masters. Think about the media. It is controlled by advertisers, i.e. corporations, and they do not advertise in media that presents real news, news that doesn't correspond to the corporate/government view of the world. Same thing for PBS; it gets major corporate funding. Or think about where the media gets their information. It costs a lot of money to really investigate something for yourself, on the ground. It's so much more convenient to use the helpful press releases handed out by all those friendly people at, say, the State Department, and these press releases have the added bonus of being corporate-friendly. So no one important gets offended. No truth gets told, either.

My point is that I am not saying "Americans are heavily propagandized" for nothing. Plus, check earlier posts to see which way the wind is blowing with them, with all the talk of "terrorists," Turks-are-our-best-friends, advocacy for the beheading of Kurds, as well as the Bush 41 crowd getting into position to take over the conduct of the Iraq war, the neocons are turning against Bush and/or turning against the Iraqis . . . it doesn't look very positive to me.

Well, if KDP wants to help Turks again, that will be their choice and everyone has to make their own choices, right? Certainly I think that if KDP stood with PKK instead of against it, no one could possibly stand against Kurdistan. However, considering the history again, even before there was a PKK, I am skeptical.

Remember Sait Elçi and Sait Kirmizitoprak? That was the last attempt to organize a Kurdish resistance movement in Bakûr until PKK came along.

We shall see.

nezar said...

Well economics hasnt been mentioned here, so im gonna mention it. Turkey currently is the largest investor in southern kurdistan. Is it beneficial to them to destory all this? Or does it even matter? Or is Turkey really eyeing its old ottoman mosul vilayet, and looking to tip the tight-rope turkish economy which looks like its heading down hill once again.
I dont think it will happen, it just does not make sense for the US and could possibily unite kurds under one banner, which is the last thing turkey wants.

Again, why would turkey invade, does it neccessarily need massive troops on the ground to have influence in southern kurdistan or even control it partialy? Look at Iran, they are controlling the fate of iraq through its militias as they have done in lebanon? Turkey is already pumping as much propoganda and turkish culture into southern kurdistan as much as they can, plus the economics they are using, isnt this a better road for them to crush kurds?

To be honest, on both sides, the utlra-nationalists would love this scenerio, because both would think they could achieve the maximum through this situation. This would not be so good for the kurdish struggle in my opinion. We forget to humble ourselves and think of the ordinary kurd or civilian or whoever, that will suffer the must, and whose sons and daughters will die for regional leaders and military juntas. KDP wouldnt send its fighters for the struggle of kurdistan alongside pkk, as they might do, but only for its survival to maintain its sphere of influence.

BUT, this is not going to happen hevalno, there will be no invasion of southern kurdistan by turkey, the deep-state can kiss it goodbye, and so can the generals...

Mizgîn said...

I am glad you bring up the economic aspect, Nezar. Yes, Turkey is the largest investor in South Kurdistan, and Turkish investments there will be seen as "national interests" that need "protection." We know that the Ankara regime has used numerous false flag operations in the past to blame PKK for the regime's own terror operations. All they have to do is conduct some of these against Turkish business interests in South Kurdistan and blame the attacks on any of the Kurdish parties, and they will have the pretext they need for invasion.

The question is: How much more can be made from the oil and water than from some food export business or construction business? Where will the profits for oil and water go? To the Ankara regime itself, with the proper amount siphoned off into politician's pockets. This corruption, and the maintenance of the Dirty War, is why Turkey's economy sucks.

Let's talk about "pumping propaganda and Turkish culture" into the South. Turkey has been doing this for more than 80 years in North Kurdistan and what has it got them? The problem is that Turks are fascists and fascists never think rationally. Go through all the fascist movements from history that you can think of, and you will find that they are never rational. They are all based on mythology, on fantasies of some glorious, distant past, the remembrance of which they have to maintain in the here-and-now, and they will go to any lengths to try to recreate that past, to reconquer territory that they imagine they have lost.

There are no real Kemalists left in Turkey. Not even the Pashas are Kemalist. Kemalism is an advertising ploy used to dupe the West into thinking that Turkey is a progressive, rational, Western-oriented, secular democracy but it is not and we all know that for a fact. They are Ottomans and they want their empire back.

If the Deep State can kiss it goodbye, then why is Mehmet Agar suddenly "reformed" in the Turkish media? No one is mentioning his credentials with the Deep State. Why is Agar's old buddy, Mehmet Eymur making so many trips between the US and Turkey lately? I mean, next they'll rehabilitate Ciller's image and call her back to "public service."

Why all the sudden surge in Deep State propaganda and "psychological operations?"

And then we have Deep State in America, with all the high-ranking government officials here involved with it. The Deep State is VERY far from kissing it goodbye because they have all kinds of big business interests that also involve the Americans. This is without even going into their heroin trade and contributions to worldwide nuclear proliferation.

No, KDP is not going to go fight for North Kurdistan. You are correct that they are only concerned with their little "sphere of influence" which is a nice way of saying that they are only concerned with their Swiss bank accounts. Same for PUK.

For something on Shi'a militias, check this. Iraq is a very different creature than Lebanon.

You know what? I am always humble. The only thing that fuels me is the remembrance of the ordinary Kurds on the ground, under occupation, and the ordinary gerîlas who are bearing the brunt of the fighting on their backs. Of course, the gerîlas come from the ordinary people and in that sense they are one. These are the ones that I am always thinking of.

But let's imagine a peaceful scenario, in which there are mass peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience by the ordinary Bakûrî under the Turkish terrorist state. How do you think those demonstrations will be met by the regime? What do you think the great, honorable, free democracy of the US will have to say about those demonstrations or the way they are handled by the regime? What will the righteous bastions of free expression, the Western media, have to say about any such demonstrations?

People will die in those peaceful acts of civil disobedience, murdered by the regime just as they were murdered all over the occupied territory by the regime in March.

I am all for civil disobedience but when I say that, I realize that even civil disobedience is going to be bloody. There is no easy answer, no easy road to "peace." But what is the alternative? And let's say that there were an autonomous or federal situation for Bakûr, do you think that is the end of the problems? It's going to take a couple of generations to recover from the occupation and not only economically, but psychologically as well. To reach a state of freedom will only be the beginning.

One must be warned and thereby prepared. We have entered a very dangerous time.

Juanita said...

>>>In other words, Rosenfeld wants Kurds to risk the security of South Kurdistan in order to save what has become the American misadventure...

You think that's bad, lol... The US is looking for Israel to take out Iran's nuclear capacity. GW said he would "understand". Newt Gingrich said he is "hoping" they will. Oy vey! "We have entered a very dangerous time" is true words all 'round...