Monday, February 05, 2007


"In the regions where US influence was least, there was progress in democracy, despite strenuous efforts of the Reagan administration to prevent it. The worst record was in the regions where the US had the most influence. He also explains the reasons: Washington would permit only "top-down forms" of democracy in which traditional elites, linked to the US, would retain power in deeply undemocratic societies."
~Noam Chomsky on Thomas Carothers.

According to TDN, Abdullah Gul will be visiting Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and Lockheed Martin's Stephen Hadley, to talk about the big, bad PKK and the Armenian Genocide resolution that's now in Congress. On Wednesday, he's scheduled to visit certain congressmen who, for the moment, remain unnamed:

During his meeting with Rice on Tuesday, Gül is expected to ask the U.S. administration to block a resolution, introduced in January by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, to urge the U.S. government to recognize as genocide the killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire late in the World War I era.

Speaking to reporters at Ankara's Esenboğa Airport before his departure yesterday, in reference to the Armenian resolution likely to pass in U.S. Congress, Gül said he would explain the Turkish thesis and the facts of the history during his talks in Washington. The minister complained of intense propaganda that was leading some politicians to vote for resolutions on historic events, on which they had no knowledge, and cited this as a weakness of the parliamentary system.

"It is our duty to provide information and tell the facts," he said.

Well, that would certainly be a change of heart if, in fact, Gul were really going to tell the facts. However, I suspect that Gul's "facts" are very different than scholarly facts on the Armenian Genocide and probably have more to do with Turkey's image than they do with genocide. I wonder if Gul's reference to "the Turkish thesis" has anything to do with the Turkish History Thesis, concocted by what passed for Turkish intellectualism of the 1930's, when fascism was fashionable:

Mustafa Kemal's words to Muslim tradesmen in a speech in Adana on 16 March 1923 are just a little, significant part of that symbolic production: “Armenians have no right in this prosperous country. The country is yours, the country belongs to the Turks. In history this country was Turk, therefore it is Turk and will remain Turk for ever. Of course, from ancient times this beautiful land, which was Turk and Turanic, has seen the invasions of foreign powers […] The country has finally been returned to its rightful owners. Armenians and the others have no right here. These fertile places are the country of the real Turks.” Such words characterize the historical images in the heads of the nationalist élite of the Republic. They read like the nucleus of the Turkish History Thesis of the 1930s, a highly speculative construction aiming at the prehistorical, anthropological foundation of ethno-Turkish identity in Asia Minor. We can understand this historical imagination as an extremely significant, somewhat desperate effort to symbolically compensate and cover up the huge loss of human, particularly Armenian and Rum, heritage and interaction in Anatolia. The construction of the Turkish History Thesis was a nearly surrealist flight into a distant realm, postponing as much as possible the challenge of facing the recent past and beginning to think about repairing destroyed relationships. It served precisely the denial of the Others’ past, Asia Minor being declared by anthropological “proofs” (racial/racist research and abusively interpreted archaeology) the home of Turks or proto-Turks for many thousands of years.

Until now, significantly, the Turkish History Thesis of the 1930s has never been explicitly revoked in Turkey. . . .

Perhaps Mr. Gul could explain to the American Congress the "intense propaganda" which created the backlash of nationalistic ferver in the wake of Hrant Dink's murder, or which serves as the justification for Turkish police and jandarma forces to pose proudly with Dink's murderer?

That explanation along with the "facts" of the Turkish History Thesis should go over well with Congress, as should Gul's remarks about the "weakness of the parliamentary system." Not that Gul, living in a military oligarchic dictatorship, would know anything about parliamentary systems. Never fear, however, the cavalry is on its way on February 10:

Gül also expressed appreciation over Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç giving the go-ahead for a group of Turkish lawmakers to lobby in U.S. Congress in an effort to bloc possible adoption of the genocide resolution.

The first group of lawmakers will depart on Feb. 10 and deputies will be dispatched to the United States periodically for additional lobbying. As part of their activities, planned both in Washington and New York, lawmakers will present official documents and make it clear that adoption of the genocide resolution will cast a shadow on Turkey-U.S. relations. They are also expected to meet members of the Armenian diaspora.

If they bring plenty of money with them, with which to bribe members of Congress à la Dennis Hastert, then they should achieve great success in their endeavor and bring great credit to the parliamentary system. In the US, this is what is known as "lobbying," as mentioned in the article, while in the Middle East it is simply referred to as "corruption" or "bribery." If this effort should fail, there's always another avenue of approach:

Asked what alternatives Turkey was working on to counter the alleged genocide claims, Gül replied, "We had said we'll seek every way including the court option. These are serious studies. … Officials, including former diplomats, are working on this and the steps we take will be announced when we are finished with them."

Ah, yes, the court option. Luckily for Mr. Gul, he has an old legal hand available in Washington DC, Gunay Hakki Ovunc a partner in Black Hawk Security, Inc. who's helped out with any legal work the Turkish government and Turkish General Staff has filed in the US in the past. It's always so convenient to have a lawyer on retainer especially when the charge is genocide. Plus, it just makes good business sense.

"Gül will seek U.S. support in cracking down on PKK terrorists. It's a major security concern for us," a Turkish diplomat told Reuters. "We can't just sit on the sidelines when our boys are being killed. We have been promised action but have seen few results."

Okay, so the fact that the Deep State roams freely in Turkey to murder Armenian journalists while soccer fans mock the murder and security forces pose with the murderer, and that's not a major security concern? Yet a relatively few Kurdish freedom fighters who justifiably take up an armed struggle against a fascist regime that has murdered hundreds of thousands of Kurds since 1923 is a major security concern. Of course, the Turkish army has invaded North Kurdistan some 20 times in the past 80 years, each time representing "pacification" operations but Kurds have not been "pacified."

But what's a few hundred thousand slaughtered Kurds when "one Turk is worth all the world"? And there are so many more people in the world now than when that crock was cooked up.

In addition, the Turkish army has invaded South Kurdistan several times in the 1990s, and each time has retreated with dead "boys." If Turkish diplomats or anyone else connected to the fascist government apparatus in Ankara were truly concerned about their "boys [ ] being killed," they'd have taken advantage of the peace offer and ceasefire PKK offered beginning last August.

The truth is that crocodile tears for dead Turks and complaints about a "major security concern" created by the Ankara regime itself, are simply excuses for said regime's greed and current target--Kerkuk and oil-rich Behdinan. That is why Black Hawk Security, Inc. and its 1,000-plus former Turkish special team members are opening shop in Kerkuk and that's why Buyukanit will follow in Gul's footsteps.

No doubt Buyukanit, the real power in Turkey, will show the same concern for the "weakness of the parliamentary system," and urge an end to referendum in Kerkuk as well, thus nullifying the Iraqi constitution, finally putting an end to the farce known as "spreading democracy."

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