"Those who forget history are doomed to testify before congressional committees."
~ Andy Kessler.
~ Andy Kessler.
What's new at the Pentagon, you ask? Well, a couple of things.
First, they've finally been forced to release a video from two American A-10 aircraft that fired up a British convoy, killing one Tommy and wounding a number of others, way back in 2003. Apparently the video had been leaked to the media, but as part of the deal to release a DVD copy of the video to the UK government, it cannot be aired publicly. According to the Independent, this is not the first time the Pentagon has engaged in an attempted cover-up of friendly fire incidents.
This reminds me of the friendly fire incident from early April 2003 in which a number of Kurdish pêşmerge were killed and wounded by the Americans, again by aircraft. The reason that the Pentagon couldn't attempt to cover-up this incident was because there happened to be a BBC film crew on scene, with cameras rolling, and they managed to capture the bombing and aftermath.
Anybody remember Pat Tillman? He was a believer in the system until a tour in Iraq, when it appears his belief in the system began to change. During a subsequent tour in Afghanistan, the system caught up to him and put him away . . . permanently. Then it lied to cover-up.
Kinda makes you wonder, don't it, Bubba, just how many more friendly fire incidents have been hushed up? Or how many individual instances of collateral damage have been perpetrated by the anti-terror warriors? But, as they say, what you don't know won't hurt you. Right?
The other interesting news from the Pentagon is that it's got big plans for Africa, from the NYTimes:
The Pentagon will establish a new military command to oversee its operations in Africa, President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Tuesday.
Creation of the United States Africa Command, which had been expected, will “strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa,” Mr. Bush said.
Really? They have "security cooperation" with Africa? I didn't even know the US knew there was an Africa. I guess Rwanda missed that part about "security cooperation" back in the 90's, eh? But, wait; it gets funny:
The man who is about to become the head of the Central Command, Adm. William J. Fallon, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 30 that he favored establishment of an Africa Command, in light of the humanitarian crises and instability across much of the continent and its strategic importance.
Is this Fallon guy for real? Since when does the US give a damn about "humanitarian crises and instability" anywhere, much less in Africa? Since when does the US consider Africa of "strategic importance"? For how many centuries have there been "humanitarian crises and instability" in Africa? The US is a big cause of "humanitarian crises and instablity" itself, and all over the globe--Indonesia, Indochina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Turkey, Iraq, soon Iran. If everything goes according to script, expect to see severe "humanitarian crises and instability in Central Asia, too. About the only place the US hasn't been concerned about "humanitarian crises and instability" is Africa.
And the only place where a high-ranking member of the system could get away with intoning "humanitarian crises and instability" without being greeted with howls of laughter is the US Senate.
Come on, now, Admiral Fallon, are you absolutely certain your sudden twinge of conscience has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that China's been in the Sudan for some time, for the oil, thus the concern for "strategic importance"? Are you absolutely certain that Lockheed Martin didn't whip up that little fantasy of concern for "humanitarian crises and instability" so that it could horn in on China's aircraft sales? After all, a couple of years ago, the Washington Post took the sanctimonious and utterly hypocrital tone about who was on the receiving end of China's arms sales to Sudan, but has not the least concern about who might be on the receiving end of American arms sales to anyone.
Concerns over China's spreading sphere of influence and concerns over acquiring new arms markets are the real reasons for the Bush administration's sudden concern to "eliminate an 'outdated arrangement left over from the cold war.'" Forget about the politically-correct hogwash pouring forth from the mouth of Admiral Fallon; someone in Africa is now in the process of aiming the shit at the fan. When a region becomes of "strategic importance" to the US, that means it's time for all hell to break loose.
The "experts" at The Intelligence Summit have just figured out that Iran has been trying to lure Turkey into its corner. Too bad they still haven't figured out that the luring has been mutual. Of course, they are only saying this as part of the manufactured consent necessary to start yet another war and, for that reason, it just wouldn't do to talk bad about a NATO ally--Turkey--whose national foundation is genocide and state terror, two habits for which NATO has been a willing enabler for decades. Besides, all the NATO countries would have to admit their own guilt as state-sponsors of terror and accomplices in the genocide of the Kurdish people.
Besides, Turkey and Iran have engaged in joint military operations against the Kurdish freedom movement last year, so how can anyone be certain that this story of Iran luring Turkey away from the West is not a joint political strategy?
TNA reports that two Turkish parliamentary deputies are hysterically proclaiming that "PKK is flowing into Kerkuk." They also appear to be hysterical that Armenians are flowing into the US Congress. Remember what Heval Cuma said? If it's true that "PKK is flowing into Kerkuk," I have only two words: Bijî HPG! That place needs to be cleaned out anyway, especially of all the MIT/JITEM/ITF trash. Seriously, give that one a read. It's very funny. A teaser:
Comez, claiming the presence of PKK militants in Kirkuk, said, "Turkmens whom I regularly communicate with are reporting that scores of PKK terrorists are coming from Mahmur and other camps into Kirkuk and are carrying IKDP and IPUK identity cards."
"The terrorists were armed with heavy weapons and planned provocative attacks in Kirkuk. He did not elaborate where or when the terrorists might stage these attacks."
The Washington Times' resident Kurdish "expert" has a column out today to let us know that Abdullah Gul is going to tell Condoleeza Rice just how bad the situation in Iraq has become . . . as if she didn't know. I mean, they all know; they just refuse to admit it publicly.
Poor Gul! He has to make the case that "Turkey is trying desperately not to be pulled into the war" in Iraq which, of course, is absurd. If Turkey doesn't want to be pulled into the war, don't be pulled into the war. That was Turkey's choice in 2003, when the US was desperately trying to pull Turkey into the war with billions of dollars in bribes, so Turkey can choose not to become involved in the war again.
It would probably help Turkey not to be involved if it would remove all of its MIT agents, JITEM agents, and mercenaries from South Kurdistan, but then it would not be able to easily manufacture an environment that could properly be used as an excuse to annex the Mosul Vilayet--and all of its lucrative oil--plus extend its magnificent human rights record to the Kurds of the South.
The Syrian ambassador to the US is quoted as agreeing that a break up of Iraq would be "catastrophic." It should be noted that Syrians are keen Kurd-killers themselves, so getting the opinion of the Syrian ambassador is like getting another fox to help guard the hen house.
What is interesting is that the Syrian ambassador talks about "Kurds [are] feeling emboldened by the autonomous Kurdistan of Iraq and we see how Turkey is not very comfortable . . ." Notice that word: emboldened. It's the current fashion to use "embolden" with "terrorists." Anything that anyone suggests that deviates in the slightest from official US policy in the Middle East is tarred with the phrases "emboldening terrorists" or "emboldening terrorism," meaning that the Syrian ambassador is clearly equating Kurds with terrorists.
It's kind of ironic that an official of the same government that has been funneling terrorists into Iraq since 2003 should equate Kurds with terrorists. On the other hand, I guess a Syrian official could easily be considered an expert on terrorism.
The Washington Times' resident Kurdish "expert" closes by saying that Turkey needs to get closer to Damascus. Now this "expert" is well-known for pushing Turkish propagand and that is why she implies that Turkey has a distant relationship with Damascus. However, the truth is that Turkey has been cozy with Damascus since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. We might consider this something of a regional ménage à trois since Syria is the client of Iran and Turkey has been working closely with Iran. This lends credibility to the assertion: "Turkey is trying to achieve good standing with as many countries as possible . . . "
To paraphrase, as a friend is fond of saying, "Turkey plays the whore," and there's probably no better place to do that than in the qehbexane that is Washington.
Unsurpisingly, throughout this entire Washington Times piece there is not one reference to Turkey's outstanding human rights record vis-à-vis the Kurdish people, nor a reference to the Ankara regime's continued military operations against the PKK during the PKK's ceasefire . . . with support for such continued operations from Washington.