"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
~ Abraham Lincoln.
~ Abraham Lincoln.
Hmm. . . Khalilzad admits the US negotiates with "terrorists," from Lebanon's Daily Star:
Khalilzad said US Embassy officials and military commanders as well as Iraqi officials had met representatives of insurgent-linked groups several times for talks.
"They have taken place and they are continuing to take place," he said, while declining to give any specifics because "people's lives are at stake."
That's interesting because I've been told hundreds of times, maybe even thousands of times, that the US does not negotiate with "terrorists."
It's kind of funny too, to see that Khalilzad is suffering delusions of grandeur by presuming to speak for the American people when he was elected by nobody.
Hmm . . . I guess Ian Paisley talks to "terrorists" too. From the NYTimes:
After years of mutual hostility and recrimination, the leaders of Northern Ireland’s dominant rival groups, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and the Protestant leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley, met today for their first face-to-face talks and agreed to form a joint administration for the province on May 8.
[ . . . ]
“The word ‘historic’ has to be used,” said Brian Feeny, a historian at St. Mary’s University College in Belfast, “It was the only way it was ever going to work. The two leaders of the two traditions had to do the deal.”
[ . . . ]
“We are very conscious of the many people who have suffered,” Mr. Adams said. “We owe it to them to build the best possible future. It is a time for generosity, a time to be mindful of the common good and of the future of all our people.”
A few minutes earlier, Mr. Paisley, who had insisted on the delay until May 8, had said: “We must not allow our justified loathing of the horrors and tragedies of the past to become a barrier to creating a better and more stable future. In looking to the future we must never forget those who have suffered during the dark period from which we are, please God, emerging.”
Well, I guess it helped that the British government stopped its false flag operations designed to lay the blame on the IRA. It's too bad Turkey is still so far behind the power curve when it comes to the PKK.
Speaking of the PKK, Zaman has a confusing article about Ocalan and the PKK today. Serafettin Elci, the only Kurd in Turkey who can get away with talking about dividing the "unitary" state through federalism without having several thousand investigations opened on him thinks Ocalan has betrayed the Kurds by abandoning the idea of an independent Kurdistan. That's a bit ironic since Celal Talabanî denies any desire for an independent Kurdistan in the South and Barzanî has not pressed for independence:
The ultimate goal of both men is an independent Kurdistan. But they realize that, for now, they must work within a federal structure under a central Iraqi government.
Although Masûd Barzanî has spoken of independence in a more positive way, and although the straw poll on independence taken in the January 2005 elections shows that 98% of Kurds in South Kurdistan desired independence, Barzanî continues to cooperate with Baghdad, most likely at the behest of the Americans. Does Elci complain about this?
Funny that part about "Ocalan distancing himself from the Kurdish leaders of Iraq." Really? Whoever wrote that must have been vacationing on Neptune during the 1990s.
Elci is concerned that Ocalan warns Northern Kurds not to trust the US nor to rely on South Kurdistan to solve the situation of Kurds under Turkish occupation. When did Kurds trust the US? In 1975? In 1991? Or more recently when the US bombed Salahaddin University, or ran roughshod over the Iranian consulate in Hewlêr, or demanded that the Iraqi flag be flown in Kurdistan? Where was the US during Anfal and Helebçe? Where was it when Turkish aircraft were dropping bombs on South Kurdistan's villages during the "safe haven?"
Then the US has assisted with the genocide of Kurds under Turkish occupation, giving Turkey all the weapons and military training it needed to carry out the slaughter, covering up all the atrocities good NATO member Turkey perpetrated against the Kurdish people. More recently, the US assisted with the assault on Kurdish leaders and intellectuals in Europe, appointed a member of the US war industry to "coordinate" the PKK for Turkey, rejected PKK's moves for a political solution to the situation in Turkey as well as rejecting out of hand the fifth unilateral ceasefire. Yet the US claims no option is off the table when it comes to PKK and it continues to propogate Turkish lies about the Kurdish refugees at Maxmur Camp.
Additionally, there have been no moves to include Kurds under Turkish occupation in the trilateral group formed to "coordinate" the PKK. The only members of that club are Turkey, Iraq, and the US. Why then should Northern Kurds expect a resolution to Turkish repression from Hewlêr? And hasn't Barzanî said that Turkey must solve it's problems with Kurds of the North on its own and politically?
What was it that Reagan used to say? "Trust, but verify?" That's the only way to trust the Americans, and anyone who simply trusts is a fool . . . or worse.
By the way, I like the way Zaman censored Layla Zana's Newroz speech:
Kurdish sources who wished to remain anonymous told Today's Zaman. Zana said in a recent speech that she considered Iraqi Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani as guides for the Kurdish nation . . .
Uh, Zana said Talabanî, Barzanî, and Ocalan were the leaders of Kurds, and a complaint has been filed against her for saying it.
As for amnesty and a truth commission, they are both absolute necessities. Zaman fails to say from whom the idea of a truth commission "attracts the strongest anger," but if there's any truth to that claim, then the anger is coming from the ones who stand to lose from it. Since both Ocalan and the PKK insist on this issue, they must not be the ones who will lose when the truth is revealed.
If you don't want to see Shari'a considered as a major source of law in South Kurdistan, there's a petition you can sign at PetitionOnline against Article 7 of the proposed South Kurdistan constitution. A teaser:
An appointed committee to prepare a draft constitution for Kurdistan Region has suggested the following formulation in article No 7: “This Constitution stresses the identification of the majority of Kurdish people as Muslims, thus the fundamental tenets of Islamic Sharia law will be considered as one of the major sources for legislation making”.
This campaign declares that such an article prepares the ground for forced Islamisation of law in Kurdistan in the future. This poses a grave threat. We consider it a major attack on the basic rights and liberties of the people of this region. In particular, it will have worrying consequences for the rights of women and for the space for secular and progressive opinion in Kurdistan to find a voice. We want to make the world aware of this threat and mobilise to counter it.
There is no question that making Islamic Sharia Law a base for law making in Kurdistan will inevitably produce attacks on freedom of thought and expression and restrictions on civil rights. Gender apartheid will be practiced. We have seen the consequences of Sharia law in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. We need only to look to the south of Iraq where the Islamic Shitte parties are in power and are forcing through Islamisation with an inevitable rise of bloody sectarianism, attacks on modernity and civilisation itself as consequences.
Apparently, one of the initiators of the campaign, Houzan Mahmoud, has already received death threats for her work, the most recent coming from Ansar al-Islam. As a result, she has increased her work on behalf of Kurdish and Iraqi women.