"The time for North Iraq's independence draws nearer each day, and all we do is try to deal with the PKK. We don't attach enough importance to this issue. Yet, the independence of Northern Iraq could divide Turkey."
~ İlker Başbuğ, Land Forces Commander.
~ İlker Başbuğ, Land Forces Commander.
Turkish foreign minister, Ali Babacan, insisted that Condoleezza Rice put a stop to PKK at this very moment. He was also on a tear at the UN about RojTV. Babacan's upset because HPG recently whacked his cousin, who was a member of the terrorist TSK in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. Now Babacan's probably kicking himself for not getting his cousin out of military service . . . like Erdoğan did for his son.
TNA has sunk to a new low by claiming that PKK plans to assassinate the DTP mayors. Of course, this should serve as a warning to the DTP mayors that they should look out for assassination attempts from the usual suspects--the Turkish state. Remember Musa Anter? Remember Akın Birdal? Hevallo has his take on TNA's propaganda on one of his posts.
While TNA is busy scraping the bottom, there's a fairly accurate article on the anti-PKK agreement between Iraq and Turkey at Eurasia Daily Monitor, a branch of the neoconservative Jamestown Foundation:
. . . [I]t is debatable whether the measures cited by the Turkish media will have a significant impact on the PKK’s ability to infiltrate its militants into Turkey from the organization’s camps in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq. Turkey’s border with Iraq is long and mountainous and riddled with age-old smuggling routes. Even though they have installed sensors and night vision equipment on their side of the border, the Turkish security forces are still able to intercept only a small proportion of the militants attempting to enter Turkey. It is difficult to see how a handful of liaison offices will make much difference.
Similarly, the concept of “hot pursuit” is based on operational continuity. If a unit of the Turkish armed forces that is pursuing members of the PKK toward the Iraqi border has to ask Baghdad for permission to cross and then wait for a reply, in most cases the trail will rapidly go cold.
[ . . . ]
On September 26, the Turkish press quoted Iraqi Kurdish officials as telling the local Peyamner News Agency that any agreement on measures to be taken against the PKK would need the approval of the KRG and that none had been forthcoming. Peyamner quoted an Iraqi Kurdish militia spokesperson as warning that the Iraqi Kurds would resist any incursion by the Turkish military, even in hot pursuit of PKK militants. “No one will be allowed to enter the Kurdistan region or violate its sovereignty by crossing the border,” he said (Vatan, September 27).
(There's also something there on Şehîd Nazan Bayram of YJA-STAR, but I will do something more on her in the coming days. Şehîd Namirin!)
South Kurdistan had better pay attention to the real reasons behind Turkish intentions. It may have less to do with PKK than with the perceived threat of the South to Turkish "territorial integrity." Or so claims the next chief of the Turkish general staff. One should be careful in choosing one's "brothers".
For those who have been following the situation with mercenary forces in general, and Blackwater USA in particular, there are two must-read articles that have been published in the last couple of days. The first is from Scott Horton at Harper's. Writing about US military reactions to Blackwater:
A number of officers described the security contractors as a group, and Blackwater in particular, as “cowboys,” and “trigger-happy jackasses.” An account published over the weekend by London’s Independent which drew on interviews with Iraqi eye-witnesses, sharply contradicts Blackwater’s claims and the characterizations put out by the State Department. The Iraqi Interior Ministry has also claimed that it has a video which will conclusively demonstrate that the shootings by Blackwater personnel were unprovoked.
According to Horton, the crux of the problem is described by a State Department official thusly:
“The core of the relationship is simple,” a U.S. diplomat described the State Department’s dealings with Blackwater USA. “They protect us, and we protect them.”
Now there are indications that both the State Department and Blackwater are working together to cover up the whole mess and an investigation by the House Oversight Committee is rumored. I say "rumored" because that committee is headed by Congressman Waxman, the very same congressman who's persistently avoided investigation of the Sibel Edmonds case.
Word of advice: Don't. Hold. Your. Breath.
Finally, the second must-read is from Blackwater expert, Jeremy Scahill at The Nation. Scahill also mentions the allegations that Blackwater weapons ended up in the PKK's possession. However, those who've actually been to Qendil have seen no American weapons there.
Instead of blaming PKK for American weaponry that allegedly made it across the border into Turkey, maybe someone should check out the possible gun-running at the Turkish consulate in Mûsil.