Saturday, October 27, 2007


"I like the PKK. They are very good people. They look after people here. The PKK are fighters but they are not dangerous people like other people, like Islamic people. Like Osama bin Laden."
~ Resident of Ranya, South Kurdistan.

The interest of the Progressive Historians has been piqued by YJA-STAR şehîd Devrim Siirt. Take a peek at the commentary by Gordon Taylor at the following links:

Moonlight in the Mountains

More Moonlight


The Friends of Aynur

Turkish Army Captives

The Edge of Catastrophe

Okay, I confess that I have absolutely no idea what makes mainstream journalists tick--except the possibility of their getting a regular paycheck--and I'm suspicious when the old reactionary news services report accurately anything in the Kurdish world. The BBC must have someone running all over North and South Kurdistan, though, because they have another piece out, this time on PKK's neighbors in South Kurdistan:

In Ranya, local people have got used to their neighbours in the PKK.
"I like the PKK. They are very good people," one man said.

"They look after people here. The PKK are fighters but they are not dangerous people like other people, like Islamic people. Like Osama bin Laden," he added.

The recent shelling by the Turkish military in northern Iraq took place some distance from Ranya and residents in the town did not seem worried about the prospect of a Turkish military invasion.

(Photo: Warzer Jaff for The New York Times)

However, they did question the motives behind the army's plans.

"The Turkish government wants to attack all the Kurdish people and not just the PKK," said one middle-aged man.

"Turkey just wants to make things complicated here in the Kurdish region of Iraq," he said

[ . . . ]

In Ranya an elderly man in the market caught the mood of the town.

"The PKK are human beings like us," he said. "They just want to stay in their country.

"The Turkish government is like Saddam Hussein's regime. In the south of Turkey they cannot even study their own language. The situation is getting worse. We just want it to improve and for there to be peace," he added.

If you haven't figured out yet why DTP refuses to label PKK as "terrorists," another report from the BBC will explain it to you:

. . . [T]here is another dynamic at play in this region, where most people are ethnic Kurds.

Unlike in western Turkey, many here do not condemn what the PKK did. To them, the PKK remains the group that fought for their rights in the days when even saying you were a Kurd was seen as separatism.

The situation today has improved enormously. Even the most militant Kurdish nationalists admit that.

But ties to the PKK remain strong and there are plenty here who describe the violence as "self defence" against a military that has been targeting them for years.

"It's an instinct. People still feel the PKK is fighting for them," Mesrut explained.

A tiny man - dwarfed even further by his huge wooden desk - he runs a daily news-sheet in a town close to the Iraqi border.

That brings its own hazards. If he calls the PKK "terrorists" using official terminology, he gets threatened by locals.

With tension now so high, he uses news agency reports instead to avoid responsibility.

"People here still don't feel like equals in Turkey," Mesrut explains.

"And their children are still with the fighters in the mountains, so how can they condemn the PKK?"

Does everyone get it now?

In the meantime, there a couple of little snags that have developed against the international temper tantrum that the Ankara regime's been throwing. First, the US military is not going to go to Qendil and do anything . . . or so says the ranking US military officer in South Kurdistan:

Major General Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multi-National Division North, said Iraq's three northern provinces were under the control of the Kurdish provincial government and that he had no instructions to take action in the border area.

Asked what his forces planned to do against the Kurdish Workers Party or PKK rebels, Maj Gen Mixon said: "Absolutely nothing."

Pressed by reporters via a video link-up from Iraq whether there was anything US forces could do to head off a Turkish cross-border incursion, Maj Gen Mixon said, "I have not been given any requirements or any responsibility for that."

He said he had been given no instructions "that would even vaguely resemble" sending US forces into the Kurdish areas to reassure the Turks.

"Let me put it to you very clearly: the three northern provinces are under KRG [Kurdish regional government] provincial Iraqi control," he said.

"They have a security force, which you are all familiar with known as the pesh-merga. It's their responsibility to ensure the integrity of their particular provinces."

Translation: Screw you, Büyükanıt.

This tells me that the US is very aware of the geography, the climate, and the nature of guerrilla warfare, and they have no intention of getting involved with any kind of hunt on the ground for PKK fighters. They probably figure, "Better to let the Turks go in there,get the crap knocked out of them, and let them leave with their tails between their legs once more." And that's smart thinking.

The second snag came from another skunk at Turkey's garden party, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament:

The speaker of Iraq's parliament warned Turkey on Thursday that his government would cut off the flow of oil from northern Iraq if Ankara followed through on its threat to level economic sanctions against the country.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani's comments came a day after Turkey's top leadership agreed to recommend the government take economic measures to force cooperation by Iraqis against Kurdish rebels who have been staging cross-border attacks against Turkish troops.

"Northern Iraq cannot be pressured," al-Mashhadani told reporters in the Syrian capital of Damascus. "Iraq is a rich country, and if there are economic pressures, we will cut off the Ceyhan pipeline," he said, referring to two oil pipelines that run from northern Iraq to Turkey's Ceyhan oil terminal on the Mediterranean Sea.

The US will not commit fighters, Baghdad's going to turn off the spigot, no one supports a Turkish invasion, the Kurdish people overwhelmingly support PKK, and everyone--except the Ankara regime and the American Corporate State--wants a peaceful, political solution for the Kurdish situation in Turkey.

Every once in a while in this last week, I've had the suspicion that this current situation has been provoked by Ankara and stoked by the corporate media for the sole purpose of raising the price of a barrel of oil to over $90. It's just a matter of time before it reaches $100 a barrel, right?

Who benefits from this? Is it a coincidence that most of the Bush administration is composed of Big Oil pimps and that they were the ones who planned the invasion of Iraq well before September 11?


Renegade Eye said...

At my blog Sonia was arguing that the Iraqi Kurdish are the US friends in that area, and the US would stand by the Kurdish.

I read that to my comrades, and we were having a social function and talking about that. I hate to shatter her illusions, just like saddam when he was no longer needed, the US will never fight Turkey, to protect the Kurdish.

If the US can't win public support to attack Iran, could you imagine trying to win public support to fight Turkey?

If the US fought Turkey, they'd fight a country armed by the USA.

I read some of the Progressive Historians.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog post and discussion on PKK and current high oil prices:

Mizgîn said...

Renegade Eye, when push comes to shove, the US will side with Turkey against the Kurds. It's a hard fact of life that some prefer to ignore, but it's a hard fact nonetheless.

I do think it would be interesting, however, to see how American-made weapons systems perform against American-made weapons systems.

Thanks for the Global Guerrillas link, Anonymous. Yes, KCK has said that pipelines are targets and not only oil pipelines. Last summer near Igdir, HPG blew a natural gas pipeline coming from Iran.

Pipelines make excellent targets of opportunity and what do I care if Europeans freeze in the winter? I mean, when Kurds in places like Penjwin have to freeze in the winter, I'm not too concerned about Europeans freezing.