Thursday, November 08, 2007


"Nobody ever in the history of the world has conquered these mountains. If you know the Panjshir valley of (Afghan guerrilla leader) Ahmad Shah Massoud, then Qandil is even more difficult to attack."
~ Mohammad Abdullah, former peşmêrge.

There is more on the situation of the freed Turkish POWs, from the BBC. There's no celebration that these guys are alive and well. Easily ninety-nine percent of the country would have preferred to see them dead, which goes to show you just how sick the general population of Turkey is.

Four days after their release, the former hostages are still being questioned by military prosecutors. An already suspicious public is ready to believe the rumour that one of them has links to the PKK.

"Prosecutors will be focusing on whether or not the soldiers left with the PKK voluntarily," explains retired military judge Umit Kardas.

"If they did they could be charged with membership of a terrorist organisation."

"This has really shaken the military," he adds.

It also goes to show just how incompetent the much-vaunted Turkish military is. I mean, this is NATO's second largest army. It has a couple hundred thousand troops ready to invade South Kurdistan, ostensibly to wipe out a few thousand Kurdish gerîlas--the same gerîlas the Turkish military has been trying to wipe out for almost 30 years. If the Turkish military were so good, why does it crawl to the Americans to beg them to take care of PKK?

Well, the TSK should worry because now the peşmêrge are talking about the realities on the ground. From the AFP:

[Former peşmêrge Adib] Kawa scoffed at the threats of military action emanating from Ankara following a series of deadly PKK attacks against the Turkish army in recent weeks.

"The PKK men are stronger than we were. They are very disciplined and their hideouts, some even underground, are formidable. The Turks can't do much to disturb them," he said.

In 1992, the Iraqi Kurds, still reeling from the offensive by Saddam's forces that followed the Gulf war the previous year, backed Turkish troops in an offensive against the PKK. Kawa was one of the peshmerga involved.

"Whenever we came near them, they disappeared like ghosts," he recalled.

"You can capture one of their positions, but it will be empty and you never have enough men to retain it."

He remembered searching caves that had been transformed into warehouses loaded with ammunition and food, carefully packed in plastic bags.

"They are seasoned, trained and fast," Kawa said of the PKK fighters. "Even with little bread, rice and tea, they can survive for months. And as they pay well, there will always be smugglers to provide them with supplies from Iran or Turkey or here."

Another former peshmerga, Mohammad Abdullah, 38, carrying a pistol in his belt and hugely built, also swears by the impregnable Qandil range.

For five years, he hid out in the mountains which he dubs "the Kurdish Tora Bora," in reference to the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan where Al-Qaeda fighters eluded US troops and their Afghan allies.

"Nobody ever in the history of the world has conquered these mountains. If you know the Panjshir valley of (Afghan guerrilla leader) Ahmad Shah Massoud, then Qandil is even more difficult to attack."

When it comes to fascism, there are few who can compete with the Turkish military, but it looks like there is another group that may have the Paşas worried. It seems that the Christofascists are gaining a stranglehold on the US military. You can read the most recent article on these modern-day crusaders at Truthdig. The interesting part is where the author names some names:

Air Force Academy graduate Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, assigned as the senior U.S. military officer in Turkey at the time the Military Religious Freedom Foundation brought the Christian Embassy into media focus, was questioned by Turkish officials about his membership in a radical evangelical cult.

You know they're bad if Turkish "officials" were concerned. I mean, you can't make this stuff up.

On a different subject, the US has given Pakistan almost $11 billion since September 11, according to TPM Muckraker:

. . . [H]owever, a considerable amount of the money the U.S. gives to Pakistan is administered not through U.S. agencies or joint U.S.-Pakistani programs. Instead, the U.S. gives Musharraf's government about $200 million annually and his military $100 million monthly in the form of direct cash transfers. Once that money leaves the U.S. Treasury, Musharraf can do with it whatever he wants. He needs only promise in a secret annual meeting that he'll use it to invest in the Pakistani people. And whatever happens as the result of Rice's review, few Pakistan watchers expect the cash transfers to end.

[ . . . ]

In Pakistan, the military runs not just the government, but major sections of the economy as well. Joshua Hammer recently reported for The Atlantic that the Pakistani military owns large stakes in the country's "banks, cable-TV companies, insurance agencies, sugar refineries, private security firms, schools, airlines, cargo services, and textile factories." Mainlining largely untraceable money into the Pakistani treasury helps this system perpetuate itself -- even as widespread public discontent, from both moderates and radicals, boils over. It also sends the signal that the U.S. prefers to have relations with Pervez Musharraf rather than the Pakistani people.


Well, actually, not so shocking when you consider the whole rat's nest surrounding A. Q. Khan, Plame, Dick Cheney's Halliburton, Marc Grossman, and Sibel Edmonds.


Gordon Taylor said...


You missed this passage in the BBC Report:

"They [the pictures] show three members of the Turkish parliament from the pro-Kurdish DTP party standing beside a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned PKK founder. In others, the MPs are seen greeting the hostage-takers with handshakes and kisses."

As I pointed out in my post at Progressive Historians, that is an outright lie. The pictures show nothing of the kind. They show the MPs greeting the released soldiers. I've been back to the photos posted at HPG-online and there is no evidence anywhere of the three MPs cozying up to the PKK officers. And of course they couldn't escape standing beside the picture of Ocalan--it was covering the table!


Anonymous said...

All Kurds fighting for Kurdistan are peshmerga. Especially PKK when they say "we will fight till the last drop of blood". It's funny how westerners have made this a term only for south when all parts of Kurdistan use it.

hiwa said...

See how the 'world' is condemning the Turkish military for treating its own soldiers like that? do you expect them to be more caring for PKK guarillas or leader?

The show is won by the Turkish army and publich. Those POWs should NOT have been released sooooo is too late though!

I am glad that we hear from other peshmargas how great PKK and Qandil are!

berxwedan said...


I'm in a minor "distress", nothing to worry about though. Have forwarded (and .com) to Rastibini if you don't mind. I don't know when DM will be up, but I will try to get it up before Newroz.

Serkeftin to you and all the friend!

Btw, let them come. And get some.