Thursday, April 24, 2008


"A person who openly incites groups of the population to breed enmity or hatred towards one another based on social class, race, religion, sect or regional difference in a manner which might constitute a clear and imminent danger to public order shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of one to three years."
~ TCK, Article 216.

Some commentary on the NYTimes article documenting the tight relationship between the Pentagon and the worthless American media, from Salon's Glenn Greenwald:

I was hoping to write about the fallout from the NYT's Saturday story regarding the media's use of Pentagon-controlled "independent" military analysts, but there hasn't really been any fallout at all. Despite being accused by the NYT in a very lengthy, well-documented expose of misleadingly feeding government propaganda to their viewers and readers, virtually all media outlets continue their steadfast refusal to address or even acknowledge the story. How can "news" organizations refuse to address -- just completely ignore -- accusations which fundamentally indict their behavior as "journalists"?

As I noted on Sunday, the most striking part of the roughly-7000-word article was that several of the most guilty news outlets -- CBS, NBC and Fox -- just outright refused to answer the NYT's questions about their use of military analysts, what they knew about their analysts' dealings with the Pentagon and the defense industry, and what procedures they use (then and now) to ensure that they don't broadcast government propaganda disguised as independent analysis. Identically, other news organizations not explicitly mentioned by the NYT article but which used some of the tainted sources (such as The Washington Post) have similarly failed to address their role in disseminating this Pentagon-controlled propaganda.

[ . . . ]

. . . [N]ow we have what is by all metrics a huge new story regarding more fundamental media failures (at best), and they collectively invoke the Kremlin-like methods of Dick Cheney -- they refuse to comment, refuse to reveal even the most basic facts about what they did, and do everything possible to hide behind the wall of secrecy they maintain. They don't even feel the slightest bit obligated to say whether they have any procedures to prevent manipulation of this sort in the future. And those classic information-suppressing tactics are all being invoked by news organizations -- which claim to be devoted to disclosing, not concealing, scandals, corruption and facts about how our political institutions function.

[ . . . ]

Whatever one's views are on the media's proper role and its obligations to its viewers and readers (if any), this is a major story by any measure. These media outlets were either duped by the Bush administration and their own sources into feeding government war propaganda to their audience, or were knowingly complicit in doing that.

The fact that they simply refuse to account for their behavior -- hiding behind "no comment" walls of obfuscation or issuing cursory, empty statements -- demonstrates rather conclusively that they are in the business of doing everything except revealing relevant news to their audience. It's really the height of hubris, and unmistakable proof of their core corruption, that not even a front-page, lengthy NYT expose can cause them to address their central, ongoing role in uncritically disseminating government propaganda about the weightiest of matters.

Contrary to the propaganda in Western media, recent Turkish airstrikes in South Kurdistan have not hit any Kurdish freedom fighters. According to Firat News, however, the following villages were bombed Tuesday in the Xakurke region: Elmuşa Seri, Elmuşa Xware, Kewet, Derwa, and Spiyaran. The bombing began at 1615 hours and lasted some 45 minutes.

Also this week, Hilmi Aydoğdu was convicted for saying, "The two sides in this war would be Turkey and the Kurds in Iraq. There are some 20 million Kurds in Turkey, and the 20 million Kurds would regard such a war as an attack against them. . . Any attack on Kirkuk would be considered an attack on Diyarbakir." From Asharq Alaawsat:

A Turkish court on Tuesday convicted a Kurdish politician of inciting hatred and sentenced him to 15 months in prison for suggesting that Kurds would fight Turkey if it ever attacked Kurds in Iraq.

Hilmi Aydogdu was found guilty of threatening public safety after he warned Turkey against taking any action in the oil-rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

Aydogdu, leader of a local branch of a pro-Kurdish party, made the comments last year amid suggestions that Turkey could take military action to prevent Iraqi Kurdish groups from seizing control of Kirkuk.

The court in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, also barred Aydogdu from holding public office. Aydogdu was expected to appeal the verdict.

More news on that in English from Yeni Özgür Politika adds that charges for similar statements made by Sabahattin Korkmaz of TEVKURD were dismissed by the Diyarbakir Criminal Court No. 6, yet Diyarbakir Criminal Court No. 8 convicted Aydoğdu and banned him from politics for the same charge. As explained by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, one of Aydoğdu's lawyers, Aydoğdu's statement contains nothing to "incite hatred" but merely explains the reality of what would happen in the event of a Turkish attack against Kerkuk.

Does anyone think that the Şemdinli bombers were charged with "inciting hatred"? What about all those security forces who murdered civilians during the Amed Serhildan? Or those security forces who murdered Ferho and Fatma Akgül? What about Hrant Dink? Have his murderers been charged with "inciting hatred" . . . . even when Ogün Samast shouted, "I shot the Armenian" immediately after pulling the trigger? What about Malatya, the priest murdered in Trabzon, priest knifed in Izmir . . ?

Nah, I didn't think so either.


Janice said...

Just to reiterate previous statements of appreciation for your blog. I also appreciate your inclusion of the KurdPress website. Now that is apparently no longer available, I don't have any english-language news on what is happening with Kurds. (any idea on what happened? did they just decide not to do their website anymore?) I do wish the other source you list (Yeni?) had an english version!

Mizgîn said...

Thanks Janice. I just came across the KurdishPress site, so I'll have to add it to the sidebar.

Not to worry about KurdishInfo. No one can keep a good bunch of Kurds down. They'll be back.

Unfortunately, YOP doesn't have an English version (same with OG and ANF), but the info I added about Hilmi Aydogdu is the only thing different about his case than what appears in the English articles on him.