Friday, July 04, 2008

4 JULY 2003

"As time passed without official U.S. comment or the release of the soldiers from Baghdad, however, the raid began to look very deliberate, and ordered at the highest level."
~ Jon Gorvett, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Everyone knows what today is, right? Today is the anniversary of the bagging of Turkish special forces in Silêmanî:

It was described as "the biggest crisis of trust between Turkish and U.S. forces" by no less a person than the chief of the Turkish General Staff himself. It had most of Turkey's mainstream press baying for revenge against a "major stain on the nation's honor" and, for some 60 hours, it led to an unprecedented blockade of one NATO country's facilities by another.

The detention and interrogation of 11 Turkish soldiers by U.S. troops in the northern Iraqi city of Suleymaniye July 4 revealed in stark relief the major gulf in perspective that exists between Washington and Ankara over the future of the region. It may also have inadvertantly raised serious questions about U.S. and Turkish policy in Iraq in general, and who, exactly, is running the show there.

On the afternoon of July 4, some 150 U.S. troops with armored vehicles from the 173rd Airborne Brigade surrounded the four-building compound of the Iraqi Turkomen Front (ITF) in the center of the city.

Accounts differ as to what exactly happened next. The official U.S. position is that a raid was then conducted, suspects were detained and the premises searched. The Turkish press, however, has widely reported that a group of U.S. soldiers was first invited in, but then—after having been welcomed and given tea—pulled weapons on their Turkish and Turkomen hosts. The Turks also insist that the U.S. troops stole secret Turkish military codebooks and documents during their search, compromising Turkey's entire regional intelligence operation.

Whatever the case, three Turkish officers and eight non-commissioned officers were then handcuffed and led away. They were accompanied by 13 civilians, mostly ITF members, but also including Turkish businessman Turgay Tahran. He later told the Turkish papers that "we were subjected to inconceivable maltreatment" by the U.S. troops, who had taken the entire party to Baghdad for interrorgation. Some 60 hours later, all the detainees were released.

In honor of the bagging, here's a snippet from a post at on "5 Kick-Ass Action Movies That Are Pure Propaganda". Guess what flick is among those five? You got it--the Turkish film about the bagging, Kurtlar Vadisi İrak, and here's the snippet of interest:

Bonus Message

The Kurds are dimwitted thugs in league with the Americans.

We're sure that this has nothing to do with the campaign of ethnic cleansing that Turkey is running against the Kurds in their own country, though. It's probably just some wacky coincidence.

It's probably also some whacky coincidence that Kurtlar Vadisi İrak was produced by one-time fundraiser for one-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and MİT asset, Mehmet Çelebi.

Happy Bagging Day, hevals!

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