"Boys, I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad."
~ Lyndon B. Johnson.
~ Lyndon B. Johnson.
What I said on Sunday:
In other news, the Turkish General Staff has decided to relocate five garrisons and the Bezele garrison will move to a nearby hill, Berçar Tepe, although the general staff claims that plans to move the Bezele garrison were in the works last year.
I find this very difficult to believe and, most likely, it's a cover story for the paşas. They don't want to have to disclose who it was that, in their utter stupidity, chose the location for the Bezele garrison. Given that it's located on low ground and completely surrounded by much higher terrain, attacking the garrison is like shooting fish in a barrel. HPG has been very smart to exploit the weakness inherent in the location of the Bezele garrison.
What Yusuf Kanlı said today, in TDN:
The awful statement of a top general "after the heinous ambush on the Aktütün military outpost at Şemdinli district of border province Hakkari, killing 17 of our soldiers" that the military outpost was constructed at a strategically wrong lower ground; the decision was made to move it some 300 meters away on top of a nearby hill but due to financial constraints could not be achieved but would be done within 2009 together with relocation of four similarly vulnerable other outposts indeed underline that there is a serious mistake in the civilian and more so in the military decision making mechanism in setting priorities.
Whatever explanation the military and the government may provide, if an outpost was believed to be located at a vulnerable lower level; that outpost was ambushed by some 38 times by the separatist gang over the past several years and 44 of our sons died in those ambushes, and if the outpost was decided to be relocated at a more appropriate location, is it possible to understand why it was not removed or how few million new liras could not be found to relocate that and other similarly vulnerable outposts to more appropriate places?
Numbers here are interesting only for their creativity; the fact is that 62 Turkish soldiers were killed at Bezele last weekend alone, not 44 over a period spanning an alleged 38 times.
But that's not the news that's causing the feeding frenzy in Turkish media today. The real news today, the news that has everyone on the attack against the paşas, is golf:
For decades Turkey's armed forces have been virtually beyond criticism in a country where the military sees itself as a defender of the modern secular state.
But its status is being questioned after a senior commander was pictured playing golf hours after 17 soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish militants.
General Aydogan Babaoglu, head of the air force, took part in a golf tournament in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya last weekend after reports emerged of a deadly attack on a military outpost in Aktutun, near Turkey's border with Iraq, by the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK).
He later claimed to have coordinated, the military's response from the golf course, which included air strikes against PKK bases in northern Iraq and ground manoeuvres inside Turkey. But he only returned to headquarters in the capital, Ankara, on Saturday evening, when the country was deep in mourning.
Now Babaoglu, 64, has been subjected to a media grilling hitherto unknown for military top brass after photos of his outing appeared on the front of two newspapers, Vakit and Taraf, both supporters of the Islamist-leaning Justice and Development party (AKP) government.
Golf Paşa has an excuse, though:
. . . Babaoglu said his golf trip been cleared in advance by a commander and accused his critics of seeking to undermine the military. "This should not be the way to criticise someone," he said. "By the time I got the news about the attack, I coordinated every move of our soldiers' counter-operations with my fellows in Ankara. Were there any shortcomings in the role of the air forces in the incident? Were there any mistakes? No."
But Babaoglu's claim appeared to be undermined by a statement from the general staff, which said he only learned of the attack on returning to Ankara.
And in connection with the "financial constraints" mentioned in TDN by Kanlı, it appears there have been no "financial constraints" when it comes to constructing costly golf courses on nine Turkish airbases. From Zaman:
While Turkey’s General Staff complained that it lacked the financial resources required to relocate military outposts in risky areas, it funded the construction of golf courses at nine air bases and one military academy, the Vakit daily reported yesterday.
[ . . . ]
Responding to criticism at a press conference last Sunday, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hasan Iğsız said, “The military outposts have not been renovated because of financial difficulties.”
According to Vakit, Air Forces Commander Gen. Aydoğan Babaoğlu, a golf enthusiast, had golf courses constructed on nine air bases, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The beauty of this feeding frenzy is that it's also caught the chief of the Turkish General Staff, İlker Başbuğ, blowing it out of his ass in Holland. When a Dutch counterpart mentioned that he enjoyed golf for relaxation, Başbuğ replied:
"In Turkey we don't have that luxury."
A writer at Taraf is refusing to do his compulsory military service and is calling for the entire population to join him in a mass act of civil disobedience by refusing military service, too.
And he's right to do so because I was wrong about bumbling incompetence on the part of the terrorist TSK. The truth is that the golf fiasco does not illuminate incompetence; it clearly shows that neither the TSK nor the paşas give a shit about those under their command.
Remember what happened to those Turkish POWs who were released in excellent condition to the TC after the Dağlıca operation? They sit in prison for having become prisoners of the big, bad PKK. No one---not the paşas, not Turkish media, not the Turkish population--rejoiced that those prisoners were released unharmed by PKK. Why? Because the lives of average Turkish soldiers have no value in the eyes of the regime.
On the other hand, I can't remember ever having seen, or heard about, the last time that Heval Dr. Bahoz Erdal was playing golf while those under his command were becoming şehîds.